Wednesday, January 4, 2017

To Shape the Dark, edited by Athena Andreadis

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(Hard SF) An anthology focusing on women scientists who pursue science not-as-usual and who are not subject to the "snooze-inducing conflict of work vs family." (116,503 words; Time: 6h:28m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"To Shape the Dark," edited by Athena Andreadis, published on by .

Women Scientists at Work

The anthology does a great job of showing women in leading scientific roles doing original research. All the stories honor the commitment not to make the main conflict be work vs. family. Where most of them fall down is failing to replace that with an exciting conflict. Either the heroine isn't trying to do anything special and just goes with the flow of events or else the story ends without much of anything having happened. 

As a result, of the fifteen stories in this anthology, we only recommended one of them, as compared to the average of three you'd expect. The writing itself is fine; on the low end, we recommended against five, which is average for us.


The Age of Discovery, by C.W. Johnson, takes us to a big corporate lab that's trying to build devices that use the Casimir effect to travel faster than light. Edith bubbles over with her own ideas, and persists in running her own experiments on company time with company equipment but without company permission.

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