Building Alpha Ralpha Boulevard

Cordwainer Smith’s novelette “Alpha Ralpha Boulevard” is a central component of his future history, marking the onset of the period he called the Rediscovery of Man. Though it has come to be regarded as a classic, the story’s title, the behavior and fate of its central characters, and its underlying autobiographical sources have all retained an air of mystery. This paper argues that in writing “Alpha Ralpha Boulevard” Smith confronted his feelings about his divorce from his first wife, stressed the value of simple human kindness in his treatment of others, and thereby dissolved a serious and years-long writer’s block.

THE PERSONALITIES OF HENRY A. MURRAY

A central concept among Henry A. Murray’s theories is the idea of multiple components of personality—the global personality’s composition as a collection of subsystems, any one of which may become temporarily regnant. Intellectual and literary antecedents for this conceptualization can be identified, but Murray’s responsiveness to such ideas is likely to have had more personal origins. Certain aspects of his developmental history, including his relationships with significant others, his visual problems, and a rapid succession of occupational identities in his early career, appear to have sensitized him to theoretical and methodological issues neglected by theorists with dissimilar backgrounds.

The Psychologist Who Empathized with Rats: James Tiptree, Jr. as Alice B. Sheldon, PhD

Fans and scholars have been intrigued not only by Alice Bradley Sheldon’s sustained disguise as the male writer James Tiptree, Jr., but by her earlier activities in the secret world of Army Air Force Intelligence and the CIA. Less attention has been given to her major pursuit between her careers in intelligence and sf: graduate work, teaching, and research in experimental psychology. Though her work in psychology represented the fulfillment of long-term goals, she was forced to give it up because of health problems and psychological pressures. Her subsequent fiction often displayed the influence of her psychological training and interests. Earlier life experiences may have shaped both her career in psychology and her career as a writer.