The 2014 Tiptree Award has been awarded to Monica Byrne for The Girl in the Road and Jo Walton for My Real Children. Monica Byrne, along with authors and works on the Honor List and the Long List were celebrated during Memorial Day weekend (May 22-25, 2015) at WisCon in Madison, Wisconsin. Jo Walton was feted at an alternate celebration at Borderlands Books in San Francisco on August 9, 2015. (You cannot have too many celebrations.) Each winner will receive $1000 in prize money, a specially commissioned piece of original artwork, and (as always) chocolate.

Award Information

Conference Information

  • Award Year: 2014
  • Award Year Number: Year 24
  • Conference: Wiscon 39
  • Date: 25-05-2015
  • Location: Madison, WI

Award Winners

The 2014 jury chose 2 works for the James Tiptree, Jr. Award.

The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne (Blackfriars, 2014)

Monica Byrne’s The Girl in the Road is a painful, challenging, glorious novel about murder, quests, self-delusion, and a stunning science-fictional big idea: What would it be like to walk the length of a few-meter-wide wave generator stretching across the open sea from India to Africa, with only what you can carry on your back? With profound compassion and insight, the novel tackles relationships between gender and culture and between gender and violence. It provides a nuanced portrait of violence against women, in a variety of forms, and violence perpetrated by women. Through the eyes of two narrators linked by a single act of violence, the reader is brought to confront shifting ideas of gender, class, and human agency and dignity.

Work Information

Title: The Girl in the RoadAuthor:
Publisher Name: BlackfriarsCountry: UKYear: 2014
Work Type: NovelOriginal Language: English
Monica Byrne — The Girl in the Road
Monica Byrne — The Girl in the Road

My Real Children by Jo Walton (Tor Books, 2014)

Jo Walton’s My Real Children is a richly textured examination of two lives lived by the same woman. This moving, thought-provoking novel deals with how differing global and personal circumstances change our view of sexuality and gender. The person herself changes, along with her society. Those changes influence and are influenced by her opportunities in life and how she is treated by intimate partners, family members, and society at large. The alternate universe trope allows Walton to demonstrate that changes in perceptions regarding gender and sexuality aren’t inevitable or determined by a gradual enlightenment of the species, but must be struggled for. My Real Children is important for the way it demonstrates how things could have been otherwise — and might still be.

Work Information

Title: My Real ChildrenAuthor:
Publisher Name: Tor BooksCountry: USAYear: 2014
Work Type: NovelOriginal Language: English
Jo Walton — My Real Children
Jo Walton — My Real Children

Award Honor List

In addition to selecting the winner, each jury chooses a Tiptree Award Honor List. The Honor List is a strong part of the award’s identity and is used by many readers as a recommended reading list.

The 2014 jury chose 10 works for the Honor List

Elysium, (Aqueduct Press, USA, 2014)

A masterfully layered tale of star-crossed lovers, ambiguously situated before, during, and after a devastating alien invasion. Adrian/Adrianne and Antoine/Antoinette move through a liminal, re-creative space that tells spooling variations of an original story we might never see, but can reconstruct. Variously lovers, siblings, and parent and child, these relationships change in subtle and overt ways that are tied to the gender of the characters in each looping iteration.

In Her Eyes, (Spilogale, Inc., USA, 2014)

This excellently written and evocative story is about a woman who is a polymorph, capable of drastically altering her body.  It’s told from the point of view of the man who loves her.  Each week she becomes a different woman for him, until she changes her gender, then her very self.

A Woman Out of Time, (Jurassic London, UK, 2014)

A fictionalized version of Joanna Russ’s classic How to Suppress Women’s Writing, based on a true history (with very mild adjustments). Time travel paradoxes, complexity theory, and alien intervention are beautifully interwoven in this lyrical exploration of the gendering of scientific discovery. The story’s epigraph will tempt readers to explore what is known of the life and work of Emile Du Chatelet, a contemporary of Voltaire and the translator and commentator of Newton’s work, and to undo the disservice she has been done by history.

Memory of Water, (Harper Voyager, UK, 2014)

This beautifully crafted novel, written simultaneously in English and Finnish, uses a delicately-told coming-of-age tale to examine a future replete with water crises, a totalitarian police state, and suffocating gender roles.

Ascension, (Masque Books, US, 2013)

A fun, fast-paced space opera with surprising heft. Its beautifully diverse cast of characters explores intersections of gender and race, class, disability, and polyamory, all while racing to save the universe from certain destruction.

Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories, Alisa Krasnostein, Julia Rios (eds.) (Twelfth Planet Press, Australia, 2014)

An anthology of young-adult stories about diversity, many featuring queer or trans characters or gender issues. This is a book that should be in every middle and high-school library!

The Lightness of the Movement, (Spilogale, Inc., USA, 2014)

A solid, well-told alien-contact story about a xeno-anthropologist studying an alien species.  The alien’s gender roles are well described and very alien.  Though the story never enters the aliens’ minds, MacEwen does a fabulous job of making it clear how the aliens think.

Lagoon, (Hodder & Stoughton, UK, 2014)

This gloriously chaotic look at the day after aliens land in the lagoon off of Lagos, Nigeria’s coast approaches gender with a diversity that intersects with many aspects of modern Nigerian life: age, religion, social class and politics, among others. The character Ayodele, an alien who takes the form of a human woman to make first contact, is particularly noteworthy in how her chosen gender exposes fault lines across the panoply of characters that drive the narrative.

Neither Witch nor Fairy, (Crossed Genres Publications, US, 2014)

Two orphaned brothers try to get by in 1895 Belfast. The story focuses on the younger brother, who thinks he’s a changeling. He asks the fairies to tell him what he truly is. (Saying anything more would be telling.)

The Beauty, (Unsung Stories, UK, 2014)

A piece of disturbing, thought-provoking horror that explores what happens to a small community of men when sentient mushrooms spring from the graves of women who died years before from a deadly fungus infection. These mushrooms, called “Beauties” by the storytelling narrator, gradually and inexorably shift their roles over the course of the narrative, starting as supposedly mindless providers of comfort and ending with roles more traditionally masculine: inseminating, caring for the male mothers, and engaging in violent battles to protect their progeny. Allegorically explores a variety of aspects of the human experience, including gender and sexuality.

Award Long List

It was a particularly good year for gender exploration in science fiction and fantasy. In addition to the honor list, this year’s jury also compiled the following long list of other works they found worthy of attention:

The 2014 jury chose 9 works for the Long List

  • Otherbound, (Amulet Books, US, 2014)
  • The Book of the Unnamed Midwife, (Sybaritic Press, US, 2014)
  • Marigolds, (Crossed Genres Publications, US, 2014)
  • Shadowplay, Micah Grey, Book 1, (Angry Robot Books/Strange Chemistry, US, 2013)
  • Knotting Grass, Holding Ring, (Crossed Genres Publications, US, 2014)
  • No Lonely Seafarer, (Lightspeed Magazine, US, 2014)
  • Hollow World, (Tachyon Publications, US, 2014)
  • Collaborators, (Dragon Moon Press, Canada, 2013)
  • The Cure for Dreaming, (Amulet Books, US, 2014)


Each year, a panel of five jurors selects the Tiptree Award winner. The 2014 jurors were:

  • Darrah Chavey (chair)
  • Elizabeth Bear
  • Joan Haran
  • Alaya Dawn Johnson
  • Amy Thomson