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(p.1) Introduction
Alien Plots
Inez Van Der Spek

Within the science fiction community, the work of James Tiptree Jr, whose real name was Alice Sheldon-Bradley, is generally acknowledged to be among the best of the genre. During the 1970s, Tiptree had won Hugo, Nebula, and Jupiter Awards for science fiction writing. Recently, the importance of her work for the development of feminist science fiction has been acknowledged by authors. This book examines Tiptree's 1975 text, ‘A Momentary Taste of Being’, which radically transformed the conventional figure of the alien encounter. In particular, it considers the ways in which the story may interact with feminist and other critical theories on the issues of female subjectivity and the meaning of the divine in a postmodern context. This introduction provides an overview of the life and work of Tiptree, and a synopsis of ‘A Momentary Taste of Being’, followed by an explanation of the central figure of the text – the alien.

Keywords:   science fiction, James Tiptree Jr, Taste of Being, alien encounter, female subjectivity, divine, alien, Alice Sheldon-Bradley

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