James Tiptree, Jr.

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Name: Alice Hastings Bradley
Also Known As: James Tiptree Jr., Alice B. Sheldon, Raccoona Sheldon, Alice Sheldon, Raccoona, Tip, Alli, Alice Hastings, Alice Hastings Bradley Sheldon
Occupation: science fiction writer, psychologist, painter
Medium: short stories, novels, watercolor, oil portrait
Official Website(s): Wikipedia Article
Fan Website(s): IMDb's Page
SF3's Page
ISFDB's Bibliography
Julie Phillips's Page
On Fanlore: Related pages

James Tiptree, Jr. was praised as the male voice of feminism back in the 70s before fandom blew up the cover were a 1977 article on the cover of "Locus" exposed her true identity as Alice Sheldon, a highly regarded feminist science fiction writer.[1][2] For many years, no one knew that Tiptree was a woman, and that he had started his career at the age of 52.[2]

As a child, she was taken more than once to Africa on safari, her first such experience being chronicled by her mother, Mary Hastings Bradley (1882-1976), a prolific author who made her daughter a public figure in Alice in Jungleland (1927), a travel book for children which included photos of young Alice visiting parts of Africa not yet fully "discovered" by Westerners; this volume included several illustrations plus an illustrated cover properly credited to Alice Hastings Bradley, the first of Sheldon's several names to see print.[3]

When the stories sold, Tiptree wrote more. He began corresponding with other writers: Philip K. Dick, Damon Knight, Harlan Ellison, Robert Silverberg, and especially Joanna Russ and Ursula K. Le Guin.[4]

Tiptree were a frequent contributor to zines; two of them were Meet Me at Infinity in Eridani Triad #3 (1972) and The Witch and the Chameleon in the mid-1970s, and burst onto the SF scene with the story "Birth of a Salesman." She was quite prolific for several years, and her stories were widely praised. Many of her works explored the confusion of gender roles and other sexual issues. Her short story, "The Girl Who Was Plugged In" won the 1973 Hugo Award for best short story.[2] In 2017, Devra Langsam recounted how Tiptree had submitted a story one of her zines, likely Spockanalia: "We got a submission from James Tiptree under one of her other names, and I didn’t want to publish it because it was so similar to a story that we had just published. So, I said, 'Thank you, no,' politely. I didn’t realize it was real published author, and somebody else published it." [5]

In 1991, the James Tiptree, Jr. award was founded. This award is given for excellence in exploring gender roles in science fiction and fantasy fiction.[2]

In her later years, Sheldon suffered many illnesses, and spent most of her time caring for her ailing husband. In 1987, she killed her husband, and then took her own life.




  1. ^ Andreas (2020-08-05). "Ten Thousand Light-Years From Home • 1973 • Collection by James Tiptree Jr…". Reißwolf. Archived from the original on 2021-03-18.
  2. ^ a b c d Mike Konczewski. "James Tiptree Jr. - Biography - IMDb". IMDb. Archived from the original on 2022-08-09.
  3. ^ "Authors: Tiptree, James, Jr: SFE: Science Fiction Encyclopedia". SFE: The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. Archived from the original on 2021-05-14.
  4. ^ Julie Phillips. "James Tiptree Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon by Julie Phillips". Archived from the original on 2006-11-01.
  5. ^ from Media Fandom Oral History Project Interview with Devra Langsam