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Athena’s Daughters is a collection of short fiction by women about women from some of the best writers in science fiction and fantasy today.
Athena’s Daughters is a powerful anthology written by women, edited by women, illustrated by women, about women. And a very good read in the Fantasy and Sci-Fi genre. Stories range from steampunk (Looking Back by Danielle Ackley-McPhail)) to superhero (Commando Bats by Sherwood Smith), Gothic ghost (The World to Come by Cleolinda Jones) to time travel (First Flight by Mary Robinette Kowal), modern urban fantasy (Retribution by Gail Z Martin) to military sci-fi (Not Broken, Just Bent by Tera Fullbright).
I don’t think I have seen a book with such a wide range of ages for the main characters before. Some of the females are in their twenties, some forties, and some sixties (and then there are the vampires). Nice to see older women make an impact on the world. In addition to being stories about women and having a wide range of ages, the stories also have other character traits of “diversity” (see below for some details).
Stories that grabbed me:
Commando Bats – Hera, in her contrary wisdom, has stolen the powers of male gods who were being stupid and granted them to little old ladies around the world to show them how people can use the power for good. Being the goddess of the hearth and women, of course she chose to grant the powers to females. The main point-of-view character is also disabled. I would love to see more superhero-themed stories about these characters.
Millie (by Janine K. Spendlove) – Another wonderful US Marine military short story from Ms. Spendlove (I have seen her in other anthologies) with a time travel twist you see coming if you know your aviation history but still enjoy the entire time. I really like how the main point-of-view character is Hispanic without pushing it on the audience – the character just happens to be Hispanic like most characters in American writing historically just happen to be white.
Are all the stories great? No, as with most anthologies unevenness in skill exists.
Overall a great read. And being an anthology, easy to set down and pick up again while doing chores. And with 22 stories (400+ printed pages if you buy the softback) a really good buy.