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3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5 out of 5 stars
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on May 14, 2002
I too thought this would be fun, but the stories are trite, a struggle to read, pure boredom. I got as far as Hillary Clinton being transported to Valhalla after a train crash, and this book crashed shut. It has made the rounds in my office without one person completing the book, or any positive comments. I can't get rid of it. Even as an oddity, it is a miserable failure. This feminist joke is horribly presented. Any comic book on the same subject would be better.
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on August 30, 1997
....and, can you believe it, from a slew of authors! That what was so disappointing to me about this collection of sci-fi and fantasy stories about liberated warrior babes. The first four were funny (and Friesner's introduction was the most clever of the lot), but after a while lines like," You're bluffing, toots. Everybody knows your 'Barbarian Code' won't let you fight a woman." (from David Vierling's "Armor/Amore") get a little tiresome. OK, there were some pretty amusing tales, like "Career Day" by Margaret Ball. Roped into taking her daughter's class to work with her, our heroinne gamely transports them to her interdimensional workplace, where she's a hired thug for a princeling. Quadratic equations save the day here, believe it or not. And E.T. Spiegelman's "Maureen Birnbaum in the MUD" got my vote as pick of the litter. In this tale told in first person the sarcastic and so-witty prep school/valley girl dialogue actually works. We get to watch Maureen Birnbaum (aka Muffy) apply copious amounts of makeups and unguents to her body as she relates the story of her adventure in a MUD. That's Multi-User Dimension to all you non-geeks out there--a sort of on-line 24-hour text-based Dungeons and Dragons; there are many on the Internet. What was so unusual--and poignant--about this one is that the ending was not funny. It wasn't even happy. Having taken a three-hour break at her best friend Bitsy's house to wash off the mud and blood and make herself stunning for her sweetie, Prince Val of Mars, Maureen Birnbaum finds that she has squandered her go-anywhere taxi ride (the grand prize for slaying the ultimate monster in the MUD). We leave her standing in the empty gravel driveway of her friend's home, literally all dressed up and no place to go. This book was not a dog--I got some chuckles out of it, and it was a nice quick summertime read. But ask me specifics a month from now, and I'll scratch my head and try to call one of these stories to mind--they just don't resonate in any meaningful way. Could Friesner have stretched the parameters a little bit and gone for an anthology with a little bit more impact? How about one of the many stories about Kali, the Hindu goddess of birth and destruction? Now THERE'S a kick-ass babe
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on March 20, 1998
Chicks in Chainmail is one of those books that had to be a volume of irony, the title wouldn't permit anything else. Friesner's relating the (real? fictional) difficulties in getting people to get the title accepted is a good start, and the book goes right on from there, shredding stereotypes, stomping on the fragile male ego (you know, us males ARE the genetically disadvantaged ones, ask any doctor), and in general having a good time stepping on those preconceptions that people tuck away in the back of their head. Some people may not like the one-note nature of the book, but I think THAT'S THE POINT! The selective taxation story ought to be mailed direcly to our present congress, too. I read it on a plane, and again when I got home. Then my spouse captured it and giggled until about 3 in the morning.
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on February 18, 2002
When I stumbled on this series, I thought "this should be fun" with good authors working with the opportunity to be creative and insightful and wise. Instead I read some simple, contrived, and boring stories that showed that the authors didn't "get it". From the nagging mother to the stories based on bad puns, I can't think of one story that I wanted to share with my wife. The Tamora Pierce "Alanna" series was more on target, even if it was a teen series.
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on May 17, 2001
This book is hysterical, and anyone who thinks that this imitates the "Xena" craze missed the point. It takes the lame fantasy stereotypes and puts them through the RoncoMatic.
Of course, the essential irony present in Xena must have missed some folks, too.
If you like irony, and you're familiar with the usual fantasy stereotype women, you'll like this.
If you have no sense of humor, skip it.
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on November 19, 2002
I bought this because I like fantasy short stories and I thought the title was funny. There were only 3 stories I actually liked; TEACHER'S PET/Josepha Sherman, WERE-WENCH/Jan Stirling and BLOOD CALLS TO BLOOD/Elisabeth Waters. The rest were boring or unreadable. It has been 4 months since I got this book and its taken me this long to force myself to finish it. What a disappointment.
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on November 6, 1998
This is a smart, funny and sexy book! Drawing from various science fiction writers both male and female, a collection of both halarious and inspiring stories portrays women as warriors, healers, and mothers, often at the same time. This is a must to slip under your little girl's pillow, and would make an excellent coming of age gift. Highly recommended.
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on June 9, 2000
If ever there was a book to point and make fun of generic "women in skimpy armor", this is it. Excellent approach to all types of humor (subliminal and not so subliminal) towards the standard role of women in Science Fiction novels (skimpy armor, needing to be saved, etc.)
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on March 4, 1999
I thought the actual book would be terrible, but then I noticed E. Moon's name on it so I thought. Oh what the hell, and bought it. It was worth it. Very funny, and engrosing. So engrosing in fact I stayed up till 3 am to finish it, and I have a test today! Oh well.. :)
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on August 17, 1996
Friesner puts together a collection of stories that poke fun at the stereotypical female character in science fiction novels. It was funny and it showed that female characters can be just as tough and interesting as the Conans of the science fiction world. Way to go Friesner
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