Maureen Birnbaum, Barbarian Swordsperson

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Maureen Birnbaum,
Barbarian Swordsperson
Maureen Birnbaum, Barbarian Swordsperson.jpg
SFBC edition (1994)
AuthorGeorge Alec Effinger
Cover artist
  • Peggy Ranson (1993)
  • Ken Kelly (1994)
  • Swan Press (1993)
  • SFBC (1994)
Publication date
  • June 1993
  • August 1994
Media type
  • trade paper (1993)
  • hardcover (1994)
ISBN1-883722-01-2 (1993)
1-56865-101-5 (1994)

Maureen Birnbaum, Barbarian Swordsperson is a 1993 anthology by George Alec Effinger, collecting all of his stories (up to 1993) about Maureen "Muffy" Birnbaum, a Jewish-American Princess who is magically teleported to various fantasy and science fiction universes, and later recounts the tales to her best friend, "Bitsy" Spiegelman. Originally written on his own initiative, the character proved popular enough for Effinger to gain several requests from authors to have versions of their work visited by Muffy.

In addition to satirizing and spoofing the various themes, the stories had a feminist undertone, as Maureen dealt with the often sexist reactions of the inhabitants of the worlds she met, struggled to find the Martian prince she had fallen in love with, and contrasted her adventures with Bitsy, a housewife with an increasingly unhappy marriage.

The anthology had two editions:[1]

The hardcover reused the trade paper’s copyright page (i.e. date and illustration credit). The hardcover's jacket has the correct credit, and the correct date was advertised in Locus magazine.[3]


Details of included stories.[4]
Title Story parodied Original publication Notes
A Few Words from Muffy Birnbaum’s Most Passionate Admirer this anthology Introduction by Mike Resnick
Maureen Birnbaum, Barbarian Swordsperson Barsoom Fantasy & Science Fiction, January 1982  
Maureen Birnbaum at the Earth’s Core Pellucidar Fantasy & Science Fiction, February 1986  
Maureen Birnbaum on the Art of War Horseclans Friends of the Horseclans (1987) ISBN 0-451-14789-8
Maureen Birnbaum After Dark Nightfall Foundation's Friends (1989) ISBN 0-312-93174-3
Maureen Birnbaum Goes Shopynge Robin Hood The Fantastic Adventures of Robin Hood (1991) ISBN 0-451-17053-9
Maureen Birnbaum and the Saint Graal Grail legend written for Grails: Visitations of the Night (1994) ISBN 0-451-45304-2
Maureen Birnbaum and the Looming Awfulness Cthulhu Mythos this anthology  
Maureen Birnbaum’s Lunar Adventure feghoot science fiction convention program (1986) Revised for this anthology.[5]

Other stories[edit]

“Maureen Birnbaum on a Hot Tin Roof” (1994)

South From Midnight (1994) anthology edited by Richard Gilliam, Martin H. Greenberg, & Thomas R. Hanlon
Fantasy & Science Fiction (August 1996) edited by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

“Maureen Birnbaum in the MUD” (1995)

Chicks in Chainmail (1995) anthology edited by Esther Friesner
Chicks Ahoy (2010) anthology edited by Esther Friesner

“Maureen Birnbaum Pokes an Eye Out” (1996)

Don't Forget Your Spacesuit, Dear (1996) anthology edited by Jody Lynn Nye