Zir postcyberpunk novel The Fortunate Fall, 1996, was well received and was nominated for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.
Carter, who reportedly does not identify as either male or female, wrote "The Murk Manual: How to Understand Medical Writing on Intersex” which uses humorous definitions to express the anger that intersex persons understandably feel, e.g:
1. A male intersexual when the endocrinologist is through with him. 2. A female intersexual whom the urologist has not seen yet. ...
Those benefactors of humanity who, with considerable difficulty, distinguish intersexed infant boys from intersexed infant girls. These infants, when grown, may with equal difficulty distinguish urologists from butchers.”The next year zie wrote "Androgyny: Rarely Asked Questions" which revives some obscure words such as Arenotelicon, Salmacian, Scrat. Zie calls zirself androgyne, epicene, neuter.
“People are usually upset at being given a choice, at least where gender is concerned; nothing stops a conversation cold like explaining that I don't care whether people call me he or she”.However zie points out:
“The trouble is that we humans, strange beasts that we are, use the same language for taxonomy and identity. By describing ourselves we shape ourselves. All too easily, we become slaves to our self-definitions, so that we cannot tell when they have ceased to be true.”.Carter’s short story, ‘Congenital Agenesis of Gender Ideation’ was shortlisted for the Theodore Sturgeon Award and won the James Tiptree, Jr Award in 1998. It tells of the discovery of a genetic condition, genagnosia, whose carriers cannot tell gender, but learn social cues so that they can fake such a telling.
Between 1998 and 2002 Carter maintained the Honeyguide Web Log, the second site ever that was named a weblog.
- Raphael Carter. “The Murk Manual: How to Understand Medical Writing on Intersex”. Chrysalis Special Issue on Intersexuality, 1997. www.isna.org/books/chrysalis/murk.
- Raphael Carter. “Androgyny RAQ”. http://practicalandrogyny.com/raq.