The finalists for this year’s Lambda Literary Awards have been announced, and I am delighted to see Roz Kaveney’s Tiny Pieces of Skull listed in the Transgender Fiction category. There are only three finalists listed, which is a bit worrying, but statistically it makes Roz’s chances better.
Elsewhere I see there is a new Transgender Poetry category, which is encouraging. Notorious transphobe, Alice Dreger, has a book in the LGBT Non-Fiction category, which shows that the Lammys still have a way to go in dealing with inter-community strife.
The SF/F/H category is mostly a mystery to me. The only book I have heard of on this list is The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan, which people have been saying really good things about. Frankly the idea of an LGBT SF short list that doesn’t have Luna on it is absurd, but the Lammys are a submission-based award and if a book’s publisher doesn’t think it worth submitting then their books cannot be considered. I’d put Radiance on the list too. It has much less specific LGBT content, but what is there is crucial to the plot. And the central character of Planetfall is a lesbian, though that’s one of the less significant aspects of her character. Then there’s The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps and The Traitor Baru Cormorant. That’s one kickass Lammy shortlist right there. I’m sure there is stuff I have forgotten.
Of course there is always the question as to whether the jury are looking for good SF/F/H books that happen to include LGBT characters, or good stories about LGBT characters/issues that happen to be SF/F/H. That may be down to the make-up of each individual year’s jury.