In addition to selecting the winner, each jury chooses an Honor List (previously called a “Short List”). The Honor List is a strong part of the award’s identity and is used by many professors as a guide to creating syllabi and by many readers as a recommended reading list.

Honor List

The 2004 jury chose 7 works for the Honor List

Little Black Book of Stories by A.S. Byatt (Chatto & Windus, 2003)

None of the five stories bend gender very far — unless a woman turning bit by jeweled bit into a troll counts, which I think it might, as troll sexuality is either nonexistent or a very open question . . . But Byatt handles relationships in a way that I think is essentially tiptroid. The stories are adventurous, risk-taking (at least once to the point of falling flat on the face), nervy, savvy, genuinely imaginative, and very, very well told. — Ursula K. LeGuin

Beautiful, haunting stories that thoroughly have gender issues inhabiting them. I particularly liked “The Pink Ribbon” and “The Thing in the Forest”. — Alan DeNiro

All of the stories are beautifully written; the use of the fantastic in “The Pink Ribbon” & “Stone Woman” gives an original and interesting exploration of how cultural interactions affect the way we perceive gender in ourselves and others. — Margaret McBride

Work Information

Title: Little Black Book of StoriesAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Chatto & WindusYear: 2003
Work Type: CollectionOriginal Language: English

Love's Body, Dancing in Time by L. Timmel Duchamp (Aqueduct Press, 2004)

I see most gender issues as cultural and the evocative details in “The Gift” remind me that aspects of gender, sexuality and love that I sometimes take for granted are actually societal assumptions. —Margaret McBride

“The Heloise Archive” startled in how effortlessly it shapeshifts in all of its textual patterns — which are embedded in gender exploration. The narrative structure is brilliant, archetypal and clumsy at the same time. But I think it ‘s intentionally clumsy and archetypal and a brilliant attempt at trying to create a new type of story where gender transgression inhabits. — Alan DeNiro

Work Information

Title: Love's Body, Dancing in TimeAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Aqueduct PressYear: 2004
Work Type: CollectionOriginal Language: English

All of Us Can Almost … by Carol Emshwiller (SciFi.com, 2004)

A hilarious riff on the human condition. Power plays and sexual strut. And what about hard wiring? The story could be read as a revenge story on stupid males, but I think that would miss the point of this glorious flight of fantasy. — Judith Clute

Work Information

Title: All of Us Can Almost …Author:
Collection:
Title: Sci Fiction November 17, 2004Editor: Ellen Datlow
Publisher:
Publisher Name: SciFi.comYear: 2004
Work Type: Short FictionOriginal Language: English

The Sea of Trolls, The Sea of Trolls Trilogy, by Nancy Farmer (Atheneum Books, 2004)

Published as Young Adult, a genre we ought to keep an eye on. Tiptroid mainly in one character, a girl whom the protagonist and the reader think is a boy for quite a while, largely because she wants so much to be one and is so angry at not being one-a keen and canny portrait. Not world-shaking gender invention, but an unpretentious, slyly edgy presentation of transgendering without surgery or sf elements. — Ursula K. LeGuin

The aspects of “gendered jobs” in early history are an interesting addition to this YA novel. I love the little surprise about verse at the end. —Margaret McBride

Work Information

Title: The Sea of TrollsAuthor:
Series:
Series Title: The Sea of TrollsSeries Number: 1
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Atheneum BooksYear: 2004
Work Type: NovelOriginal Language: English

Stable Strategies and Others by Eileen Gunn (Tachyon Publications, 2004)

Gunn doesn’t address gender as a central issue in these stories, but it’s there, in the title story, in “Nirvana High,” and others, and the take on it is marvelously dry and sly. — Ursula K. LeGuin

Grunge as a curriculum in “Nirvana High” by Gunn and Leslie What  — what makes this story work in a Tiptroid fashion is the hard-to-do depiction of teenagers with gifts, and using the ultra-male grunge music as a lens into this society and into how femininity is constructed. Probably the faintest “pulse” of Tiptroid materials of any of my shortlisters, but it’s there, and seamlessly embedded in the narrative.

Work Information

Title: Stable Strategies and OthersAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Tachyon PublicationsYear: 2004
Work Type: CollectionOriginal Language: English

Life by Gwyneth Jones (Aqueduct Press, 2004)

From a conversation early in the book: “Sex is in everything. I didn’t put it there. The most significant thing in your entire social and cultural life is your assigned gender. Everything else comes after that fact, including your relationship with technology.” In many different ways, this novel examines how gender affects our lives, our relationships with friends and children, our jobs, etc. The scientific discussions work as metaphors for gender and sexual issues. —Margaret McBride

The main characters are moved through their paces in order to present the story of genes and chromosomes and the possibility of sexual shift in the growing embryo. Woven through that story is the woman, Ramone, who describes in heated hyperbole the contemporary fault-line of the sexual divide. Anna is obsessive: she often talks about her work to her partner Spence. In another conversation where she’s been drawing triggers of regulatory proteins, he adds his expertise: “Well whadd’ya know. This is Boolean Algebra. These are logic gates!” So when the A1 SURI (who had joked that she should have been named GAIA) was killed, it’s an emotional blow. “Yeah,” said Anna. “You can clone her. But it won’t be the same person.” The most interesting character to move through the social politics of this book is Ramone who, at one point, suggests that Anna was right: “Numbers were everything. You can regard what went on in the battle of the sexes as a chemical reaction, a fractional distillation… You could show how feminism in the classical model was doomed…” Ramone “set up camp on the border, on the actual fault-line of the Great Divide…” and lived her life accordingly. — Judith Clute

Work Information

Title: LifeAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Aqueduct PressYear: 2004
Work Type: NovelOriginal Language: English

Kissing Frogs by Jaye Lawrence (Spilogale, Inc., 2004)

Short, light, deft, elegant (and the author’s first published story); one of the few magazine stories we read that really, truly fit the Tiptree guidelines. — Ursula K. LeGuin

A pleasing after-dinner mint of a story (I don’t mean that as a slur) that is very funny and does exactly what it sets out to do. — Alan DeNiro

I almost always like “revisions” of a well-known tale. This whimsical version of the frog who can change into a prince with a kiss — told through the medium of “looking for a partner” ads — made me smile and stop to think about gender issues in our society. —Margaret McBride

Work Information

Title: Kissing FrogsAuthor:
Collection:
Title: The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction May 2004Editor: Gordon Van Gelder
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Spilogale, Inc.Year: 2004
Work Type: Short FictionOriginal Language: English