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Ann VanderMeer

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Ann VanderMeer currently serves as an acquiring fiction editor for, Cheeky Frawg Books, and She was the editor-in-chief for Weird Tales for five years, during which time she was nominated three times for the Hugo Award, winning one. Along with multiple nominations for the Shirley Jackson Award, she also has won a World Fantasy Award and a British Fantasy Award for co-editing The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories. Other projects have included Best American Fantasy, three Steampunk anthologies, and a humor book, The Kosher Guide to Imaginary Animals. Her latest anthologies include The Time Traveler’s Almanac, Sisters of the Revolution, and Beyond the Bandersnatch: A Modern Bestiary of Untrue Tales, a forthcoming anthology of original fiction and art.

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Sisters of the Revolution: A Feminist Speculative Fiction Anthology
Editors: Ann VanderMeer and Jeff VanderMeer
Publisher: PM Press
ISBN: 978-1-62963-035-9
Published: 02/01/2015
Format: Paperback
Size: 9x6
Page count: 352
Subjects: Fiction-Anthology/Science Fiction/Women's Studies

Sisters of the Revolution gathers a highly curated selection of feminist speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, horror, and more) chosen by one of the most respected editorial teams in speculative literature today, the award-winning Ann and Jeff VanderMeer. Including stories from the 1970s to the present day, the collection seeks to expand the conversation about feminism while engaging the reader in a wealth of imaginative ideas.

From the literary heft of Angela Carter to the searing power of Octavia Butler, Sisters of the Revolution gathers daring examples of speculative fiction's engagement with feminism. Dark, satirical stories such as Eileen Gunn's "Stable Strategies for Middle Management" and the disturbing horror of James Tiptree Jr.'s "The Screwfly Solution" reveal the charged intensity at work in the field. Including new, emerging voices like Nnedi Okorafor and featuring international contributions from Angelica Gorodischer and many more, Sisters of the Revolution seeks to expand the ideas of both contemporary fiction and feminism to new fronts. Moving from the fantastic to the futuristic, the subtle to the surreal, these stories will provoke thoughts and emotions about feminism like no other book available today.

Contributors include: Angela Carter, Angelica Gorodischer, Anne Richter, Carol Emshwiller, Eileen Gunn, Eleanor Arnason, Hiromi Goto, James Tiptree Jr., Joanna Russ, Karin Tidbeck, Kelley Eskridge, Kelly Barnhill, Kit Reed, L. Timmel Duchamp, Leena Krohn, Leonora Carrington, Nnedi Okorafor, Octavia Butler, Pamela Sargent, Rose Lemberg, Susan Palwick, Tanith Lee, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Vandana Singh.


“The VanderMeers are a literary power couple.”
—Boing Boing

“A very laudable trait of the editors is their egalitarianism, their refusal to distinguish between lowbrow and highbrow, using quality and impact as their only yardsticks.”
—Barnes and Noble

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sotrSisters of the Revolution: A Review 
By Erica Smith
Peace News
December 2015- January 2016

"The authors are all feminists and sisters of a speculative fiction revolution rather than a group of political activists. As such, their role is really to explore possible worlds and ways of being, leaving it to the readers to draw their own lessons from the scenarios painted. In their introduction, the editors state that this anthology is ‘the beginning volume of something even more diverse and rich’. I look forward to the next volume in the conversation. In the meantime, I wholeheartedly recommend this collection as a comfortable exploration of an unknown genre. I would even recommend it as the ideal Christmas present for – anyone!"

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sotrSisters of the Revolution: A Review 
By Gwyneth Jones
The New York Review of Science Fiction

"You can’t “expand the conversation about feminism” without first stating its terms: of course a selection of stories from the canon of feminist sf had to be included. Most of the well-known stories here, including Octavia Butler’s bleak, challenging, “The Evening, the Morning, and the Night”; Kelley Eskridge’s slippery, shape-changing “And Salome Danced”; Pat Murphy’s hallucinatory “Love and Death Among the Invertebrates”; and Nalo Hopkinson’s Caribbean Bluebeard tale, “The Glass Bottle Trick” are excellent choices, fitting neatly into the curated scheme. I welcomed the wider perspective of the Hopkinson story, suggesting that her pantomime villain is himself caught in the net of internalized racism: although this collection is reasonably international, I felt that politically it was rather narrow."

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sotrSisters of the Revolution: A Review 
By Keith Brooke
The Guardian (UK)
October 9th, 2015

"... Fortunately, the editors have searched far and wide for source material, turning a collection that might have been worthy but dull into a diverse celebration of speculative fiction. The stories here were written between the 1970s and the present day, with emerging authors such as Nnedi Okorafor side by side with established voices including Angela Carter and Octavia Butler. Highlights include Kelley Eskridge’s tale of an actor equally at home playing John the Baptist or Salome, a story of gender fluidity heavy with desire; James Tiptree Jr’s “The Screwfly Solution”, a chilling account of society falling apart as men’s sexual and violent impulses combine; and Carter’s masterful examination of the Lizzie Borden case, a vivid depiction of life in the 19th century, when three women could be owned by one man through marriage, birth or contract. This is a fine anthology, regardless of genre or politics."

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sotrSisters of the Revolution Collects Powerful Feminist Sci-Fi in Bitch Magazine 
By Sarah Mirk
Bitch Magazine
September 3rd, 2015

"At the same time as the status of women and people of color is raging in sci-fi fandom, editors Ann and Jeff VanderMeer published a compelling new anthology of feminist science fiction. Sisters of the Revolution: A Feminist Speculative Fiction Anthology collects short stories published over the past 40 years, showing the impact feminist sci-fi has been making for decades. The anthology, from PM Press, includes work from 24 authors including stand-bys like Octavia Butler, Angela Carter, and Ursula K. Le Guin as well as relatively newer writers like Nnedi Okorafor. One of my favorite stories in the collection is the very first one, L. Timmel Duchamp’s “The Forbidden Words of Margaret A,” which is a detailed report from a journalist sent on a heavily monitored press junket to interview dissident Margaret A, who is under house arrest in a future America. Published in 1990, the story reminded me starkly of Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in the midst of her 21 years under house arrest."

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sotrSisters of the Revolution: A Review 
Publishers Weekly
May 2015

The VanderMeers (The Time Traveler's Almanac) have produced a well-curated and gorgeously edited selection of speculative feminist stories, including classics from the 1970s and ‘80s as well as recent work by currently prominent writers. The stories, arranged thematically, flow into and bounce off of one another in a thought-provoking, dramatic arrangement that displays each piece in its best possible light. Highlights include James Tiptree Jr.'s "The Screwfly Solution," a terrifying exploration of femicide; Hiromi Goto's "Tales from the Breast," a darkly funny look at a nursing mother pushed to her limit; Angela Carter's "The Fall River Axe Murders," which builds and removes sympathy for Lizzie Borden in equal measure; and Rose Lemberg's "Seven Losses of Na Re," a meditation on memory and totalitarianism. There are no truly weak pieces, but Tanith Lee's "Northern Chess" doesn't rise beyond its conventional sword-and-sorcery trappings, and today's readers will cringe at the attitude towards transsexuality in Pamela Sargent's "Fears" and the employment of gender-shifting and androgyny as an attribute of evil in several older stories. Otherwise, this collection is a generous celebration of work both by and about women.

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sotrClose encounters with feminist science fiction in ‘Sisters of the Revolution’ 
By Elizabeth Hand
LA Times
August 6th, 2015

"...But much of the pleasure in "Sisters of the Revolution" derives from encountering work by writers who aren't household names. The stories are arranged as to how they "speak to one another rather than chronological order". So Anne Richter's "The Sleep of Plants," deftly translated from the Belgian by Edward Gauvin, segues into Kelly Barnhill's dreamy and dark magical realist tale, "The Men Who Live in Trees," which slides into Hiromi Goto's "Tales From the Breast" ("You want to yell down the hall that you have a name and it isn't Breast Milk")..."

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sotrSisters of the Revolution: The Science Fiction and Fantasy Books Everyone’s Talking About In June
By Charlie Jane Anders
June 05th, 2015

This is just what it sounds like: a collection of feminist science fiction, including the greats like Ursula K. Le Guin and Octavia Butler, alongside newer writers like Catherynne M. Valente and Karin Tidbeck. Plus Angela Carter and the recently departed Tanith Lee. says these stories do “exactly what you’d want them to—they tear apart cliches, they question gender and it’s implications, they look at identity using satire and humour and darkness with a sharp intellectual examination of stigma and society’s rules.”

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sotrSisters of the Revolution: A Review
By Vanessa Bush
July 1st, 2015

Highlighting changes in speculative writing and in feminism since the 1970s, award-winning literary couple Ann and Jeff VanderMeer offer a collection of sf, fantasy, and horror writing from 29 women writers, both famous and newcomers. This is the first of several planned anthologies to acquaint readers with the variety of women writers. Among the writers and the perspectives they present are L. Timmel Duchamp with a tale of a woman imprisoned for speaking out, Leonora Carrington in an examination of physical beauty, Kit Reed with a story on the complexities of motherhood, Kelly Eskridge in a gender- bending theater story, Nalo Hopkinson through a tale of a woman trapped in her husband’s secret, and Octavia Butler with a tale of disease and stigma. Among the other authors are Angela Carter, Angelica Gorodischer, Hiromi Goto, Nnedi Okorafor, Vandana Singh, and James Tiptree Jr. This fascinating collection illustrates how writing trends from new-wave sf and feminist speculative fiction reflect changes in culture and in perspectives on women and feminism. It also provides a valuable primer on women writers in the sf, fantasy, and horror genres.

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sotrSisters of the Revolution: A Review
Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review
May 2015

The feminist superstars of science fiction, fantasy, and horror dismantle and reassemble gender’s many implications and iterations in the newest anthology edited by the VanderMeers (The Time Traveler’s Almanac, 2014, etc.).

There is probably no better time for this anthology to emerge, as the SF/F world is rocked by a clash over the value of diverse voices. While the original dates of publication of these stories range from the 1970s to the current decade, and include both stalwarts of their respective genres and relative newcomers, they all feel fresh as ever. Touching on issues from surveillance, misogyny, and marriage to queerness, family dynamics, and gender fluidity, it’s hard to say if this anthology’s aggressive relevance is encouraging or depressing—that feminism remains at the cutting edge of contemporary problems or that the same ideas turned over by writers as long as four decades ago continue to haunt society unaltered. Either way, these stories, coming from a variety of genres, subgenres, and nonrealist traditions, are timeless and breathtaking in scope and power. L. Timmel Duchamp’s “The Forbidden Words of Margaret A.,” about a woman whose words are so dangerous her free speech has been rescinded in the Constitution, will crackle and spark given the current discussion about government overreach. Nalo Hopkinson’s “The Glass Bottle Trick” is a gorgeous retelling of Bluebeard and an exploration of domestic violence. Susan Palwick’s “Gestella,” about a werewolf who marries a human man, is a chilling reminder of the banality of evil; and there is probably no way to top the enduring horror of James Tiptree Jr.’s “The Screwfly Solution.” In the introduction, the editors mention that anthologies of this type can never be truly complete—the canon is always expanding through time, discovery, and translation—but this book will undeniably become part of the ongoing conversation.

A necessary, well-curated anthology that shows the singular political power of speculative fiction.

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