Reviews: Tiptree, James

Sometimes Love Is Not Enough

Star Songs of an Old Primate — James Tiptree, Jr.

1978’s Star Songs of an Old Primate was James Tiptree, Jr’s third collection. Three years separated it from Warm Worlds and Otherwise three years and a significant revelation.

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Have a Cup of Cheer

Warm Worlds and Otherwise — James Tiptree, Jr.

U Waterloo’s Dana Porter Arts Library is home to the B. P. Nichol Library of Science Fiction; that’s something I have known for years and something I keep meaning to exploit. The Nichol library is part of their rare book collection; in order to use it I would have to spend a day reading and writing in the rare book room (which I knew well when I worked there). OK, but which book to sample first?

James Tiptree, Jr.’s 1975 Warm Worlds and Otherwise collects some of Tiptree’s earlier works (although not as many as another collection, Ten Thousand Light Years from Home, which is also discussed in this collection’s extraordinary introduction). My copy of Warm Worlds vanished decades ago, but I remember it fondly.

I also remember its introduction, one that should be a lesson to us all.

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Not the Tiptree I expected

Up the Walls of the World — James Tiptree, jr.

As noted in a previous review, many Disco-era critics and reviewers made fools of themselves by proudly claiming James Tiptree, Jr., one of the important new writers of the period, for Team Penis. As you know, Bob, Tiptree was the pen name of Alice Bradley Sheldon. She is still best known by her pen name, which I will use here.

James Tiptree, Jr. is remembered for classic short stories such as “The Women Men Don’t See,” “And I Awoke and Found Me Here on the Cold Hill’s Side,” and “The Girl Who Was Plugged In.” She did write two SF novels over the course of her too-short career; Up the Walls of the World was the first.

It’s an oddly Un-Tiptreeian work.

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