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Sci-Fi Bio Slights Sci-Fi Writer

marta-randall.gifEverybody seems to like Julie Phillips’s James Tiptree, Jr.—everybody less one, that is. Science fiction author Marta Randall (left) is less than thrilled about how she comes across in the book, and she’s sent us (along with Locus, Salon, and a few other people) a copy of her letter to Phillips about it:

“On page 360 of your biography of Alice Sheldon,” Randall writes, “you say that in December of 1976, I sent a letter of welcome to Ms. Sheldon on the revelation of her identity as the woman behind the pseudonym of James Tiptree, Jr. Indeed I did. In that solitary reference, you identify me as ‘[Robert] Silverberg’s girlfriend, Marta Randall’ and nothing more.”

Thing is, by 1976 Randall was a lot more than “Silverberg’s girlfriend;” she was a Nebula-nominated novelist who was just a few years away from being selected as the first female vice-president of the Science Fiction Writers of America (and president some time after that). “My sister writers are identified by their genres or their works, so I do not understand why my professional credentials were ignored,” Randall presses. “At the very least, this error should be corrected in any future printings and editions of your book. I would like a formal acknowledgment that this will happen.”

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