Out of Everywhere

A James Tiptree Jr. Critique

I’m a list kind of person

I find it very easy to latch onto something and create an obsession. Most prominently, my obsessions takes the forms of musicals. (My current being the revival of Hair, which funny enough, originally premiered the same year Alice Sheldon started writing as Tiptree. How’s that for irony?) When I first decided to collect Tiptree’s work, I looked at old science fiction bookstores and science fiction conventions. I had only to find anything that wasn’t the collection I had, Her Smoke Rose Up Forever. The next book I found was Brightness Falls from the Air, which seems to be one of the easier ones to track down aside from HSRUF. As I slowly accumulated more books, I realized the need to see all of what was out there. So I began my research. It was much more difficult a few years ago. Now, I’ll bet it’s all on Wikipedia. Oh, the advances the internet has made in even a few years’ time. (Just look at Facebook and Twitter!) I had to go between several different sources, including old sci fi websites which hadn’t been updated in years, to find all the books and their contents. I remember a couple of them being particularly tricky, such as Tales of the Quintana Roo. I don’t believe I ever found what was in that book until I bought it and read it.

So now I have not just one list, but several. I have a list of the collections and all the stories they contain. I have an alphabetical list of all the short stories (there are 69, if you’re curious), and I have an excel spreadsheet of which stories are in which collections, and which ones I have read. This makes me seem like such an organized person, but it honestly just helps me keep track of my obsession with greater ease. Anyway, since this blog is about reviewing and collecting the stories, I thought I’d give a brief blurb on what I own. As of right now, I have five collections of short stories, with three on the way in the mail (thank you Amazon!), both novels, and the small collection of poetry. A couple years ago when I went looking for the remaining five books, it was incredibly difficult to even find mention of Ten Thousand Light-Years from Home, and Byte Beautiful was horrendously expensive to buy online. When I went looking last week, I found all five of the remaining unowned ones for less than ten dollars each. How’s that for beautiful? I have read 37 of the 69 short stories. For the purposes of this blog, I’ll reread those stories I’ve read before in order to review them, including the two novels and the poetry. I wonder if this will change my view about them. But then again, it is called a review. Well, we shall see.

P.S. Check out the page with the list of books. I love old sci fi cover art.

P.P.S. On another SF note, I just finished David Brin’s Startide Rising. I highly recommend it. It has space-faring dolphins and a very interesting idea of universal evolution.

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February 13, 2011 - Posted by | Collecting, History, Personal | , , , , ,

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