From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article
|Part of a series on|
|Sex and sexuality in|
The James Tiptree, Jr. Award is an annual literary prize for works of science fiction or fantasy that expand or explore one's understanding of gender. It was initiated in February 1991 by science fiction authors Pat Murphy and Karen Joy Fowler, subsequent to a discussion at WisCon.
The award is named for Alice B. Sheldon, who wrote under the pseudonym James Tiptree, Jr. By choosing a masculine nom de plume, having her stories accepted under that name and winning awards with them, Sheldon helped demonstrate that the division between male and female science fiction writing was illusory. Years after "Tiptree" first published science fiction, Sheldon wrote some work under the female pen name "Raccoona Sheldon"; later, the science fiction world discovered that "Tiptree" had been female all along. This discovery led to widespread discussion over which aspects of writing, if any, have an intrinsic gender. To remind audiences of the role gender plays in both reading and writing, the award was named in Sheldon's honor at the suggestion of Karen Joy Fowler.
Fundraising efforts for the Tiptree include publications (two cookbooks), "feminist bake sales", and auctions. (The Tiptree cookbook The Bakery Men Don't See, edited by WisCon co-founder Jeanne Gomoll, was nominated for a 1992 Hugo Award.) Tiptree Award juries traditionally consist of four female jurors and one male juror (the "token man"). The funds are administrated by the "Tiptree Motherboard" (currently consisting of Fowler, Gomoll, Murphy, Ellen Klages, Debbie Notkin, and Jeffrey D. Smith ).
In 2011, the Science Fiction Research Association gave its 2011 "Thomas D. Clareson Award for Distinguished Service" to the Tiptree Motherboard. The Clareson Award was presented to the Tiptree Motherboard for “outstanding service activities – promotion of SF teaching and study, editing, reviewing, editorial writing, publishing, organizing meetings, mentoring, and leadership in SF/fantasy organizations.”
Selections of the winners, various short listed fiction, and essays have appeared in four Tiptree-related collections, Flying Cups and Saucers (1999) and a series of annual anthologies published by Tachyon Publications of San Francisco. These include: