K. Tempest Bradford

K. Tempest Bradford

Between Boundaries

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My Thoughts On The Latest #YesGayYA Developments

My Thoughts On The Latest #YesGayYA Developments

I meant to post this yesterday, but work things got in the way. Then the ever-wonderful Cleolinda posted the long, long post I was going to write and said everything I was going to say. So I’ll keep mine short. I suggest you click over to Cleolinda’s blog for the full story. Seriously.

A few days ago Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith wrote a guest post for the Genreville blog over at Publisher’s Weekly about their experience with an unnamed agent who asked them to make changes to their YA manuscript to erase the fact that a main POV character was gay. At least for the first book in the series. The pair went on to say that they’d heard that this thing with erasing gay characters in YA was something other authors experienced and thus they felt the need to write about it and bring the overall issue to light.

They did not name the agent or agency. They moved on from their specific example to the broader issue. They pointed out that this seemed to come from a concern over market forces rather than labeling anyone Homophobic or Gay Hating. If you don’t believe me, go read the original.

The post sparked a big conversation about the issue and I saw in the comments and on blogs and social networks that several other authors, published and not, talk their stories of having agents and/or editors tell them to remove gay characters from their YA.

Then Joanna Stampfel-Volpe, an agent with Nancy Coffey Literary & Media Representation, posted on Colleen Lindsay’s blog, The Swivet, outing her agency as the one in question (though claims she is not the specific agent in question) and essentially called Rachel and Sherwood liars. Under the guest post part, Colleen added this:

FACT: Both these writers already have their own agents. At least one of those agents reps YA books. So what does it say when the respective agents for both these well-established writers advise them to find a different agent for the book in question because neither of them wanted to rep it themselves?

It tells me that homophobia was most likely not the reason that this book has thus far not found representation.

And that made me see red because that just looks like a personal attack and an attempt to dismiss what Rachel and Sherwood said by saying that their book is no good. Further, on my Facebook page, Colleen claimed that she knew other agents who turned the book down because it had structural issues.

I like and respect Colleen a lot, but I’m calling bullshit on this. Though she says she didn’t mean for the above words to be an attack, that’s what it looks like. And, even if other agents passed on the book for structural reasons, that does not mean that the conversation as represented by Rachel and Sherwood didn’t happen. One does not preclude the other.

Putting that aside, at this point we’ve reached He Said/She Said, and it comes down to which side you believe. Stampfel-Volpe said that at no time did they say they wanted make the character not gay or take away references that he was gay in the book in question[1]. Rachel and Sherwood maintain that this is indeed what was said.

For my part, I believe Rachel and Sherwood. My main criteria being that my interactions with Rachel online and the interactions and friendships she has with people I know and trust do not lead me to believe she would lie in this way. I don’t know Sherwood well, but nothing I have ever heard from her good friends leads me to believe she would perpetuate a hoax for publicity or lie for profit.

Rose Fox of Genreville apparently felt the same way. Colleen mentions something about how the piece wasn’t fact checked, but how was that supposed to happen? The agency wasn’t named. And even though there are claims that the gossip identified the agency, the majority of us wouldn’t know without their self-outing. These are not the kind of “facts” that can be easily checked because the other party can say “That didn’t happen” and they could be lying just as easily as the authors. Rose used her judgment based on what she knows about the two women and, so far, I haven’t seen any reason for her to have doubted that.

Additionally, Stampfel-Volpe’s post is filled with the kind of red flags I see every day as an anti-prejudice activist. The tone is too defensive[2] and unconvincing. Plus, what exactly do you expect the agency to say? “Yes, we did that”? No. Hell no.

Think about it. If they did request the changes Rachel and Sherwood claim and did so because of market forces and such, they wouldn’t admit to it especially if they aren’t homophobic themselves. It’s just like the whole cover controversy with Justine Larbalestier’s Liar. I’m sure that her publishers are not racist people, but they put a non-black person on the cover of her book at first because they assumed that systemic racist attitudes would hurt sales. That is not something you want to admit in public, because it’s gross. It happens, though. We all know it happens. And thanks to #YesGayYA we know that the erasure of gay characters in YA happens, too. And it’s still gross.

No one wants to admit when they give in to prejudiced bullshit.

The other reason I just don’t believe Stampfel-Volpe is that she made this whole thing personal:

One of our agents is being used as a springboard for these authors to gain attention for their project. She is being exploited. But even worse, by basing their entire article on untruths, these authors have exploited the topic.

Someone explain to me how the agent in question is being exploited when he/she wasn’t named. Also, bringing a topic to light is not exploitative. The kind of people I see using language like that are the folks who try to tell me that by bringing up racism or “inventing” it when it’s not there, I am the one being racist. This is a classic defense. It may even be on the BINGO card. When I see people using this kind of language, I immediately distrust what they have to say. I’ve been on the receiving end of this too often to not recognize it.

I suggest you read the original Genreville post and the other excellent links at Cleolinda’s blog before you come down on one side or the other, especially if you don’t know any of the people involved. The readiness of some people to immediate jump to HOAX! based on absolutely nothing but one person’s word would astonish me if I didn’t already have plenty of experience watching people readily dismiss real prejudice that exists right in front of them as not-prejudice. It’s so much more comforting to think that someone is just a lying liar than that there’s a serious problem to tackle.

Tackling problems requires thought, effort, and often sacrifice. Who wants to deal with that?

Footnotes

  1. Edited to make things clearer. I didn’t read my original sentence a second time and should have. Thanks Helen.[]
  2. Especially the parts added by Colleen, who emphatically claims that the agent is a good friend and not homophobic, even though Rachel and Sherwood didn’t say he/she was. A person might not be personally homophobic, but still perpetuate the idea that mainstream readers are too homophobic to deal with gay charcaters. It’s a systemic problem, and one need not be personally prejudiced in order to bow to the system.[]

Doctor Who Debate: Davies vs. Moffat

Doctor Who Debate: Davies vs. Moffat

At Dragon*Con last weekend I went to a panel called Doctor Who: Davies vs. Moffat in the Brit track so as to cover it for the Daily Dragon. The panel discussion was… less than robust, I would say. But then, this topic could have people going on for hours and we only had one. I wrote it up for the DD here, if you care to read.

Coming away from the panel I felt that I’d like to continue the conversation in a venue better suited to deep conversation. And here we are.

The basic idea behind the panel was to examine Doctor Who and debate which “era” of the show — the one headed by Davies or the current one by Moffat — is better overall. Of course, with both showrunners there’s a lot to pick apart and examine and for some there may not be a better overall choice. It’s completely legitimate to point out the areas where either of them excel or falter. And, of course, there will be some pitting the various Doctors against each other.

To back up your arguments, you may mention any episode that’s been aired but don’t reveal any spoilers from unaired stuff. By aired I mean aired in the UK. If you really, really don’t want spoilers for the most recent stuff, you should probably skip this one.

To start the debate, I’ll ask of folks: who do you think is the better plotter? On an episode by episode basis I would have said Moffat until season 5. On an overall arc basis, I’m saying Davies. So far The Silence just makes me roll my eyes, and I wanted to stab the Pandorica thing from the word go. Season 3′s arc was much more satisfying and well constructed… until the Tinkerbell bit.

What say you?

Dragon*Con 2011: The Late, Late Report

Dragon*Con 2011: The Late, Late Report

I’m horrible at posting timely con reports, so I’ve given up worrying about it. It’s been a week since Dragon*Con ended, so at least with this one is up faster than my WisCon or ReaderCon reports. No, you didn’t miss them… they aren’t posted yet.

Onward!

This was my first Dragon*Con, and I was slightly worried about feeling overwhelmed. However, I had the chance to work for the at-con newsletter, the Daily Dragon, and that helped me feel less at sea. I had specific things to do and I spent most of my time doing them. Those specific things involved copyediting, being on call in the DD office, covering panels, and interviewing people. Being a journalist is a bunch of fun.

I had a great time talking to Ann and Jeff Vandermeer about steampunk and Alethea Kontis and Leanna Renee Hieber about being pro guests who are also fans. But the absolute highlight of my con was getting to interview Kate Mulgrew, Star Trek: Voyager’s Captain Janeway. I also got to interview Brent Spiner of The Next Generation.

For Kate Mulgrew, I had to chase down her agent, then come sit at her signings three times before he found time in her schedule. William Shatner had just denied a couple of my colleagues an interview, so I was nervous. But Ms. Mulgrew wasn’t as ALL DONE THIS as Bill (and I don’t blame him, he did three solo panels and signed 4 times) so she granted me five minutes.

I’ve met her just once before, and she was just as warm and funny as before. She has this commanding attitude that I adore. It’s not obnoxious — more like a very forceful matriarch. If she tells you to do something, you do it because obviously she thinks it’s best. Plus, you don’t say no to Captain Janeway. Read the interview (Kate says so.)

Talking to her about how there needs to be more women leaders in the Star Trek franchise, I had this awesome idea for a panel at Dragon*Con about female leadership in SF. My dream panel would be Kate Mulgrew, Nana Visitor, Mary McDonnell, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, and Gina Torres. I also think that would make an excellent pop essay book, with the volume split between TV/Movie properties and SF novels. As things ramp up for next year’s D*Con, I’ll see if the panel is possible.

I was in the autographing room on Monday waiting for Brent Spiner to have time when I noticed that Robert Duncan McNeil (Tom Paris, Voyager) had a life-size cutout of himself in character sitting on top of his table. Not next to, on top of. I went over and asked, “How much to take a picture with the cutout?” because pictures with him were $10 and that’s just not my thing. Thankfully he has an excellent sense of humor and joked with me about it and, when I came back to actually take a picture with the cutout in my absolute silliness, decided he needed to be in the pic, too. I let him. You know, to make him feel better.

Tempest Bradford and Lt. Paris... and Robert Duncan McNeil

I also had one other mission during the con, which was to sell fans and raise money for Con or Bust when possible. I didn’t sell many fans, but my roommate, Mary Robinette Kowal, sold TONS. She’s a sales machine and earned Con or Bust a lot of money.

In addition to selling fans, I also asked some actors of color to sign one so we can auction them off. When I get home I’ll post pics. Edward James Olmos (BSG) and Garrett Wang (Harry Kim, Voyager) both signed readily and were very sweet about it. In fact, Garrett misunderstood my request (I’d asked him the night before in the green room) and had a picture he’d planned to give me of Robert Beltran, Robert Picardo and himself in character, signed by all three. It’s really adorbs. I gave him a fan in exchange for the picture and we’ll auction that off, too.

Sidenote: Garrett Wang is awesome. He runs the Trek Track at D*Con and does a fantastic job, does funny as hell spots for Dragon*Con TV, and spends hours and hours in the autograph room so everyone who wants to see him gets a chance. Plus, he’s super sweet, like I said.

That was pretty much my Dragon*Con. I met many awesome fans, hang out with the fabulous Daily Dragon staff, saw fantastic costumes, got to go to panels, met one of my heroines, and had conversations with a host of fabulous people. I’m looking forward to going back next year.

As Always, My Thoughts On 9/11

Are best expressed in fiction.

Others have also raised concerns over the ongoing nature of the haitai ritual. Though performing it after the first or second anniversary isn’t unheard of, most clerics don’t recommend it. Wassirian cleric Anes Mshai is an outspoken opponent of further Red Seteshday haitai.

“Bringing closure and allowing family members to say goodbye is healthy. Especially in the case of such a massive disaster. But reliving and recreating the event over and over again every year may be keeping them from moving on.”

Until Forgiveness Comes at Strange Horizons

Intra-Community Behavior – How Do We Address Problems Constructively?

Intra-Community Behavior - How Do We Address Problems Constructively?

This was a very long comment on the post from yesterday. However, in writing it I realized that this discussion is separate but related, so I broke it out into its own post. This comment addresses some stuff across multiple comments over there plus some things from this discussion on the anon community.

Just to clarify: For me, my worries over the doubts I had about Kynn and the way I pushed them aside isn’t about whether I should have known she would rape someone. It’s totally separate from that. It’s more about how I shouldn’t have accepted that behavior from a person who very clearly wanted to be allied with my community and me personally. I don’t look back and regret my errors because of what happened to jack specifically. Wanted to clear that up.

While on one hand I agree with the anon that points out that within social justice communities if someone doesn’t speak up and say “hey, I don’t agree with the actions this person is taking” then people may assume that we endorse or, at least, don’t find the behavior problematic. And that can be a problem both within and outside of the community.

On the other hand, I very much agree with Cheryl that I don’t then want us to turn the tone argument on each other or start deciding whose anger is more valid. Plus, I get the feeling that what some critics of social justice want in that instance is a public “I DON’T AGREE” in big letters. I’m not always comfortable with that.

Intra-community discussions of appropriate actions and words should stay inside unless the community decides to open it up to wider discussion.

Examples of this include the recent flare-up surrounding Ashley Judd’s condemnation of hip-hop as sexist. Women in the hip-hop and POC community have been dealing with this issue a lot longer, and many did not appreciate someone from outside the community swanning in to give her ill-formed and unwanted opinion on the matter.

Within a feminist context, women outside of mainstream white western culture are forever dealing with well-meaning feminists trying to tell them how their cultures are evil and should be abandoned. Whereas women inside those cultures and communities are constantly saying “Back off, we got this, we’re working on it from our own cultural framework.”

Those are big picture examples. Those are also more straightforward than what we’re dealing with here.

The dilemma I see is this: how does a community or an individual within a community approach another individual to say I/We think you’re crossing a line? That’s a tough conversation to have. I’ve found myself reluctant to have it the few times it’s come up. And, as I said yesterday, I am not the behavior police nor do I feel I have the right to be.

Still, this situation is making me realize how important it is to discuss this and come up with strategies not only to ensure the mental health of the community at large, but also to achieve our common goals.

As before, thoughts are very much appreciated. And to the anonymice out there — I allow anon comments here, but reserve the right to moderate as I see fit. (Generally: deleting abusive ones.)

ETA: Hey anons, want to further clarify something for those of you who seem to be lacking reading skills. This post is not about reactions to what Kynn did to Jack. I’m not saying AT ALL that intra-community issues need to be worked out around people’s reactions to that. I’m talking here about more general issues using Kynn’s behavior before this incident as a touchpoint, but not due to what happened at WisCon. This is about things I observed before that. How people deal with someone in their group who rapes another is a separate conversation and not what I’m addressing here (for that, see the other post). Okay? Okay.

Community, Trust, Responsibility, Consequences

Community, Trust, Responsibility, Consequences

This post may be triggering for some as it contains discussions of rape, sexual assault, and community responses to such.

I promised to write this post last week, but unfortunately preparations for BlogHer took up more spoons than I anticipated. Plus, I’ve been dealing with a lot of intense emotions around the issue and it kept me from posting publicly for a while. But I feel it’s important for several reasons, all of which you will understand by the end of this post. I’m placing the bulk of it under a cut, just in case. More »

Gender Imbalance, Again. Mansplaining, Again. Bleh.

Gender Imbalance, Again. Mansplaining, Again. Bleh.

The latest entry in the Gender Imbalance Hall of Fame appears to be Solaris Rising: The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction edited by Ian Whates. Of the 21 contributors there are 4 women[1].

You may facepalm now.

But, you see, the editor totally knows that this whole gender imbalance thing is a probem. This is why his other anthologies have more women in them! And that makes this all okay.

The thing is, as an editor, it’s almost inevitable (given the aforementioned imbalance) that you’re going to fall foul of somebody’s opinion somewhere. I’ve just released the TOC for Solaris Rising, an anthology I’ve been commissioned to produce for (you guessed it) Solaris. … Already the book has attracted a drearily predictable comment of “How’s that mistressworks thing goin’?” from Nick Mamatas. It’s strange, but last year when I released the anthology The Bitten Word (ten female authors, seven male), nobody accused me of being a feminist. Nor was gender commented on that June when I released Anniversaries (seven female authors, two male). I suspect that next month, when I release a new collection of stories by Liz Williams – A Glass of Shadow – with an intro by Tanith Lee and cover art by Anne Sudworth, no comment will be made then either, nor when I release the next NewCon Press anthology Dark Currents in 2012 – which looks set to once again feature more female contributors than male. The detractors are very selective, it seems.

Shorter Ian Whates: WHERE ARE MAH COOKIES?!!

Someone call the wahmbulance and pick this mansplaier off the ground before he hurts himself.

Footnotes

  1. Oh look, Paul DiFilippo is in it, too! That’s a sure sign of quality… /sarcasm[]

The Unblinking Eye [Part 1, rough]

The Unblinking Eye [Part 1, rough]

The cold open of my TNG/Doctor Who fanfic is done, so I thought I would share it with you all. I also came up with a tentative title. It will likely change.

Okay kids, keep in mind that this is a first draft. Like a really, really first draft. Have fun.

The Unblinking Eye

Captain’s Log, Stardate 46389.2. We’ve just entered the Davien system and commander LaForge informs me that the test of the new subspace field generator will commence within the hour. If successful, the new engine will increase dilithium efficiency three-fold.

“All right, Data. Activate the field.” Goerdi LaForge swept his rolling chair between consoles, keeping track of half a dozen monitors at once. This first test was going to be tricky, and he didn’t want to give the engineering core back at Starfleet Headquarters any reasons to shut him down before he could prove this new engine scheme would work.

“Subspace field activated.” Data stood at Engineering’s central console while the rest of the crew moved between the warp vestibule and their consoles, keeping almost as diligent an eye on the outputs as their boss.

All signs were good, and Geordi was about to give the order to go to warp 1 when a sharp, rushing sound interrupted the normal thrumthrum of the room. It lasted only seconds, hardly enough time for panic to well up in his chest at what might be going wrong. And when it was over a body lay sprawled on the floor.

“What–”

“Intruder alert,” the computer announced in her faux alarmed tone.  More »

Happily Ever After Is Now Out

Happily Ever After Is Now Out

Happily Ever After Cover

The Happily Ever After anthology is now on bookstore shelves (both virtual and physical). You should certainly go pick up a copy if you’re a fan of fairy tales, subversion of fairy tales, mythpunk, and other related things, as this book is FULL of such wonderful nonsense. The table of contents alone is enough to tempt people, and that cover is to die for. Here, I shall make it easy for you:

Amazon | Kindle | B&N / Nook | IndieBound

2011 Write-a-Thon Begins!

2011 Write-a-Thon Begins!

All right, everyone, no more begging for sponsors from me. The Write-a-thon has officially begun and I am hard at work on my stuff. I started writing the fanfic for week 6 even though LeVar Burton did not tweet about us. That’s okay, I know there is plenty of fan love to sustain me.

Also, I am happy to report that I met my goal and then some late last night! Hooray :) I still need to update the sidebar with the total, which I will do when I get home this evening. Thank you to everyone who sponsored, your support means the world to me.

I’ll be keeping everyone updated here on the blog, on Twitter, on Facebook, and on Tumblr.

My Final Sponsorship Plea

My Final Sponsorship Plea

The Write-a-thon begins tomorrow. After that, I will stop begging for sponsors and get down to writing. Of course, if someone comes along and wants to sponsor me after that, yay! But I shan’t ask.

So, here’s my final word on this: Right now I have $403 in pledges. My goal is $600. I need around $200 more. That’s actually not much when you break it down.

  • 10 people pledging $20 flat.
  • 7 people pledging $5/week
  • 11 people pledging $6 flat + 3 people pledging $4/week + 1 person willing to give $62

Or some combination thereof.

Even if you can only pledge a small amount, all small amounts help! Click here to do so.

My 2011 Write-a-thon Goals and Challenges

My 2011 Write-a-thon Goals and Challenges

The Clarion West Write-a-thon begins this weekend, but you still have time to sponsor me and to spread the word about my need for sponsors or to look at the fabulous list of writers and sponsor one of them or to join in the fun and become a Write-a-thon participant. So many choices! Anyway, I promised that I would tell you about my goals for the next 6 weeks so you can get all excited about them (or something).

My overall, basic goal is to write between 100 and 500 words every week. The wordcount goal will change each week based on the goals and challenges listed below.

Week 1: I’m going to use a random number generator to pick my wordcount. Then I’ll roll a 6-sided die and divide the overall wordcount by the number that comes up. I’ll take this number (rounded to the nearest whole number), go to the book I’m currently reading, turn to that page, and choose a word on the page to inspire the fiction I write.

Week 2: I will use Wordle to create word clouds from three Twitter accounts, then take the top 2 most interesting words from each account and write a story using them in some way.

Week 3: Sponsor challenge. I’ll give each of my sponsors a chance to pick some aspect of the story: wordcount, character names, location, first line, last line, etc. Depending on how many sponsors/responses I get, this could be split into two stories and be week 4′s challenge as well.

Week 4: TBD

Week 5: TBD

Week 6: Crossover fic. Here’s the deal. LeVar Burton tweeted this picture of he and Alex Kingston together and said she was one of his favorite actresses. I saw that and thought: a Star Trek/Doctor Who crossover starring Geordi and River Song would be so awesome! And Tumblr concurred. Then I thought: It would be even more awesome if I could get LeVar to tweet about the Write-a-thon to get more sponsors for me and everyone else. So here’s my challenge to you, friends and readers: LeVar is aware of my devious plan, but he has not yet tweeted details of the Write-a-thon to his followers. Encourage him (politely!!) via Twitter to do so and I will write this beautiful crossover fic of win. It will be short, yes, but longer than 500 words. Maybe even written in teleplay format. We’ll see.

So that’s my plan for the next 6 weeks. As weeks 4 and 5 approach, I will make decisions about what I’ll write then.

To recap: Please sponsor me! Please sponsor other participants! Please participate! TNG/Doctor Who crossover! LeVar Burton! That is all.

 

2011 Clarion West Write-A-Thon Clarion Call

2011 Clarion West Write-A-Thon Clarion Call

In a little less than two weeks, the Clarion West class of 2011 will begin their 6-week intensive workshop. At the same time, the CW Write-a-Thon will begin. A write-a-thon is a lot like a marathon. Instead of sponsoring someone per mile, you sponsor them per week. If they reach their writing goals for the week, you pledge to send Clarion West a certain amount of money. There are six weeks of write-a-thoning to mirror the six weeks of workshopping at Clarion West.

The deadline to sign up for this event is June 18th. There are a couple dozen people signed up already, but Clarion West needs more folks to sign up and get sponsored to reach their fundraising goals. I think that you (yes, you. No, not that other person, You) should sign up to participate.

Last year I didn’t do the write-a-thon because I had far too much to do work-wise to commit to anything and didn’t have much time to find sponsors. Thus, I completely understand if other people have the same doubts. But, in thinking about this the past couple of days, I realized that there are ways to do this that don’t require an huge time commitment. Setting micro goals instead of big huge ones; allowing myself to be a little bit silly, experimental, or completely off the wall; taking challenges from others.

I have some ideas on how to pull this off (and will share them with you in time), so I’m ready to commit to participating in the write-a-thon. Thing is, I’d really like to see at least 20 more people join me in this effort. I know many of you are busy, have stuff going on, and have stress in your lives, just like me. So think about it in these terms: do you have 30 minutes a week to commit to writing? Do you know three people off the top of your head who will sponsor you and pledge a little to Clarion West because they love you/are awesome? If the answer to both is yes, then you’re set. Yep, 30 minutes, 3 people — that’s all it takes.

Now we come to the portion of the post where I sweeten the pot a little. Usually with fundraising things such as this it’s customary to offer prizes to people for pledging money. I’m going to do something different, because my goal is to get people to sign up. So, anyone who participates in the Clarion West Write-A-Thon, has at least 3 sponsors OR has at least $100/week in pledges, and meets at least 4 out of their 6 weekly goals, will be entered in a drawing for a free eReader.

The eReader in question is the new Kobo eReader Touch Edition, out this month. If you want a taste of it, there’s a hands-on post here. On Monday or Tuesday there’s likely to be a full review.

I have some other new or like new gadgets in my possession that I may be able to offer up as well, but the Kobo eReader is for sure.

Some disclaimers: I don’t work for Clarion West or represent them. This drawing is being run solely by myself with products I own personally, not offered by any corporate entities. I plan to choose the winner based on random number generation — a digital version of pulling a number out of a hat.

Excited yet? Good. The first step is to head over to the Write-A-Thon sign up page to join. The next step is to find at least three sponsors. Ask them to pledge a certain amount each week if you meet your goals or to pledge a flat amount if you meet all of your goals over 6 weeks. The last step is to decide what your goals will be. I’ll tell you mine next week.

Holla back, people. Raise your virtual hand if you’re in this with me.

[WisCon 35] Oh Crap, I Haven’t Figured Out What I’m Reading This Weekend

[WisCon 35] Oh Crap, I Haven't Figured Out What I'm Reading This Weekend

I was supposed to do that. Um.

Maybe I’ll read The Birth of Pegasus. Or Until Forgiveness Comes.

*looks at newish stuff* Fie.

[WisCon 35] POC Safer Space Breakout Sessions and Discussions

[WisCon 35] POC Safer Space Breakout Sessions and Discussions

The Safer Space for POC at WisCon 35 is a room set aside for con attendees of color to have in-group discussions about issues surrounding speculative fiction, feminism, fandom, and convention-going. By issues I do not mean “problems” (just to be clear). There are some conversations that need to happen within a group that only concern the group, and for the second year in a row WisCon is officially acknowledging this need and providing official space for it.

The Safer Space for POC is located in the Solitaire Room — just off the lobby behind the restaurant. The location is marked in the Program Book.

Con attendees of color are free to use this room as a lounge/chill space, just as with last year. Come hang out when you’re not attending a panel, between panels, during lunch, whenever. This year the hotel is providing coffee and tea service throughout the day.

In addition to the lounge aspect, I’m also encouraging people to use the Safer Space as a place for breakout sessions, standalone discussions for small groups, and post-panel de-pressurization. Is there a conversation you’d like to have with other POC about an issue relating to SF, feminism, fandom, media, or literature? Would you like to continue a panel with a smaller, POC-only group? Then I encourage you to use the Safer Space, because this is exactly the reason it exists.

If you already know that you’d like to use the space, great! Please leave a comment with details (what your discussion/breakout session is about, time) and be sure to let people at the con know. Flyers are useful. Even if you don’t have an idea now, you may get one at the con. If so, just invite folks to the room. Even if there are already folks inside, there will probably be enough room.

This isn’t a super structured effort, just a way to ensure that people know that they can use the room for these purposes. There are no hard and fast rules. Just that the space is reserved for POC.

I’ll update this post with activities posted in the comments and there will be a list in the room at the con.

Update: Known Breakout Sessions and Discussions

Friday

4:30 PM – 5:30 PM Authors of color bookswap — facilitated by Oyceter
Pre-meet-up before the big dinner in case there are antisocial people who like to dip their toes in the water first. Bonus topic: Rant about Tiger Whatevers in the media!

Saturday

10:00 AM – 11:15 AM Breakout Session immediately following this presentation: Steam Around the World: Steampunk Beyond Victoriana (8:30 AM – 9:45 AM: Assembly)

Sunday

11:30 AM to 1:00 PM (Lunch Break): Con or Bust Meetup — Kate Nepveu, CoB organizer, will be in the space to answer questions and listen to your feedback. If you received money from Con or Bust this year, you’re also invited to stop by and meet fellow recipients (and Kate, if you’ve never done so).

5:15 PM – 6:00 PM: Breakout session immediately following this panel: FAIL! (4:00 PM – 5:15 PM: Capitol A)

As things are getting started today, this will be my last update of this post. However, if you wish to know if there are any additional breakout sessions planned, just go to the Solitaire room and look for flyers or a schedule.

Social Studies

TumblrTumblr – Come see the inside of my fandom brain

TwitterTwitter – Intermittent rambling, links, and what I just ate

FacebookFacebook – A nexus of me, yet strangely impersonal

Google+Google+ – Another nexus of me for Google Geeks

DeliciousDelicious – A wild collection of links, mostly of fiction

goodreadsGoodReads – The books I’m reading and the ones I’m in

FlickrFlickr - Photographic evidence of a few of my exploits

LiveJournalLiveJournal – A mirror of this blog, nothing more

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An ever-changing list of the authors, bloggers and awesome people I know and admire

Vitae

I'm a writer, most often committing acts of genre (fantasy, science fiction, and other stretches of the imagination). You can find my short stories in many and various magazines and anthologies and podcasts. In addition to being a writer I also engage in activism and fandom -- often both at once.

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