In re: J. Phillips's book on James Tiptree Jr./Alice Sheldon
For what it's worth, I'm about to throw my own small measure of cold water on the "James Tiptree Jr." legend. For many years I was something of a sci-fi addict (not so much these days), so it was natural that, a few decades ago, I picked up one of "James Tiptree Jr."'s books. After a dozen pages or so, it was transparently obvious to me that the author must be a female using a male nom de plume. I can't understand why that wasn't obvous to most careful readers. I've always assumed, therefore, that the various sci-fi writers and editors who at the time loudly proclaimed their belief that "Tiptree" was a man and subsequently professed to be shocked when they learned the truth, were, in fact, in on the gag and determined to keep it going. Perhaps I'm wrong, but it strikes me that Robert Silverberg's vehement denunciation (cited in Phillips) of the possibility that "Tiptree" was a woman was itself a put-on.
It was a postcard, so it couldn't say much. And it was a postcard rather than a letter-in-an-envelope, so Silverberg didn't want to actually say anything "out loud" in a semi-private message, so he was very circumspect. I don't have it to quote exactly, but it went along the lines of:
"Because of recent news, I have been rereading the Symposium with great interest."
He was referring to the 'Women in Science Fiction' Symposium that I had edited, in which Tiptree had participated as one of the 'male' contributors.