For the most part, this anthology has been disappointing to the feminist sci-fi connoisseur in me.
Most of these stories are (intentionally or not) cliched. Because apparently, the only thing that makes women 'women' is having babies. Because 9/10th of this damn collection is about having babies, or 'what about my children?!?' Oh, and being sexy and taunting men with it to get their way.
I haven't decided if I'm gonna bother to deconstruct it story by story, as my mantra right now is 'try to be positive' - but here are the highlights so far:
"In the Heart of Kalikuata" by Tobias S. Buckell (who writes some pretty hardcore but BELIEVABLE female protagonists in his books - which I ADORE) was a nice find. Circa 2003 - so he hadn't sold his "Raga-muffin" books yet. Set in the same universe though.
"Staying Still" by Stephen Leigh and "Relativity" by Robert J. Sawyer work pretty well as relationship vs career stories without devolving too badly into hand-ringing hindsight.
"A Woman's Touch" by Ralph Roberts - I have mixed feelings about. The general premise is good, but "I'm gonna teach my daughter to manipulate men because everyone knows women are smarter than men but we let them think they're in charge (insert dramatic eye roll)" was a bit insulting.
But the rest? The premise of the anthology (which is a response to "Women Writing Science Fiction as Men" - which I'll have to track down now) is set in two rules: The story has to be first person of a women, and if changing her from Victoria to Victor didn't invalidate the story, it wasn't to be considered.
If anything, this proves "Men are From Mars... yadda yadda yadda." Cuz most of these authors, and the editor, just don't get it.
Also, Resnick? really needs to edit better. There are at least three stories with wrong-word errors and bad grammar. It's annoying.
The only other high point in this collection is "Love Story" by Frank M. Robinson, and not so much as a "female perspective" as a "surprise ending that makes you go back and reread the whole story."
If anything, it challenges your assumptions as a human. That's all I can say without spoiling it.
But the other stories? Pretty much prove what I wrote above. I am going to track down the "Women writing as Men" companion volume, if only because I know it can be done (James Tiptree Jr. anyone?) Frankly it made me want to pull out some Usula K. Le Guin or Élisabeth Vonarburg, just to cleanse my palate.
Fanscinating book..interesting to see how men try to think like women...and in a SciFi setting.