Alan C. Elms
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Other SF & Fantasy Writers Who Interest Me

Besides Cordwainer Smith, the science fiction writer I've studied most closely is James Tiptree, Jr. I've published one article comparing her with Smith ("Painwise in Space," listed in the section on my writings about Smith) and one article on Tiptree alone: "The Psychologist Who Empathized with Rats: James Tiptree, Jr. as Alice B. Sheldon, PhD," in Science Fiction Studies, March 2004, vol. 31, pp. 81-96. That article begins:

"We all know by now that James Tiptree, Jr., the sf writer who could fire off a masculine metaphor with the best of the boys, was in reality Alice Bradley Sheldon. When Tiptree's real name was revealed after a decade of disguise, the sf world was fascinated to hear of her far-ranging childhood travels with her explorer parents, her early career as a professional artist, her World War II and Cold War service in military intelligence and the CIA. It also became known that Sheldon had earned a PhD in Psychology in midlife. But as the Tiptree legend grew, the PhD was seldom treated as more than a filler between her CIA work and her sf writing debut. . . . To Alice Sheldon, however, her identity as an experimental psychologist was neither accidental nor incidental. She expressed a passion for psychological research that was far more intense than anything she said about her art or her CIA assignments. In various interviews and essays she repeated much the same words: '[B]ecoming a genuine research psychologist - PhD, 1967 - brought me the greatest genuine thrill of my life.'"

I'll fill in the rest of this section later, with opinions and some information on such writers as:

L. Frank Baum

Jack Williamson

Isaac Asimov

Robert Heinlein

Fredric Brown

Kim Stanley Robinson

Karen Joy Fowler

Terry Dowling


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