James Tiptree Jr.
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|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.
Early life and education
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". Between trips to Africa, Bradley attended school in Chicago. At the age of ten, she went to the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, which was an experimental teaching workshop with small classes and loose structure. When she was fourteen, Bradley was sent to finishing school in Lausanne in Switzerland, before returning to the US to attend boarding school in Tarrytown in New York. 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. She had dropped out of Sarah Lawrence College, which did not allow married students to attend, and both Alice and her husband dropped out of Berkeley and New York University.
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."
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. 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, 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, to which she had connections through her family, featuring new American work. 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. 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, she 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 for the army 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. Other pen names that she used included "Alice Hastings Bradley", "Major Alice Davey", "Alli B. Sheldon", "Dr. Alice B. Sheldon", "Raccona Sheldon", and "Alli". 
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. 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."
"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. 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 her letters to fellow writers such as Ursula K. Le Guin and Joanna Russ, she would present herself as a feminist man; however, Sheldon did not present herself 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.
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. Once the initial shock was over, Alli wrote to one of her closest friends, Ursula K. Le Guin, confessing her 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.”
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.
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 act upon this intention, 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 plan—by shooting her husband in his sleep, followed by herself; she had telephoned her attorney after the first shooting to announce her actions. They were found dead, hand-in-hand in bed, in their Virginia home. 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 of her previous suicide attempts over the preceding 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
- "Although the women who had been friends with Tiptree by letter, including Ursula Le Guin, greeted the newly revealed Alice Sheldon warmly, a number of the men who had been writing to her vanished abruptly from her life." — Siri Hustvedt, The Blazing World
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]
- 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"". Archived from the original on 2012-07-22. Retrieved 2012-07-22. . May/June 2012. EMP Museum (empmuseum.org). Archived 2012-07-22. Retrieved 2013-03-19.
- Phillips 2006, p. 11.
- Phillips 2006, p. 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. Archived from the original on August 4, 2008. 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 2006, p. 38.
- Phillips 2006, p. 24.
- Phillips 2006, pp. 63-64.
- Phillips 2006, pp. 92–93.
- Phillips 2006, p. 95.
- Phillips 2006, p. 98.
- Profile in April 1983 issue of Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine.
- "The Secret Sci-Fi Life of Alice B. Sheldon". NPR.org. p. 3. 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." Archived 2005-03-15 at the Wayback Machine.. 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 (2006). James Tiptree Jr: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon. New York: St. Martin's Press. 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
- Biography and resources at the James Tiptree Jr. World Wide Website
- Site for Julie Phillips's biography of Tiptree
- New York Times review of Jame 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
- Alice B. Sheldon, pen name James Tiptree, Jr., papers, 1920-1999
- Online fiction
- "The Women Men don't See". Archived from the original on 2008-01-19. Retrieved 2008-01-19. 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". Archived from the original on 2005-04-15. Retrieved 2011-05-19. Text of the short story
- The Last Flight of Doctor Ain and The Screwfly Solution Pdf containing both short stories
- Online radio