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Dangerous Women

por George R.R. Martin (Editor), Gardner Dozois (Editor)

Outros autores: Megan Abbott (Contribuidor), Joe Abercrombie (Contribuidor), Lawrence Block (Contribuidor), Jim Butcher (Contribuidor), Pat Cadigan (Contribuidor)18 mais, Gardner Dozois (Introdução), Diana Gabaldon (Contribuidor), Lev Grossman (Contribuidor), Robin Hobb (Autor), Cecelia Holland (Contribuidor), Sherrilyn Kenyon (Contribuidor), Nancy Kress (Contribuidor), Joe R. Lansdale (Contribuidor), Megan Lindholm (Contribuidor), George R.R. Martin (Contribuidor), Sharon Kay Penman (Contribuidor), Diana Rowland (Contribuidor), Brandon Sanderson (Contribuidor), Melinda Snodgrass (Contribuidor), Caroline Spector (Contribuidor), S.M. Stirling (Contribuidor), Sam Sykes (Contribuidor), Carrie Vaughn (Contribuidor)

Séries: Dangerous Women (1-3)

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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.… (mais)
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Dangerous Women is one of George R.R. Martin’s many side projects. The pedigree of contributors is excellent, but the quality varies, sometimes wildly. Of course, that’s true about most short story collections, even those largely considered masterpieces of the form.

The nice thing about Dangerous Women is that a large percentage of the stories are worth reading and most tie in to the overall theme fairly well. On that level, the collection is a success. It’s also an excellent collection to pick up in audio because the talent on offer is both varied and impressive. Actors like Sophie Turner, Iain Glen, Claudia Black and Jonathan Frakes all narrate, as do audio mainstays like Scott Brick.

One thing to keep in mind is that a few of the stories tie in to existing series and may constitute spoilers if you aren’t caught up. The Jim Butcher story takes place late in the Dresden Files series, and Lev Grossman’s story is a direct prequel to the upcoming third novel in his Magicians trilogy. I wasn’t necessarily current on all the related works, but for the most part I was able to enjoy the tie-in stories on their own merits.

Dangerous Women also isn’t a strictly SF&F anthology, including several crime, historical and literary stories in the mix. Some of those stories are the best parts of the collection, but if you are particularly stringent about your genre tastes, you may come away disappointed at the balance between SF&F and other genres.

As for the individual stories, capsule reviews follow below.

“Some Desperado” by Joe Abercrombie – An exciting western-flavored story about a woman named Shy (the main character from Abercrombie’s Red Country) running from two bandits. Action-packed and expertly narrated by Stana Katic.

“My Heart is Either Broken” by Megan Abbott – Abbott is the author of one of the most terrifying books I’ve ever read that isn’t technically a horror story (The End of Everything), and here she delivers a chilling spin on the Casey Anthony story that is easily one of the best in this anthology.

“Nora’s Song” by Cecelia Holland – Historical fiction about Eleanor of Aquitane’s daughter. Well done but ultimately forgettable.

“The Hands That Are Not There” by Melinda Snodgrass – The “dangerous” woman is only a supporting character in this story about an adulterous diplomat who begins a relationship with an exotic non-human. Decent enough, but the story’s ideas and plot twists felt unremarkable.

“Bombshells” by Jim Butcher (The Dresden Files) – This is a brisk little side story in the Dresden Files universe, hampered only by the fact that it directly follows a major plot twist in the main series. I already knew the twist, so I wasn’t spoiled, but if you’ve somehow remained spoiler-free about the events of book twelve in the series, you might want to skip this one for now. That said, it did feel like a reasonably well done standalone adventure.

“Raisa Stepanova” by Carrie Vaughn – Historical fiction about a female Russian fighter pilot in WW2. Worth reading for what feels like a unique perspective on historical events.

“Wrestling Jesus” by Joe R. Lansdale – A woman barely features in this story about an elderly former luchador training an apprentice and dealing with a long-simmering rivalry. I liked the story well enough, but the thematic connection was tenuous.

“Neighbors” by Megan Lindholm – An elderly woman deals with otherworldly events that might be the signs of oncoming dementia. I haven’t read much speculative fiction that focused on an elderly protagonist, so I really enjoyed this story.

“I Know How to Pick ’Em” by Lawrence Block – A disturbing tale about the relationship between a tough guy and a femme fatale paired with a squick-inducing back-story. The main character was a classic noir character done well, but his back-story made this a particularly difficult listen. Hard to stomach.

“Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell” by Brandon Sanderson (Cosmere) – Sanderson’s excellent touch for world-building combines with a tense and exciting adventure story about a bounty hunter living in a brutal and dangerous world. Although this is technically part of an existing universe, it seems like it has few, if any, connections to Sanderson’s other books.

“A Queen in Exile” by Sharon Kay Penman – Historical fiction about the birth of Frederick II. Interesting if a little dry. I felt like I learned something from this story, but I wasn’t that caught up in the characters.

“The Girl in the Mirror” by Lev Grossman (The Magicians) – I enjoyed this story, which provides a glimpse of what Quentin Coldwater is up to after the events of The Magician King while also setting up a new supporting character, but it does feel like a pretty direct tie-in to the third book. This probably works more as a preview of The Magician’s Land than a standalone piece.

“Second Arabesque, Very Slowly” by Nancy Kress – Nearly feral young survivors in a post-apocalyptic world rediscover the lost art of ballet with the help of their middle-aged nurse. Decent world-building and a compelling main character.

“City Lazarus” by Diana Rowland – The story of a corrupt cop in a post-apocalyptic New Orléans. Interesting because of its completely unsympathetic main character and fairly limited speculative elements; lands more as noir than speculative. The female character lurks in the background instead of taking center stage, but Rowland brings it home by the end.

“Virgins” by Diana Gabaldon (Outlander) – A prequel to the Outlander books that mostly focuses on the adventures of two male characters. A woman does eventually show up, but feels incidental. Entertaining enough, but it overstayed its welcome a bit after a few false endings.

“Hell Hath No Fury” by Sherrilyn Kenyon – The only complete dud in the collection. This is a by-the-numbers horror story about a group of kids who run afoul of an angry Native American ghost. It’s chock full of eyeroll-inducing clichés and wraps up with a particularly leaden bit of moralizing.

“Pronouncing Doom” by S. M. Stirling (The Emberverse) – A legal drama set in a post-apocalyptic society that bases its social structures around Celtic clans. Ultimately kind of dull and predictable.

“Name the Beast” by Sam Sykes – Fantasy story about monster hunters with an interesting twist. Occasionally confusing thanks to stylistic choices made by the author, but overall fairly well-done.

“Caretakers” by Pat Cadigan – The pacing in this story is deadly, and I wasn’t sure where it was going for a very long time. It does eventually arrive at something resembling a narrative, but for the most part it’s just a rehashing of the complicated relationship between two sisters separated by an age difference as they deal with their elderly mother’s Alzheimer’s.

“Lies My Mother Told Me” by Caroline Spector (Wild Cards) – A New Orleans-set superhero story about the relationships between mothers and daughters, both good and bad. Definitely made me want to read more stories set in the Wild Cards universe.

“The Princess and the Queen, or, the Blacks and the Greens” by George R.R. Martin (A Song of Ice and Fire) – To be honest, if you bought Dangerous Women for this story alone, you might end up disappointed. Instead of focusing on a few viewpoint characters, this novella is more of a dry historical summary that follows a huge cast over several years. I had a hard time keeping track of the largely interchangeable characters, and I’m not sure what knowing this history in such detail adds to A Song of Ice and Fire other than hammering home parallels between two massive wars. There is enough plot here for multiple novels but none of it feels crucial because the characters are rarely more than historical footnotes. ( )
  unsquare | Feb 16, 2021 |
Will read at least these and then see if any others grab my attention when I pick up the book:
~ Bombshells - [The Dresden Files Short Fiction] - novelette by Jim Butcher
~ Neighbors - novelette by Robin Hobb [as by Megan Lindholm]
~ Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell - [Threnody] - novella by Brandon Sanderson
~ The Girl in the Mirror - [a Magician's story] - novelette by Lev Grossman
~ City Lazarus - novelette by Diana Rowland
~ Virgins - [Outlander] - novella by Diana Gabaldon
~ Hell Hath No Fury - short story by Sherrilyn Kenyon
~ Lies My Mother Told Me - [Wild Cards] - novella by Caroline Spector
~ The Princess and the Queen, or, The Blacks and the Greens - novella by George R. R. Martin from his blog: The versions of "The Princess and the Queen" and "The Rogue Prince" currently in print (in DANGEROUS WOMEN and ROGUES) are severely abridged. The full versions will eventually be published in F&B, the Targaryen history.
  Seayla2020 | Jan 1, 2021 |
Some good stories, but some really terrible ones. ( )
  Ranbato | Dec 17, 2020 |
Dangerous Women is one of the best fiction anthologies I’ve read in a while. Every story in it is very good (with one exception).

There are certain ways, though, that it sells itself short. For example, the title: Dangerous Women implies that these will all be stories from the so-called “kick-*ss women” genre. That’s certainly why I picked it up. Mr. Dozois’ introduction specifically discusses the kick-*ss women genre, and even calls out Buffy and Xena as genre progenitors.

But not all of the women in these stories kick-*ss, and not all are dangerous. Some aren’t even the main character in their story. The women in these stories are more various and interesting than just “dangerous” or “kick-*ss”. They’re more realistic and fully realized than such tropes.

To my mind, that’s what makes these stories and characters so good. I found this range of characters to be a pleasant surprise. But I can see how someone might be disappointed if what they want are stories about kick-*ss women.

Another example: the fact that this isn’t a pure SF anthology. As Gardner Dozois states in his introduction - it was conceived as a cross-genre collection of short fiction. While there's a preponderance of SF, there’s also historical fiction, mystery, noir, etc.

But it’s packaged and categorized as SF, it’s shelved by bookstores and libraries in their SF sections, and the names of Martin and Dozois emblazoned on the cover in very large font certainly set it up to be SF.

So it’s a bit of a double-edged sword - if someone picks up this book expecting a collection of SF stories, they might be disappointed when they discover that it’s not all SF from cover to cover. If someone picks it up expecting a general fiction anthology, they might be frustrated by the amount of SF in it.

For myself, I was pleasantly surprised by the range of genres. I consider that a plus. But it does mean that the work exists between audiences, as it were.

Of course, most people will probably pick up this book to read George R.R. Martin’s new novella set in his Song of Ice & Fire universe. Which is too bad, really, because it’s far and away the worst story in the collection.

As always, I’m in awe of the breadth of Mr. Martin’s vision and his ceaseless attention to detail. No one writing today creates worlds as lush, complex, and immersive as he does.

The problem with this novella is its central narrative conceit. It’s supposed to be a historical chronicle written by a scholar - which means it reads like a scholarly historical chronicle. Which means it’s kinda boring.

The Song of Ice & Fire novels work well in large part because they’re deeply personalized. The reader travels through the story side-by-side with the characters, experiencing everything from their unique perspectives. It humanizes the overwhelming narrative and makes the experience very compelling.

There’s no such personalization going on in this novella. You never get close enough to any character to experience that human element. The narrative perspective is detached, distant, and quasi-scholarly. It’s a series of objective descriptions of events, with a lot of names and a few dates thrown at you - it’s a chronology more than a story. The history and characters are interesting enough, but the telling is quite dull.

In conclusion: If you’re wondering whether this volume is worth reading - yes. Absolutely. It’s an exceptional anthology. Just be aware that it’s not strictly an anthology of SF stories about dangerous, kick-*ss women. It’s a cross-genre fiction anthology about interesting women, with more than the usual amount of SF.

I just wish that Mr. Martin’s contribution didn’t end it on such an underwhelming note. ( )
  johnthelibrarian | Aug 11, 2020 |
For my Dresden Files readthrough.
13.1 - Bombshells
  hexenlibrarian | May 19, 2020 |
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» Adicionar outros autores (27 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Martin, George R.R.Editorautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Dozois, GardnerEditorautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Abbott, MeganContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Abercrombie, JoeContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Block, LawrenceContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Butcher, JimContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Cadigan, PatContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Dozois, GardnerIntroduçãoautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Gabaldon, DianaContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Grossman, LevContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Hobb, RobinAutorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Holland, CeceliaContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Kenyon, SherrilynContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Kress, NancyContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Lansdale, Joe R.Contribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Lindholm, MeganContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Martin, George R.R.Contribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Penman, Sharon KayContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Rowland, DianaContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Sanderson, BrandonContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Snodgrass, MelindaContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Spector, CarolineContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Stirling, S.M.Contribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Sykes, SamContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Vaughn, CarrieContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
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This anthology contains "The Princess And The Queen, Or, The Blacks And The Greens" which is part of the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series, but this anthology is not part of that series.
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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.

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