Happy first: Janet Maslin gives Julie Phillips’ Tiptree biography a very nice review in the NYT. (The ending’s mention of the suicide is far too simple, compared to, say, life or Carter Scholz’s review.) My new favorite phrase is "the wildness of science fiction."
Now sad: Caitlin Kiernan finds out in the worst possible way that her books have been remaindered. (Hint: It involves breach of contract)
Sort of related: Why the word suck rules.
On thing one: Lots of discussion about how unlikely it is Maslin has ever read much Tiptree (or "got" it) and inconsistencies in the review. (Which I still think is great for the book’s prospects. But "the wildness of science fiction" — if that phrase alone doesn’t show that Maslin knows only a pinch about genre!) Anyway, it’s Maslin, so yeah. Those seeking more substantial commentary on the biography itself should mosey over to Mely’s Coffee and Ink: here’s a post collecting some of her thoughts about the biography and Julie Phillips’ KGB reading and here’s the reaction to the Maslin review (check out the comments). Meanwhile, putting Tiptree into Google News and having the results not be entirely about water leaks in England makes me happy.
On thing two: Caitlin posts an update on her situation, with some much better news.
On thing three: The word suck still rules.
3 thoughts on “One Happy, One Sad (Updated)”
Maslin’s review is positive enough, but it’s clear she doesn’t know the genre, and I came away wondering whether she ever read a story by Tiptree. (I’m surprised she could write a review without mentioning what Scholz calls Tiptree’s “signature story,” “The Women Men Don’t See.”)
Scholz’s review, on the other hand, is the work of someone who knows the territory like the back of his own hand. The new issue of F&SF has a selection of letters between Tiptree/Sheldon and Ursula LeGuin — reading them should prepare me for the biography.
Nice blog, by the way. I found it via Ed Champion.
Wow. That Kiernan story is just wow. The suck all over town. That’s just horrid.
Definitely, Tom. And thanks!
Chance: I KNOW. It seems like someone should have do more than hit send on an email to remainder a book (if that email even existed) — like, you know, people should have to SIGN things saying they have BEEN INFORMED. Horrific. And how much confidence can you be left with in your publisher and what they’re doing for your books?
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