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Otherwise Award

In February of 1991 at WisCon (the world’s only feminist-oriented science fiction convention), award-winning SF author Pat Murphy announced the creation of the James Tiptree, Jr. Award, an annual literary prize for science fiction or fantasy that expands or explores our understanding of gender. Pat created the award in collaboration with author Karen Joy Fowler.

The award was named for Alice B. Sheldon, who wrote under the pseudonym James Tiptree, Jr. By her impulsive choice of a masculine pen name, Sheldon helped break down the imaginary barrier between “women’s writing” and “men’s writing.” Her fine stories were eagerly accepted by publishers and won many awards in the field. Many years later, after she had written some other work under the female pen name of Raccoona Sheldon, it was generally discovered that she was female. The discovery led to a great deal of discussion of what aspects of writing, if any, are essentially gendered. The name, “Tiptree” was selected to illustrate the complex role of gender in writing and reading.

In October 2019, bowing to pressure to change the name of the award due to some controversy in Alice Sheldon’s background, the governing board of the award renamed it to the Otherwise Award. In a statement regarding the name change, organizers said “Otherwise means finding different directions to move in—toward newly possible places, by means of emergent and multiple pathways and methods.” For more information, including detailed descriptions of why each novel or story won the award, visit The Otherwise Award page.

(Titles in “quotes” below are short stories. Titles without “quotes” are novels. NOTE: The titles in this list are “hotlinked” to the library’s catalog, for all those titles currently owned by the Lincoln City Libraries. Several of the earlier Tiptree/Otherwise-winning novels have gone out of print and are no longer in our collection. If you see a title on this list that is not hotlinked to our collection, please consider ordering it through our Interlibrary Loan department.)

Otherwise Award Winners
for best SF/Fantasy novel or story dealing with gender issues

Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki
Ife-Iyoku, the Tale of Imadeyunuagbon

Book Cover2019
Akwaeke Emeki

Gabriela Damian Miravete
They Will Dream in the Garden

Virginia Bergin
Who Runs the World

Book Cover2016
Anna-Marie McLemore
When the Moon Was Ours

2015 (tie)
Eugene Fischer
The New Mother

2015 (tie)
Pat Schmatz
Lizard Radio

2014 (tie)
Monica Byrne
The Girl in the Road

Book Cover2014 (tie)
Jo Walton
My Real Children

N.A. Sulway

2012 (tie)
Caitlin R. Kiernan
The Drowning Girl

2012 (tie)
Kiini Ibura Salaam
Ancient, Ancient

Andrea Hairston
Redwood and Wildfire

Dubravka Ugresic
Baba Yaga Laid an Egg

2009 (tie)
Greer Gilman
Cloud and Ashes: Three Winters Tales

2009 (tie)
Fumi Yoshinaga
Ooku: The Inner Chambers, Volumes 1 and 2 (graphic novel)

Book Cover2008 (tie)
Patrick Ness
The Knife of Never Letting Go

2008 (tie)
Nisi Shawl
Filter House (short story collection)

Sarah Hall
Daughters of the North (a.k.a. The Carhullan Army)

2006 (tie)
Shelley Jackson

2006 (tie)
Catherynne Valente
The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden

Book Cover2006
Special Award
Julie Phillips
James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon

Geoff Ryman
Air: or Have, Not Have

Book Cover2004 (tie)
Joe Haldeman

2004 (tie) 
Johanna Sinisalo
Not Before Sundown

Matt Ruff
Set This House in Order: A Romance of Souls

Book Cover2002 (tie)
M. John Harrison

2002 (tie) 
John Kessel
“Stories for Men”

Hiromi Goto
The Kappa Child

Book Cover2000 
Molly Gloss
Wild Life

Suzy McKee Charnas
The Conqueror’s Child

Book Cover1998 
Raphael Carter
“The Congenital Agenesis of Gender Ideation” in Starlight 2

1997 (tie)
Candas Jane Dorsey
Black Wine

1997 (tie)
Kelly Link
“Travels With the Snow Queen” in Stranger Things Happen

Book Cover1996 (tie)
Ursula K. LeGuin
“Mountain Ways” in Birthday of the World: and Other Stories

Book Cover1996 (tie) 
Mary Doria Russell
The Sparrow

1995 (tie)
Elizabeth Hand
Waking the Moon

1995 (tie) 
Theodore Roszak
The Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein

Book Cover1994 (tie)
Ursula K. LeGuin
“The Matter of Seggri” in Birthday of the World: and Other Stories

1994 (tie) 
Nancy Springer
Larque on the Wing

Nicola Griffith

Maureen F. McHugh
China Mountain Zhang

1991 (tie)
Eleanor Arnason
A Woman of the Iron People

1991 (tie) 
Gwyneth Jones
White Queen

Retrospective Awards

Suzy McKee Charnas
Motherlines and Walk to the End of the World

Book CoverUrsula K. LeGuin
The Left Hand of Darkness

Joanna Russ
“When it Changed” in Again, Dangerous Visions

Book CoverJoanna Russ
The Female Man

Updated September 2022 sdc