“Dangerous Women” by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois (Tor, 2013)

Dangerous Women
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While George R. R. Martin may be taking his time with his next book in the Song of Ice and Fire series, he definitely has an ability for finding some great talented storytellers when working with the master editor and anthologist, Gardner Dozois. Dangerous Women is one of those books that you’re very thankful for being a giant tome, as you look forward to finishing the thrilling story you’re currently reading, so you can see how it ends, as well as discovering what the next story is going to be like.

A number of big fantasy name authors make the contents list in this collection, as well as a number of other mainstream authors you may not have read before. Each of them write about heroines or female villains or powerful stories with moving female characters, from the likes of Brandon Sanderson, Joe Abercrombie, Sherilynn Kenyon, Carrie Vaughan and S. M. Stirling, as well as a new novella from George R. R. Martin set within his fantasy world.  Not all the stories are fantasy or horror or science fiction, such as with Carrie Vaughan’s riveting story about female fighter pilots.

The beauty of a collection like this is that the reader has a chance to discover a number of new authors they never planned on reading, or maybe have wanted to try. Also, since the book is called Dangerous Women, it does respectfully feature more stories written by women authors, as it should. Ultimately, it’s a collection that features wall-to-wall female characters everywhere, which sadly cannot be said for most books published these days.

Originally written on April 16, 2014 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Dangerous Women from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

2011 Locus Award Winners

The 2011 Locus Award winners have been announced.  For the Science Fiction novel category, Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis won, which I really think I’m going to have to check out now.  Kraken by China Mieville won, which I read and didn’t think was that great or incredible (I actually think Mieville gets a little too much praise and recognition that what he deserves from what I’ve read of him), and honestly I loved the other nominated novel, Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay far more.  Super congratulations to N. K. Jemisin for winning First Novel for Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, totally deserved it!  And Warriors edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois won for best anthology, which is good, because it was a truly great anthology.

BookBanter Book reviews and interviews are mentioned and linked next to the author and/or title.

 

Science Fiction Novel

Fantasy Novel

First Novel

Young Adult Book

Novella

  • WINNER: The Lifecycle of Software Objects, Ted Chiang (Subterranean)
  • Bone and Jewel Creatures, Elizabeth Bear (Subterranean)
  • “The Mystery Knight”’, George R.R. Martin (Warriors)
  • “Troika”, Alastair Reynolds (Godlike Machines)
  • “The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen’s Window’”, Rachel Swirsky (Subterranean Summer ’10)

Novelette

  • WINNER: “The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains”, Neil Gaiman (Stories)
  • “The Fool Jobs”, Joe Abercrombie (Swords & Dark Magic)
  • “The Mad Scientist’s Daughter”, Theodora Goss (Strange Horizons 1/18-1/25/10)
  • “Plus or Minus”, James Patrick Kelly (Asimov’s 12/10)
  • “Marya and the Pirate”, Geoffrey A. Landis (Asimov’s 1/10)

Short Story

  • WINNER: “The Thing About Cassandra”, Neil Gaiman (Songs of Love and Death)
  • “Booth’s Ghost”, Karen Joy Fowler (What I Didn’t See and Other Stories)
  • “Names for Water”, Kij Johnson (Asimov’s 10-11/10)
  • “Thirteen Ways of Looking at Space/Time”, Catherynne M. Valente (Clarkesworld 8/10)
  • “The Things”, Peter Watts (Clarkesworld 1/10)

Magazine

  • WINNER: Asimov’s
  • Analog
  • F&SF
  • Subterranean
  • Tor.com

Publisher

  • WINNER: Tor
  • Baen
  • Night Shade Books
  • Orbit
  • Subterranean Press

Anthology

Collection

Editor

  • WINNER: Ellen Datlow
  • Gardner Dozois
  • Gordon Van Gelder
  • David G. Hartwell
  • Jonathan Strahan

Artist

  • WINNER: Shaun Tan
  • Bob Eggleton
  • Donato Giancola
  • John Picacio
  • Michael Whelan

Non-fiction

Art Books

Pulled from TOR.com

2011 Locus Award Finalists

And the Locus Award Finalists for 2011 have been announced.  Interviews with BookBanter are linked and indicated, while book reviews are linked via the book cover.

Science Fiction Novel

Surface Detail, Iain M. Banks (Orbit UK; Orbit US)
Cryoburn, Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)
Zero History, William Gibson (Putnam; Viking UK)
The Dervish House, Ian McDonald (Pyr; Gollancz)
Blackout/All Clear, Connie Willis (Spectra)

Fantasy Novel

Under Heaven, Guy Gavriel Kay [BookBanter interview] (Penguin Canada; Roc)
Under Heaven

Kraken, China Miéville (Macmillan UK; Del Rey)
Who Fears Death, Nnedi Okorafor (DAW)
The Fuller Memorandum, Charles Stross (Ace; Orbit UK)
The Sorcerer’s House, Gene Wolfe (Tor)

First Novel

The Loving Dead, Amelia Beamer (Night Shade)
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, N.K. Jemisin [BookBanter interview] (Orbit UK; Orbit US)

Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

Shades of Milk and Honey, Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)
The Quantum Thief, Hannu Rajaniemi (Gollancz; Tor)
How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, Charles Yu (Pantheon)

Young Adult Book

Ship Breaker, Paolo Bacigalupi (Little, Brown)
Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)

Mockingjay
Enchanted Glass, Diana Wynne Jones (HarperCollins UK; Greenwillow)
I Shall Wear Midnight, Terry Pratchett (Gollancz; HarperCollins)
Behemoth, Scott Westerfeld (Simon Pulse; Simon & Schuster UK)

Novella

Bone and Jewel Creatures, Elizabeth Bear (Subterranean)
The Lifecycle of Software Objects, Ted Chiang (Subterranean)
“The Mystery Knight”’, George R.R. Martin (Warriors)
Warriors
“Troika”, Alastair Reynolds (Godlike Machines)
“The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen’s Window’”, Rachel Swirsky (Subterranean Summer ’10)

Novelette

“The Fool Jobs”, Joe Abercrombie (Swords & Dark Magic)
“The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains”, Neil Gaiman (Stories)
“The Mad Scientist’s Daughter”, Theodora Goss (Strange Horizons 1/18-1/25/10)
“Plus or Minus”, James Patrick Kelly (Asimov’s 12/10)
“Marya and the Pirate”, Geoffrey A. Landis (Asimov’s 1/10)

Short Story

“Booth’s Ghost”, Karen Joy Fowler (What I Didn’t See and Other Stories)
“The Thing About Cassandra”, Neil Gaiman (Songs of Love and Death)
“Names for Water”, Kij Johnson (Asimov’s 10-11/10)
“Thirteen Ways of Looking at Space/Time”, Catherynne M. Valente (Clarkesworld 8/10)
“The Things”, Peter Watts (Clarkesworld 1/10)

Magazine

Analog
Asimov’s
F&SF
Subterranean
Tor.com

Publisher

Baen
Night Shade Books
Orbit
Subterranean Press
Tor

Anthology

Zombies vs. Unicorns, Holly Black & Justine Larbalestier, eds. (McElderry)
The Beastly Bride, Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling, eds. (Viking)
The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Seventh Annual Collection, Gardner Dozois, ed. (St. Martin’s)
Warriors, George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois, eds. (Tor)

Warriors

Swords & Dark Magic, Jonathan Strahan & Lou Anders, eds. (HarperCollins)

Collection

Mirror Kingdoms, Peter S. Beagle (Subterranean)
What I Didn’t See and Other Stories, Karen Joy Fowler (Small Beer)
Fritz Leiber: Selected Stories, Fritz Leiber (Night Shade)
The Best of Kim Stanley Robinson, Kim Stanley Robinson (Night Shade)
The Collected Stories of Roger Zelazny: Volume Five: Nine Black Doves, Roger Zelazny (NESFA)

Editor

Ellen Datlow
Gardner Dozois [BookBanter interview]
Gordon Van Gelder
David G. Hartwell
Jonathan Strahan

Artist

Bob Eggleton
Donato Giancola
John Picacio
Shaun Tan
Tales From Outer Suburbia

Michael Whelan

Non-fiction

80! Memories & Reflections on Ursula K. Le Guin, Karen Joy Fowler & Debbie Notkin, eds. (Aqueduct)
Conversations with Octavia Butler, Conseula Francis (University Press of Mississippi)
Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century: Volume 1: 1907-1948: Learning Curve, William H. Patterson, Jr., (Tor)
CM Kornbluth: The Life and Works of a Science Fiction Visionary, Mark Rich (McFarland)
Bearings: Reviews 1997-2001, Gary K. Wolfe (Beccon)

Art Books

Bob Eggleton, Dragon’s Domain (Impact)
Spectrum 17, Cathy & Arnie Fenner, eds. (Underwood)
Donato Giancola, Middle-Earth: Visions of a Modern Myth (Underwood)
Shaun Tan, The Bird King and Other Sketches (Windy Hollow)
Charles Vess & Neil Gaiman, Instructions (Harper)

12/8 On the Bookshelf . . . “Songs of the Dying Earth”

Songs of the Dying Earth

Originally released last year by Subterranean Press in limited edition, as of December 7th, Songs of the Dying Earth is now more widely available from Tor books.  Edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, it features original stories by the likes of Neil Gaiman, George R. R. Martin, Tad Williams, Glen Cook, Kage Baker, Robert Silverberg, and many more, including an original novella by Dan Simmons.  A 22-story collection I’m looking forward to reading.

The Beauty of the Internets

I was surprised to see a hit spike for the Gardner Dozois interview I recently put up, especially since I hadn’t done my PR piece yet of spreading the word about it.  Thankfully, the Internet has the ability to do that itself with search engines and word of mouth, or e-word rather.

Was happy to find that the interview had been linked and got a mention on Westeros.org, which you can find here.  SF Signal also mentioned it, thanks John.

The really unusual mention was from a Polish site no less, which you can find here.

An Interview With Gardner Dozois

Gardner Dozois

Gardner Dozois

Gardner Dozois is a published author, co-author of Hunter’s Run, but primarily known as the editor of many different publications, including The Years Best Science Fiction series, and has won multiple Hugo and Nebula awards.  One of his more recent anthologies is Warriors.

Alex: Did you ever think you were going to be the editor of this many publications?

Gardner: No.  I thought I’d do a couple of reprint anthologies early on, because there were some favorite stories of mine that I wanted to call to the attention of other readers so that they could enjoy them too, but it’s like eating peanuts—it’s hard to stop with eating just one.  There’s always more stories you enjoy that you want to share, and before you know it, you’ve edited eighty or so anthologies.

Alex: What was it that made you want to be a writer?

Gardner: I wanted to write the stories I wanted to read.  Everybody has a unique view of the universe, a view that can be seen only through their eyes, and nothing quite matched the view from my own eyes.

Alex: How did you get started in editing?

Gardner: That’s a long dull story.  When I was being a Hot New Writer in SF publishing circles in New York City, I picked up some work writing reader reports for various publishers (something I had an advantage doing because Damon Knight, who bought some of my first stories, was my patron, and had introduced me to many of the key people in the scene at the time), and that lead to getting work reading slush piles for various magazines, and that eventually led, after many years, to selling anthologies and, eventually, editing ASIMOV’S.  You have to grow a reputation for editorial acumen bit by bit over many years; there are no shortcuts.

Alex: What is your favorite part of the editing process?

Gardner: Finding new writers whose work excites you.  Plus, starting to read a story with no particular expectations of anything and getting sucked into it to an extent that you forget about the bills you have to pay that afternoon and what you’re going to have for lunch, forget about anything except the story until you come out of it at the end with a start and a shiver, having been transported, for a time, to a different world.

Alex: In an average week, how many stories do you read?

Gardner: With all the reading I have to do for the Best of the Year anthology, dozens, in all formats.  I find that I’m reading at least as much stuff online these days as from traditional print sources, maybe more.  When I’m also doing an original anthology, that’s a bunch more to read, although they usually straggle in one at a time over a period of months rather than appearing all in a bunch.  Basically, I read until I fall asleep, and then I wake up and read some more.  Editors don’t have much in the way of lives.

Alex: And how many of those are usually keepers for anthologies?

Gardner: With an invitational anthology, if you’ve been careful to invite good people who are capable of good work, usually most of them, although there may be a few where you go back and forth with the writer several times with requests for rewrites and clarifications.  If you’re editing a magazine, especially if you read your own slush pile, as I used to do at ASIMOV’S, the fact is that few of the unsolicited manuscripts are keepers.  Perhaps in a good month, if you’re lucky, ten or fifteen percent.  Maybe only one or two.  And that’s out of the thousand or more unsolicited manuscripts we used to get per month at the magazine.

Alex: Do people come to you with anthology ideas, or do you tend to come up with them yourself and then decide to go with it?

Gardner: Basically, we come up with an idea, and then try to convince some publisher to buy it.  Sometimes we succeed, sometimes we don’t.  There’s at least four or five cases where I thought some topic would make a good subject for an anthology, but couldn’t find a publisher who agreed.

Alex: When you begin an anthology do you generally request specific types of stories from authors, or do you look at what’s available, or simply ask for submissions?

Gardner: Depends what kind of anthology you’re doing.  With a reprint anthology, you look over the already-published stories there are that fit your theme, and select the ones you want.  With an open-submission anthology, relatively rare these days, you throw the doors open and read everything that comes in, including the slush pile, just like with a magazine.  Most of the anthologies I’ve been doing in the last few years are original invitational anthologies, where you select a group of authors that you think would be suited to write good stories about a certain topic and write to them and ask them if they’d be interested in contributing.  Some will be; some won’t be.

Gardner: Unthemed anthologies, either reprint or original, have become very rare these days, which is a shame.  I’d like to be able to go out and just buy the best stories I can possibly find, without regards to a theme.  But most publishers these days insist on a strong theme because they think it makes the book “sexier,” in the sense that more people will be interested in buying it.

Alex: When co-editing an anthology, how does the work break down with who does what?

Gardner: With the co-edited anthologies I’ve done, both editors have to read and approve the stories (which can lead to a lot of back-and-forth, if there’s disagreement over a story), and both put their heads together to decide which authors to invite in the first place.  I usually do most of the rest of the scut work, sending letters (usually email messages these days) to the writers inviting them into the project, corresponding with them, drawing up contracts for their stories, cutting checks, assembling the submission manuscript, and so forth.

Alex: Warriors is a hefty anthology with a wide variety of stories and authors covering multiple genres.  Where did the idea for this anthology come from?

Gardner: It was largely George’s [George R. R. Martin] idea.  At the Anaheim Worldcon a few years back, we sat in the lobby and talked about the possibility of editing a few anthologies together, and George mentioned that he’d always wanted to do an original anthology about warriors throughout the ages.  He suggested that it might be a good idea to do it as a cross-genre anthology, and I agreed that it would be.  That pretty much set the parameters for the anthology.

Alex: Were the stories specifically requested from specific authors?

Gardner: Yes—although not all of them actually delivered anything when push came to shove.  If they didn’t, for whatever reason—one of the writers we wanted the most, mystery writer Tony Hillerman, agreed to be in the book but then tragically died before he could actually finish anything for us—we replaced them.

Alex: How long did the Warriors anthology take to complete?

Gardner: According to my records, George and I exchanged our first email message about WARRIORS on September 7, 2006.  The book was turned in to the publisher on March 23, 2009—hundreds of email messages later.

Alex: Can you talk about the different anthologies and projects you’re working on now?

Gardner: The next anthology that George Martin and I have coming up is a book of fantasy/romance crosses called SONGS OF LOVE AND DEATH: TALES OF STAR-CROSSED LOVE, from Pocket Books.  We’re currently finishing up an anthology of paranormal detective stories called DOWN THESE STRANGE STREETS, scheduled for publication by Penguin Putnam.  There are other projects in the works, as yet unsold, that George and I and Jack Dann and I intend to pitch, but that’s all pie-in-the-sky at the moment, so there’s no point going into details.

Alex: A lot of your writing is in short form.  Do you have plans to write longer projects?

Gardner: I have a novel under contract now, in fact, and, of course, a couple of years ago I wrote the novel HUNTER’S RUN in collaboration with George R.R. Martin and Daniel Abraham.  I think that I’m probably a natural short-story writer rather than a natural novelist, my strengths lending themselves to that form, and I doubt that I’ll ever be prolific as a novelist.

Alex: Do you have a set schedule you keep to each day in your work?

Gardner: I work on something every day, usually for a fair number of hours in a row—WHICH hours at which point of the day or night, though, is more fluid.

Alex: Do you have any advice for writers looking to get published?

Gardner: Persist.  For every writer who has established a professional career, there are probably four or five writers of equal talent and ability who have gotten discouraged and given up.  To a large extent, the ones who make it are the ones who stick with it in the face of all discouragements (many of them pretty extreme) and keep grinding away, learning and improving, day after day.

Alex: What about editors looking to get into doing anthologies?

Gardner: It’s very difficult.  You have to somehow establish a reputation for having good taste and knowing what you’re doing.  The best way may be to get a low-level job in publishing, usually as some editor’s assistant, and work away, learning the ropes and hoping that a chance to move up will come along.  This process can take years, and may never happen at all.  As I said above, there are no shortcuts, and no overnight successes either.

Alex: What do you like to do in your spare time?

Gardner: Spare time?  In what time I have left, usually no more than an hour or so a day, I read something, believe it or not, usually as I’m falling asleep.  Usually something other than SF, which I’ve been reading all day.  Mysteries usually, especially historical mysteries like those by Lindsey Davis or Steven Saylor.  Travel narratives, such as those by Paul Theroux or Michael Palin or Bill Bryson.  Non-fiction.  Books about history and science, particularly natural history, John McPhee, David Attenborough.

“Warriors” edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois (Tor, 2010)

Warriors
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When you purchase  a copy of Warriors, even if you don’t get around to reading it right away, with its mighty girth it can serve a number of alternate uses such as a doorstop, a paperweight, a bookend, or anything else you can use a large brick-shaped object for; it is after all a 700+ page hardcover.  But once you start reading this epic anthology of great storytelling, you won’t want to use it for anything else until you get to that last page.

In an interview (coming in August), editor Gardner Dozois reveals that the anthology was mainly George R. R. Martin’s idea, to request a specific group of authors to write a story about “warriors through the ages,” from a variety of different genres.  The result is a massive anthology that features bestselling authors such as Diana Gabaldon, Robin Hobb, Peter S. Beagle, Steven Saylor, S. M. Stirling and Robert Silverberg; both Gardner Dozois and George R. R. Martin also have stories featured in this collection.

The anthology begins with a story from Cecilia Holland, entitled “The King of Norway,” revealing the tough world of the Vikings.  There are some fantasy stories about classic warriors, but also fiction stories about people being warriors in different ways.  One of the most unusual stories comes from James Rollins in “The Pit,” told from the viewpoint of a dog who has gone through a terrible life, kidnapped as a puppy and driven to madness and anger to be a fighting dog with the goal of killing its fellow kind and winning its master lots of money; but then it is rescued and doesn’t know if it can have a normal life again, until its master comes back to haunt its life.

The best and most interesting story of the collection, without a doubt, comes from an unlikely author in Carrie Vaughan with “The Girls from Avenger.”  This is the story of the women of World War II that little is known about: the Women Airforce Service Pilots or WASPs.  They were never allowed to fight in combat, but they were a necessary part of the military machine in flying planes to specific bases, testing and making sure they were all working fine.  In this story a friend of a close group of WASPs dies under strange circumstances, while the military does everything it can to cover it up and pretend it didn’t happen; Em is not going to let that happen, and is going to do everything she can to get to the bottom of why one of her good friends is now dead.

Whatever type of story you’re looking for, you will find it in this wonderful collection.  The idea of the warrior has many different meanings, and with the great variety of talented authors featured in Warriors, they all have a very unique story to tell.

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Originally written on June 28 2010 ©Alex C. Telander.