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Duchamp, L Timmel

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1950-    ) US author who began publishing work of genre interest with "O's Story" in Memories and Visions: Women's Fantasy and Science Fiction (anth 1989) edited by Susann Sturgis, and whose career initially concentrated on short fiction, some of which was assembled as Love's Body, Dancing in Time (coll 2004). Her work is articulately Feminist, vatic, energized, though her style seems at times overstressed. Through this work, and nonfiction assembled as The Grand Conversation (coll 2004), she soon became a recognizable voice in feminist discourse in sf; she came to wider genre notice with her Marq'ssan Cycle – comprising Alanya to Alanya (2005), Renegade: Book Two of the Marq'ssan Cycle (2006), Tsunami: Book Three of the Marq'ssan Cycle (2007), Blood in the Fruit: Book Four of the Marq'ssan Cycle (2007) and Stretto: Book Five of the Marq'ssan Cycle (2008) – which is set in a Near Future world whose Dystopian characteristics – male domination; poverty; global desolation; etc – are tightly related to the marriage between a weakened state and tentacular private enterprise. The arrival of Aliens (see First Contact) disrupts this scenario, as they seem to – with a perhaps unlikely combination of interventionist behaviour and pure wisdom – be advocating that the oppressed folk of Earth take up arms and revolt.

Arguably, Duchamp's greatest service to science fiction is the foundation in 2004 of Aqueduct Press. Her work as editor of this Small Press has consumed much of her time since that year, though a change of focus may be indicated by her release of The Waterdancer's World (2016), an ambitious narrative set on the planet Frogmore (see Colonization of Other Worlds), where a potentially devastating exploitation of the planet's resources, possibly resulting in the destruction of its native inhabitants, contrasts ambivalently with one of the protagonist's attempts to ameliorate the moral costs of her exploitative innovations through an art form that celebrates a way of life that may be facing extinction. The tale is told through multiple viewpoints, as mediated by a sophisticated historian working five centuries after the events depicted. The title of Chercher La Femme (2018) is a play on "Cherchez la femme", an implicitly misogynist tag coined by Alexandre Dumas whose import is that, when a man is in trouble, a woman is the cause; in this case, La Femme is the name of a planet (see again Colonization of Other Worlds), which seems to be inhabited by Aliens and a complex assortment of human descendants of a transformative, centuries-old First Contact experience. [JC]

see also: Strange Horizons.

Linda Timmel Duchamp

born 1950



Marq'ssan Cycle

individual titles

collections and stories


works as editor


The WisCon Chronicles

individual titles as editor


previous versions of this entry

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