Tiptree Winner Nominated for Sturgeon Award; Cupcakes Raise Tempers, Awareness in Australia

We’re delighted to see that “The New Mother” by Eugene Fischer, co-winner of this year’s award, is also a finalist for the Theodore Sturgeon Award. Fischer’s story is on an excellent list which also includes “Emergence” by previous winner Gwyneth Jones and “The Game of Smash and Recovery” by previous winner Kelly Link (and lots of other great stuff). Special thanks to The Sturgeon Award and SF Signal for giving us a link to the text of of “The New Mother” (see above)!

The Sturgeon Award recognizes the best science fiction short story each year. It was established in 1987 by James Gunn and the heirs of Theodore Sturgeon, as an appropriate memorial to one of the great short-story writers in a field distinguished by its short fiction.


If you ever doubted the Tiptree Award’s position that holding a bake sale can be a radical act, a feminist organization at the University of Queensland has underscored the point in a powerful (and apparently threatening) fashion.


Here’s Madeline Price, writing for The Guardian (warning: her piece contains some very ugly comments from the men who were angered by the idea):

If someone had told me, one week ago today, that a simple bake sale aiming to educate students about wage disparity in Australia would rile up a university campus to the point of death threats to the organisers, would reach media sources across Australia, the UK and US, and would result in the single most successful bake sale ever to be held on campus, I would have told them not to be silly; no one cares about a bake sale.

I also would have been wrong. …

The idea was that each baked good would only cost you the proportion of $1 that you earn comparative to men (or, if you identify as a man, all baked goods would cost you $1). For example, for a woman of colour in the legal profession, a baked good at the stall would only cost you 55 cents. …

This innocuous bake sale drew a vitriol of negative, derogatory and threatening online comments from people threatened by a discussion about equality and feminism; a discussion that we now, so obviously, need to be having in a public space.

As with all keyboard warriors, however, they never materialise in real life. The actual bake sale event was filled with positivity, support and enthusiasm for starting the conversation about wage disparity, the online behaviours of others, and, most importantly, global gender equality.

But while the keyboard warriors remained behind their screens, the threat to the safety and lives of women, the silencing of women in public spaces, and the wage disparity around the world are still very real issues that impact upon women and other marginalised groups in everyday life. These are the issues that the vitriol of online comments regarding the bake sale brought to light.

The Tiptree Award has generally been remarkably cushioned from this kind of hatred and threat. We extend our support and sympathy to all the people who have not been so lucky.

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