The James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award Council has just announced the 2014 winners and honor list. The Tiptree Award “is presented annually to a work of science fiction or fantasy that explores and expands gender roles. The award seeks out work that is thought-provoking, imaginative, and perhaps even infuriating. It is intended to reward those writers who are bold enough to contemplate shifts and changes in gender roles, a fundamental aspect of any society.”
The 2014 James Tiptree Award goes to My Real Children by Jo Walton and The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne. More on this year’s winners, and the complete honor list, below the fold…
2014 Tiptree Award Winners: My Real Children by Jo Walton and The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne
Monica Byrne’s The Girl in the Road is a painful, challenging, glorious novel about murder, quests, self-delusion, and a stunning science-fictional big idea: What would it be like to walk the length of a few-meter-wide wave generator stretching across the open sea from India to Africa, with only what you can carry on your back? With profound compassion and insight, the novel tackles relationships between gender and culture and between gender and violence. It provides a nuanced portrait of violence against women, in a variety of forms, and violence perpetrated by women. Through the eyes of two narrators linked by a single act of violence, the reader is brought to confront shifting ideas of gender, class, and human agency and dignity.
Jo Walton’s My Real Children is a richly textured examination of two lives lived by the same woman. This moving, thought-provoking novel deals with how differing global and personal circumstances change our view of sexuality and gender. The person herself changes, along with her society. Those changes influence and are influenced by her opportunities in life and how she is treated by intimate partners, family members, and society at large. The alternate universe trope allows Walton to demonstrate that changes in perceptions regarding gender and sexuality aren’t inevitable or determined by a gradual enlightenment of the species, but must be struggled for. My Real Children is important for the way it demonstrates how things could have been otherwise — and might still be.
The Honor List:
- Jennifer Marie Brissett. Elysium (Aqueduct Press 2014)
- Seth Chambers, “In Her Eyes” (Fantasy & Science Fiction, January/February 2014)
- Kim Curran, “A Woman Out of Time” (Irregularity, edited by Jared Shurin, Jurassic London 2014)
- Emmi Itäranta, Memory of Water (Harper Voyager 2014) (published in Finnish as Teemestarin kirja, Teos 2012)
- Jacqueline Koyanagi, Ascension (Masque Books 2013)
- Alisa Krasnostein and Julia Rios, editors, Kaleidoscope (Twelfth Planet Press 2014)
- Pat MacEwen, “The Lightness of the Movement”(Fantasy & Science Fiction, April/May 2014)
- Nnedi Okorafor, Lagoon (Hodder & Stoughton, 2014)
- Nghi Vo, “Neither Witch nor Fairy” (Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History, edited by Rose Fox and Daniel José Older, Crossed Genres, 2014)
- Aliya Whiteley, The Beauty (Unsung Stories 2014)