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Her Smoke Rose Up Forever (1990)

de James Tiptree Jr.

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1,1243514,940 (4.25)90
There is just one great collection of Tiptree's fiction in print . . .Her Smoke Rose Up Forever from Tachyon Publications. It contains all of her major short stories.'" --New York Times Book Review Her Smoke Rose Up Forever collects eighteen brilliant short stories from a luminary of the science-fiction genre, James Tiptree, Jr. This updated edition is the quintessential Tiptree collection and contains revisions from the author's original notes. Tiptree's fiction reflects the darkly complex world its author inhabited: exploring the alien among us; the unreliability of perception; love, sex, and death; and humanity's place in a vast, cold universe.… (més)
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Brilliant collection; Tiptree is strongest at these shorter lengths. Insightful, incisive. Heard someone say of this collection "not a single bad story, not a single happy ending", which is right on point.

Classic Sci-Fi discussion notes: http://positronchicago.blogspot.com/2016/04/classic-sci-fi-her-smoke-rose-up-for... ( )
  jakecasella | Sep 21, 2020 |
The future looks bleak
bring on the blissed out fungus
no need to despair. ( )
  Eggpants | Jun 25, 2020 |
I would like to say that each one of these stories by James Tiptree Jr., or rather, Alice Sheldon, are gender dystopian SF shorts that sharply highlight the darkness, doing it in miniature... but I would be wrong. Nothing she wrote is miniature.

In fact, all her stories are huge, not in length, but definitely in imagination, scope, and their inherent darkness. Even the ones that seem rather delightfully hopeful usually come from mate-eating gigantic alien spiders or from psychopathic and heavily abused tech who goes on a murder spree before she becomes one of the most positive people to enjoy a first-contact scenario.

Wow, right?

Most of these stories came out of the seventies and the focus on gender inequality, systematic institutional abuse, and the entitlement of jerks is all pretty front and center. The fact that Alice kept a tight lid on the fact that she was a woman writing as a man should tell you a lot. I personally think she did the whole shock-value, overboard characterizations of these abusive men as a way to normalize them in the literature. She made them heavier and darker than usual in order to underscore just how crazy it is.

The things we take for granted are NOT normal. Not back then and not now. But this is also rather the point. The shock value is in the psychology of it. We should be outraged, look at our own world, and see just how f***ing close we are to Sheldon's standard.

Scary. And others obviously agree. There are a lot of modern works that come very close to Sheldon's standard. Either they're paying homage or they believe the technique is worth revisiting.

But let me let you in on a little secret:

Alice Sheldon's writing is brilliant. Imaginative, scary, brutal, and definitely worth revisiting NOW.

This is some REAL dystopian literature. Psychological, societal, physical, and even existential. If you're scared of some nihilism, prepare yourself before picking up this book. :) ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
3 and 1/2 stars. Although I've only read half the stories, I'm calling it read and rated. Part of my problem might be that the physical book felt unpleasant - 520 pages of densely packed, single spaced type that's overwhelming to look at, much less read. I admired the stories, but didn't really engage with them the way I have with other sci fi short stories. I can see that the book has had lots of love (the library's 'return date' slip is pasted in the back cover) so it doesn't need mine. I'm not quite ready to bring it back though - if I hear good things about a specific story, I'll give it a try. ( )
  badube | Mar 6, 2019 |
It's a great question isn't it (and one I don't remember C.S. Lewis posing!) but I guess the 'kind of society' would be a ruling class one, whereas I doubt whether the same freedoms and female agency would be envisaged or countenanced for the rest of society. While the female in what Lewis saw as the 'allegory of love' was attributed with powerful choice and discretion, I tend to see the elevated role of the woman in these traditions as operating a kind of chivalrous choreography, affording exercise of knightly qualities and an iconic object of knightly desire that doesn't quite sit comfortably with me (though I admit I love the concept of gentilesse).

Andreas Capellanus’ “The Art of Courtly Love” addresses the question concerning the separation of historical portrayals from social context. From what I can remember without going directly back to the essay, it's all to do with the structure of feudal society. What Capellanus is apparently saying is that it's ok for a knight to take a peasant girl by force if he wants to. Contrast with pining after the unobtainable lady. Secondly, because this was a feudal society, aristocratic men were often away at the wars, with their wives running things in their absence. So, women of a certain class could and did wield actual political power. Then there's something connected to Christianity and the redeeming power of love that I don't remember well (I’ve got to hunt down anther copy of the essay; mine vanished a long time ago). The Occitan women troubadours (such as Beatriz de Dia) are a good example, but their very existence goes to show that women, for their part, could and did elevate men in the courtly love lyric.

Courtly love’s legacy is still with us today, in what have bedded down to become largely unconscious relationship expectations among men of women and women of men; for my money, it's hardly very healthy for men to be pining after women because they have rather romantically and lyrically mistaken them for the embodiment of all that is good and pure and delightful in the universe - and nor is it especially great for women to be divested of their particularity in this way and idealised into something that barely corresponds to the living, fleshly, and flawed. It made for some beautiful - beautifully choreographed, as you say - writing several hundred years ago, but all power to those writers (and I might argue that Tiptree is one) who risked introducing a little more vulgarity and filthiness into their own narratives/allegories of love. My own take on Tiptree, after having read 500 pages of her stories contained in this volume, is that I applaud her for her desire to muddy the waters of sexuality and identity in her stories; and we can’t say she got bogged down by adherence to formal orthodoxies on the levels of the sentence and story construction when she wanted to have fun telling a story between Man and Woman in all their guises. ( )
  antao | Nov 4, 2018 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Tiptree Jr., Jamesautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Clute, JohnIntroduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Jensen, BruceAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Picacio, JohnAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Sleight, GrahamIntroduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Smith, AndrewAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Swanwick, MichaelIntroduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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There is just one great collection of Tiptree's fiction in print . . .Her Smoke Rose Up Forever from Tachyon Publications. It contains all of her major short stories.'" --New York Times Book Review Her Smoke Rose Up Forever collects eighteen brilliant short stories from a luminary of the science-fiction genre, James Tiptree, Jr. This updated edition is the quintessential Tiptree collection and contains revisions from the author's original notes. Tiptree's fiction reflects the darkly complex world its author inhabited: exploring the alien among us; the unreliability of perception; love, sex, and death; and humanity's place in a vast, cold universe.

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