THE FUTURE IS FEMALE! More Classic Science Fiction Stories by Women

ed. by Lisa Yaszek

Library of America
2023, 513 pages, $27.95

ISBN 978-1-59853-732-1

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Genetically engineered pseudo-humans populate the first two tales in this groundbreaking anthology that pays homage to feminist-inspired science fiction: “Bitching It” by Sonya Dorman Hess and “Frog Pond” by Chelsea Quinn Yarbo. These tales, published in the 1970s, reveal a reaction to the very ordinary “people” who are part dog and part cat (“Bitching It”). Althea is out fishing for a meal of frogs when she encounters a visitor who recognizes the lizard in her. An ordinary day for genetic engineering, indeed. In “When It Changed” by Joanna Russ, men have not been living on Whileaway for 30 generations. The women have successfully given birth to offspring all that time. It could be a disaster that men appear, but it could also be, simply, change. Is change inevitable? In “If Ever I Should Leave You” by Pamela Sargent, a woman’s love of Yuri, a time traveler, sees her on a journey through the Time Station to various points in their past. It’s a tale of a man fleeing the present for the “bliss” of the past and a woman who simply wants to be with him. Another good tale is “Time to Kill” by Elinor Busby. When Heidi steps into a time machine to rid herself and the world of the timeline of a religious founder, there may be exacting and unintended consequences. In “The Best Is Yet to Be” by M. Lucie Chin, Catherine van Dyck is unique, having survived eight of her own transplants into other bodies, accumulating 210 years of living. The media dubs her “Catherine the Great.” How can she survive so long? What has caused her longevity? Another good tale: “Wives” by Lisa Tuttle. What, in the whole wide world, has turned men completely against women, to the point where the male species wants to use and/or eradicate them? In “Daisy, In the Sun” by Connie Willis, the earth’s sun is going to go supernova someday, perhaps soon. Daisy knows this and is trying to prepare for the end of the world, while the rest of her family is in denial.