Series: Women Destroy Science Fiction!

The summer of 2013 was a rough one for women in science fiction. Every few weeks there was a new reminder that to a certain subset of the field, women are not welcome. There were multiple articles returning to the tired accusation that women aren’t writing “real” SF; disputes about the way the field is represented by vintage cheesecake art on the cover of a professional trade publication; the glib admonition that if women are to succeed, they should be more like Barbie, in her “quiet dignity.” For many readers, it was a very nasty surprise to discover this undercurrent running through the ocean of imaginative fiction we love.

And it just. Kept. Coming.

We got tired. We got angry. And then we came out the other side of exhaustion and anger deeply motivated to do something.

Thus the Women Destroy Science Fiction! special issue of LIGHTSPEED MAGAZINE was conceived. We did a Kickstarter campaign in early 2014 to help make the issue into a double issue; we crushed our fundraising goal in about 7 hours and ended up funding at more than 1000% of our original funding goal, with more than 2800 backers. Because of that tremendous success, we unlocked two major stretch goals which resulted in the publication of companion volumes Women Destroy Fantasy! and Women Destroy Horror!, which are being published as issues of LIGHTSPEED’s sister publications, FANTASY and NIGHTMARE.

FROM THE EDITORS — Christie Yant, Rachel Swirsky, Wendy N. Wagner, Robyn Lupo, and Gabrielle de Cuir
Editorial, June 2014: Women Destroy Science Fiction!

ORIGINAL SHORT STORIES — edited by Christie Yant

Each to Each by Seanan McGuire – narrated by Cassandra Campbell
A Word Shaped Like Bones by Kris Millering – narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir
Cuts Both Ways by Heather Clitheroe – narrated by Grover Gardner
Walking Awake by N.K. Jemisin – narrated by Bahni Turpin
The Case of the Passionless Bees by Rhonda Eikamp – narrated by Jonathan L. Howard
In the Image of Man by Gabriella Stalker– narrated by John Allen Nelson
The Unfathomable Sisterhood of Ick by Charlie Jane Anders – narrated by Cassandra Campbell
Dim Sun by Maria Dahvana Headley – narrated by Stefan Rudnicki
The Lonely Sea in the Sky by Amal El-Mohtar – narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir with Cassandra Campbell, Cassandra de Cuir, John Allen Nelson, Stefan Rudnicki, and Molly Underwood
A Burglary, Addressed By a Young Lady by Elizabeth Porter Birdsall – narrated by Judy Young
Canth by K.C. Norton – narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir

REPRINTS — selected by Rachel Swirsky
Like Daughter by Tananarive Due – narrated by Jamye Méri Grant
The Great Loneliness by Maria Romasco Moore – narrated by Judy Young
Love is the Plan the Plan is Death by James Tiptree, Jr. (Alice Sheldon) – narrated by Stefan Rudnicki
Knapsack Poems: A Goxhat Travel Journal by Eleanor Arnason – narrated by Stefan Rudnicki
The Cost to Be Wise by Maureen F. McHugh (novella) – narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir

ORIGINAL FLASH FICTION — edited by Robyn Lupo
Salvage by Carrie Vaughn – read by Susan Hanfield
A Guide to Grief by Emily Fox – read by Cassandra de Cuir
See DANGEROUS EARTH-POSSIBLES! by Tina Connolly – read by Harlan Ellison®
A Debt Repaid by Marina J. Lostetter – narrated by Jamye Méri Grant
The Sewell Home for the Temporally Displaced by Sarah Pinsker – narrated by Cassandra Campbell
#TrainFightTuesday by Vanessa Torline – narrated by Jamye Méri Grant with Cassandra de Cuir, Gabrielle de Cuir, John Allen Nelson, Molly Underwood, and Judy Young
The Hymn of Ordeal, No. 23 by Rhiannon Rasmussen – narrated by John Allen Nelson
Emoticon by Anaid Perez – narrated by Molly Underwood
The Mouths by Ellen Denham – narrated by Cassandra de Cuir
M1A by Kim Winternheimer – narrated by Judy Young
Standard Deviant by Holly Schofield – narrated by Cassandra Campbell
Getting on in Years by Cathy Humble – narrated by Stefan Rudnicki
Ro-Sham-Bot by Effie Seiberg – narrated by John Allen Nelson
Everything That Has Already Been Said by Samantha Murray – narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir
The Lies We Tell Our Children by Katherine Crighton – narrated by Cassandra Campbell

NOVEL EXCERPT
Artemis Awakening by Jane Lindskold

NONFICTION — edited by Wendy N. Wagner
Artists Showcase by Galen Dara
Illusion, Expectation, and World Domination Through Bake Sales by Pat Murphy
Women Remember: A Roundtable Interview by Mary Robinette Kowal
Interview: Kelly Sue DeConnick by Jennifer Willis
How to Engineer a Self-Rescuing Princess by Stina Leicht
The Status Quo Cannot Hold by Tracie Welser
Screaming Together: Making Women’s Voices Heard by Nisi Shawl

PERSONAL ESSAYS — edited by Wendy N. Wagner
We are the Fifty Percent by Rachel Swirsky
Science Fiction: You’re Doin’ It Wrong by Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff
Join Us in the Future by Marissa Lingen
Are We There Yet? by Sheila Finch
Not a Spaceship, Robot, or Zombie in Sight by Anne Charnock
Writing Among the Beginning of Women by Amy Sterling Casil
Toward a Better Future by Nancy Jane Moore
We Are the Army of Women Destroying SF by Sandra Wickham
Read SF and You’ve Got a Posse by Gail Marsella
Stomp All Over That by O. J. Cade
For the Trailblazers by Kristi Charish
Women are the Future of Science Fiction by Juliette Wade
We Have Always Fought: Challenging the Women, Cattle, and Slaves Narrative by Kameron Hurley (Reprint, archived at A Dribble of Ink)
Writing Stories, Wrinkling Time by Kat Howard
Where Are My SF Books? by DeAnna Knippling
Reading the Library Alphabetically by Liz Argall
Stepping Through a Portal by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam
The Wendybird by Stina Leicht
I Wanted to be the First Woman on the Moon by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley
Never Think of Yourself as Less by Helena Bell
An ABC of Kickass, or a Partial Exorcism of my TBR/TRBA* Pile by Jude Griffin
Stocking Stuffers by Anaea Lay
Breaching the Gap by Brooke Bolander
Women Who Are More Than Strong by Georgina Kamsika
A Science-Fictional Woman by Cheryl Morgan
Your Future is Out of Date by Pat Murphy
Stray Outside the Lines by E. Catherine Tobler
My Love Can Destroy by Seanan McGuire

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHTS — edited by Jude Griffin With contributors Laurel Amberdine, Lee Hallison, and Sandra Odell
Seanan McGuire
Kris Millering
Heather Clitheroe
N.K. Jemisin
Rhonda Eikamp
Tananarive Due
Gabriella Stalker
Charlie Jane Anders
Maria Dahvana Headley
Amal El-Mohtar
Elizabeth Porter Birdsall
K.C. Norton
Eleanor Arnason
Maria Romasco Moore
Maureen McHugh

ILLUSTRATORS — art direction by Galen Dara
Li Grabbenstetter (“A Word Shaped Like Bones,” “Each to Each,” and “Love is the Plan the Plan is Death”)
Elizabeth Leggett (“Cuts Both Ways,” “Salvage,” and “Like Daughter”)
Hillary Pearlman (“Walking Awake”)
Christine Mitzuk (“The Case of the Passionless Bees”)
Galen Dara (cover artist)

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Women Destroy Science Fiction! Anthology Review: Original Flash Fiction (3/3)

Women Destroy Science Fiction! Anthology Review: Original Flash Fiction (3/3)

Standard Deviant by Holly Schofield – Narrated by Cassandra Campbell – 2.5 stars “Standard Deviant” is rather long (for flash) with very little payoff. The majority of the story has the heroine hiding behind a car. She calls the car’s owner her boyfriend (but he’s not) but then says she… Read more »

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Women Destroy Science Fiction! Anthology Review: Original Flash Fiction (2/3)

Women Destroy Science Fiction! Anthology Review: Original Flash Fiction (2/3)

#TrainFightTuesday by Vanessa Torline – Narrated by Jamye Méri Grant with Cassandra de Cuir, Gabrielle de Cuir, John Allen Nelson, Molly Underwood, and Judy Young – 3.5 stars “#TrainFightTuesday” is…strange. It’s a hard one to read via audio, for sure. “#TrainFightTuesday” is written in Twitter (but called Patter) and it… Read more »

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Women Destroy Science Fiction! Anthology Review: Original Flash Fiction (1/3)

Women Destroy Science Fiction! Anthology Review: Original Flash Fiction (1/3)

I took a small break from reading Women Destroy Science Fiction – I had to return the library book, lol. And YES. I know I own a personal copy…but there’s nothing quite like using a CD while commuting. Ease of use. This is my first time really reading “Flash Fiction.”… Read more »

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Women Destroy Science Fiction! Anthology Review: Love is the Plan the Plan is Death by James Tiptree, Jr. (Alice Sheldon) -Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki)

Women Destroy Science Fiction! Anthology Review: Love is the Plan the Plan is Death by James Tiptree, Jr. (Alice Sheldon) -Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki)

Love is the Plan the Plan is Death is another of these stories that was MADE by the narration. Stefan Rudnicki stuck his big toe in this one. Seriously. If I were reading this in print, I wouldn’t have finished it. But Stefan Rudnicki gave a performance that left me… Read more »

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Women Destroy Science Fiction! Anthology Review: The Great Loneliness by Maria Romasco Moore (Narrated by Judy Young)

Women Destroy Science Fiction! Anthology Review: The Great Loneliness by Maria Romasco Moore (Narrated by Judy Young)

The Great Loneliness is an odd story. There is a lot of unexplained activity, circumstances and science that kinda drove me batty. In The Great Loneliness, it appears that the Earth has had some catastrophe of some kind. Sadly, I don’t know what it [the catastrophe] was but it whittled… Read more »

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Women Destroy Science Fiction! Anthology Review: Like Daughter by Tananarive Due (Narrated by Jamye Méri Grant) *spoilers*

Women Destroy Science Fiction! Anthology Review: Like Daughter by Tananarive Due (Narrated by Jamye Méri Grant) *spoilers*

Trigger Warning: There is discussion of child molestation in the story and in this review. Like Daughter gutted me. It was unsettling and sad and just chock full of emotional WTF that I was in a bit of shock while reading. The MC of Like Daughter is Paige. Paige is… Read more »

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Women Destroy Science Fiction! Anthology Review: Canth by K.C. Norton (Narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir)

Women Destroy Science Fiction! Anthology Review: Canth by K.C. Norton (Narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir)

Canth is another odd one. Canth is both the title of this story and the name of the MC’s submarine-like vessel. The MC of Canth is chasing her ship. Somehow it started without her but since it is a perpetual motion machine, it never stopped. The majority of the story… Read more »

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Women Destroy Science Fiction! Anthology Review: A Burglary, Addressed By a Young Lady by Elizabeth Porter Birdsall (Narrated by Judy Young)

Women Destroy Science Fiction! Anthology Review: A Burglary, Addressed By a Young Lady by Elizabeth Porter Birdsall (Narrated by Judy Young)

A Burglary, Addressed By a Young Lady is a bit of an oddity in this selection of stories for the Women Destroy Science Fiction! special Issue. It…feels more Steampunk than anything else and I’ve almost always attributed Steampunk more to Fantasy than Science Fiction. Also, A Burglary, Addressed By a… Read more »

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Women Destroy Science Fiction! Anthology Review: The Lonely Sea in the Sky by Amal El-Mohtar (Narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir)

Women Destroy Science Fiction! Anthology Review: The Lonely Sea in the Sky by Amal El-Mohtar (Narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir)

The Lonely Sea in the Sky is…different but enjoyable. The story is narrated by multiple narrators with Gabrielle de Cuir providing the voice for the main character. I have to say, Gabrielle de Cuir is fast becoming my favorite narrator – the pure emotion is outstanding. Especially when she voices… Read more »

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Women Destroy Science Fiction! Anthology Review: Dim Sun by Maria Dahvana Headley (Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki)

Women Destroy Science Fiction! Anthology Review: Dim Sun by Maria Dahvana Headley (Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki)

I…have no clue what to say about this one. It’s…different. And I liked it! But there’s so much…unexplained. Dim Sun is a great short story that is structured around food – even the title is a play on Dim Sum: Dim sum is a style of Chinese cuisine prepared as… Read more »

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