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Support the Out

From Rose Fox (rosefox) on local communities:

To me, the point of all these local communities is to support being out. Don't just give awards to queer authors for writing fantasy; queer authors will write fantasy whether you give them awards for it or not. Instead, reward longtime straight fantasy authors for taking the daring step of writing about queer characters and themes. Don't just give out awards for people because they were born in Australia. Reward anyone, born anywhere, for including Australian characters and themes in their books. Make it about actively paying attention to and talking about what makes these cultures unique. Otherwise, it's just talk.

I like that. In fact, if there were an award like this, I'd be right behind it.

(And yes, I am aware that the Miles Franklin covers Australian life, but it's by Australian authors, and as I've mentioned before, it's a worthless award worth forty thousand dollars, or so.)


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Jan. 5th, 2008 02:47 am (UTC)
Miles Franklin Award
The conditions of the award make no mention that writers have to be Australian or even live here. In 2001, Matthew Kneale, an British writer, was shortlisted for the award for his novel English Passengers. He had previously also been shortlisted for the Booker. His novel dealt with the transportation of convicts to Australia and included a number of Australian characters. It was therefore deemed eligible.

I agree that $40,000 is not a lot but I would expect the prize money to slowly rise given the new Prime Minister's award for ficton and non-fiction. Then again, one of the criticisms of this award was that it gave too much money ($100,000) to just one book, so award organisers just can't win.

Also, from the James Tiptree Jr award's website: "In February of 1991 at WisCon (the world's only feminist-oriented science fiction convention), award-winning SF author Pat Murphy announced the creation of the James Tiptree, Jr. Award, an annual literary prize for science fiction or fantasy that expands or explores our understanding of gender." There's no mention of an author's sexual orientation here. Maybe Rose Fox was thinking of something else.

Perry Middlemiss
Jan. 5th, 2008 02:53 am (UTC)
Re: Miles Franklin Award
well, consider me corrected on the miles franklin, then. i always thought that it was for australian born writers. anyhow, no big, i still think it's useless. lol. you think i'd be tired of saying that joke by now, but nah, i still enjoy it.


the tiptree award is a strange award, for though it announces its gender 'understanding', it doesn't usually give the awards to any book that pushes that boundary. i believe--and i could be wrong--geoff ryman's AIR won it the year before last, but there was nothing interesting or important about his portrayal of the female character in that book. she was a fine character, and there was nothing wrong with her, but the point of it was not that she was a woman or anything like that. which is just me going on.

but likely rose was thinking of something else. also, it was just a comment she made, so it's entirely possible she was expecting me to put it up here.
Jan. 5th, 2008 04:57 am (UTC)
Interesting. The Borderlands policy is that, while we are Australian focussed, we use as broad a definition of Australian as possible, including people with no personal connection to Australia writing about Australian work.
But I don't actually think that it has to be about just the mindshare of Australianness - encouraging the local industry isn't problematic in itself.
Jan. 7th, 2008 12:42 am (UTC)
no, encouraging them is not. in this case, however, i'd like to see something in spec fic that encouraged work that related to specific cultures and communities, tho. one of the things that has always disappointed me is how stripped back and vanilla the culture creation/world interaction can be...

but it's not necessarily a complaint just for spec fic.
Jan. 5th, 2008 09:17 am (UTC)
That is a very sane and logical way to do things. It will never work. :)
Jan. 7th, 2008 12:43 am (UTC)
nah, i doubt it too.
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