The recently announced James Tiptree Jr. Award winners for SF or fantasy “that expands or explores our understanding of gender” should be very familiar to Omnivoracious readers, as both have been featured here:
- The Drowning Girl by Caitlin R. Kiernan (Roc Trade)
- Ancient, Ancient by Kiini Ibura Salaam (Aqueduct Press)
Tiptree, of course, was the pen name of Alice Sheldon, one of the most influential of the feminist science fiction writers to enter the field in the 1970s.
The Tiptree Honors List (basically finalists) also features some great books, many of which Omni readers will recognize.
- Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear (Tor)
- Rituals – Rhapsody of Blood, Volume One by Roz Kaveney (Plus One Press)
- Up Against It by M.J. Locke (Tor)
- 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit)
- Jagannath: Stories by Karin Tidbeck (Cheeky Frawg Books)
- Firebrand by Ankaret Wells (Epicon Press)
- “The Receptionist” by Lesley Wheeler (in The Receptionist and Other Tales, Aqueduct Press)
Although the Tiptree does honor some books that have already been recognized elsewhere—like 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson—in general they do a fine job of bringing new visibility to material that may have been overlooked by readers first time around.
There’s also the significance of even just being on the honors list for many writers who value the Tiptree’s unique emphasis. As honoree Karin Tidbeck told Omni, “I'm a fan of Alice Sheldon's work, but even more important to me as a young writer was reading about her career and the waves she made, the impact her literature has had. She opened my eyes both to the situation of female writers in the genre, and to the importance of—and huge possibility of—challenging stereotypes of gender and sexuality through literature. Being awarded a spot on the honor list for the Tiptree Award is a really big deal. To me, it acknowledges that in some small way I'm a part of Alice Sheldon's legacy; it means I'm going in the right direction.”