Up at the Los Angeles Review of Books my essay, “The Women You Didn’t See.”
You were brilliant, I think, but consumed by the inevitability of the abattoir. In your fiction, all the gates are closed; characters are funneled down a chute to flashing knives. In your best fiction, the characters know what is happening, but the knowledge makes no difference; there’s no way out.
The editor at LARB, Tom Lutz, calls it epistolatory criticism, and it is–to a degree. It’s also a meditation on gender and its discontents: was Sheldon trans, genderqueer, or a woman who loved women? We’ll never know for sure, but I have my theories. I’m aware I could very well have got a lot wrong on this subject. I’d love to hear what others think and am more than happy to talk about it. The only rules? Assume good intent and play nicely.
If you like the essay, you might want to buy Letters to Tiptree, an anthology edited by Alisa Krasnostein and Alexandra Pierce (Twelfth Planet) to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Alice Sheldon’s birth next month. It has a stellar list of contributors. If Tiptree/Sheldon interests you at all, it will be a must-read. So pre-order now.
I’ll be reading the essay tomorrow at Readercon.