I haven't read any Joanna Russ before, though I've known about her as a writer of feminist fiction and feminist theory. After reading this I'm not sure I would go out of my way to read any more of her fiction but I will check out her theory stuff.
I liked this book, I wouldn't say it was brilliant but within its genre and time it is definitely very solid. it was pretty much a trailblazer in having a female protagonist in fantasy/scifi stories and she's an interesting multi dimensional protagonist (at a time when male sci fi writers were even bad at writing men) I think it probably made more sense to me than it might to a lot of people because I've read an enormous amount of sci/fi fantasy that was written in the same general era. (The book was published in 1982 but the stories were written in the late 60's/early 70's)
The book is a collection of stories, some fantasy, one sci fi. All but one of them revolve around a woman called |Alyx who is a small time thief and lockpick. I liked the science fiction story best, maybe because it was the longest, maybe because it's a genre I am more familiar with. I felt the longer length of the story gave the reader more time to get to know the characters. I also liked the juxtaposition of the thoughtful, imperfect Alyx with the one dimensional cliched hero figure (I'm pretty sure it was a deliberate cliche to highlight the type of protagonist that usually gets written into this kind of book)
It was a short book and I don't have a whole lot to say about it but I'm glad I read it