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The James Tiptree Award Anthology 1
Edited by Karen Joy Fowler, Pat Murphy, Debbie Notkin and Jeffrey D. Smith

Discussed March 2006

Buy The James Tiptree Award Anthology 1 from
Buy The James Tiptree Award Anthology 1 from Lambda Rising


  1. We've discussed a number of other anthologies/collections in the past, including Women Writing Science Fiction as Men, Queer Fear II, and Dark Matter. Do you think it's worth our while to continue discussing such works, or should we concentrate on discussing novels and other longer works?
  2. Per their website (, the Tiptree Award is "an annual literary prize for science fiction or fantasy that expands or explores our understanding of gender." How well does this anthology reflect that stated purpose?
  3. This anthology is a mixture of fiction and articles about Alice Sheldon (James Tiptree) or the Tiptree Awards. Did this combination contribute to your enjoyment of the anthology? Why or why not?
  4. What was your favorite story or article? Your least favorite? Why?
  5. How do you feel about the LeGuin article "Genre: A Word Only a Frenchman Could Love"? Do you agree with her statements about "genre" labels? Do you think "genre" labels are limiting or helpful?
  6. Only an excerpt from Matt Ruff's Set This House in Order: A Romance of Souls is included in this book. It's not a work of F&SF; it's a "contemporary novel about multiple personality disorder."
    • What is your opinion about the inclusion of excerpts from longer works in an anthology? Was there enough of this work here to give you a good reading experience?
    • What is your opinion about including a non F&SF work? Does it fit as "of [possible] interest to a reader of F&SF"?
  7. Were you surprised that the first 2 fiction pieces ("Birth Days" and "The Ghost Girls of Rumney Mill") both feature GLBT issues/characters so prominently? How well do you think they fit the theme of "expanding or exploring our understanding of gender"?
  8. Ruth Nestvold's "Looking Through Lace" explores gender issues via a story about "trying to make sense of an alien society." How does it compare with previous Discussion Group novels with somewhat similar storylines? (Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow; Stephen Leigh's Dark Water's Embrace)
  9. What is your opinion of the final three stories in the anthology? (Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen," Kara Dalkey's "The Lady of the Ice Garden," and Kelly Link's "Travels With the Snow Queen") How well do they contribute to a "re-examination of gender roles and expectations" based on "some new political or social perspectives"?
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