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View Diary: Sex and science fiction (134 comments)

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  •  "James Tiptree Jr" (7+ / 0-)

    Some of the most original SF stories dealing with gender issues came from Alice Sheldon, who wrote under the pen name of "James Tiptree Jr". That's an old convention in SF. Even LeGuin started out calling herself "U. K. LeGuin". But Sheldon/Tiptree was quite unique. Her stories touch nearly every aspect of sexuality, from incest to inter-species sex. There are a few angry feminist critiques, like "The Screwfly Solution", in which aliens seed the Earth with a compound that aggravates male violence against women. (The men promptly rationalize this behavior with an ideology organized as The Sons of Adam.) But most of her stories take a rather detached, ironic view of the human condition. She committed suicide a few years later. Very sad. If you can find her in print, she's worth reading. Collections included Ten Thousand Light Years from Home, Warm Worlds and Otherwise, and Out of the Everywhere.

    "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be." - Thomas Jefferson

    by Blue Boomer on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 08:31:17 PM PST

    •  I second that motion about Tiptree. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Oh Mary Oh, glorificus, Aunt Pat, NancyWH

      Very good gender-aware fiction, written by a writer that people didn't know for years was a woman.

    •  the Screwfly Solution (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Oh Mary Oh, glorificus, Aunt Pat, NancyWH

      I remember that one really well. I always thought it was one of the most horrifying stories I ever read, it sounded so damn plausible. Just a tiny little neural change, hardly noticeable, and BLAM!--the human race eliminates itself. I think she also wrote a story about a very human seeming race that appeared to be committing genocide, but weren't really, because the planet wasn't inhabited by two human like species, but only one species that wasn't human at all, and reproduced thru alternation of generations. So they were actually committing a kind of suicide. Great story.

      If your internal map of reality doesn't match external conditions, bad things happen.--Cambias

      by pimutant on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 09:21:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Your Haploid Heart" (5+ / 0-)

        That was early and vintage Tiptree, with one helluva punchline (if you understand the scientific biology vocabulary).

        I suspected Tiptree was female until I read "The Women Men Don't See" - then I was sure of it.

        If it's
        Not your body,
        Then it's
        Not your choice
        And it's
        None of your damn business!

        by TheOtherMaven on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 09:42:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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