Her Smoke Rose Up Forever • 1990 • SF Collection by James Tiptree, Jr.



James Tiptree, Jr. was praised as the male voice of feminism back in the 70s before fandom blew up the cover and exposed writer Alice Sheldon behind this pen-name. What a fascinating life! The author was a high ranked officer during WWII, worked for the CIA in the 50s, went back to school, achieved a bachelor of arts, and achieved a doctorate in psychology in the 60s. Unsure, what to do with it, she started publishing 1968 under her pen-name and was soon rewarded with SF’s most important awards – Hugo and Nebula Awards for her shorter works.

The stories in this collection are mostly dark, utterly dark, often depressing. They involve sexism and rape, even incest, sometimes explicitly, though not in a pornographic way to make a statement for feminism. It is very hard reading one story after the other – which means that the collection is less enjoyable than reading single stories. Other topics in her stories are free will versus biological determinism.

Her strongest works are in the shorter form – she published novels as well, but those weren’t as well received as her short works. It surely is a milestone in SF and I heavily recommend reading at least a couple of her stories.

My favourite ★★★★★ stories were

  • The Girl Who Was Plugged In • review
  • The Women Men Don’t See • review
  • Love Is the Plan the Plan Is Death • review

Weakest ☆ or ★ stories

  • With Delicate Mad Hands • review


  1. ★★1/2 • “The Last Flight of Doctor Ain” • 1969 • short story • mad scientist spreading lethal virus • review
  2. ★★★“The Screwfly Solution” • 1977 • short story • exterminating humans like flies • review
  3. ★★★★☆ • And I Awoke and Found Me Here on the Cold Hill’s Side • 1972 • SF short story by James Tiptree, Jr. • review
  4. ★★★★★“The Girl Who Was Plugged In” • 1973 • proto-cyberpunk novella • review
  5. ★★★★ • “The Man Who Walked Home” • 1972 • short story • backwards time travel • review
  6. ★★★“And I Have Come Upon This Place by Lost Ways” • 1972 • novelette • scientist goes his own way on a planet • review
  7. ★★★★★“The Women Men Don’t See” • 1973 • novelette • about alien women • review
  8. ★★★“Your Faces, O My Sisters! Your Faces Filled of Light!” • 1976 • short story • fantasy ending in a horror • review
  9. ★★★★“Houston, Houston, Do You Read?” • 1976 • novella • male astronauts are transported into a female future • review
  10. ★1/2“With Delicate Mad Hands” • 1981 • novella • pig-nosed girl mutinies for pig-world • review
  11. ★★★★“A Momentary Taste of Being” • 1975 • novella • cosmic fuck • review
  12. ★★★“We Who Stole the Dream” • 1978 • novelette • Tiptree’s answer to “The Word for World is Forest” • review
  13. ★★Her Smoke Rose Up Forever • 1974 • short story • very intense, great language, but I simply didn’t understand the plot.
  14. ★★★★★ Love Is the Plan the Plan Is Death” • 1973 • short story • intelligent spider tries to escape her instincts • review
  15. ★★★ “On the Last Afternoon” • 1972 • novelette • sea monsters whipe out a stranded colony • review
  16. ★★ “She Waits for All Men Born” • 1976 • short story • psi-girl kills with her mind • review
  17. ★★★★ “Slow Music” • 1980 • novella • the last breeding couple try to escape uploading • review
  18. ★★ And So On, and So On” • 1971 • very short story • sort of wraps up the collection

Meta: isfdb. This collection of 18 short stories, novelettes and novellas was published 1990 by Arkham House and re-published 2014 within the SF Masterworks series by Gollancz.

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