More Information on Le Guin Symposium

Interested in coming to the “Tiptree symposium” celebrating the work of Ursula K. Le Guin? (Ms. Le Guin’s birthday was October 21. Happiest of birthdays, Ursula!)

We wrote about the symposium here, and now we know more.

Copyright (c) 2003 by Joyce Scrivner

The University Libraries haven’t published a final schedule yet; they have been moving some items around since we last posted. Both the Le Guin and Feminist Science Fiction panel, featuring several Tiptree Award winners and motherboard members, and Tiptree Award founding mother Karen Joy Fowler’s keynote will be on Friday, December 2. We recommend coming a day early for motherboard member Alexis Lothian’s presentation “Queer Longings in Straight Futures” and, of course, staying through Saturday for the second day of the symposium.

The University has reserved a block of rooms at the Phoenix Inn, very easy walking distance from the symposium events. The Tiptree Award will host an open party at the Phoenix Inn on Friday night, December 2, exact time to be determined. To reserve your room, email or call 800) 344-0131. Be sure to tell them you’re coming for the Tiptree Symposium.

We hope to see you there!


2016 “Tiptree Symposium” Celebrates Ursula K. Le Guin


Clockwise from left: Ursula K. Le Guin, Karen Joy Fowler, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Brian Attebery

This year’s 2016 James Tiptree Jr. symposium is a celebration of Ursula K. Le Guin. Last year’s inaugural symposium featured James Tiptree, Jr., and was such a success that the University of Oregon (at Eugene) has made it an annual event.  It will be held December 2 and 3 on the Eugene campus. The Tiptree Award will almost certainly host a party; watch this space for details.

Tentative keynote speakers are Brian Attebery, Kelly Sue DeConnick, and Karen Joy Fowler.

Along with the tentative keynoters, here’s a peek at the tentative schedule.

At 3:00 on Thursday afternoon, December 1 (before the symposium starts), Dr. Alexis Lothian will give the Sally Miller Gearhart Lesbian Lecture, “Queer Longings in Straight Futures: Notes Toward a Prehistory for Lesbian Speculation.”

On December 2, festivities start at 10:00 a.m. and end at 7:00 p.m. Joan Haran will moderate a panel on The Dispossessed, and another panel will feature Dr. Carol Stabile’s feminist SF students discussing The Lathe of Heaven. That day’s keynote (and question and answer session) will be by Karen Joy Fowler.

On December 3, the schedule runs from 9:30 a.m. to 5;00 p.m. Alexis Lothian will chair the panel on The Left Hand of Darkness, and Karen Ford will moderate a panel on  Ursula Le Guin and the Field of Feminist Science Fiction. The two keynotes that day will be: Kelly Sue DeConnick and Ben Saunders having a conversation about Le Guin’s influence; and Brian Attebery.

We couldn’t resist counting: the speakers include: one Tiptree Award founding mother, three award winners (including Ursula Le Guin, who has won twice), two Motherboard members, at least six previous jurors, and our inaugural Tiptree Award Fellow. We’ll be well represented. And for the fun of it, also several past WisCon guests of honor and one upcoming one.

Will you be there?

2016 Fellowships Deadline Extended!

We have excellent applications for this year’s Tiptree Fellowships — but we still have time for a few more.

The Tiptree Fellows can be writers, artists, scholars, media makers, remix artists, performers, musicians, or something else entirely. If you are doing work that is changing the way we think about gender through speculative narrative – maybe in a form we would recognize as the science fiction or fantasy genre, maybe in some other way – you will be eligible for a Fellowship. You won’t have to be a professional or have an institutional affiliation, as we hope to support emerging creators who don’t already have institutional support for their work.

Fellowship winners receive $500 grants. If you were wishing you had time to apply but missed yesterday’s cut-off, now is your chance. Applications will be open until September 15, 2016.

MidAmericon Auction Report plus Tiptree/Sheldon Birthday Links

The Tiptree Award Auction at MidAmericon II was a smashing success, thanks to so many people!


Worldcon gave us the space. Motherboard members Jeanne Gomoll and Pat Murphy (shown above on the Soap box, and also modeling the Spacebabe hoodie) did a lot of planning. Jeanne, Scott Custis, Jim Hudson, and Diane Martin transported Stuff from Madison to Kansas City. Jim also handled the sales. Many others provided essential help. And auctioneer Sumana Harihareswara cajoled almost $1500 out of the audience!

The prize item, unsurprisingly, was the signed copy of Octavia Butler’s Kindred, her most famous novel and one of her finest.

A great time was had by all!


We were pleased to see these birthday tributes to Alice Sheldon:

Leah Schnelbach talks about “What James Tiptree Jr. Can Teach Us about the Power of the SF Community” at tor. com . Schnelbach’s excellent long essay recaps Sheldon/Tiptree’s history. The piece ends with this:

I think it’s worth pointing out, though, and repeating, and underlining, and emphasizing, that Alice Sheldon, a person who felt out of joint for most of her life, found in SF a community that didn’t just tolerate her weirdness, but celebrated it. And that celebration helped her to create some of the greatest work the genre ever saw.

Tachyon Press also gives Tiptree a birthday shout-out here:

Alice adopted her “James Tiptree, Jr.” persona to protect her academic reputation. As Tiptree, she garnered immense praise for her numerous tales that often stretched the boundaries of the genre by challenging the perceptions of gender. Her many awards include two Hugo (1974 novella, “The Girl Who Was Plugged In”; 1977 novella, “Houston, Houston, Do You Read?”), three Nebula (1973 short story, “Love Is the Plan the Plan Is Death”; 1976 novella, “Houston, Houston, Do You Read?”; 1977 novelette, “The Screwfly Solution”), and a 1987 World Fantasy for the collection TALES OF THE QUINTANA ROO.

Both articles are also kind enough to namecheck the Tiptree Award as part of her legacy.

Happy Birthday, Dear Tip/Ally, Happy Birthday to You!

Alice B. Sheldon
Alice B. Sheldon

It’s Alice Sheldon’s 101st birthday! We don’t have a special birthday cake for her, so we’re re-giving Georgie Schnobrich’s beautiful cake celebrating this year’s Tiptree Award winners.



As a birthday present, all three of WisCon 40’s guests of honor are posting their superb guest of honor speeches today. Justine Larbalestier’s moving speech was largely about the rights of young people, and especially young people of color. Sofia Samatar spoke eloquently about writing and flight. And Nalo Hopkinson announced the Lemonade Award, a kindness award for people who foster positive change in the science fiction community

These three speeches made for an amazing evening, capped by the Tiptree Award ceremony. If you were there, reading the speeches will bring it back for you. If you couldn’t be there, reading the speeches will give you something of the flavor. Also, Tiptree Award winner Eugene Fischer has posted an excellent summary of the speeches, with long quotations.

And, of course, we believe that Ally/Tip would be delighted if you felt like marking her birthday by donating to the award that preserves her legacy of exploring and expanding gender in speculative fiction.

Tiptree Auction at Kansas City Worldcon, Friday, August 19


Can’t get enough Tiptree auctions at WisCon? Don’t get to WisCon, but curious about Tiptree auctions? Fan of Sumana Harihareswara? Want to support science fiction that explores and expands gender? Want to roar with laughter? There are dozens of possible reasons to go to the Tiptree Auction at MidAmeriCon II.

You’ll find us in the auction space in the Exhibits Hall, on Friday, August 19 at noon. We’re auctioning a short list of prime items, such as a signed first edition of Octavia Butler’s Kindred. We will also be selling this year’s lovely Freddie Baer 25th anniversary t-shirt–with the names of all the winners–as well as the two Tiptree cookbooks.

James Tiptree, Jr. 25th Annual Award T-Shirt
James Tiptree, Jr. 25th Annual Award T-Shirt

We hope to see you there!

Tiptree Auction at MidAmericon II!

We are delighted to announce that MidAmericon II has graciously agreed to host a special brief Tiptree Award charity auction. The convention is in Kansas City, and the auction will be on Friday, August 19 at noon in the Auction Space in the exhibits gallery. Auctioneer extraordinaire Sumana Harihareswara will be there to persuade you to open your wallet.


Unlike the longer WisCon auctions, this one has a fixed set of items being auctioned, all of which are pictured above. (Unless we decide to slip in a surprise or two at the last minute …)

Start thinking now about what you want to take home from Kansas City. Your options are:

  • A signed first edition of Kindred, by Octavia Butler.
  • Your very own Space Babe Hoodie.
  • Weird Tales #2, Winter 1985. Contributor Terry Garey says: “The [magazine] went under right after [this issue] was printed, and the editor sent us all extra contributors’ copies, since the company couldn’t pay us. Very few other copies were distributed, and most were destroyed. The cover art was a rip off of a Victoria’s Secret cover, which didn’t help matters.”
  • Cooking Out of This World, edited by Anne McCaffrey. Mass market paperback, containing recipes from dozens of famous science fiction writers from the 1980s
  • Mythologies, A suite of six miniatures for string quartet, by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. Photocopy. No performance rights included. Includes program from piano performance at WisCon 10.
  • Exploring the Solar System, Children’s Book by Fabric (Do-it-yourself fabric book, made by cutting fabric and stitching seams)
  • A set of the 2015 Tiptree winners: a signed first edition of Lizard Radio, by Pat Schmatz and a signed copy of the April-May 2015 Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine containing “The New Mother,” by Eugene Fischer

The cookbooks and t-shirts at the bottom of the illustration will be available for direct sale.

Even if you don’t intend to buy anything, the Tiptree Auction is the best entertainment value you’re likely to find on Friday afternoon at Worldcon, so we hope to see you there!

Tiptree Award Presented to Pat Schmatz in Minneapolis

Because Pat Schmatz, author of Lizard Radio, was unable to attend WisCon 40, we arranged a special ceremony for her in her home town of Minneapolis, thanks to the generosity of the folks who run 4th Street Fantasy.


Elise Matthesen, the jeweler who designed and made the beautiful Tiptree tiara, crowns Pat, who rocks her temporary headgear.

Schmatz 2

Elizabeth Bear presents Pat with Tiptree award schwag, including an original piece of art by likhaininspired by Lizard Radio. Pat didn’t write down her acceptance speech, but she graciously gave us a paraphrased version to publish here:

If last week’s shooting in Orlando was the poison – and it was for me, a poison to creativity and freedom of expression that made me want to hole up, shut up, keep my head down and stop writing – then the Tiptree is the antidote.

Just knowing that for decades, the Tiptree Motherboard and Juries have been encouraging expansion and exploration of gender in Sci-fi and Fantasy…that’s a beautiful thing, and I thank you for an antidote at a point when I really needed it.

Lizard Radio was my first departure from realistic fiction, and I know I have a lot to learn in that realm. I look forward to learning from you all this weekend.

We cannot say how gratifying it is for us to be considered an antidote to the shootings in Orlando; we cannot imagine a compliment more meaningful … we only hope we can, in our small way, live up to it.

More from WisCon 40

All Tiptree awards come with an original piece of art inspired by the winning fiction. In our WisCon wrap-up post, we neglected to show off the marvelous nesting doll art created by Rebecca (Foxy) Ford for Eugene Fischer’s “The New Mother.” (Thanks to the 2015 jury for the nesting doll concept!)

Except for the very smallest doll, which is wraparound, each doll has two pieces of art. Together the art reflects fertility images from various cultures plus scientific images of reproduction.


The art we commissioned for Pat Schmatz’s Lizard Radio will be revealed later this month, after Pat has bee celebrated and has had a chance to see it herself.


In our previous WisCon report, we mentioned Dr. Theresia Sauter-Baillet’s Tiptree costume, which she made and wore to a conference in Germany, and then donated to the auction. We raised over $300 to give this to Ellen Klages, and we thought you’d like to see exactly what Ellen now owns.


The Tiptree Jam logo is embroidered on the front, and a constellation on the back.

Tiptree Award at WisCon 40

EJ Collage

WisCon 40 is over, and it was a smashing success for all concerned. With enormous thanks to the committee, and the fabulous (unionized) staff at the Madison Concourse Hotel, the Tiptree Award is now looking back on our WisCon experience.

On Friday afternoon, we had an auction and direct sale display at The Gathering, WisCon’s opening swap/craft/exhibit market. People got a chance to pose with Leslie What’s fabulous Space Babe raygun in front of a space poster. (You can see our Tiptree winner E.J. Fischer taking his turn in the second picture above.)

Also on display at the Gathering was the amazing 2016 Tiptree cake made by Georgie Schnobrich (bottom left with E.J.). Note the beautiful way Georgie captured both Tiptree winning covers in one design.


On Friday night, one of the co-winners of the very first Tiptree Award crowned E.J. with his tiara-for-the-weekend (first picture above).

Saturday afternoon Darrah Chavey, ably assisted by various others, ran the Tiptree Bakesale.

Saturday night was the traditional auction, hosted by the inimitable Sumana Harihareswara. At one point, Sumana and E.J. both modeled the Superman (Supergirl!) pants which E.J. is wearing in the third picture above. Those pants were donated to Nicole, our delightful CART (“Communication Access Realtime Transcription”) transcriptionist, and her assistant Brit, who were thrilled to get them.

Other auction highlights included everything from a signed copy of Octavia Butler’s first book through getting to watch Sumana smash a Pilates for Weight Loss DVD with a hammer. Dr. Teresia Sauter-Baillet brought her hand-made James Tiptree Jr. outfit from Germany, and we passed the hat to send that to retiring auctioneer Ellen Klages.

And on Sunday, after unbelievably powerful speeches by WisCon 40 guests of honor Justine Larbalestier, Sofia Samatar, and Nalo Hopkinson, we celebrated this year’s winners and honor list. (Pat Schmatz could not attend WisCon and will be celebrated in person at 4th Street Fantasy in Minneapolis later this month.)

Now the auction materials are safely stowed for next year (or maybe sooner?) and we’re all catching up on sleep.