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New Words, New Worlds
Artist, Heather Oliver             

To Shape the Dark: “Best of” Picks, Reviews, Interviews, Endorsements

shapedark-final-cover-titles1200“…women as radiant and merciless as the dawn…” — Semíra Ouranákis, landfall captain of the Reckless (“Planetfall”).

Cover art and design: Eleni Tsami

Awards and Other Recognitions

Two of the anthology’s fifteen stories were chosen by Gardner Dozois for inclusion in Year’s Best SF 2016:

“Fieldwork” by Shariann Lewitt
“Firstborn, Lastborn” by Melissa Scott

Two of the anthology’s fifteen stories were chosen by Allan Kaster for inclusion in The Year’s Top Hard Sci-Fi Stories:

“Fieldwork” by Shariann Lewitt
“The Seventh Gamer” by Gwyneth Jones

Reviews & Notices

Analog SF
The Booknut
Skiffy & Fanty
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Cascadia Subduction Zone vol. 6, issue 3, July 2016 (behind paywall till 12/31/2016 but as enthusiastic as the others)
Black Gate
Strange Horizons
Locus Magazine (now behind paywall but as positive as the rest)


SF Romance Quarterly
E. P. Beaumont
Black Gate


Pat Cadigan

The year has barely begun and I can already name To Shape The Dark as one of my favorite books.

— Pat Cadigan, author of Synners, winner of the Hugo, Clarke, Locus, and World Fantasy awards

Kate Elliott

A great anthology with sophisticated and vivid settings, characters whose dilemmas feel meaningful and true, and real science. Highly recommended.

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

James Patrick Kelly

One of my favorite anthologies of 2013 was the acclaimed The Other Half of the Sky, edited by Athena Andreadis. Athena is back with fifteen new stories featuring striking women characters who are engaged citizens of the future. All the familiar science fiction marvels are here, aliens and AIs, faster-than-light spaceships and mind-blowing inventions, but they are framed so as to reveal new wonders. To Shape the Dark is destined to be one of the most talked about books of 2016; don’t wait to join the conversation!

— James Patrick Kelly, author of “Think Like a Dinosaur,” winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards

Rosemary Kirstein

The delight of To Shape the Dark is simply that it is science fiction, just as we all fell in love with it, but with a slight shift: this time, the women step forward. The scientist-protagonists of these stories follow their vocations for many reasons, as different from each other as each human is from the next, and the authors give these women individual voices and lives and discoveries. There are travels through wonders, alien races, and experiments with new ways of being—as well as family, love, and even the inevitable but necessary struggle with bureaucracy! Science is adventure, and there is adventure here, and it is for all of us.

— Rosemary Kirstein, author of the Steerswoman series, multiple Locus award nominee

Ken Liu

By turns inventive, moving, wondrous, and provocative, To Shape the Dark upends tiresome genre tropes to offer fresh portraits of women scientists as heroes engaged in the most epic journey of them all: discovery.

— Ken Liu, author of The Grace of Kings, winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards

Paul McAuley

A terrifically eclectic collection of stories about women scientists interrogating their worlds and themselves, delivering neat jolts of sense of wonder straight from science fiction’s mutant heart.

— Paul McAuley, author of the Quiet War series, winner of the Clarke, Dick, and Campbell awards

Alastair Reynolds

This is a beautiful, invigorating anthology. These are among the newest and freshest voices in SF, and they have much to say.

— Alastair Reynolds, author of the Revelation Space series, winner of the BSFA award

Kim Stanley Robinson

This is a marvelous collection of entertaining and incisive short stories, very often describing women wielding science like a scalpel to carve a better world out of this one. Great brain-engaging fun.

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

Pamela Sargent

Athena Andreadis has again put together a challenging, entertaining, and visionary anthology that includes some of the finest writers of science fiction. Highly recommended.

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