It's no revelation that men make up the majority of science fiction authors and audiences, but female authors have made substantial contributions to the genre and are becoming increasingly important. In the '70s, Sargent edited three Women of Wonder anthologies, and 18 writers from this original trio (some with new stories) are joined here by three newcomers to the series, to give an eye-opening overview of science fiction and women between 1944 and 1978. Exploring topics such as prejudice, child abuse, vanity, stereotypes, aging, rape, obesity and insanity, stories by Marion Zimmer Bradley, Zenna Henderson, Kit Reed, Kate Wilhelm, Joan Vinge, the pseudonymous James Tiptree Jr. and others are as disconcerting as they are intriguing. Judith Merril's "That Only a Mother" capitalizes on the fear of nuclear warfare as a new mother deals with the effects of radiation in her own unique way. Anne McCaffrey's "The Ship Who Sang" carries the idea that ships are feminine one step further when a spaceship falls in love with her pilot. Sargent highlights the history of women in science fiction in an information-packed introduction. In addition, notes about each author and an extensive bibliography will satisfy the curiosity of those wanting additional information on this topic.
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Pamela Sargent (born March 20, 1948) is an American, feminist, science fiction author, and editor. She has an MA in classical philosophy and has won a Nebula Award. She wrote a series concerning the terraforming of Venus that is sometimes compared to Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy, but predates it. She also edited various anthologies to celebrate the contributions of women in the history of science fiction. She is noted for writing alternate history stories. Sargent has attempted work with a wide variety of themes in general, if not always successfully. She also collaborated with George Zebrowski and on numerous Star Trek novels.