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James Tiptree Jr


(Alice Hastings Bradley Sheldon)
USA flag (1915 - 1987)

Alice Hastings Bradley Sheldon wrote most of her fiction as James Tiptree--she was making a point about sexist assumptions and also keeping her US government employers from knowing her business. Most of her books are collections of short stories; Her Smoke Rose Up Forever is the best selection. Sheldon's best stories combine radical feminism with a tough-minded tragic view of life; even virtuous characters are exposed as unwitting beneficiaries of disgusting socio-economic systems. Even good men are complicit in women's oppression, as in her most famous stories 'The Women Men Don't See' and 'Houston, Houston, Do you Read ?' or in ecocide. Much of her work, even at its most tragic, has an attractively ironic tone which sometimes becomes straightforwardly comedy - it is important to stress that Tiptree's deep seriousness never becomes sombre or pompous. Her two novels Up the Walls of the World and Brightness Falls from the Air are both remarkable transfigurations of stock space opera material--the former deals with a vast destroying being, sympathetic aliens at risk of destruction by it and human telepaths trying to make contact across the gulf of stars. When both she and her husband became debilitatingly ill, she shot him and killed herself.
 

Genres: Science Fiction
 
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James Tiptree Jr recommends
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Cautionary Tales (1978)
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
"Science fiction with fangs and claws... A rich book, no story like any other."

Anthologies containing stories by James Tiptree Jr
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The Big Book of Cyberpunk Vol. 1 (2023)
(Big Book of Cyberpunk, book 1)
edited by
Jared Shurin
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Sense of Wonder (2023)
A Century of Science Fiction
edited by
Leigh Ronald Grossman
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This Way to the End Times (2016)
Classic Tales of the Apocalypse
edited by
Robert Silverberg

More anthologies 


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