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August 19, 2006

And I Awoke and Found Me Here on the New York Times
Posted by Patrick at 10:48 AM *

The New York Times Book Review covers Julie Phillips’s James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon. Notably, this is the front cover review on the print version (distributed with tomorrow’s paper). I can’t recall the NYTBR ever giving the cover position to a genre SF novel, much less a biography of a genre SF writer.

Also notably, at no point does the review apologize for taking SF seriously; it just assumes that Tiptree’s work is worth talking about.

Comments on And I Awoke and Found Me Here on the New York Times:
#1 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2006, 11:43 AM:

Another milestone on the road to "the war is over; science fiction won!" I suppose. (Can't recall the exact quote.)

What's the state of play? SF is not yet a perfectly respectable branch of literature in the academy, but there are lots of readers reading it, its place in the movie universe is firmly established, and comics and computer games consist of almost nothing else.

It's a very different world than the one we were born into when we started reading SF.

Bio of SF author makes cover of NYTBR, check. What are the next events we should be watching for?

#2 ::: Stephen Frug ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2006, 11:56 AM:

I agree this is a wonderful development, and a step forward. But I think actually putting an SF novel on the cover would be a greater step forward than this. Particularly given the amount of academic attention to popular culture (of all stripes) it's not necessarily a sign of respect for SF as such as for the study of popular culture and biography generally. Which is to say, I think that Patrick's "much less" is backwards: putting a novel in the lead would be a more "radical" (or whatever) step than this.

Put yet another way: I think the answer to Bill Higgins' question is that the "next event" will be similar attention to an actual work of SF without the mediating influence of the "being a study of" part.

(Again, this is respect of a sort. But it's easier to talk about the importance of popular culture studies than it is to simply treat an aspect of popular culture as worthy of attention, full stop.)

#3 ::: Stephen Frug ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2006, 11:57 AM:

PS: Great post title, btw.

#4 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2006, 11:59 AM:

Hot damn.

On the other hand; I must respectfully point out that literary respectability is way overrated. But I'm really jazzed for Julie Phillips. It's wonderful for her.

#5 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2006, 12:25 PM:

I expect it's not really science fiction. It deals with real people and stuff.

#6 ::: Tom B. ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2006, 12:34 PM:

Will be interesting to see whether the biography and the respectful coverage it's receiving results in a resurgence of Tiptree/Sheldon's fiction sales.

#7 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2006, 12:52 PM:

I have a vague and possibly inaccurate memory that one of Lessing's Canopus in Argos books was reviewed on the front cover of the NYTBR, by John Leonard, no less. Though Leonard spent the bulk of his time explaining that the book was good because of how much it was not you-know-what.

We been pandered to and rock-starred, we been mediafied
But the slippage that we never knew
Is the
frisson that'll getcha
When we all get our picture
On the cover of the
Times Review.

#8 ::: C.E. Petit ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2006, 01:37 PM:

I don't recall whether it was on the front page, but Jonathan Carroll's The Wooden Sea was reviewed—favorably—as fiction without a single mention of "genre". And it's a Tor book, so I suspect P & T would have remembered if it had been on the front page of the NYTBR...

In any event, The Wooden Sea also earned mention in 2001 as a "Notable Book," again without any reference to "genre."

#9 ::: Lisa Goldstein ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2006, 01:38 PM:

One of the possible reasons for the front page coverage is that the book is truly terrific. Sheldon had a fascinating life -- the "Double Life" in the title isn't quite true, she had about twelve. And I was very jazzed to read about actual people I know, in a scholarly, footnoted biography, and see them described accurately. (Hope the review was favorable -- it should have been.)

#10 ::: Josh Jasper ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2006, 01:56 PM:

Wow. Proof that, when he's not reviewing Science Fiction, Itzkoff can write a decent, if stodgy review. Quite frankly, his reviews of actual literature have been crap.

#11 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2006, 02:07 PM:

John M. Ford: I remember that too.

#12 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2006, 02:13 PM:
On the other hand, I must respectfully point out that literary respectability is way overrated.

Not if you care about whether work will endure. Literary respectability isn't the only way there, but it's the most reliable.

Of course it's an unfair game with unfair rules, and it's natural to reject a game that doesn't give you a fair chance. But just because you refuse to play the game doesn't mean the game doesn't play you.

And -- just my goddamned opinion here -- rejection by the canon may not mean shit so far as real value is concerned, but acceptance almost always means that something is worth considering; and I can't see any harm to the Literary Respectability crowd taking science fiction more seriously (unless you believe the old Academic Monsters Will Destroy Our Precious Bodily Fluids line so beloved of science fiction's sour grapes brigade).

Literary unrespectability: way overrated. Literary respectability: nothing wrong with that.

#13 ::: Andrew Brown ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2006, 02:16 PM:

But it doesn't scan properly if you go on: try singing

NYTBR! Gonna buy five copies for my mother

if you dont believe me.

(or maybe I'm just grumpy because I never had a freaky old lady, name of Cocaine Katie, who sewed patches on my jeans.)

(but I do have a deadline)

#14 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2006, 02:22 PM:

Damnit, I have misspoke myself. I don't mean that literary unrespectability is overrated; lots of great stuff deliberately takes the unrespectable approach. I meant, the wholesale dismissals from the Literary Respectability crowd are meaningless, sure, but that it doesn't follow that their enthusiasms are misplaced, and rejecting the former doesn't require anyone to reject the latter.

#15 ::: Evan ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2006, 02:41 PM:

Nothing wrong with "literary respectability" -- if it refers to the actual quality and long-term viability of the book, as opposed to "books that happened to be tagged as 'literary' in last week's New York Times."

Some small fraction of the latter ("ten percent") is, in fact, very good, and might eventually prevail and join the literary canon. But simply tagging oneself as an author or publisher or reviewer of "literary" fiction does not make it so.

#16 ::: Christopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2006, 02:46 PM:

What would the best book be for someone completely new to Tiptree?

#17 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2006, 03:01 PM:

Scraps pretty much nails it, I think.

I'm personally not all that interested in "developments" and "steps forward," because I've been AWOL for years from the Great Crusade To Make SF Respectable. I just thought it was interesting that this particular book was getting this kind of attention.

#18 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2006, 03:30 PM:

Christopher: I'm as biased and unreliable as the next space cadet, but my suggestion would be Ten Thousand Light Years from Home.

#19 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2006, 03:39 PM:

I'd vote for the stories of Warm Worlds and Otherwise, which I think are all or mostly in the more recent Her Smoke Rose Up Forever. (I think this may be the same collection Mike's recommending under yet a different name.) They're virtually all outstanding, and most of them heartbreaking.

#20 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2006, 04:16 PM:

My completely objective and unassailable view is that the Arkham House collection Her Smoke Rose Up Forever is absolutely the place to begin; it doesn't have all of her best stuff -- in particular it omits "Painwise" and (incomprehensibly) "All the Kinds of Yes" (one of her best, certainly her funniest, and dark in a way that seems to have slipped by most folks), the former of which can be found in Ten Thousand Light Years from Home (her first collection), and the latter in Warm Worlds and Otherwise (her second).

#21 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2006, 04:18 PM:

Um, the thought that began "it doesn't have all her best stuff" was supposed to eventually conclude "but it does have most of it." This is called Getting Lost In Your Own Parentheses.

#22 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2006, 04:30 PM:

I think "The Psychologist Who Wouldn't Do Awful Things to Rats" may also be missing from Her Smoke Rose Up Forever. I can't find my copy.

Also, I seem to be in a minority in thinking Brightness Falls from the Air is a great novel, but goddammit it is. Harrowing and unflinching in a way that was practically Tiptree's specialty -- lots of writers can be cruel and grotesque without moving me, but Tiptree was always grounded in a real understanding of human motivation that made her horror stories really hurt -- it's an almost unbearable book, yet beautiful. I wish it weren't regularly dismissed by Tiptree's advocates (as Clute does, for example, in his introduction to Her Smoke Rose Up Forever).

#23 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2006, 04:32 PM:

Hmm. The only Tiptree novel I've read was her last, Brightness Falls from the Air. I loved it, and the sadness of it was accentuated by her then-recent suicide, especially since a character in that book watches someone s/he loves deteriorate and die.

I want to make every man I know read "Houston, Houston, Do You Read?". Especially my friend Don Houston, who does read (19 and he reads Spinoza voluntarily). And in the realm of personal faves, "Love is the Plan the Plan is Death" is one of my favorites of all time, and not just for the kewl title.

#24 ::: A.R.Yngve ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2006, 04:38 PM:

And it only took the NYT some 20 years after Tiptree/Sheldon's death to recognize her. Wow.

At this rate, Isaac Asimov should make the cover in... oh, about 2010.
(*BITTER SARCASM*)

#25 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2006, 04:59 PM:

When I think of great science fiction novels ignored by the literary establishment, Asimov is pretty far down the list. Especially since, more than almost any other science fiction writer, Asimov was a celebrity whose novels did get reviewed outside the field (notwithstanding that Doubleday made sure that the later bestsellers weren't actually published as science fiction).

#26 ::: Justine Larbalestier ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2006, 05:45 PM:

Lovely to hear folks speaking up for her novels. I love both novels and am always saddened that they're often derided. They're very different from the short fiction, but still fabulous in their own way. Though I do prefer Up the Walls of the World to Brightness.

#27 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2006, 06:16 PM:

Probably not the best introduction, but I am fond of of her novel, Up the Walls of the World. As mentioned in the “Articles we stopped reading” thread, she was apparently a fan of the original Star Trek series. An element of the novel involved a planet-destroyer (in the mode of the Star Trek episode by Norman Spinrad, The Doomsday Machine). It develops that her “planet-destroyer” is in fact taking planets up into digital storage (it preserves as it destroys), and is part of an armada of like machines creating a “fire break” around the center of the galaxy to damp-out a supernova chain reaction core explosion.

There is a lot more going on in the book besides that, but that stuck with me.

#28 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2006, 08:10 PM:

I took two of the kids to the Library the other week, and we got a mixed bag. Maeve got some kind of "Redwall" book, and she couldn't finish it. Ian got "Pa Jinglebob: The fastest knitter in the west"; he liked it, but oh, was I happy to see that go back.

I borrowed a Greg Egan book in which some algorithms were executed and some story formulae tediously instantiated, but nothing could have prepared me for the intense illegibility of Gabriel García Márquez. Two pages in, and it's still one big show-off sentence. I don't know how many times reviewers have told me that this guy is the lobsters ankles, but no, I physically couldn't read a whole, single story of his (translated) writing.

I speeet on your literary pretensions! Give me John Carter, or give me Good!

#29 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2006, 08:22 PM:

Literary unrespectability: way overrated.

I think you're right, and it is overrated. It's not some perverse and reliable badge of quality. It just means it didn't fit; it doesn't mean it's any good. (Reminds me of the people who think they are contrarians when they are merely disagreeable.)

End digression; play through. Tiptree good. Biography obtained yesterday; reading happily anticipated.

#30 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2006, 10:37 PM:

Andy Wheeler says the SFBC won't be making an offer on it because SFBCers don't buy non-fiction. Hmph.

#31 ::: Barry Newton ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2006, 10:56 PM:

Michael W. brought several copies to WSFA Friday night. They sold out before the meeting started. I was really happy to see this book, and so, apparently, are a lot of other people.

#32 ::: Carl Caputo ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2006, 12:10 AM:

For what it's worth, John Clute recommends Her Smoke Rose Up Forever, saying:

Her finest stories had appeared in four paperback volumes—10,000 Light-Years from Home (1973), Warm Worlds and Otherwise (1975), Star Songs of an Old Primate (1978) and Out of the Everywhere, and Other Extraordinary Visions (1981)—and though each one of them could claim to be among the very few permanently significant collections to appear during that period, not one of them was ever even published in hardback (except for the first, released in England by Methuen in a setting that boasted unjustified right margins and a whole new crop of proofing errors to augment the contemptible slurry of goofs that corrupted the ill-edited original version from Ace). Subsequently, Doubleday did publish, in Byte Beautiful (1986), complete with expurgations to fit its contents to the library market, a collection of old and new work oddly sorted and poorly argued as a conspectus of her distinguished career. James Tiptree Jr had become virtually unknowable.

The publication of Her Smoke Rose Up Forever, as edited by James Turner, comes therefore as an important event. Because almost every story James Tiptree Jr wrote at the apogee of her passage across the heavens is here assembled, Her Smoke Rose Up Forever ranks as one of the two or three most significant collections of short sf ever published.

#33 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2006, 12:20 AM:

'Love is the Plan, the Plan is Death' would be one of my favorites too, together with 'The Last Flight of Dr. Ain', 'The Screwfly Solution' and the subject of Patrick's title-play 'And I Awoke and Found Me Here on the Cold Hillside'. If there's that many more good stories from other collections in this anthology, I guess I'd better go buy it.

#34 ::: Jeffrey Smith ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2006, 01:27 AM:

Buyer's Guide:

Her Smoke Rose Up Forever (Arkham House hc out-of-print; Tachyon trade pb and Science Fiction Book Club hc in print) (Tachyon has the best cover of the three) -- 18 stories, chosen from her list of the "Cream of Tiptree"

the four original paperback collections, all long out-of-print:

Ten Thousand Light-Years from Home -- 15 stories, only 2 of which are in Her Smoke -- "Cream of Tiptree" stories missing from the best-of collection are "Beam Us Home," "Forever to a Hudson Bay Blanket," "I'll Be Waiting for You When the Swimming Pool Is Empty," "I'm Too Big But I Love to Play," "Mother in the Sky with Diamonds," "Painwise," "The Peacefulness of Vivyan" and "The Snows Are Melted, the Snows Are Gone"

Warm Worlds and Otherwise -- 12 stories, 6 of which are in Her Smoke -- missing ones include "All the Kinds of Yes" and "The Milk of Paradise"

Star-Songs of an Old Primate -- 7 stories, 5 of which are in Her Smoke -- the other two are "The Psychologist Who Wouldn't Do Awful Things to Rats" and "Your Haploid Heart"

Out of the Everywhere -- 10 stories, 5 of which are in Her Smoke -- most of the other five are short pieces, but the "Cream" list includes "Out of the Everywhere" and "A Source of Innocent Merriment"

Her Smoke can be hard to read straight through, as it's one intense story after another. The paperback collections had a few lighter stories mixed in (and Ten Thousand Light-Years--as shown by how few stories from it were used in the big book--had relatively few intense pieces).

So you have your choice of a shiny new cd of her Greatest Hits collection, or battered old vinyl copies of the original lps.

#35 ::: Christopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2006, 02:24 AM:

Thanks for the recommendations. To the bookstore!

#36 ::: Kathryn in Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2006, 02:37 AM:

Teresa,

thank you. Great big heaps of thanks.

All-
How does the lanai party floor layout change the movement of people at the Hilton, vs. the flow at the average of Worldcon hotels? All else being equal, does it mean more people flow through any single party room?

The layout has less elevator congestion, I'd assume, good for preventing the 'slowly sinking down even though we're on the ground floor' elevator experience I remember from LosCon or somesuch.

ObSF Fruit in SF III: The Convention

"The big doorway opened into a proportionately great hall hung with brown. The roof was in shadow, and the windows, partially glazed with coloured glass and partially unglazed, admitted a tempered light. The floor was made up of huge blocks of some very hard white metal, not plates nor slabs - blocks, and it was so much worn, as I judged by the going to and fro of past generations, as to be deeply channelled along the more frequented ways. Transverse to the length were innumerable tables made of slabs of polished stone, raised perhaps a foot from the floor, and upon these were heaps of fruits. Some I recognized as a kind of hypertrophied raspberry and orange, but for the most part they were strange.

Between the tables was scattered a great number of cushions. Upon these my conductors seated themselves, signing for me to do likewise. With a pretty absence of ceremony they began to eat the fruit with their hands, flinging peel and stalks, and so forth, into the round openings in the sides of the tables. I was not loath to follow their example, for I felt thirsty and hungry. As I did so I surveyed the hall at my leisure."

#37 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2006, 02:41 AM:

10KLY has a few stories that I would consider prentice work, so I wouldn't recommend it as a starting point, although I would certainly recommend it. Any of the other three original collections would do just fine.

Perhaps someone will pipe up to defend The Starry Rift, but I would say that it's for completists only.

#38 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2006, 04:26 AM:

Big Oops there on that post- it was supposed to go into Open Thread #69.

For this thread, I could work up my standard SF rant #4: the sins of omission of the NYTimes:

When they review SF written by non-genre writers, the reviews generally
1. Don't mention or quickly dismiss the SFnal nature of the book
2. Don't mention any genre context-- earlier books exploring the same themes
3. Don't suggest any related books

This cheats everyone. It lets the reviewer be lazy. It gives credit for originality to the non-genre writer where none might be due. It doesn't credit the SF writer for ideas. It keeps the reader from knowing what else exists.

#39 ::: Arthur D. Hlavaty ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2006, 08:30 AM:

The Cat Who Walks through Walls was reviewed on the front page of the NYTBR. Some of us were disappointed when this did not signal the End Times.

#40 ::: A.R.Yngve ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2006, 10:13 AM:

But does it mean something when the NY Times Review of Books gives a book the frontpage? Are we ascribing more significance than what's really there? (Not a statement, but a question.)

I fear that we are pining for inclusion in a "club" we think we need, but really don't.

#41 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2006, 10:50 AM:

I don't see anybody mentioning "The Women Men Don't See", one of my personal favorites even before I heard about Sheldon's career history (some of which is reflected in one of the characters). Among other reasons, it's an obvious source for Silverberg's being fooled about Tiptree's gender; maybe he's since learned the difference between ineluctable masculinity and sardonic mimicry.

#42 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2006, 11:08 AM:
I fear that we are pining for inclusion in a "club" we think we need, but really don't.

What's the downside of more people paying attention?

Honestly, the grapes are nice. There are plenty of nice things that aren't grapes, and if we can't have the grapes we needn't pine for them, but if we can have the grapes and all the nice things we had before too, why turn up our noses?

Is there something childish about hugging our resentments to us when we belatedly get some of the wider attention we deserve? (Not a statement, but a statement disguised as a question.)

#43 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2006, 01:04 PM:

I'm just a little bemused by A. R. Yngve's suggestion that, because I noted that the review was on the front page, I'm "pining" for something.

#44 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2006, 01:16 PM:

I was awakened this morning by the sound wafting from Piedmont, CA of Bob Silverberg gnashing his teeth as his immortal certainty that James Tiptree Jr was assuredly male makes it to the front page of the NYT Book Review. I hope the review turns more people on to Tiptree's writing, and spurs the sales of Phillips's book. (I will haunt the local library branches until it arrives.)

I wonder if folks reading her work for the first time now will appreciate the shock it produced at the time it was first published. The Screwfly Solution (which was actually a Raccoona Sheldon story, not a James Tiptree Jr. story, but it didn't matter, everyone knew Tiptree had written it) was just stunning in 1977: one of those kick-in-the-head pieces of prose -- at least, I experienced it that way. In the SF community, women friends called each other on the phone to talk about it. Probably not; the world has moved on.

#45 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2006, 02:13 PM:

The funny thing about Silverberg's certainty is that it was in response to people speculating that Tiptree might be female -- speculation that was widespread enough that Silverberg felt the need to address it, although John Clute in his review of the bio now opines that the extent of the speculation was overstated after the fact -- yet Silverberg then says (if I recall correctly) that she fooled him and everyone else beautifully.

#46 ::: Lisa Goldstein ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2006, 02:18 PM:

Jeffrey Smith -- Since you show up in the bio as part of the Tiptree story, I was wondering -- how accurate do you think Phillips was in describing the sf community at the time? Or -- I guess I'm trying to say -- what did you think of the book? You don't have to answer if it's too personal, or would take too long. I'm just curious.

#47 ::: Jeffrey Smith ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2006, 02:37 PM:

Lisa--

I was initially unsure about a biography, considering there were areas of Alli's life we knew a lot about and areas where we knew very little. But Julie quickly won me over during the research phase, and I could see how hard she was working. (Part of that research being done in my basement.) I read each draft, and it just kept getting better and better. If I felt something was a little off, I could tell her or her editor Gordon Van Gelder and it was fixed.

This was a book I could have very easily been disappointed in, and I'm not disappointed at all.

Jeff

#48 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2006, 02:42 PM:

Jeffrey, I didn't know that Gordon Van Gelder was Phillips's editor. Way cool. He's never been my editor, but many people I know have said wonderful things about his editing.

I'm glad you are happy with the book.

#49 ::: Lisa Goldstein ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2006, 03:17 PM:

Jeffrey -- Oh, good.

And isn't it cool that I can wonder about something and get the answer here almost immediately? Where else could something like that happen?

#50 ::: A.R.Yngve ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2006, 03:38 PM:

Would you reckon "The Screwfly Solution" might someday be filmed? Or "The Women Men Don't See", "We Who Stole The Dream" or any of Tiptree/Sheldon's other stories?

#51 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2006, 03:38 PM:

This is, bar none, the best biography I've ever had the pleasure of reading. Julie Phillips is going on my list of "people to buy no matter what the subject is."

As for whether being on the cover of the NYTBR makes a difference, yes it does. I have a friend who loves f/sf, but is utterly unconnected with fandom. She'd never heard of the book before she saw the NYTBR this week, and now she's excited and happy. (I'm lending her mine. I love being a book-pusher.)

#52 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2006, 03:45 PM:

In fact, "The Screwfly Solution" has recently been filmed for the Sci Fi Channel's "Masters of Horror" series.

Written by Sam Hamm and directed by Joe Dante, it will initially air on November 5.

#53 ::: Rich Horton ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2006, 07:49 PM:

As for the best place to start with Tiptree -- I can hardly argue objectively with Her Smoke Rose Up Forever ... but ... but subjectively -- for one thing, I always prefer "original" collections to "Best ofs", for perhaps fussy reasons, and for another thing, I remember where I read the stories first ... as such, I started with Warm Worlds and Otherwise, and next I read Ten Thousand Light Years From Home, and I can hardly choose between them. They are both great, and somehow "natural" -- they seem their own integral books in a way.

And Her Smoke Rose Up Forever does not include "The Milk of Paradise", my personal favorite Tiptree story -- why, I can hardly say.

#54 ::: Jeffrey Smith ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2006, 12:34 AM:

A.R.Yngve -- "The Girl Who Was Plugged In" was also filmed. A few years back it was on the SciFi Channel's series Welcome to Paradox. That series had some good episodes and some bad ones; "Girl" was okay, I guess.

"Girl" was also made into a play, a musical even! Alan Brennart made it half of his Weird Romance, which originally was off-off-Broadway and now is generally only performed by high school and community theatres. Brennart softened the story.

There are occasional options taken on her stories -- "Houston, Houston" most often -- but I never expect the films to be made. Their bleakness doesn't seem real commercial.

Rich -- Here's something I just recently realized about Ten Thousand Light-Years from Home and Warm Worlds: They were drawn from the same pool of stories (ones written 1967-1971 for the first book, 1967-1972 for the second, and "The Women Men Don't See" was the only 1972-written Tiptree story). And when she was picking stories for her first book, she eliminated all the ones that had been in books already -- I guess to make sure that as many of her stories as possible would appear in book form in case this turned out to be her only collection. So the first book had only stories that had appeared in magazines and not been reprinted (except for "The Snows Are Melted, the Snows Are Gone," which was in a best-of-the-year, and which really messes up my theory). Warm Worlds contains mostly pieces from original anthologies.

She called the second book Warm Worlds. Ballantine called it Warm Worlds and Otherwise, which she hated. I'm unsure whether, whenever I get it reprinted, I should call it what it's always been called, or shorten it to her preferred title.

#55 ::: Liz ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2006, 11:13 AM:

Love is the Plan The Plan is Death can be found here. Also The Screwfly Solution.

There are other Tiptree/Sheldon stories there too.

#56 ::: A.R.Yngve ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2006, 12:05 PM:

Liz, I just re-read "The Screwfly Solution" on SciFiction... and it still packs a powerful punch, unlike any other story. (Though my favorite of Sheldon/Tiptree's stories is "Love Is the Plan, the Plan Is Death".)

It's hard to imagine that Joe Dante will be allowed to film the story without changes...

#57 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2006, 12:33 PM:

I'm just a little bemused by A. R. Yngve's suggestion that, because I noted that the review was on the front page, I'm "pining" for something.

The fjords! You're pining for the fjords!

#58 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2006, 12:41 PM:

Dante's story "Homecoming" for the same series had a decent political edge (and was also an adaptation). And -- while this may be a counsel of despair -- if one is going to alter any of that story's content, there was absolutely no point in "adapting" it to begin with. There are plenty of good horror yarns out there.

And Dante respects genre work (even when he's deliberately sending it up).

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