The James Tiptree, Jr Award winner was announced recently. This award is given annually to science fiction and fantasy works that ‘expand and explore our understanding of gender’. It’s supported by a yearly auction at Wiscon and by bakesales at numerous other conventions.
This is a juried award. Each year, the jury is made up of different people. And each year, that jury can decide exactly how they want to run things. Most years, there’s been a winner (or two winners), a short list, and a long list. Generally the long list are works that may not be science fiction or fantasy, or may not say too much new about gender, but the jury really liked them and they sort of fit the Tiptree Award mission.
If I have included a link below, it’s either a link to the book/dvd in the Nashua Public Library collection, or a link to where you can read/listen to the story online.
The winner this year is Baba Yaga Laid an Egg by Dubravka Ugresic.
Translated from the Croatian, it shows that the Tiptree Award jurors are never afraid to give an award to something not originally written in English. Last year’s winner included a manga, Let the Right One In made the honor list, and then went on to be made into two movies. (Låt den rätte komma in and Let Me In).
I borrowed Baba Yaga Laid an Egg through interlibrary loan. You can too! I have to say, at first I didn’t understand why it won the award. It read a bit like chick lit. But then it got a little stranger. And then it got really strange. Definitely feminist. And if you like Baba Yaga or want to know scads more about her, this is the book to read.
The short list, or ‘honor list’ as it’s called this year, is:
The Bone Palace by Amanda Downum (Orbit 2010)
I have not read this, but it’s available through interlibrary loan. Maybe I’ll request it right now!
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit 2010)
NPL owns this and the sequel and I highly recommend it! It’s also been nominated for a Nebula, as per my previous blog post.
“Diana Comet and the Disappearing Lover” (Read Part 1 and Part 2 Online) by Sandra McDonald (published as “Diana Comet,” Strange Horizons, March 2 & March 9, 2009)
You can also find it in her collection Diana Comet and Other Improbable Stories. Which I just finished and I love. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like any New Hampshire libraries own it!
“Drag Queen Astronaut” (Read it Online) by Sandra McDonald (Crossed Genres issue 24, November 2010)
I don’t believe this is in her collection. I need to go read this!
The Secret Feminist Cabal: A Cultural History of Science Fiction Feminisms by Helen Merrick (Aqueduct Press 2009)
This is nonfiction and not available at any New Hampshire library. I own it and need to read more of it. Good stuff.
Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor (DAW 2010)
One of those books I keep meaning to read! Available through interlibrary loan.
Living with Ghosts by Kari Sperring (DAW 2009)
I know nothing about this one. It’s showing as having been at a New Hampshire library at some point, but possibly no longer.
The Colony by Jillian Weise (Soft Skull Press 2010)
I know nothing about this one either. Two NH libraries have it, so you can request it through interlibrary loan.
The following works made this year’s ‘long list’:
Beth Bernobich, Passion Play (Tor 2010) [1 NH library has!]
Stevie Carroll, “The Monitors” (in Echoes of Possibilities, edited by Aleksandr Volnov, Noble Romance Publishing 2010)
Roxane Gay, “Things I Know About Fairy Tales” (Necessary Fiction, May 13, 2009)
Frances Hardinge, Gullstruck Island (MacMillan 2009)
Julia Holmes, Meeks (Small Beer Press 2010) [Small Beer Press is out of Massachusetts. They're awesome. Available at 2 NH libraries.]
Malinda Lo, Ash (Little, Brown 2009) [She has another book out called Huntress.]
Alissa Nutting, Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls (Starcherone Books 2010)
Helen Oyeyemi, White Is for Witching (Doubleday 2009)
Rachel Swirsky, “Eros, Philia, Agape” (Read it Online or Listen to the Podcast) (Tor.com, March 3, 2009)
To get a quick idea of what the award is all about, you can read one of the Tiptree anthologies. 1, 2, and 3. These contain short stories, essays, and excerpts from novels that have won. Again, I highly recommend them. They are awesome.