Bewildering Stories

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James Tiptree Jr.’s Meet Me At Infinity

reviewed by Jerry Wright

Meet Me At Infinity: The Uncollected Tiptree
Stories and Articles by James Tiptree Jr.
Edited by Jeff Smith
Tor Books
ISBN #0312858744
352 pages
Hardback and Trade Paper

If you want to read the best stories that James Tiptree Jr. ever wrote, you won't find them in this book. If you want to learn how to write, and take a look at some stories that would be right at home in Bewildering Stories, you want this book. If you want a look inside the head of one of the twentieth century's brightest stars, you want this book.

James Tiptree Jr. was the pseudonym of Alice Sheldon, who remained one of the most reclusive SF authors of the 60s and 70s. It wasn't until 1976 after the death of her mother that enough clues came out to reveal her "secret identity". Meet Me At Infinity gives the reader a look into the head of this author and helps one to understand her better.

The stories are marginal, for the most part, and her feelings about them years after are fascinating. She also delves into background information on many of her famous stories such as "The Women Men Don't See" and "Her Smoke Rose Up Forever".

As well as such stories as "Happiness is a Warm Spaceship" and "The Color of Neanderthal Eyes", there are many fascinating essays and letters reprinted from fanzines, as well as some personal correspondence. All in all, I was moved by the pain of Alice Sheldon, and her warmth. Not, perhaps a book for someone unfamiliar with Tiptree, but certainly a book worth the time of those who write or want to learn to write.

Copyright © 2003 by Jerry Wright