First: Free Admission to ITHACON40/Pippi to Ripley3, the Ithaca College Campus, Saturday May 2, 2015 10am-5pm. Special Guests: Bruce Coville and Laura Lee Gulledge. Free kids workshops include: comic drawing workshops, fantasy writing, steampunk art, superhero cape making, star wars armor workshop, Japanese sword, Belly Dance, Pathfinder RPG game, Game Space, and Zombie Ballroom.
ITHACON40 full guest lineup; Pippi to Ripley full program.
Plus a Friday evening event (also free):
7:00-9:00 Panel on Women Making Comics (Klingenstein Lounge, Ithaca College Campus Center), with Laura Lee Gulledge, Morgan McKenzie (published as “Maegan Cook”), and Danielle (Ielle) Palmer.
Pippi to Ripley is where I gave my Mary Sue talk a couple years ago; I can't make it this year, but if you can, check it out.
Second: the Tiptree Award is expanding into Fellowships, to "support the development of new work, in any form or genre, that uses speculative narrative to expand or explore our understanding of gender, especially in its intersections with race, nationality, class, disability, sexuality, age, and other categories of identification and structures of power" ($500 year, two recipients). The application process is being developed in coordination with micha cárdenas; applications are expected to be opened at the upcoming WisCon (May 22-25, 2015).
Strictly speaking, there's no reason an artificial intelligence should express gender in human terms (or at all). Yet in much recent film and TV -- such as WALL-E, Her, Person of Interest, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and Caprica -- gender and/or sexuality has been integral to the vision of AI. How have such portrayals affected what stories are told? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What would it mean to imagine a genderless AI -- or a queer AI?
Charlie Jane Anders, Abigail Nussbaum, Nic Clarke, Michael Morelli,Jed Hartman
Nic: reviewer, watched all the programs being discussed
Jed: former fiction editor for Strange Horizons, now consumes media; fascinated by gender for long time
Mike: Masters student, giving paper on sexuality in Banks tomorrow, feminist literary critic
Abigail: blogger & reviewer, Reviews editor at SH, writes lot about film & TV from feminist perspective
Charlie Jane: writer, blogger at io9, including AIs in some of work (including one forthcoming resolutely ungendered one)
( notes, with no fail that I recognized! )
So this was fun! If I've mis-identified anything let me know.
The next Vlad Taltos book, Hawk, is up for pre-order on Amazon, with an October 2014 release date; the blurb makes me very hopeful.
This year's chair expedited a Con or Bust transfer of membership, which I appreciate, and I realize that WFC is important to many as a key industry event, so I do not judge people who go. (Con or Bust still has a free membership left for transfer!) But these are really shitty, exclusionary moves. WFC should reconsider.
(A little more discussion over at Scalzi's.)
2) In happier news, the next bonus content in Strange Horizon's fundraising drive is an essay by Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay titled "Recentering Science Fiction and the Fantastic: What Would a Non-Anglocentric Understanding of SF and Fantasy Look Like?", which I very much want to read, so go donate if you are able! If not, spread the word: SH publishes really good stuff and is working hard to give a platform to diverse voices.
Per Ansible, she has decided to discontinue chemotherapy for cancer.
Her offiical site says that well-wishes sent to meredithxyz at googlemail dot com will reach her.
I just sent a short note saying that Deep Secret is one of my favorite books in the world, which is true, and I'm glad to have said it.
popelizbet is organizing a Characters of Color in Science Fiction & Fantasy Faceoff, starting at con_or_bust and concluding at WisCon's Gathering. It's a bracket challenge like Suduvu's Cage Match or chickfight, except not Death Matches!!!, just a friendly opportunity to showcase some awesome characters and make silly arguments about who's better.
You can nominate people for the eventual bracket now. I'm already enjoying this and think it's going to be a lot of fun. (And as the icon suggests, one of my nominations was Wendy Watson from The Middleman.)
( list )
Comments: I have literally never heard of Sawyer's novel nominee, but otherwise this looks . . . not bad. Some stuff I nominated, only one category completely without women if I'm counting right (Pro Artist), at least two people of color in the fiction categories (which AFAIK is one more than last year, um, yay?) and another in the Campbell, some newer/younger/not-the-same names.
I do hope that the short fiction nominees will be able to post their stories online, not just make them available to voters, because I think it's important to the community's discussions and the reputation of the Hugo Awards.
ETA: also up at AussieCon's website, with at least formatting & ballot numbers, though no links.
- To Protect and Kill: Morality in Action Manga - Mecha - io9 :: Thesis: "Just as Watchmen criticized the morality of superhero comics, manga like Bokurano and Fullmetal Alchemist criticize the "smiles and happy endings" of shonen manga." The only one of these works I'm familiar with is FMA, so I can't judge the article as a whole, but I thought people might find it interesting.
- Suvudu Cage Match - Suvudu - Science Fiction and Fantasy Books, Movies, and Games :: This March Madness for SFF geeks is basically hilarious. I'm not sure which is my favorite, top-seeded Shrike against Arthur Dent, Aragorn v. The Wee Free Men, or Dumbledore v. Vlad Taltos (yes, the very first comment is exactly what you think).
- Ataraxia Theatre » Archive » What ERV really stands for :: Emmy makes a cameo in panel three.
"Three Twilight Tales," Jo Walton, Firebirds Soaring (mostly not in bookstores any more, but try your local library)
"The Pirate Captain's Daughter," Yoon Ha Lee, Beneath Ceaseless Skies
"A Journal of Certain Events of Scientific Interest from the First Survey Voyage of the Southern Waters by HMS Ocelot, As Observed by Professor Thaddeus Boswell, DPhil, MSc -or- A Lullaby,", Helen Keeble, Strange Horizons
"And Their Lips Rang with the Sun," Amal El-Mohtar, Strange Horizons
Still reading . . .
And a recommendation: Readability, a browser bookmarklet you can customize to, well, make web pages readable.
This is a draft of my ballot for the Fan Writer category in this year's Hugo nominations.
- Abigail Nussbaum, who blogs at Asking the Wrong Questions (there are links to her reviews at other sites in the sidebar).
- coffee & ink, who blogs at coffeeandink.
- K. Tempest Bradford, who blogs all over but principally, for these purposes, at her own site and at The Angry Black Woman.
- Possibly James Nicoll, who blogs at james_nicoll; as much as I enjoy his LJ, I tend to think of it more as a news source and discussion place than a source of his writing.
- Possibly Deepa D., who blogs at deepad; she doesn't post as much as any of the rest of the people on this list, but her posts in January 2009 alone were beautifully written and important.
And though I feel deeply awkward in saying this, the nomination stats indicate that I have previously been nominated in the Fan Writer category by more people than just Chad. So I feel obligated to point out that while my writing here and at my sadly-neglected booklog is non-professional, my writing for Tor.com is professional and thus should not be considered in this regard.
So I'm trying to actually read some short fiction before nominating for the Hugos this year, partly because I don't have a lot of time and partly because I'm not very enthusiastic about 2009 novels as a whole.
- The Nebula ballot;
- Niall Harrison's draft ballot;
- Abigail Nussbaum's draft ballot and links therein;
- The recommendation thread at Scalzi's.
I have a copy of the anthology Federations which I am slowly working my way through. I've put in a library request for Firebirds Soaring because papersky's story in it is getting a lot of attention.
So: What have you read that you've liked? What have you published that's eligible? (If you're modest, you can post your eligible lists separately from your recommended lists. I want to know what my friends have published.) Either links or names of things I can get from the library, please. I'm not going to go buying back issues of magazines at this point.
Things I've read so far that I've liked—not a draft ballot, note, and I still have a lot of things left to read even from the above-mentioned sources:
- "Carthago Delenda Est," Genevieve Valentine, Federations
- "Bespoke," Genevieve Valentine, Strange Horizons (dilemma! I think I like "Carthago" better, but "Bespoke" is getting more buzz, so, strategy-wise . . . )
- "Different Day," K. Tempest Bradford, Federations
- "Élan Vital," K. Tempest Bradford, Sybil’s Garage No. 6
- "Non-Zero Probabilities," N. K. Jemisin, Clarkesworld
So: go read those, and tell me what to read!
(If you absolutely can't stop yourself, go ahead and rec novels too, but I think I'm pretty well up on the possibilities there (things I have read or am reading but have not booklogged yet are in this LibraryThing collection) and I'd really prefer you focus on short fiction.)
How common are empires in fantasy that are oppressive or unjust (ETA:) and whose oppressions are a plot concern, but are not run by Evil Deities etc. and do not exist to be the opposition for the protagonist's polity? I'm thinking of David Anthony Durham's Acacia trilogy, a book that's not out yet so I'd prefer to avoid discussing it in case it's a spoiler, and . . . ?
I suspect, not very, as fantasy is well-known for its aristocratic preferences, but I thought I should ask.
White is Good, Curves are Great, but Seldom a Purple Face to Be Seen
Rani Graff, Doselle Young (M), Michelle Kendall, N.K. Jemisin
Despite the ubiquity of aliens in a range of pretty colours, SF and fantasy art still seems to be rather averse to the presentation of humans in their full spectrum. How much of this is the market? How much is it thoughtlessness? How much is it a fear of “exoticizing” and exploitation? How much is just old fashioned discrimination?
I came in late and missed all the introductions (which since the participant bios aren't anywhere to be found, even though I know people submitted them, means I must now rely on Google & inference). Young, Kendall, and Jemisin are all African-American; Young writes for American comics; Kendall (karnythia) is a writer and co-founder of Verb Noire, a new publisher; Jemisin is a writer. Graff is from Israel and the founder of Graff Publishing, a small press.
( notes )
Follow-up to this weekend's post:
The Carl Brandon Society has posted an Open Letter to the SF Community re: Ellison/Bradford Incident:
the Carl Brandon Society wishes to define some basic principles of discourse which were put into question as a result of this exchange. We hope community members will consider and respect these principles in future debates and disagreements.
Go, read, sign in comments if you agree.
So someone falsely told Harlan Ellison that K. Tempest Bradford was saying Mean Things about him. Instead of saying, "hey, don't be mean," or even "you are a mean person for saying mean things," he goes straight to the racist slurs, calling her an "NWA," a "swineherd," and a woman of "Cuhluh" (which is apparently some horrible attempt at "ghetto" phonetics, rather than a Lovecraft reference). Also says he wants to hit her, for extra classiness, and pulls out his token black
friend "discovery" Octavia Butler. (Various comments and dissections of this at Tempest's blog.)
Do not say: oh, it's just Harlan, he's like that: being a jerk doesn't get you a pass on racist comments. (Indeed, if it did, it would be quite the perverse disincentive.) Do not say: oh, it's just Harlan, no-one cares about him anyway: he's still looked up to by many as a major figure in the field, and anyway, I'm not allowed to call out racism by random people? Do not say: oh, it's just Harlan, he's really a nice guy in real life: this is real life.
Look, he called someone a n****r as an insult. You don't get to do that. And it's important that we say, no, you don't get to do that.
References: Ellison's webboard doesn't do permalinks; his first post is timestamped "Thursday, July 23 2009 19:27:11" and is currently on the second page, but will eventually scroll further back. His second is timestamped "Friday, July 24 2009 16:35:36" and is still on the front page.