Carter's debut novel, the postcyberpunk The Fortunate Fall (1996) was well received and appeared on Locus recommended reading list and in the Locus Award it was 4th among first novels, after two tied winners. It caused Carter to be nominated for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 1997 and 1998.
Carter's short story "'Congenital Agenesis of Gender Ideation' by K.N. Sirsi and Sandra Botkin" was shortlisted for the Theodore Sturgeon Award and won the James Tiptree, Jr. Award in 1998. This makes Carter the first non-female to be the sole winner of the Tiptree (Theodore Roszak in 1995 was a co-winner); however Carter reportedly "does not identify as male or female"? and wrote the "Androgyny Rarely Asked Questions"? and "The Murk Manual: How to Understand Medical Writing on Intersex."?
Between May 1998 and April 2002, Carter maintained the Honeyguide Web Log - an "eclectic weekly list of links emphasizing books, robotics, and the natural sciences." This was the second site ever to be named a weblog, and Carter launched the first weblog directory at the Open Directory Project in November 1998.
Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden: "Anatomy of a Sale: Raphael Carter's The Fortunate Fall to Tor Books." In The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer's Sourcebook, 2nd ed., ed. David Borcherding. Cincinnati: Writer's Digest Press, 1996. ISBN 0-89879-762-4