cover image Dangerous Women

Dangerous Women

Edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. Tor, $29.99 (784p) ISBN 978-0-7653-3206-6

Venerable editors Martin and Dozois (Warriors) have invited writers from many different genres of fiction to showcase the supposedly weaker sex’s capacity for magic, violence, and mayhem. These 22 brand-new short stories prove that women are men’s equals—at least—in lethal potential. Lawrence Block’s contemporary crime shocker “I Know How to Pick ’Em” includes a visceral closing wallop. Sharon Kay Penman’s “A Queen in Exile” brings a little-known episode of late 12th-century Sicilian history to poignant life. Diana Gabaldon’s “Virgins” introduces an attractive young kilted hero in a wry 18th-century Scots mercenary adventure. Sherilynn Kenyon’s shuddery present-day Native American ghost tale “Hell Hath No Fury” raises plenty of goose bumps. S.M. Stirling sets his stern hanging-judge tale “Pronouncing Doom” in a postapocalyptic America devastated by plague and machine failure. Martin’s own “The Princess and the Queen” recounts a deadly episode that took place some years before the events of A Game of Thrones. This meaty collection delivers something for nearly every reader’s taste as it explores the heights that brave women can reach and the depths that depraved ones can plumb. (Dec.)