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 1996 jury chose 37 works for the Long List

Pussy, King of the Pirates by Kathy Acker (Grove Press, 1996)

This retelling of Treasure Island as “a girl’s story,” (the author’s words) is like Switchblade Sisters on the High Seas. A combination of high-theory on women’s bodies, possession and language and drive-in movie biker violence. There’s no one else who writes like Acker. — Richard Kadrey

Work Information

Title: Pussy, King of the PiratesAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Grove PressYear: 1996
Work Type: Novel

The Memory Palace by Gill Alderman (HarperCollins, 1996)

A wonderfully decadent and intricate look at traditional gender archetypes, ringing changes on celibacy, impotency, fecundity, purity, decadence, magic, story-telling, words, nature and unnature. Really well (if a touch over-) done.  — Delia Sherman

Work Information

Title: The Memory PalaceAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: HarperCollinsYear: 1996
Work Type: Novel

Jigsaw Woman by Kim Antieau (Roc, 1996)

The central character is engaging, the characters she’s made up of (you’ll understand that if you read it) are interesting, the book has a sense of humor about its subject (which takes some doing), and a sense of compassion about the things that living in an unrelentingly patriarchal culture do to men.  — Delia Sherman

Work Information

Title: Jigsaw WomanAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: RocYear: 1996
Work Type: Novel

Y Chromosome by Donald Antrim (, 1996)

Doug and his ninety-nine brothers have gathered in the family library for some male-bonding before dinner. A mighty funny look at the dance of dominance, told by a shoe-fetishist who ends up on the floor.  — Karen Joy Fowler

Donald Antrim won a Macarthur Fellowship (“genius grant”) in 2013.

Work Information

Title: Y ChromosomeAuthor:
Collection:
Title: The New Yorker November 18, 1996Editor: Tina Brown
Work Type: Short Fiction

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood (Anchor Books, 1996)

Whether or not this book is fantasy depends on your interpretation of a crucial scene towards the end of the book, though it certainly has minor fantastic elements (fortune-telling and premonitory dreams). So be warned: this book is only tenuously eligible for Tiptree consideration, but, in my opinion, too fine to be overlooked on a technicality. Alias Grace is a novel about the famous 19th century “murderess,” Grace Marks, a servant who was convicted, along with her fellow servant James McDermott, of the murder of their employer and his housekeeper (and mistress). The way in which the historical Grace was involved in the murders is not clear, and Atwood is careful not to give a definitive answer. Instead, through the imagined Grace’s experience, she explores work, sexual and class exploitation, fame, and the public fascination with murder, especially murder of or by a good-looking woman. Also innocence, responsibility, and memory.  — Janet M. Lafler

Work Information

Title: Alias GraceAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Anchor BooksYear: 1996
Work Type: Novel

Excession by Iain M. Banks (Orbit, 1996)

Gender-exploring in a vein similar to that of Banks’ other Culture novels-the people of the Culture routinely change sex and many of the characters are genderless machine intelligences. In addition, one of the main characters in Excession is a woman who has arrested her pregnancy for forty years. Entertaining, but not Banks’ best work.  — Janet M. Lafler

Work Information

Title: ExcessionAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: OrbitYear: 1996
Work Type: Novel

Blue by Francesca Lia Block (ed.) (HarperCollins, )

Block is a truly wonderful writer. Her power is rooted in a deceptively simple prose style which is compounded of young adult novels and children’s fairy tales. Block takes these simple elements and weaves magical little stories with them. “Blue” is the story of the breakdown (and resurrection) of a family after the mother’s suicide. The title character is a tiny transsexual dwarf who appears at a moment of crisis to a young girl in the story (and the only fantasy element). Is Blue an externalization of her own superego or simply a sign that she shares her mother’s madness? Will she survive to know? Unfortunately, there isn’t quite enough gender exploration in the story for it to be a Tiptree winner, but it’s as emotionally strong and true and well-crafted as anything the judges read this year.  — Richard Kadrey

Work Information

Title: BlueEditors: Francesca Lia Block (ed.)
Collection:
Title: Girl Goddess #9 Editor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: HarperCollins
Work Type: Short Fiction

Girl Goddess #9 by Francesca Lia Block (ed.) (HarperCollins, )

A creepy encounter between two teenage girls and Graves’ White Goddess, with an ambiguous end which may be interpreted as a critique of the patriarchal vision of the female muse. Or not.  — Janet M. Lafler

Work Information

Title: Girl Goddess #9Editors: Francesca Lia Block (ed.)
Collection:
Title: Girl Goddess #9
Publisher:
Publisher Name: HarperCollins
Work Type: Short Fiction

Dead Things, , by Richard Calder (St. Martin's, 1996)

Dead Things is the resolution to a complex trilogy chronicling the coming of a new sort of being into the world: predatory and hyper-sexualized females, the Lilim. Imagine a kind of perfect, frictionless Barbie doll with fangs. Dead Things is all about gender, but its challenge is inverted. It doesn’t show new possibilities, but parodies accepted gender roles by pushing them to Wagnerian heights, making them all-defining, all-consuming and grotesque. It’s a brutal kind of parody-fascinating, but an acquired taste. And that’s part of the problem. Dead Things, the last book of the trilogy, does not stand alone. In fact, as the most stylized of the three books, it’s almost incomprehensible without the background and language provided by the other two books. Taken together, the trilogy–Dead Girls, Dead Boys, Dead Things–is a literary head kick, pushing gender and bio-tech buttons as hard as something like Neuromancer pushed the romance of digital criminality. My recommendation is to read the whole set of books. And maybe try to convince a publisher to reprint them in a single volume, or better yet, to publish something like this in a single year so that a future committee can consider the work as a single thing, rather than being served a wing and a leg and trying to vote on the whole chicken.  — Richard Kadrey

Work Information

Title: Dead ThingsAuthor:
Series:
Series Title: Dead GirlsSeries Number: 3
Publisher:
Publisher Name: St. Martin'sYear: 1996
Work Type: Novel

The Lucifer of Blue by Sherry Coldsmith (St. Martin's, )

A haunting story of the Spanish Civil War. Coldsmith sets the piece in a brothel and gives us the amalgam of war and sex, without glamorizing or simplifying.  — Karen Joy Fowler

Work Information

Title: The Lucifer of BlueAuthor:
Collection:
Title: Off Limits: Tales of Alien Sex Editor: Ellen Datlow
Publisher:
Publisher Name: St. Martin's
Work Type: Short Fiction

The Splendor and Misery of Bodies, of Cities (excerpt) by Samuel R. Delany (, 1996)

An intriguing fragment in which the sexual identifiers change from paragraph to paragraph; woman appears to be the large category and man the subset, or the other. The setting is off world, there are aliens and the added layer of alien sexual identifiers. I am eager to see this play out in a longer work.  — Karen Joy Fowler

This novel has never been published; only the fragment exists.

Work Information

Title: The Splendor and Misery of Bodies, of Cities (excerpt)Author:
Collection:
Title: The Review of Contemporary Fiction Fall 1996, Volume 16 Number 3Editor: Edmund White
Work Type: Other

Lunatics by Bradley Denton (St. Martin's, 1996)

An exploration of the current status of the war between the sexes, The Big Chill with wings and talons.  — Delia Sherman

Work Information

Title: LunaticsAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: St. Martin'sYear: 1996
Work Type: Novel

Distress by Greg Egan (Orion, 1995)

“Gender migration” as the ultimate critique of identity politics. Egan makes a credible case for the virtues of asexuality and androgyny, one that made me wonder just why I find the idea so disturbing. In contrast to Tepper, who comes off (to me at least) as anti-sex, Egan is clearly pro-freedom.  — Janet M. Lafler

Work Information

Title: DistressAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: OrionYear: 1995
Work Type: Novel

Tiresias by Firecat (Circlet Press, 1995)

A very sexy story which, incidentally, illustrates the distinction between gender change and sex change.  — Janet M. Lafler

Work Information

Title: TiresiasAuthor:
Collection:
Title: Genderflex: Sexy Stories on the Edge and In-Between Editor: Cecilia Tan
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Circlet PressYear: 1995
Work Type: Short Fiction

The Bones of Time by Kathy Goonan (Tor, 1996)

Great read. Reminded me of Distress a bit-a perilous, shoot-em-up mystery plot with a lot of physics theory filling in the cracks. Early on, the narrator, a Hawaiian woman of Japanese ancestry, mentions that the old gender-biased educational system has been completely eradicated. We then rocket through an international chase, which allows no time to pause and see what the results of this have been. But what we’re left with is a story in which no one’s sex seems to matter at all. Which has its own kind of refreshment for the weary reader.  — Karen Joy Fowler

Work Information

Title: The Bones of TimeAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: TorYear: 1996
Work Type: Novel

The Lunatic Cafe, , by Laurell K. Hamilton (Ace, 1996)

The adventures of Anita Blake, vampire assassin and zombie hunter. She’s a Christian and doesn’t believe in premarital sex. I find this more unusual and intriguing than the fact that she packs a piece and doesn’t hesitate to use it. Things have come to such a pass! For our purposes, there are interesting dominance issues throughout, made more interesting by the fact that half the characters are werewolves and pack animals. Lots of the book is same old/same old sexually, but enjoyed for the same old reasons, which means enjoyable. Great fun in fact.  — Karen Joy Fowler

Work Information

Title: The Lunatic CafeAuthor:
Series:
Series Title: Anita BlakeSeries Number: 4
Publisher:
Publisher Name: AceYear: 1996
Work Type: Novel

Into the Forest by Jean Hegland (Calyx, 1996)

A very poetic book about two young sisters living in rural isolation after the collapse of civilization. None of the gender issues are very pointed, but the relationship of women and wilderness is a particular fascination of mine, and I found this an entirely engaging addition to the tradition. The writing is especially lush.  — Karen Joy Fowler

Work Information

Title: Into the ForestAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: CalyxYear: 1996
Work Type: Novel

No Quarter, , by Tanya Huff (DAW, 1996)

Tanya Huff has to be one of the most dependable writers of cracking good fantasies around. This book is no exception. Compulsively readable and great fun. The Tiptree elements concerns a man existing (as a separate being) within the body of a woman. However, for Tiptree purposes, there is really not enough exploration of this intriguing scenario.  — Justine Larbalestier

Work Information

Title: No QuarterAuthor:
Series:
Series Title: QuartersSeries Number: 3
Publisher:
Publisher Name: DAWYear: 1996
Work Type: Novel

Red Sonja and Lessingham in Dreamland by Gwyneth Jones (St. Martin's Press, 1996)

A nasty twist on virtuality’s mutual dreaming and the insidious clichéd archetypes that have such a tenacious grip on our imaginations.  — Justine Larbalestier

Work Information

Title: Red Sonja and Lessingham in DreamlandAuthor:
Collection:
Title: Off Limits: Tales of Alien Sex Editor: Ellen Datlow
Publisher:
Publisher Name: St. Martin's PressYear: 1996
Work Type: Short Fiction

Manchu Palaces by Jeanne Larsen (Henry Holt, 1996)

No one has ever managed to analyze the power of concubines in any new and interesting way. But in the last thirty pages of this wonderful book, Larsen does throw out our previous sexual assumptions and go somewhere unexpected. This is an intricate and beautiful book made up of stories about stories which contain stories, and I loved it. — Karen Joy Fowler

Work Information

Title: Manchu PalacesAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Henry HoltYear: 1996
Work Type: Novel

The Reason for Not Going to the Ball (A Letter from Cinderella to Her Stepmother) by Tanith Lee (, )

A new version of an old nemesis. Lee’s fairytale shows that there is always and infinitely another side to things. A good addition to the growing body of Cinderella rewrites.  — Karen Joy Fowler

Work Information

Title: The Reason for Not Going to the Ball (A Letter from Cinderella to Her Stepmother)Author:
Alternate Title:
Title: The Reason for Not Going to the Ball
Collection:
Title: The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction October-November 1996Editor: Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Work Type: Short Fiction

Sleepy People by Jonathan Lethem (ed.) (Harcourt Brace, 1996)

A woman finds a man asleep on her doorstep and brings him into the house, where he remains asleep through various events. I read it as, in part, a comment on the lumpish husband who sits in front of the TV and is herded around by his wife: male protector/provider reduced to the role of passive icon.  — Janet M. Lafler

Work Information

Title: Sleepy PeopleEditors: Jonathan Lethem (ed.)
Collection:
Title: The Wall of the Sky, the Wall of the Eye
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Harcourt BraceYear: 1996
Work Type: Short Fiction

Remnant Population by Elizabeth Moon (Baen, 1996)

A consciousness-raising novel about an old, working class woman named Ofelia who has spent most of her life bowing to the will of her husband, her employers, and her children. The book is mostly about Ofelia “finding” herself, developing a new strength, and, at the same time, becoming a pivotal person in the formation of the relationship between humans and another intelligent species. Elderly female protagonists are rare (I’m tempted to say unknown) in science fiction, and it’s refreshing to see one portrayed with complexity and honor. Unfortunately, Ofelia’s opponents and detractors are all straw men (and women); they are so completely one-dimensional and unsympathetic that Ofelia’s ultimate triumph seems cheapened. In retrospect, the most interesting aspect of the book, to me, was the aliens’ combination of youth (as a species) and intelligence. In science fiction, humans are often pitted against primitives or against older and more “advanced” (but stuffy and conservative) alien civilizations. It’s rare to see a situation in which humans are coping with a new, young alien race that’s smarter than we are. Of course, this has nothing to do with gender. At least, I don’t think so.  — Janet M. Lafler

Work Information

Title: Remnant PopulationAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: BaenYear: 1996
Work Type: Novel

Foragers by Charles Oberndorf (Bantam, 1996)

The set-up, with some agreeable twists and additions, is the human anthropologist among an alien race-known in this case as the slazans. Humanity is at war with one set of these aliens, when another, an isolated group of hunter/gatherers, is found. The human anthropologist finds among them that the primary value is for solitude. This is an ambitious book with an obvious sexual component and a complex web of plots and subplots.  — Karen Joy Fowler

Work Information

Title: ForagersAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: BantamYear: 1996
Work Type: Novel

Serial Killer Days by David Prill (St. Martin's, 1996)

While not terribly pointed in terms of gender content, this novel does contain a marvelous send-up of beauty pageants and the American entertainment industry’s appetite for young murdered women. The protagonist is competing for the crown of Scream Queen and fighting her own unfortunate and unmarketable fearlessness. Very funny and absolutely original.  — Karen Joy Fowler

Work Information

Title: Serial Killer DaysAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: St. Martin'sYear: 1996
Work Type: Novel

Blue Mars, , by Kim Stanley Robinson (Bantam, 1996)

The final and best book of one of my favourite science fiction trilogies of all time. On finishing it my first impulse was to go back and re-read the whole thing in one go. Robinson’s Mars is one of the most fully-realised, fascinating future histories ever written. However, from a Tiptree point of view, the book’s speculation about gender is disappointing. On page 43 we are told that sexual violence against women has disappeared and on page 345 that patriarchy has been brought to an end. We are not shown this reinscription of the roles of men and women, however, as, in much loving and convincing detail, Robinson delineates many of the other changes on Mars as its human society is created and grows.  — Justine Larbalestier

Work Information

Title: Blue MarsAuthor:
Series:
Series Title: Mars TrilogySeries Number: 3
Publisher:
Publisher Name: BantamYear: 1996
Work Type: Novel

Boy's Night Out by Lori Selke (Circlet Press, 1996)

A light-hearted story about the irrelevance of sex to gender, and vice versa.  — Janet M. Lafler

Work Information

Title: Boy's Night OutAuthor:
Collection:
Title: Genderflex: Sexy Stories on the Edge and In-Between Editor: Cecilia Tan
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Circlet PressYear: 1996
Work Type: Short Fiction

Fetish by Martha Soukup (St. Martin's Press, 1996)

I sometimes think that in the West gender difference is all about hair, not genitals-this story is a witty, sharp exploration of just that.  — Justine Larbalestier

Work Information

Title: FetishAuthor:
Collection:
Title: Off Limits: Tales of Alien Sex Editor: Ellen Datlow
Publisher:
Publisher Name: St. Martin's PressYear: 1996
Work Type: Short Fiction

Fair Peril by Nancy Springer (Avon, 1996)

What Springer does with the structures and assumptions of fairy-tale, the way she weaves Story and psychology, the way she makes us hate a character like Prentis and then shows us enough of his vulnerability to make him more than a simple MCP stereotype-not to mention the fact that I kept laughing out loud-are delightful.  — Delia Sherman

Work Information

Title: Fair PerilAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: AvonYear: 1996
Work Type: Novel

Bicycle Repairman, , by Bruce Sterling (Tor, 1996)

The protagonist is on anti-libidinals as a member of the Sexual Deliberation Movement, and argues briefly that true freedom is freedom from the urge to reproduce. There’s also a fabulous social worker in the story. All a bit peripheral, but fine stuff, nevertheless.  — Karen Joy Fowler

Work Information

Title: Bicycle RepairmanAuthor:
Collection:
Title: Intersections: The Sycamore Hill Anthology Editors: John Kessel, Mark L. Van Name, Richard Butner
Series:
Series Title: ChattanoogaSeries Number: 2
Publisher:
Publisher Name: TorYear: 1996
Work Type: Short Fiction

Holy Fire by Bruce Sterling (Bantam, 1996)

It begins with a crone. In a period of extended lifespans, sex and family and connections of any kind are something she long ago put behind her. She is a well-behaved, rich, and powerful old person who says she has become something other than a woman. She takes a new rejuvenation treatment and becomes a young, beautiful, badly behaved girl and, for a time, a model. I don’t think Sterling understands the world of high fashion any better than I do, which is to say, not at all. The sexual aspects of his character’s identity are more interesting in the crone part of the book, which is relatively short, than they are in the vamp part of the book. And the sexual aspects are drowned under the less familiar and more fascinating generational aspects. What would it be like to be the last generation of humans who die? This is a wonderful novel and maybe Sterling’s best to date.  — Karen Joy Fowler

Work Information

Title: Holy FireAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: BantamYear: 1996
Work Type: Novel

Clouds End by Sean Stewart (Ace, 1996)

A magical blending of fairy tale, myth and fantasy. Although the book is packed with as much fairy tale adventure as any Tolkien clone the book’s heart is in the realms of the domestic. The book offers a traditional hero named Seven and then makes his story a minor melody. Marriage, children and home are central. However, this is not the saccharine family values imagined by the political right. Home and hearth are as disturbing and uncertain as any of the more traditional sites of adventure Cloud’s End has to offer.  — Justine Larbalestier

Work Information

Title: Clouds EndAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: AceYear: 1996
Work Type: Novel

Nearly Roadkill by Caitlin Sullivan, Kate Bornstein (High Risk Books, 1996)

I wanted to like this book better than I did. It takes place in the near future, and it takes the form of a series of transcriptions of Internet communications with various backgrounds filled in through connecting narratives. It’s the story of two people’s erotic adventures on-line in a variety of different guises and genders, and of their battle against the world that doesn’t want to accept them. Perhaps inevitably, given its structure, it suffers from a certain “talkiness,” and I found the tone irritatingly self-congratulatory.  — Janet M. Lafler

Work Information

Title: Nearly RoadkillAuthors: ,
Publisher:
Publisher Name: High Risk BooksYear: 1996
Work Type: Novel

The Scarlet Rider by Lucy Sussex (Tom Dougherty, 1996)

A scholarly mystery, all about history and research and women in Australia, told in Sussex’s best wry prose. Among its subjects are women’s roles on a frontier, communities of women, how men and women deal with women who act like men, and how men and women can be friends.  — Delia Sherman

Work Information

Title: The Scarlet RiderAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Tom DoughertyYear: 1996
Work Type: Novel

The Dead by Michael Swanwick (Tor, 1996)

An intense disturbing story written in Swanwick’s usual elegant ice. You’ll never sleep with another dead person!  — Karen Joy Fowler

Work Information

Title: The DeadAuthor:
Collection:
Title: Starlight 1 Editor: Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Publisher:
Publisher Name: TorYear: 1996
Work Type: Short Fiction

The Tale of One Bad Rat by Bryan Talbot (Dark Horse, 1996)

This is a four-volume graphic fiction series.

Well drawn and well meant. The protagonist is a young girl, a homeless runaway, struggling to come to grips with her father’s sexual abuse. Three things eventually save her. They are 1) self-help books, 2) a move to the country-the countryside, itself, really-wilderness-and 3) her identification with Beatrix Potter.  — Karen Joy Fowler

Work Information

Title: The Tale of One Bad RatAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Dark HorseYear: 1996
Work Type: Other

Desmodus by Melanie Tem (Headline Feature, 1995)

Tem’s writing always disturbs me and Desmodus is no exception. She strips the vampire myth of any black nail polished romanticism. Her matriarchal vampires are wholly unlike any others, with lives which are on the whole nasty, brutish and sometimes even short.  — Justine Larbalestier

Work Information

Title: DesmodusAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Headline FeatureYear: 1995
Work Type: Novel