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Bending The Landscape: Science Fiction

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Edited by world-renowned lesbian fantasy author Nicola Griffith and fantasy publisher Stephen Pagel, this groundbreaking anthology of all-original science fiction stories brings together some of mainstream's and science fiction's most notable writers -- gay and straight -- creating worlds where time and place and sexuality are alternative to the empirical environment. Keit Edited by world-renowned lesbian fantasy author Nicola Griffith and fantasy publisher Stephen Pagel, this groundbreaking anthology of all-original science fiction stories brings together some of mainstream's and science fiction's most notable writers -- gay and straight -- creating worlds where time and place and sexuality are alternative to the empirical environment. Keith Hartman's "Sex, Guns and Baptists" gives a disturbing view of how the world could become if the Christian fundamentalists continue gaining political ground; Ralph Sperry's delightful aliens in "On Vacation" are refreshingly similar to us: shy workaholics, exasperated lovers, good with machines; Ellen Klages takes a '90s dyke back forty years to 1950s San Francisco where she discovers her modern sensibilities are utterly alien to the lesbians of the time. These stories explore physical, emotional, and moral landscapes vastly different from the familiar -- where nothing is as it seems.This group of talented newcomers and award-winning genre veterans includes Jim Grimsley, Mark W. Tiedemann, Charles Sheffield, Carrie Richerson, Keith Hartman, Nancy Kress, Richard Bamburg, L. Timmel Duchamp, Charles Sheffield, Don Bassingthwaite, and many others.


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Edited by world-renowned lesbian fantasy author Nicola Griffith and fantasy publisher Stephen Pagel, this groundbreaking anthology of all-original science fiction stories brings together some of mainstream's and science fiction's most notable writers -- gay and straight -- creating worlds where time and place and sexuality are alternative to the empirical environment. Keit Edited by world-renowned lesbian fantasy author Nicola Griffith and fantasy publisher Stephen Pagel, this groundbreaking anthology of all-original science fiction stories brings together some of mainstream's and science fiction's most notable writers -- gay and straight -- creating worlds where time and place and sexuality are alternative to the empirical environment. Keith Hartman's "Sex, Guns and Baptists" gives a disturbing view of how the world could become if the Christian fundamentalists continue gaining political ground; Ralph Sperry's delightful aliens in "On Vacation" are refreshingly similar to us: shy workaholics, exasperated lovers, good with machines; Ellen Klages takes a '90s dyke back forty years to 1950s San Francisco where she discovers her modern sensibilities are utterly alien to the lesbians of the time. These stories explore physical, emotional, and moral landscapes vastly different from the familiar -- where nothing is as it seems.This group of talented newcomers and award-winning genre veterans includes Jim Grimsley, Mark W. Tiedemann, Charles Sheffield, Carrie Richerson, Keith Hartman, Nancy Kress, Richard Bamburg, L. Timmel Duchamp, Charles Sheffield, Don Bassingthwaite, and many others.

30 review for Bending The Landscape: Science Fiction

  1. 4 out of 5

    Samuel

    I read this in my usual way of reading anthologies: all the way through, without skipping. This method has benefits and drawbacks, and it ended here with a read I really liked overall. I wouldn’t say any of these stories were badly written; I wouldn’t say that I enjoyed them all to the same degree. Below are my impressions in order of appearance (ratings are numbers of stars out of 5). Sex, Guns, & Baptists (2 stars): I felt the characters to be clearly developed through behaviors & word choices, I read this in my usual way of reading anthologies: all the way through, without skipping. This method has benefits and drawbacks, and it ended here with a read I really liked overall. I wouldn’t say any of these stories were badly written; I wouldn’t say that I enjoyed them all to the same degree. Below are my impressions in order of appearance (ratings are numbers of stars out of 5). Sex, Guns, & Baptists (2 stars): I felt the characters to be clearly developed through behaviors & word choices, which was good. I didn’t see the world-building handled as well, though it started strong with the subbing in of Catholicism for a pink triangle. If you like private investigator Half in Love With Easeful Rock and Roll (4 stars): I started out disliking it on the introduction, but changed my mind with the first paragraph. Solid and evocative language, characters, and setting made this one a keeper. The poem fragments threw me off my rhythm a little, but I still enjoyed myself. Powertool (1 star): This felt to me like a story one either gets or doesn’t, and I’m in that latter group. I suggest those who like nontraditional form give it a look. Time Gypsy (5 stars): Consistent characters and time travel ensured I had a great time. It managed the temporally displaced fish excellently, and in a way that highlighted the times and how they change. Lonely Land (3 stars): I loved the ending, which I won’t spoil here. No such feelings for the protagonist; he skeezed me into nausea. Bile fascination was certainly at play for me here. The Rendez-Vous (3 stars): Weird, but in a good way. Describing it further might spoil, so I won’t. Silent Passion (4 stars): From title to ending, it evokes a sense of beauty I usually associate with thunderstorms. I felt it bittersweet, so watch for that. Sun-Drenched (2 stars): It was okay, but I wasn’t really feeling it. The Flying Triangle (1 star): Full disclosure: I’m not generally a fan of westerns. This felt like one, which is the first and last reason I didn’t like it. Check it out if westerns don’t out you out. Brooks Too Broad For Leaping (4 stars): Pitch dark and savory, an excellent story of being on the outside. There’s also a lot of walking. Dance At The Edge (4 stars): The premise was strong enough to get me through the opening explanation, which is always good. I also liked seeing the protagonist grow, even if it felt abrupt a times. Love’s Last Farewell (5 stars): I gave this 5 stars because that’s as high as the scale goes. It’s about loneliness and what happens when tolerance is no longer required. Reading it was listening to someone sing a coffin into the ground. On Vacation (4 stars): The mood whiplash this story provided woke me right up. I liked that it was so cheerful, while still providing an interesting story. The City in Morning (3 stars): I liked it even though I’m not sure I understood it. It’s very philosophical. The State of Nature (5 stars): It uses a few words and one discussion to weave a world and its inhabitants. It doesn’t declare a specific moral stance, which was good here given the actual complexity of the issues it handles. The Beautiful People (3 stars): I found the world disturbing but clearly envisioned. I didn’t really like the people in that world, though, which contributed to my impressions on it. A Real Girl (5 stars): Poignant story of an organic A.I. that wants to be human. I think this story illustrated that she already is. Who Plays With Sin (5 stars): Corporate espionage, lawless regions in place of jail, hackers in high rises – this story had a veritable mix-topia of things I like to read about. Thunder, the POV character was definitely rounded enough to carry this story. Surfaces (3 stars): I’m fond of this story; speaking as it does of human complexity and expectations. It deals with families, and loyalty. Stay They Flight (4 stars): I hated the go-slow-go cadence of the story at first, but as I understood more I tolerated it and the changing pace. It certainly provided some empathy, at least, and the changes are gradual enough to not be jarring. It has a nontraditional form that is fairly obvious. Free in Asveroth (3 stars): I read it and found it haunting, but the more I thought about it the less I liked it. Explaining why would spoil it. Give it a look if you like journeys that illuminate.

  2. 5 out of 5

    'Nathan Burgoine

    I can't possibly say something about every tale in this collection, but I will say it was phenomenal in general. A few really blew me away, however, like: Klage's "Time Gypsy" was one of the best of the lot - a time-displaced physicist sent back in time to the very oppressive 50's on a very specific mission, but finds love might mess up the plans - not to mention her only ticket back home to a more accepting time. Wonderfully written - this one really kept my interest and made me sad to see it en I can't possibly say something about every tale in this collection, but I will say it was phenomenal in general. A few really blew me away, however, like: Klage's "Time Gypsy" was one of the best of the lot - a time-displaced physicist sent back in time to the very oppressive 50's on a very specific mission, but finds love might mess up the plans - not to mention her only ticket back home to a more accepting time. Wonderfully written - this one really kept my interest and made me sad to see it end... O'Malley's "Silent Passion" was heartbreaking, wonderful, and very very touching - about a man and his deaf lover, who live on a world where the aliens present make such noise as would destroy the sense of hearing of anyone actually listening to it. Being torn between family, love, truth and lies of omission is just the start of this fabulous tale, and the alien extrapolation and metaphors are just astounding. The gentleness of the love in this story made me all teary-eyed. I believe this was my favourite of the bunch. Bamberg's "Love's Last Farewell," was dystopia at its finest - a scene from a world where genengineering makes Gay illegal, and "repairable," and told from the voice of the last gay man still alive. Really touching. But seriously - all are fantastic.

  3. 4 out of 5

    TammyJo Eckhart

    When this collection of 21 science fiction stories was published in 1998, it would not have surprised anyone reading it that most of the visions of non-heterosexuality in the future or on other worlds would be primarily dark. The world wasn't a friendly place if you identified as gay or lesbian, and things did not seem to be changing any time soon so of course the vision of the future might be more extremes of your life currently or a look back at history for a model of what the next century or When this collection of 21 science fiction stories was published in 1998, it would not have surprised anyone reading it that most of the visions of non-heterosexuality in the future or on other worlds would be primarily dark. The world wasn't a friendly place if you identified as gay or lesbian, and things did not seem to be changing any time soon so of course the vision of the future might be more extremes of your life currently or a look back at history for a model of what the next century or more might become. In 2017/18 when I read this anthology it felt sad because regardless of the most current attempts to set back progress, there has been some in certain parts of the world. Most of the stories focus on human interactions just in different futures (or pasts) and on different worlds. Sexuality is there in the story but it is never explicit nor usually erotic. Being gay or lesbians is part of a character's identity, often a very important part but how much the stories dealt directly with that varied far more than I was expecting. I noticed that when sexual orientation was the focus of the plot, the stories tended to be depressing, downers by and large. I didn't hate any of the stories in the collection but some really stood out to me such as "Time Gypsy" by Ellen Klages and "Free in Asveroth" by Jim Grimsley, two stories quite different from each other yet full of powerful emotions and believable characters in honest relationships. Other stories that stood out felt alien not just because they had aliens but for the format of the stories yet I was able to connect to the characters. Among that group of stories that I found myself thinking about well after I finished it were Kathleen O'Malley's "Silent Passion" and Mark W. Tiedemann's "Surfaces". Over all a very good collection that makes me hope the editors continued to put out similar themed anthologies of different genres.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    Reread "A Real Girl" by Shariann Lewitt for a Challenge featuring a robot. What a delight! Also reread the story "Sex, Guns and Baptists" by Keith Hartman, which is fun. 9/29/14 I was thrilled by this anthology! “On Vacation” by Ralph A. Sperry is about a couple who’ve been together for hundreds of years going on vacation in Nantucket. They share a house with a Dad and his young son, all are delighted with the arrangement. “A Real Girl” by Shariann Lewitt is about a robot who trades in her immor Reread "A Real Girl" by Shariann Lewitt for a Challenge featuring a robot. What a delight! Also reread the story "Sex, Guns and Baptists" by Keith Hartman, which is fun. 9/29/14 I was thrilled by this anthology! “On Vacation” by Ralph A. Sperry is about a couple who’ve been together for hundreds of years going on vacation in Nantucket. They share a house with a Dad and his young son, all are delighted with the arrangement. “A Real Girl” by Shariann Lewitt is about a robot who trades in her immortality to become human. “State of Nature,” by Nancy Kress is about an enclave where rich people live to be safe while the rest of the country has descended into lawlessness. “The Flying Triangle” is about three gay spacers who band together to start a company salvaging space junk, only to come across what they think is a dead weather satellite, but is actually an illegal thermonuclear device-- operated by the US. “Silent Passion” by Kathleen O’Malley is about two human lovers, one deaf, one hearing who are studying angelic / bird- like aliens and come to admire their social structure.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Poltz

    I loved this trilogy of anthologies, the other two being BTL: Fantasy and BTL: Horror. This one was twenty-one short stories which create “worlds where time and place and sexuality are alternative to the empirical environment”. Most are pretty straight-forward science fiction while a few are more generally speculative fiction. Almost all the stories have terrific prose and of course all feature gay or lesbian characters. This book was nominated for several awards, winning the Gaylactic Spectrum I loved this trilogy of anthologies, the other two being BTL: Fantasy and BTL: Horror. This one was twenty-one short stories which create “worlds where time and place and sexuality are alternative to the empirical environment”. Most are pretty straight-forward science fiction while a few are more generally speculative fiction. Almost all the stories have terrific prose and of course all feature gay or lesbian characters. This book was nominated for several awards, winning the Gaylactic Spectrum Award for Best Other Work and the 1999 Lambda Literary Award for SciFi/Fantasy/Horror. Come visit my blog for the full review… https://itstartedwiththehugos.blogspo...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kend

    Where WAS I when this was published? Where has it BEEN my whole life? So what if I was ten and deeply ensconced in a conservative Evangelical Christian bubble when it was sent forth into the universe? I SHOULD HAVE NOTICED. And my life would have been much, much better. Immediately. Three cheers for queer anthologies which I never knew existed, and which should have become a yearly ... or a monthly! ... thing.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sue Chant

    Tiptree longlist 1998 A few good stories among the mass of mediocre & disappointing. 3 of the better ones: Time Gypsy • by Ellen Klages - good. Tiptree longlist 1998 Silent Passion by Kathleen O'Malley - good Sun-Drenched by Stephen Baxter - very good Tiptree longlist 1998 A few good stories among the mass of mediocre & disappointing. 3 of the better ones: Time Gypsy • by Ellen Klages - good. Tiptree longlist 1998 Silent Passion by Kathleen O'Malley - good Sun-Drenched by Stephen Baxter - very good

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Hamilton

    This was one of the first lgbt books I ever read--it was a revelation. Great introduction to some very good authors.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Alex MacFarlane

    A good anthology! An interesting mix of stories about gay and lesbian people in the future, with some really awesome ones: I loved Ellen Klages' "Time Gypsy" (time travel! lesbian scientists! addressing the suppression of women's science!) except for its terrible title, and Elisabeth Vonarburg's "Stay Thy Filght" is really cool, and more. The anthology does show its age, not just in the ideas of future tech (space habitation and... fax machines?) but in the number of futures where homosexuality A good anthology! An interesting mix of stories about gay and lesbian people in the future, with some really awesome ones: I loved Ellen Klages' "Time Gypsy" (time travel! lesbian scientists! addressing the suppression of women's science!) except for its terrible title, and Elisabeth Vonarburg's "Stay Thy Filght" is really cool, and more. The anthology does show its age, not just in the ideas of future tech (space habitation and... fax machines?) but in the number of futures where homosexuality is illegal or disapproved of. I suspect (I hope) that such an anthology compiled today would be more optimistic. Nonetheless, I'd definitely recommend this one.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Short story anthologies are always a bit uneven, but this had more than the typical number of excellent pieces. The stories were from a wide variety of authors and were written particularly for this collection. As the editors describe it, they wanted each writer to imagine "a different landscape" (different in "place, time, or attitude"), including an "Other." And the "Other" had to be a lesbian or a gay man. These guidelines resulted in a wide variety of settings and of characters. There were m Short story anthologies are always a bit uneven, but this had more than the typical number of excellent pieces. The stories were from a wide variety of authors and were written particularly for this collection. As the editors describe it, they wanted each writer to imagine "a different landscape" (different in "place, time, or attitude"), including an "Other." And the "Other" had to be a lesbian or a gay man. These guidelines resulted in a wide variety of settings and of characters. There were many good stories, a few I consider truly great, and only a tiny number I really didn't enjoy.

  11. 4 out of 5

    A~

    GAY ALIEN SEX Now that I got your attention, I will say that the book has gay, has aliens and there is sex but it isn't a Gay Alien Sex book. It is more about relationships and I loved the book. None of the sex is explicit. The story of the two gay couples raising a baby was wonderful. I do feel not all of them were Gay/Lesbian as one of them featuring Kangaroo like animals the only Lesbianism is an implied crush.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mills College Library

    Fiction B4588 v.1

  13. 5 out of 5

    Berenice

    it is a very good book

  14. 4 out of 5

    Shari

    Bending the Landscape: Original Gay and Lesbian Writing: Science Fiction by Nicola Griffith (1999)

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    I read this for a book group I hosted at Border's Books and for me not to like a sci fi AND gay book, should really tell you something.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    Kind of a mixed bag. Some stories were really interesting, some were... just really depressing. Not the thing you want to be reading during an exhausting week, I'll tell you that much.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Pioden

    Actually, still reading this, but so far, so good with the sci fi.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sgogirl

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alex

  20. 4 out of 5

    Shinichi

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jen

  22. 5 out of 5

    Carol Kerry-green

  23. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Darling

  24. 4 out of 5

    Del

  25. 4 out of 5

    Liobhan

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lori

  27. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Alexys

  28. 4 out of 5

    Randi Rose

  29. 4 out of 5

    Loyal

  30. 4 out of 5

    Vmaganti

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