First published in 1973, this collection of 15 short science fiction stories has been reissued in a new Penguin edition. I’d previously read a few of this author’s stories, in various anthologies, so was curious to experience more of her work. James Tiptree Jr was the pseudonym of Alice Bradley Sheldon but this wasn’t generally known at the time of this book’s publication.
The title of this collection is certainly apt, as every story is so distant from us in space or time (or both). The writing style is extraordinary, often lyrical but also with a pulp fiction feel. Unusual phrases and weird dialogue leap through the paragraphs. It can be disorientating, as quite often I wasn’t sure what was going on. To me, these stories seem very advanced for the era in which they were written. Some of them explore the fluidity of gender via sexual encounters with alien species. However, the content of the stories was liable to be overshadowed by the confusing nature of the writing style.
I can’t say I loved reading this book, but it was definitely an otherworldly experience.
Thank you to Penguin for the advanced copy via NetGalley. The book is now available to buy.