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01 Sword And Sorceress [Mass Market Paperback]

Marion Bradley
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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5.0 out of 5 stars The book that started the series! April 1 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Sword and Sorceress is the original. This book has given rise to a series spanning 15 other books, and set the precedent for all future books in the series. All the stories in S&S I are about stong female characters, but the stories are diverse. Some are written by men, some by women. Some have only a female protagonist, others have male and female protagonists working together. The protagonist's talents range from shapeshifting, to magic, to swordsmanship. Or should I say swordswomanship? All in all, Bradley has put together a collection of stories that will entertain every fantasy reader. I was especially pleased to find so much variety and quality in one anthology. I like Bradley's novels, and as an editor she is no less disapointing. I highly reccommend any books in the S&S series!
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strong Stories about Strong Women Protagonists June 13 2002
By Shanshad - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Women read fantasy too. Beloved author/editor Marion Zimmer Bradley created this anthology in 1984 to address just that issue. At a time when women's fantasy was just beginning to make its mark, MZB created an anthology to define the emerging female protagonist. In her introduction, MZB makes it clear that she wanted to avoid the stereotypical Amazon-type heroine who ultimately gave up her freedom to win love. She didn't simply want recreate the old cliché turned upside down-where the men are subservient to women. She wanted stories that gave women new myths to identify with, powerful stories that could be worth consideration by the men and women who read them. This collection is not your average "feminist literature", these are stories that feature warriors, magic-users, healers and thieves-the women of fantasy, the kind of women to give a new generation of fantasy readers characters to see parts of themselves in, and ultimately make readers think.
MZB must have been onto a good thing. In the nearly twenty years since the first publication, there have been 19 Sword and Sorceress anthologies to date. Having read all of these anthologies, I can honestly say that this remains one of the best. The originality of the stories, the quality, the variety; all of these elements make this particular shine out from the group. Out of the fifteen stories, four are written by men, including well-recognized authors Glen Cook and Charles de Lint. MZB prefaces each story with a short blurb about the author and a few comments of her own. These paragraphs, along with her introduction, enable readers to catch the glimpse of MZB's personality and some insight into why she chose the particular stories she's included in this anthology. It becomes clear that each story was selected with care, polished and set in place to augment this anthology. There are no "filler" stories here.
Readers skimming the contents will quickly recognize quite a few of the author names; Glen Cook, Emma Bull, Charles de Lint, Jennifer Roberson and Diana Paxson to name a few. For Emma Bull and some of the other authors listed, this is their first sale. That is an additional bit of delight in these earliest Sword and Sorceress anthologies. So many writers made their first sale, or were just beginning their careers at the time. As to the stories themselves, they are as varied as the authors. For sword and sorcery duos, "The Garnet and the Glory" by Phyllis Ann Karr and "The Rending Dark" by Emma Bull are good examples. For darker, emotionally charged reads, try "Severed Heads" by Glen Cook, or "Sword of Yraine" by Diana L. Paxson. On the lighter side there is "Taking Heart" by Stephen L. Burns, "Daton and the Dead Things" by Michael Ward, and the finale of the anthology, a short-short story by Dorothy J. Heydt, "Things Come in Threes". My particular favorite story-although I admit it is hard to choose just one, all of them have had a powerful impact-is "With Four Lean Hounds" by Pat Murphy. This is a beautiful, fairy-tale-esque story that is as powerful in its message as in its unfolding adventure.
Any reader who loves good fantasy, particularly short stories will likely enjoy this. Women readers especially-but in no way exclusively will appreciate the chance to read about women as protagonists of the epic fantasy story. When this was first published, there were much fewer female fantasy writers and stories available. This has changed dramatically over the intervening two decades. Despite that, it does not diminish the quality of this first anthology-and the stories remain as strong today as they were when published. On a side note-these are all fantasy reads-MZB as a rule does not include science fiction stories in any of her anthologies, although the right story can make her break the rule just a bit. If you can find this anthology, buy it-read it and treasure it.
Happy Reading!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book that started the series! April 1 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Sword and Sorceress is the original. This book has given rise to a series spanning 15 other books, and set the precedent for all future books in the series. All the stories in S&S I are about stong female characters, but the stories are diverse. Some are written by men, some by women. Some have only a female protagonist, others have male and female protagonists working together. The protagonist's talents range from shapeshifting, to magic, to swordsmanship. Or should I say swordswomanship? All in all, Bradley has put together a collection of stories that will entertain every fantasy reader. I was especially pleased to find so much variety and quality in one anthology. I like Bradley's novels, and as an editor she is no less disapointing. I highly reccommend any books in the S&S series!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fem Lit! May 18 2007
By M. Rhodes - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a great book filled with short stories showing the weakness and strengths of women. These women are not your usual women - some are soldiers, some sorceress and others just plain ole women who are thrown into an extraordinary situation and prevail, or do they? They don't all end with the typical fairy tale ending. This book is the first in a series of 21 books. My favorite story is the Thorn and Frostflower involving travel to other worlds by Phyllis Karr.
2.0 out of 5 stars Alright anthology Jan. 16 2014
By Fletcher Vredenburgh - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
A few top notch stories burdened by several real disappointments. Important historically but not worth the time. Charles Saunders' Dossouye story is easily the best in the volume
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to the roots... Feb. 22 2013
By Michael Valdivielso - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Kind of. Many years ago I was enjoying many books written, or edited, by Marion Zimmer Bradley. One of the series was Sword And Sorceress. But I was reading the later books in the series and had never started from the beginning. A female co-worker who had red them all, up to that point, suggested I should start from the...well, start. As I trusted her judgment in this, I ordered the first three books in the series.
And she was perfectly correct in suggesting I start from the..well, start. Marion Zimmer Bradley was always a author, and editor, of high standards. She wanted to stay away from the White Male Sexism Fantasy but without going the other way and publishing a lot of Feminist Propaganda. As she herself pointed out in the introduction. While there are a few rape and revenge stories in the mix, some she allowed herself to add only after careful reading of those stories, she has done a great job as picking stories from the cream of the fantasy world, from well known authors to, at the time, new comers. I was VERY happy to see one of the first stories by Charles R. Saunders starring one of my favorite female characters, Dossouye, in the story Gimmile's Songs. I enjoyed all the stories and may look up the authors I haven't heard of before. Always nice to find new worlds or characters I may enjoy reading about! As this book was printed in 1984 there should be a LOT of work already out there by many of this, at the time, upcoming authors. Enjoy!
May I also suggest Amazons!?
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