The Last Flight of Doctor Ain by James Tiptree, Jr.

I’ve read a handful of Tiptree—mostly the required classics (as judged by others)—but I haven’t read the bulk of her work. I know I’m going to include a Tiptree. I’m just not sure which one. So I’m getting completist and reading as much as I can.

I started the volume Her Smoke Rose Up Forever, and it begins with “The Last Flight of Doctor Ain,” a very short story told in a reported style about an act committed by a lone terrorist. It feels so modern, so 2015, that it’s breathtaking.

The story was published in 1969 and was a Nebula finalist, for good reason. Scary, and good, and very slipstream—at least, nowadays.

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