SF Masterwork of the Week: Her Smoke Rose Up Forever

What do Chesley Bonestell, Ray Bradbury, John W. Campbell, Jr, Arthur C. Clarke, August Derleth, Philip K. Dick, Robert Holdstock, Shirley Jackson, Damon Knight, Andre Norton, Bram Stoker and Theodore Sturgeon all have in common?

And what name is missing from the above list?

The answer, as we’re sure you’re aware, is that they all have major awards named in their honour. And, equally obviously, the missing name is Alice Sheldon – better known to the world as James Tiptree, Jr, the name under which she published her best work. The fact that Sheldon felt she needed a masculine pseudonym in order to be taken seriously is symptomatic of one of the great blights on the history (and to a lesser – but still regrettable – degree, present ) of Science Fiction literature.  The James Tiptree, Jr Memorial Award was set up in her memory to honour work that best explores or expands gender roles in SF.


For a decade Alice Sheldon produced an extraordinary body of work under the pseudonym James Tiptree Jr, until her identity was exposed in 1977. Her Smoke Rose Up Forever presents the finest of these stories and contains the Nebula Award-winning ‘ Love Is the Plan, the Plan Is Death’, Hugo Award-winning novella ‘The Girl Who Was Plugged In’, ‘Houston, Houston, Do You Read?’ – winner of both the Hugo and Nebula – and of course the story for which she is best known: ‘The Women Men Don’t See’.

This is a true masterwork – an overview of one of SF true greats at the very height of her powers.


The Last Flight of Doctor Ain
The Screwfly Solution
And I Awoke and Found Me Here on the Cold Hill’s Side
The Girl Who Was Plugged In
The Man Who Walked Home
And I Have Come upon This Place by Lost Ways
The Women Men Don’t See
Your Faces, O My Sisters! Your Faces Filled of Light!
Houston, Houston, Do You Read?
With Delicate Mad Hands
A Momentary Taste of Being
We Who Stole the Dream
Her Smoke Rose Up Forever
Love Is the Plan the Plan Is Death
On the Last Afternoon
She Waits for All Men Born
Slow Music
And So On, and So On


Her Smoke Rose Up Forever is available as an SF Masterworks paperback and an SF Gateway eBook. You can read more about James Tiptree, Jr in her entry in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.