Busy Day in the Betweenisphere

Busy Day in the Betweenisphere

Lots to do!  Firstly, you should travel on over to the IAFAuction site and bid on some stuff.  There’s plenty of stuff!  Yesterday two new auctions went up, a jewelry set and a necklace.  We only had one set sent to us for auction, and it’s really awesome.  The earrings are worth the opening bid alone!  Like, go grab that and some stuff.  The necklace is by Leslie What… yes THE Leslie What.  What more reason do you need?

Also, the auctions for Willow Pattern & And Then She Flew end soon.  Not to be pushy or anything, but that necklace based on my story is so super awesome that the bidding should go higher.  It’s based on my story, how can you not want to pay hundreds for it?  And Willow Pattern is an original Elise creation!  Even if you were to bid $80 for it you’d still be getting it for significantly less than if she just sold it.  So go bid $80!

And after all that hard selling, here’s something fun.  The third Interstitial salon started today. We’re talking about jewelry as art and as interstitial art:

We’ll be talking about creating visual art inspired by texts, about the relationships between narrative and wearable art, the cultural history of personal adornment — anything we can think of!

The conversation has already started, so join in!

Mother’s Day

This is a pretty sad Mother’s Day for me. All of my mothers are gone.

Tidmore Family Portrait

On the top row on the right is my Great-grandmother, Katie Bell Rembert (nee Finley).  On the left is her daughter, my grandmother, Anna Ree Tidmore (nee Larkin).  On the left in the second row is my mother, Marjorie T Bradford (nee Tidmore).  I’ll let you guess who that little yellow child is.

Kate died when I was about three years old, well into her 70’s (possibly 80’s).  My mother died 9 years ago, but it still really feels like yesterday for me.  My grandmother died April 13th of this year at 89.

Not pictured is my father’s mother, also no longer with me.  She died when I was around 9 or 10.

This year I get to remember them instead of sending flowers.  So it goes.

Science vs. Fantasy – Fight?

Science vs. Fantasy - Fight?

Today’s Blog For A Beer is a bit different.  I invited Mike Brotherton to expand and repost some commentary from his blog as a jumping off point for this week’s Fantasy Friday.  It’s an experiment, we’ll see how it goes.  The post is pretty interesting.

A conflict under these situations, pitting a logical scientific type against a wild-eyed believer, reason against belief, is a false conflict. Scientists are not dogmatic and their measurements, experiments, and observations can and do change their minds. Or not, in too many cases. How many times have you seen the skeptical scientist character in a story with fantastic elements mutter something like, “There must be a logical explanation,” and then go on to offer something feeble and likely stupid in face of the reality of the story? Let me illustrate this with some TV series that regularly pitted science against the fantastic.

The only real quibble I have with his thesis is the part about scientists not being dogmatic.  hahahahahahaha NO, I say.  Sure, Mike probably isn’t, but hoo boy, I have come across many dogmatics in my brief exposure to various types of sciences.  I think scientists are like any other group of people.  Some are prone to dogmatism and head in the sand behavior and some aren’t.  We’re all human (I hope), it comes with the territory.  And at least those type of scientists don’t tell me I’m going to hell.  That’s a step up!

Anyway, go read and comment, it’s sure to be an interesting discussion today.

Guess what’s on IAFAuctions today?

Why it’s a necklace based on my story. Woo! And it’s really, really beautiful. The artist is Deborah J. Brannon and, much to my surprise, she says it’s the first necklace she’s ever made. Way to come charging out of the gate there…

And Then She Flew

Deborah is the author of one of the most beautiful reviews of Black Feather, which she then incorporated into her artist statement:

…the story is a river: it fetches you in with intriguing shallows, soft eddies of water, refracting light as it swirls over half-obscured and winking stones. And then, once you’ve waded out so far, a strong current seizes you and pulls you under into terror and wonder and understanding.

!!  Okay, go bid.  You must.  I insist.  It’s so awesome!

(p.s. other awesomeness today includes a superfantasticohmygoditsamazing pendant from Elise.  Bid on that, too!)

Speaking of WisCon

I finally have parts for my button machine again and so I am willing to take orders/suggestions for buttons.  I’m even going to buy some color paper today to make the buttons stand out!  Exciting.

If you would like a button or some buttons, all you have to do is tell me what you’d like it/them to say in the comments.  Leave a real email so I can send you proofs.  You can pay me for them at WisCon.  ($1.50 each, a steal!)

I’m already making buttons that say “Get Punk Or Go Home” and also some of the phrases from this discussion.  I would do t-shirts, too, since I have a Zazzle account.  But the problem is that I am not so awesome with the t-shirt design skills.  I can do some text and all, but really making it POP?  I’m not so good at that.  But if anyone wants to design some shirts, too, I’m willing to put them on Zazzle and stuff.  As long as it’s by the middle of next week, WisCon is soon!

WisCon and POC Space

WisCon and POC Space

I just got my final programming schedule and all of my panels are on Sunday! And now that the process is complete, it’s time to discuss the POC-only panel “Intra-POC Relationships & Coalition Building” that was first suggested in this thread. As discussed there and elsewhere, there are issues surrounding creating a POC-only space officially at WisCon. However, if we decide to hold this panel/conversation unofficially (which is what we’re doing–genius!) then that does not impact on the WisCon organization and bring up icky legal issues.

There was also an interest in having a POC-only space for folks to retire to throughout the con. Again, such a space can’t be an official WisCon thing, but, again, we’ve found a way to work it out.

The only thing left to do now is organize and set dates and times. For the panel discussion, I thought it would be a good idea to do it during the lunch break on Saturday and have people eat while it’s going on. A lunch meeting! The room will be on the 6th floor, right down the hall from the con suite, so people can pop down there, grab something to eat, and join in. However, this might not work for everyone, so I created this poll:




Next issue, the POC-only space. Again, this will happen in one of the rooms on the 6th floor during the day (i.e. before the dinner break). But in order for it to work we’ll need to have one person in the room during the times it’s available to be a doorkeeper, as it were. We don’t need to have the room available all day, certainly, because all of us want to enjoy the con. So it will, essentially, be open when there is someone there to take a shift. You probably won’t know for certain when you’d want to do a shift until the programming schedule is posted and you see which panels you want to attend, but if you’re at all interested in taking a shift, please say so in comments (and leave an email address where I can contact you!).

Other tasks that need doing:

  • Designing a flier to tell people about the panel and the POC-only space
  • Blogging about it so that people know what’s up before getting there
  • Deciding who the “panelists” (or, as I like to think of them, moderators of the group conversation) will be
  • Scoping out if people want to have other POC related conversations/panels in the space as well — maybe people from deadbro?
  • Scoping out if we want to do a POC author reading

I’m excited!

ETA: Some folks indicated Friday afternoon so in order to prepare themselves for the con ahead.  I think this is a good idea, but we should also remember some folks won’t hear about this until the con, and we don’t want to leave them out.  But if we get together for dinner Friday or have a general meet & greet, that would work, too, and have the major discussion on Saturday once we’ve had a chance to spread the word about it.

My WisCon Schedule

My WisCon Schedule

Remember last year when I was on 7 panels and did two readings plus organized a party? Yeah, I’m not doing that again this year. I am determined to enjoy myself by actually talking to people one on one and in small groups. I plan to attend parties and hang out with cool people. I intend to attend panels and listen instead of always thinking I should be saying sensible and intelligent things.

So this year I told them I only wanted to be on 3 panels and they graciously did just that.

Can Internet Drama Change The World? – Sunday, 10:00-11:15 A.M.

Impassioned blog debates have initiated many into feminist praxis, queer critique, and antiracist ideology. But they also generate frustration, disillusionment, and flamewars. Participants in online political discussions are frequently derided for wasting energy that would be better expended in ‘real’ political work than in online drama, but many can also attest to the importance of online participation to developing understandings of power and privilege. This roundtable will raise questions of the validity and importance of online micro-political interventions, and their relationship to social justice activism on a larger scale.

M: Alexis Lothian, Julia Starkey, K Tempest Bradford, Woodrow Hill, K. Joyce Tsai

Publishing, Profit, Agendas, and Ideals: The Eclipse One Cover Debate – Sunday, 2:30-3:45 P.M.

Last year when Night Shade Books released the cover for their anthology, Eclipse One, a debate broke out over the names represented on the front. Namely, in an anthology that had 50/50 male and female authors, only male names appeared on the cover. The ensuing argument centered around two main points — the publishers felt that, of the authors in the anthology, the names they’d put on the cover were likely to attract the attention of more casual buyers. And because they were in the business of making money, they could not afford to put an ‘agenda’ ahead of anything else. Readers felt that, because no women were given a slot on the cover, the publishers were reinforcing patriarchal assumptions about who sells books, and who doesn’t. Some expressed the opinion that the lack of women on the cover was actually likely to deter them from buying the book. In this panel, which will be a debate, let’s explore both sides in depth. Does indulging agendas and ideals hinder profit? Or can adhering to an ideal lead to different and/or better ways of creating more profit?

M: K Tempest Bradford, Micole Sudberg, Eileen Gunn, Jeremy Lassen

(okay, two notes about this panel. I am extremely glad that the extremely sensible Eileen Gunn is going to be on the Editor/Publisher side of the debate, because I know that she will say things that are practical and yet not crazy. There’s always the risk of crazy in discussions such as these. I’m not particularly worried about Jeremy, either ;) But at least we won’t have people pounding on the table shouting WELCOME TO THE CLUB! The other note is that we are lacking one person on the fan/reader side. Cuz I’m the neutral party in all this–stop laughing!–and I would like to have two perspectives on each side to provide proper balance. Just putting that out there.)

Martha Jones: Made of Awesome or Disappointing Stereotype? Sunday, 10:00-11:15 P.M.

The third series of the new Doctor Who heralded the addition of Martha Jones as the main companion. Fans of color cheered the news and many loved her first the first episode. But as the series went on, some fans found a lot wanting in Martha’s character and put the blame squarely on the shoulders of the writers and producers. Now that Martha’s Series Three character arc is complete and her guest episodes on Torchwood are also complete, we can examine her role in the Whoniverse.

(We’ll of course mention her season 4 appearances as well. I’m very pleased this panel got on the schedule. Not just because I suggested it, but because I have been longing to have a discussion about my conflicting feelings regarding Martha and how fans of color perceive her. Plus, I am going to bring in clips! Yes, clips, people. Hear me roar!

I am sad that it’s taking place so late on Sunday evening, but something’s got to happen at these times! Plus, it will mean a smaller crowd and more chance at a real group discussion, which I was hoping for when I proposed it.)

So there’s my schedule, for those who wish to stalk me.

I couldn’t have said this better myself

Critcizing “dogpiles” as inherently “moblike,” destructive, negative, and childish without considering the content which has evoked this response has the same in-built political and structural issues as the demand that oppressed, discriminated, or harassed groups moderate their tone before their objections will be considered. Both actions attempt to codify behavior while treating speech content as empty; they ignore power differentials; they treat actions or speech acts as if they take place in a vacuums free of social circumstances, historical knowledge, or political influences, rather than as if they are what constitutes or destroys communities.
To riff off Stephen Sondheim: polite language is not good, it’s not right, it’s just nice. And when nice is prioritized over right or good, it’s just another form of oppression. It’s just another attempt by those in power to attempt to maintain the status quo.
What these protests do is establish the limits of community tolerance. You may think whatever you like; what you may not do is take public action in our community space–whether virtual or actual–that perpetuates harm to members of our community.

Read it all here.

gives coffeeandink a standing O

In which I have an opinion about fantasy fiction

In which I have an opinion about fantasy fiction

I know, this is very different from every other day of my life.

Today on Fantasy I have some commentary up about one of the things that annoy me about many fantasy stories and novels I have read:

…my biggest pet peeve is with stories and novels that lack specificity–specificity of place, time, culture, even ethnicity. The reader is given a default medieval Europe-type setting, filled it with random, unspecified peasant or royal types, no discernible culture beyond “they believe in magic” or “X fantastical creatures/races are real”, but not much else. Yes, there are characters who have personalities and Do Things and are specific, and the plot they find themselves in is spelled out, sometimes in great detail, and all of this is good. But it does not excuse the fact that the author has not done the work of creating a fully realized world, because so much of it is left nebulous, or left for the reader to fill in themselves. And I feel this makes for bad fantasy.

I would like to note that though this commentary came about because of the many, many, many conversations I had with folks surrounding the story posted on Monday, this commentary is not specifically about that story.  I am speaking to the trend.  Also, this is not the first time I’ve said something along these lines:

An editor can shout from the rooftops all he or she wants that they would love to see more stories by women, or by minorities, with female and minority characters. However, writers will not believe them if they look at the magazine and see nothing but Blandy McWhitey White in Blandy McNeighborhood in America or Blandy McMedieval Europe or Blandy McDefaulty Man in any setting anywhere.

I’m particularly proud of the phrase “Blandy McWhitey White”.

Help Spread The Word?

Pursuant to my last post–in addition to bidding again and again and again, if you could also help spread the word by posting about the Interfictions auction I would greatly appreciate it.  If everyone who reads me posts something, and then the people who read then post, and so on, we could take over the world :)

If you’d like some sort of picture thing to use on your sidebar or in your post or whatever, I’ve been making them here.  I’ll add more as more auctions go up and I come up with ideas, so scroll all the way to the bottom to see them all.