Some juries decide to provide a “Long List” of works they read during the year that they thought were worth mention. Long List works might be really good works with less direct examination of gender than a Winner or Honor List work would need, or they might be works that explore and expand gender but which the jurors found wanting in other ways. Lots of great reading can be found on the Tiptree Award Long Lists.

Long List

The 1993 jury chose 24 works for the Long List

Crashcourse, Crashcourse Book One, by Wilhelmina Baird (Ace/Berkeley, 1993)

I enjoyed this book for its idea about three characters trapped in a movie, not sure which events are real and which are part of the script. I especially liked the gumption of the main character, Cass, who-when it became clear that her movie was a dangerous one-didn’t just sit around waiting for the next plot development, but went out (and behind the scenes) to find out more about the genre that was trapping her, and then defended herself against the movie makers rather than the script. The relationship between Cass and her two male housemates/lovers was an interesting one. — Jeanne Gomoll

Work Information

Title: CrashcourseAuthor:
Series:
Series Title: CrashcourseSeries Number: 1
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Ace/BerkeleyYear: 1993
Work Type: NovelOriginal Language: English

X, Y by Michael Blumlein (Abyss / Dell, 1993)

The cover says “A psychosexual thriller,” and though I very much wanted it to be more, that’s what this book is. Starting with a self-perceived “man in a woman’s body,” it promises a subtle exploration of an anomalous psychology, but as sadomasochism takes over the story it loses direction, becoming disappointingly predictable. — Ursula K. Le Guin

The more I think about it (and possibly rewrite it in my head so that it makes some sort of sense to me) the more I am convinced that there was no strange phenomenon in this story at all, simply an abused woman who wanted to fight back. But since she is convinced that society defines women as being incapable of the kind of worldview and behavior she aspires to, her subconscious provides her with an release for her “inappropriate” feelings: she’s not a woman after all…. I was disappointed however, that male behavior, for the purpose of this story, was almost totally defined as sadomasochism. — Jeanne Gomoll

Work Information

Title: X, YAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Abyss / DellYear: 1993
Work Type: NovelOriginal Language: English

Glory Season by David Brin (Bantam Spectra, 1993)

I was first impressed by how eager Brin seems to be to enter into the discussion of feminist issues in SF, enough so that he signaled his intentions by labeling various towns and groups “Ursulaburg,” “Vondaites,” “Tiamatians,” “Perkites,” and “Herlandia.” Brin’s main thesis seems to be that feminist utopian writing endorses the idea that technology is evil and the pastoral culture is the only good culture. At one point in Glory Season, the male hero says that the galactic federation will not allow the pastoral, anti-technological culture to continue once it regains control of its lost matriarchal colony. Brin says throughout the novel that pastoral culture can only be maintained at the expense of humanity, history and finally, of survival. He says, by implication, (with all those towns and groups of women named after well known feminist SF writers) that feminist SF fiction endorses an anti-human, anti-historical, anti-survival ethic.

If anything, Brin attempts to strengthen the familiar gender assumptions. There is little gender-bending in this novel. — Jeanne Gomoll

A very ambitious book with a courageous program of gender-exploration, seriously weakened by the author’s dislike or distrust of his own invention. It is worth asking why male authors inventing a society of women tend to make the women all alike: the old “hive worlds” of the pulp days, or, in this case, clones. It is worth asking why the male assumption so often is that a society genuinely run by women (as opposed to one run by women under the control of men) would be static, rigid, closed to change, closed to thought, needing to be saved from itself by a man. And it is worth asking why male authors so often show women as inherently anti-technological. Brin begs this last question in his afterward, saying that “This novel depicts a society that is conservative by design, not because of something intrinsic to a world led by women.” All the same, he chose to depict that society.

Though the book is unnecessarily long, the storyline is plausible and fast-moving, with well-imagined details; the social institutions of Stratos are carefully worked out; it is in the characters and the language that the book fails. p. 44: “Among the ambitions she shared with Leie was to build a hall of their own, where she might yet learn what delights were possible-unlikely as it seemed-in mingling her body with one such as those, so hirsute and huge. Just trying to imagine made her head hurt in strange ways.” p. 55: “‘I knew him,’ Odo went on. ‘Virile, summer-rampant in frost season, a sick envy of my own sisters!’ Odo leaned forward her eyes loathing, ‘He never touched you, yet he was and remains yours. That, my rutty little virgin, is why I’ll have a price from my Lysos-cursed clan, which I served all my wasted life. Your company in hell.'” The silliness of the language faithfully renders gender-stereotyped emotions (a woman irresistibly drawn to men; a woman hating another woman because of a man). This world of women is totally male-centered. Despite his excellent apparatus of clones and clans and sexual seasons, Brin hasn’t really got us any farther than about 1955. It is too bad, because the book has a likable freshness and optimism. — Ursula K. Le Guin

Work Information

Title: Glory SeasonAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Bantam SpectraYear: 1993
Work Type: NovelOriginal Language: English

Drawing Blood, Steve and Ghost Universe Book 5, by Poppy Z. Brite (Abyss / Delacorte Press, 1993)

Brite mixes artists and rock and roll, New Orleans, comic books, computer hackers and a slow and sleepy southern town. The main characters are gay or bisexual, but not particularly gender bending. Horror isn’t my balliwick, but if you like your books full of atmosphere and your heros decadent in the long tradition that began with Lord Byron, you’ll eat this one up. — Maureen F. McHugh

Work Information

Title: Drawing BloodAuthor:
Series:
Series Title: Steve and Ghost UniverseSeries Number: 5
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Abyss / Delacorte PressYear: 1993
Work Type: NovelOriginal Language: English

Lost Girls by Pat Cadigan (Mark V. Zeiseing Books, 1993)

A cute story in which Pan returns for generation after generation of Wendys, finding each less and less willing to take the convenient role of cook and housekeeper until finally one sets herself up in competition. A nice updated look at the Barrie legend. — Susan Casper

This is a fun story. I’ve always been fascinated by Peter Pan: a play in which the main character is nearly always played by a female actress. I think of Peter as a splintered character. Peter and Wendy are two parts of the same whole, splintered by the society which carefully segregates boys’ behavior from girls’ behavior. I liked Cadigan’s take on this strange story in which it is suggested that eventually Wendy’s descendant won’t be content with her limited role. — Jeanne Gomoll

Work Information

Title: Lost GirlsAuthor:
Collection:
Title: Dirty Work Editor: Pat Cadigan
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Mark V. Zeiseing BooksYear: 1993
Work Type: Short FictionOriginal Language: English

The Rising of the Moon by Flynn Connolly (Del Rey / Ballentine, 1993)

Women lead this Irish revolution, but I found them unconvincing both as women and as revolutionaries. Merely changing the hero’s gender does not undo the heroic fallacy; and a long history of women’s collision with their oppressors can’t be credibly reversed by a few fits of righteous indignation. — Ursula K. Le Guin

Work Information

Title: The Rising of the MoonAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Del Rey / BallentineYear: 1993
Work Type: NovelOriginal Language: English

Rainbow Man by M. J. Engh (Tor, 1993)

A culture in which an infertile woman is called, and treated as a man: this is a promising place to explore gender in. Somehow the exploration never seems to happen, perhaps because it is derailed by religious issues. I wanted this book to have the kind of power Handmaid’s Tale has; but it doesn’t-it somehow slides away from its own central issues. — Ursula K. Le Guin

Work Information

Title: Rainbow ManAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: TorYear: 1993
Work Type: NovelOriginal Language: English

Harm's Way by Colin Greenland (Avon, 1993)

Harm’s Way is farcical Dickensian fantasy set in a universe that might have been constructed by Kepler or Jules Verne, A young girl plays the part normally played by the male adolescent-the outrageously, naive youth who has picaresque adventures, learns the Shocking Truth about her ancestry and Grows Up. — Jeanne Gomoll

Work Information

Title: Harm's WayAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: AvonYear: 1993
Work Type: NovelOriginal Language: English

Touching Fire by Nicola Griffith (TTA Press, 1993)

This is a great SF love story. The SF element-the light-activated orchestral machines, and a person who can “play” it with her body-is a fascinating one. But does the fact that the lovers are lesbians make this gender-bending? — Jeanne Gomoll

Work Information

Title: Touching FireAuthor:
Collection:
Title: Interzone 70, April 1993Editors: David Pringle, Lee Montgomerie
Publisher:
Publisher Name: TTA PressYear: 1993
Work Type: Short FictionOriginal Language: English

The Assimilation of Leah Wennover by Stephanie T. Hoppe (Evoe Press, 1993)

This is the story of Holdfast and her two fellow time-travelers, Tai and Heart’s-ease who attempt to rescue the spirits of women killed as witches in the Burning Years. The trio also play the roles of the three female archetypes: spinner, weaver, and cutter; symbols of birth, life and death. Invisibly they bear witness to the crushing of a woman’s spirit (Leah Wennover) and assimilate her spirit, rescuing it from a time she was not allowed to live. The idea of this story bears a resemblance to the idea behind the Tiptree Award: to look again and rescue. — Jeanne Gomoll

Work Information

Title: The Assimilation of Leah WennoverAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Evoe PressYear: 1993
Work Type: Short FictionOriginal Language: English

Schrodinger's Cathouse by Kij Johnson (Mercury Press, Inc., 1993)

A cute little story about a metaphysical cat house where the prostitutes may or may not be female or male; one never knows until they come. The image of these androgynous creatures is nicely done. — Jeanne Gomoll

Work Information

Title: Schrodinger's CathouseAuthor:
Collection:
Title: The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction March 1993Editor: Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Mercury Press, Inc.Year: 1993
Work Type: Short FictionOriginal Language: English

“Forever,” Said the Duck by Jonathan Letham (Bantam Doubleday Dell Magazines, 1994)

A funny little tale about the uses we’ll put our past and present lovers to, once we have the ability to make a virtual, keepsake copy of them. — Susan Casper

Work Information

Title: “Forever,” Said the DuckAuthor:
Collection:
Title: Asimov's Science Fiction December 1993Editor: Gardner Dozois
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Bantam Doubleday Dell MagazinesYear: 1994
Work Type: Short FictionOriginal Language: English

Songs of Chaos by Shariann Lewitt (Ace Books, 1993)

The story impressed me less than the setting-this fantastic, organic cyberpunked Brazilian rainforest transplanted onto a space station in which parrots act as living monitors, sort of. The outsider, Dante, discovers that the very thing that makes him an outcast in one world makes him a powerful genius in Mangueira. Skinny Fatima thinks she’s an outsider and different from everyone else in Mangueira, and she too discovers that the thing that makes her different turns out to be her most valuable contribution to the community. Bisexual relationships on board the Mangueira are accepted as the norm. — Jeanne Gomoll

Highly competent and enjoyable, with a nice, original take on virtuality, great parrots, good men characters, good women characters; but no bending of gender that I could see. — Ursula K. Le Guin

Work Information

Title: Songs of ChaosAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Ace BooksYear: 1993
Work Type: NovelOriginal Language: English

Evolution Annie and Other Stories by Rosaleen Love (ed.) (The Women's Press, 1993)

Imaginative, funny, spirited, subversive, many of these stories explore and play with gender and gender-roles in one way or another. The title story sets the stuff about Man the Hunter and the Ascent of Man and all that on its ear: “The Daughters of Darius” is a haunting tale/meditation; and “Strange Things Grow at Chernobyl” packs immense power into six understated pages. — Ursula K. Le Guin

Work Information

Title: Evolution Annie and Other StoriesEditors: Rosaleen Love (ed.)
Publisher:
Publisher Name: The Women's PressYear: 1993
Work Type: CollectionOriginal Language: English

The Year the Horses Came, Earthsong Trilogy Book 1, by Mary Mackey (HarperCollins, 1993)

The story of The Year the Horses Came-a matriarchy demo posing as an adventure travelogue-is set at the crux of change, just before the patriarchal, misogynist, horse-riding hordes sweep across the continent from the east. The main character travels from the far western edge of the matriarchy, east into the territory of the marauders. I was sympathetic with Mackey’s conviction that culture is molded by the way its members raise their children and by its cosmological assumptions, but less impressed by the ponderous storyline. — Jeanne Gomoll

Woman-centered, goddess-worshipping, free people of prehistoric Western Europe meet up with the male-dominant, aggressive horse-riders of the Steppes. The rather naive “agenda” overwhelms the novel, but there are some vivid scenes and good moments of culture-shock. — Ursula K. Le Guin

Work Information

Title: The Year the Horses CameAuthor:
Series:
Series Title: EarthsongSeries Number: 1
Publisher:
Publisher Name: HarperCollinsYear: 1993
Work Type: NovelOriginal Language: English

An Eye for Dark Places by Norma Marden (Little, Brown, 1993)

Norma Marden’s An Eye for Dark Places is an extraordinary book. Its portrayal of a woman stifled in an unrewarding marriage reminded me strongly of Perkins’s The Yellow Wallpaper. Through a possibly imagined journey into a fantastic, utopian world beneath London, she comes to understand the kind of relationship and life she wants, and when she returns, she leaves her family and starts a new life. — Jeanne Gomoll

I did a cover quote for this book, saying “This spare, radiant book emotionally exact and profoundly imagined, is an extraordinary first novel.” As a genderbender I think it breaks no new ground; but as an exploration of human/sexual/familial relationships up to and perhaps over the edge of madness, it is very fine. — Ursula K. Le Guin

Work Information

Title: An Eye for Dark PlacesAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Little, BrownYear: 1993
Work Type: NovelOriginal Language: English

Deerskin by Robin McKinley (Ace Books, 1993)

Deerskin reexamines fairy tale archetypes (the perfectly beautiful princess who falls in love with the perfectly handsome prince and the happily-ever-after period that is presumed to naturally follow such a perfect match). It’s a great story, and its genderbending aspect has to do with the way fairy tale archetypes get under our skin and get confused with morality and gender definitions. Its plot follows the child of the perfect royal couple after her father rapes her, and her recovery from that experience. — Jeanne Gomoll

A strong-indeed a superhumanly endowed and unerring-female protagonist does not in herself constitute a genderbending novel, even when she is an abuse survivor. This fantasy might be a good “role-model” book for girls, but I found the heroine way too tall, beautiful, gifted, etc. to identify with. — Ursula K. Le Guin

Work Information

Title: DeerskinAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Ace BooksYear: 1993
Work Type: NovelOriginal Language: English

The Best Lives of Our Years by A. R. Morlan (Bantam Spectra, 1993)

Set in the next century after one of those pesky, gender-specific diseases has struck down most of the men in the world. At first, everyone expects that the world will become a more sane-or at least a less violent-place. Instead, war becomes more terrible than it ever was, because women feel they must prove themselves in the absence of men. The story is told by way of letter excerpts written by successive generations of women soldiers. Pretty depressing script, but jolting reminder that when the powerless gain power, they frequently adapt their behavior to their new role. — Jeanne Gomoll

Work Information

Title: The Best Lives of Our YearsAuthor:
Collection:
Title: Full Spectrum 4Editors: Lou Aronica, Amy Stout, Betsy Mitchell
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Bantam SpectraYear: 1993
Work Type: Short FictionOriginal Language: English

Liberator by Linda Nagata (Mercury Press, Inc., 1993)

The foreground of Nagata’s story is a Moslem society in which the women characters struggle against powerful religious constraints. With the placement of a memory chip containing a mother’s personality into the brain of a daughter, Nagata also is able to speculate on some unusual potentials in the mother/daughter relationship. — Steve Brown

Work Information

Title: LiberatorAuthor:
Collection:
Title: The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction June 1993Editor: Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Mercury Press, Inc.Year: 1993
Work Type: Short FictionOriginal Language: English

Burning Bright by Melissa Scott (Tor, 1993)

An entertaining novel about a spacer and famous gamer/author, Quinn Lioe, who takes leave on the planet Burning Bright during its annual storm festival, in order to play “the game.” The game is played across several empires in the galaxy and involves one fictional world and several plot lines (empire, revolution, court intrigue, psi wars, etc.) which are mirrored in the situation Lioe finds herself enmeshed in real life on Burning Bright. In fact, by the end of the novel, it is clear that she has brought the game’s plot to a conclusion and will begin a new game that involve players in active commentary and involvement in the real world. The genderbending element of this novel has to do with the society’s tolerance of all sexual preferences. There are lots of ways to bet into trouble in this world, but none of them involve personal sexual behavior. Most of the characters appear to be bisexual. — Jeanne Gomoll

Work Information

Title: Burning BrightAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: TorYear: 1993
Work Type: NovelOriginal Language: English

A Defense of the Social Contracts by Martha Soukup (Sovereign Media Co., 1993)

Maybe the world would be a better place if everyone was required to wear nametags identifying their sexual preferences. Soukup extrapolates upon this idea and imagines a world in which everyone must declare themselves monogamous, non-monogamous, celibate, or group family types. Fascinating. I couldn’t figure out whether she believed that such categorization was doomed from the start-because we can’t enforce who falls in love with whom; or whether she thinks that such a system would at least start to sort out the confusion. I liked this story a lot. — Jeanne Gomoll

Work Information

Title: A Defense of the Social ContractsAuthor:
Collection:
Title: Science Fiction Age September 1993Editor: Scott Edelman
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Sovereign Media Co.Year: 1993
Work Type: Short FictionOriginal Language: English

The Story So Far by Martha Soukup (Bantam Spectra, 1993)

This story is a sort of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern based upon 1950s romances rather than Hamlet. The main character of this story is a mere spear-carrier in another story which centers around her husband, Dennis. Throughout “The Story So Far,” Emily tries to figure out the plot of the short story in which she is enmeshed, and is dismayed to learn that the main plot line proceeds entirely while she is offstage. She learns that both she and another woman character are entirely superficial to Dennis and the plot, but despite this revelation the two fictional woman characters strive for actual existence. This genderbending story concerns itself with gender as defined by (B-rated) literature rather than by life. — Jeanne Gomoll

Work Information

Title: The Story So FarAuthor:
Collection:
Title: Full Spectrum 4Editors: Lou Aronica, Amy Stout, Betsy Mitchell
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Bantam SpectraYear: 1993
Work Type: Short FictionOriginal Language: English

A Plague of Angels by Sherri S. Tepper (Bantam Spectra, 1993)

Like many of Tepper’s novels, it contains a chunk of gender commentary. In nearly all of her books, and she deals with gender in a very interesting ways. A Plague of Angels further develops Tepper’s favorite idea of gods created by people and the worlds they inhabit-sort of a self-conscious Gaean system, applied to all worlds with intelligent life. In Plague, the self-conscious earth deity intervenes in human history to repair the human/nature balance-so badly skewed that people are on the brink of extinction. Along the way, Tepper delves into the idea that men and women cannot live together without damaging one another-given the way women and men are currently socialized. One of the few hopeful communities in this world is one in which men and women live mostly separately, getting together now and then, and learning-within their subgroups-to change their ideas about gender. — Jeanne Gomoll

I wish Tepper would spend more time rewriting. There’s great stuff in this, but it’s shapeless and repetitive. As in so many of her books, a great beginning goes dry in pointlessly complex plotting about the villainous fools who run things. The paranoid element that was part of the strength of her real gender-exploring novel, The Gate to Women’s Country, here is a weakness; and the gender roles are conventional. — Ursula K. Le Guin

Work Information

Title: A Plague of AngelsAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Bantam SpectraYear: 1993
Work Type: NovelOriginal Language: English

Virtual Girl by Amy Thomson (Ace/Berkeley, 1993)

Virtual Girl is a re-working of the Pygmalion myth, of a man creating his idea of a perfect woman, who then turns into a real person and leaves him. In this case, the male creator is a nerdish hacker who creates a cyborg woman. In a moment of crisis, the cyborg hears only a portion of a command/programming input, “You are the most important thing to me.” All she hears is “You are the most important thing,” and from that, she entirely re-programs herself. Self-actualization saves her life, but dooms the odd couple’s relationship. — Jeanne Gomoll

Work Information

Title: Virtual GirlAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Ace/BerkeleyYear: 1993
Work Type: NovelOriginal Language: English