Her Smoke Rose Up Forever

James Tiptree, Jr.
Her Smoke Rose Up Forever Cover

Brutal and transfixing in some places


Like any short fiction collection, there are some speedbumps, but among some unforgettable reads. Sheldon/Tiptree is graphic: she writes trancelike sex and gut-wrenching violence. Stories alternate between catchy, aggressive prose, and overly-poetic narrative (I prefer the former). Led by memorable, eye-opening moments like "The Screwfly Solution," "A Momentary Taste of Being," and "We Who Stole the Dream", it also includes historically-critical works ("The Girl Who Was Plugged In" "And I Awoke and Found Me...") and important socially critical works ("Houston, Houston, Do You Read?" "The Women Men Don't See"). Alice Sheldon is one SF writer I wish I could talk to. Highly recommended, but remember to pay attention to the timeline and pseudonym swaps as you read these.