2012 Tiptree Award Winners Announced

Jeff VanderMeer on March 15, 2013


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:

As we said of the Salaam last year, “Magic and sexuality permeate these stories that seek the emotional core of their characters. Interesting settings and Salaam’s exuberant but controlled prose help to anchor narratives that are continually questing, pushing for something beyond the usual.” Meanwhile, Kiernan’s novel was her most personal to date, and featured a complex and nuanced unreliable main character. Our verdict? “It’s rare that a writer can create one memorable character, let alone two such voices, perfectly balanced and devoted to telling a unique and beautifully written story.” Both books have received a lot of critical acclaim, and the Tiptree has nicely balanced a first collection with a novel by a veteran writer. 51w9RfQndyL._BO2,204,203,20035,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_

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.

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 t516yh9MMq5L._BO2,204,203,20035,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_he 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.”

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