I’m not a fan of identity politics. I won’t play that game. When I’m asked to submit work as a ‘woman writer’ I’m more likely to walk away silently. Either I’m a writer, or not. The fact that I’m female has absolutely nothing to do with it, and I refuse to be given a stepstool that metaphorically lifts me up to the level of other, male, writers. No. Which, I imagine, is how some of my friends who are being identified as ‘minorities’ feel about being identified as such coupled with their writing. But I’ve spent enough time hanging out with Sarah Hoyt (who does not consider herself Hispanic, the American government does) and Larry Corriea to know that they have rolled their eyes and made a joke out of it. So it didn’t surprise me when Jason Cordova brought it up, gently mocking himself as the second-best Hispanic author in SFF, that both Sarah and Jason would egg me on to create a list. It’s what I do, after all, I make lists. When I’m not being all womanish, that is. Read more
Posts from the ‘Field Politics’ Category
So I’m finally through the Extreme Pantser’s Guide reposts, which means I have to find something to write about on my own again. That or just ramble at the screen until I’ve filled in enough space. Or swear at the cat who decided to leap on me and drape himself over my shoulder – and who hangs on.
Yeah. Swearing at the cat is good. Read more
In light of yesterday’s post by Jason about the whole WorldCon thing, and conversations I’ve had with friends recently, in addition to learning more about the history of Fandom: Breendoggle, the rampant child molestation at cons, Kramer of DragonCon… I have not seen the seedy underbelly of the big, old cons myself. My con experiences have been few, and fun, and that’s when it hit me.
I’m not a Fan.
Furthermore, I don’t want to be a Fan. I shudder at the idea of meeting a SMOF – those jerks attacked my friends, and when I joined the fight, came after me and my family. I stepped back to protect my children, and in doing so, gained some perspective. Not only do I not want to be a part of their club – never did, when it comes down to it – but I object to the notion that authors have to join with these despicable types in order to succeed. No. A thousand times no. I reject that utterly. Read more
The Quiet Diversity of Robert Anson Heinlein – -by Christopher Nuttall
To cut a long story short, I wrote three reviews of Heinlein’s most popular and influential books for Amazing Stories. (You can find the first here.) In doing so, I realised that Heinlein had practiced a form of ‘quiet diversity.’ It seemed a good topic for an essay.
‘Diversity’ is a word that brings out some pretty mixed feelings in me.
On one hand, I appreciate being able to eat food from many different cultures and explore the history of many different societies. On the other hand, I frown at the idea that all cultures must be treated as equal when it is self-evidently true that they are not. And, on the gripping hand, I feel very strongly that characters must not serve as politically-correct mouthpieces for a writer (or a company’s) views on society. That does not lead to well-rounded characters, but to flat entities that are either instantly forgettable or laughable.
Diversity does not exist when a character is feted as the first [insert minority group character] to exist. Diversity exists when the presence of such characters is seen as unquestionable. Read more
When I was very young, and was first introduced to science fiction, I read a lot of things that objectively (and metaphorically) hurt my feelings and outraged my received opinions.
… Most things I read, actually. It’s part of what attracted me to science fiction, the ability to put myself in another situation where the givens I had in my world weren’t the same, and therefore I could sometimes see the logic of the other side. And sometimes I could see why the other side wasn’t being logical, which is just as valuable. Read more