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While he calls Brightness Falls from the Air a melodrama , he argues that it possesses "extraordinary power" and that Tiptree "has an attentiveness in this book to other issues, most obviously the visual, that she doesn't have elsewhere. A Japanese translation issued by Hayakawa Publishing won the Seiun Award for best foreign novel.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Brightness Falls from the Air First edition. Retrieved James Tiptree, Jr. CS1 maint: extra text: authors list link. Science fiction by women s science fiction novel stubs. Hidden categories: CS1 maint: extra text: authors list All stub articles. Namespaces Article Talk. Like the Damieii humanoid people descended from insects definitely are treated as an exotic tribe of subhumans and have human "guardians" to "protect" them from being exploited by human beings. Those same guardians are astounded when the Damieii, at the end of the novel, wish to go into business for themselves and don't want to keep living their subsistence life.

Like heaven forbid that they might want something like plumbing rather than to keep to their "traditional" lives and to have some personal autonomy. So this book had a very anthropological feel which doesn't really stand up in That said, it's a science fiction book that handles sex work in a more nuanced and sympathetic way than many other that I've read. And has a fairly nuanced main female character. There's just so much good science fiction coming out now that I can't justify other people spending the time to read this book.

Jun 24, Juushika rated it it was ok Shelves: status-borrowed , genre-science-fiction. A diverse group of tourists arrive on a distant, vulnerable planet to witness the aftereffects of a nova. Tiptree wrote so much and such fantastic short fiction; but long fiction is a different beast, and those same skills don't necessarily apply. It still feels like Tiptree, vivid and stylized, pulpy but grim, with atypical depictions of gender and gendered social roles and consistent themes of death.

But it's not as provoking or dense--or strong--as her short fiction. Shelves: science-fiction. I wonder why there's a correlation between sci-fi books and their character's unusual eye color? It's like if you're a character, fabricated by a sci-fi writer, your eye and hair color will be mentioned again and again and I guarantee it will be a highly uncommon color. I was thinking this and then up popped this sentence by Tiptree: Reality needs no friends.

She doesn't care if all her characters are unrealistic! Neither do I, anymore, violet colored eyes are nice to imagine, sometimes. This b I wonder why there's a correlation between sci-fi books and their character's unusual eye color? This book, after all, is about a planet on the rim of the universe inhabited by a fairy-like species who eventually become entrepreneurs of their own body fluids. That's a setting that calls for 'silver-blondes' and 'star-blues,' especially considering that humans have come to film a porno on this planet while a star supernovas overhead.

I like that Tiptree can do all that and still write a book that I don't want to feed to the flames. Or throw in the recycle bin, which is much more likely, I'm a very sensible girl. Also, since I always appreciate Tiptree's titles, it was only a little disappointing to find out she didn't invent this one, it comes from a highly applicable poem by Thomas Nashe.

Our audience will be perfectly satisfied with the tachyons. Just give 'em one sciency-sounding word they've heard before and they're happy.

Brightness Falls from the Air

Jul 05, Heather rated it liked it Shelves: own-it , sci-fi. A confusing mess of a plot full of soap opera revelations every twenty minutes, but mostly a really fun read. The soap opera ridiculousness did distract badly from the horrors going on, often in the background. This novel has some truly great thematic material, but the writing felt like a teenager's melodramatic first draft.

Jul 16, Pippa rated it it was amazing Shelves: sf , sf-by-women. Just found my review of this book. A really original book. This is an absolutely genuine big gift. The two main plot strands are well woven together, and the whole is deeply thoughtful. I'd rate this not far behind 'Brave New World', although it does have occasional stodgy moments, and verges on the silly once? Very very good though. One of my all-time favourite science fiction novels by one of my all-time favorite authors.

It's been a long time since I read it, but I remember loving it. I should go back and reread so I can give a proper review. Jan 28, Kathleen rated it it was amazing. One of the most compelling books I can recall ever reading. May 16, J. Alice Bradley Sheldon I can honestly say I've read few of James Tiptree and that is mostly because she was mostly writing short stories and though I've read a few short stories now and then I prefer novels.

She has two of those to her name and this one was in e-book format and after recently reading one of her short stories I felt compelled to read a novel.

Brightness Falls from the Air

Though the novel starts with a paragraph that sounds quite descriptive it is misleading in Brightness Falls From the Air by James Tiptree Jr. Though the novel starts with a paragraph that sounds quite descriptive it is misleading in that it seems quite innocuous and this reader felt he had to dig down further to find a reason to continue. But the entire first paragraph actually sets up a bit of the conflict and one of the main plot points in a rather sneaky way.

Farther down though we are introduced to the three custodians of Damiem and its inhabitants the Dameii who appear to be fairy like creatures with thin frail wings. The planet is protected like some large preserve and the three humans, along with a ship in space, protect the Dameii who were once abused by human drug runners. The three humans, Cory Estreel, her mate Kipruget Korso and their friend Doctor Balthasar Baramji ap Bye— Baram or Bram, the Senior Xenopathologist, all have a bit of a past that will unfold to the reader as the story moves forward; but to begin with we find the present situation.

Cory and Kip are mated and the Doctor has long since lost his mate. Somewhere along the line after his time of mourning we find he may have made a pass at Cory who, being faithful to Kip and understanding other difficulties that could arise from any relationship, resisted his attempts. In all, it seems that it may have cemented the relationship between all three. As the story opens they have visitors arriving on planet, who are there to observe the effects of a nova upon the space around Damiem--the recently nova star is mysteriously labeled as the Murdered Star. Along with the expected visitors they have a few more because of some mix-up or malfunction of the cold storage of passengers.

All the passengers aboard the ship were brought out of storage by 'accident'. The alien race that run the Federation line, the Moom, have a tight schedule and don't or won't allow the time to sort the mess out so they unload all the passengers plus the one human crew who was in charge of them. The four extra people are going to have to await the next flight that comes to take them to their planned destination.

This poses a problem because everyone who visits Damiem must be fully checked out before arrival because of the circumstances behind the reason the Dameii are being protected. The quickest explanation being that the Dameii excrete a substance that can be used as a drug in humans to cause euphoria and the substance seems to be stronger when extracted from the Dameii while they are under stress and possibly being tortured.


  • Pulmonary Embolism.
  • Thomas Nashe;
  • Marketing (ICSA Diploma in Business Practice).

There are a lot of interesting notions concerning the culture and physiology of the Dameii and the waves of force coming from the nova that certainly meet the test of time and internally are all handle quite well. But what I like particularly are the characters in the story. They all are equitably developed and the main characters are quite complex. If I had any qualms it was that the complexity of many of the situations along with the characters and coupled with the time disruptive effect of the nova often caused me to lose track of where all the characters were at and I often had to backtrack.

The reader can see several potential consequences adding up and piling one upon the other. Though it is possible for some of these to be avoided it is not going to be possible for all of them to be averted. There will be consequences and so far in my reading of her work there usually are unavoidable consequences. There's an element of gritty darkness to the story that might make some people uncomfortable but all those elements are necessary to move the story along.

My only regret is that within her career she seems to have only written two novels and whole slew of short stories. I know I'd love to read any novel she wrote. This novel stands as a great work for all SF and SFF fans alike and should hold up for quite a while as a classic. Mar 17, Christian Schwoerke rated it liked it. In a life characterized by social and sexual awkwardness, Alice B.

Sheldon probably found her greatest satisfaction when writing as the James Tiptree, Jr. Much of her early fiction as Tiptree was the exploration of the yin and yang impulses of sex and death. So… why so much dwelling on the author when reading this particular novel? She had had from the outset of her unmasking felt a diminution as author and presence, had felt that her readers were no longer assured of her authority. With so much in her life converging to fulfill her sense of a dark entropy, it is a compelling opportunity to read Darkness as a final statement, a summing up, an effort to create even while universal forces ineluctably broke things down.

This former robust and athletic guardian of Damiem has been prematurely made senescent, and she is reflecting on all that her life has encompassed—notably the misguided destruction of an entire civilization and solar system. He said that in their antiquity, when they already had a high culture, an invisible entity, a space-borne something, quite likely from outside the Galaxy, somehow impinged on [their planet]. They had no doubt as to the cause. The muddle of reverence and hate, works of art that suck souls, of light that illumines beautifully and yet enervates—all of these are emotions that Sheldon is wrestling with in desperation to understand why it is that she is compelled to continue on writing when her instinct is to end it all, to take her life.

From this perspective, the story of Darkness is simply a diversion, a means to slow entropy, to prolong her own life with imaginative ruminations about the seeming contradiction of being. Though author of the difficulties all about her, Cory has been made impotent to resolve them in which condition her male lover Kip also finds himself. Jun 13, Brian Ridderbusch rated it really liked it.

Would have been a 2 star rating except for the ending. Terribly frustrating dialogue, again until the end. Unfortunately I don't think the end would have an interesting impact without reading the book. So you need to read the whole book. If you start this just make it to the end, like cory. May 27, Fanny Aboulker rated it it was ok. I thought the style was very heavy, everything was over explained and by the end I didn't really care about the fate of any of the characters.

Dec 10, Sarah Rigg rated it it was amazing Shelves: classics. A sci-fi classic for a reason. A bit cliche. The various plot points didn't hang together well. I hope this book is uncharacteristic of Triptree's other works. Aug 02, Deborah rated it did not like it Shelves: sci-fi-and-fantasy , don-t-waste-your-time , popsugar-challenge Just don't.

Lousy plot. Terrible writing.

Brightness Falls from the Air by James Tiptree Jr.

Ridiculous, stereotypical, flat characters. I absolutely loved this novel. The rich descriptions of the planet, the people, the characters, all was so enjoyable. My greatest wish is that Tiptree's work are re-published for a new generation, and available on e-readers. May 26, Kend rated it liked it Shelves: science-fiction.

Not sure where I read this, but I remember someone saying a person absolutely must read James Tiptree Jr Alice Sheldon if interested in queer sci-fi. Of course, almost none of her books are available through our library network in Montana, so Brightness Falls from the Air was the best I could do without committing to buying an author I'd never read or even heard of before. I should have heard of her before. Why hadn't I? Probably because she was a woman. I'll probably read Julie Phillips' biogra Not sure where I read this, but I remember someone saying a person absolutely must read James Tiptree Jr Alice Sheldon if interested in queer sci-fi.

Sheldon before I make any final conclusions, but it would seem a logical one to leap to. Brightness isn't all that great.

ISBN 13: 9780812556254

I mean, it's good I think it has to do with the characterization--none of the characters transcends their particular stereotype, really, whether nymph think: Hollywood star crossed with porn star of the future or married couple with Manhattan fifth-floor walk-up level issues. Only, in space. Or perhaps it was that the premise was a little too weird. I mean, not like good weird. Milking fairies for their ecstasy-inducing tears feels a little meh, even if I totally buy the notion that corporate exploitation would endanger a species for profit.

It remains, however, to be said that Tiptree's alien race, here, is just not all that interesting. Or perhaps I mean to say: it doesn't surprise me, or introduce me to something new. I also don't think this book was a good exemplar of Tiptree's supposed dedication to exploring gender identity. At least, outside of the context of marital struggles, which we've read about elsewhere many times before.

I'll try to track down a copy of one of her more seminal works--perhaps Her Smoke Rose Up Forever --but no commitments! Mar 13, Morgan McGuire rated it did not like it. Cheap salaciousness mixed with minor world building and then bathing in disgusting images The child porn, murder, torture could be serious and addressed well e. Review I'd actually never read any James Tipree before this book.

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So I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from it. I can say that I certainly wasn't expecting what I got, which was a very strange mix of things, a science fiction about mistakes and forgiveness and second chances, about genocide and murder and healing. It's a very odd book, set on a remote world that was home to one of the most horrible chapters of human history, where humans exploited a native sentient race for a drug that could be extracted, that tasted better when the creatures suffer.

The book goes to some incredibly dark places, shows some very terrible, awful things, and shows in some ways why protectorates are rather shitty business. And through all that there's love and adventure and tons of great moments. The character work is quite well done, too, populating this distant and remote outpost with a great assortment of personalities, none of which are entirely innocent and all of whom might be there for nefarious reasons.

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It's great to see everyone interact and it's great that there's actually a gay couple that sort of gets a happily-ever-after. It's a small thing, but one that made me smile and enjoy the book that much more. There's just a lot to see, so many different sorts of relationships, some cool and some sort of messed up but all of them alive and interesting. The dynamic between the main pairing is sweet and committed and also tragic and this book really does some crazy things. I mean, things are going along kind of standard and then boom, things start hitting.

Plots and weapons and kind-of time travel and all of it. The story really is about second chances. If people get them and if they should. Obviously this has to do with the human atrocities, and should humans get a second chance, be able to stand innocent? The answer there is basically no, because for all that humanity wants to protect those victimized by their terribleness, they can't really do that.

So to see the ending of that come is a nice touch, that idea that perhaps what these people need is not further human protection but to be allowed to protect themselves. Not to go back to how it was before but to move forward and not pretend the scars aren't there. The story does seem to take the stance that for some things there is no going back. You can't undo everything, you can't save everything, and you can't be innocent of some things no matter how good your intentions. The pacing of the book is a little weird. Things start off pretty slow, and plod around as things are set up, all the backstory and the character beats.

It's well done but it does drag a bit there. And as much as I rather enjoy the way the novel goes completely off the rails, it is a bit jarring when everything starts happening and all at once. And obviously much of that is to emphasize that control can be an illusion, to make it so that time travel has to be attempted, to reinforce the idea that there's no undoing certain things. That you can't make it all better. But some of the stuff was just insane.

I loved how sex and everything was treated, and how the characters interacted and all, but whew, yeah, crazy! And maybe a bit too much time was spent worrying about the radio. Just a little. All in all, though, it's a very good book, one filled with memorable character and a sense of the possibilities of science fiction.

It's not what I was expected, but I'd say in this case that's a very good thing. Mar 20, J. An unlikely assemblage of characters -- diplomats, aristocrats, scientists, and porn stars! The characters are quirky and charming, and the reader might think they're in for a lighthearted romp.

But the book gets very dark very quickly. The story behind the cosmic explosion and the history of the planet itself are steeped in tragedy, and once the lightshow begins, secrets and hidden agendas come out, and soon the touri An unlikely assemblage of characters -- diplomats, aristocrats, scientists, and porn stars!