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The Color of Neanderthal Eyes/Strange at Ecbatan the Trees (Tor Double 16)
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Paperback, 0 pages
Published December 1st 1989 by Tor Books
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"And Strange At Ecbatan The Trees" has to be one of the least commercial book titles ever, but it's a good story. It's also an apprentice work, full of extremes that border on the grotesque, exploring several science fiction tropes simultaneously, all under the overriding theme of "control" -- political, emotional, & personal. A decent, quick (133 pages) read.
My view of this book (or half of the double book) is vividly colored by the fact that Tiptree is actually Alice Sheldon. She really reveled in her macho male role--part of her "deceit" was that she really was more capable at so many of the masculine pursuits than many of her contemporary male sci-fi writers. So the relationship between the spaceman (for the first bunch of pages I had assumed the main character is female, but again, the aforementioned coloring) and the alien race is quite titilla ...more
I do enjoy James Tiptree Junior, but this novella felt a bit tired and dated. Human meets alien, falls in love with alien , saves her species. It's adequately written, but nothing all that special. The Michael Bishop novella, however, is a gem. I think he's one of those tragically under appreciated sf authors that more people should read. His novella, about a zoo of Homo sapiens, subtly genetically engineered into an emotionally stunted underclass and a passionate over class by post humans is a ...more
Ok - this was a part of a series that tacked 2 science fiction short stories by different authors back to back. I've read a lot of James Tiptree Jr. aka Alice Sheldon, and I was disappointed since I've seen her do the same themes, same story better. But the Michael Bishop was good. I started it, didn't quite get into it, left it alone for a few months, then came back, and everything that made me hold it at arms length the first time around really moved me today.
This is a short novel. Basically, an Earthman goes to an undiscovered planet for a vacation & falls in love w/ an alien. They mate & she has babies. Once you overlook the fact that the aliens are way too much like humans, the first 1/3 of the story is amazing, detailing the romance & courtship, written in a beautiful healthy style, like wildly colored flowers blooming. Tiptree has done better, but is always worth reading.
"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 ...moreMore about James Tiptree Jr....