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 2015 jury chose 11 works for the Honor List

Sarah's Child by Susan Jane Bigelow (Strange Horizons, 2014)

A story of getting to see what happened on the path not chosen and having the chance to evaluate whether the original choice was the right one. Sarah dreams of the child she cannot bear in her assigned-male-at-birth body and struggles with her deep sense of grief. In a parallel universe she’s able to breach, Sarah’s son has an alternate mother, a woman born with a womb, but without the strength to come out to her family. Sarah and June—two women with the same identity, albeit in different bodies—each learn from the other how to be a more courageous version of themselves.

Work Information

Title: Sarah's ChildAuthor:
Collection:
Title: Strange Horizons 19 May 2014Editor: Niall Harrison
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Strange HorizonsYear: 2014
Work Type: Short FictionOriginal Language: English

The Shape of My Name by Nino Cipri (tor.com, 2015)

This quiet story of trans identity is tender and beautifully written, but does not pull its punches in terms of the personal hypocrisies of the characters, the compromises they make, or the ways that cruelty and pain are tied to the riskiness of love (and time travel). The relationship between the viewpoint character and their mother, in particular, is beautifully (if painfully) nuanced.

Work Information

Title: The Shape of My NameAuthor:
Collection:
Title: Tor.com Editor: Ann VanderMeer
Publisher:
Publisher Name: tor.comYear: 2015
Work Type: Short FictionOriginal Language: English

The Only Ones by Carola Dibbell (Two Dollar Radio, 2015)

Told from the point of view of a young woman supporting herself through medical experimentation, the novel is thoughtful and astute in the way it explores the nexus of social and economic power with technology, racism, and sexism. It has important things to say about the way women’s bodies are treated as resources by institutions that exploit them for economic and political gain, and the ways in which desperate and disempowered women are forced into dangerous collaborations with their oppressors.

Work Information

Title: The Only OnesAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Two Dollar RadioYear: 2015
Work Type: NovelOriginal Language: English

Off to Far Ithicaa, ODY-C Vol. 1, by Matt Fraction, Christian Ward (Image Comics, 2015)

Matt Fraction is the author of this graphic novel, and Christian Ward is the artist.

It’s the aftermath of a galactic war and instead of Odysseus, we have Odyssia and her crew.  This is not the first time Homer’s Odyssey has been retold; the gods are still as meddlesome and trying as ever and the heroine’s journey home is still set to take years.  What compels readers to return is the combination of non-linear storytelling and arresting visuals that complement the gender-flipped characters and their struggles against cosmic forces greater than themselves.

Work Information

Title: Off to Far IthicaaAuthors: ,
Series:
Series Title: ODY-CSeries Number: 1
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Image ComicsYear: 2015
Work Type: OtherOriginal Language: English

A Crown for Cold Silver, Crimson Empire Book 1, by Alex Marshall (Orbit, 2015)

A rollicking epic adventure with an appealing older female main character who clearly has issues beyond just dealing with whomever is trying to kill her and an extended (and extensive) cast who slowly wind their way through this world to band together. It upends most of the usual gender tropes one would find in the sprawling fantasy category, with women as likely as men to be in any particular role, and sexuality not particularly defining of anything except who you’re attracted to.

Work Information

Title: A Crown for Cold SilverAuthor:
Series:
Series Title: Crimson EmpireSeries Number: 1
Publisher:
Publisher Name: OrbitYear: 2015
Work Type: NovelOriginal Language: English

Each to Each by Seanan McGuire (Lightspeed, 2014)

A post-humanist analogy of weaponized femininity, where essentialist notions of gender are deployed by a patriarchal military structure looking for the perfect soldier in a particular niche. The unintended result is a women-centered subculture with the power and opportunity to strike out on their own, for those with the inclination and independence to trade some of the trappings of humanity for that freedom. It’s a fascinating, nuanced, and furious exploration of a range of ideas around women and beauty, the military, body modification, and loyalty.

Work Information

Title: Each to EachAuthor:
Collection:
Title: Lightspeed: Women Destroy Science Fiction! Special Issue Issue 49, June 2014Editor: Christie Yant
Publisher:
Publisher Name: LightspeedYear: 2014
Work Type: Short FictionOriginal Language: English

How to Become a Robot in 12 Easy Steps by A Merc Rustad (Scigentasy, 2015)

A poignant and wry account of Tesla’s experience of mental illness and body dysmorphia that manages to weave together their experiences of depression, neuroatypicality, asexuality, and their desire for (and to become themself) a robot. The light but genuinely touching and hopeful ending balances the emotional and mental struggles they live through on the way.

Work Information

Title: How to Become a Robot in 12 Easy StepsAuthor:
Collection:
Title: scigentasy.com Issue 4Editors: Sara Puls, Mary Jaimes
Publisher:
Publisher Name: ScigentasyYear: 2015
Work Type: Short FictionOriginal Language: English

All that Outer Space Allows, Apollo Quartet 4, by Ian Sales (Whippleshield Books, 2015)

This novel postulates an alternate 1960s America where science fiction is written and read almost exclusively by women, even though the space race is still a male-dominated field. In addition to serving as a meditation of what this means to a woman science fiction writer who is married to an astronaut in that alternate world, the book also reminds us of the women writers or our past through the main character’s fictional correspondence with her real science fiction writer contemporaries.

Work Information

Title: All that Outer Space AllowsAuthor:
Series:
Series Title: Apollo QuartetSeries Number: 4
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Whippleshield BooksYear: 2015
Work Type: NovelOriginal Language: English

beyond: the queer sci-fi and fantasy comic anthology by Taneka Stotts, Sfe Monster (eds.) (beyond, 2015)

A wide-ranging and entertaining collection of comics with queer characters, in which readers meet intentional and found families, dragon slayers, adventurers of all stripes, and robots deciding who they are going to be.

Work Information

Title: beyond: the queer sci-fi and fantasy comic anthologyEditors: Taneka Stotts, Sfe Monster (eds.)
Publisher:
Publisher Name: beyondYear: 2015
Work Type: OtherOriginal Language: English

Steven Universe by Rebecca Sugar (Cartoon Network, 2013-2016)

Rebecca Sugar is the creator and executive producer of this children’s television series which launched in 2013.

In the context of children’s television, this show deals with gender in a much more open and mature way than is typical for the genre, and has some of the best writing of any cartoon. Steven is a boy who is kind, caring, and whose magical skill (which he has inherited from his late mother) is that of protection. In addition to showing men and women who do not necessarily conform to standard American gender ideals, the show also gives us an agender/non-binary character and a thoughtful exploration of growing up through Steven and his friend Connie.

Work Information

Title: Steven UniverseAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Cartoon NetworkYear: 2013-2016
Work Type: Other

Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente (Tor, 2015)

Set in an alternate solar system in which life thrives on every planet in the solar system, space travel is relatively easy, and patent laws have restricted most films to remain silent, Radiance tells the story of a filmmaker who vanished during principle photography of her last film. Reading like a documentary in novel form, the book is written as transcripts, scenes from the woman’s own films, and fictionalized accounts of her life as told by her father (both before and after her loss). Radiance explores a universe in which film did not abandon women along with title cards.

Work Information

Title: RadianceAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: TorYear: 2015
Work Type: NovelOriginal Language: English