Dangerous Women: Stories
Edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois
Narrated by Scott Brick, Jonathan Frakes, Janis Ian, Stana Katic, Lee Meriwether, Emily Rankin, Harriet Walter, Jake Weber
Publisher: Random House Audio
Publication Date: 3 December 2013[UNABRIDGED] – 32 hours, 49 minutes
Listen to an excerpt: | MP3 |
Themes: / short stories / fantasy / women /
All new and original to this volume, the 21 stories in Dangerous Women include work by twelve New York Times bestsellers, and seven stories set in the authors’ bestselling continuities—including a new “Outlander” story by Diana Gabaldon, a tale of Harry Dresden’s world by Jim Butcher, a story from Lev Grossman set in the world of The Magicians, and a 35,000-word novella by George R. R. Martin about the Dance of the Dragons, the vast civil war that tore Westeros apart nearly two centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones.
Also included are original stories of dangerous women–heroines and villains alike–by Brandon Sanderson, Joe Abercrombie, Sherilynn Kenyon, Lawrence Block, Carrie Vaughn, S. M. Stirling, Sharon Kay Penman, and many others.
Writes Gardner Dozois in his Introduction, “Here you’ll find no hapless victims who stand by whimpering in dread while the male hero fights the monster or clashes swords with the villain, and if you want to tie these women to the railroad tracks, you’ll find you have a real fight on your hands. Instead, you will find sword-wielding women warriors, intrepid women fighter pilots and far-ranging spacewomen, deadly female serial killers, formidable female superheroes, sly and seductive femmes fatale, female wizards, hard-living Bad Girls, female bandits and rebels, embattled survivors in Post-Apocalyptic futures, female Private Investigators, stern female hanging judges, haughty queens who rule nations and whose jealousies and ambitions send thousands to grisly deaths, daring dragonriders, and many more.”
Stories and Narrators (in order of appearance):
“Some Desperado” by Joe Abercrombie; Read by Stana Katic
“My Heart Is Either Broken” by Megan Abbott; Read by Jake Weber
“Nora’s Song” by Cecelia Holland; Read by Harriet Walter
“The Hands That Are Not There” by Melinda Snodgrass; Read by Jonathan Frakes
“Bombshells” by Jim Butcher; Read by Emily Rankin
“Raisa Stepanova” by Carrie Vaughn; Read by Inna Korobkina
“Wrestling Jesus” by Joe R. Lansdale; Read by Scott Brick
“Neighbors” by Megan Lindholm; Read by Lee Meriwether
“I Know How to Pick ’Em” by Lawrence Block; Read by Jake Weber
“Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell” by Brandon Sanderson; Read by Claudia Black
“A Queen in Exile” by Sharon Kay Penman; Read by Harriet Walter
“The Girl in the Mirror” by Lev Grossman; Read by Sophie Turner
“Second Arabesque, Very Slowly” by Nancy Kress; Read by Janis Ian
“City Lazarus” by Diana Rowland; Read by Scott Brick
“Virgins” by Diana Gabaldon; Read by Allan Scott-Douglas
“Pronouncing Doom” by S.M. Stirling; Read by Stana Katic
“Name the Beast” by Sam Sykes; Read by Claudia Black
“Caregivers” by Pat Cadigan; Read by Janis Ian
“Lies My Mother Told Me” by Caroline Spector; Read by Maggi-Meg Reed
“Hell Hath No Fury” by Sherilynn Kenyon; Read by Jenna Lamia
“The Princess and the Queen” by George R. R. Martin; Read by Iain Glen
It took me a really long time to make it through this book, even with skipping stories, and that was a big sign that it wasn’t working for me. I love and read a lot of anthologies, and Dangerous Women was odd in that it only paid lip service to the theme. Most of these stories had nothing to do with women, dangerous or otherwise, instead focusing on men talking about women. Overall, while I was disappointed in this anthology, and would not recommend it, here are my spoiler thoughts on some of the best and worst individual stories (scroll to the end for a link to more!):
“The Hands That Are Not There” by Melinda Snodgrass
Jonathan Frakes from Star Trek: the Next Generation is the narrator!!! Fortune 500? Strip club? OK, I’m missing the dangerous women portion of this story at the beginning, and am a little confused overall. The main character doesn’t seem to have a great opinion of women in general. Suppose that’s not surprising considering this takes place during a bachelor party. “Sassy little buttocks”? I giggled when he shouted “blackout’. Genetic manipulation? What am I listening to?
Aside from the novelty of the narrator, this was just bad. The characterization of women left a bad taste in my mouth. The prose was an unfortunate shade of purple. The plot twist was silly. So. Bad.
“Bombshells” by Jim Butcher – A Harry Dresden story
I’ve never read any of the Dresden books, although I’m vaguely familiar with the story, and this was a sorely needed palette cleanser after the last story. Except for the leg-shaving bit. Wut? That came across as trying a bit too hard. Bit more telling than showing than is to my taste. And hearing the phrase ‘soul gaze’ spoken out loud just pointed out how silly it is. Holy infodump on how magic works, but overall both the narrator and writing was A+.
“Raisa Stepanova” by Carrie Vaughn
Eeeeeee! Night witches! I love female pilots!
The writing is concise and easy to follow, but full of effective details that really conveyed the feeling of a fire fight. The plot was just heartbreaking. And a lovely relationship between siblings is the focus, rather than a romantic one. Such a nice change! This was an excellent portrayal of female non-competitive friendship. So good. One of the highlights of the anthology.
Narrator had a distinctive, lovely voice.
“I Know How to Pick ’Em” by Lawrence Block
Noir up the wazoo! This was a man’s man kind of a story, I guess. Wow. I had to skip this after he started fantasizing about beating the woman he was with. He had so much hate for women. I felt a little sick just listening.
Narrator has great, gritty voice.
“Shadows For Silence in the Forests of Hell” by Brandon Sanderson
This was a great story. Silence was amazing, and the world had just enough detail for you to believe and fill in the rest of the blanks. Her background as a bounty hunter was inventive, and I loved seeing the people people who crossed her get their eventual comeuppance.
Narrator had just enough weariness in her voice to be pleasing and appropriate to the story.
“The Girl in the Mirror” by Lev Grossman – A Magicians story
Fabulous characterization of mischievous girls at a magical school. Their talk is real, and the details are well delineated. Think Harry Potter but darker and meaner. Adorable short story. Just lovely.
As an added bonus, Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark on Games of Thrones, was the narrator. She hit the perfect tone, and I would definitely listen to her narration again.
“Second Arabesque, Very Slowly” by Nancy Kress
This was a very quiet, intense, and bleak story. The women are essentially kept for breeding in a post-apocalyptic setting, but during a young girl’s ‘budding’ ceremony, one woman voices her desire to be more. The narrator is the nurse, in charge of the health of the other women. There’s an undertone of packs and the urban forest in this story, like I was waiting for them to turn into werewolves. Women have dressed codes to avoid tempting men, but are somewhat in charge of deciding who they have sex with. The group finds a TV and get it to work. They watch a ballet. Now one of the beta males wants to learn how to dance to entertain the pack. They find a moment of beauty, but lose it just as quickly.
The narrator has an understated style that worked really well for this.
“Pronouncing Doom” by S.M. Stirling – An Emberverse story
This was the most unpleasant part of this whole experience.
At first I was interested, as there was a main character traveling with a baby and some practical discussion of how life with children after the apocalypse works. There were disabled characters, and the women seemed to have some autonomy in the society.
However, the story then turned into a rape trial. The victim recounts escalating abuse from one man, and how the other women blamed her for his actions. Then she describes his violent sexual assault of her, and I turned it off. I had no motivation to finish this story.
The narrator was very pleasant, and her deadpan accounting of the assault was chilling.
“Caretakers” by Pat Cadigan
It starts out with an innocent question about female serial killers. These two sisters live together and while one is obsessed with Red Dawn (Go Wolverines!) the other loves to watch shows about serial killers. There was a lot of realistic characterization driving the story, and rising tension as you begin to wonder exactly how much the sister likes serial killers.
Narrator did a fantastic job, fading back to let the story stand on its strengths.
“Lies My Mother Told Me” by Caroline Spector – A Wild Cards story
I felt a little behind by the abrupt entrance of the first scene, but loved the discussion of prettiness in relation to society. Parades and zombies and consumerism. Mothers and daughters and self-esteem. Fat and bubbles as defense. The villain was such a dick, and such a stereotype of gamer dudes. Overall amazing!
“The Princess and the Queen” by George R.R. Martin – A Song of Ice and Fire story
Finally. this is the whole reason I was interested in the first place. I’ve read a couple of the ASOIAF books, so I was interested in what Martin would do with two super-powerful women. Not much, it turns out.
Sooooo – everyone in Westeros has always been terrible and power-hungry? OK then. First Night rites? Really? Ahhhh I am so bored. Never has anything with dragons in it bored me as much as this has. It’s about queens, yes, but it’s still the men who do almost everything.
Good narrator, though.
Sarah reviewed each and every story, which you can see on her GoodReads review.
Posted by Sarah R.
After talking about it on the last SFFaudio Podcast NEW RELEASES/RECENT ARRIVALS episode, I decided we really needed to know exactly which classic stories were being ripped-off in the new Audible Frontiers collection entitled Rip-Off!.
I’ve also made a note of the narrator for each story. And, while I’m at it I should tell you that nearly every story is an hour long. Every story with the exception of James Patrick Kelly’s (which runs about 90 minutes) and Tad Williams’ (which runs just over 26 minutes).
Edited by Gardner Dozois; Read by various readers
Audible Download – Approx. 12 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audible Frontiers
Published: December 18, 2012
In Rip-Off!, 13 of today’s best and most honored writers of speculative fiction face a challenge even they would be hard-pressed to conceive: Pick your favorite opening line from a classic piece of fiction (or even non-fiction) – then use it as the first sentence of an entirely original short story. In the world of Rip-Off!, Call me Ishmael introduces a tough-as-nails private eye – who carries a harpoon; The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz inspires the tale of an aging female astronaut who’s being treated by a doctor named Dorothy Gale; and Huckleberry Finn leads to a wild ride with a foul-mouthed riverboat captain who plies the waters of Hell. Once you listen to Rip-Off! you’ll agree: If Shakespeare or Dickens were alive today, they’d be ripping off the authors in this great collection. As a bonus, the authors introduce their stories, explaining what they ripped-off – and why. Rip-Off! was produced in partnership with SFWA – Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. Gardner Dozois served as project editor.
Annotated table of contents:
Introduction by John Scalzi, read by Scalzi
Fireborn by Robert Charles Wilson – Introduction by Wilson, inspired by a “Rootabaga” story by Carl Sandburg – Read by Khristine Hvam
The Evening Line by Mike Resnick – Introduction by Resnick, inspired by Pride And Prejudice by – Read by L.J. Ganser
No Decent Patrimony by Elizabeth Bear – Introduction by Bear, inspired by Edward II by Christopher Marlowe – Read by Scott Brick
The Big Whale by Allen M. Steele – Introduction by Steele, inspired by Moby Dick by Herman Melville – Read by Christian Rummell
Begone by Daryl Gregory – Introduction by Gregory, inspired by David Copperfield by Charles Dickens – Read by Jonathan Davis
The Red Menace by Lavie Tidhar – Introduction by Tidhar, inspired by The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx – Read by Stefan Rudnicki
Muse Of Fire by John Scalzi – Introduction by Scalzi, inspired by Henry V by William Shakespeare – Read by Wil Wheaton
Writer’s Block by Nancy Kress – Introduction by Kress, inspired by Paul Clifford by Edward Bulwer-Lytton – Read by David Marantz
Highland Reel by Jack Campbell – Introduction by Campbell, inspired by Macbeth by William Shakespeare – Read by Nicola Barber
‘Karin Coxswain’ Or ‘Death As She Is Truly Lived’ by Paul Di Filippo – Introduction by Di Filippo, inspired by Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain – Read by Dina Pearlman
The Lady Astronaut of Mars by Mary Robinette Kowal – Introduction by Kowal, inspired by The Wizard Of Oz by L. Frank Baum – Read by Allyson Johnson
Every Fuzzy Beast of the Earth, Every Pink Fowl of the Air by Tad Williams – Introduction by Williams, inspired by the Book of Genesis by anonymous – Read by Marc Vietor
Declaration by James Patrick Kelly – Introduction by Kelly, inspired by The Declaration Of Independence by Thomas Jefferson – Read by Ilyana Kadushin
Posted by Jesse Willis
Brilliance Audio sent us this audiobook: Warriors 2 (aka Warriors Volume 2) edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois – 9 CDs, 10 Hours 45 Minutes, UNABRIDGED.
This audiobook is titled Warriors 2 on the box, and titled Warriors: Volume 2 in the narration. Either way it’s a collection of seven novelettes, novellas and short stories. The readers are Patrick Lawlor and Christina Traister.
It’d be hard to tell which stories are included in the collection from a quick look at the packaging, but they are there, buried in the miniature copyright text at the bottom left of the back:
And, as is all too typical with audiobook releases of collections, once yopu’ve opened it up the discs themselves don’t help either – none of them say anything about which story can be found on which disc. Which is where your friendly neighbourhood SFFaudio comes in…
Track 2: Introduction: Stories From The Spinner Rack by George R.R. Martin – Read by Patrick Lawlor
Track 4: Seven Years From Home by Naomi Novik – Read by Christina Traister
Track 7: Dirae by Peter S. Beagle – Read by Christina Traister
Track 5: Ancient Ways by S.M. Stirling – Read by Patrick Lawlor
Track 7: The Scroll by David Ball – Read by Patrick Lawlor
Track 8: Recidivist by Gardner Dozois – Read by Patrick Lawlor
Track 3: Ninieslando by Howard Waldrop – Read by Patrick Lawlor
Track 12: Out Of The Dark by David Weber – Read by Patrick Lawlor
Posted by Jesse Willis
For a live list of audiobooks received by SFFaudio, subscribe to our NewAudiobookIn Twitter feed.
Posted by Scott D. Danielson
The SFFaudio Podcast #135 – Scott, Jesse, Tamahome, and Jenny talk about recently arrived audiobooks, new releases and more.
Talked about on today’s show:
The Year’s Top Short SF Novels edited by Allan Kaster, including “Return to Titan” by Stephen Baxter (set in the Xeelee Sequence), “Jackie’s-Boy” by Steven Popkes, “The Sultan of the Clouds” by Geoffrey A. Landis, “Seven Cities of Gold” by David Moles, “A History of Terraforming” by Robert Reed, “Several Items of Interest” by Rick Wilber, and “Troika” by Alastair Reynolds. Two were finalists for the Hugo Award this year. The Seven Cities of Gold is also a video game!
Immortality, Inc. by Robert Sheckley, narrated by the amazing Bronson Pinchot. Originally published serially as “Time Killer” in Galaxy Science Fiction (1960). Jesse wants to do this as a readalong, but Jenny wants something newer than 1960.
Earth Strike: Star Carrier, Book One by Ian Douglas. Tamahome is a sucker for space, and this is the first of two books that are available in Audible. Scott doesn’t care much for military sci-fi, but didn’t mind Starship Troopers, Ender’s Game, and Forever Peace. What matter is the focus – Scott is looking for a good story, which is hard to find. “Too much science?” Deep Space Nine. “Not all Muslims are fanatic, lieutenant…” Is it too politically correct? Tamahome is a sucker for women who kick ass too, this is right up his alley!
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami, also Sputnik Sweetheart, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, A Wild Sheep Chase, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, After Dark. 46 hour commitment for the audio book, originally published as three separate volumes. Jenny can’t stop reading it! Aomame = “green peas.” Publisher says it is a love story, a mystery, a fantasy, a novel of self-discovery, and a dystopia to rival George Orwell. Tamahome heard that Q sounds like “nine” in Japanese. Don’t read too much Murakami in a row! Look for cats and spaghetti.
Five books by Philip K. Dick from Brilliance Audio – The Divine Invasion, Now Wait for Last Year, The Transmigration of Timothy Archer, The Simulacra, and Lies, Inc. More details in Dick’s newly published journal, Exegesis. Reading about authors vs. just reading their work. East of Eden on A Good Story is Hard to Find and Steinbeck’s novel journal. Jesse relates more to life in the suburbs. Rewrite of “The Unteleported Man.” Gregg Margarite discussed Exegesis on his podcast – “a lot of work to slog through.”
Lots of collections from Brilliance Audio – Wild Cards edited by George R. R. Martin, Wild Cards II: Aces High edited by George R. R. Martin, Songs of Love and Death edited by George R. R. Martin, and Down These Strange Streets edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. We complained about lack of contents and Brilliance has started including them – thank you! Up next – contents printed on specific discs. George R. R. Martin is spending his time on anthologies because he is not your bitch! Warriors anthology is cross-genre. Someone should make an audio book of Best of the Best edited by Gardner Dozois. Tamahome likes “Trinity” by Nancy Kress, but the print in the book is too tiny for anyone over 40.
Manhattan in Reverse by Peter F. Hamilton. Only available outside of the United States, queue proprietary publisher rant by the SFF Audio crew, in fact Jenny posted a sassy one in her blog. Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct detective novels and a reimagined New York City. Robert E. Howard does a similar thing with countries. Perfectly genetically engineered female cops (Paula Myo from the Commonwealth Saga) end up with personal problems.
Two picks for post-apocalypse fans – Swan Song by Robert McCammon and A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr. Swan Song is highly rated. Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon has been recommended to Scott multiple times. Swan Song reminds Jenny of The Stand with a promise of fantastical elements. Destiny’s Road also comes out December 1. Death and destruction ends in rejoicing!
Angry Robot and Brilliance Audio have published seven novels that Scott previously posted about – Darkness Falling by Peter Crowther, Debris by Jo Anderton, Moxyland by Lauren Beukes, Reality 36 by Guy Haley, Roll: The Nightbound Land by Troy Jamieson, Triumff: Her Majesty’s Hero by Dan Abnett, and Zoo City by Lauren Beukes. Jenny heard Lauren Beukes on Writing Excuses, and Tamahome heard she won the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Zoo City. Reality 36 has a pie fetish? Oh PI fetish. Tamahome likes cyberspace but not LARPing, John Anealio wrote an Angry Robot Theme song, What is wild magic? Maybe quail. Angry Robot is doing interesting stuff, also won the World Fantasy Award for professionals in the field this year, and they are doing eBooks the right way.
The Cold Commands by Richard K. Morgan. Jesse will read books out of spite. “Dude! Your homophobia is calling.” “It’s fiction, not you!” From Tamahome’s second tier – Nothing to Lose: The Adventures of Captain Nothing by Steve Vernon. Some confusion which should be cleared up when it is released. Something may have been lost in the translation from the Nova Scotian. Might be like Dark Knight, except for actually being a bad guy. Batman finding his voice, Batman vs. the Clown. The Folded World by Catherynne M. Valente (A Dirge for Prester John #2) – “she writes with the original unicorns.” “That’s probably because she doesn’t actually have a head.” The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break by Steven Sherill. One of the Neil Gaiman Presents titles. “The Minotaur sits on an empty pickle bucket….” Anything like American Gods? Realistic restaurant world portrayal. All Clear by Connie Willis, half of this year’s Hugo Award. Pavane by Keith Roberts is another Neil Gaiman Presents title. Alternate history and steampunk? Other novels of loosely related stories – Kirinyaga by Mike Resnick, Accelerando by Charles Stross, Voyage of the Space Beagle by A. E. van Gogt. Light by M. John Harrison – Tamahome finds it to be “unpleasant” between the masturbating and the killing. Why is this one of Neil Gaiman’s top novels of the last 10 years? Reinvention of space opera, but the end result is hard to take. Stephen King’s newest – 11-22-63. Ring by Stephen Baxter (from the Xeelee Sequence), Baxter even explains why aliens don’t visit in his Manifold Trilogy, which is based on the Fermi paradox. “That’s it! Go to your rooms!” “Everybody out of the pool!” Digital vs. disc, subscription vs. individual purchase, Audible.com sale, Black Friday and Cyber Monday – we are ready for holiday gift giving! Evacuation Day instead of Thanksgiving. Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke, Jo Walton’s Revisiting The Hugos, the SF Masterworks series (from the U.K.), Jenny’s Around The World bookshelf
From Stephen Baxter’s Ring:
Lieserl was suspended inside the body of the Sun.
She spread her arms wide and lifted up her face. She was deep within the Sun’s convective zone, the broad mantle of turbulent material beneath the growing photosphere. Convective cells larger than the Earth, tangled with ropes of magnetic flux, filled the world around her with a complex, dynamic, three-dimensional tapestry. She could hear the roar of the great gas founts, smell the stale photons diffusing out toward space from the remote core.
Posted by Jenny Colvin
Talked about on today’s show:
SFFaudio gets ‘slashdotted’ by Windows Weekly, get Go The F To Sleep for free (and see video), Scott’s stack of new audiobooks (2:15), The Initiate Brother by Sean Russell has a nice cover, Farnham’s Freehold by Robert A. Heinlein, time travel with nuclear bombs, castration, Dark Mist Rising by Anna Kendall has no tattoos, Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okarafor is heavy, Nnedi was on Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy, should we have note timestamps? (13:41?), Luke does notes like us on his new podcast, discussions are more fun than interviews, can you link to a time offset of an mp3?, youtube subtitles, search the text in podcasts (podzinger or podscope?), the Warriors anthology by Gardner Dozois and George R.R. Martin is split up (into 3 actually), A Game of Thrones tv show, Peter Dinklage rocks as Tyrion, Warriors audiobook could be an Sffaudio Essential, Shadowchaser by Alexey Pehov is Russian fantasy, Kevin Hearne’s Hounded (cover) and Hexed, hopefully they’re fantasy, a triptych from Harry Harrison: The Stainless Steel Rat Sings The Blues (#8), The Stainless Steel Rat Goes To Hell (#9), and The Stainless Steel Rat Joins The Circus (#10), what’s the right order??, John Barnes’s Daybreak Zero, pay attention!, Selected Stories Of Philip K. Dick (vol 1 & 2), Jesse’s big paper stack (32:34), graphic novels: Locke & Key Volume 1: Welcome To Lovecraft by Joe Hill (it’s not just one issue, I was wrong), Invincible by Robert Kirkman (creator of The Walking Dead) , “his mom would see those heads being chopped off”, Fresh Ink comics review video podcast, Robert E. Howard’s Savage Sword, Jesse got some nice book deals (36:14), Jolly Olde Bookstore received $12,000 worth of books, Star Science Fiction Stories #3, The Best of Henry Kuttner, 4 Philip K. Dick Ace Doubles, also finished Ex Machina (graphic novel) by Brian K. Vaughan, the series that isn’t Y: The Last Man, Runaways, The Desert of Souls by Howard Andrew Jones — interviewed on I Should Be Writing #202, some ‘dirty’ magazines, more Scott stuff (45:55), Scott on LibraryThing.com, LibraryThing Early Reviewers, The Generation Starship in Science Fiction by Simone Caroti, Heinlein generation starship novel (it’s Orphans of the Sky), Wall-E, Scott starts new releases (51:23), Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey, fantasy author name and science fiction author name, “system opera”, The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon (about autism), Chicks Kick Butt anthology, no list of short story titles…again, different urban fantasy butts, Audible micro-credits?, our weekly plead to get Ted Chiang on Audible, Free Apocalypse Al, Stanislaw Lem’s Solaris gets a direct translation (before it was Polish->French->English), The Cyberiad robot short stories, wait…Jesse has more books (59:19), We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, lured by the introduction, Other Worlds, Other Gods: Adventures In Religious Science Fiction anthology edited by Mayo Mohs, perfect for Scott’s podcast, clockwork Jesus, next readalong?, Space Merchants by Frederick Pohl, “he knows which side his bread is oiled on”, Scott’s having a shootout, “big dying words”, quality of The Marching Morons and C.M. Kornbluth, Hex by Allen Steele, “why is there a hole?”, Allen Steele’s article on whatever.scalzi, what it means to finish
Posted by Tamahome