Category Archives: Feminist science-fiction

World Science Fiction (Renovation) – Here I Come!

So I will be attending my first ever World Science Fiction Convention this year! 2011′s con is Renovation in Reno, NV. I’ve always wanted to attend a World SF Con and with it being so close geographically this year and a couple of other things that came together it looks like I’m gonna make it! There’s still the matter of rooming to be worked out (if you need a room I have slots, please be not-a-serial-killer, smoking I can live with a knife in the back not so much). Hope to see at least some of my friends from WisCon and World Fantasy there. I’m also going to be on 7(!) panels. Exciting and nerve-wracking.

Here are my panels for the Con:

Thu 14:00 – 15:00, Science Fiction, Gender, and Social Change(Panel), A03 (RSCC)

The workings of any society are a confluence of many different forces and movements. As society changes, its literature and arts (including SF) reflects, anticipates, and perhaps influences the direction and scope of change. How has SF influenced and reflected the changes in gender and gender roles over the past quarter century? As we look back to the work of writers such as Ursula LeGuin and Joanna Russ in the sixties and seventies, what can we say about their impact and
that of their heirs today?

Alexandria Brown (M), Ctein, Amy Thomson, Mari Kotani and Naamen Tilahun

I’m very interested in who we think are the heirs to LeGuin and Russ. Not just authors with a feminist slant (while many authors tend to deny this label) but authors where feminism and gender roles are central to their work in many ways.

Thu 15:00 – 16:00, Why We Still Love _The Twilight Zone_ Fifty Years On (Panel), C1 (RSCC)

While science fiction for kids filled the TV screens of the ’50s, Rod Serling’s _The Twilight Zone_ was, arguably, the first SF show for adults. Featuring sophisticated themes, good writing and a surprising number of young actors who went on to be stars, _The Twilight Zone_ is a classic of the genre everyone should be watching. Our panel talks about some of their favorite episodes and why they’ve lasted.

H. G. Stratmann (M), Gary Westfahl, J. Steven York, John DeChancie and Naamen Tilahun

Okay, admission time. The Twilight Zone freaks me out! Don’t get me wrong, I love it but it still freaks me out. It is one of my mom’s favorite shows so I was exposed to it a lot growing up and I still feel terror over certain episodes (mostly more obscure eps like the one with the bus stop and the doppelgangers). Amazing show, effective and creepy and oh so sci-fi.

Fri 10:00 – 11:00, SF We Love by Writers of Color (Panel), A03(RSCC)

Are you curious about SF by writers of color. How do you
find the good stuff? There are many reading options, and many ways of connecting with the various communities of color producing excellent SF. Join us to look at reading lists from the Carl Brandon Society and other sources. And bring your own suggestions and your squee.

Naamen Tilahun (M), Vylar Kaftan, Anne Gray, Bradford Lyau

Definitely have authors that I think are getting some attention but deserve a lot more. Readying a list.

Fri 11:00 – 12:00, Minority Representation in SF Art and the Ugly Reality (Panel), D05 (RSCC)

Minority representation needs to get better in our visual SF, including casting in film and TV and the design and selection of cover art. A discussion of what’s wrong with the status quo and how the industry can and should improve.

Lee Moyer (M), Aliette de Bodard, Lee Harris, Naamen Tilahun

I have examples I can bring! Examples from multiple decades! Gotta dig through my books and pull out my old copy of Butler’s “Dawn”, Emily Deveport’s “Larissa”, Laurie J. Marks’ “Fire Logic” and of course bring up the recent controversies in cover art and the idea that asking for accurate and inclusive cover art is somehow being a problem author.

Sat 14:00 – 15:00, Unsuppressing Women: The Work and Legacy of Joanna Russ (Panel), D05 (RSCC)

Joanna Russ was one of science fiction’s first
feminist writers and a leading literary critic. Our panel looks at her fiction, reviews, and critical work, and assesses her lasting impact on the field.

Farah Mendlesohn (M), Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Naamen Tilahun, Gary K. Wolfe

Love, love, love Joanna. I’m doing a series over at Feminist-SF The Blog called Remembering Joanna about reading four of the more obscure works she wrote. Only the first part is up so far but I’m hoping to get at least one more up (if not the whole sequence of four) by the time I leave for WorldCon.

Sat 15:00 – 16:00, The Paranormal as Metaphor (Panel), A16 (RSCC)

Paranormal fantasy, including urban fantasy and paranormal romance, is among the most popular genres within speculative fiction. One intriguing aspect of this type of fantasy is its role as a stealth route toward social commentary and change. What are the issues being examined and how effectively are the experiences of various groups presented?

Naamen Tilahun (M), Lucienne Diver, Carrie Vaughn, Rose Fox, Patricia Briggs

Really like the idea of this panel, totally had the discussion of metaphors of vampires and werewolves and witches in on of my classes last year and really enjoyed it. Also sort of want to bring up the opposite effect in metaphor. The way in which Twilight and some other YA works attempt to rework the mythos of these creatures into something that is safe and somewhat non-sexual when their initial metaphor had such a sexual connotation.

Sun 13:00 – 14:00, Feminism in Science Fiction and SF Fandom (Panel), C1 (RSCC)

Feminism and feminist themes are an integral part of SF and Fantasy. There is major annual feminist SF&F convention (Wiscon). Last year the _The Secret Feminist
Cabal_, a cultural history of science fiction feminisms was published. What role does feminism play in modern day science fiction and fandom, and how is that role traceable the seventies and before?

Renée Sieber (M), Ellen Klages, Joan D. Vinge, Naamen Tilahun, Jed Hartman

Loved The Secret Feminist Cabal when I read it when it came out. Gonna try and re-read it before the Con so all of it (or at least the more pertinent bits) are fresh in my mind.

So that is my WorldCon schedule. Hope to see some of y’all there!

Forgetting

Posts around here will grow a little more scarce than usual in the coming weeks as I concentrate all my energy on moving across the bay and starting grad school – I feel a curious mix of excitement and nausea. I won’t be disappearing but I don’t know if the one-post a day route is going to work while all this is going on.  I’ll still post often it just won’t be as often as it has been over the last few months, probably more like 2-3 posts a week as opposed to 4-5.

All this packing for a move has clearly given me a severe case of wool-brain since I forgot to mention that the final round of voting in the Feminist SF Top Ten Obscure Works Poll ends tomorrow night! Here’s the post with the covers of the Top 24 books and here is the post with the link to the poll. Go vote!

Poll (finally) Up!

After many hours of work the poll for the Top Ten Obscure Works List nominated and voted on by Feminist – SF readers is up.

For those who don’t known this whole thing came along when I say a Top Ten Obscure List in which all the authors were white men and same for all the main characters. And I started to wonder, what would our list look like? One organized by F/SF readers who are anti-sexist, anti-racist, anti-heterosexist and read a wide array of fiction that the mainstream never touches or validates.  So I opened up nominations on Feminist SF – The Blog and got over 100 nominations!

Want to take part? Then head on over and vote and remember to get friends interested in this to vote as well.

So yes the poll is up, let the first round of voting commence.

Happy Belated Birthday Miss Octavia Butler!

I never met Octavia Butler, she never talked to me, she didn’t even know I existed but all the same she touched me and changed my life. The first book of Octavia’s that I read was Clay’s Ark, after that I tore through her work here was what I was looking for without really knowing it: F/SF that starred people who looked like me. She had a profound effect on myself and other writers not just of Color and yesterday was her birthday. In honor of that think about a donation to the Octavia E. Butler Scholarship foundation, there will never be another Octavia Butler but we can help those who would follow her trailblazing path get access to resources that helped her on her way.

Wherever you are Octavia know that your absence is keenly felt- 

I was attracted to science fiction because it was so wide open. I was able to do anything and there were no walls to hem you in and there was no human condition that you were stopped from examining. – Octavia E. Butler

And if you’ve never read an Octavia (1st, shame on you!) go here and read The Book of Martha about a woman speaking to God and Amnesty about a woman, how she communicates with aliens and why.

WisCon Days 1 & 2!

Elizabeth, Jackie and I arrived at the hotel around 1 in the afternoon. We arrived to find that somehow we were in one of the eight smoking rooms that the hotel has. Both of my roommates had their allergies acting up so that simply would not do, after raising much fuss we realized there was really nothing the hotel could do about the situation. They agreed to put an ionizer in the room and contact us if anything opened up (as it turned out we were moved to a smoke-free room for the last two nights we were there).

We immediately ran into Candra, Claire, Nisi & Victor but they were having a meeting and we were starving so we headed off to food. We ended up at the same place (Noodles & CO.) sitting across the way from each other.

The rest of Thursday passed in a blur of volunteering, hugging old friends and meeting new ones. Then we were off to the bar (this will be a recurring line when speaking of WisCon).

On Friday we hit the Gathering where I bought way to many books, had some tea, showed off my first and only tattoo and then had some tea. Then it was off to the Dealer’s room for more book buying (also a recurring theme of WisCon). We wandered for a bit, had lunch at Noodles & Co. again except this time with a larger company including Tempest, Leah and others whose names I’ve forgotten. We discussed WisCon, race and sci-fi in general. The whole table cracked up as Tempest’s phone was called and her ringtone was revealed to be the New Doctor Who theme song. We also talked about someone who had just received a massive book deal, for a sci-fi book featuring POC! It filled me with hope for the future of Sci-fi and my own writing.

Then it was off to the Opening ceremonies where there was much filk singing. Then the POC-only gathering which was great, mostly because there were so many new faces and everyone was laughing and having a good time. I cannot divulge what else we talked about but let’s just say we have our lists for when the revolution comes  :D

Our roommate Elizabeth returned to us with notes on the “Elves & Dwarves – Inherent Racism” panel: in summary it was a hot mess not because of the moderator, from all accounts vito did all that she could, but because of one of the panelists in particular. I point you to the panel summary and reaction videosat badgerbag’s LJ. The only good to come out of it was that we were introduced to Maria who had to sit through that awful panel. Then it was a series of parties, drinking, bars, drinking, lounges, drinking until we passed out for the night.

All in all, frist two days were fantastic and more to come.

P.S. If you’re desperate to know more about the ConDrama I mentioned yesterday head over to the post What Rachel Moss Did by the angry black woman.

Links for Friday 5-02-08

I was gonna write a whole thing for some of these but then decided to just but most of the links out there with a little explanation, unless I get caught up and start to rant.

-Okay, in stupid-ass-lawsuit news citizens of the Greek Island of Lesbos (who are called Lesbians) are suing the GLBT community of Greece to stop them from using the word lesbian because “they claim use of the word in its sexual context violates the human rights of the islanders and causes much embarrassment.” Okay on one hand it’s kind of laughable but yeah not really because what’s the primary assumption this whole thing is working from? The idea that being called a lesbian (in the queer sense) is something that one should be embarrassed about, that it’s something horrifying. It works on the assumption that lesbianism is wrong or unnatural and so being associated with it is something truly disgusting. So all this queerism plus the idea that you get to tell someone how to identify or not identify? Yeah, it’s really not so funny. If the Greek courts do grant this injunction they plaintiffs intend to take this lawsuit international.

- The 21st Carnival of Feminist SF/F Fans is up at Heroine Content. You should go check out all the genius links (and I’m not just saying that ’cause I’m linked to twice) because there are some truly amazing things linked. In fact it took me fifteen minutes to write that last sentence because I kept getting distracted by entries in the carnival. Isn’t that enough of an endorsement to get you to go over there and check it out?

- Yesterday was May Day! and there were protests all over and work stops at ports from San Diego to Seattle in support of immigrants, workers’ rights and against the occupation of Iraq. Couldn’t be at any of the rallies and want to see what it’s like? Well check out the video May Day Mashup a collection of highlights from the L.A. Rally over at Hot Potato Mash. It’s really amazing and powerful.

- Today is Blogging Against Disablism Day! Go check out all the super-cool blog posts and educate yourself on an -ism that’s rarely discussed.  

-Okay most of you know I am not a fan of Orson Scott Card (you’ll also know that’s a bit of an understatement) I find him extremely queerist and misogynistic. A lot of this probably has to do with his Mormonism, there’s also that book he wrote were it’s all about how close-minded and bad liberals are (now I don’t argue there are bad liberals but come on? really?)  Yonmei who back in October ’06 wrote a fantastic five part expose entitled “Dissecting Orson Scott Card” (link goes to first part, link to the next part at bottom) has come back to him with Orson Scott Card is a misogynistic homophobic wanker this time talking about his misogynistic rant against J.K. Rowling where he gets supremely hypocritical and really just…wankery. My favorite part of his crazy is when he takes on J.K. for Dumbledore being gay: What a pretentious, puffed-up coward. When I have a gay character in my fiction, I say so right in the book. I don’t wait until after it has had all its initial sales to mention it.  Not that I haven’t made a similar argument about this issue but coming from Card it’s supremely laughable because yeah they’re gay up front and then they’re horrible castrated or killed or some other supremely depressing circumstances, it’s really a case of pot and kettle. Personally out of the two bad choices I’d rather find out that a character was queer after the fact than know all along and read about horrific things happening to him.  Anyway, go read the post and the comments.

Monday Quick Links

Just a couple quick things because I’m exhausted after  weekend mini-vacation and the next two days will be busy, fun and even more exhausting:

Forbe’s Annual 15 Most Wealthy Fictional Characters, number one used to be one of my favorite cartoons!

Cassie Edwards and her publisher part ways, after her plagiarism comes to light. I have issues with Edwards even without the plagiarism, can we say exotification and appropriation? I knew you could! Also you should really head over to www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com and read how this all got brought to light (see blogging can change the world, at least the publishing world) and for their insightful, hilarious commentary.

And last but definitely not least vito-excalibur has her latest alter up: Alter #3 Le Beau et la Bete. Remember I pointed you guys her way after her reinterpretations of Wonder-Woman and Power Girl (Boy). This time she takes on fairytales and Disney and it’s just as fabulous as the others.

 

Gaming, Size & Awards!

Pat over at Token Minorities has an excellent post Suggestions for Talking about Race and Videos Games and while Pat is focused on video games this could be suggestions for discussing race when it comes to Science-Fiction, TV, Movies, Comics, anything where people simple want to write off the medium and consequently the racism in it, as trivial.  

One of my close friends, Bankuei has posted a Roleplaying 101guide for people interested in getting into RPG’s and such. I admit that I never played and RPG before I met Bankuei (the only roleplayers I knew in high school were crazy, I don’t just mean the kind of crazy we can all get when we like/are obssessed with something, I mean STRAIGHT UP KRAZY!!!) plus there are a lot of issues around exotification and appropriation in these games. But now that I’m getting into the more indie ones that don’t make me nauseous, I find a lot of fun in them and recommend people head over and read his 101 post if you’re interested even a bit in RPG’s. Bankuei’s been asking me to write up my early experiences with RPG’s and Roleplaying gamers for a while now and I hope to get around to that this week.

Resist Racism has a post up about The Last Acceptable Prejudice, where Resistance is specifically talking about fat prejudice. Now as a Person of Size and a Person of Color it’s angering to me to see fat prejudice called the last acceptable one, for exactly the reasons Resistance posits it plays too much into the Oppression Olympics for my taste. I have experienced racism and fat prejudice at different times in my life and think that both need to be combated. Stating any prejudice as the last acceptable one not only devalues all the other prejudices alive and well in our society but also ignores the systemic institutionalization of oppressions for the overt expressions of prejudice.

The Tiptree Award Winning Book has been announced, along with the works that were short listed. The Tiptree is presented at WisCon (which I’m attending again this year) and celebrates works of F/SF that work to explore and expand gender and our understanding of it. The Winner – The Carhullan Army (American Title: Daughters of the North) by Sarah Hall. Head over to Debbie N.’s post on it to read more about the Tiptree, the shortlist of nominees and to find out who the jurors were this year.

The Nominees for the Gaylactic Spectrum Award, which celebrates works of F/SF that include significant positive explorations of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered characters, themes, or issues, have also been announced.

The list of nominees for the Japanese Seiun Awards have been announced, of course I can’t read the works of most of the nominees cause I don’t read Japanese but it’s always cool to see what’s going on in other places around the world. There are also two categories for foreign works that list nominees we in the west would be more familiar with, I would point out though that only two women are nominated, one in each of the categories.

Monday Dreariness & Links

It is Monday, which is bad enough but it is a Monday where I’ve been up since 4 A.M., after only five hours sleep, so I am understandably cranky and ready to go home. Le Sigh, since that’s not happening for a few hours yet let’s get to some of the interesting things from around the net that I’ve found today.

Karnythia over at The Angry Black Woman has a wonderful post on People of Color and the Politics of Medical Research. The Tuskegee Experiment is only the most well known of the instances POC have been used to further medical knowledge against their will and then the benefits of those experiments used to help Upper Class White Folks. She also mentions Harriet Washington’s book Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present, which I’ve heard from vatrious friends is a fantastic resource and completely gruesome to read. I haven’t read it personally because of some of the gruesomeness that’s been described to me by those that read the book but I probably should pick it up soon. She also discusses Rev. Jeremiah Wright and his accusation regarding AIDS. It’s all great stuff, head over there and give it a read.

In the interests of my previous post on White Liberal Feminist Imperialism, I feel remiss in not mentioning the other imperialist moment that’s been occuring in the feminist blogosphere. A blogger by the name of Black Amazon made a post in which she stated “Fuck Seal Press”. For those who don’t know Seal Press is a feminist publisher, and her fuck you was about their ignoring of Women of Color {or near enough} in their publishing. Their response was so entitled and unprofessional that it disgusted almost everyone who read it. Read about the whole thing over at WOC PhD in Why Seal Press is OFF the syllabus. I would link to the actual posts but like WOC Phd I can’t seem to link to them directly.

Over at Feminist SF – The Blog!, the angry black woman in Are We Talking About Gender and Magazines AGAIN? …Yes talks about gender disparities in several top F/SF magazines. She’s analyzed Asimov, Fantasy & Science Fiction (F&SF) and Analog by their Table of Contents so far in 2008. I think, considering the prevaling thoughts on women writing/being interested/excelling in fantasy as opposed science-fiction, that most will be shocked to find out that Asimov has the highest percentage of female writers so far in 2008. She also has yearly percentages for Asimov, Realms of Fantasy (ROF) & F&SF. Make sure to check out the comments as well which are very illuminating.

And last but certainly not least over at The Hathor Legacy, Revenna talks about Nim’s (almost awesome) Island and the issues with race that abound in the movie. Mostly it’s about the action-adventure scenes which she says recall the whole pulp fiction the Other as evil stereotype. You remember from all those pulp novels about the heart of  deepest, darkest Africa and it’s headhunting, cannabalistic evil dark people who’re evil because….um, well…because they’re dark…AND EVIL!

 

 

Call For Submissions Feminist Fans of F/SF Carnival!

The 21st Carnival will be launched May 1st and since the last one was way back in Feb. they are accepting submissions reaching all the way back to February 7th. More details here! The theme this time is “Who Do You Love?”

Anything you’ve read or written that has a feminist slant on something F/SF? Submit it, really. I know you’re thinking “well they have much better things lined up….” and blah blah blah but when I did the 13th one I got maybe 3 submissions and had to go trolling for all the rest. I don’t regret it at all and in fact am thinking of volunteering to do the next one but it’s easier if emore people submit. Let the person running the carnival decide if it fits with the Carnival. Just submit.