Babbling About Doctor Who

For those of you who’ve seen the season finale of Doctor Who, I have a column up at Fantasy about the Doctor:

This year at WisCon, the feminist science fiction convention, I was on a panel called Martha Jones: Made of Awesome or Disappointing Stereotype? I had hoped we would explore the different fan reactions to the way the writers handled Martha’s character, story arcs, and race. The panel didn’t turn out as I expected, but something Chris Hill said sparked a thought. He mentioned feeling that the Doctor’s character was uneven–sometimes he’s incredibly cruel and judgmental and other times he’s compassionate and reluctant to do harm. My response was that I didn’t see this as unevenness, I saw it as purposeful part of his character. I truly feel… that the writers want us to think that the Doctor is a complicated and deeply flawed person. He is, to be blunt, a jerk.

Read the rest here (again, only if you’ve seen the final episodes).

I know a bunch of you are more active in Who fandom than I am and hang out in fan communities and such.  I’d appreciate it if you spread the link around, as I am anxious to get other people’s take on my theory.

Today @ Fantasy

Today @ Fantasy

I have some commentary up about wikis, both large, famous ones like Wikipedia and small ones with narrow focus.

The Carl Brandon wiki-ers ran into [some ugliness on Wikipedia] pretty soon after they started heavily editing, when a category they created–People of Color in SF–was nominated for deletion…

This led to Carl Brandon members renewing their interest in having a CBS wiki, just as has an FSFWiki. I think this is a great idea for many reasons, not the least of which is the nastiness one often experiences on Wikipedia. That nastiness has a few things at its core. One being that some people have serious power issues and play them out in whatever venue allows them to–Wikipedia is an easy fiefdom to conquer, if one has the time and no life. Another being that American culture, the culture which many people contributing to the English language Wikipedia are steeped in, often devalues the contributions of women and minorities, but does so in a backhanded way: by claiming that their contributions shouldn’t be called out on the basis of race or gender or nationality, but instead thrown in with the “mainstream”, which just happens to be overwhelmingly populated by white males.

Click here to read the rest and offer your opinion.

People of Color in Fantasy Literature

Today @ Fantasy I posted part 1 of an interesting roundtable discussion about PoC in the genre, both as writers and as characters.  The discussion this week focuses on the state of PoC characters in the genre and it names names!  Next week we’ll get more into what writers of color are offering up.  The week after that we’ll discuss specific books, stories, and authors that we love.

Not coincidentally there is also an interview with Catherynne Valente up on the Angry Black Woman blog today.  There we discuss why The Orphan’s Tales is rarely praised for it’s multiculturalism or even recognized has having a significant number of characters of color.  A dollop for you:

Catherynne: Sigrid is black–which has resulted in the most bizarre conversations, where I mention that, and a reader will blink and say “No she’s not.” At which point I blink, and assure them that she is. And then I have to quote my own book in regards to the brownness of her skin, which is mentioned repeatedly.

ABW: Well, Sigrid is a hero and a saint and the protagonist of her own story. Unfortunately, that’s not usually the space where you find black women in genre fiction.

Catherynne: Yashna is also meant to be black, though for some reason no one ever seems to notice the black, female pope.

Quite a bit of interesting stuff going on in both posts–go read!

Other places to find me

A couple of newish projects to announce. Firstly, I’ll be writing reviews for The Fix online, the revival of TTA Press’ short fiction review magazine. I am only one of many, though, and if you’re looking for some insightful reviews across the scope of short speculative fiction, The Fix is the place to go.

Also this week, Fantasy magazine relaunches online (I sense a theme) with yours truly as the non-fiction editor. Right now there’s an interview up with the fabulous Catherynne Valente and soon there will be a spotlight on a young artist who bowled me over with her talent. There will be new fiction, non-fiction and reviews up every week.

Hopefully when this goes live the November issue of Cerise will be up. It contains my review of the game Wedding Dash, which I object to on feminist principles.

Finally, by the time you see this I will be at the World Fantasy Convention in Saratoga Springs, NY and probably having a fabulous time. No readings or panels scheduled, thank goodness. I’m spending the day working and the evenings partying.