Two more wonderful folks have joined the discussion about diversity at SFF Conventions! Read the new answers here.
A regular offering at most SFF conventions, these days, are panels discussing Diversity–amongst fandom, amongst convention staff, in movies, in books, you name it, there’s an angle for it. Whether we’re discussing handicap, race, or gender, there’s a panel about bringing more of “that” into some aspect of SFF.
There’s been a lot of push back about the trend. Some very nasty things have been said, and folks on both sides of the aisle have been threatened and harassed. A lot of misinformation is going around, a lot of “my friend says this so it must be true”, a lot of admirable but misdirected loyalty leading to exaggerated fights both on and offline.
I’m not in the center here; I’m a white middle class cis-female with no handicaps or illnesses beyond chronic depression and a tendency to get bronchitis in the winter. I’m not the one to talk in this arena. For a more detailed explanation of why I believe that, please check out “The Brutal Truth Every White Feminist Needs To Hear“, “I Don’t Discuss Racism With White People“, and “Aph’s Guide To … Moving Over“.
I’m far more interested in finding out what the folks actually affected by this debate have to say. So I started asking around, wanting to dig deeper than the 45 minute “-Ism 101” stuff that is all convention panels can reasonably hope to cover. And I came out with some surprising answers.
I’m still taking answers, so if you want in on this series of posts, please do contact me (lioness at thescribblinglion dot com) and I’ll send you the starter questions. I already have queries out to several other folks, but have not yet received their answers.
The goal here is to provoke discussion, not to push proclamations of what must be done. I’m completely fascinated by the range of answers. I’ve chosen to change the names of all participants, in part to allow them to speak freely and in part to avoid having a reader’s personal knowledge of the speaker influence their responses to the answers provided. It’s hard to call a good friend out on their bullshit, after all, and a few of the responses here will undoubtedly provoke that reaction–again, on both sides of the aisle.
I have my opinions. I’m not afraid to voice them. But this series isn’t about me: it’s about the folks who are actually in the middle of what we’re arguing about. So out of respect, I’ll be keeping my mouth shut as much as possible, and simply encouraging readers to talk it all out. I chose The Scribbling Lion as a platform for these interviews in part for that reason, and in part because TSL aims to be about fandom, conventions, and community.
BE AWARE: I do moderate first-time comments; after that, your comments will go live without moderation. If that gets abused, I’ll put everything under moderation for the duration. IF YOU HAVE ANY TROUBLE submitting your comments due to unexpected blacklisting or other server issues on my end, please contact me directly and I’ll do my best to resolve the problem.
ALSO BE AWARE: I allow open discussion from all angles, but NO personal attacks. You’re welcome to say “I completely disagree and this is why” — you may NOT say “you’re an idiot and I hope you don’t breed”. I will not tolerate insults or mudslinging. Stay on topic and don’t get personal. This can be harder than it sounds. I’ll give out a couple of warnings for near-misses.
Gail Z. not George RR. (Big difference. For one thing, Playboy hasn’t yet tried to make a sexy Halloween cosplay of her, but they sure have gone there with George….)
Now that you’ve wiped the coffee from your screen and cursed us in six languages for an image you’ll never, ever be able to get out of your mind, let’s move on to talking about our Martin.
Readers may recall that Gail ran a post here on TSL recently, talking about her upcoming and current projects; well, if that caught your interest in the teensiest bit, THERE’S MORE… she’s actually going all out on a long blog tour, trekking with digital backpack and data shoes along the ether to bring more aspects of her creativity to as many sites as possible. Kinda like a cheerful writer’s version of Santa, in a way…
Anyway. Besides her post here, she also has delivered, for your reading and listening enjoyment:
A detailed post on Goodreads about what’s coming up in the months ahead (and the freebies, mustn’t forget to read about the freebies!)
(John G. Hartness podcast) Literate Liquors: What To Drink While Reading Deadly Curiosities
Older posts that are just as worth reading:
2013 Days Of The Dead Blog Tour:
Other great articles:
There’s a new holiday (only in the sense that we hadn’t previously made note of it–this one’s been around for quite a while) to talk about here at TSL. It’s called The Days of the Dead, or Dia de Muertos–a Mexican holiday, primarily, but other cultures celebrate it as well. And no, it’s not about partying with zombies; it’s a time to gather with our friends and family to appreciate one another’s love and support, and to honor those who are no longer with us. That’s a sentiment that we can certainly get behind!
Gail Z. Martin runs a blog tour every year during this time, with lots of free fiction giveaways, interviews, computer wallpaper, contests, and more. We’re honored to have her here today, talking about her Deadly Curiosities urban fantasy series–which is absolutely excellent and really ought to be picked up by anyone into spooky, fast-paced UF.
Read on! Here’s a
pumpkin-spice latte hot chocolate with no seasoning in it at all, and a plate of your favorite cookies. Pull up a big ol’ overstuffed chair and prepare to be seduced into a new series.
Cursed Trinkets and Haunted Heirlooms
By Gail Z. Martin
In my Deadly Curiosities urban fantasy series of books, Trifles and Folly is an antique and curio shop in Charleston, SC that exists to get dangerous magical items off the market and out of the wrong hands.
Cassidy Kincaide is the proprietor, and she’s a psychometric, someone who can read the history of objects by touch. Together with her assistant, Teag Logan, who has his own magic and her business partner, Sorren, who is a nearly six hundred year-old vampire, Cassidy and her team intervene when it turns out that there’s a touch of evil or a hint of haunt lingering over old trinkets or heirlooms.
I grew up going to antique stores, used book stores, flea markets, and museums as a kid. When I was amusing myself at an antique store or flea market, I would wander the aisles looking at the old and unusual items. I loved finding out what strange pieces actually did, and when certain objects caught my eye, I made up stories about where they might have come from and who might have owned them.
Sometimes, old objects seem to already know they should belong to us. If you’ve ever walked into a store like that and had a particular item just seem to call your name, you know the feeling. And if you’ve ever put a family heirloom into a drawer or tucked it away in storage because it made you feel uncomfortable, or put a piece in a prominent place because seeing it made you happy, you know the kind of connection antiques can make with your soul. Those experiences all shaped my Deadly Curiosities world, and influenced me as I created the magic and danger behind that world.
The first book in the Deadly Curiosities series came out in June of 2014, and I’m working on the second book for a Fall 2015 debut. But the books actually happened because of a short story, Buttons, that I wrote for Solaris Books award-winning anthology, Magic: The Esoteric and Arcane. The editor liked the story so much he asked if I could do a series in that world. And while Buttons is set in modern-day Charleston, as is the Deadly Curiosities series of books, that story actually grew out of a fictional universe I had invented for prior anthologies, with stories set in the 1500s and 1700s.
Fast forward a little, and I’m still writing Deadly Curiosities short stories for anthologies. Retribution appears in Athena’s Daughters from Silence in the Library Publishing, and The Restless Dead is included in Realms of Imagination from Dark Oak Press. Buttons has been reprinted in three different anthologies. There’s also a free Deadly Curiosities novella, The Final Death, on Wattpad.
Leona sez: Check out the post Gail wrote on Goodreads about switching from short to long formats!
Last year, I started writing stand-alone Deadly Curiosities stories and bringing them out on Kindle/Kobo/Nook. These stories include some set in prior centuries, but most tell about new exploits of Cassidy, Teag, and Sorren, falling before, between, and around the books in the series. Each story runs about thirty pages, so there’s plenty of room for magic, thrills and chills. You don’t have to read the stories to enjoy the books, but if you do choose to read the short stories, you’ll learn a lot more about the characters and my slightly altered version of Charleston.
Right now, there are over a dozen Deadly Curiosities short stories on ebook, with more to come. I’m having a lot of fun imagining new adventures. Every time I go into a museum or flea market, I spot new objects that would be perfect as the centerpiece of a new story.
So the next time you stop at a garage sale or walk through an antiques market, imagine that you can read the history of those pieces by touching them. If you could do that, would you? What secrets might you discover? Something that might be better off left unlearned…
My Days of the Dead blog tour runs through October 31 with never-before-seen cover art, brand new excerpts from upcoming books and recent short stories, interviews, guest blog posts, giveaways and more! Plus, I’ll be including extra excerpt links for stories and books by author friends of mine. And, a special 50% off discount from Double-Dragon ebooks! You’ve got to visit the participating sites to get the goodies, just like Trick or Treat!
Trick or Treat:
Enjoy an excerpt from Bad Memories, one of my Deadly Curiosities Adventures short stories here.
And a bonus excerpt from Among the Shoals Forever, another of my Deadly Curiosities Adventures here.
Gail Z. Martin can be found on Twitter (@GailZMartin), Facebook (/WinterKingdoms),Google+ (+GailZMartinAuthor), YouTube (/ghostwriter45), and even has a newsletter (go to her site to sign up).