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Flying Cups and Saucers: Gender Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy

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Flying Cups & Saucers collects 13 winners and finalists for the James Tiptree Jr. Award, named for science fiction's ultimate gender pioneer, the woman writer everyone thought was a man. Accordingly, the Tiptree Award (est. 1991) honors the best science fiction and fantasy to explore and expand gender roles. As you might expect, these stories are feminist; non-heterosexist Flying Cups & Saucers collects 13 winners and finalists for the James Tiptree Jr. Award, named for science fiction's ultimate gender pioneer, the woman writer everyone thought was a man. Accordingly, the Tiptree Award (est. 1991) honors the best science fiction and fantasy to explore and expand gender roles. As you might expect, these stories are feminist; non-heterosexist; focused on sex and desire; and sometimes androgynous (a few stories feature three sexes, and one even stars Freud's nightmare, the woman with a penis). But this list hardly begins to describe the contents. Kelley Eskridge's terrific and gender-bending And Salome Danced is the perfect opening story: it not only examines oft-ignored aspects of desire, it operates on several levels to explore how what we expect to see defines and limits our perceptions. Science fiction's founding mother Ursula K. Le Guin contributes two brilliant stories: Forgiveness Day explores the intricacy of gender roles in a society where they are further complicated by slavery and war, while The Matter of Seggri is set on a world with near-absolute segregation of the sexes. L. Timmel Duchamp incisively delineates how men react to a woman who doesn't fit the feminine role. James Patrick Kelly's seemingly traditional idea-SF story Chemistry just might be the most radical in the book, for it explores the purely chemical nature of love. The other contributors--Eleanor Arnason, Ian McDonald, Carol Emshwiller, Graham Joyce, Peter F. Hamilton, R. Garcia y Robertson, Lisa Tuttle, Delia Sherman, and Ian R. MacLeod--also contribute strong, insightful, well written, challenging, and often threatening fiction. --Cynthia Ward


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Flying Cups & Saucers collects 13 winners and finalists for the James Tiptree Jr. Award, named for science fiction's ultimate gender pioneer, the woman writer everyone thought was a man. Accordingly, the Tiptree Award (est. 1991) honors the best science fiction and fantasy to explore and expand gender roles. As you might expect, these stories are feminist; non-heterosexist Flying Cups & Saucers collects 13 winners and finalists for the James Tiptree Jr. Award, named for science fiction's ultimate gender pioneer, the woman writer everyone thought was a man. Accordingly, the Tiptree Award (est. 1991) honors the best science fiction and fantasy to explore and expand gender roles. As you might expect, these stories are feminist; non-heterosexist; focused on sex and desire; and sometimes androgynous (a few stories feature three sexes, and one even stars Freud's nightmare, the woman with a penis). But this list hardly begins to describe the contents. Kelley Eskridge's terrific and gender-bending And Salome Danced is the perfect opening story: it not only examines oft-ignored aspects of desire, it operates on several levels to explore how what we expect to see defines and limits our perceptions. Science fiction's founding mother Ursula K. Le Guin contributes two brilliant stories: Forgiveness Day explores the intricacy of gender roles in a society where they are further complicated by slavery and war, while The Matter of Seggri is set on a world with near-absolute segregation of the sexes. L. Timmel Duchamp incisively delineates how men react to a woman who doesn't fit the feminine role. James Patrick Kelly's seemingly traditional idea-SF story Chemistry just might be the most radical in the book, for it explores the purely chemical nature of love. The other contributors--Eleanor Arnason, Ian McDonald, Carol Emshwiller, Graham Joyce, Peter F. Hamilton, R. Garcia y Robertson, Lisa Tuttle, Delia Sherman, and Ian R. MacLeod--also contribute strong, insightful, well written, challenging, and often threatening fiction. --Cynthia Ward

44 review for Flying Cups and Saucers: Gender Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy

  1. 5 out of 5

    ─ôva

    it's rare for me to find politically-themed fiction that isn't embarrassingly didactic, and equally rare to find science fiction, even in long form, that doesn't end up resorting to clunky expository passages in order to move the story along. so it seems like feminist science fiction short stories must be an especially tough genre/form combination to tackle. that said, i really treasured this collection. a couple clunkers that made me groan, but they're definitely made up for by awesome stuff fr it's rare for me to find politically-themed fiction that isn't embarrassingly didactic, and equally rare to find science fiction, even in long form, that doesn't end up resorting to clunky expository passages in order to move the story along. so it seems like feminist science fiction short stories must be an especially tough genre/form combination to tackle. that said, i really treasured this collection. a couple clunkers that made me groan, but they're definitely made up for by awesome stuff from (just a few of my favorites) eleanor arnason, ian r. macleod, and carol emshwiller. and of course, always and forever <3, ursula k. le guin - "the matter of seggri" manages to be challenging, heartbreaking, and unabashedly feminist, while at the same time extending its arms fully and equally to both men and women. (but it kinda made me blush to imagine a 60-odd-year-old wife and mother writing a story that makes such extravagant use of the word "fuckery".)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alison

    My brother took a course in college that used this as required reading. It was laying around the house, so I picked it up. A few stories were awesome, but as I am not generally a scifi fan I just couldn't get into most of them. My brother took a course in college that used this as required reading. It was laying around the house, so I picked it up. A few stories were awesome, but as I am not generally a scifi fan I just couldn't get into most of them.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mills College Library

    Fiction F6482 2008

  4. 5 out of 5

    C.J.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Leslie

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sue Chant

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

  8. 4 out of 5

    Karl

  9. 5 out of 5

    Djibril Al-ayad

  10. 4 out of 5

    Marta Ferguson

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rowan

  12. 4 out of 5

    L. Tait

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ket

  15. 4 out of 5

    Janice

  16. 5 out of 5

    Meadow

  17. 4 out of 5

    Krystian Aparta

  18. 5 out of 5

    Marianne

  19. 5 out of 5

    Gee

  20. 4 out of 5

    Luka

  21. 5 out of 5

    Joanna

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

  23. 5 out of 5

    Christy

  24. 4 out of 5

    Colin

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jay

  26. 5 out of 5

    bruin

  27. 5 out of 5

    Brimate

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ariel

  29. 5 out of 5

    Annie

  30. 4 out of 5

    Pamster

  31. 4 out of 5

    tish

  32. 5 out of 5

    Julie

  33. 5 out of 5

    Shana Bulhan

  34. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Broderick

  35. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

  36. 5 out of 5

    J. Allen Nelson

  37. 5 out of 5

    Allie

  38. 4 out of 5

    Reasonvsfear

  39. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

  40. 4 out of 5

    Anita

  41. 5 out of 5

    Rose

  42. 5 out of 5

    Lily McGarr

  43. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

  44. 4 out of 5

    Katbyrdie

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