My review of Chicks In Chainmail edited by Esther Friesner.
Here they come, and they’re out for blood. For too long, they say, have hot blooded babes in brass bras and chain-link bikinis been held up to scorn as the embodiment of male fantasy wish-fulfillment and non-functionality. You think their swords won’t cut, their clubs wont’t crush? You think they look “cute?”
Overall I loved this book. Most of the stories were fantastic, but there were a couple that were disappointing. I’m definitely looking forward to digging up more in this series.
“Lady of Steel by Roger Zelanzy. A short scene of a man pretending to be a warrior women. Other than the role reversal there isn’t much here. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s just that it’s so short there’s no meat there. I expect more from Zelanzy. 3 Stars.”
“And Ladies of the Club by Elizabeth Moon. Oh this one was great. Quite funny and flowing well, a story about women warriors conniving to evade a stupid tax and a wizard with a demon computer. Quite well done. 5 stars.”
“Exchange Program by Susan Schwartz – not bad, but slightly offputting. Thor and Odin (Wotan) came of as rather whiny little pussies and Hillary Clinton was actually a sympathetic character. Considering what we’ve found out about her in the last 20 years it’s like a DNC wet dream. 4 Stars.”
“Goddess For A Day by Harry Turtledove – A wonderful little tale that left me wanting more. Pretending to be a goddess, skirting the bounds of false witness but yet honoring the goddess all the same. I want more of Phye’s story. 5 Stars”
“Armor Ella by Holly Lisle – Cinderella retold, with Ella convincing her prince to chase her and accede to all her demands. Quite good and funny. 5 Stars.”
“Career Day by Margaret Ball – OMG, that was a great story. I have GOT to get a copy of Mathemagics. Magic = math, and swordplay pays the bills. 5 Stars.”
“Armore/Amore by David Vierling – pretty funny. I kept picturing Rapunzel (from Tangled) catching Arnold Schwarzenegger. 4 stars.”
“The Stone of War and the Nightengales Egg by Elizabeth Ann Scarsborough – I found it quite interesting if a little sad. A slave trains the emperor’s harem in combat by using the Sun Zoo’s art against him. It makes me sad to read of slaves, particularly sex slaves, even if they are nominally happy. 4 stars”
“The Growling by Jody Lynn Nye – Oh my. Never let a woman get into a fight during _that_ time of the month. I took me a moment before I recognized the names, but once I did I had a good laugh. 5 stars.”
“The New Britomart by Eluki bes Shahar – Didn’t really grab me. Don’t know if it was the writing or that I just lost interest in reading for a couple of weeks, but this one was a struggle for me to finish. The end was better than the beginning. 2 stars”
“On the Road of Silver – Mark Bourne. Overall not bad, but I had a little trouble getting into the story at the beginning. Very much liked the concept though. 4 stars.”
“Bra Melting – Janni Lee Limner. A very short story about warrior women not being satisfied with skimpy armor. Good idea with the divergent views on armor among the two main characters, but not long enough to come to fruition. 2 stars”
“The Old Grind by Laura Frankas – A young giantess leaves home to go A Viking with Rollo Who Walks. During battle she gets mistakenly picked up by Odin and taken to Valhalla. He then returns her to her home. I liked the characters, it was well paced and entertaining. 4 Stars.”
“The Way To a Man’s Heart by Ester Friesner – appearances can be deceiving. A spoiled and petulant sword maiden storms out of school to go seek her prince, but ends up with unexpected help. Well written and entertaining for a short work. 4 Stars.”
“Whoops! by Rachel Springer – a guardian angel tries to impart self confidence on a shrinking violet, which causes some interesting events along the freeway. Very funny. 5 Stars.”
“The Guardswoman by Lawrence Watt-Evans – A young, rather naive, but very large and strong woman joins the city guard. Eventually she joins the men on their weekly off night excursion to the red light district and finds herself a man. Told as letters home to her mother, it’s quite funny. 5 Stars.”
“Teacher’s Pet by Josepha Sherman – a cute little story about a female warrior finding a helpful traveler in the woods who’s more than he appears. 4 Stars”
“Were-Wench by Jan Stirling – when a warrior woman is cursed and needs help she returns to her old bethrothed friend. Unfortunately in order to break the curse she must voluntarily give herself over to passion, otherwise she’ll be whoring it up every full moon. Well done and rather funny, I cared for the two main characters. 5 stars.”
“Blood Calls To Blood by Elisabeth Waters – just your ordinary everyday case of elves kidnapping your son and spiriting him off to another realm to be held for ransom. Nothing a cop can’t handle. Very entertaining, wouldn’t mind seeing it expanded into a novel of it’s own. 4 stars”
“Maureen Birnbaum in the MUD by George Alec Effinger – Muffy recounts her experiences in what is essentially an RPG to Bitsy while spending a few hours getting herself ready to head to Mars and her Prince. Wonderfully hilarious. 5 Stars.”
The paperback was well formatted with no obvious spelling or grammatical mistakes.