The Adventures of Alyx is a 1976 anthology of Science Fantasy and Feminist Fantasy short stories and a novella by noted Science Fiction writer and feminist literary critic Joanna Russ. The books contents were all originally published in the famous "Orbit" anthologies of Damon Knight. The book's stories are all loosely connected by the presence of Alyx, the book's heroine, but have little else in common;even Alyx herself is given different characterization in each of the stories.
The stories are:
- "Bluestocking" (first published in Orbit 2 in 1967 as "The Adventuress"): Alyx is a professional picklock in the city of Ourdh, who is one day hired to help a woman escaped from an Arranged Marriage.
- "I Thought She Was Afeard Till She Stroked My Beard" (published in Orbit 2 in 1967 as "I Gave Her Shack and Sherry"): The story relates Alyx's Origin Story as she escapes from her abusive marriage and becomes a pirate under the employ of the legendary Blackbeard.
- "The Barbarian" (first published in Orbit 3 in 1968): The story takes place once again in Ourdh where Alyx is employed by an Evil Sorcerer who claims to be able to predict the future.
- "Picnic On Paradise" (first published in 1968)" Alyx is rescued from near-death by a form of Time Travel and has to help several members of the "Trans-Temporal Authority" cross a harsh alien planet.
- "The Second Inquisition" (first published in 1970 in Orbit 6): The story follows a girl who befriends an extremely odd visitor— the granddaughter of Alyx.
Tropes appearing in "The Adventures of Alyx":
- Action Girl: Alyx (obviously)
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: In "I Thought She Was Afeard Till She Stroked My Beard" we find out that until recently, all of the women in Ourdh were essentially slaves to their husbands who could be violently beaten for so much as even speaking.
- Our Demons Are Different: Alyx briefly fights with a sea demon in "Bluestocking" which is never clearly described.
- Feminist Fantasy
- Pirate: Alyx briefly joins a crew of them.
- Pirate Girl: Alyx in "I Thought She Was Afeard Till She Stroked My Beard"
- Sea Monster: Alyx fights one in "Bluestocking" for about a paragraph before she finally kills it.
- Shout-Out: Several are in "Bluestocking" to the Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories of Fritz Leiber.