Friday, March 09, 2007

Julie Phillips wins National Book Critics Circle Award for Tiptree Biography

Whoa. The mainstream just jumped on the Tiptree bandwagon again, this time with a very flattering thud.

According to the National Book Critics Circle, James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon is the best biography of 2006. The book was considered a dark horse candidate (just maybe because it's about a science fiction writer?). At the awards banquet tonight, Julie Phillips said, "I really thought I was writing this book for the three other people who were as weird as I was." And she added, "I'm glad [Sheldon's] finally getting the recognition she deserves."

With rave reviews of the biography everywhere from the New York Times to Entertainment Weekly, this continues to be a heck of a ride for those of us in the Tiptree-verse. Shameless plug here: Tachyon's moving a lot of copies of Her Smoke Rose Up Forever, the New York Times-hailed "definitive Tiptree collection," and the Tiptree Award anthologies 1, 2, and 3

When the folks at Tachyon got the galleys last year (and we all read them within a week), we thought Phillips might have written the finest biography of an sf writer ever. The folks at the NBCC clearly agree, but Jacob can debate that with the sf brainiacs at next week's International Conference of the Fantastic in the Arts. I'll admit some partiality to the Judith Merril "biography," a memoir finished by her grandaughter Emily Pohl-Weary (so not technically a biography and need not be compared as such).

While you're here, read some of Tachyon's other recent news.

Oh, and Julie's biography is so much more than a chronicle of Sheldon's rise to the pinnacle of sf. But still, Sheldon was best known as James Tiptree, Jr., legendary science fiction author. One of our own.



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