So I woke up this morning to an email from a friend asking me if I’d noticed that Firebrand made the 2012 Tiptree Honor List. I am completely boggled to be mentioned in such amazing company. To be honest, since for reasons not worth going into here my husband has been going on all week about jam , I did seriously wonder whether I was still dreaming when I read my email this morning. I haven’t had any coffee yet and I think I need some.
I’m particularly honoured because James Tiptree Jr.’s books were enormously important to me when I was growing up and still are. I can still remember the sense of ‘You can do that in a book? Wow!’ that I felt while reading Up The Walls Of The World for the first time while I was listening to Tanita Tikaram on the radio and my parents were building a conservatory outside my bedroom window, which dates it to the summer of 1988 when I was sixteen.
Huge congratulations to the winners, Caitlin R. Kiernan for The Drowning Girl and Kiini Ibura Salaam for Ancient, Ancient – I have read one and loved it and look forward very much to reading the other as soon as possible.
The Tiptree website says about Firebrand ‘Set in the steampunk era, this fun read shows women dealing with the restrictions of society on their way to gaining political and economic power and considers how definitions of “proper” behavior worked across cultural, class, and species’ boundaries.’ Which… yeah, it does. Part of the reason I wrote Firebrand was that I was sick and tired of books where the heroine couldn’t stand any of the women she associated with, so I wanted to write a heroine who generally liked and respected the women around her, unless of course they were her awful stepdaughters.
Also, to be cheeky, if you came here via the Tiptree site and you like books exploring culture and gender, you might like my Requite duology, which has a major character of a third gender and an alien race who don’t so much do gender as life stages, and yet more fun with the rules of proper behaviour. Also swordfights, jewel theft, weirdly back-engineered ancient tech, people being grown-ups about polyamory, people not being grown-ups about polyamory, and a battle scene involving xenoraptors and what’s basically a swarm of giant steampunk bees. Links to various buying options in the sidebar.
 He is 42 and is making a Hitch-Hikers Guide To The Galaxy themed birthday cake for himself, and wants to flavour it with ginger jam. I told you it wasn’t worth going into.