Otherwise Auction open for bidding – plus a free crossword puzzle!

Stack of fiction books
A stack of five fiction books bundled together as one auction item for the Otherwise Auction 2021: “Black Water Sister”, “Love in Penang”, “The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water”, “Fugitive Telemetry”, and “Chaos on CatNet”.

This year’s Otherwise Auction is now open for bidding at https://otherwise.betterworld.org/auctions/otherwise-award-auction. You can bid from anywhere in the world for art, books, and more!

You’ll need to create a BetterWorld.org account and use a credit card to bid. If you run into trouble bidding, please let us know AND contact Better World.

Bidding is in US dollars, but it’s free to attend the live auction performance. Here are WisCon’s instructions on how to visit!

And, for your free enjoyment, please check out our new custom crossword puzzle sprinkled with Otherwise-specific clues, constructed by volunteer Parker Higgins — thank you, Parker — and published as CC BY-SA! You can download it as a PDF to print out and solve, or solve it in your browser using amuselabs.com.

If you get stuck, it might help to look at our past awards and honorees! And you can choose “Reveal: Reveal grid” at amuselabs.com for the answers.

This year’s Otherwise Auction is tomorrow!

A low-key virtual WisCon is happening this weekend, May 29-30, and you can register now (free or pay-what-you-wish)! And WisCon has confirmed that we’ll have an auction Saturday night to benefit the Otherwise Award, at 7pm Madison time:

Time converter at worldtimebuddy.com

Ms Marvel figure
One of our auction items this year: an action figure of superhero Ms. Marvel — with embiggened hands! — signed by writer G. Willow Wilson at WisCon 43 in 2019.

Here’s what Pat Murphy says:

We didn’t think it would happen — but it’s happening!

The 2021 Otherwise Auction — an event that combines fund-raising, humor, political commentary, and zany hijinks — will be held online on May 29th at 7PM Central Time!

To attend, just register here — it’s free!

This Auction will be part of what the folks who put on Wiscon are calling “a very low key virtual event.” But I’m baffled by how anything involving Otherwise Award auctioneer Sumana Harihareswara could possibly be considered low-key.

Last year, Sumana’s online auction was amazing, compelling, and impossible to describe. I’m a science fiction writer; I should be able to describe just about anything. But somehow Sumana managed to auction off things that didn’t actually exist but were (despite that) real. It was one of those “you had to be there” events — even though none of us were actually there.

This year Sumana promises that there will actually be some physical things that people can buy and possess — along with a custom crossword puzzle with Otherwise-related clues. Just a few tangible objects and a lot of intangible fun — which seems appropriate as we slowly ease back into the physical world.

For the past 26 years, the Otherwise Award has raised money each year at an auction like no other. Apparently even a pandemic can’t stop us.

I hope to see you there!

This year, you’ll be bidding on gorgeous and captivating books (including a hard-to-get book with a story by Zen Cho, one of next year’s WisCon Guests of Honor), a Ms. Marvel figurine signed by WisCon 43 GoH G. Willow Wilson, and more. You’ll bid via our new online auction platform — we’ll post here and on social media when it opens for bidding Saturday night.

And you’ll get a few special guests, a couple off-kilter “commercial breaks”, and a pass-the-hat stunt. Oh, and yes, a free custom crossword puzzle with Otherwise Award clues and answers!

Register now; WisCon will send you a link to the virtual event platform in time for you to join us on Saturday.

Otherwise Auction at WisCONline May 23rd

This year’s WisCon will be online, and you can register now. Register for WisCon by tomorrow — Wednesday, May 20th — to make sure you can attend!

And no WisCon is complete without our annual benefit auction! Here’s the WisCon schedule. The annual Otherwise Award auction will be Saturday night, May 23rd, 7:30pm-8:30pm Central Time.

Time converter at worldtimebuddy.com

Sumana Harihareswara as auctioneer
Sumana Harihareswara in two pairs of trousers onstage, as auctioneer, at a past auction at WisCon.

WisCon will stream the auction — including comedy, stunts, and special guest stars — via YouTube, and you’ll be able to bid and converse using a live Discord chat. And the entire auction will be hosted by auctioneer Sumana Harihareswara and live-captioned by a CART (“Communication Access Realtime Transcription”) transcriptionist.

Since this year’s auction is transcending the material plane, and because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re taking this opportunity to play with the auction format in a few ways.

First: the Otherwise Motherboard has decided to use pass-the-hat challenges this year to raise money for the Carl Brandon Society and WisCon’s general fund, instead of raising money for Otherwise. (We’re fortunate enough to be able to keep the award going this year without the auction’s income. And celebration, community, and fun have always been key to the auction, besides the fundraising, and those things are more important than ever this year.)

Second: to reduce the risk and difficulty of mailing things, and receiving mail, most of the auction items are electronic.

And third: for the items below, instead of bidding in money, you’ll try to one-up each other with recommendations, colors, and poems in the Discord chat. Enjoy using the gestures of “bidding” while prefiguring how auctions might work in postscarcity societies!

Cover of China Mountain Zhang
New Tor Essentials edition of China Mountain Zhang by Maureen F. McHugh, with new introduction by Jo Walton

The auction items will be:

Want to win one of those? Want to see the surprise guest who’ll sing if we reach a donation challenge? Want to support science fiction that explores and expands gender (with the Otherwise Award)? Want to help increase racial and ethnic diversity in the production of and audience for speculative fiction (with the Carl Brandon Society)? Want to roar with laughter?

There are dozens of possible reasons to visit this year’s auction. Hope to meet you there! Please register by May 20th.

Here’s a trailer!

More Information on Le Guin Symposium

Interested in coming to the “Tiptree symposium” celebrating the work of Ursula K. Le Guin? (Ms. Le Guin’s birthday was October 21. Happiest of birthdays, Ursula!)

We wrote about the symposium here, and now we know more.

uklbyjs-600dpi-color
Copyright (c) 2003 by Joyce Scrivner

The University Libraries haven’t published a final schedule yet; they have been moving some items around since we last posted. Both the Le Guin and Feminist Science Fiction panel, featuring several Tiptree Award winners and motherboard members, and Tiptree Award founding mother Karen Joy Fowler’s keynote will be on Friday, December 2. We recommend coming a day early for motherboard member Alexis Lothian’s presentation “Queer Longings in Straight Futures” and, of course, staying through Saturday for the second day of the symposium.

The University has reserved a block of rooms at the Phoenix Inn, very easy walking distance from the symposium events. The Tiptree Award will host an open party at the Phoenix Inn on Friday night, December 2, exact time to be determined. To reserve your room, email reservations704@phoenixinn.com or call 800) 344-0131. Be sure to tell them you’re coming for the Tiptree Symposium.

We hope to see you there!

2016 “Tiptree Symposium” Celebrates Ursula K. Le Guin

symposium-collage

Clockwise from left: Ursula K. Le Guin, Karen Joy Fowler, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Brian Attebery

This year’s 2016 James Tiptree Jr. symposium is a celebration of Ursula K. Le Guin. Last year’s inaugural symposium featured James Tiptree, Jr., and was such a success that the University of Oregon (at Eugene) has made it an annual event.  It will be held December 2 and 3 on the Eugene campus. The Tiptree Award will almost certainly host a party; watch this space for details.

Tentative keynote speakers are Brian Attebery, Kelly Sue DeConnick, and Karen Joy Fowler.

Along with the tentative keynoters, here’s a peek at the tentative schedule.

At 3:00 on Thursday afternoon, December 1 (before the symposium starts), Dr. Alexis Lothian will give the Sally Miller Gearhart Lesbian Lecture, “Queer Longings in Straight Futures: Notes Toward a Prehistory for Lesbian Speculation.”

On December 2, festivities start at 10:00 a.m. and end at 7:00 p.m. Joan Haran will moderate a panel on The Dispossessed, and another panel will feature Dr. Carol Stabile’s feminist SF students discussing The Lathe of Heaven. That day’s keynote (and question and answer session) will be by Karen Joy Fowler.

On December 3, the schedule runs from 9:30 a.m. to 5;00 p.m. Alexis Lothian will chair the panel on The Left Hand of Darkness, and Karen Ford will moderate a panel on  Ursula Le Guin and the Field of Feminist Science Fiction. The two keynotes that day will be: Kelly Sue DeConnick and Ben Saunders having a conversation about Le Guin’s influence; and Brian Attebery.

We couldn’t resist counting: the speakers include: one Tiptree Award founding mother, three award winners , two Motherboard members, at least six previous jurors, and our inaugural Tiptree Award Fellow. Ursula Le Guin, who has won twice and been on the jury twice, may also attend. We’ll be well represented. And for the fun of it, also several past WisCon guests of honor and one upcoming one.

Will you be there?

MidAmericon Auction Report plus Tiptree/Sheldon Birthday Links

The Tiptree Award Auction at MidAmericon II was a smashing success, thanks to so many people!

auction_collage

Worldcon gave us the space. Motherboard members Jeanne Gomoll and Pat Murphy (shown above on the Soap box, and also modeling the Spacebabe hoodie) did a lot of planning. Jeanne, Scott Custis, Jim Hudson, and Diane Martin transported Stuff from Madison to Kansas City. Jim also handled the sales. Many others provided essential help. And auctioneer Sumana Harihareswara cajoled almost $1500 out of the audience!

The prize item, unsurprisingly, was the signed copy of Octavia Butler’s Kindred, her most famous novel and one of her finest.

A great time was had by all!

***

We were pleased to see these birthday tributes to Alice Sheldon:

Leah Schnelbach talks about “What James Tiptree Jr. Can Teach Us about the Power of the SF Community” at tor. com . Schnelbach’s excellent long essay recaps Sheldon/Tiptree’s history. The piece ends with this:

I think it’s worth pointing out, though, and repeating, and underlining, and emphasizing, that Alice Sheldon, a person who felt out of joint for most of her life, found in SF a community that didn’t just tolerate her weirdness, but celebrated it. And that celebration helped her to create some of the greatest work the genre ever saw.

Tachyon Press also gives Tiptree a birthday shout-out here:

Alice adopted her “James Tiptree, Jr.” persona to protect her academic reputation. As Tiptree, she garnered immense praise for her numerous tales that often stretched the boundaries of the genre by challenging the perceptions of gender. Her many awards include two Hugo (1974 novella, “The Girl Who Was Plugged In”; 1977 novella, “Houston, Houston, Do You Read?”), three Nebula (1973 short story, “Love Is the Plan the Plan Is Death”; 1976 novella, “Houston, Houston, Do You Read?”; 1977 novelette, “The Screwfly Solution”), and a 1987 World Fantasy for the collection TALES OF THE QUINTANA ROO.

Both articles are also kind enough to namecheck the Tiptree Award as part of her legacy.

Tiptree Auction at Kansas City Worldcon, Friday, August 19

worldcon_auction

Can’t get enough Tiptree auctions at WisCon? Don’t get to WisCon, but curious about Tiptree auctions? Fan of Sumana Harihareswara? Want to support science fiction that explores and expands gender? Want to roar with laughter? There are dozens of possible reasons to go to the Tiptree Auction at MidAmeriCon II.

You’ll find us in the auction space in the Exhibits Hall, on Friday, August 19 at noon. We’re auctioning a short list of prime items, such as a signed first edition of Octavia Butler’s Kindred. We will also be selling this year’s lovely Freddie Baer 25th anniversary t-shirt–with the names of all the winners–as well as the two Tiptree cookbooks.

James Tiptree, Jr. 25th Annual Award T-Shirt
James Tiptree, Jr. 25th Annual Award T-Shirt

We hope to see you there!

Tiptree Award Presented to Pat Schmatz in Minneapolis

Because Pat Schmatz, author of Lizard Radio, was unable to attend WisCon 40, we arranged a special ceremony for her in her home town of Minneapolis, thanks to the generosity of the folks who run 4th Street Fantasy.

Schmatz

Elise Matthesen, the jeweler who designed and made the beautiful Tiptree tiara, crowns Pat, who rocks her temporary headgear.

Schmatz 2

Elizabeth Bear presents Pat with Tiptree award schwag, including an original piece of art by likhaininspired by Lizard Radio. Pat didn’t write down her acceptance speech, but she graciously gave us a paraphrased version to publish here:

If last week’s shooting in Orlando was the poison – and it was for me, a poison to creativity and freedom of expression that made me want to hole up, shut up, keep my head down and stop writing – then the Tiptree is the antidote.

Just knowing that for decades, the Tiptree Motherboard and Juries have been encouraging expansion and exploration of gender in Sci-fi and Fantasy…that’s a beautiful thing, and I thank you for an antidote at a point when I really needed it.

Lizard Radio was my first departure from realistic fiction, and I know I have a lot to learn in that realm. I look forward to learning from you all this weekend.

We cannot say how gratifying it is for us to be considered an antidote to the shootings in Orlando; we cannot imagine a compliment more meaningful … we only hope we can, in our small way, live up to it.

More from WisCon 40

All Tiptree awards come with an original piece of art inspired by the winning fiction. In our WisCon wrap-up post, we neglected to show off the marvelous nesting doll art created by Rebecca (Foxy) Ford for Eugene Fischer’s “The New Mother.” (Thanks to the 2015 jury for the nesting doll concept!)

Except for the very smallest doll, which is wraparound, each doll has two pieces of art. Together the art reflects fertility images from various cultures plus scientific images of reproduction.

foxy_art

The art we commissioned for Pat Schmatz’s Lizard Radio will be revealed later this month, after Pat has bee celebrated and has had a chance to see it herself.

***

In our previous WisCon report, we mentioned Dr. Theresia Sauter-Baillet’s Tiptree costume, which she made and wore to a conference in Germany, and then donated to the auction. We raised over $300 to give this to Ellen Klages, and we thought you’d like to see exactly what Ellen now owns.

theresia

The Tiptree Jam logo is embroidered on the front, and a constellation on the back.

Tiptree Award at WisCon 40

EJ Collage

WisCon 40 is over, and it was a smashing success for all concerned. With enormous thanks to the committee, and the fabulous (unionized) staff at the Madison Concourse Hotel, the Tiptree Award is now looking back on our WisCon experience.

On Friday afternoon, we had an auction and direct sale display at The Gathering, WisCon’s opening swap/craft/exhibit market. People got a chance to pose with Leslie What’s fabulous Space Babe raygun in front of a space poster. (You can see our Tiptree winner E.J. Fischer taking his turn in the second picture above.)

Also on display at the Gathering was the amazing 2016 Tiptree cake made by Georgie Schnobrich (bottom left with E.J.). Note the beautiful way Georgie captured both Tiptree winning covers in one design.

EJ+Cake

On Friday night, one of the co-winners of the very first Tiptree Award crowned E.J. with his tiara-for-the-weekend (first picture above).

Saturday afternoon Darrah Chavey, ably assisted by various others, ran the Tiptree Bakesale.

Saturday night was the traditional auction, hosted by the inimitable Sumana Harihareswara. At one point, Sumana and E.J. both modeled the Superman (Supergirl!) pants which E.J. is wearing in the third picture above. Those pants were donated to Nicole, our delightful CART (“Communication Access Realtime Transcription”) transcriptionist, and her assistant Brit, who were thrilled to get them.

Other auction highlights included everything from a signed copy of Octavia Butler’s first book through getting to watch Sumana smash a Pilates for Weight Loss DVD with a hammer. Dr. Teresia Sauter-Baillet brought her hand-made James Tiptree Jr. outfit from Germany, and we passed the hat to send that to retiring auctioneer Ellen Klages.

And on Sunday, after unbelievably powerful speeches by WisCon 40 guests of honor Justine Larbalestier, Sofia Samatar, and Nalo Hopkinson, we celebrated this year’s winners and honor list. (Pat Schmatz could not attend WisCon and will be celebrated in person at 4th Street Fantasy in Minneapolis later this month.)

Now the auction materials are safely stowed for next year (or maybe sooner?) and we’re all catching up on sleep.