WisCon developments and my breaking heart

WisCon developments and my breaking heart

For those of you who haven’t heard, the SF3 organization that is the parent org for WisCon passed a resolution at their Oct 3rd meeting recommending to the concom that they rescind Elizabeth Moon’s guest of honor invitation. This is just a rec, though. It’s still up to the concom — I assume the troika, actually — to follow through on it. Based on this post by Karnythia, there seems to be a lot of discussion going on within the concom about following this rec, with some strong voices opposed to doing so.

Karnythia’s post is a must read, but even more so the comments. She is not the only one stating that she does not want to attend WisCon but will probably come to Madison. There are even some saying they will not come to Madison at all. The people saying this are people whose contributions to WisCon — both on the concom and the community — are so valuable. They are awesome people, exactly the kind of people you’d want to spend a weekend having conversations with.

That these people may not show up to the con is breaking my heart. And I am so, so angry and hurt by those who are seriously attempting to brush aside the bigotry of Elizabeth Moon so that she doesn’t have to feel uncomfortable and be sad.

Fuck that.

These people are pouring acid over the best part of WisCon, the community. A community that will be diminished if this foolishness doesn’t come to an end. I want to go to WisCon and honor Nisi and have a fabulous tine. Damn you people for putting that in jeopardy.

As Nora succinctly states: A con that honors a bigot is not feminist.

Why I Haven’t Posted About MoonFail Until Now

Why I Haven’t Posted About MoonFail Until Now

There are a few reasons why most of my reactions to Elizabeth Moon’s post and subsequent discussion and developments have been confined to Twitter and Facebook until now. The main one being that I haven’t had a lot of time for posting, and responding to stuff like that takes time. Lots of things going on at work, as always. Plus, what free time I have I am trying to fill with fiction writing.

But one of the big reasons has less to do with time constraints and more to do with the fact that I did not have to post. By have to, I mean that there wasn’t such silence, such unwillingness to tackle the issue by the SF community at large that I felt compelled to speak out. I no longer feel like mine is one of the few voices calling people out on shit like this.

It’s a good feeling, though bittersweet.

Not just for personal reasons. Yes, activism takes emotional tolls. But also because it means that there are more people using their voices, more people aware of these issues, more people who care, and more people willing to fight. Always a good thing.

None of us should feel alone. Like we’re yelling into the darkness yet no one cares. None of us should have to bear such heavy burdens.

And I’m really glad that the people I see speaking out are not just the groups Moon chose to be so ignorant about and hurtful toward. It’s all kind of people from all kinds of backgrounds being angry and saying: This. Is Wrong.

I will never stop being an activist. But it’s nice to know that I don’t have to be active all the time in order for someone to point these things out. It means things are changing for the better. Maybe slowly, by increments, but it’s happening.

And she says this without any sense of irony, too…

And she says this without any sense of irony, too...

Shorter Kathryn Cramer: How dare conventions promote panels that are hostile toward people who repeatedly engage in racist, sexist, or otherwise prejudicial speech or actions against oppressed groups within the SF community. You are making those of us who want to prop up the oppressive status quo that has served us so well feel uncomfortable, and I think that’s just wrong.

Anonymized link, for those who care.

WisCon by the Twitters: Dollhouse – Made of Win or Full of Fail?

I was recruited to this panel the night before as Charlie Jane wanted to balance the panel out. She was apparently afraid there’d be too many “made of win” people. The discussion got heated several times and no one recorded my meltdown of fury at Anastasia. But overall it was productive and awesome:

@tinytempest #Dollhouse panel starting. This ought to be good.

@cabell Feeling a little trepidatious at the Dollhouse panel.

@MsAnastasia Starting my last panel of #Wiscon – a Dollhouse debate that already is sounding potentially heated. First up: separation of body from self.

@cabell Is Dollhouse biz model realistic? Only if u assume rich ppl are all in a big self-protective club… so yeh, probly.

@swanberg Dollhouse is a big hot mess. Sometimes the mess outweighs the hot, sometimes the hot outweighs the mess. -Kater Cheek

@swanberg Hiring a doll is like saying to Jessica Fletcher “Yes, I’d love to come to your cottage.” -Kater

@swanberg Enver was the best part of the show. He is amazing. – panel & audience

@madmarvelgirl ‘a piece of art does not have to be a female empowerment story to be profoundly feminist

@swanberg I don’t think a story has to be a female empowerment story to be proundly feminist. – member of audience

@cabell How does English prof afford Echo? Tempest: He edited a book all freshmen have to buy that w/new edition every year!

@cabell Tempest & Ana agree: any feminism in Dollhouse happened by accident & had nothing to do with Joss Whedon.

@tinytempest “The less I liked Echo, the more I liked the people who were keeping her down.” Kater Cheek

@madmarvelgirl ‘i will take evil & competent over cute & feckless any day of the week’

@swanberg Black handler with no sexual interst in Echo. If her handler had been white “what, is he gay?” Erases Boyd’s sexuality

@jdawley Audience member: Alpha gave Echo the ability to integrate her personalities. Charlie Jane: Well, she had midichlorians.

@cabell Come on, if ur working w/Eliza Dushku, u need her 2 act confused as much as possible. Play 2 her strengths

@Hamaker88 Oooh. Panel fight!!

@cabell I have no patience with authorial intent. Intentions don’t matter. WHAT YOU DID/PUT ON MY TV matters.

@rhiannonrevolts @cabell That’s my POV. Also, cultural studies all about reading any authorial intent through lens of sociocultural influences, so…

@sigridellis Dollhouse panel was raucous and wild, but ultimately productive, I thought.

WisCon by the Twitters: The Revenge of the Not Another Fucking Race Panel

Here are the tweets I could find posted during the Revenge of the Not Another Fucking Race Panel at WisCon 34. A good time was definitely had by all:

@tinytempest Narrowly escaped being the Vanna White of this panel.

@wrdnrd This year’s not-another-race-panel features super awesome category “what would johanna do??” (Don’t cry, sis!)

@tinytempest @ceciliatan is DIRTY! hahahaha

@swanberg What small furryanimal would make the best zombie?

@alothian Which animal would make the best zombie? Andrea Hairston: kangaroos have handy pouches for body parts.

@yamainu Marsupial zombies rock the to-go bag

@tinytempest Amal: clearly it is time to breed the veliciraptor and the zombie. The Velocizombie’s time has come.

@tinytempest Sheveta: “Brains are smelly.” Amal: “But also delicious!”

@nivairface Peacock zombies! Oh my! I looove Not Another F%&$*ing Race Panel.

@alothian Discussion of tastiness of human brains. Amal El-Mohtar: the garlic slogan should be: even brains taste good with garlic.

@nivairface “Wow, we’re all women on this panel! … Oh, that’s right, WisCon.” <3333

@nivairface “Read the fanfic; there’s more sex.” GOOD TIP FOR LIFE. Thanks, Cecilia Tan!

@tinytempest “I would try to not have any emotions when people who said stupid things to me.” Andrea Hairston on her Spock impression as a kid.

@nivairface If you haven’t seen Andrea D. Hairston be Mr. Spock, you haven’t lived. ;)

@alothian Andrea Hairston talks about impersonating Spock as an academic persona: “Fascinating, but incorrect.”

@tinytempest “I feel like I have a long history of embarassment involving Mercedes Lackey.” @sparkymonster

@wrdnrd I love everyone on this panel SO HARD.

@tinytempest @ceciliatan: “Ricky Martin was pretending to be asleep in the next bed when I lost my virginity.”

@tinytempest @ceciliatan (continued) “Later, he told a friend of mine that that’s what turned him gay.” @ricky_martin

Several people tweeted the above :)

@yamainu Cecilia Tan admits to turning Ricky Martin gay, thus ensuring a best-selling autobiography.

@wrdnrd Cecilia Tan: “Now THAT’s a fic i could write.”

@tinytempest “If Tolkien can do it, you can do it.”

@wrdnrd WWjD question: Have you ever veganized a recipe or altered one for celiacs & had it go horribly wrong — or right?

@tinytempest Amal: “It’s not like she’s trying to eat vegetables to get back at them.”

@kiyasjoy Bourbon fixes everything!! @sparkymonster

@swanberg “I have learned not to disrespect cornmeal” @yoon li

@alothian What cybernetic enhancement would you choose? @sparkymonster: TWITTER IMPLANT. I concur.

@tinytempest Andrea Hairston “I want to BE a robot overlord. Fucking having an implant.”

@alothian @ceciliatan, not @sparkymonster, wanted the Twitter implant. Clearly I need it to help divide attention… Sorry!

@raanve This panel is the friggin best.

@swanberg “Kahnnnnnnn!” – the entire audience

@raanve Is there anything better than an ENTIRE ROOM yelling “Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!!” ?? I THINK NOT.

@raanve Can we talk about Tasha Yar? Let’s!

@raanve Tasha Yar People: srsly, that tar monster? So much b-s! She & Data need to get their time in the sun.

@nivairface “In every show there are now red shirts, and I feel for them.” – Andrea Hairston

@kiyasjoy Uhura totally has a katana!!

@swanberg That’s your daddy issues – @sparkymonster to @CeliaTan

@wrdnrd WWjD question: What’s interesting in Finland?

@tinytempest Amal “Reindeers, like brains, are delicious.”

@swanberg “Khaaannnnn! yells that aren’t Khan. GO!” Wisconnnnnn! @Sparkymonster

@raanve Khan yells with names other than KHAN: I submit “Simon LeBooooonnnnnnnnn!”

@jdawley Not Another F’-ng Race Panel. “Kirk yells something that isn’t Khaaaaaan!!! Go!” Unanimous answer: “WisCooooooooooonnn!!!”

WisCon by the Twitters: Chicks Dig Time Lords

These are the tweets I could find associated with Friday’s Chicks Dig Time Lords panel at WisCon 34. It was a lot of fun talking about Doctor Who with such fine people, and Twitter can only capture part of it:

@tinytempest “I was seduced into Doctor Who fandom by a really cute boy” says @lynnemthomas

@rhiannonrevolts Asking me who my Doctor is…hard. Ten IS me, but I love others.

@rhiannonrevolts Really agreeing with @tinytempest about companions. Martha Jones saves the world!

@yamainu “Our fandom is bigger on the inside.” heard at Doctor Who panel.

@rhiannonrevolts RTD is going to get smacked by @tinytempest and I will laugh.

@charliejane i wanna watch! RT @rhiannonrevolts: RTD is going to get smacked by @tinytempest and I will laugh.

@rhiannonrevolts Martha Jones’ feelings for the Doctor were handled wrong, says @lynnemthomas and I agree.

@tinytempest “What’s the Tom Baker episode where he fellates an alien?”

@rhiannonrevolts RTD and teh Moff really have issues with women.

WisCon Netbook Gathering?

WisCon Netbook Gathering?

Would anyone be interested in having a little netbook gathering since there won’t be a netbook panel again this year? People who are interested in netbooks could come and ask questions and paw at netbooks, people who own them can talk about the awesome stuff they’re doing with netbooks, and some other netbook-related activity.


WisCon POC Meetups

WisCon POC Meetups

Last year’s POC dinner was a big hit and folks have been asking if we’re going to do it again. I say: YES. Because I loved it and want more. This year we’ll have several gatherings just in case someone can’t make one or the other, though only one will be POC-only. If you identify as a person of color, you are welcome at these events.

Friday POC Dinner — 5:30 – 7:30

This is WisCon’s dinner block, so there isn’t any official programming to miss. I made a reservation in the Concourse’s restaurant (the Dayton Street Grille) for the private back room. To join us, just say you’re looking for the POC Group.

They won’t do individual checks for a group our size (I predict at least 15 people, last year we had 30) so bring cash. The menu for the restaurant is here.

There are also two Carl Brandon events happening on Friday and Saturday which are good places to hang with POC and allies. The Carl Brandon party on Friday night at 8:45 in room 607 and the Carl Brandon luncheon at 11:45 on Saturday (meet in the lobby).

I had wanted to do a second big POC-only meetup event, but perhaps this would be better coordinated at the con itself. We can do it in the POC safe space (the Solitaire room) if we want. Plus, last year we had several informal group meals of awesome POC-ness.

WisCon POC Meetup?

Because I have been disconnected from most of the blogosphere due to my intense (yet awesome) job, I have no idea if anyone is coordinating a mass POC meetup thing similar to what we had last year. I would be very happy to organize such a thing if no one else is doing so, but given that people liked it so much last year it would not surprise me one ounce if there was already something in the works. (And, if there is, someone let me know. I shall be there!)

My WisCon 34 Schedule

My WisCon 34 Schedule

I have less than a week to go before WisCon, hooray! Thinking of that made me realize that I haven’t posted my panel schedule here. It’s light this year and thus I will likely be a lot saner. But I am contemplating doing a panel in the overflow room. We’ll see. Meantime, here you go:

Chicks Dig Time Lords

Fri 4:00 – 5:15PMConference 4

Lynne M. Thomas, K. Tempest Bradford, Evelyn Browne, Kathryn Sullivan

There is a perception that there weren’t many women in Doctor Who fandom before the New Series was launched. This is patently false. Women have had a major role in Doctor Who fandom since the inception of the show. Do women approach and experience their Doctor Who fandom (or other media fandoms) differently than men? This panel explores different approaches to media fandom by the women involved in it, functioning within an assumed male–dominated fandom. Approaches to fandom discussed will range from feminist critique to costuming to fan fiction.

Chicks Dig Time Lords Reading

Sun 10:00 – 11:15AM – Michelangelos

K. Tempest Bradford, Mary Robinette Kowal, Kathryn Sullivan, Lynne M. Thomas

Writing the Other: Shout–Outs

Sun 2:30 – 3:45PM – Assembly

Nisi Shawl, K. Tempest Bradford, Moondancer Drake, Nabil/nadyalec, Michelle Kendall

Fail is not the topic of this panel; instead, we want to hear about where you feel like your group was well represented in fiction by someone from outside it. This panel is the carrot, not the stick!

Take Back the Sci–Fi: Redux

Sun 4:00 – 5:15PMCaucus

Shira Lipkin, K. Tempest Bradford, Michelle Kendall, Rachel Swirsky

Sexual assault and rape frequently get used as symbolic plot devices, with no consideration of how sexual violence actually affects survivors and the people around them. Let’s discuss books that accurately portray the repercussions of and recovery from sexual assault, as well as those that merely use it as a shortcut to character development and those that end up glorifying it in the process—and how we can write about sexual assault and rape in a way that is true to the character and respectful to survivors. Note: this is a discussion of rape and sexual assault in fiction, and is not the place to discuss our personal experience with sexual assault.

Yes, the majority of my panels are on Sunday :) Which makes it likely that Saturday something fun will happen. Stay tuned.