A sprightly collection, not overly loud about its own importance. These 19 stories show women sci-fi writers as eclectic...

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CASSANDRA RISING

A sprightly collection, not overly loud about its own importance. These 19 stories show women sci-fi writers as eclectic explorers, roving from urban pathology (Rachel Cosgrove Payes' ""Escape to the Suburbs"") to alternate-history scenarios (Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's very funny ""Space/Time Arabesque,"" in which an alien assistant history-programmer inadvertently produces a Wagner who invents the electric tuba and a Peter the Great who starts Europeanizing Russia with Norelco shavers). Ursula K. LeGuin wittily portrays a world gone mad in search of a ""Sanity Quotient""; Katherine MacLean grimly portrays one ready for the theology of ritual murder. The gems of the collection are Josephine Saxton's ""Alien Sensation,"" a devastating bagatelle about an atrophied humanity; Grania Davis' neat genetic fable about a mysterious competition among a group of children; and Kay Rogers' account of a sudden hitch in the conditioning of a youthful assassin. Other celebrated participants are AndrÉ Norton (who contributes a brief introduction on the role of women in sci fi), Zenna Henderson, Anne McCaffrey, and the able Sydney J. Van Scyoc, author of a fine story about a future civil war of all-embracing insanity (""Nightfire""). A pleasure.

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 1978

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1978