The Collected Stories of Carol Emshwiller, Vol. 2

Carol Emshwiller. Nonstop, $39.99 (638p) ISBN 978-1-933065-34-2

Published mostly in fantasy and science fiction magazines between 1990 and 2012, the 64 short, smart stories in this second collection of Emshwiller’s work are unconventional by most genre standards. In “Glory, Glory,” a woman escapes from her overbearing husband to flourish under the religious reverence a native culture bestows on her. “Boys” is a deft depiction of the battle of the sexes with subverted gender roles and “Prejudice and Pride” is a mordant modern rumination on the repressed eroticism of Regency romances. Emshwiller’s main characters are mostly women who elaborate their views through observations that are often wise and sharply funny, as when the narrator of “Report to the Men’s Club” tells the members of the all-male club into which she’s been inducted that “I simply wanted to be numbered among those that make the history and the money.” Her stories show admirable consistency of quality over the years, and they support Barry Malzberg’s introductory accolade that she is “a splendid writer, one of our very best.” (Nov.)