James Tiptree Jr.
Alice B. Sheldon
Alice and Huntington Sheldon, January 1946
|Born||Alice Hastings Bradley|
August 24, 1915
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Died||May 19, 1987 (aged 71)|
McLean, Virginia, U.S.
|Occupation||Artist, intelligence analyst, research psychologist, writer|
|Period||1968–1988 (new fiction)|
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. 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. Sheldon was inducted by the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2012.
Early life, family and education
Sheldon came from a family in the intellectual enclave of Hyde Park, a university neighborhood in Chicago. Her father was Herbert Edwin Bradley, a lawyer and naturalist, and her mother was Mary Hastings Bradley, a prolific writer of fiction and travel books. From an early age Sheldon 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." During these trips, she played the role of the "perfect daughter, willing to be carried across Africa like a parcel, always neatly dressed and well behaved, a credit to her mother."
Between trips to Africa, Sheldon 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, she 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, she became a graphic artist, a painter, and—under the name "Alice Bradley Davey"—an art critic for the Chicago Sun between 1941 and 1942.
Sheldon was encouraged by her mother to seek a career, but her mother also hoped that she would get married and settle down. At age 19, she met and married William (Bill) Davey, her first husband. The couple eloped in 1934. She dropped out of Sarah Lawrence College, which did not allow married students to attend. They moved to Berkeley, California, where they took classes and Bill encouraged her to pursue art. The marriage was not a success; he was an alcoholic and irresponsible with money and she disliked keeping house. The couple divorced in 1940.
After the divorce, she joined the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps where she became a supply officer. 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." As an intelligence officer, she became an expert in reading aerial intelligence photographs.
In 1945, at the close of the war, while she was on assignment in Paris, she married her second husband, Huntington D. Sheldon, known as "Ting." 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. In 1952 she and her husband were invited to join the CIA, which she accepted. At the CIA, she worked as an intelligence agent, but she didn't enjoy the work. She resigned her position in 1955 and returned to college.
She studied for her bachelor of arts degree at American University (1957–1959), 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.
In 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 explained it at one 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, appearing in it as herself. She later had an exhibit of her drawings of Africa at the Chicago Gallery, arranged by her parents. Although she 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 an important step forward for her painting career. During this time 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." She stopped painting in 1941. As she was 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
Bradley discovered science fiction in 1924, when she read her first issue of Weird Tales, but she wouldn't write any herself until years later. 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." She also made the choice to start writing science fiction she, herself, was interested in and "was surprised to find that her stories were immediately accepted for publication and quickly became popular."
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", "Raccoona Sheldon", and "Alli". 
Writing under the pseudonym Raccoona, she was not very successful getting published until her other alter ego, Tiptree, wrote to publishers to intervene.
The pseudonym was successfully maintained until late 1977, 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 gender, 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". Silverberg also compared Tiptree's writing to Ernest Hemingway, and in fact, found Tiptree to be "superior in masculinity".
"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 gender. 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, 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".
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 had 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 in 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 Parsons' 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.
Death and legacy
Sheldon continued writing under the Tiptree pen name for another decade. In the last years of her life she suffered from depression and heart trouble, while her husband began to lose his eyesight, becoming almost completely blind in 1986. In 1976, then 61-year-old Sheldon wrote Silverberg expressing her desire to end her own life while she was still able-bodied and active, but saying that she was reluctant to act upon this intention, as she didn't want to leave Ting behind and couldn't bring herself to kill him. Later she suggested to her husband that they make a suicide pact when their health began to fail. On July 21, 1977, she wrote in her diary: “Ting agreed to consider suicide in 4–5 years.”
Ten years later, on May 19, 1987, Sheldon shot her husband and then herself; she 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 in September 1979 and saved until needed. Although the circumstances surrounding the Sheldons' deaths are not clear enough to rule out murder-suicide, testimony of those closest to them suggests a suicide pact.
The James Tiptree Jr. Award, honoring works of science fiction or fantasy that expand or explore our understanding of gender, was named in her honor. The award-winning science fiction authors Karen Joy Fowler and Pat Murphy created the award in February 1991. Works of fiction such as Half Life by Shelley Jackson and Light by M. John Harrison have received the award. Due to controversy over the circumstances of her and her husband's death, however, the name of the award was changed to the Otherwise Award in 2019.
Quotes about James Tiptree Jr.
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- "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
- '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 April 18, 2013. 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 July 22, 2012. Retrieved July 22, 2012.. May/June 2012. EMP Museum (empmuseum.org). Archived July 22, 2012. Retrieved 2013-03-19.
- Phillips 2006, p. 11.
- Speller, Maureen Kincaid (2007). "James Tiptree, Jr". Magill's Literary Annual 2007: 1–3 – via EBSCOhost.
- Phillips 2006, p. 104.
- Kirkpatrick 2007, p. 64.
- Phillips, Julie. "Alice Bradley Sheldon, 1915–1987". James Tiptree Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon. October 23, 2011. Retrieved October 31, 2011.
- Wolfe, Kathi (September 2, 2006). "She blinded me with science fiction". Houstonvoice.com. Houston Voice. Archived from the original on August 4, 2008. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
- Shawl, Nisi (August 4, 2006). ""James Tiptree Jr.": The amazing lives of writer Alice B. Sheldon". seattletimes.nwsource.com. The Seattle Times. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
- 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.
- Holmes, John R. (2007). "James Tiptree, Jr". Guide to Literary Masters & Their Works. 1 – via EBSCOhost.
- Platt, Charles. “Profile: James Tiptree, Jr. .” Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, Apr. 1983, pp. 26–49. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tOcpTQik4tHYyjzN6HuFZI0za4V9r_64/view
- Profile in April 1983 issue of Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine.
- Kirkpatrick 2007, p. 65.
- "The Secret Sci-Fi Life of Alice B. Sheldon". NPR.org. p. 3. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
- Kirkpatrick 2007, p. 66.
- 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.
- Phillips 2006, p. 388.
- Davis, Patricia (May 20, 1987). "Bullets End 2 'Fragile' Lives". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
- Phillips 2006, p. 366.
- Osgood, N.J. (1992). Suicide in Later Life: Recognizing the Warning Signs. Lexington Books. p. 7. ISBN 9780669212143. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
- Phillips 2006, p. 390.
- Lothian, Alexis (September 2, 2019). "Alice Sheldon and the name of the Tiptree Award « James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award". James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
- 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. 24 (5): 1, 8–11.
- Roberts, Lauren (November 1, 2011). "Aerial Dance Theater Show Features Draper's Maia Ramnath". Draper Program. Retrieved August 12, 2012.
- "Tiptree, James Jr." Archived March 15, 2005, at the Wayback Machine. The Locus Index to SF Awards: Index of Literary Nominees. Locus Publications. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
- Cranny-Francis, Anne. Feminist Fiction. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1990.
- 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.
- Kirkpatrick, Kim (2007). "Begin Again: James Tiptree, Jr.'s Opossum Tricks". Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly. 30 (1): 61–73. doi:10.1353/bio.2007.0024. S2CID 161379989.
- 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.[self-published source]
- 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 978-0-312-20385-6. 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
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: James Tiptree, Jr|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to James Tiptree.|
- James Tiptree Jr. at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- James Tiptree Jr. World Wide Website (unofficial, archived March 3, 2016)
- Overview of Alice B. Sheldon, pen name James Tiptree, Jr., papers at the University of Oregon
- New York Times review of Jame Tiptree Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon By Julie Phillips
- Website for Julie Phillips's biography of Tiptree
- James Tiptree Jr. at Library of Congress Authorities, with 15 catalog records
- Online fiction
- "The Women Men don't See". Archived from the original on January 19, 2008. Retrieved 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". Archived from the original on April 15, 2005. Retrieved May 19, 2011. Text of the short story
- The Last Flight of Doctor Ain and The Screwfly Solution Pdf containing both short stories
- Works by James Tiptree Jr. at Open Library
- Online radio