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Women Invent the Future: A Science Fiction Anthology

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“The starting point for building a better future is to imagine that future” Catherine Mayer, author & co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party Technology is transforming how we live, love, learn and earn but only 19% of the people who create it are women. From Star Trek to Snow Crash, new technology is deeply influenced by science fiction – and women are often under-represen “The starting point for building a better future is to imagine that future” Catherine Mayer, author & co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party Technology is transforming how we live, love, learn and earn but only 19% of the people who create it are women. From Star Trek to Snow Crash, new technology is deeply influenced by science fiction – and women are often under-represented in the stories that inspire new innovations and inventions. Can different stories about the future make it easier for more women and girls to succeed as inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs? This anthology reimagines space travel, fertility, productivity, dating and family life, and imagines what emancipation and electronic freedom could look like and features contributions by Anne Charnock, Becky Chambers, Cassandra Khaw, Liz Williams, Madeline Ashby, Molly Flatt, and Walidah Imarisha.


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“The starting point for building a better future is to imagine that future” Catherine Mayer, author & co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party Technology is transforming how we live, love, learn and earn but only 19% of the people who create it are women. From Star Trek to Snow Crash, new technology is deeply influenced by science fiction – and women are often under-represen “The starting point for building a better future is to imagine that future” Catherine Mayer, author & co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party Technology is transforming how we live, love, learn and earn but only 19% of the people who create it are women. From Star Trek to Snow Crash, new technology is deeply influenced by science fiction – and women are often under-represented in the stories that inspire new innovations and inventions. Can different stories about the future make it easier for more women and girls to succeed as inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs? This anthology reimagines space travel, fertility, productivity, dating and family life, and imagines what emancipation and electronic freedom could look like and features contributions by Anne Charnock, Becky Chambers, Cassandra Khaw, Liz Williams, Madeline Ashby, Molly Flatt, and Walidah Imarisha.

30 review for Women Invent the Future: A Science Fiction Anthology

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kam Yung Soh

    Free to download (ePUB format) from their website. Free to download (ePUB format) from their website.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sadie Slater

    Women Invent the Future is an anthology of SF by women writers produced by the responsible technology think-tank doteveryone and made available for free, either as an ebook or as a print copy in return for postage. I can't remember exactly when I downloaded my copy, but I decided to give it a go this weekend as it was the first unread book on my Kindle and I thought it might be easier to read short stories than to try to concentrate on the plot of a novel while I was at Eastercon. There are s Women Invent the Future is an anthology of SF by women writers produced by the responsible technology think-tank doteveryone and made available for free, either as an ebook or as a print copy in return for postage. I can't remember exactly when I downloaded my copy, but I decided to give it a go this weekend as it was the first unread book on my Kindle and I thought it might be easier to read short stories than to try to concentrate on the plot of a novel while I was at Eastercon. There are six stories and one poem in the anthology, as well as an introduction from space scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock on women, science and science fiction. Madeline Ashby's 'A Cure for Jet Lag' is set at a party in a near-future Los Angeles and looks at business relationships in the world of tech start-ups; Anne Charnock's 'The Adoption' is about parenthood and the possibilities of reproductive technology; Becky Chambers' 'Chrysalis' is about a mother letting her daughter follow her dreams of space exploration; Liz Williams' 'In the God-Fields' is a sweeping post-human interstellar epic; and Walidah Imarisha's poem 'Androids Dream of Electric Freedom' is a re-imagining of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? in verse. My favourite stories were Molly Flatt's 'A Darker Wave', an examination of the possibilities of neurotechnology which is also a reworking of Macbeth, and Cassandra Khaw's 'There are Wolves in These Woods', a lyrical fairy-tale about women using technology to identify and avoid predatory men.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Beas Chattaraj

    "Technology is changing how many of us live, love, learn and earn. But ironically for an industry that prides itself on disruption, it is built on traditional power structures, and assumes men’s norms are cultural norms. Many products and services we use every day have sexist assumptions baked into them: the subservient voice interfaces that use women’s names and voices, and don’t ever need to be thanked; the social media platforms that treat harassment as a bug not an everyday fact of women’s l "Technology is changing how many of us live, love, learn and earn. But ironically for an industry that prides itself on disruption, it is built on traditional power structures, and assumes men’s norms are cultural norms. Many products and services we use every day have sexist assumptions baked into them: the subservient voice interfaces that use women’s names and voices, and don’t ever need to be thanked; the social media platforms that treat harassment as a bug not an everyday fact of women’s lives; the algorithms that show men ads for higher-paying jobs; and the health-trackers that make it easy to compete but impossible to track periods or ovulation – all put men’s priorities before women’s." This is an excerpt from the foreword by Rachel Coldicutt. Women Invent the Future is a sci-fi anthology written by women. There are some familiar names like Becky Chambers, Molly Flatt and Liz Williams. The stories (and poem) are about a wide range of topics like courage, relationships, parenthood, technology and of course, the eternal 'god' question. My favourites were: ●In the God-Fields by Liz Williams ●Androids Dream of Electric Freedom, by Walidah Imarisha ●The Adoption by Anne Charnock Check this out if you like read scifi and stories that make you think.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Robyn

    Overall, this was a good anthology but some stories definitely appealed to me more than others. I liked the premise - female science fiction authors exploring their visions of the future - and the breadth of areas within science fiction explored. The stories were arranged in chronological order, from closest to the present day to farthest in the future. The finale was a poem based on 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?' by Philip K Dick. 'The Cure for Jet Lag' by Madeline Ashby focused on Krist Overall, this was a good anthology but some stories definitely appealed to me more than others. I liked the premise - female science fiction authors exploring their visions of the future - and the breadth of areas within science fiction explored. The stories were arranged in chronological order, from closest to the present day to farthest in the future. The finale was a poem based on 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?' by Philip K Dick. 'The Cure for Jet Lag' by Madeline Ashby focused on Kristen, the chief of staff at a technology company, trying to pitch an idea to an eccentric billionaire. Unfortunately, I found this one of the weakest stories. I didn't connect at all with any of the characters - they felt more like 2D caricatures than fully developed individuals. Women were very much perceived as inferior and sexual objects. There was also far too much explaining of the slightly futuristic world, rather than allowing it to develop as the story went on. The idea was interesting but it wasn't for me. (2*) 'The Adoption' by Anne Charnock was about Rudy and Simone, a couple who had decided to adopt a baby. However, technology had advanced enough for adoption to take place in the second or third trimester, with foetuses developing outside the body in artificial wombs. I found this a fascinating concept, but again struggled to connect to the characters or their difficulties. They also had no chemistry as a married couple (which may have been a deliberate choice, but it didn't work for me). (2*) 'A Darker Wave' by Molly Flatt was a neuroscience fiction story about a drug that removed the need for sleep. It was brilliantly written and the science was developed and explained enough that you wanted to believe it was possible. The main character, Ellis, felt believable and 3D and I empathised with her throughout the story. (4.5*) 'There are Wolves in these Woods' by Cassandra Khaw was the most different story to classic science fiction, although it contained plenty of science elements. It focused on futuristic dating, and a group of women who hunted sexual predators. The writing was very lyrical and made liberal use of metaphor. I expect it will really appeal to some readers, but it wasn't for me. (2*) 'Chrysalis' by Becky Chambers I was really looking forward to, because I've always loved her work. It didn't disappoint. The main character was a mother whose daughter wanted to be an Explorer - a pilot who flew into deep space. Despite being the shortest story in the collection it was engaging and emotional, and the twist at the end was brilliant. (5*) 'In the God-Fields' by Liz Williams was about a 'curomantic heirophage' - essentially a priestess - on a journey to deliver a sacred scroll. The world-building was fascinating and incredibly detailed for a short-story, yet without any lengthy paragraphs of description that detracted from the plot. The main character was well-developed and intriguing. I would happily read a full-length novel set in this universe. (4.5*) 'Androids Dream of Electronic Freedom' I am reluctant to comment on as I have never read 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?' I enjoyed it and thought it was cleverly done, but I have likely missed many of the nuances. This anthology is available as a free epub - if you are intrigued, I recommend downloading it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Octavia Cade

    Honestly, I was expecting a little more from this. From the most literal perspective, I suppose it does what it says on the tin. This small anthology, consisting of six stories and a poem, is indeed a collection of sci-fi stories set in the future, and they are all written by women. That said, when you have a title like that, you are given to expect, I think, some sort of reason behind it. The introduction is all about encouraging diversity in tech, in getting more women into STEM, so you would Honestly, I was expecting a little more from this. From the most literal perspective, I suppose it does what it says on the tin. This small anthology, consisting of six stories and a poem, is indeed a collection of sci-fi stories set in the future, and they are all written by women. That said, when you have a title like that, you are given to expect, I think, some sort of reason behind it. The introduction is all about encouraging diversity in tech, in getting more women into STEM, so you would think that the stories would have a strong focus on gender, on how women authors and characters both interact with potential futures; how they are affected by them, how they come up against expectation. And a couple of the stories - by Khaw and Ashby - do do this, but the rest are a little more mish-mash, and a little less concerned with theme. (This doesn't necessarily make these other stories bad. The one stand-out of the collection, "Chrysalis" by Becky Chambers, was excellent, but it was also a story where genders could have been changed without any impact on plot or theme.) Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed the anthology, but if you're going to set up an anthology around a central conceit, as this does, don't go milquetoast on it... go the whole hog. An anthology like this should have been innovative and cutting and confronting, a range of stories with the punch of Khaw's... but it wasn't.

  6. 4 out of 5

    M.

    Free book! Read for The Literary Life Podcast: 20 for 2020 Reading Challenge. 7. A Collection of Short Stories The first two stories were good, but not much of it is..... well, not that groundbreaking. Becky Chambers' story was great as well. I was thinking that Anne Charnock's story is potentially dangerous considering the mainstream "feminist" bent of the collection, given that she presents "bottle" babies, that is, babies developing in artificial wombs through normal, IVF or parthogenesis conce Free book! Read for The Literary Life Podcast: 20 for 2020 Reading Challenge. 7. A Collection of Short Stories The first two stories were good, but not much of it is..... well, not that groundbreaking. Becky Chambers' story was great as well. I was thinking that Anne Charnock's story is potentially dangerous considering the mainstream "feminist" bent of the collection, given that she presents "bottle" babies, that is, babies developing in artificial wombs through normal, IVF or parthogenesis conceptions as victims of a selfish desire of parents who either wish to become single parents, have kids with no genetical trace of their own, such a desire is explicitly shown as eugenics and not altruistic at all. Sure, women are not used as "wombs" anymore (in reference to surrogacy). Does that ease the feeling that this is business seeing kids as products and heavilly catering to consumer's needs, evading the responsibility when the background for adoption is too difficult to bear? Charnock's answer seems to be a resounding "no".

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dan Sumption

    I loved this short anthology of stories (and one poem) by women authors. As science fiction's artefacts, technologies, and ways of perceiving the future start to leak into our present—from Star Trek's communicators to the interfaces used in The Minority Report, from mass surveillance of China's citizens to attempts to colonise Mars—this collection aims to bring womens' imaginings of the future to this so-far almost exclusively male canon. It is far more than tokenism though. The stories are some I loved this short anthology of stories (and one poem) by women authors. As science fiction's artefacts, technologies, and ways of perceiving the future start to leak into our present—from Star Trek's communicators to the interfaces used in The Minority Report, from mass surveillance of China's citizens to attempts to colonise Mars—this collection aims to bring womens' imaginings of the future to this so-far almost exclusively male canon. It is far more than tokenism though. The stories are some of the best Sci-Fi I have read recently. They all differ greatly from one-another, in setting, style and vision. My favourite of the lot is Cassandra Khaw's There Are Wolves In These Woods, which envisages an illegal, neurally implanted, women-only social network, which allows women to keep one another warned about and protected from potential predators. The book is available as a free download from http://doteveryone.org.uk/ and it's well worth anyone's time to download and read it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sue Chant

    The Cure for Jet Lag - 2 members of a tech startup attend an eccentric millionaire’s party in the hope of inducing him to fund their work. Nice world-building of 20-minutes into the future tech but then the story just stops – no conclusion. The Adoption - interesting tale examining the possibilities of creating and gestating foetuses in an artificial environment. A Darker Wave - enjoyable story about sleep and wakefulness. There are Wolved in these Woods - an app allows women to piggy-back onto eac The Cure for Jet Lag - 2 members of a tech startup attend an eccentric millionaire’s party in the hope of inducing him to fund their work. Nice world-building of 20-minutes into the future tech but then the story just stops – no conclusion. The Adoption - interesting tale examining the possibilities of creating and gestating foetuses in an artificial environment. A Darker Wave - enjoyable story about sleep and wakefulness. There are Wolved in these Woods - an app allows women to piggy-back onto each others' minds to protect themselves from abusive men. Wry and thought-provoking. Very good. Chrysalis - stunning, bittersweet piece about engineering the human body for the exigencies of space flight. Could be a companion-piece to her "To Be Taught, If Fortunate". In the God Fields - dull meander. Androids Dream of Electronic Freedom - excellent short poem riffing on PK Dick's novel.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Natasha Holme

    I loved the idea--that the future is in part shaped by science fiction, and as science fiction writing and characterisation is male-dominated, then we build a better future by encouraging diversity, by getting female sci-fi authors and characters out there. However, I didn't think this collection lived up to the idea. For example, the first story focused on four characters, three of them male. The female character was the one expected to do the work and ended up being saved by a man. There were to I loved the idea--that the future is in part shaped by science fiction, and as science fiction writing and characterisation is male-dominated, then we build a better future by encouraging diversity, by getting female sci-fi authors and characters out there. However, I didn't think this collection lived up to the idea. For example, the first story focused on four characters, three of them male. The female character was the one expected to do the work and ended up being saved by a man. There were too many men in this collection. And where there were women, those characters could have been swapped out for men. Gender issues were largely not discussed. The themes of the stories were wide-ranging though. And they leave an interesting aftertaste.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Cato the Cactus

    Becky Chambers' story was very good. It reminded me of her novella To Be Taught, If Fortunate. I was also impressed with Molly Flatt's story. The rest wasn't memorable. Some nice ideas, some cool concepts, but I mostly didn't see the point. Individual ratings: 1) The Cure for Jet Lag by Madeline Ashby ★☆☆☆☆ 2) The Adoption by Anne Charnock ★★☆☆☆ 3) A Darker Wave by Molly Flatt ★★★★☆ 4) There Are Wolves in These Woods by Cassandra Khaw ★☆☆☆☆ 5) Chrysalis by Becky Chambers ★★★★☆ 6) In the God-Fields by Becky Chambers' story was very good. It reminded me of her novella To Be Taught, If Fortunate. I was also impressed with Molly Flatt's story. The rest wasn't memorable. Some nice ideas, some cool concepts, but I mostly didn't see the point. Individual ratings: 1) The Cure for Jet Lag by Madeline Ashby ★☆☆☆☆ 2) The Adoption by Anne Charnock ★★☆☆☆ 3) A Darker Wave by Molly Flatt ★★★★☆ 4) There Are Wolves in These Woods by Cassandra Khaw ★☆☆☆☆ 5) Chrysalis by Becky Chambers ★★★★☆ 6) In the God-Fields by Liz Williams ★☆☆☆☆

  11. 5 out of 5

    Anny Barros

    The Cure for Jet Lag by Madeline Ashby - 2.5/5 The Adoption by Anne Charnock - 4/5 A Darker Wave by Molly Flatt - 4/5 There Are Wolves in These Woods by Cassandra Khaw - 4/5 Chrysalis by Becky Chambers - 5/5 In the God-Fields by Liz Williams - 4/5 Androids Dream of Electronic Freedom by Walidah Imarisha - 4/5

  12. 4 out of 5

    Richard Parent

    A fantastic short collection of science fiction stories (and a poem) by women. Thought-provoking, moving, and seriously kick-ass. Also, the brief list of recommended readings (fiction and non-fiction) is excellent. Do not miss this enjoyable, important, free book!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Thistle & Verse

    I only read Ytasha Womack's short. I'd heard her discussing her motivation for writing it and some of the guiding principles of her work and was intrigued. I ended up liking the concept more than the execution. It was a poem, which isn't really my thing. I only read Ytasha Womack's short. I'd heard her discussing her motivation for writing it and some of the guiding principles of her work and was intrigued. I ended up liking the concept more than the execution. It was a poem, which isn't really my thing.

  14. 5 out of 5

    sillypunk

    Very short but a lovely collection of stories

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jon

    Decent anthology. I rather liked Cassandra Khaw's story, "There Are Wolves in These Woods." YMMV. Decent anthology. I rather liked Cassandra Khaw's story, "There Are Wolves in These Woods." YMMV.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kashmira Wagh

    The stories get better and better.. I really enjoyed this anthology.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Fresh and new, unexpected themes and glorious imagery.

  18. 5 out of 5

    A.M.

    A short anthology that nonetheless has enough content to leave you satisfied, and a great raison d'etre. A short anthology that nonetheless has enough content to leave you satisfied, and a great raison d'etre.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne Loving

    The themes linger.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Velma

    Review on the way

  21. 5 out of 5

    Punk

    Download a DRM-free epub at doteveryone.org. Download a DRM-free epub at doteveryone.org.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nate

    Every story in this anthology is an amazing hit, each one deserves a place on my favorites. Just pure, excellent, beautiful scifi.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Glenn

    A nice idea to bring more female writers to the SF genre. Shame it's almost completely unrelatable to anyone but the most middle-class silicon-valley types. Chuck this out, pick up some Le Guin instead. A nice idea to bring more female writers to the SF genre. Shame it's almost completely unrelatable to anyone but the most middle-class silicon-valley types. Chuck this out, pick up some Le Guin instead.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Eric Hart

  25. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kim Hutson

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jeannie

  28. 4 out of 5

    Philip

  29. 4 out of 5

    Graham Ainsley

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lena

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