The Otherwise Award is pleased to announce that the award ceremony for the 2011 Otherwise Award winner(s) has been held, and the winners have received their award and accolades.

Award Information

Conference Information

  • Award Year: 2011
  • Award Year Number: Year 21
  • Conference: WisCon 36
  • Date: 27-05-2012
  • Location: Madison, WI

Award Winner

The 2011 jury chose 1 work for the Otherwise Award.

Redwood and Wildfire by Andrea Hairston (Aqueduct Press, 2011)

Redwood and Wildfire was a favorite of the jurors from the moment they read it. They reported: “This vivid and emotionally satisfying novel encompasses the life of Redwood, a hoodoo woman, as she migrates from rural Georgia to Chicago at the turn of the 20th century. While Redwood’s romance with Aidan Wildfire is central to the novel, female friendship is also a major theme, without deferring to the romance. Hairston incorporates romantic love into a constellation, rather than portraying it as a solo shining star. Her characters invoke a sky where it can shine; they live and love without losing themselves in cultural expectations, prejudices and stereotypes, all within a lovingly sketched historical frame.

“Intersections of race, class, and gender encompass these characters’ entire lives. They struggle with external and internal forces around questions of gender roles, love, identity, and sexuality. This challenge drives how they move through the world and how it sees them. The characters in Redwood and Wildfire deftly negotiate freedom and integrity in a society where it’s difficult to hold true to these things.”

Work Information

Title: Redwood and WildfireAuthor:
Publisher Name: Aqueduct PressCountry: USAYear: 2011
Work Type: NovelOriginal Language: English
Redwood and Wildfire — Andrea Hairston (Aqueduct Press, 2011)
Redwood and Wildfire — Andrea Hairston (Aqueduct Press, 2011)

Award Honor List

The 2011 jury chose 9 works for the Honor List

Beauty Queens, (Scholastic Press, USA, 2011)

In this atypically comedic Tiptree candidate, a cast of iconic characters trapped on a hostile island (populated by the capitalist analog of Doctor No) illuminates the limited palette of roles for women and offers the hope of more rewarding and rounded lives.

The Nones of Quintilis, Somewhere on the Southwest Slope of Monte Albano, (Aqueduct Press, USA, 2011)

This standout story addresses the relationships between mothers and daughters and how the world looks different when you become (or intend to become) pregnant.

God's War, Bel Dame Apocrypha Volume 1, (Night Shade Books, USA, 2011)

Set on a marginally habitable world divided by a common religion with diverse interpretations, this engaging work explores a militaristic matriarchal society.

The Universe of Things, (Aqueduct Press, USA, 2011)

Running through these gorgeous stories is a fierce awareness of how gender roles and other social power imbalances are always factors in how we think, how we approach one another, how we see the world. The author questions the status quo, and then questions the questioning, so what emerges is a mature, honest, thoughtful complexity.

The Other Graces, (Dell Magazines, USA, 2010)

This elegantly written short story revisits the role of mirroring in self-actualization and casts that path in a new and skiffy light as its heroine, Grace, is mentored by her older alternate selves. It also depicts racial/cultural intersections with gender roles.

Seven Sexy Cowboy Robots, (Strange Horizons, USA, 2010)

A surreal and subversive take on human-AI relations. An older female character exploring her sexuality is a rare thing in science fiction, and it is refreshing to see it handled here with such a deft hand.

After the Apocalypse, (Small Beer Press, USA, 2011)

This title story of an impressive collection brings to the foreground gender expectations concerning the practice of motherhood in extreme situations and then completely and matter-of-factly upends them.

The Freedom Maze, (Big Mouth House, USA, 2011)

A clear-hearted, magically immersive time travel story that explores powerful ideas. Thrown back through time to an antebellum plantation, a thirteen-year-old comes to understand how women’s experience is shaped by cultural expectations as they interweave with social, economic, and racial truths.

The Courier's New Bicycle, (Harper Voyager Australia, Australia, 2011)

This compelling novel depicts a variety of sexually transgressive characters and looks at themes of fertility and alternate family structures through a dystopic lens.

Award Long List

The 2011 jury chose 14 works for the Long List


Each year, a panel of five jurors selects the Otherwise Award winner. The 2011 jurors were:

  • Lynne Thomas (chair)
  • Karen Meisner
  • James Nicoll
  • Tansy Rayner Roberts
  • Nisi Shawl

Award Ceremony

The Otherwise Award was given to Andrea Hairston at WisCon 36, May 27, 2012, in Madison, Wisconsin.