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Amazons! by Jessica Salmonson
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Amazons! (original 1979; edition 1979)

by Jessica Salmonson

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175467,867 (3.5)1
Member:LisaMaria_C
Title:Amazons!
Authors:Jessica Salmonson
Info:DAW (1979), Paperback, 10 pages
Collections:Your library, Reviewed
Rating:****
Tags:Fantasy, sword and sorcery, amazons, anthology, short stories, fiction

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Amazons! by Jessica Amanda Salmonson (Editor) (1979)

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English (3)  German (1)  All languages (4)
Showing 3 of 3
This collection of 13 fantasy stories centered on female heroes was groundbreaking in 1979 when it was published. I loved it when I discovered it in my teens--pre-Buffy, there were few stories of adventure with strong female heroines. This held up well. Indeed, the only story I didn't enjoy at all was the one with the most celebrated names--a piece of juvenalia by Emily Bronte edited by Joanna Russ. Russ is even one of the names featured on the cover, but she only contributes a precis of the story between excerpts of this Tolkenesque epic poem. The book also included stories Andre Norton and C.J. Cherryh. I've heard great things about both authors, who I haven't read outside the stories in this anthology--I'm afraid I found neither standouts. But enough stories did stand out to earn a fairly high rating:

Janet Fox, "Morrien's Bitch" - The central female wasn't likable, but she sure was interesting--more anti-hero than heroine.

Charles R. Saunders, "Agbewe's Sword" - I found Dossouye among the most likable characters in the book. And it was refreshing to read a fantasy based on an African culture rather than the usual faux European fantasy setting. Based enough on the real African civilization of Dohomey and its Amazons to be the one work of historical fiction in the book. Dossouye would also appear in Marion Zimmer Bradley's Sword and Sorceress, a series of anthologies that came closest to being Amazons! successor. All the more reason I found myself rather irked by Salmonson's rather condescending introduction to the story, which noted Saunders was the "token male" author in the anthology.

Tanith Lee, "Northern Chess" - Lee, author of several works of fantasy and science fiction who boasts a gorgeous style was a favorite author of mine before I ever owned this anthology--and she didn't disappoint here. I loved this story of a lady knight.

Elizabeth A. Lynn, "The Woman Who Loved the Moon" - the story closed the anthology, and it was a memorable finish. I loved the stories fairy tale quality. ( )
  LisaMaria_C | Jan 4, 2013 |
Re-reading this story in 2009 from an entirely different life perspective, I find that most of the stories have held up remarkably well. Ms. Salmonson chose wisely for the most part. The introductions are a tad heavy-handed, but we can skip those easily. ( )
  gryphondear | Jan 21, 2009 |
An anthology that purports to be high fantasy adventure on the front, and about warrior women on the back. It isn't all the former (only 10/12), but pretty much all the latter. There's a Bronte poem in here, too, which does seem a little odd for the rest being original.

However, the stories average 3.50, which is very nicely done for an original fantasy anthology.

The editor details some history of warrior women in myth and real history, and also gives a reading list at the end, of both non-fiction and fiction for those interested in further reading. So, both of those are well done.

Only minor quibble is that in the odd story intros she gets a tad didactic telling you what you should think of a story if you are one of the smart ones.

The not so good stories are in the middle, with perhaps the best two at the end. The last actually won a World Fantasy award, as did this anthology.

Overall, definitely a good job, and worth reading, and this was actually the second time, for me.

Amazons : 01 The Dreamstone - C. J. Cherryh
Amazons : 02 Wolves of Nakesht - Janrae Frank
Amazons : 03 Woman of the White Waste - T. J. Morgan
Amazons : 04 Morrien's Bitch - Janet Fox
Amazons : 05 Agbewe's Sword - Charles R. Saunders
Amazons : 06 Jane Saint's Travails - Josephine Saxton
Amazons : 07 The Sorrows of Witches - Margaret St. Clair
Amazons : 08 Falcon Blood - Andre Norton
Amazons : 09 The Rape Patrol - Michele Belling
Amazons : 10 Bones for Dulath - Megan Lindholm
Amazons : 11 Northern Chess - Tanith Lee
Amazons : 12 The Woman Who Loved the Moon - Elizabeth A. Lynn

Just walking away from Death.

3 out of 5

Cross-dressing lupine slayage.

3.5 out of 5

Snowbear Cold Blade armored fightback.

4 out of 5

A thief in the underground night.

3.5 out of 5

With magic weapons comes war, change, and maybe some wandering.

3.5 out of 5

Crikey! I'm not dead.

3 out of 5

Monkey mummy power zombie shag save.

3 out of 5

One evil people controller to remove, thanks.

3 out of 5

Voodoo power cuthroat execution.

4 out of 5

Fencing, pits and poison.

3.5 out of 5

Queen takes castle with possible knight sacrifice or two.

4 out of 5

Spin. Duck. Dodge. Parry. Bash. Dead.

Thrust. Parry. Riposte. Dead.

Slash. Stab. Parry. Cut. Parry. Kiss.

4 out of 5

http://superprose.blogspot.com/2008/06/amazons-amazons.html ( )
  bluetyson | Jun 25, 2008 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Salmonson, Jessica AmandaEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Belling, MicheleContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bronte, EmilyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cherryh, C. J.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fox, JanetContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Frank, JanraeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kaye, MelanieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lee, TanithContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lindholm, MeganContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lynn, Elizabeth A.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Morgan, T. J.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Norton, AndreContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Russ, JoannaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Salmonson, Jessica AmandaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Saunders, Charles R.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Saxton, JosephineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
St. Clair, MargaretContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Whelan, MichaelIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wood, SusanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Einer Musikerin, Mänade und Kameradin
deren Namen
»viele Schreie der Mondgöttin«
bedeutet,
Diane Policelli.
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