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  1. Heiresses of Russ 2015: The Year’s Best Lesbian Speculative Fiction
  2. Publisher Description
  3. Heiresses of Russ 2012: The Year's Best Lesbian Speculative Fiction
  4. Heiresses of Russ The Year’s Best Lesbian Speculative Fiction by Jean Roberta
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Men were people; women were not. And it was a mindset. When you met a man, you asked him what he did. When you met a woman, you asked her what her husband did. If we believe those bad old days are good and gone, the election of not yet decided as of this writing should change our minds. Until recently, stories about women who enjoy the same freedom as men to determine their own destiny have been rare. Women in older stories suffer from—and struggle against—the same restrictions endured by women in real life. Perhaps that explains why stories with strong female protagonists appeared first in speculative fiction.

But that is why fiction is so subversive. It shows us what might be. Seeing ourselves in stories as strong, independent, self-defining women encourages us to become strong, independent, and self-defining. When we could imagine ourselves into the minds of women who took themselves seriously, who valued and nurtured their talents and pursued their own dreams, we could more easily imagine the lives we wanted for ourselves.

Heiresses of Russ is a collection of stories about women who are living their own lives as if they matter, women who claim their right to self-determination, women who do not subordinate their own needs, wants, or desires to those of anyone else unless they want to.

As if we are not quite certain of our liberation, the memory of oppression lurks in the shadows of almost every story, yet the women in these stories possess the courage to live authentic lives. At heart this is a story about Truth—how to recognize truth and how to respect the power of truth, even when the truth revealed is unexpected.

In this vampire story, a family of women in Mexico uses their gift for good, according to their lights, but one of them cannot be satisfied by what nourishes the others. What is it that makes angels fall? And perhaps the story is also telling us that as human beings we MUST love, even when we cannot trust, so we find the safest thing to love that we can.

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Heiresses of Russ 2015: The Year’s Best Lesbian Speculative Fiction

The hero of this story never doubts her own power and her ability to find a way to live her own life, regardless of the opposition. The undine shares the predicament of many women. She is trapped by a man who believes he has the right to use another person for his own purposes, never considering that she may have purposes of her own.

It is a gift to the girls, and also a reminder to us that life is made up of moments like these—moments to be experienced, savored, remembered. To sculpt fantasies in the stone of the mind and the mind of the stone. All is well until she makes a dreamstone for herself. The astonishing result takes us through a labyrinth of consequences—the perilous consequences of using people as objects, even as objects of fantasy.

It felt like theft. The dream-crafter discovers the other as the other, not the fulfillment of her dreams, but a dreamer herself, dreaming her own dreams. The collection is worth reading for this story alone.

Publisher Description

All of the 14 stories in this collection speak to the desire of every human being for self-determination. Seeing ourselves in stories as strong, independent, self-defining women encourages us to become strong, independent, and self-defining. When we could imagine ourselves into the minds of women who took themselves seriously, who valued and nurtured their talents and pursued their own dreams, we could more easily imagine the lives we wanted for ourselves.

Heiresses of Russ is a collection of stories about women who are living their own lives as if they matter, women who claim their right to self-determination, women who do not subordinate their own needs, wants, or desires to those of anyone else unless they want to. As if we are not quite certain of our liberation, the memory of oppression lurks in the shadows of almost every story, yet the women in these stories possess the courage to live authentic lives. At heart this is a story about Truth—how to recognize truth and how to respect the power of truth, even when the truth revealed is unexpected.

Heiresses of Russ 2012: The Year's Best Lesbian Speculative Fiction

In this vampire story, a family of women in Mexico uses their gift for good, according to their lights, but one of them cannot be satisfied by what nourishes the others. What is it that makes angels fall? And perhaps the story is also telling us that as human beings we MUST love, even when we cannot trust, so we find the safest thing to love that we can. The hero of this story never doubts her own power and her ability to find a way to live her own life, regardless of the opposition. The undine shares the predicament of many women. She is trapped by a man who believes he has the right to use another person for his own purposes, never considering that she may have purposes of her own.

It is a gift to the girls, and also a reminder to us that life is made up of moments like these—moments to be experienced, savored, remembered. To sculpt fantasies in the stone of the mind and the mind of the stone. All is well until she makes a dreamstone for herself. The astonishing result takes us through a labyrinth of consequences—the perilous consequences of using people as objects, even as objects of fantasy. It felt like theft. The dream-crafter discovers the other as the other, not the fulfillment of her dreams, but a dreamer herself, dreaming her own dreams.

The collection is worth reading for this story alone. All of the 14 stories in this collection speak to the desire of every human being for self-determination.


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Some are about escaping oppression. Some are about freeing ourselves from old ideas about ourselves.


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All celebrate the ultimate dignity of the individual. And all are based on our trust that what fosters the growth of the individual increases the life of the community as well.

Heiresses of Russ The Year’s Best Lesbian Speculative Fiction by Jean Roberta

These stories do more than simply show us women who claim their right to live as freely as men. In the rush to demonstrate that women are the equals of men, we often forgot that women are different from men, and that our differences are strengths, not weaknesses. Now that we are free to pursue our own dreams, we may be dreaming things the world has never seen before.

Perhaps it will all be more clear in Heiresses of Russ October Name required.