24 June 2004

The Return of Tiptree

I just discovered, to my delight, that Tachyon Publications will be reprinting Her Smoke Rose Up Forever, a collection of the best stories of James Tiptree, Jr. (Alice Sheldon), for whom the Tiptree Award was named. (Tachyon is also publishing The James Tiptree Award Anthology.) The book is due out in the late fall/early winter. A contents listing for the previous edition is here.

The Tachyon website notes: "This update of the 1990 classic Arkham House edition contains revisions from the author's original notes." That could be good or bad, but the original collection is a masterpiece, filled with some of the most magnificent SF short stories of the past fifty years and a fine introductory essay by John Clute.

Not much of Tiptree's best work is currently in print, the out of print collections can be difficult and expensive to get copies of, and I know of only two stories available on the web: "The Women Men Don't See" and "The Screwfly Solution" (actually a "Racoona Sheldon" story, and one I had a mixed reaction to in March). Tachyon deserves great praise for bringing this book back into print, because it is a fine testament to one of the authors who used SF and fantasy to explore important philosophical, social, political, and metaphysical ideas.