The Otherwise Award (formerly Tiptree Award) was founded by Karen Joy Fowler and Pat Murphy in 1991. For the first few years of the award, Pat ran the finances out of her checking account, and the two Founding Mothers did all the administrative and organizing work. But that became untenable, and the award was formally incorporated as a registered U.S. 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, which makes your donations tax-deductible in the United States. As part of the incorporation process, the award was designed to be run by a “motherboard” of five or more people who make financial, process, and other practical decisions for the award.

Current motherboard members

Sumana Harihareswara (chair)

Sumana HarihareswaraSumana Harihareswara is a scifi fan and stand-up comedian who’s performed at Worldcon, WisCon, and AlterConf, and who usually serves as the charity auctioneer for the Otherwise Award. She co-edited and co-published the Thoughtcrime Experiments anthology in 2009 and created the widely viewed fanvid “Pipeline” (and premiered it at the WisCon vid party) in 2015, and was a Guest of Honor at Penguicon in 2017. She is also an open source contributor and leader who helped WisCon reorganize its web application in 2011, and who has contributed to PyPI, HTTPS Everywhere, GNOME, MediaWiki, Zulip, GNU Mailman, and other FLOSS projects. She has keynoted Open Source Bridge and other open source conventions, and manages and maintains open source projects as Changeset Consulting. She has written for, Geek Feminism, Crooked Timber, Model View Culture, LWN, GNOME Journal, and The Recompiler, among other venues. She lives in New York City.

(Photo by and courtesy of Mike Pirnat.)

Gretchen Treu

Gretchen Treu is a feminist, queer bookseller with a deep knowledge of and affection for science fiction and fantasy. They co-own A Room of One’s Own, an independent, local bookstore that is a central part of Madison’s feminist community. Gretchen is a past co-chair of WisCon. They have had the pleasure of serving on the 2013 Award jury, and are currently responsible for requesting suggested titles for the current Otherwise jury. When not reading and opining about SF/F, they spend time with their children and family, nerd out about various fandoms, and stress out about politics.

Jed Hartman

Jed HartmanJed Hartman is a technical editor and technical writer, and editor-in-chief of Constellation Press. He was a fiction editor for Strange Horizons for twelve years. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in All-Star Zeppelin Adventure Stories, Clean Sheets, Queers Dig Time Lords, Strange Horizons, and Wet. His interests include speculative fiction, gender, wordplay, web technology, and games.

Jed Samer

Jed SamerJed Samer is a feminist, queer, and trans media and cultural studies scholar; remix artist; and documentary filmmaker. They currently teach at Clark University as an Assistant Professor of Screen Studies in the Visual and Performing Arts Department. In 2016, they completed a Ph.D. in Critical Studies at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts and a Graduate Certificate in Gender Studies. In 2022, Duke University Press published Jed’s monograph, Lesbian Potentiality and Feminist Media in the 1970s. Jed has previously published in The Journal of Cinema and Media Studies, Transgender Studies Quarterly, Jump Cut, Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology, and Feminist Media Histories. They are the editor of the “Transgender Media” special issue of Spectator (Fall 2017). Jed is busy at work on Tip/Alli, a documentary on the life, work, and influence of James Tiptree, Jr. Jed splits their time between Western Mass and Toronto with their partner and cats.

(Photo by Stephen DiRado.)

Founding Mothers

Karen and Pat are no longer on the Motherboard.

Karen Joy Fowler

Motherboard: Karen Joy FowlerKaren is the bestselling author of seven novels and three short story collections. Her fiction has won the World Fantasy Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award, and has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. She co-founded the Otherwise Award and is the current president of the Clarion Foundation (also known as Clarion San Diego). Fowler and her husband, who have two grown children and seven grandchildren, live in Santa Cruz, California. Fowler also supports a chimp named Caesar who lives at the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Sierra Leone.

Pat Murphy

Pat MurphyPat is a writer, a scientist, and sometimes a toy maker. Her fiction has won the Nebula Award for Science Fiction, the World Fantasy Award, the Philip K. Dick Award, the Christopher Award, and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. She has worked as a writer at the Exploratorium, San Francisco’s hands-on museum of science, art, and human perception, as a marketing director at The Crucible, Oakland’s school of fire arts, and as a writer/editor/toymaker at Klutz, a publisher of children’s how-to books. These days, she is the Activity Guru at Mystery Science, an ed-tech startup that creates lessons to inspire elementary school teachers and their students to love science.