i wanted to like this book better, because i found Tiptree’s personal story (James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon) so incredibly moving. i am sure that i read Tiptree’s stories at the time of their publication so many years ago. i am sure i was bowled over, then.
and, too, i have been listening to a Dickens audiobook, and just about everybody pales in comparison.
but i must say i found these stories a little creaky, a bit geriatric in their outlook. science fiction often doesn’t age well (and believe me i have no idea how it is that Dickens can feel more contemporary than Tiptree), and even 20 years on can get distinctly dated. much so-called feminist science fiction has dated in many ways even more rapidly, which is a very good thing: it shows us that the sexist attitudes of the time are now so thoroughly of the past that they must appear dated.
so i confess that although i wanted to love this book better, i just didn’t. perhaps in part because of stories like these my own thinking has evolved far beyond the issues the stories raise; perhaps that in itself is the highest praise i can offer.