Battling in All Her Finery: Historical Accounts of Otherworldly Women Leaders

Edited by Dawn Vogel and Jeremy Zimmerman

by Nathan Crowder, Elisa A. Bonnin, L. Chan, Lin Darrow, G. Scott Huggins, A. J. Fitzwater, Patrick Hurley, Blake Jessop, Alisha A. Knaff, Aimee Kuzenski, Christine Lucas, Matt Moran, Mathew Murakami, Jennifer R. Povey, Jennifer Lee Rossman, Frances Sharp, D. A. Xiaolin Spires, Leora Spitzer, Priya Sridhar, Tais Teng, Shirley Vogel

"I am a woman between worlds. Civilian and military. Seamstress and soldier. The Grande Armée I serve stands between tradition and merit. France itself between republic and monarchy. I stand between comfort and a wall of iron. Between progress and the world of dragons. Between grief and freedom."
--Blake Jessop, "Cuirassiere"

No one understands leadership like those who have led. Mad Scientist Journal has brought together twenty-one tales of otherworldly women leaders. Some are born to power, while others find the spark of power within themselves. Their leadership crosses the boundaries between the military and political world, while also making stops in music, the boardroom, and civil movements.

Included in this collection are stories from Elisa A. Bonnin, L. Chan, Nathan Crowder, Lin Darrow, A. J. Fitzwater, G. Scott Huggins, Patrick Hurley, Blake Jessop, Alisha A. Knaff, Aimee Kuzenski, Christine Lucas, Matt Moran, Mathew Murakami, Jennifer R. Povey, Jennifer Lee Rossman, Frances Sharp, D. A. Xiaolin Spires, Leora Spitzer, Priya Sridhar, Tais Teng, and Shirley Vogel. Includes art by Rhaega Ailani, Errow Collins, A. Jones, Leigh Legler, Justine McGreevy, and Ariel Alian Wilson.

About the Authors

Nathan Crowder

Classically trained pianist Nathan Crowder wishes he was cool enough to have been in a prog rock band. He has an abiding love for music and desert thunderstorms. Creator and curator of the superhero universe of Cobalt City, he lives in the wilds of North Seattle, surviving on a diet of coffee and irony. His career is managed by his black cat Shiva in exchange for room and kibble.


Elisa A. Bonnin

Elisa Bonnin was born in the Philippines, where she lived until the age of sixteen. Growing up, she enjoyed reading fantasy, writing, and going to the beach. Now, Elisa is a graduate student at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA, studying oceanography. She still enjoys reading and writing, and can be found working on pieces of creative fiction from time to time.


L. Chan

L. Chan hails from Singapore, where he alternates being walked by his dog and writing speculative fiction after work. His work has appeared in places like Liminal Stories, Arsenika, Podcastle, and The Dark. He tweets occasionally @lchanwrites.


Lin Darrow

Lin is a professional Victorianist by day and a noir writer by night. She’s written several short works, both prose and comic, for anthologies such as Valor 2, Tabula Idem, Planetside, QueerScifi’s Renewal anthology, Malaise: A Horror Anthology, and others. Her first novel, Pyre at the Eyreholme Trust, is an adventure story that marries magic, noir, casino heists, and queer romance, and was published by Less Than Three Press in July of 2018. She currently writes the Hiveworks webcomic Shaderunners, a queer 1920s adventure/romance comic about bottled colour and bootleggers, at www.shaderunners.com.


G. Scott Huggins

G. Scott Huggins grew up in the American Midwest and has lived there all his life, except for interludes in Germany and Russia. He is responsible for securing America’s future by teaching its past to high school students, many of whom learn things before going to college. He loves to read high fantasy, space opera, and parodies of the same. He wants to be a hybrid of G.K. Chesterton and Terry Pratchett when he counteracts the effects of having grown up. You can read his ramblings and rants at The Logoccentric Orbit and you can follow him on Facebook.


A. J. Fitzwater

A. J. Fitzwater is a meat-suit wearing dragon living between the cracks of Christchurch, New Zealand. Their work has appeared in venues of repute such as Clarkesworld, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Shimmer Magazine, Glittership, and many more. They sit on their pointy golden horde of two Sir Julius Vogel Awards. And they emerged triumphant from the trial by word-fire of Clarion 2014.


Patrick Hurley

Patrick Hurley lives, writes, and edits in Seattle. He's had fiction published in Galaxy's Edge, Cosmic Roots & Eldritch Shores, Flame Tree Publishing's Murder Mayhem anthology, Hy Bender's forthcoming anthology Ghosts on Drugs, Myriad Paradigm's Mindy Candy anthology, Abyss & Apex, Penumbra, Big Pulp, and The Drabblecast. In 2017, he attended the Taos Toolbox Writer's Workshop taught by Nancy Kress and Walter Jon Williams. He is a member of SFWA and Codex.


Blake Jessop

Blake Jessop is a Canadian author of fantasy, science fiction, and horror stories with a master's degree in creative writing from the University of Adelaide. He was the lead English translator of Colette Debelle's recently uncovered memoirs. You can read more of his speculative fiction in Glass and Gardens: Solarpunk Summers from World Weaver Press, or follow him on Twitter @everydayjisei.


Alisha A. Knaff

Alisha A. Knaff lives in Seattle with her cats, Hal and Odin. After inventing the time machine, she was president of the Jane Austen Fan Club from 1800-1806, and helped stop the Martian Invasion of 3003. One of her favorite hobbies is feeding pigeons with Nikola Tesla. Her novel, School of Sight, is available with Razorgirl Press, and you can find out more about her and her writing at alishaaknaff.com.


Aimee Kuzenski

Aimee Kuzenski is the woman your martial arts teacher warned you about. Her cat was not born hairless; Aimee once shaved her with a single knife stroke and the fur was too scared to grow back. A graduate of the Viable Paradise writer’s workshop, Aimee has also narrated audiobooks for indie authors and for the SFF short fiction podcast PodCastle. Aimee lives in Minnesota with her girlfriend and not enough Filipino weapons. You can find more information about Aimee’s work at her website, akuzenski.com.


Christine Lucas

Christine Lucas lives in Greece with her husband and a horde of spoiled animals. A retired Air Force officer and mostly self-taught in English, she has had her work appear in several print and online magazines, including Daily Science Fiction, Cast of Wonders, Pseudopod/Artemis Rising 4, and Nature: Futures. She was a finalist for the 2017 WSFA award and is currently working on her first novel. Visit her at: http://werecat99.wordpress.com/.


Matt Moran

Matt Moran doesn’t talk about himself in public that much, but in private he plays guitar, collects and paints models, cooks, and bakes. As a freelancer, he translates French and writes games, articles, and stories in English. Amongst many other things he has survived a hernia, crucifixion, and being thrown head-first from a horse. He likes sitcoms, sci-fi, spies, and fantasy, and is delighted his fiancée loves him nonetheless.


Mathew Murakami

Mathew Murakami is a writer, gamer, and technology consultant living in Washington State. He has worked as a technical writer, editor, car salesperson, caterer, temp bartender, overnight hotel desk person, landscaper, sandwich artist, and fake job maker-upper (but only once). When he is not writing--and sometimes when he is--he enjoys tea and puns.


Jennifer R. Povey

Jennifer R. Povey is in her early forties, and lives in Northern Virginia with her husband. She writes a variety of speculative fiction, whilst following current affairs and occasionally indulging in horse riding and role-playing games. She has sold fiction to a number of markets including Analog, and written RPG supplements for several companies. She is currently working on an urban fantasy series, Lost Guardians.


Jennifer Lee Rossman

Jennifer Lee Rossman is a disabled science fiction geek who knows the right words can do magic. She hopes she used the right words in Anachronism, her debut novella available from Kristell Ink, a imprint of Grimbold Books. She blogs at jenniferleerossman.blogspot.com and tweets @JenLRossman.


Frances Sharp

Frances Sharp is a biracial writer from Houston, Texas, who is extremely proud of her Mexican heritage, diverse upbringing, and the Astros. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and daughters, who she is also very proud of.


D. A. Xiaolin Spires

D.A. Xiaolin Spires counts stars and sand, residing currently in Hawaiʻi. She practices eskrima/arnis/kali (Filipino martial arts)--and, like Carmel, owns a tenegre sword, but (un?)fortunately, her weaponry doesn’t weep. Her writing appears or is forthcoming in publications such as Clarkesworld, Analog, Nature: Futures, Grievous Angel, Fireside, Terraform, Reckoning, Galaxy's Edge, Issues in Earth Science, LONTAR, Andromeda Spaceways (Year's Best issue), Mithila Review, Star*line, Liminality, ETTT, Outlook Springs, Polu Texni, and Story Seed Vault; as well as anthologies of the strange and delightful: Sharp & Sugar Tooth, Broad Knowledge, Future Visions, and Ride the Star Wind. Website: daxiaolinspires.wordpress.com Twitter: @spireswriter


Leora Spitzer

Leora Spitzer is a queer Jewish bibliophile living in St. Louis, Missouri. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a major in Urban Studies and a minor in Drama. Leora likes waterfalls, feminism, stuffed animals, economic justice, and learning about badass historical women.


Priya Sridhar

A 2016 MBA graduate and published author, Priya Sridhar has been writing fantasy and science fiction for fifteen years and counting. One of her stories made the Top Ten Amazon Kindle Download list, and Alban Lake published her works Carousel and Neo-Mecha Mayhem. Priya lives in Miami, Florida, with her family.


Tais Teng

Tais Teng is a Dutch writer, illustrator, and sculptor. In his own language, he has written everything from radio-plays to hefty fantasy trilogies. He just finished his first English science fiction novel Phaedera: Alastor 824, set in the universe of Jack Vance, which will be published by Spatterlight Press. His greatest wish is a Star Wars laser cannon to carve mountains or the lesser Jupiter moons. He owns no cats or even a pet boa constrictor, but has to do with a wife and three kids. For his writing go to http://taisteng.atspace.com/, for his art to https://taisteng.deviantart.com/


Shirley Vogel

Shirley Vogel is a new author from St. Charles, MO. In fact, at 68 years young, this is her first published work--joining several other published writers in her family. She likes reading mysteries, staying active with bicycling and walking, and loves drinking wine.