kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

Panel report two of two. Again, very minimal unpacking (limiting self to 30 minutes so I can go to bed); requests for clarification welcome.

Description:

Editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden has said, "Sometimes the unkillable merits of otherwise terrible work are a lot more interesting to discuss than the several perfections of the best." Let's see if we can prove him right.

Kathryn Cramer (m), Wen Spencer, Teresa Nielsen Hayden

(It is a coincidence that both panels I went to were based on PNH quotes. Honest.)

Panel notes: )

(Half an hour on the nose. I told you this takes surprisingly long . . . )

kate_nepveu: Hakkai, three-quarters profile, pointing gun at viewer (speak softly and)

Panel report one of two. I usually turn my at-panel notes into something resembling grammatical sentences, and I started doing that with this . . . but I realized that this takes a (surprisingly) long time and that I have a lot of obligations in the next few weeks. So let's see how much I can get done in the way of really minimal unpacking while waiting for a morning doctor's appointment.

Description:

Editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden has said, "Much of the genre works by appealing to our wish that the world's extra-legal violence be under the control of the kind of smart people we admire. The Second Foundation and the X-Men — and, for that matter, the Scooby Gang and the Laundry — are all, to some extent, basically the Ku Klux Klan, except that the extrajudicial violence they carry out is (we're assured) merited and just." Discuss.

Alexander Jablokov, Beth Meacham (m), Paul Park, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Karl Schroeder

(Park ended up performing much of the moderator function, which Meacham stated later she was fine with because she was quite ill.)

This was also videotaped; maybe it will eventually show up here?

Panel notes: )

Feel free to ask for clarification if I didn't unpack any notes sufficiently.

kate_nepveu: blue plushie rhinovirus (rhinovirus)

This was the super-ultra-minimalist version of Boskone for me, because I had a cold and other commitments. The weekend basically went like this:

cut for gratutious use of present tense )

So, only two panels, and not a lot of socializing either—though what I did, was very good. And because of the peculiarities of my weekend, I can't say much about the hotel situation either. Breakfast at the restaurant was overpriced, but the food cart in the lobby was indeed the cheaper promised option (I'm not sure if it was already sold out on Saturday or if I was too zonked to notice its presence) and was perfectly edible. But I had neither lunch nor dinner at the hotel, and went to a known restaurant for my only other at-con meal, so I don't know if the non-breakfast food situation was materially improved. (I note that the hotel is adding three restaurants next month, and hope that at least one of them is fast and cheap.)

Things I can say about the hotel: double showerheads look ridiculous but are really, really nice. Despite the bed not being immediately uncomfortable, both of us spent Saturday and Sunday with aching backs. We got a 4 p.m. checkout just by asking (and being members of the free rewards program), which is nice. The parking situation remains absurd.

What else? The con suite was very well stocked; for instance, if I'd realized and wanted, I could have had instant oatmeal for breakfast. The projector for Chad's talk worked. The dealer's room looked a little small, but I spent approximately five minutes there. (Chad wondered if the con itself was smaller; I don't know if attendance numbers are or will be available, but I did notice that the Tor party was not an insane crush.) Two of the three program rooms had sound problems: one was long and narrow and had speakers of inadequate power to reach the back, and the other was wide and narrow and had no microphones. (The third was of a reasonable shape, but also had Chad speaking, who is used to projecting his voice to a room.)

Panel reports forthcoming. And I am collecting links on delicious and automagically posting them at [livejournal.com profile] boskone.

kate_nepveu: (con't from comment field) "that makes glass with distortions. --Audre Lorde" (International Blog Against Racism Week)

A.K.A., let's revise the panel description right here.

When I first read it, this panel description:

Hidden Biases in SF

Why aren't there more blacks or Asians, Jews or Catholics or Muslims or Buddhists in even our most richly imagined futures?

Tobias Buckell, Gregory Feeley, Gregory Frost (m), Daniel Kimmel, Pamela Sargent

made me immediately say "Oh look, I could play Bingo!" Being cranky and wanting to get through the rest of the panel descriptions, I didn't think about it any further. But a comment of [livejournal.com profile] desdenova made me think more about why I had that reaction. While there are problems with that one sentence as it is [*] , my reaction boils down to that useful phrase from Pratchett's most recent book: this is the wrong sort of question.

[*] "Our most richly imagined futures," says who?; why is this being restricted to race and religion; what about multi-racial people; I prefer "black people" (etc.) to "blacks" (etc.); and probably more, because I have my own biases and defaults that I can't always spot on first glance.

why I think it's the wrong sort of question )

In other words, I think that the answers this question invites are very 101-level. And maybe that's what Boskone/the proposer of the topic/the panelists intended, which would be fine. But the prospect of sitting through a 101-level debunking does not thrill.

What's the right sort of question, one that would move this past a rehash of FAQs or bingo-playing? My first thought is:

What are useful ways of identifying and addressing hidden biases in SF? What are the resulting benefits to writers, readers, and stories?

cut for intermediate edits )

[Edit #2, 2/11: [livejournal.com profile] desdenova formulates a much better proposed description in comments, to wit:

Much SF produced in the U.S. displays a lack of cultural diversity at odds with the reality of American society. Frequently, this lack can be ascribed to unconscious default assumptions made by creators. What are some effective strategies for identifying hidden biases in SF? How can doing so benefit us as readers, writers, and fans?

Which has been duly forwarded in case it's not too late to let the panelists see it and consider it.]

kate_nepveu: headshot of German Shepherd mix dog against snow (Emmy)

The traditional notes to self about panels at Boskone, next week. (Nb.: I am cranky and dissatisfied today and it shows.)

panel notes )

(Icon in honor of Chad's talk, which will have lots of cute dog pictures.)

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