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5.0 out of 5 stars Breaking the SF glass ceiling?, 8 Jan 2011
Joyeuse (Devon) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Up the Walls of the World (Hardcover)
I first read "Up the Walls of the World" probably very soon after it's publication as it was in the old Gollancz yellow jacket editions and borrowed from the library from which I was very tempted to liberate it by claiming it's loss and paying for it - so you can see how much I enjoyed it.

Years later I was delighted to find that I was correct in my assumption then that the author was a woman. "You have got to be kidding" I thought, reading the author bio on the dustjacket. It could only have been written by a woman - no man could possibly have percieved any world from that perpective. I found the threads of psychic humans picking up the desperate telepathic cries for help of flying aliens great fun especially as the offspring of said aliens were raised by the males of the species - child-rearing being much to important to the race for it to be left to females. I ask you, what man in 1978 would have come up with that concept?

This is a pacy read and a great deal more optimistic than many of Tiptree's short stories. It has all the pizzaz of her writing before she was outed as Alice Sheldon after which a certain fire seemed to have gone out. Perhaps the anonimity of the alias together with the buzz from the fact that this "guy" was so highly praised in the SF world were energising factors in her creative life. At least the derogatory attitudes then aimed at women writers in the genre were further dismantled by the discovery of her real identity. Too much egg on too many faces to retract.

This novel which has never been easy to find (I've never seen it in a bookshop) is well worth a read, it's a milestone if not a classic.
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Up the Walls of the World
Up the Walls of the World by James Jr. Tiptree (Hardcover - 1978)
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