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Dangerous Women by George R. R. Martin
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English (26)  French (1)  All languages (27)
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
collection of novellas, some good some not so good ( )
  Claudia.Anderson | Jan 5, 2019 |

In my new-found interest for short stories' collections I ran across this one that promised interesting female characters and sported several names of authors I either already appreciate or I'm curious about, so I thought it would be a good starting point for new discoveries. While the journey was a good one, in several cases I wondered where the danger represented by these ladies was: most of them are strong, capable women, but not exactly threatening, and in one particular instance there was no woman, dangerous or otherwise, carrying the tale - so that I suspected, at times that the anthology title was more of a sales pitch than anything else. I have no reason to complain, though, because the ones that were interesting, or downright intriguing, kept their own stories flowing smoothly.

  SpaceandSorcery | Dec 25, 2018 |
So far, I've really liked the first story, and Nora's Song.... ( )
  decaturmamaof2 | Nov 28, 2018 |
Unlike some of the other anthologies I've read, this one is so varied in interpretation of the theme and contributors that I couldn't rate the whole thing as one. Yes, the interpretation of what it means to be a dangerous woman did greatly contribute to my rating. There was one that I couldn't even finish. Altogether, they averaged a 3.5 star rating, which is what I ended up giving it on other sites.

Here's the list of stories and the individual ratings I'd give them:

Some Desperado - Loved it, just everything
My Heart is Either Broken - An interesting look at a bereaved mother. Creepy, but captivating.
Nora's Song - It was nice to listen to but could have been more to it. Maybe I just didn't get the dangerousness, though.
The Hands That Are Not There - Not really about the woman. There's a dangerous one there, but it's not about her. Disappointing.
Bombshells - Interesting characters. Complicated but not too complicated. Part of a bigger world in the Dresden files.
Raisa Stepanova - The kind of story I started listening to this for.
Wrestling Jesus - An interesting story about a boy and his mentor but not as much about the dangerous woman as I would have liked for an anthology with this title. Not my kind of story when it comes to the women, but the relationship between the man and the boy keeps its entertainment value for me.
Neighbors - An interesting story with great writing. I don't get the end in that same "I don't get how Lost ended" kind of way, but really great writing and it help my attention even though I have no idea what's really going on.
I Know How to Pick'Em - I don't normally do this, but I just couldn't. Another story that seemed to be more about a man allowing himself to be manipulated and then blaming a woman for what he did. Don't know if that's really where it went, but it was getting weird and creepy and I just couldn't. I almost stopped listening to the whole book on account of it.
Shadows for Silence - I enjoyed it. The dangerous mother-daughter team is pretty awesome and the fantasy setting was interesting, not what I'm used to.
A Queen in Exile - Based on the true story of Queen Constance of Sicily. Check out her wikipedia page. Dangerous or not, she was definitely a badass. The writing was great and that it was a true story made it even better, like most true stories I've read. This was a story that I originally thought of as a 4 star but sat with me long enough after that I had to change the rating by the time I was done with the rest of the book.
The Girl in the Mirror - Good but not earth-shattering or enlightening. Fun to listen to.
Second Arabesque, Very Slowly - Interesting kind of dystopian, sort of like the Mad Max world, but not as insane. There's a beauty in the idea of the story.
City Lazarus - This one surprised me. I wasn't sure if I was going to like it, but the end wrapped things up well. I really liked it.
Virgins - I loved this one. Lots of fun.
Hell Hath No Fury - This is probably my favorite. It combines mysticism and history and wisdom with some bad ass women on all sides of the matter. I wish I could get a whole book for this one. It also uses this amazing Crazy Horse quote.
Pronouncing Doom - This one is pretty awesome. It really teeters on 5 stars, but it wasn't quite there. Another one that I could read a whole book on.
Name the Beast - Nothing wrong with it but nothing particularly compelling.
Caretakers - Interesting and entertaining, but also not particularly compelling.
Lies My Mother Told Me - This was a ridiculous amount of fun. I love their powers, they're kind of ridiculous but make total sense. It's brilliant. I could read a series of these superheroes.
The Princess and the Queen - I like it. First of all, I love that it was read by Iain Glen. It was the combination of him and the way it is written that got me. The story isn't written with a point of view character. It's written like a Westeros history lesson or story telling around the campfire. It's a part of Game of Thrones but it's lore from way before the series. That makes it interesting in a different way. Still, I don't particularly like stories that read very "once upon a time in a land far away..." and are fairly detached from the characters. At the same, using Jorah's voice to narrate gave it that from a storyteller feeling. It's interesting, but not a favorite.

Overall, I just didn't like the ones where the women weren't complex or real. By that I mean, I hate stories where women are based on the impression they leave on a male protagonist, stories that promote the idea that some of us have some supernatural power over men, or that the best bad girls control men and make them do their bidding. These women exist solely to torture protagonists and don't do much on their own. I hate it. A lot. It's Estella all over again. It's not even good villainy. I would normally not finish a book that does that, but given that there were so many, I persevered despite some stories being this way. Except that one. I just couldn't take it anymore. There were several stories that start off sounding that way, that have male protagonists and are taken by the women or whatever and then something makes it so that we see the woman as real or complicated or actually dangerous in her own right. Those were fun.

Altogether it was a good read, well, listen. There were more stories that I like than that I didn't and a few that I wish had a whole book or series, some that did have series that they were associated with. I had listened to the 32 hours of audiobook and the many narrators. Each story was read by a different narrator and they were all wonderful, some with well known voices. ( )
  Calavari | Apr 5, 2018 |
I was really excited about this anthology! I love anthologies, I love kickass women, and the Martin-Dozois anthologies attract the best fantasy writers. I've read and liked one of their anthologies (Songs of Love and Death) before, but this one blew it out of the park!

Dangerous Women doesn't just feature sci-fi/fantasy stories; there are a variety of genres represented. This makes the collection have an incredibly broad range. The eponymous dangerous women are all pretty different too - physically or magically powerful women, women who flourish despite their circumstances, femme fatales, vengeful ghosts, and more. Sometimes they drive the plot, sometimes they're the protagonist, and sometimes they're both.

I enjoyed some stories more than others, but unusually, I didn't think any fell flat. Some were disturbing or implausible, but I think they still made good additions to the anthology. I'm not going to review every story, but I'll talk a bit about some standouts.


This story takes place in the same universe as one of my favourites from Songs of Love and Death, and I was immediately pulled into this universe again. Unfortunately there aren't any full-length books in this universe, but I'm hoping there will be soon! It involves an extraordinary story told in a bar, which if were true, would have incredible repercussions.


I don't really like the title of the story, but the story itself was fantastic. It's set in Sanderson's Cosmere (although I don't know what planet) and features a terrifying world and a resourceful woman who makes it a little safer. I'm probably biased by my indefatigable love for Sanderson, but I loved this story.

BOMBSHELLS by Jim Butcher

I've only read the first book of the Dresden Files, but this story made me really want to catch up with it (it also contains major spoilers for the direction of the series, but I didn't mind that). It features Molly, Harry Dresden's apprentice and some other Dresdenverse women on a mission. Molly gets some great character development, and there's a lot of gratuitous ass-kicking. Some of it was a little cliched, but it was so much fun that I didn't mind.

A QUEEN IN EXILE by Sharon Kay Penman and NORA'S SONG by Cecelia Holland

Both of these stories were historical fiction and featured women figuring out how to become dangerous in a male-dominated world. Other than that, they were fairly different - in the former, Constance, future Queen of Sicily, takes charge of her unhappy life and in the latter, a young Eleanor of England, Queen of Castile learns how to get her way. I found both fascinating, and I really need to read more historical fiction.


I don't want to say very much about this heartbreaking story, but it examines the emotional consequences of knowing a truly dangerous woman. Or thinking you do.

LIES MY MOTHER TOLD ME by Caroline Spector

This story is set in the shared Wild Cards universe, and involves a superhero that goes from having dangerous powers to being truly dangerous even without her powers. I found it very poignant.


I could keep going, but I'll just say that I also loved SOME DESPERADO by Joe Abercrombie (I can't wait to see more of Shy in his latest book, Red Country), THE GIRL IN THE MIRROR by Lev Grossman, NAME THE BEAST by Sam Sykes, and RAISA STEPANOVA by Carrie Vaughn (I haven't read anything by Vaughn that I haven't loved). THE PRINCESS AND THE QUEEN by George R.R. Martin read like the dry medieval telling that it was meant to be, but was strangely fascinating.

The stories I wasn't as thrilled about:

I KNOW HOW TO PICK 'EM by Lawrence Block

This is an extremely well-written story, but it left me feeling unclean just having read it (which seems intentional). It definitely adds to the diversity of the anthology, but I wish I hadn't read it. It probably didn't help that I was envisioning Tricia Helfer as the "dangerous woman" in the story.


The idea behind this story was fascinating (discovering beauty in an ugly world), and I was somewhat touched by the ending, but I was distracted by finding the worldbuilding implausible - 99% of women are sterile, and civilisation totally breaks down. I can see how women's place in society would change significantly, but I don't think cities and technology would be completely destroyed. I didn't even mind the world, but the cause of it seemed forced.


I got the gist of this story, but was thoroughly confused by the world. American society is now heavily influenced by ancient Scottish/Irish tradition, and this all happens within a few years? I found out that this is set in the "Emberverse", but I don't think there's enough of an introduction to this universe for people not already familiar with it.


That ended up being much longer than I anticipated. Summary: this is one of the best anthologies I've ever read. Buy it! ( )
  kgodey | Apr 11, 2017 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Martin, George R.R.Editorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dozois, GardnerEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Kenyon, SherrilynAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Abbott, MeganContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Abercrombie, JoeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Block, LawrenceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Butcher, JimContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cadigan, PatContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dozois, GardnerIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gabaldon, DianaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Grossman, LevContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Holland, CeceliaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kress, NancyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lansdale, Joe R.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lindholm, MeganContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Martin, George R.R.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Penman, Sharon KayContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rowland, DianaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sanderson, BrandonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Snodgrass, MelindaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Spector, CarolineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stirling, S.M.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sykes, SamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vaughn, CarrieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Disambiguation notice
This anthology contains "The Princess And The Queen, Or, The Blacks And The Greens" which is part of the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series, but this anthology is not part of that series.
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Book description
Contains the following stories:

“Some Desperado” by Joe Abercrombie

“My Heart is Either Broken” by Megan Abbott

“Nora’s Song” by Cecelia Holland

“The Hands That Are Not There” by Melinda Snodgrass

“Bombshells” by Jim Butcher

“Raisa Stepanova” by Carrie Vaughn

“Wrestling Jesus” by Joe R. Lansdale

"Neighbors" by Robin Hobb

"I Know How to Pick 'Em" by Lawrence Block

"Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell" by Brandon Sanderson

"A Queen in Exile" by Sharon Kay Penman

"The Girl in the Mirror" by Lev Grossman

"Second Arabesque, Very Slowly" by Nancy Kress

"City Lazuras" by Diana Rowland

"Virgins" by Diana Gabaldon

"Hell Hath No Fury" by Sherrilyn Kenyon

"Pronouncing Doom" by S. M. Stirling

"Name the Beast" by Samuel Sykes

"The Princess and the Queen" by George R. R. Martin

"Lies My Mother Told Me" by Caroline Spector

"Caretakers" by Pat Cadigan
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"All new and original to this volume, the 21 stories in Dangerous Women include work by twelve New York Times bestsellers, and seven stories set in the authors' bestselling continuities--including a new "Outlander" story by Diana Gabaldon, a tale of Harry Dresden's world by Jim Butcher, a story from Lev Grossman set in the world of The Magicians, and a 35,000-word novella by George R. R. Martin about the Dance of the Dragons, the vast civil war that tore Westeros apart nearly two centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones. Also included are original stories of dangerous women--heroines and villains alike--by Brandon Sanderson, Joe Abercrombie, Sherilynn Kenyon, Lawrence Block, Carrie Vaughn, S. M. Stirling, Sharon Kay Penman, and many others."--… (more)

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