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Her Smoke Rose Up Forever (1990)

by James Tiptree Jr.

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,1353715,065 (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.… (more)
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» See also 90 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
I already knew she was my favorite short story writer, so... ( )
  villyard | Dec 6, 2022 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tiptree Jr., Jamesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Clute, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jensen, BruceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Picacio, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sleight, GrahamIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, AndrewCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Swanwick, MichaelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Wikipedia in English (1)

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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Book description
These 18 darkly complex short stories and novellas touch upon human nature and perception, metaphysics and epistemology, and gender and sexuality, foreshadowing a world in which biological tendencies bring about the downfall of humankind. Revisions from the author's notes are included, allowing a deeper view into her world and a better understanding of her work. The Nebula Award–winning short story Love Is the Plan, the Plan Is Death, the Hugo Award–winning novella The Girl Who Was Plugged In, and the Hugo and Nebula Award–winning novella Houston, Houston, Do You Read? are included.

The stories of Alice Sheldon, who wrote as James Tiptree Jr. ( Up the Walls of the World ) until her death in 1987, have been heretofore available mostly in out-of-print collections. Thus the 18 accomplished stories here will be welcomed by new readers and old fans. ''The Screwfly Solution'' describes a chilling, elegant answer to the population problem. In ''Love Is the Plan the Plan Is Death,'' the title tells the tale--species survival insured by imprinted drives--but the story's force is in its exquisite, lyrical prose and its suggestion that personal uniqueness is possible even within biological imperatives. ''The Girl Who Was Plugged In'' is a future boy-meets-girl story with a twist unexpected by the players. ''The Women Men Don't See '' displays Tiptree's keen insight and ability to depict singularity within the ordinary. In Hugo and Nebula award-winning ''Houston, Houston, Do You Read?'' astronauts flying by the sun slip forward 500 years and encounter a culture that successfully questions gender roles in ours.

Contents

Introduction by Michael Swanwick

The Last Flight of Doctor Ain
The Screwfly Solution
And I Awoke and Found Me Here on the Cold Hill’s Side
The Girl Who Was Plugged In
The Man Who Walked Home
And I Have Come Upon This Place by Lost Ways
The Women Men Don’t See
Your Faces, O My Sisters! Your Faces Filled of Light!
Houston, Houston, Do You Read?
With Delicate Mad Hands
A Momentary Taste of Being
We Who Stole the Dream
Her Smoke Rose Up Forever
Love Is the Plan the Plan Is Death
On the Last Afternoon
She Waits for All Men Born
Slow Music
And So On, and So On
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