This year I’m on the jury of a really interesting and unique award that One Story readers might be interested in hearing about. It’s called the Tiptree award, and it’s awarded to a work of speculative (or fantastic, or non-realist, or whatever term works best for you) literature that “explores or expands our ideas of gender.” The award was named after the writer Alice Sheldon, who wrote under the pen name James Tiptree Jr., and whose work was described as “fundamentally masculine” until her identity came to light. (A fabulous, and award-winning, biography entitled James Tiptree Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon, was published last year.) Writers such as Kelly Link, Geoff Ryman, Matt Ruff, Ursula K. LeGuin, and Shelley Jackson have received the award, and it was co-founded by writers Pat Murphy and Karen Joy Fowler. The award not only recognizes work that’s dealing with gender but helps to foster discussion about how ideas of gender are changing in our society, and I’m so excited to be serving on the jury for 2007.
Much of the work the jury considers comes via web recommendations — if you’ve read something recently that you’d like to recommend, you can drop us a line here. To learn more about the award, visit the website.