♾️🧞‍♀️✨ — Keeping joy, choosing names: The Otherwise Award

13 Oct 2019

Soon after Jeanette Ng’s speech at the World Science Fiction in Dublin in which she called out the white supremacist namesake of the Campbell Award, a discussion started over the then-named James Tiptree, Jr. Memorial Award’s choice of namesake (whose life ended with the murder-suicide of the writer’s spouse and the writer.)

The governing board for the award, the Motherboard, decided, after a long and contentious discussion, to rename the award.

Today, the Motherboard announced the new name: The Otherwise Award.

The Tiptree Award was named as a joyful joke, 28 years ago.

Keeping the joy is more important than keeping the name.

We need a different name.

I’m glad the motherboard recognized and called this out.

When Karen Joy Fowler suggested the name “Tiptree,” the joke was that no one would take an award about gender seriously if it wasn’t named for a man.

I know about changing names, and it’s not an easy thing. Acquiring new domain names and redirecting URLs is the least of it.

Thanks to the Motherboard for listening to people who were harmed by the original name and doing the work.