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 2017 jury chose 9 works for the Honor List

Don’t Press Charges and I Won’t Sue by Charlie Jane Anders (Boston Review, 2017)

This graphic and visceral dystopia shows trans people stripped of their legal rights, abducted, and operated on in the name of “curing” their gender identities. Harrowingly portrayed through the viewpoints of both victim and perpetrator, the story describes a medicalized torture resonant with real-world histories of violent “treatment” for gender deviance that was routine only a few decades ago. Showing how fragile the human rights of marginalized people can be, Anders gives readers a glimpse of what has been a lived nightmare for many, and remains a terrifying possible future.

Work Information

Title: Don’t Press Charges and I Won’t SueAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Boston ReviewYear: 2017
Work Type: Short Fiction

The Devourers by Indra Das (Del Rey, 2016)

A fascinating, memorable novel that uses a nested narrative to thread its story through Indian history, from the 17th-century Mughal Empire to contemporary Kolkata. The structure uses multiple points of view to mirror the perspective of the book’s magical characters: a species of predatory shape-shifters who gain access to the memories of the people they consume. Inspired by mythological beings that include werewolves, djinn, and rakshasa, Das’s shape-shifters perceive gendered human behavior in illuminating ways, as the novel’s initial narrator–a queer present-day historian–comes to learn. The novel is beautifully written, using its original speculative framework to explore questions of gender, culture, and identity in new ways.

Work Information

Title: The DevourersAuthor:
Publishers:
Publisher Name: Del ReyYear: 2016
Publisher Name: Penguin Books IndiaLocation: IndiaYear: 2015
Work Type: NovelOriginal Language: English

Dreadnought , Nemesis Book One, by April Daniels (Diversion, 2017)

Work Information

Title: Dreadnought Author:
Series:
Series Title: NemesisSeries Number: 1
Publisher:
Publisher Name: DiversionYear: 2017
Work Type: NovelOriginal Language: English

Sovereign, Nemesis Book Two, by April Daniels (Diversion, 2017)

Sovereign and Dreadnought are the first two books of a trilogy. These novels follow Danny, a transgender teenage girl stuck living as a boy. A chance meeting with a dying superhero allows Danny to have her deepest desire granted, with the side effect that she’s now the most powerful superhero on the planet. Daniels’ familiarity with the issues faced by trans people invests these books with a rarely achieved feeling of authenticity. The novels explore the family stress experienced by trans youth and dive headlong into contemporary political controversies surrounding trans rights. That they are excellent superhero fiction as well should see them widely enjoyed, and their message received by a broad audience.

Work Information

Title: SovereignAuthor:
Series:
Series Title: NemesisSeries Number: 2
Publisher:
Publisher Name: DiversionYear: 2017
Work Type: NovelOriginal Language: English

An Excess Male by Maggie Shen King (Harper Voyager, 2017)

A novel of exquisitely deep, nuanced characterization, set in a future China where there are forty million more men than women. This book explores polyandrous marriage, non-neurotypical cognition, state-sanctioned homophobia, and the dynamics of bonding in male-only spaces. It also features an exciting and unusual plot structure, beginning as a contemplative study of family that gradually accelerates to the pace of a techno-thriller.

Work Information

Title: An Excess MaleAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Harper VoyagerYear: 2017
Work Type: NovelOriginal Language: English

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado (Gray Wolf, 2017)

A collection of short stories that explore the cultural treatment of women’s bodies, written with stunning artistry. These formally inventive tales use the speculative to illuminate the interiors of gendered worlds, from a worldwide plague viewed through its last survivor’s erotic connections to a reinterpretation of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episodes that becomes a meditation on sexual violence. Machado offers a multifaceted view of the insides and undersides of queer kinds of femininity that we mostly never see, brought into the light in all their darkness and brightness, sweetness and ugliness.

Work Information

Title: Her Body and Other PartiesAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: Gray WolfYear: 2017
Work Type: CollectionOriginal Language: English

An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon (Akashic, 2017)

A powerful novel of individual and collective survival in the face of generational trauma. On a generation ship, the Black inhabitants of the lower decks live and work under brutal conditions that recall slavery in antebellum America. The story follows lowerdecker Aster as she struggles to survive and make sense of her world. The capacity to maintain culture and possibility within bondage are key to Aster’s story, as is the way that the main characters–none of whom are wholly neurotypical–give one another space for their difference even when they are incomprehensible or even dangerous to one another.

Work Information

Title: An Unkindness of GhostsAuthor:
Publisher:
Publisher Name: AkashicYear: 2017
Work Type: Novel

Black Tides of Heaven , Tensorate Book 1, by JY Yang (Tor, 2017)

Work Information

Title: Black Tides of Heaven Author:
Series:
Series Title: TensorateSeries Number: 1
Publisher:
Publisher Name: TorYear: 2017
Work Type: NovelOriginal Language: English

Red Threads of Fortune, Tensorate Book 2, by JY Yang (Tor, 2017)

Black Tides of Heaven and Red Threads of Fortune are paired silkpunk novellas. Set in a society where children are without gender until they choose to be confirmed into a specific identity, these novellas follow aristocratic twins from their identical childhoods through increasingly divergent adulthoods. The first is a bildungsroman of Akeha, the male twin, who must learn himself at a young age because he lacks any defined place within his family or culture. The second is a recovery narrative of Mokoya, the female twin, whose relatively frictionless path through life demands of her little introspection, until a traumatic event upends her sense of self, requiring she build a new understanding of her identity to navigate her grief. Both stories explore the process of struggling past expectation to achieve self-definition.

Work Information

Title: Red Threads of FortuneAuthor:
Series:
Series Title: TensorateSeries Number: 2
Publisher:
Publisher Name: TorYear: 2017
Work Type: NovelOriginal Language: English