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February 19, 2019


#Short Story: J. Tiptree jr. …but not her best work!

by N@ncy



19.02.2019 – READ – The Girl Who Was Plugged in

  • This is a ‘Jekyll-and-Hyde story about a female monster.
  • 17 yr ugly girl makes a Faustian bargain.
  • She will be kept in a cabinet strapped with electrodes.
  • She will animate the artifically grown body of a perfect girl
  • …her be beautiful!.
  • Tiptree submitted this story for publication
  • …but is was REJECTED so many times
  • …she shelved it.

Last thoughts:

  • Now I know why it was refused….it was awful!
  • The story lurches, stumbles is at times painful to read
  • …because I know Tiptree can do better!
  • I read that Alice Shelden (Tiptree)
  • …was a longtime user of Dexedrine (speed).
  • It feels like Tiptree let the drug
  • …push her creative mind a bit too far for this reader!
  • #MonsterOnSpeed


18.02.2019 – READ  And I Awoke and Found Me Here on the Cold Hill’s Side

  • Title:  is from “La Belle Dame sans Merci: A Ballad”  by John Keats
  • “Frame” POV: unnamed narrator (news reporter) tells the reader about
  • a nameless station engineer at the Orion docking junction who
  • is …telling his story about seductive aliens.
  • Tone: is NOT sentimental….but erotic, lascivious
  • Message: the man  warns reporter that
  • “Man is exogamous…one long drive to find and impregnate the stranger.”
  • In this case…aliens: Procya, Lycran, Sirians, Sellice…
  • This biological drive is where humans are most at risk
  • At risk not from a monster from a star
  • ….but a signal from the human brain stem.
  • #Strange


9.04.2018 – READ    The Last Flight of Doctor Ain:  (1969)

  • The story drifts between the past and present.
  • Dr. Ain is on a mission to save the world for a “later race”.
  • Allusions to W.H. Hudson’s novel Green Mansions and
  • the “Gaea Gloriatric“….Gaia is the ancestral mother of all life
  • are the keys that will unlock the theme in the story.
  • Dr Ain boards his last flight and
  • …no one sees the  moral insanity inside him.
  • Note: After the first reading I was confused.
  • It took a second reading and some note taking to
  • finally appreciate this
  • …classic short story by one of SF   ‘grande dames’.
  • #Readable


Last thoughts:

  1. I’ve reviewed 4 of James Tiptree jr.’s short stories.
  2. The Screwfly Solution….was very good,
  3. ..but I may have to read some ‘duds’ before I
  4. finished all the selections.
  5. I’ve included a  Wikipedia link about Alice Sheldon’s life
  6. It was unconventional….and ended in double suicide.
  7. #ReadShortStories



Read more from Scence Fiction, short story
2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Beth Gould
    Mar 27 2019

    Interesting! Two years ago I picked up a used copy of _Warm Worlds and Otherwise_ by Tiptree and I was pretty impressed with most of the stories. The highlights were probably The Women Men Don’t See & Love Is the Plan, the Plan is Death. I have not read The Screwfly Solution though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mar 27 2019

      Thanks for your comment! I have a whole list of short stories to read by Tiptree jr. She write so well….and her life, career are fascinating. She brings ‘a lot to the table’ with her backround!



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