James Tiptree, Jr.
||This article has an unclear citation style. (December 2015)|
|Alice B. Sheldon|
|Born||Alice Hastings Bradley
August 24, 1915
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Died||May 19, 1987 (aged 71)
McLean, Virginia, U.S.
|Pen name||James Tiptree, Jr.
|Occupation||Artist, intelligence analyst, research psychologist, writer|
|Education||BA, American University
PhD, George Washington U.
|Period||1968–1988 (new fiction)|
|Spouse||William Davey (1934–1941)
Huntington D. Sheldon (1945–1987, their deaths)
|Relatives||Mary Hastings Bradley (mother)
Herbert Edwin Bradley (father)
Alice Bradley Sheldon (August 24, 1915 – May 19, 1987) was an American science fiction author better known as James Tiptree, Jr., a pen name she used from 1967 to her death. She was most notable for breaking down the barriers between writing perceived as inherently "male" or "female"—it was not publicly known until 1977 that James Tiptree, Jr. was a woman. From 1974 to 1977 she also used the pen name Raccoona Sheldon.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Education
- 3 Art career
- 4 Science fiction career
- 5 Gender performance and identity
- 6 Themes
- 7 Death
- 8 Quotes about James Tiptree, Jr.
- 9 Bibliography
- 10 Awards and honors
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 External links
Bradley came from a family in the intellectual enclave of Hyde Park, a university neighborhood in Chicago. Her father was Herbert Bradley, a lawyer and naturalist, and her mother was Mary Hastings Bradley, a prolific writer of fiction and travel books. From an early age Bradley traveled with her parents, and in 1921–22, the Bradleys made their first trip to central Africa, which later contributed to Sheldon’s short story, "The Women Men Don't See". Later on, Bradley became a graphic artist, a painter, and—under the name "Alice Bradley Davey"—an art critic for the Chicago Sun between 1941 and 1942. At age 19, she met and married William Davey, her first husband, under the compulsion that she felt it was her duty as a daughter, and they were married from 1934 until 1941.
In 1942 she joined the United States Army Air Forces and worked in the Army Air Forces photo-intelligence group. She later was promoted to major, a high rank for women at the time. In the army, she "felt she was among free women for the first time." In 1945 she married her second husband, Huntington D. Sheldon, at the close of the war on her assignment in Paris. She was discharged from the military in 1946, at which time she set up a small business in partnership with her husband. The same year her first story ("The Lucky Ones") was published in the November 16, 1946 issue of The New Yorker, and credited to "Alice Bradley" in the magazine itself. In 1952 she and her husband were invited to join the CIA, which she accepted. However, she resigned her position in 1955 and returned to college.
She studied for her Bachelor of Arts degree at American University (1957–59), going on to achieve a doctorate at George Washington University in Experimental Psychology in 1967. She wrote her doctoral dissertation on the responses of animals to novel stimuli in differing environments. During this time, she wrote and submitted a few science fiction stories under the name James Tiptree Jr., in order to protect her academic reputation.
As for her personal life, Sheldon had a complex sexual orientation, and she described her sexuality in different terms over many years. This statement, for example, is how she would have explained it at some point; "I like some men a lot, but from the start, before I knew anything, it was always girls and women who lit me up." 
The Bradley family returned to Chicago from Africa in March 1922, where, at the age of seven, Alice attended school for the first time. After a second trip to Africa in 1924, the Bradleys returned to Chicago during the summer, and by fall that same year, "ten-year-old Alice was sent to the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. The Lab School was a private school for Hyde Park intellectuals, an experimental teaching workshop set up by the educator John Dewey. Classes were small and loosely structured, and children learned by doing. There, Alice studied geography by making maps, learned Latin in conversation, and did science by building thermometers or estimating the latitude of Chicago."
In September 1929, when Alice was fourteen, she was sent to a finishing school called Les Fougeres in Lausanne, Switzerland. There, she learned how to ride horses, studied etiquette, and learned French. Two years later, she enrolled in a much smaller boarding school called Andrebrook in Tarrytown, New York. During her senior year, Alice and her mother Mary disagreed about the future of her own education. While Mary wanted her daughter to follow in her footsteps and attend Smith College, Alice wanted to experience a college education that incorporated more art and fewer academic subjects.
As a result of the disagreement between mother and daughter, they compromised on Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxvillve, New York. When Alice enrolled, in 1933, the school was a two-year college for women featuring "an arty, experimental program" and only allowed about three hundred students. Alice left Chicago in the fall to attend Sarah Lawrence and ended up excelling in her artwork and impressing her instructors and classmates.
When Alice married Princeton University student William Davey in 1934, the young couples' parents agreed the two needed to finish college before settling down together. Unfortunately, neither Sarah Lawrence nor Princeton allow married students to attend. In January, Davey and Alice left Chicago and drove to California with plans to start the spring semester at University of California Berkeley immediately. Unfortunately, "they tried and failed to finish college," although Alice completed courses in art and introductory psychology in her second year. After a dramatic and violent series of arguments, the Daveys left Berkeley for good in 1936. They repeated this pattern again in New York City, enrolling in classes at New York University in spring 1937, only to drop out after another fight two months later.
Alice divorced Davey in 1941, returning home to live with her parents and sitting in on art classes at the Art Institute. As the United States' entry into World War II became more likely, Alice decided to train as a pilot. She took flying lessons, despite the high cost of the training, but unfortunately had to leave flight school because her eyesight was unsatisfactory for flying planes. In May 1942, Congress established the Woman's Army Auxiliary Corps, and after waiting several months to determine if it was "the real thing," Alice enlisted in August. By November she had completed the month-long basic training program in Fort Des Moines, but promptly after completion of training and much to Alice's chagrin, the WAAC women were assigned to create Christmas cards. Soon after, she applied to Officer Candidate School. In late November, she began to study for her gold bars. In 1943, Alice graduated from Officer Candidate School and became a third officer.
Alice continued to pursue educational opportunities throughout the war. After reading a newspaper article about the British Royal Air Forces' new military specialty of photointerpretation, Alice began volunteering for the U.S. Army Air Forces' photointerpretation department, getting formally transferred to Air Force Photointelligence in December. However, the department decided that Alice needed formal training for her position. In February 1944, she reported to the Air Force Intelligence School at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in order to study photointerpretation, graduating in April.
After the war ended, Alice and her new husband, Huntington Sheldon, set out on a very different career path, requiring different skills than the two had gained during the War. In October 1947, the couple decided to try their hand at chicken farming and registered for a course in poultry farming at Rutgers University. Alice graduated from Rutgers with the highest grade point average in her class and was cited for being the "best poultry-man."
Some five years later, having determined that chicken farming was not the most promising career path, the Sheldons sold the hatchery and moved to Washington D.C., where they began work for the CIA. During 1954, after mentioning her experiences in Africa to a superior, Alice was sent to the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington for their "Summer Session on Contemporary Africa."
Alice left the CIA, however, and in January 1957, after considering graduate school and a degree in psychology, Alice paid her "twenty-year-old tuition bill" at Berkeley in order to apply to American University in Washington D.C. where she enrolled in courses to complete her undergraduate degree. Getting her degree took longer than she expected and she did not graduate from American University until June, though finally graduated in 1959 with the highest distinction. The very next fall, Alice moved to George Washington University, where the psychology department was more prestigious. Here, the Public Health Service granted her a fellowship—Pre-doctoral Research Grant number 10,907—to work on research for her project on visual perception.
In spring 1963, Alice finished her coursework at George Washington University and began work on her dissertation, which focused on the topic of the problem of novelty, a concept that was important in perceptual research. Using rats, Alice studied "reaction to novelty as a function of context," despite her thesis adviser Dick Walk's disbelief and doubt in her thesis topic.
Finally, in 1967, after four years of working on the study, she defended her disseration and earned her Ph.D."
Sheldon began illustrating when she was nine years old, contributing to her mother's book, Alice in Elephantland, a children's book about the family's second trip to Africa. Sheldon appeared in it as herself. One of the illustrations was a depiction of herself holding a gun, an image she drew after her father told her she could not have one on their expedition. Sheldon later had an exhibit of her drawings of Africa at the Chicago Gallery, arranged by her parents.
Although Sheldon illustrated several of her mother's books, she only sold one illustration during her lifetime. In 1931, during her first year at Andrebrook, a small New York boarding school, she sold an illustration to The New Yorker, with help from Harold Ober, a New York agent who worked with her mother. The illustration, of a horse rearing and throwing off its rider, sold for ten dollars.
In 1936, Sheldon participated in a group show at the Art Institute of Chicago, featuring new American work. She had connections to the art institute through her family, influential family friends from Chicago the McCormicks, and Randall Davey, her step father at the time and painter. This was considered an important step forward for her painting career. It was during this time that she also took private art lessons from John Sloan an old friend of Randall Davey. Sheldon disliked prudery in painting. While examining an anatomy book for an art class, she noticed that the genitals were blurred, so she restored the genitals of the figures with a pencil.
In 1939, Sheldon’s nude self-portrait titled Portrait in the Country was accepted for the "All-American" biennial show at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington D.C., where it was displayed for six weeks. While these two shows were considered big breaks, Alice disparaged these accomplishments, saying that “only second rate painters sold" and she preferred to keep her works at home.
By 1940, Sheldon felt she had mastered all the techniques she needed and was ready to choose her subject matter. However, she began to doubt whether she should paint. She kept working at her painting techniques, fascinated with the questions of form and read books on aesthetics in order to know what scientifically made a painting "good."
Sheldon stopped painting in 1941. In need of a way to support herself, her parents helped her find a job as an art critic for the Chicago Sun after it launched in 1941. Newly divorced, she started going by the name Alice Bradley Davey as a journalist, a job she held until she enlisted in the WAAC, later known as the WAC, in 1942.
Science fiction career
Unsure what to do with her new degrees and her new/old careers, Sheldon began to write science fiction. She adopted the pseudonym of James Tiptree Jr. in 1967. The name "Tiptree" came from a branded jar of marmalade, and the "Jr." was her husband's idea. In an interview, she said: "A male name seemed like good camouflage. I had the feeling that a man would slip by less observed. I've had too many experiences in my life of being the first woman in some damned occupation." Her first published short story was "Birth of a Salesman" in the March 1968 issue of Analog Science Fact & Fiction, edited by John W. Campbell. Three more followed that year in If and Fantastic.
The pseudonym was successfully maintained until the late 1970s, partly because, although "Tiptree" was widely known to be a pseudonym, it was generally understood that its use was intended to protect the professional reputation of an intelligence community official. Readers, editors and correspondents were permitted to assume sex, and generally, but not invariably, they assumed "male". There was speculation, based partially on the themes in her stories, that Tiptree might be female.[by whom?]
"Tiptree" never made any public appearances, but she did correspond regularly with fans and other science fiction authors through the mail. When asked for biographical details, Tiptree/Sheldon was forthcoming in everything but her sex. Many of the details given above (the Air Force career, the Ph.D.) were mentioned in letters "Tiptree" wrote, and also appeared in official author biographies.
After the death of Mary Hastings Bradley in 1976, "Tiptree" mentioned in a letter that "his" mother, also a writer, had died in Chicago—details that led inquiring fans to find the obituary, with its reference to Alice Sheldon; soon all was revealed. Several prominent science fiction writers suffered some embarrassment. Robert Silverberg had written an introduction to Warm Worlds and Otherwise arguing, from the evidence of stories in that collection, that Tiptree could not possibly be a woman. Harlan Ellison had introduced Tiptree's story in the anthology Again, Dangerous Visions with the opinion that "[Kate] Wilhelm is the woman to beat this year, but Tiptree is the man." Silverberg's article in particular, by taking one side, makes it clear that the sex of Tiptree was a topic of some debate.
Only then did she complete her first full-length novel, Up the Walls of the World (Berkley Books, 1978), which was a Doubleday Science Fiction Book Club selection. Before that she worked on and built a reputation only in the field of short stories.
Gender performance and identity
Biological gender is defined as "physical attributes such as external genitalia, sex chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, and internal reproductive structures. At birth, it is used to assign sex, that is, to identify individuals as male or female.” Alice Sheldon’s gender was female, but she performed as a male both through her professional and personal writings. Gender performance is how “people externally communicate their gender identity to others through behavior, clothing, haircut, voice, and other forms of presentation.” Gender displacement and the reversal of gender roles were common themes in Tiptree’s stories and throughout their many professional careers, Sheldon used many names;Tiptree being the most well-known. Others included Alice Hastings Bradley, Major Alice Davey, Alli B. Sheldon, Dr. Alice B. Sheldon, Raccona Sheldon, and Alli. 
In the late 1960s, Sheldon began to write science fiction. Their first published short story was "Birth of a Salesman" in the March 1968 issue of Analog Science Fact & Fiction, edited by John W. Campbell. Three more followed that year in If and Fantastic.
Sheldon adopted the pseudonym of James Tiptree Jr. in 1967. The name "Tiptree" came from a branded jar of marmalade. The "Jr." was their husband's idea. Biographer Julie Phillips observed that the "Tiptree" persona allowed them to write things that Alice Sheldon could not. In an interview, Sheldon later noted, "A male name seemed like good camouflage. I had the feeling that a man would slip by less observed. I've had too many experiences in my life of being the first woman in some damned occupation." The Tiptree pseudonym allowed Sheldon to write in a time when male authors could expect more success in the realm of science fiction. According to her biographer, Julie Phillips, “No one had ever seen or spoken to the owner of this voice. He wrote letters, warm, frank, funny letters, to other writers, editors, and science fiction fans.” In his letters to fellow writers such as Ursula K. Le Guin and Joanna Russ, he would present himself as a feminist man; however, Sheldon did not present as male in person. Writing was a way to escape a male dominated society, themes Tiptree explored in the short stories later collected in Her Smoke Rose Up Forever. One story in particular offers an excellent illustration of these themes. “Houston, Houston, Do You Read?" follows a group of astronauts who discover a future Earth whose male population has been wiped out; the remaining females have learned to get along just fine in their absence.
Sheldon successfully maintained this pseudonym until the late 1970s, partly because, although "Tiptree" was widely known to be a pen name, his critics, readers, and correspondents assumed that this pen name was intendted to protect the professional reputation of an intelligence agent. For instance, SF author and editor Robert Silverberg wrote, "It has been suggested that Tiptree is female, a theory that I find absurd, for there is to me something ineluctably masculine about Tiptree's writing.
After the death of their mother in 1976, "Tiptree" mentioned in a letter that "his" mother, also a writer, had died in Chicago — details that led inquiring fans to find the obituary, with its reference to Alice Sheldon. Soon, all was revealed. Once the initial shock over, Alli wrote to one of her closest friends, Ursula K. Le Guin, confessing their identity. Sheldon wrote, “I never wrote you anything but the exact truth, there was no calculation or intent to deceive, other than the signature which over 8 years became just another nickname; everything else is just plain me. The thing is, I am a 61-year-old woman named Alice Sheldon — nickname Alli – solitary by nature but married for 37 years to a very nice man considerably older, who doesn’t read my stuff but is glad I like writing.”
Tiptree/Sheldon was an eclectic writer who worked in a variety of styles and subgenres, often combining the technological focus and hard-edged style of "hard" science fiction with the sociological and psychological concerns of "soft" SF, along with some of the stylistic experimentation of the New Wave movement.
After writing several stories in more conventional modes, she produced her first work to draw widespread acclaim, "The Last Flight of Doctor Ain", in 1969. One of her shortest stories, "Ain" is a sympathetic portrait of a scientist whose concern for Earth's ecological suffering leads him to destroy the entire human race.
Many of her stories have a milieu reminiscent of the space opera and pulp tales she read in her youth, but typically with a much darker tone: the cosmic journeys of her characters are often linked to a drastic spiritual alienation, and/or a transcendent experience which brings fulfillment but also death. John Clute, noting Tiptree's "inconsolable complexities of vision", concluded that "It is very rarely that a James Tiptree story does not both deal directly with death and end with a death of the spirit, or of all hope, or of the race". Notable stories of this type include "Painwise", in which a space explorer has been altered to be immune to pain but finds such an existence intolerable, and "A Momentary Taste of Being", in which the true purpose of humanity, found on a distant planet, renders individual human life entirely pointless.
Another major theme in Tiptree/Sheldon's work is the tension between free will and biological determinism, or reason and sexual desire. "Love Is the Plan the Plan Is Death", one of the rare SF stories in which no humans appear, describes an alien creature's romantic rationalizations for the brutal instincts that drive its life cycle. "The Screwfly Solution" suggests that humans might similarly rationalize a plague of murderous sexual insanity. Sex in Tiptree's writing is frankly portrayed, a sometimes playful but more often threatening force.
Before the revelation of Sheldon's identity, Tiptree was often referred to as an unusually macho male (see, e.g., Robert Silverberg's commentaries) as well as an unusually feminist science fiction writer (for a male)—particularly for "The Women Men Don't See", a story of two women who go looking for aliens to escape from male-dominated society on Earth. However, Sheldon's view of sexual politics could be ambiguous, as in the ending of "Houston, Houston, Do You Read?", where a society of female clones must deal with three time-traveling male astronauts.
A constant theme, prevalent throughout most of Sheldon’s work, is feminism. In "The Women Men Don’t See" Sheldon gives the tale a unique feminist spin by making the narrator, Don Fenton, a male. Fenton judges the Parsons, the mother and daughter who are searching for alien life, based on their attractiveness and is agitated when they do not "fulfill stereotypical female roles", according to Anne Cranny-Francis. In addition, Fenton's inability to understand both the plight of woman and Ruth Parson's feelings of alienation further illustrate the differences of men and women in society. The theme of feminism is emphasized by "the feminist ideology espoused by Ruth Parsons and the contrasting sexism of Fenton". The title of the short story itself reflects the idea that women are invisible during Sheldon’s time. As Francis states, "‘The Women Men Don’t See’ is an outstanding example ... of the subversive use of genre fiction to produce an unconventional discursive position, the feminist subject".
Sheldon's two novels, produced toward the end of her career, were not as critically well-received as her best-known stories but continued to explore similar themes. Some of her best-regarded work can be found in the collection Her Smoke Rose Up Forever, available in paperback through Tachyon Publications as of 2004.
Sheldon continued writing under the Tiptree pen name for another decade. The last years of her life were not happy ones, as her husband was a nearly blind invalid incapable of caring for himself, and she herself was suffering health issues caused by a lifetime of smoking. In 1976, then 60-year-old Sheldon wrote to a friend expressing her desire to end her own life while she was still able-bodied and active. But she was reluctant to carry out the deed, as Huntington would have no one to care for him, and she could not bring herself to kill him.
Eleven years later, on May 19, 1987, Sheldon finally carried through her threat—by shooting her husband in his sleep, followed by herself. They were found dead, hand-in-hand in bed, in their Virginia home. The couple had become steadily more reclusive in their final years as their health worsened. On the morning prior to carrying out the deed, Sheldon telephoned her attorney and informed him about what she was going to do. According to biographer Julie Phillips, the suicide note Sheldon left was written years earlier and saved until needed. In an interview with Charles Platt in the early 1980s, Sheldon spoke of her emotional problems and previous suicide attempts which she had threatened for much of the previous 20 years.
The James Tiptree, Jr. Award is given in her honor each year for a work of science fiction or fantasy that expands or explores our understanding of gender. The award-winning science fiction authors Karen Joy Fowler and Pat Murphy created the award in February 1991. Novels such as Half Life by Shelley Jackson and Light by M. John Harrison have received the award.
Quotes about James Tiptree, Jr.
- "James Tiptree's surface was often airy and at times hilarious, and her control of genre conventions allowed her to convey the bleakness of her abiding insights in tales that remain seductively readable; but she was, in the end, incapable of dissimulation." — from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, by John Clute and Peter Nicholls
- "Sheldon was simply one of the best short-story writers of our day. … She has already had an enormous impact on upcoming generations of SF writers. Her footprints are all over cyberpunk turf ..."—Gardner Dozois, in Locus magazine, 1987
- "Her stories and novels are humanistic, while her deep concern for male-female (even human-alien) harmony ran counter to the developing segregate-the-sexes drive amongst feminist writers; What her work brought to the genre was a blend of lyricism and inventiveness, as if some lyric poet had rewritten a number of clever SF standards and then passed them on to a psychoanalyst for final polish." — Brian Aldiss, Trillion Year Spree
- "'Tip' was a crucial part of modern SF's maturing process ... 'He' ... wrote powerful fiction challenging readers' assumptions about everything, especially sex and gender." — Suzy McKee Charnas, The Women's Review of Books
- "[Tiptree's work is] proof of what she said, that men and women can and do speak both to and for one another, if they have bothered to learn how." — Ursula K. Le Guin, Khatru
- "It has been suggested that Tiptree is female, a theory that I find absurd, for there is to me something ineluctably masculine about Tiptree's writing." — Robert Silverberg, "Who Is Tiptree, What Is He?"
- "Alice Sheldon shall appeal to the masses in the year 2017." — Roberto Bolaño, Amulet
Short story collections
- Ten Thousand Light-Years from Home (1973)
- Warm Worlds and Otherwise (1975)
- Star Songs of an Old Primate (1978)
- Out of the Everywhere and Other Extraordinary Visions (1981)
- Byte Beautiful: Eight Science Fiction Stories (1985)
- The Starry Rift (1986) (linked stories)
- Tales of the Quintana Roo (1986) (linked stories)
- Crown of Stars (1988) (linked stories)
- Her Smoke Rose Up Forever (omnibus collection) (1990)
The abbreviation(s) after each title indicate its appearance in one or more of the following collections:
|Collection title||Year of publication||Abbreviation|
|Ten Thousand Light-Years from Home||1973||LYFH|
|Warm Worlds and Otherwise||1975||WWO|
|Star Songs of an Old Primate||1978||SSOP|
|Out of the Everywhere and Other Extraordinary Visions||1981||OE|
|Byte Beautiful: Eight Science Fiction Stories||1985||BB|
|Tales of the Quintana Roo (linked stories)||1986||QR|
|The Starry Rift (linked stories)||1986||SR|
|Crown of Stars||1988||CS|
|Her Smoke Rose Up Forever (omnibus collection)||1990||SRU|
|Meet Me at Infinity (fiction, essays & other non-fiction)||2000||MM|
- "The Mother Ship" (later retitled "Mamma Come Home") (novelette): LYFH
- "Pupa Knows Best" (later retitled "Help") (novelette): LYFH
- 'Birth of a Salesman' (short story): LYFH
- 'Fault' (short story): WWO
- 'Happiness is a Warm Spaceship' (short story): MM
- 'Please Don’t Play With the Time Machine' (very short story): MM
- 'A Day Like Any Other' (very short story): MM
- 'Beam Us Home' (short story): LYFH, BB
- 'The Last Flight of Doctor Ain' (short story): WWO, SRU
- 'Your Haploid Heart' (novelette): SSOP
- 'The Snows Are Melted, The Snows Are Gone' (novelette): LYFH
- 'Parimutuel Planet' (later retitled 'Faithful to Thee, Terra, in Our Fashion') (novelette): LYFH
- 'The Man Doors Said Hello To' (short story): LYFH
- 'I’m Too Big But I Love to Play' (novelette): LYFH
- 'The Nightblooming Saurian' (short story): WWO
- 'Last Night and Every Night' (short story): CS
- 'The Peacefulness of Vivyan' (short story): LYFH, BB
- 'I’ll Be Waiting for You When the Swimming Pool Is Empty' (short story): LYFH, BB
- 'And So On, And So On' (short story): SSOP, SRU
- 'Mother in the Sky with Diamonds' (novelette): LYFH
- 'The Man Who Walked Home' (short story): LYFH, BB, SRU
- 'And I Have Come Upon This Place by Lost Ways' (novelette): WWO, SRU
- 'And I Awoke and Found Me Here on the Cold Hill's Side' (short story): LYFH, SRU
- 'On the Last Afternoon' (novella): WWO, SRU
- 'Painwise' (novelette): LYFH
- 'Forever to a Hudson Bay Blanket' (short story): LYFH
- 'Filomena & Greg & Rikki-Tikki & Barlow & the Alien' (later retitled 'All the Kinds of Yes') (novelette): WWO
- 'The Milk of Paradise' (short story): WWO
- 'Amberjack' (short story): WWO
- 'Through a Lass Darkly' (short story): WWO
- 'The Trouble Is Not In Your Set' (short story): MM (previously unpublished)
- 'Press Until the Bleeding Stops' (short story): MM
- 'Her Smoke Rose Up Forever' (novelette): SSOP, SRU
- 'Angel Fix' (novelette, under the name 'Raccoona Sheldon'): OE
- 'A Momentary Taste of Being' (novella): SSOP, SRU
- 'Your Faces, O My Sisters! Your Faces Filled of Light!' (short story, under the name Raccoona Sheldon): OE, BB, SRU
- 'Beaver Tears' (short story, under the name Raccoona Sheldon): OE
- 'She Waits for All Men Born' (short story): SSOP, SRU
- 'Houston, Houston, Do You Read?' (novella): SSOP, SRU (Hugo award winner)
- 'The Psychologist Who Wouldn’t Do Awful Things to Rats' (novelette): SSOP
- 'The Screwfly Solution' (novelette, under the name Raccoona Sheldon): OE, SRU
- 'Time-Sharing Angel' (short story): OE
- 'We Who Stole the Dream' (novelette): OE, SRU
- 'Up the Walls of the World' (novel)
- 'Slow Music' (novella): OE, SRU
- 'A Source of Innocent Merriment' (short story): OE
- 'Excursion Fare' (novelette): BB
- 'Lirios: A Tale of the Quintana Roo' (later retitled 'What Came Ashore at Lirios') (novelette): QR
- 'Out of the Everywhere' (novelette): OE
- 'With Delicate Mad Hands' (novella): OE, BB, SRU
- 'The Boy Who Waterskied to Forever' (short story): QR
- 'Beyond the Dead Reef' (novelette): QR
- 'Morality Meat' (novelette, under the name Racoona Sheldon): CS
- 'The Only Neat Thing to Do' (novella): SR
- 'All This and Heaven Too' (novelette): CS
- 'Trey of Hearts' (short story): MM (previously unpublished)
- 'Our Resident Djinn' (short story): CS
- 'In the Great Central Library of Deneb University' (short story): SR
- 'Good Night, Sweethearts' (novella): SR
- 'Collision' (novella): SR
- 'The Color of Neanderthal Eyes' (novella): MM
- 'Second Going' (novelette): CS
- 'Yanqui Doodle' (novelette): CS
- 'In Midst of Life' (novelette): CS
- 'Come Live with Me' (novelette): CS
- 'Backward, Turn Backward' (novella): CS
- 'The Earth Doth Like a Snake Renew' (novellette): CS [written in 1973]
- Up the Walls of the World (1978)
- Brightness Falls from the Air (1985)
- Neat Sheets: The Poetry of James Tiptree, Jr. (Tachyon Publications, 1996)
- Meet Me at Infinity (a collection of previously uncollected and unpublished fiction, essays and other non-fiction, with much biographical information, edited by Tiptree's friend Jeffrey D. Smith) (2000)
- "The Man Who Walked Home" (1977): comic book adaptation in Canadian underground comic Andromeda Vol. 2, No. 1; September; Silver Snail Comics, Ltd.; Toronto; pp. 6–28. Pencils by John Allison, inks by Tony Meers.
- "Houston, Houston, Do You Read?" (1990): radio drama for the National Public Radio series Sci-Fi Radio. Originally aired as two half-hour shows, February 4 & 11.
- "Yanqui Doodle" (1990): half-hour radio drama for the National Public Radio series Sci-Fi Radio. Aired March 18.
- "Weird Romance" (1992): Off-Broadway musical by Alan Menken. Act 1 is based on "The Girl Who Was Plugged In".
- "The Girl Who Was Plugged In" (1998): television film: episode 5 of the series Welcome to Paradox
- "The Screwfly Solution" (2006): television film: season 2, episode 7 of the series Masters of Horror
- Xenophilia (2011) – based on the lives and works of Tiptree and Connie Converse; arranged and choreographed by Maia Ramnath; produced by the aerial dance and theater troupe Constellation Moving Company, performed at the Theater for the New City, presented November 10–13, 2011. Reviewer Jen Gunnels writes, "The performance juxtaposed some of Tiptree's short stories with Converse's songs, mixing in biographical elements of both women while kinesthetically exploring both through dance and aerial work on trapeze, lyra (an aerial ring), and silks (two lengths of fabric which the artist manipulates to perform aerial acrobatics). The result was elegant, eerie, and deeply moving."
Awards and honors
- Hugo Awards: 1974 novella, "The Girl Who Was Plugged In"; 1977 novella, "Houston, Houston, Do You Read?"
- Nebula Awards: 1973 short story, "Love Is the Plan the Plan Is Death"; 1976 novella, "Houston, Houston, Do You Read?"; 1977 novelette, "The Screwfly Solution" (published as by Raccoona Sheldon)
- World Fantasy Award: 1987 collection, Tales of the Quintana Roo
- Locus Award: 1984 short story, "Beyond the Dead Reef"; 1986 novella, "The Only Neat Thing to Do"
- Science Fiction Chronicle Award: 1986 novella, "The Only Neat Thing to Do"
- Jupiter Award: 1977 novella, "Houston, Houston, Do You Read?"
Japanese-language translations of her fiction also won two Hayakawa Awards and three Seiun Awards as the year's best under changing designations (foreign, overseas, translated). The awards are voted by magazine readers and annual convention participants respectively:
- Hayakawa's S-F Magazine Reader's Award, short fiction: 1993, "With Delicate Mad Hands" (1981); 1997, "Come Live with Me" (1988)
- Seiun Award, short and long fiction: 1988, "The Only Neat Thing to Do" (1985); 2000, "Out of the Everywhere" (1981); 2008, Brightness Falls from the Air (1985)
- James Tiptree, Jr. at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB). Retrieved 2013-04-18. Select a title to see its linked publication history and general information. Select a particular edition (title) for more data at that level, such as a front cover image or linked contents.
- "Science Fiction Hall of Fame: EMP Museum Announces the 2012 Science Fiction Hall of Fame Inductees" at the Wayback Machine (archived July 22, 2012). May/June 2012. EMP Museum (empmuseum.org). Archived 2012-07-22. Retrieved 2013-03-19.
- Phillips 2006, pp. 11.
- Phillips 2006, pp. 104.
- Phillips, Julie. "Alice Bradley Sheldon, 1915–1987". James Tiptree Jr. :The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon. October 23, 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-31.
- Wolfe, Kathi (September 2, 2006). "She blinded me with science fiction". Houstonvoice.com. Houston Voice. Retrieved 2011-03-24.
- Shawl, Nisi (August 4, 2006). ""James Tiptree, Jr.": The amazing lives of writer Alice B. Sheldon". seattletimes.nwsource.com. The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2011-03-24.
- Phillips, Julie. James Tiptree Jr. the double life of Alice B. Sheldon. p. 38.
- James Tiptree, Jr. : the double life of Alice B. Sheldon. p. 31. ISBN 0312203853.
- Phillips, Julie (2006). James Tiptree, Jr. : the double life of Alice B. Sheldon. New York: St. Martin's press. p. 24. ISBN 0312203853.
- James Tiptree, Jr. : the double life of Alice B. Sheldon. pp. 63–64.
- James Tiptree, Jr. : the double life of Alice B. Sheldon. pp. 92–93.
- James Tiptree, Jr. : the double life of Alice B. Sheldon. p. 95. ISBN 0312203853.
- James Tiptree, Jr. : the double life of Alice B. Sheldon. p. 98. ISBN 0312203853.
- James Tiptree, Jr. : the double life of Alice B. Sheldon. p. 104.
- Profile in April 1983 issue of Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine.
- "Understanding Gender". Gender Spectrum. 2015.
- "The Secret Sci-Fi Life of Alice B. Sheldon". NPR.org. Retrieved 2015-12-08.
- "The Secret Sci-Fi Life of Alice B. Sheldon". NPR.org. Retrieved 2015-12-12.
- Phillips, Julie. "Dear Starbear: Letters Between Ursula K. Le Guin and James Tiptree Jr." The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (2006).
- Cranny-Francis, Anne. Feminist Fiction. New York: St. Martin’s Press. 1990. pp. 30, 33, 38.
- Osgood, N.J. (1992). Suicide in Later Life: Recognizing the Warning Signs. Lexington Books. p. 7. ISBN 9780669212143. Retrieved 2015-04-08.
- "James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon". Excerpt from the Philips biography. Macmillan US.
- Gunnels, Jen (January 2012). "Xenophilia, based on the works of James Tiptree, Jr., and Connie Converse". The New York Review of Science Fiction (Pleasantville, NY: Dragon Press) 24 (5): 1, 8–11.
- Roberts, Lauren (November 1, 2011). "Aerial Dance Theater Show Features Draper's Maia Ramnath". Draper Program. Retrieved 2012-08-12.
- "Tiptree, James, Jr.". The Locus Index to SF Awards: Index of Literary Nominees. Locus Publications. Retrieved 2013-04-18.
- Elms, A.C. "Painwise in space: The psychology of isolation in Cordwainer Smith and James Tiptree, Jr." in G. Westfahl (Ed.), Space and Beyond: The Frontier Theme in Science Fiction. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2000. ISBN 978-0-313-30846-8.
- Fowler, Karen Joy with Pat Murphy, Debbie Notkin and Jeffrey D. Smith (eds.). The James Tiptree Award Anthology 1: Sex, the Future, and Chocolate Chip Cookies. San Francisco, CA: Tachyon Publications, 2004. ISBN 978-1-892391-19-3.
- Fowler, Karen Joy with Pat Murphy, Debbie Notkin and Jeffrey D. Smith (eds.). The James Tiptree Award Anthology 2. San Francisco, CA: Tachyon Publications, 2005. ISBN 978-1-892391-31-5.
- Fowler, Karen Joy with Pat Murphy, Debbie Notkin and Jeffrey D. Smith (eds.). The James Tiptree Award Anthology 3: Subversive Stories about Sex and Gender. San Francisco, CA: Tachyon Publications, 2007. ISBN 978-1-892391-41-4.
- Notkin, Debbie and The Secret Feminist Cabal (eds.). Flying Cups and Saucers: Gender Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy. Covina, CA: Edgewood Press, 1998 (2nd edition Lulu.com, 2008). ISBN 978-0-9629066-8-8.
- Phillips, Julie. "Dear Starbear: Letters Between Ursula K. Le Guin and James Tiptree Jr." The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, September 2006.
- Phillips, Julie. James Tiptree, Jr: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2006. ISBN 0-312-20385-3. A thorough biography, with insight into Sheldon's life and work. Extensive quotation from her correspondence, journals, and other papers. Times Literary Supplement review 
- Phillips, Julie. "James Tiptree Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon" (jamestiptreejr.com).: the biographer's website dedicated to Tiptree/Sheldon
- Cranny-Francis, Anne. Feminist Fiction. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1990.
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- Biographical references
- James Tiptree, Jr. at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Biography and resources at the James Tiptree, Jr. World Wide Website
- Site for Julie Phillips's biography of Tiptree
- New York Times review of JAMES TIPTREE, JR The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon By Julie Phillips
- James Tiptree, Jr. at the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame (archived 2013-05-10)
- James Tiptree, Jr. at Library of Congress Authorities, with 15 catalog records (filed under 'Tiptree, James' simply, previous page of browse report)
- Alice Bradley Sheldon and Raccoona Sheldon at LC Authorities (no separately filed catalog records)
- Aparta Krystian. Conventional Models of Time and Their Extensions in Science Fiction Master's thesis exploring conceptual blending in time travel, with case studies of four stories by James Tiptree, Jr. ("Backward! Turn Backward!", "Fault", "Forever to a Hudson Bay Blanket", and "The Man Who Walked Home") and the novel Brightness Falls.
- Ebihara Yutaka. Constructions of James Tiptree, Jr.: A Note on His Life and Fiction, essay
- Lowry Pei. Poor Singletons: Definitions of Humanity in the Stories of James Tiptree, Jr.
- Sparks, Elisa Kay, Dr. A detailed bibliography of works by and about Tiptree (not updated since 1997)
- Walton Jo, Yearning for the unattainable: James Tiptree Jr.'s short stories, review-essay
- Works by James Tiptree, Jr. at Open Library
- Online fiction
- The Women Men don't See at the Wayback Machine (archived January 19, 2008) Text of the short story
- Painwise at the Wayback Machine (archived February 17, 2008) Text of the short story
- Beam Us Home at the Wayback Machine (archived February 8, 2008) Text of the short story
- The Screwfly Solution at the Wayback Machine (archived February 20, 2008) Text of the short story
- Love Is the Plan the Plan Is Death at the Wayback Machine (archived April 15, 2005) Text of the short story
- The Last Flight of Doctor Ain and The Screwfly Solution Pdf containing both short stories
- Online radio
- "Houston, Houston, Do You Read?" (Selection 17) from the NPR series Sci-Fi Radio (20 & 21), February 4 & 11, 1990 (55:32)
- "Yanqui Doodle" (Selection 21) from the NPR series Sci-Fi Radio (26), March 18, 1990 (27:49)
- Online video
- "The Girl Who Was Plugged In" on YouTube, on YouTube, and on YouTube (episode 5 of the series Welcome to Paradox)
- on YouTube (season 2, episode 7 of the series Masters of Horror