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A Momentary Taste of Being

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"A Momentary Taste of Being" is a science fiction novella written by Alice Bradley Sheldon, published under the pseudonym James Tiptree, Jr. in the 1975 anthology, The New Atlantis and Other Novellas of Science Fiction (also featuring stories by Gene Wolfe and Ursula K. Le Guin). "A Momentary Taste of Being" is a science fiction novella written by Alice Bradley Sheldon, published under the pseudonym James Tiptree, Jr. in the 1975 anthology, The New Atlantis and Other Novellas of Science Fiction (also featuring stories by Gene Wolfe and Ursula K. Le Guin).


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"A Momentary Taste of Being" is a science fiction novella written by Alice Bradley Sheldon, published under the pseudonym James Tiptree, Jr. in the 1975 anthology, The New Atlantis and Other Novellas of Science Fiction (also featuring stories by Gene Wolfe and Ursula K. Le Guin). "A Momentary Taste of Being" is a science fiction novella written by Alice Bradley Sheldon, published under the pseudonym James Tiptree, Jr. in the 1975 anthology, The New Atlantis and Other Novellas of Science Fiction (also featuring stories by Gene Wolfe and Ursula K. Le Guin).

51 review for A Momentary Taste of Being

  1. 4 out of 5

    Théodore

    The fact that SF is a male-dominated genre is true , at least at first sight. It would be difficult for me to give an explanation, but I tend to think it's a matter of context. "A Momentary Taste Of Being" - is like a movie you're listening to, in the other room, and you're trying to figure out what's going on by sounds and dialogue. By the fact, the story is an excellent film subject, and I'm surprised it hasn't been done so far. The characters are built from their actions, like little robots, The fact that SF is a male-dominated genre is true , at least at first sight. It would be difficult for me to give an explanation, but I tend to think it's a matter of context. "A Momentary Taste Of Being" - is like a movie you're listening to, in the other room, and you're trying to figure out what's going on by sounds and dialogue. By the fact, the story is an excellent film subject, and I'm surprised it hasn't been done so far. The characters are built from their actions, like little robots, made of nuts, without too much description. Not even dialogues give you clear info-dumps. You simply feel like you've fallen in the middle of the action, and you have to hold on to what's going on around you, without anyone explaining, or asking you questions. In short, the action revolves around the members of the Centaur Ship, whose mission is to discover another habitable planet. The planet is found, but only one of the mission members returns. The crew must make a decision : to colonize - or return to an overpopulated and destroyed Earth. You might think that the answer will be simple, that they will all die, eaten by a sticky alien, but the real ending is one that combines ecological, sexual metaphors, and a philosophy of despair and meaninglessness, which delimits this story from a banal horror in space. The author is looking for an answer to the dilemma of human existence, and that answer found is terribly depressing. I read that Alice Sheldon (James Tiptree Jr.) - commited suicide at the age of 71, not before killing her husband too. That made me revisit certain passages. All in all, the reading was enjoyable, reminding me of the time when I was a big fan of science fiction.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sable

    Read in Star Songs of An Old Primate as part of a few reading challenges: Big Fun in a Little Package Novella Challenge and the Women of Genre Fiction Challenge. The collection is also being read for the LGBTQ Reading Challenge, and the Collections! Challenge. This is going to be a short review because I can't tell you too much about it without completely spoiling the plot. Other people interpreted it as "meandering". I don't think so. I do think it's one of those things you might have to go bac Read in Star Songs of An Old Primate as part of a few reading challenges: Big Fun in a Little Package Novella Challenge and the Women of Genre Fiction Challenge. The collection is also being read for the LGBTQ Reading Challenge, and the Collections! Challenge. This is going to be a short review because I can't tell you too much about it without completely spoiling the plot. Other people interpreted it as "meandering". I don't think so. I do think it's one of those things you might have to go back and read twice to catch all the references. But I think I was lucky enough to catch them the first time around. Perhaps it was because I was looking, on some level, for all those things that would have been relevant because of the challenges I was reading this for. The theme is largely, "What is the meaning and purpose of life?" and "What does it really mean to be human?" but if you don't know Tiptree, you're going to find the answer that she comes up with is quite a surprise. It was intense and fascinating! I see why it was nominated for a Nebula at the time it was written. The basic plot is that Earth is desperately overcrowded and depleted of natural resources. A desperate measure of the UN put together a ship full of carefully-screened representatives of the best and brightest experts from the nations of the world to seek out a new, possibly inhabitable planet. Because of the distances involved the signal system is a simple one: a laser will signal green for good, yellow for "we haven't found anything yet," and red for "danger; stay the hell away." Aaron, the ship psychologist, and his little sister Lory, are part of this crew. Lory went on a landing mission to a possible nearby planet. She returns alone, without the rest of the crew, and towing an alien lifeform (some sort of plant-being) in the crew capsule. The records of what happened aside from some pictures of one of the most beautiful landscapes anyone has ever seen, have been lost, and Lory is acting oddly. They must now try to piece together what happened, and determine if this planet really is what it looks like, in an environment where the pressure to find something suitable, both for the people living on the ship and for the rest of the species, is enormous. And, Go! I did see a plot hole at the end; but perhaps that plot hole is covered by the thought that maybe the protagonist is not entirely aware of his own motivations, subconscious or otherwise. I loved it! Tiptree is new to me as of this year and this collection, and I am fascinated by the way her mind works. I think she's a genius, and I urge all dedicated sci-fi fans to read this story.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Pacyfa

    Feels like this was a work in progress, quite chaotic without real clear characters. I understand that this may have been the vehicle of the plot but it did not do much for me. I am just starting my James Tiptree Jr. book adventure so this was a bit of disappointment after a very good Houston, Houston, Do You Read?. Lacked cohesion.... Feels like this was a work in progress, quite chaotic without real clear characters. I understand that this may have been the vehicle of the plot but it did not do much for me. I am just starting my James Tiptree Jr. book adventure so this was a bit of disappointment after a very good Houston, Houston, Do You Read?. Lacked cohesion....

  4. 4 out of 5

    Outis

    An Outer Limits type of story, except smarter. The surreal stuff is sufficiently intense that the quaint or preposterous aspects don't turn this story into a farce. Striking descriptions. The Big Man thing was beyond weird though, and unnecessary. Typical Tiptree. An Outer Limits type of story, except smarter. The surreal stuff is sufficiently intense that the quaint or preposterous aspects don't turn this story into a farce. Striking descriptions. The Big Man thing was beyond weird though, and unnecessary. Typical Tiptree.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Лина Сакс

    Наше может и не такое уж далекое будущее. Земля перенаселена, ресурсов не хватает. На последнее что есть строится корабль, который должен найти планету пригодную к жизни и подать сигнал, сюда, скорее сюда, тут есть для нас место. Казалось бы, ничего страшного не должно произойти, команда подбиралась с тем расчетом, чтобы все всем соответствовали. То есть с пониманием, что люди разные бывают, кто-то любит женщин, кто-то мужчин, что и женщины должны быть не только умными и справляющиеся со своими о Наше может и не такое уж далекое будущее. Земля перенаселена, ресурсов не хватает. На последнее что есть строится корабль, который должен найти планету пригодную к жизни и подать сигнал, сюда, скорее сюда, тут есть для нас место. Казалось бы, ничего страшного не должно произойти, команда подбиралась с тем расчетом, чтобы все всем соответствовали. То есть с пониманием, что люди разные бывают, кто-то любит женщин, кто-то мужчин, что и женщины должны быть не только умными и справляющиеся со своими обязанностями, но и могущие полюбить даже толстячка-пухлячка, а не только накаченного весельчака. И капитан должен обладать стальными нервами, чтобы точно знать, когда и что сказать. Вроде бы все рассчитано точно, но ах, этот человеческий фактор. Ах, это вселенная, которая, непредсказуема в своей живой форме. Ах, эти люди, стремящиеся к лучше и к любви. Ах, это воспитание и образование, которое не до конца и поэтому человек не в состоянии сопоставить одно с другим и поэтому он немного беременный верит в библию и является ученым. Я хочу подчеркнуть - в Библию, а не Бога, про бога от ученных порой много интересного узнать можно, потому что они стремятся к познанию, тем более такой описываемой силы) Но в этом рассказе речь пойдет не о чем-то всемогущем, а о простом. О размножении. А дальше я рассказывать не буду, дальше надо читать и погружаться в мир автора, которая представила интересный взгляд на вещи в нашей вселенной, наверное, о таком действительно свойственно думать женщинам и поэтому получается неожиданно, но очень понятно, почему не из-под пера мужчины) Сильно люблю такие небольшие повести с таким интересным смыслом. Ну и как обычно, я всегда советую читать научную фантастику, она дает возможность рассуждать, заглядывать в будущее, смотреть на людей и тут неожиданно нет никаких захватчиков, хоть с этим кто-то и поспорит)

  6. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    I really liked the style of this story, which propels forward regardless of how much you want to sit and think about things for half a second while the world falls down around the characters. The plot itself and the characters, less so, but it's so short that I can forgive it. I really liked the style of this story, which propels forward regardless of how much you want to sit and think about things for half a second while the world falls down around the characters. The plot itself and the characters, less so, but it's so short that I can forgive it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Craig

    Tiptree makes you feel your own sanity slipping away. It's disconcerting and uncomfortable, but not painful. All you need to do is relax and fall into it. No. Yes. No. Yes, it's inevitable. no... Tiptree makes you feel your own sanity slipping away. It's disconcerting and uncomfortable, but not painful. All you need to do is relax and fall into it. No. Yes. No. Yes, it's inevitable. no...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Bookaholic

    Pe undeva, e adevărat că A Momentary Taste of Being, nuvela care mi-a făcut-o cunoscută, pare cumva scrisă de un bărbat. Un bărbat care a învățat să scrie la Hollywood. Personajele sunt construite din acțiunile lor ca niște roboței construiți din piulițe, fără prea multă polologhie descriptivă. Acțiunea se desfășoară cu viteză, fără să-ți dea ocazia să respiri ori să înțelegi prea bine despre ce citești. Dialogurile au precizie chirurgicală, sunt scurte și la obiect și nu-ți menajează creierul de Pe undeva, e adevărat că A Momentary Taste of Being, nuvela care mi-a făcut-o cunoscută, pare cumva scrisă de un bărbat. Un bărbat care a învățat să scrie la Hollywood. Personajele sunt construite din acțiunile lor ca niște roboței construiți din piulițe, fără prea multă polologhie descriptivă. Acțiunea se desfășoară cu viteză, fără să-ți dea ocazia să respiri ori să înțelegi prea bine despre ce citești. Dialogurile au precizie chirurgicală, sunt scurte și la obiect și nu-ți menajează creierul de niciun fel, nu-ți servesc info dump-uri lămuritoare. Pur și simplu ai impresia că ai picat în mijlocul acțiunii, ca o muscă pe perete, și trebuie să te prinzi de ce se întâmplă în jurul tău fără ca cineva să îți explice sau să poți pune întrebări. Sau, și mai simplu, A Momentary Taste of Being e ca un film pe care îl asculți din camera cealaltă, și încerci să înțelegi ce se întâmplă după sunete și dialog. De altfel, cred că nuvela e un excelent subiect de film, și ar putea fi adaptată cu atât de puțină bătaie de cap, că aproape mă mir că n-a pescuit-o cineva până acum. (cronică: http://bookaholic.ro/despre-alice-b-s...)

  9. 4 out of 5

    James Jankiewicz

    Mind- boggling. Tiptree rules.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sandro

  11. 4 out of 5

    Marawulf

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sorin Iulus

  13. 5 out of 5

    Natalya

  14. 5 out of 5

    John

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ingmar Weyland

  16. 5 out of 5

    Christian Amaral

  17. 4 out of 5

    Векослав Стефановски

  18. 4 out of 5

    Marlee

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bob Cat

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mr TM Helliwell

  21. 4 out of 5

    Meredith

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mitzy

  23. 5 out of 5

    Pippi Bluestocking

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tuomas

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mark Merzlikin

  26. 4 out of 5

    Prerna Sinha

  27. 5 out of 5

    Simina

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tras

  29. 5 out of 5

    Naes

  30. 4 out of 5

    Liz

  31. 4 out of 5

    N. Jeanne Burns

  32. 5 out of 5

    Charles

  33. 4 out of 5

    Cpegg

  34. 4 out of 5

    Terry

  35. 5 out of 5

    jobiwan6

  36. 4 out of 5

    Angela

  37. 4 out of 5

    Tapani

  38. 5 out of 5

    Kyle

  39. 5 out of 5

    Steph

  40. 4 out of 5

    Dave

  41. 5 out of 5

    Jodi

  42. 5 out of 5

    Kitty

  43. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  44. 5 out of 5

    Invadozer Misothorax Circular-thallus Popewaffensquat

  45. 4 out of 5

    Joell Smith-Borne

  46. 5 out of 5

    Winkhorst

  47. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

  48. 5 out of 5

    Kiki

  49. 4 out of 5

    Mina

  50. 5 out of 5

    Mateo

  51. 4 out of 5

    Caro the Helmet Lady

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