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It’s Winter, Which Means…

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…Winter is PRIME READING TIME. There’s just nothing better than sitting in a comfy chair with a cup of hot chocolate and a great book. We can’t help you with the first two, but we DO have a FANTASTIC selection of books. Want to get away from politics and escape into a world of cozy mystery? Pick up Angela P Wade‘s Edward Red Mage series. Want something grittier and more surreal? Dive into Cassandra Khaw’s worlds. How about YA targeted magical surrealism? Frances Hardinge has that category nailed. We could go on, but really, the best choice here is to take a look through our Pack Page for recommendations.

And if you are looking to dive into political or historical works, we have suggestions there too: Ijeoma Oluo, Kelley Fanto Deetz, Ebony Elizabeth Thomas (academic/scholarly work), and Imani Gandy, for a start.

What are you waiting for? Go order your stack of reading joys now! Or, you could go to Retro Daddio and buy something from our table there. There’s also AtomaCon 2018 coming up, as we may have mentioned once or twice by this point. We’ll be there with books to sell! In any case, start loading up your TBR stack for those cold days when staying home with a book is just the ticket.

 

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Diversity at SFF Conventions: What’s the Point?

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.

Read the first installment of the Diversity Discussion here.


Please read the entire interview page before you look at this next link: if you want to know how each person identifies themselves as far as race/gender/orientation, I have a key here.