In mainstream-land, today is the day of the Orange Prize Longlist, which I always think should be more amenable to the speculative than other awards, but never is. (I suppose you can count The Little Stranger, this year, but really, they couldn’t find room on a 20-book longlist for Lavinia? Or White is for Witching? Or…?) On the upside, in SF-land we have the Tiptree Award winners and honor list:


  • Cloud & Ashes: Three Winter’s Tales, Greer Gilman (Small Beer Press)
  • Ooku: The Inner Chambers (volumes 1 & 2), Fumi Yoshinaga (Viz Media)
  • Honor List

  • Beautiful White Bodies”, Alice Sola Kim (Strange Horizons)
  • Distances, Vandana Singh (Aqueduct Press 2008)
  • “Galapagos”, Caitlin R. Kiernan (Eclipse 3, Night Shade Books)
  • Lifelode, Jo Walton (NESFA Press 2009)
  • “Useless Things”, Maureen F. McHugh (Eclipse 3, Night Shade Books)
  • Wives”, Paul Haines (X6, coeur de lion)

There’s also a special citation for L Timmel Duchamp’s Marq’ssan Cycle. Judges this year were Karen Joy Fowler (chair), Jude Feldman, Paul Kincaid, Alexis Lothian, and Victor Raymond.

I’ve read the entire honor list, which seems pretty strong to me, but neither of the winners. I’m still not a fan of having tied award-winners, actually, but if you’re going to do it, you might as well make the two works as different as you can. And it’s interesting — though perhaps not surprising, given the indie-press lean of the list — that Ooku is the only work mentioned that’s available in the UK.

EDIT: And the website has been updated with details, including judges’ comments on the honor list, and the longlist. Pleased to see Helen Keeble and Xiaolu Guo there.

The Genre the Orange Doesn’t See

Maybe it’s time to let men judge the Orange prize, says the current chair of judges. Her reasoning?

“I’m open-minded about it. It would be an interesting debate for organisers to have. Seventy per cent of fiction is bought by women, so having a panel of women judges means they know what women like,” she said.

“But I think it could be quite interesting to have a man on the panel.

“The one disadvantage to an all-female jury is that there are certain books that women like … the judging could be tilted a bit against science fiction.”

The obvious response is that you don’t need to add a man to address that particular bias, you just need to pick different women; you’d think that if someone has noticed women are writing this stuff, they might be able to guess that women are interested in it, too. But given that my immediate reaction to the longlist this year was “Where’s The Carhullan Army?” (and my reaction to the shortlist was to be disappointed that The End of Mr Y didn’t make the cut), anything that encourages the Orange to recognize a broader range of work written by women is good in my book.

EDIT: And for the record, this year’s winner: The Road Home by Rose Tremain