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 2016 jury chose 9 works for the Honor List

Hwarhath Stories:Transgressive Tales by Aliens, , by Eleanor Arnason (Aqueduct Press, 2016)

This is a wonderful collection of stories that examine the ways that culturally, deep-rooted assumptions around gender restrict vocation and recognition of skills. Arnason tells of a culture with significantly different gender assumptions and customs that lead to a number of subtly shifted societal impacts — both positive and negative.

Work Information

Title: Hwarhath Stories:Transgressive Tales by AliensAuthor:
Series:
Series Title: HwarhathSeries Number:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Aqueduct PressYear: 2016
Work Type: Collection

Borderline, , by Mishell Baker (Saga Press, 2016)

A fascinating whodunit with wonderful characters, Borderline spotlights diversity and intersectionality. Most of the characters in this novel are viewed as disabled by others, even by each other. But the characters’ so-called disabilities give them advantages in certain situations. Understanding this helps the characters love each other and themselves. Almost every character can be described as having attributes that are both disabilities and advantages. What builds us up can bring us down. Or put another way: our imperfections are openings to beautiful achievements.

Work Information

Title: BorderlineAuthor:
Series:
Series Title: The Arcadia ProjectSeries Number: 1
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Saga PressYear: 2016
Work Type: Novel

“Opals and Clay" by Nino Cipri (Podcastle, 2016)

A beautiful love story about solidarity. With just three major characters, this story does a lot with gender, demonstrating how gendering can be something one does to control or out of love.

Work Information

Title: “Opals and Clay"Author:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: PodcastleYear: 2016
Work Type: Short Fiction

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (Tor Books, 2016)

This is a lovely YA novel about teenagers who return to our world, against their wishes, from magical lands that they entered through secret pathways — a magic door, an impossible stairway at the bottom of a trunk, a mirror. Their parents cannot understand their pain and misinterpret the stories their children tell and send their children to Miss West’s Home for Wayward Children. Miss West, herself a returned child, helps them deal with their separation or return to what they all think of as their real homes. This novel came to the attention of the Tiptree jury because of the reasons the children are taken from or rejected by their magical worlds. The protagonist, Nancy, is asexual, and finds an ideal world through her door. A character named Kade was born Katie, and discovers he is a boy, not a girl. He is thrown out of Fairyland as punishment for his transition. Two twin girls named Jack and Jill take up identities opposite from those their parents imposed upon them. There are beautiful lessons here about the importance of finding one’s home–that place where one can be one’s self. An emotionally engaging novel.

Work Information

Title: Every Heart a DoorwayAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Tor BooksYear: 2016
Work Type: Novel

Too Like the Lightning, Terra Ignota, by Ada Palmer (Tor Books, 2016)

This book will start conversations about gender, philosophy, religion, government, even war.The judges perceived contradictions within this book that may be resolved in the sequel, but these only serve to spark interest. In the future in which it is set (the twenty-fifth century of our world), gendered language is considered taboo in most circles and gender/sex-related cues are minimized and overlooked in clothing, vocation, and all other public areas of life. However, the book slowly reveals that gender stereotypes, sexism, and sexual taboos still remain strong despite the century’s supposed enlightenment and escape from such notions.

Work Information

Title: Too Like the LightningAuthor:
Series:
Series Title: Series Number: 1
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Tor BooksYear: 2016
Work Type: Novel

The Core of the Sun by Johanna Sinisalo (Grove Press/Black Cat, 2016)

This emotional, moving and thought-provoking novel, set in an alternate present in Finland, provides a critique of heteronormativity, eugenics, and all forms of social control, done uniquely and with humor. In this alternate present, the government values public health and social stability above all else. Sex and gender have been organized as the government sees fit, much to the detriment of women, who are bred and raised to be docile. All .drugs, including alcohol and caffeine, have long been banned. Capsaicin from hot peppers is the most recent substance to be added to the list. Our protagonist, Vera/Vanna, is a capsaicin addict. Consuming peppers provides an escape from a world that has treated her horribly. Most chapters are from Vera/Vanna’s perspective, but others relate the history, laws, fairytales, and other literature of this fictional Finland.

Work Information

Title: The Core of the SunAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Grove Press/Black CatYear: 2016
Work Type: NovelOriginal Language: FinnishTranslator: Lola Rogers

Everfair by Nisi Shawl (Tor Books, 2016)

In this gorgeous steampunk revisionist history of anticolonial resistance, a coalition of rebels defeat King Leopold and transform the former Belgian Congo into Everfair: a new nation whose citizens comprise Africans, European settlers, and Asian laborers. Told from many different perspectives, the story switches among the viewpoints of a dozen protagonists. This novel shows how relationships can grow over time between people of different races, classes, and religions as they build community together. Characters work through their internalized racisms and demonstrate how this is necessary for those in interracial relationships.

Work Information

Title: EverfairAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Tor BooksYear: 2016
Work Type: Novel

The Night Bazaar for Women Becoming Reptiles by Rachael K. Jones (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, 2016)

A moving story set in a world where people live separate lives by night and day, with an opposite-sex lover by day and same-sex lover by night as the standard family structure. The theme of being trapped in one’s body and circumstances and in the customs of one’s times is dealt with well. The metaphor of a city/body that traps people in prisons of identity was very powerful. A surprising (yet well set up) twist to the story broadens its scope.

Work Information

Title: The Night Bazaar for Women Becoming ReptilesAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Beneath Ceaseless SkiesYear: 2016
Work Type: Short Fiction

Will Do Magic for Small Change by Andrea Hairston (Aqueduct Press, 2016)

A beautiful story of magic and love that spans two centuries and three continents, moving between times and places through a book-within-a-book structure. Its 1980s protagonists are a family who has been torn apart by an act of homophobic violence. Through a discovery of their past, they are able to reconnect and find love again. Among other things, this novel depicts an amazing range of queer characters. Importantly, the book de-colonizes these representations, making queerness not a white or American thing, but something that emerges in different shapes and structures at different times and places, particular to individuals as well as the cultures and communities that they are a part of.

Work Information

Title: Will Do Magic for Small ChangeAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Aqueduct PressYear: 2016
Work Type: Novel