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Crown of Stars

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  136 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Second Going (1987)
Our Resident Djinn (1986)
Morality Meat (1985)
All This and Heaven Too (1985)
Yanqui Doodle (1987)
Come Live with Me (1988)
Last Night and Every Night (1970)
Backward, Turn Backward (1988)
The Earth Doth Like a Snake Renew (1988)
In Midst of Life (1987)
Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 15th 1990 by Tor Books (first published May 25th 1990)
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Greg Lehman
Dec 16, 2014 Greg Lehman rated it it was amazing
This collection brings together the last work Sheldon turned out before she died in 1987 with her husband Huntington. The challenges she was facing with her husband's degrading health and her own depression resulted in some of the darkest work I've read by any author. Even so, this is not pure anger on display. One of the greatest facets of Sheldon's gargantuan imagination was a refusal to settle for one direction in any of her work. Where there is abysmal nihilism, the artists still finds the s ...more
Marie Michaels
Oct 12, 2012 Marie Michaels rated it it was amazing
The other is a book of short stories. Two of them stuck in my head as real punches to the gut: "Morality Meat" and "Yanqui Doodle." She says that she stopped or slowed down writing after a while because she was digging so deep into emotional territory that really hurt, and wow. The despair and visceral horror at what Tiptree imagines for society just rolls off the pages. Looking forward to re-reading this eventually (which is the test of a 5-star book for me).
Steve Shilstone
Oct 16, 2012 Steve Shilstone rated it really liked it
Even if she was only a PHD CIA OSS Army proto-hippie debutante child African explorer, she was also a damn fine scifi writer.
I keep starting and stopping this review, because I should talk about the stories, but the truth is I have a hard time reading this as anything other than a 340-page suicide note, and oh god Tiptree why did you have to do it? Why?

So, okay. The stories. As many before me have noted, these late-career works are far from Tiptree's strongest. (Depression, it turns out, is not always a good muse.) Themes of death and inevitability always shadow Tiptree's work, but here she often sets subtlety aside a
M.K. Rhodes
Posthumous collection of short stories following the murder/suicide that ended Tiptree's life.

-"Second Going": Humanity makes contact with blue octopus aliens that substitute themselves for the empty old Gods of Earth. Witty and fun, ending on a note of touching melancholy. 8/10

-"Our Resident Djinn": Down in Hell, Satan received word that God has died and goes up to offer his condolences (and take home some of the Good Lord's real estate). 7/10

-"Morality Meat": The near-future, dominated by hide
Dec 27, 2010 Amanda rated it really liked it
A good, solid short story collection. I especially liked Morality Meat, All This and Heaven Too, Yanqui Doodle, Come Live With Me, and Backward Turn Backward. In Midst of Life, Last Night and Every Night, and Our Resident Djinn weren't to my taste. The others were meh.

So, on the whole, a good collection. Some stories were very readable, some dragged a bit. Her style isn't super easy to fall into.
May 06, 2016 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I usually don't enjoy a book of short stories as much as the individual stories themselves, but this was a wonderful collection of Alice Sheldon's later works sprinkled with some earlier ones. The wonderful and fanciful future worlds that she creates captivated me, and I look forward to reading more of her works.
Aug 30, 2015 Amy rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction-sci-fi
Despite several stories that had fascinating premises (most of all "Backward, Turn Backward," and also "The Earth Doth Like a Snake Renew"), the writing style wasn't very gripping and I skimmed a bit in every story. I'm hoping her more famous stories are of better quality.

Some great ideas here, but not so great execution.
Monica Garcia
Jan 18, 2014 Monica Garcia rated it really liked it
So hard to rate this one. Some stories really hit hard, others not so much. Second Going and Backward, Turn Backward will be with me forever. Like all her work it's dark, and many stories have political overtones.
Jan 14, 2013 Jay rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Jay by: Phnelt
Great collection! Sometimes the language/character dialogue felt old-timey to me, but it is older Sci-Fi. Each story was great in its own way, and they will all stick with me.
Aug 03, 2012 Jill rated it it was amazing
Loved it. I can't believe I never ran across Tipton when I was inhaling classic sci-fi in junior high and high school. Now I want more.
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"James Tiptree, Jr." was born Alice Bradley in Chicago in 1915. Her mother was the writer Mary Hastings Bradley; her father, Herbert, was a lawyer and explorer. Throughout her childhood she travelled with her parents, mostly to Africa, but also to India and Southeast Asia. Her early work was as an artist and art critic. During World War II she enlisted in the Army and became the first American fem ...more
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