FFB: The Fortieth Door - In Reference to Murder

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August 17, 2018


Rich Horton

Among Science Fiction fans, Mary Hastings Bradley is better known as the mother of Alice Bradley Sheldon, better known as "James Tiptree, Jr.", won of the very best and strangest SF writers of all time. Tiptree's work was much informed by her travels, which began as a child when her mother took her on some quite interesting trips.

The Fortieth Door looks like the sort of light suspense novel of that time that I might enjoy.

BV Lawson

Thanks for pointing that out, Rich! I'll alert the hubster, who is a big sci-fi fan. (I enjoy it, too, but with only limited time ....)

Todd Mason

In a sense and in part in reaction to her mother and her approach to life, Alice Sheldon had a very critical eye on life, as well as being rather depressive...her fiction tends to be Very caustic, though some is humorously so. Sometimes very darkly humorously so. Imagine an even angrier Karen Blixen.

BV Lawson

Now I definitely have to seek out Sheldon's sci-fi works. Thanks, Todd, for the added insights - I tend to prefer humor (even darkish) in my sci-fi.

Todd Mason

Definitely pick up one of her collections ahead of either of her novels, as her best shorter sf is often brilliant, her novels impressive but flawed.

There was also a biography published in a fairly high-profile fashion, that is also impressive beyond that fact. As her parents' daughter, someone who worked in the CIA from back in the OSS days, and who probably prematurely euthanized her ailing husband and then killed herself, she is, to say the least, an interesting character in her own right.

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