Introductory Texts and Criticism in Women's Science Fiction. Justine Larbalestier, ed. Daughters of Earth: Feminist Science Fiction in the Twentieth Century. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2006. 424 pp. $24.95 pbk."
Women writers of science fiction have been widely anthologized in volumes like Pamela Sargent's Women of Wonder series, the first of which came out in 1971. The WisCon convention, inaugurated in 1977, also provided a groundbreaking forum for women's science fiction and for feminist and gender issues within the genre. But critical attention to women's, and specifically feminist, science fiction has truly picked up in the last ten or fifteen years. Justine Lar-balestier's new critical anthology Daughters of Earth: Feminist Science Fiction in the Twentieth Century, is one of the most recent entries in the field, and does an excellent job of introducing new critiques into the discourse of feminist science fiction as well as providing a general survey of women's writing over the last hundred or so years.
Larbeieslier, whose 2002 book The Battle of the Sexes in Science Fiction is itself a remarkable addition to the critical study of feminist science fiction, writes that Daughters of Forth is "a complete introduction to twentieth-century feminist science fiction" (xv) that is "aimed squarely at newcomers to feminist science fiction" (xvi). The anthology covers admirable ground, from Utopian women writers at the turn of the century to Second Wave and post-feminist work, Each decade gets one '"representative" story, followed by a companion critical essay, although the chronology isn't perfect. The first story, Clare Winger Harris's "The Fate of the Poseidonia," was published in 1927, the 1940s are unaccounted for. and the 1960s and 1970s get two stories apiece. The fact that we only sec one, maybe two, stories to represent an entire decade can result in some rather broad generalizations, by both the reader and the essayists, about "the way...
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