James Tiptree, Jr.: Book summary and reviews of James Tiptree, Jr. by Julie Phillips

James Tiptree, Jr.

The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon

By Julie Phillips

James Tiptree, Jr.
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  • Published in USA  Aug 2006,
    480 pages.

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Book Summary

James Tiptree, Jr., burst onto the science fiction scene in the late 1960s with a series of hard-edged, provocative stories. He redefined the genre with such classics as Houston, Houston, Do You Read? and The Women Men Don't See. For nearly ten years he wrote and carried on intimate correspondences with other writers--Philip K. Dick, Harlan Ellison, and Ursula K. Le Guin, though none of them knew his true identity. Then the cover was blown on his alter ego: "he" was actually a sixty-one-year-old woman named Alice Bradley Sheldon. A feminist, she took a male name as a joke--and found the voice to write her stories.

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Book Awards

  • award image National Book Critics Circle Award, 2006

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Journalist Phillips has achieved a wonder: an evenhanded, scrupulously documented, objective yet sympathetic portrait of a deliberately elusive personality" - PW

"Starred Review. a compelling, sympathetic portrait of one of speculative fiction's most gifted and fascinating figures." - Booklist

"Phillips is more than adept at plumbing Sheldon's writing to expose her anger at the role gender plays in sex, creativity and power. A compelling portrait of a conflicted feminist." - Kirkus

"In sf, Alice Sheldon's chief legacy is the James Tiptree Award, given annually for the best feminist sf. Her work blazed a trail that other women have followed. Julie Phillips does an excellent job in telling Sheldon's story." - Washington Post

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