Astrogator's Logs

New Words, New Worlds
Artist, Heather Oliver             

The Other Half of the Sky: Endorsements

other half web“…women as radiant and merciless as the dawn…” — Semíra Ouranákis, landfall captain of the Reckless (“Planetfall”).

Cover art and design: Eleni Tsami


Kim Stanley Robinson

It is a great pleasure to see such a strong collection of stories about women and men in space, focusing on women who are dealing with problems in reality-based ways.  The stories are not only fun, but interesting.  This is what science fiction should be!

— Kim Stanley Robinson, author of the Mars trilogy and Galileo’s Dream, winner of the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, World Fantasy and Campbell awards


Gwyneth Jones

In The Other Half of the Sky editor Athena Andreadis has brought together a splendid assembly of writers, both rising stars and established names, and a fascinating collection of new stories, promising serious entertainment for SF fans of all genders. I loved Vandana Singh’s thoughtful and lyrical Sailing The Antarsa, Kelly Jennings’s, crisp, wisecracking cyberpunk tale, Velocity’s Ghost; Christine Lucas’s richly layered Martian encounter with the unconscious past, Ouroboros; and Aliette de Bodard’s painful revisioning of an old story about a “ship who sang“. Every entry here, bar none, engaged me emotionally, entertained me and  made me think.  If there’s a theme, maybe it’s in a refreshing approach to the SF short story that’s about opening doors, and not closing them; about scenes and episodes that tell the reader a great deal about some strange world, some frantic situation, but offer few neat solutions and no finalities. The extraordinary lives we’ve visited continue, out of our sight, as unfinished and complex as our own.

We’ve been here before, but it never hurts to tell the world again, and show the world again, that women can and do write excellent, challenging and satisfying science fiction.

— Gwyneth Jones, author of the Aleutian trilogy and the Bold as Love cycle, winner of the World Fantasy, Tiptree, Clarke and Dick awards


Vonda McIntyre

Treacherous, colorful, heartbreaking. Work, play, symbiosis. Survive, evolve, transcend. These stories deserve your time, your attention, your appreciation.

— Vonda McIntyre, author of Dreamsnake and The Sun and the Moon, winner of the Hugo and Nebula awards


James Patrick Kelly

Sure, science fiction moved out of its boys-only clubhouse years ago, but that was just a first step.  If we’re really going to have a grownup literature of the future, then we don’t just need women writers; we must cast more women as vital characters in our stories.  The editors of The Other Half of the Sky have assembled here sixteen hard science adventures for your enjoyment.   All feature capable professional women — engineers, scientists and yes, starship captains among them – with love interests, if any, very much on the side.  While this anthology definitely has a modern feminist sensibility, the emphasis here is most often on good old-fashioned interplanetary fun.  Check your preconceptions at the air lock and strap in for a wild ride because space sisters kick ass!

— James Patrick Kelly, winner of the Hugo, Nebula and Locus Awards


Pamela Sargent

The Other Side of the Sky grew out of an obvious question, but one that we apparently have to rediscover and ask yet again: What if there were many more female characters in science fiction who weren’t restricted by gender and inhabited a wide variety of cultures unlike the Western male-centered model that has predominated? The writers in this anthology have answered the question with stories that provoke thought, offer original speculation, and provide great entertainment. What a treat this book is–I’m only sorry I’m not here with a story myself.

— Pamela Sargent, author of Earthseed and The Shore of Women and editor of Women of Wonder


Lavie Tidhar

A constellation of dazzling stories forms The Other Half of the Sky. It is an important anthology, original and bold. Not to be missed.

— Lavie Tidhar, World Fantasy Award winning author of Osama.


Nick Mamatas

On back cover:

Hard SF that is lyrical, evocative, and provocative. Finally.

Inside the book:

Melissa Scott’s ‘Finders’ is as rock-ribbed as the hard SF from any so-called master, but without the baggage associated with the genre. Sue Lange’s ‘Mission of Greed’ is as evocative as it is provocative. What else can one say about this anthology but this: Finally.

— Nick Mamatas, Hugo-nominated editor.


Kate Elliott

An excellent science fiction anthology whose many fine stories feature strong women from all walks of life, a diverse range of culture and background, and an essential blend of gripping story, real science, and a serious look at how competent people function in the world. My particular favorite, Vandana Singh’s “Sailing the Antarsa,” to me represents the epitome of what a science fiction short story can unfold in its brilliant weave of speculative cosmology and compassionate insights into human emotion and culture. There is plenty of sense of wonder within the pages of this anthology: Highly recommended.

— Kate Elliott, author of the Spiritwalker Trilogy, the Crossroads Trilogy, the Crown of Stars series, and the Novels of the Jaran


Paul Gilster

Good science fiction stands on its own, notwithstanding the politics of its editors or the gender of its protagonists. Readers expecting a jolt of didactic feminism will not find it in The Other Side of the Sky, which focuses instead on the human experience of distant worlds and the even stranger territories of the spirit. Biology, sociology and poetry take precedence over physics in stories that at their best display an elegance of conception and execution that enriches the genre. From doors that mysteriously open to other places and minds running starships who have forgotten who they are, to giant trees with orbit-reaching seeds, the tales in The Other Half of the Sky impart a new spin to classic science fiction tropes and, as the field is prone to do, conjure them afresh.

— Paul Gilster, founder of the Centauri Dreams web site and co-founder of Tau Zero Foundation


Jeanne Cavelos

Bold, brave, struggling, erring, redeeming, failing, overcoming, dying, transcending–the female characters in THE OTHER HALF OF THE SKY explore the full, rich spectrum of human nature, and at the same time, they take readers on moving and memorable adventures.

— Jeanne Cavelos, bestselling author of The Passing of the Techno-Mages


 Jetse de Vries

 In The Other Half of the Sky, space travel is seen, experienced and driven by women. And while it certainly does not avoid politics, power games,  conflicts, and controversies (rather the contrary), it also rekindles a kinder sense of wonder, where people—and other creatures—are part of a nature that stretches across the whole Universe.

The stories in this anthology are stand-alone but also—like the women in its pages—part of a larger whole: a series in each author’s Universe. So if you want more, there is plenty to explore. Therefore, The Other Half of the Sky not only shows you how SF can be done differently, but is also a portal to more diversity: I highly recommend it.

— Jetse de Vries, editor of the Shine anthology and ex-editor of Interzone


 Mark W. Tiedemann

The stories gathered together in this collection, varied and entertaining as they are, share a simple idea that in many places, for many people, is radical—that women are people.  For those who have always known this and lived accordingly, these stories show us as well that women are remarkable people, that they are heroes (and villains), human (and alien), special (and ordinary), and contain the full measure of all that we are.

— Mark Tiedemann, author of the Secantis Sequence, Tiptree and Dick award shortlist nominee


 Mike Shepherd

Delightful and thought provoking reads, ever single one of them.  Your head will say let’s think about that as you fingers demand you turn the page and read more!

— Mike Shepherd, author of the nationally best-selling Kris Longknife Saga


Laura Mixon

Athena Andreadis and Kay Holt have teamed to achieve an amazing feat with The Other Half of the Sky.  They have snagged exciting, mind-boggling tales of space exploration and interstellar drama by women heroes from an array of talented science fiction writers, and the result is a storytelling repast.  I have been delighting in these stories.  Some of my favorite writers are here. There is  Melissa Scott’s Cassilde Sam on the Burntover Plain and Terry Boren’s Alakie on a planet somewhere in post-singularity space; there are stories from Martha Wells and Alliette de Bodard, Joan Slonczewski, Ken Liu, Jack McDevitt and others–I can’t resist saying it: this anthology achieves orbital velocity with the first story and it just gets better from there.

When I was a kid, a lover of science fiction hungry for stories of women heroes, I would have crawled over broken Denebian glass to get my hands on an anthology like this.  In fact, heck, I still would.  Run, do not walk, to get a copy for yourself.

— Laura Mixon (Morgan J. Locke), author of Burning the Ice and Up Against It