As you probably all know, I have been on the Tiptree Award jury this year. It has been an amazing experience. I got to read a lot of fabulous books and stories. I met some lovely fellow jurors and learned a lot from them. And now I can finally enthuse about the books we loved.
This year’s winner is Who Runs the World by Virginia Bergin. At this point, if you are not Bristol-based, or well-versed in the YA market, you may be saying, “who?” Therein lies a story.
Last May I attended an event at Watershed with the feminist science writer, Angela Saini. There I met Virginia for the first time. As soon as she told me about the book I realized it was potential Tiptree material, but it was YA and UK published only so it was pretty much off the radar. However, Virginia was clearly One Of Us so I encouraged her to come and read at Fringe and bought her book. (You can listen to her Fringe reading here.)
Having read the book, I knew I liked it. But by this time I was in a rather difficult position because Virginia had become a friend. All I could do was suggest to the rest of the jury that they read the book, and recuse myself from all further discussion. So I did, and got to sit back and cry over my keyboard as I watched my fellow jurors tell me how much they loved my friend’s book.
Those of you reading this outside of the UK may be wondering how you can get the book. Fear not! A US edition is due out in September. It will be called The XY, the meaning of which will be obvious if you read a bit about the book. Also please don’t worry about the YA Award at the Hugos. The US publication means that the book will be eligible again next year so y’all have plenty of time to read it. Dublin is just over the water from Bristol.
Of course the Tiptree is about far more than the winner. The Honor List is full of fabulous books that we all liked very much. I am, fairly obviously, very fond of the works by April Daniels and Charlie Jane Anders, but all of the Honor List are well worth your time. The Long List is full of great books too.
I’ll be talking more about many of these books in due course, but right now it is party time.