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Short Story Holiday Collection

We’re offering the chance for one lucky reader to win this collection of amazing anthologies.

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From the Archives: Unexpected Dangers

Dangerous Women edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois

Written by Brandon Sanderson

What makes a woman dangerous? Well, what makes a person dangerous?

To me, the best kind of danger—which is, in a way, also the worst kind—is unexpected. It’s that twisted kind of dangerous that takes something familiar and safe and reveals it as something deadly. Wolves are frightening. To me, a loyal pet going mad and killing a child is ten times more terrifying.

For the Dangerous Women anthology, I wanted to find a way to express this unexpected sort of danger. I didn’t want a lean, professional assassin or a warrior in her prime, dangerous though those characters might be. I wanted something closer to home, a blend of the expected and unexpected. That is where I found Silence Montane.

The first name is one I ran across while reading puritan names. It was the second piece of the puzzle, as it raised questions. Who names their daughter Silence, and what does it imply? What is it like to grow up with this name? The answers built into the concept of a stout pioneer woman who ran an inn on the frontier, drawing the seediest criminals the land had to offer. She’d then track them after they left her inn and murder them for their bounties.

Familiar, yet unexpected. Kindly, yet deadly. The story turned out better than I could have hoped, and I’m thrilled to have had the chance—and the prompting—to write it.

 

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Not at San Diego Comic-Con Sweepstakes – Swag Bag #2

Tor Books is heading to San Diego Comic-Con!

Image Place holder  of - 34We hope to see many of you there. Stop by Booth #2707 to say hi or to participate in one of our many events and signings.

But for those of you who couldn’t make it out to California, we wanted to offer you the chance to grab some of the same amazing swag and books that we’re promoting at #SDCC. To enter for the chance to win one of these three prize bundles, leave a comment on this post telling us one amazing thing that you’ll be doing this week while you are #NotAtComicCon. Whether you’re training your dragon, building your own TARDIS, or dealing with that pesky deadline at work, we hope you have a wonderful week. Here’s a look at the prize:

SDCC 2014 Swag Bag Prize

And here’s a list of what’s included in each prize bundle:

  • Signed copy of Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
  • ARC of Lowball: A Wild Cards Novel edited by George R.R. Martin and Melinda Snodgrass
  • Audibook of A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan
  • Among Others by Jo Walton
  • Blood’s Pride by Evie Manieri
  • Blindsight by Peter Watts
  • Dangerous Women edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois
  • Dragon Age: The Masked Empire by Patrick Weekes
  • The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
  • Glamour in Glass by Mary Robinette Kowal
  • Halo: Cryptum by Greg Bear
  • Kitty’s Greatest Hits by Carrie Vaughn
  • The Omen Machine by Terry Goodkind
  • Old Man’s War by John Scalzi
  • Royal Street by Suzanne Johnson
  • The Thief Queen’s Daughter by Elizabeth Haydon
  • Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone
  • And a tote bag

Plus, one winner will receive this display exclusive – a signed Three Parts Dead booth poster!

Three Parts Dead Poster

And, after you comment below to enter this sweepstakes, head over here to enter for a chance to win our other amazing swag bag!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States, D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec), who are 18 or older as of the date of entry. To enter, leave a comment here beginning at 10:00 AM Eastern Time (ET) July 24, 2014. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET July 28, 2014. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor: Tom Doherty Associates, LLC, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.

Tor Finalists for the World Fantasy Awards

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A NATURAL HISTORY OF DRAGONS and THE LAND ACROSS are finalists in the Novel category, and QUEEN VICTORIA’S BOOK OF SPELLS and DANGEROUS WOMEN are a finalists in the Anthology category.

Two Tor authors are being awarded the Life Achievement Award: Ellen Datlow and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, and Irene Gallo is a finalist for the Special Award–Professional for art direction for Tor.com.

Tor.com also has two finalists in the Novella category and one in the Short Story category.

Here is the complete list of Tor’s finalists:

This year’s judges are Andy Duncan, Kij Johnson, Oliver Johnson, John Klima, and Liz Williams. Winners will be announced at the 2014 World Fantasy Convention held in Washington, D.C. in November.

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Unexpected Dangers

Dangerous Women edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois

Written by Brandon Sanderson

What makes a woman dangerous? Well, what makes a person dangerous?

To me, the best kind of danger—which is, in a way, also the worst kind—is unexpected. It’s that twisted kind of dangerous that takes something familiar and safe and reveals it as something deadly. Wolves are frightening. To me, a loyal pet going mad and killing a child is ten times more terrifying.

For the Dangerous Women anthology, I wanted to find a way to express this unexpected sort of danger. I didn’t want a lean, professional assassin or a warrior in her prime, dangerous though those characters might be. I wanted something closer to home, a blend of the expected and unexpected. That is where I found Silence Montane.

The first name is one I ran across while reading puritan names. It was the second piece of the puzzle, as it raised questions. Who names their daughter Silence, and what does it imply? What is it like to grow up with this name? The answers built into the concept of a stout pioneer woman who ran an inn on the frontier, drawing the seediest criminals the land had to offer. She’d then track them after they left her inn and murder them for their bounties.

Familiar, yet unexpected. Kindly, yet deadly. The story turned out better than I could have hoped, and I’m thrilled to have had the chance—and the prompting—to write it.

…………………………

From the Tor/Forge December newsletter. Sign up to receive our newsletter via email.

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Deadlier Than the Male

Dangerous Women edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois

Written by Melinda Snodgrass

When I was first invited into the anthology entitled Dangerous Women it was then known by a different title — Femme Fatales. Which has a particular and rather negative connotation. Various dictionaries describe such a person as a seductive woman who will ultimately bring disaster to any man who gets involved with her or a woman who lures men into dangerous or compromising situations. It’s a very noir attitude summed up by generations of male detectives stating — “From the minute she walked in I could tell the dame was trouble.” And I confess I wrote that story though the woman in question is a revolutionary and a freedom fighter so she damages the man in pursuit of a good cause.

Later the title was changed to Dangerous Women which broadened the definition of what constituted a dangerous woman. In addition to the manipulative sexual connivers were added female warriors both real and imagined.

Ultimately I felt all of these approaches begged the question of what actually makes a woman “dangerous” and is that merely another way to say empowered? What allowed women to break free of the roles that had been assigned to us?

I think it was technology. Access to technology can offer women choices they might otherwise not have possessed. There is a reason some places ban women from driving, or try to keep girls from going to school. You give a woman mobility and knowledge and society changes, and that is very dangerous to the status quo.

Give her a gun and things change more. There’s an old adage that states. “God didn’t make men and women equal. Colonel Colt did.” The invention of the firearm put men and women on a far more equal footing when it came to self-defense and even in combat. Now with fighter jets and drone warfare battlefield ability is no longer limited by upper body strength or the length of your arm.

I keep coming back to education, and its importance for women’s rights. There’s an invention that makes it possible. That can place education, particularly higher education, within reach of women. It’s the Pill which I think fundamentally changed society, and why there is, even today, push back against its wide spread use. Women can study and enter the work force, build a career when they have safe and reliable contraception and can plan and time childbirth.

We can all point to women whose actions branded them as dangerous to their particular time and society. Whose bravery inspires us all — the suffragists fighting for our right to vote, Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat to a white man and move to the back of the bus, Malala fighting for the right of girls to go to school, but maybe the one that deserves our greatest thanks is Margaret Sanger who worked in the early part of the twentieth century for contraceptive rights, and in fact underwrote the first research that would ultimately lead to the invention of the birth control pill.

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Fighter Aces You Probably Haven’t Heard Of

Dangerous Women edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois

Written by Carrie Vaughn

I’m trying to pick my favorite dangerous woman to write about. This is really hard. So many to choose from! I’m not even thinking about fictional dangerous women—why would I, when history is filled with them? Warriors, politicians, rulers, diplomats, pirates, rebels, spies, assassins—and fighter aces. Ah, yes, that’s what I’ll tell you about, because that’s what I wrote about for my story, “Raisa Stepanova,” included in the anthology Dangerous Women.

Lilia Litviak and Ekaterina Budanova were fighter pilots for the Soviet Union during World War II, and both flew extensive combat missions in the region of Stalingrad. Each of them claimed around a dozen kills, counting both solo and shared kills—both are designated fighter aces. One of my favorite stories about Litviak tells of a meeting between her and one of the pilots she shot down. The German ace parachuted to safety, was taken prisoner, and asked to see the pilot who had bested him. When he faced Litviak, a petite woman with pixie-like blond hair, he thought it was a joke, until she described every detail of the dogfight in which she’d beaten him. The German pilot tried to give her his pocket watch out of respect—she refused the token, because he was the enemy.

Soviet women pilots flew some 30,000 combat missions during the war. An all-woman unit of night bombers earned the nickname “Nachthexen”—Night Witches—from their German targets, who learned to be terrified of their low-level sneak attacks.

Litviak and Budanova were friends, and both were killed in action in 1943. I wrote my story for Dangerous Women to pay tribute to them and their colleagues, because I think they’re amazing, and because I want to tell everyone about them.

It’s important to talk about real-world dangerous women, because so many of them have been forgotten by history. When I describe these women, people are often surprised—women fighter aces, in World War II? Why, yes. Knowing about these women, and about all the women who’ve accomplished so much, make all the arguments that have happened in my lifetime about what women can and can’t do, what they should and shouldn’t do, seem rather ridiculous. Women have already been doing pretty much everything all along. Society has just forgotten about it. I’m here to remind you.

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Introducing Dangerous Women

Dangerous Women edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois

Written by Gardner Dozois

Welcome to the world of Dangerous Women! Here, in full, is the introduction to this brand new anthology, edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois.

Genre fiction has always been divided over the question of just how dangerous women are.

In the real world, of course, the question has long been settled. Even if the Amazons are mythological (and almost certainly wouldn’t have cut their right breasts off to make it easier to draw a bow if they weren’t), their legend was inspired by memory of the ferocious warrior women of the Scythians, who were very much not mythological. Gladiatrix, women gladiators, fought other women—and sometimes men—to the death in the arenas of Ancient Rome. There were female pirates like Anne Bonny and Mary Read, and even female samurai. Women served as frontline combat troops, feared for their ferocity, in the Russian army during World War II, and serve so in Israel today. Until 2013, women in the U.S. forces were technically restricted to “noncombat” roles, but many brave women gave their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan anyway, since bullets and land mines have never cared whether you’re a noncombatant or not. Women who served as Women Airforce Service Pilots for the United States during World War II were also limited to noncombat roles (where many of them were nevertheless killed in the performance of their duties), but Russian women took to the skies as fighter pilots, and sometimes became aces. A Russian female sniper during World War II was credited with more than fifty kills. Queen Boudicca of the Iceni tribe led one of the most fearsome revolts ever against Roman authority, one that was almost successful in driving the Roman invaders from Britain, and a young French peasant girl inspired and led the troops against the enemy so successfully that she became famous forever afterwards as Joan of Arc.

On the dark side, there have been female “highwaymen” like Mary Frith and Lady Katherine Ferrers and Pearl Hart (the last person to ever rob a stagecoach); notorious poisoners like Agrippina and Catherine de Medici, modern female outlaws like Ma Barker and Bonnie Parker, even female serial killers like Aileen Wuornos. Elizabeth Báthory was said to have bathed in the blood of virgins, and even though that has been called into question, there is no doubt that she tortured and killed dozens, perhaps hundreds, of children during her life. Queen Mary I of England had hundreds of Protestants burnt at the stake; Queen Elizabeth of England later responded by executing large numbers of Catholics. Mad Queen Ranavalona of Madagascar had so many people put to death that she wiped out one-third of the entire population of Madagascar during her reign; she would even have you executed if you appeared in her dreams.

Popular fiction, though, has always had a schizophrenic view of the dangerousness of women. In the science fiction of the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s, women, if they appeared at all, were largely regulated to the role of the scientist’s beautiful daughter, who might scream during the fight scenes but otherwise had little to do except hang adoringly on the arm of the hero afterwards. Legions of women swooned helplessly while waiting to be rescued by the intrepid jut-jawed hero from everything from dragons to the bug-eyed monsters who were always carrying them off for improbable purposes either dietary or romantic on the covers of pulp SF magazines. Hopelessly struggling women were tied to railroad tracks, with nothing to do but squeak in protest and hope that the Good Guy arrived in time to save them.

And yet, at the same time, warrior women like Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Dejah Thoris and Thuvia, Maid of Mars, were every bit as good with the blade and every bit as deadly in battle as John Carter and their other male comrades, female adventuresses like C. L. Moore’s Jirel of Joiry swashbuckled their way through the pages of Weird Tales magazine (and blazed a trail for later female swashbucklers like Joanna Russ’s Alyx); James H. Schmitz sent Agents of Vega like Granny Wannatel and fearless teenagers like Telzey Amberdon and Trigger Argee out to battle the sinister menaces and monsters of the spaceways; and Robert A. Heinlein’s dangerous women were capable of being the captain of a spaceship or killing enemies in hand-to-hand combat. Arthur Conan Doyle’s sly, shady Irene Adler was one of the only people ever to outwit his Sherlock Holmes, and probably one of the inspirations for the legions of tricky, dangerous, seductive, and treacherous “femmes fatale” who featured in the works of Dashiell Hammett and James M. Cain and later went on to appear in dozens of films noir, and who still turn up in the movies and on television to this day. Later television heroines such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Xena, Warrior Princess, firmly established women as being formidable and deadly enough to battle hordes of fearsome supernatural menaces, and helped to inspire the whole subgenre of paranormal romance, which is sometimes unofficially known as the “kick-ass heroine” genre.

Like our anthology Warriors, Dangerous Women was conceived of as a cross-genre anthology, one that would mingle every kind of fiction, so we asked writers from every genre—science fiction, fantasy, mystery, historical, horror, paranormal romance, men and women alike — to tackle the theme of “dangerous women,” and that call was answered by some of the best writers in the business, including both new writers and giants of their fields like Diana Gabaldon, Jim Butcher, Sharon Kay Penman, Joe Abercrombie, Carrie Vaughn, Joe R. Lansdale, Lawrence Block, Cecelia Holland, Brandon Sanderson, Sherilynn Kenyon, S. M. Stirling, Nancy Kress, and George R. R. Martin.

Here you’ll find no hapless victims who stand by whimpering in dread while the male hero fights the monster or clashes swords with the villain, and if you want to tie these women to the railroad tracks, you’ll find you have a real fight on your hands. Instead, you will find sword-wielding women warriors; intrepid women fighter pi lots and far-ranging spacewomen; deadly female serial killers; formidable female superheroes; sly and seductive femmes fatale; female wizards; hard-living bad girls; female bandits and rebels; embattled survivors in postapocalyptic futures; female private investigators; stern female hanging judges; haughty queens who rule nations and whose jealousies and ambitions send thousands to grisly deaths; daring dragonriders; and many more.

Enjoy!

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Starred Review: Dangerous Women

Place holder  of - 81“Everyone will find something to like here.”

George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois’s Dangerous Women got a starred review in Kirkus Reviews!

Here’s the full review, from the November 1st issue:

starred-review-gif Bold and deadly female characters of many genres stride through the pages of this massive anthology.
When genre collections include this many big-name authors, they’re typically a grouping of series outtakes and Easter eggs. Readers who want to know how Molly got that cool apartment in Jim Butcher’s Cold Days; meet Shy South as a young fugitive before the open of Joe Abercrombie’s Red Country; get a glimpse of Quentin Coldwater after the events of Lev Grossman’s projected Magicians trilogy; or encounter Jamie Fraser as an inexperienced (in several senses) but still clever mercenary soldier prior to meeting Claire in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander will surely be satisfied by these and other entries (which of course include a bloody slice of history from Martin’s own blockbuster A Song of Ice and Fire universe). But the stand-alones in this smorgasbord of fantasy, science fiction, noir, historical fiction and paranormal romance are also worthy of notice, particularly Megan Abbott’s chilling “My Heart is Either Broken,” concerning a young mother’s socially inappropriate response to her daughter’s kidnapping; Megan Lindholm’s sadly believable “Neighbors,” in which a lonely widow becomes ever more alienated from her daily routine, her family and her neighborhood; and Brandon Sanderson’s gripping “Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell,” about an innkeeper/bounty hunter who must defeat rapacious ghosts, brutal outlaws and greedy bureaucrats to keep herself and her daughter safe and free.
Everyone will find something to like here.

Dangerous Women will be published on December 3rd.

Starred Review: Dangerous Women

Image Place holder  of - 54“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.”

George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois’s Dangerous Women got a starred review in Publishers Weekly!

Here’s the full review, from the October 7th issue:

starred-review-gif 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.

Dangerous Women will be published on December 3rd.

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