Thanks to my publisher, Cameron Pierce of Lazy Fascist Press for throwing Norma and the gang into the ring. The James Tiptree Jr Award is named after the pen name of the feminist sci-fi writer Alice B. Sheldon, and is “given to a writer who explores and expands our notion of gender.” Norma’s up against some pretty fierce contenders—William Gibson’s Peripheral, for instance, one of my favorite books for 2015—and to be honest, I’m not sure how the process works, but it’s nice to be a part of it. To celebrate, here’s a gender bending excerpt:
“There was a collapsed building between the Bakersfield Greyhound and a windowless tavern called The Trap. A curtain flapped from one of the broken building’s upper floor windows. Norm found a relatively sound room on the top floor with a bunch of jerry-rigged bolts on the door, some of which still worked, and a hole blown out of the ceiling where the rain came in. There was a mattress on the floor that would come in handy to recuperate on, and Norm lugged it away from the hole. Half of the building was rubble, the rest about to be, so the smell and the noise from the protocol would not around suspicion.
Norms were horn hunters, each identical to yet logically discernible from the others. Mommy had many Norms in the Before, all named after the set of algorithms or prohibitions that constrained the hunter from turning against and hunting down its maker. Mommy selected this Norm for its appetites, its sensory acumen—in particular its sense of smell—and its physical stamina. But in the misguided notion that it would take one to know one, Mommy had given the horn hunter a horn of its own. Read more