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Welcome to The World of James Tiptree Jr. (real name: Alice B. Sheldon), a place where people can discuss her life, her tragic but heroic death, and her groundbreaking works.

In the 1960s, James Tiptree Jr. shook the world of science fiction with "his" shocking, groundbreaking short stories. Readers were taken aback by Tiptree's signature combination of eloquent, beautiful
prose and the incredible violence of his stories. Most
notably, this publicity-shy writer imbued the "New Wave"
of science fiction with disturbing questions about
gender and the relationships between men and women. He
pushed readers beyond "gender bender" stories that were
vogue at the time and into a realm that few of us are
comfortable with to this day -- the implicit violence that
can exist in human love, and how that violence has
spread virally through the institutions, laws, and norms
that imbue women's reality.

It was assumed that Tiptree was an "angry young man" like fellow New
Wave writers such as Harlan Ellison. Some years into
Tiptree's career, it was discovered that the writer was in
fact Alice B. Sheldon, a woman of middle age, and a
former CIA spy.

Alice Sheldon dropped her early aspirations as a
graphic artist and painter and joined the U.S. Army at
the beginning of World War II. She served in Army
Intelligence for the war's duration, achieving the rank of
Major. She and her new husband Huntington Sheldon joined
the fledgling CIA in 1952. She was an active spy in
the near east for two years before resigning from the
agency.

Taking the name "Tiptree" from a jar of marmalade,
Sheldon published her first short story in 1968, at the
age of 53. Thus began her long career and
distinguished career as a science fiction writer and novelist,
a career which continued through to her death in
1987. She died honoring a sucide pact with her ailing husband.

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