Don't Press Charges and I Won't Sue

"Don't Press Charges and I Won't Sue" is a science fiction story by Charlie Jane Anders. It was first published in Boston Review, in their 2017 Global Dystopias anthology.

"Don't Press Charges and I Won't Sue"
by Charlie Jane Anders
CountryUnited States
Genre(s)Science fiction short story
Published inBoston Review
Publication dateOctober 30, 2017


Rachel is a trans woman who is captured by an agency that forces detransition by means of brain transplants — where she discovers that the person supervising her torture is her childhood friend Jeffrey.


"Don't Press Charges and I Won't Sue" won the 2018 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award,[1] and was on the Honor List for the James Tiptree Jr. Award.[2] Gardner Dozois compared it to Kafka's The Castle.[3]

Publishers Weekly considered it "astoundingly good".[4]

In 2020, Anders stated that she has only read the story aloud once, as she finds it too traumatizing; as well, she reported that "other trans people have told [her] that they had to lie down after reading it."[5]


Anders has described the story's genesis as her own anxieties over the then-pending inauguration of Donald Trump.[5]


  1. ^ Anders Wins 2018 Sturgeon Award, by Mike Glyer, at File 770; published June 23, 2018; retrieved May 1, 2019
  2. ^ 2017 Honor List, at the Tiptree Society; retrieved May 1, 2019
  3. ^ Gardner Dozois Reviews Short Fiction, by Gardner Dozois, in Locus; published February 12, 2018; retrieved May 1, 2019
  4. ^ Global Dystopias, reviewed at Publishers Weekly; published December 4, 2017; retrieved May 1, 2019
  5. ^ a b Never Say You Can’t Survive: How To Get Through Hard Times By Making Up Stories, by Charlie Jane Anders, at; published May 12, 2020; retrieved December 14, 2021

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