Monday, March 13, 2017

Bullet Reviews: Dangerous Women, Arcanum Unbounded, Stories of Your Life


I'm catching up, now I'm only a month and a half behind on reviews instead of 4 months XD
I've been on and off the blog a lot because I've been flying out every weekend for grad school interviews, but now I'm done! Hopefully this means I will get a regular schedule going again and I will finally stop being months behind on reviews.

This week's bullet reviews are all anthologies. I usually review each story in an anthology separately, but Dangerous Women was just too big for that and I loved basically all the stories in Arcanum and Stories, so I don't have too much to say about each short story/novella. I will talk about my favorites in each anthology though!

17279560Dangerous Women edited by GRRM and Gardner Dozois

Genre: fantasy, science fiction, mystery, contemporary, historical fiction
Rating: 3/5 stars

What I liked:
  • I like how this anthology covers literally every genre, every story is something completely new!
  • Lots of badass women of many kinds, from vengeful ghosts to vampire slayers to protective mothers
  • Favorite stories: Shadows For Silence in the Forest of Hell (obviously, I loved it because it's a Sanderson story; many strong women and terribly frightening creatures/awesome wordbuilding), Hell Hath No Fury (a ghost story featuring POC, yessss), Lies My Mother Told Me (zombie apocalypse, sort of...),, Second Arabesque, Very Slowly (a really poignant story about finding beauty in a post-apocalyptic world), Pronouncing Doom (when women leaders have to make really tough choices...), Name the Beast (mother-daughter bonding in a sci-fi world)

What I didn't like:
  • There were some stories I didn't like because they just weren't my thing, I didn't connect with the characters or I didn't find the plot very engaging (Some Desperado, Neighbors, Virgins)
  • There were a couple of stories that used the femme fatale trope for their dangerous women, and instead of subverting this trope they kind of just made use of stereotypes/focused on men who ogle and objectify women and I found this problematic (The Hands That Are Not There, Wrestling Jesus)
Recommended for... 
People who are looking for a really varied anthology and enjoy stories featuring powerful women. The Rogues anthology was a better anthology as I whole, I felt, but this one had some gems!

28595941Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson

Genre: fantasy
Rating: 5/5 stars

What I liked:
  • I LOVED EVERY STORY. No surprises there, I love basically everything Sanderson writes
  • I love how varied the stories are! There were fun ones (Allomancer Jak), some that were more sinister, some that had flavors of different cultures in our world (Sixth of the Dusk) 
  • The maps and notes on each system and the hints about Silverlight were really cool. It's nice to see how the cosmere is coming together
What I didn't like:
  • um...honestly can't think of anything haha
Recommended for: people who are old cosmere fans and new cosmere fans! There are spoiler warnings for different books so you might not be able to read all of the stories if you aren't caught up, but there are plenty of standalone stories to enjoy

18626849

Stories of Your Life by Ted Chiang
Genre: Science fiction
Rating: 5/5 stars

What I liked:
  • I might write a full review for this one again later, because I LOVED it. Every story was full of such poetry. Every word was chosen for a reason and the prose was very sparse but beautiful
  • Every story was a sort of love letter to mathematics, linguistics, and human nature. All the stories played with human emotions and our relationships with one another while also bringing in natural laws, mathematical formulae, and the supernatural.
  • My favorite stories were Stories of Your Life, Division by Zero, and Hell is the Absence of God
What I didn't like:
  • There were one or two stories that I wasn't completely amazed by (Seventy Two Letters and Tower of Babylon), but I still enjoyed them. Honestly that's not much of a complaint, I loved the entire anthology.
Recommended for... anyone who enjoys science fiction and thoughtful, profound stories about what makes us human
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