The 2017 “Inclusion” Theme Begins: Announcements, Details, and Guest/Author Calls

31 Jan

2017 has arrived. It’s a thing. It’s happening. And it’s not the year many of us hoped for.

When we first set out to create a theme for 2017, we didn’t know that it would become something more than a broad gesture about what we believe is crucial to the continued significance of science fiction and fantasy. As the months following the U.S. election rolled by, it became clear that our call for “Inclusion” would be a manifesto. It would be one of the ways we each would contribute to making this world a better place not just for ourselves, but also for everyone. “Inclusion” isn’t just about diversity. It’s about hearing people for who they are and recognizing the power of their voices. It’s about sharing those voices as far as this little podcast can so that as many of us as possible are heard in the cacophony of terror and rage filling the airwaves in these opening weeks of 2017. It’s about emptying the jar of silence so that this room we call the sf/f community is alive with infinite diversity in infinite combinations (to quote the Vulcan philosophy).

Our mission is resistance through Inclusion. This podcast may not be a Congressman or an ambassador to the U.N. or a prime minister, but we are a voice within a community. We’re going to use that voice to make sf/f a better place.

With that in mind, we’re officially opening up our annual “Call for Contributors.” The following is a description of what we’re looking for, what we’re planning to do, and how you can be involved:

The Theme:  What We’re Doing

Throughout 2017, we are going to put particular focus on the contributions of marginalized communities to science fiction and fantasy.  The majority of our interviewees, as such, will be people of color, LGBTQIA, people with disabilities, and members of minority (in western countries) religions; additionally, a good portion of movies, tv, and discussion episodes will be in some way related to this theme, to the best of our ability. Our efforts to create a more inclusive podcast will also extend to other groups who have not been heard here before (or very often), including scientists, activists, and others. In other words, “Inclusion” should be seen as a much broader idea than “Diversity.” We want to do our best to create a dialogue that crosses identities, disciplines, and borders. Please feel free, always, to email us at skiffyandfanty@gmail.com if you have any questions or are interested in partcipating.

As such, we have two levels of “open calls” for guests:

The Podcast:  A Call for Guests and Interviewees 

We’re looking for the following:

  • Authors from marginalized groups with sf/f books, collections, films, etc. dropping between today and July 1st, 2017 (we’ll do another call in a few months for the latter half of the year)
    • For specific details about genre specifications (i.e., we’re pretty open), formats, and so on, see our general guidelines page.  Publishers, big and small, are welcome to contact us about their authors! We may also talk to self-published authors.
    • Our World SF theme is still ongoing, so if you’re from outside the United States, do not hesitate to contact us.
  • Fans, critics, podcasters, bloggers, editors, filmmakers, movie nuts, scientists, activists, politicians, etc. from or in service of marginalized groups who would like to participate in discussions of films, television shows, bad films, or general discussions related to our general theme. We are also especially interested in conversations about activism (in and outside of sf/f), minority perspectives on politics (in and outside of sf/f), and other topics. Please email us at skiffyandfanty@gmail.com if you’re interested in participating in general or use our suggestion form to suggest a topic of your own!
  • Note:  previous guests who may or may not fit the theme are still welcome to contact us; we always reserve slots for some of our favorite folks, whether in the interviews section or elsewhere.

Though we can’t guarantee to fit everyone on the show, we’ll do our best! Our aim is to run more discussion episodes than we have in the past, which will help us fit more voices onto the show.

The Blog:  A Call for Authors, Guest Posters, and So On

If you’re interested in contributing to the blog, whether as a creator or as a fan, we are open to any of the following types of content:

  • My Superpower posts (reserved for creatives who want to have a little fun while talking about their new thing)(weekly)
  • Guest Posts (for a list of topic suggests, feel free to email us; in general, anything from essays on who influenced youto essays on social/political issues in sff and so on are more than welcome; uber geeky topics are also welcome, so if you’re inclined to ramble about just how much you love rocks and what that has to do with sf/f, we’d love to have you)
  • Guest Columns (the same as the previous bullet, only pitched as a series of related posts or an actual running column a la Paul’s “Mining the Genre Asteroid”)
  • Reviews of writing that fits the 2017 theme in some way (fiction, comics, or non-fiction; long or short; old or new)
    • Note:  if you’re intent on reviewing science fiction by women from before 2001, we recommend you contact Ian Sales at SF Mistressworks, which is an ongoing project designed to highlight older works of sf by women.  He will probably love you to death if you offer to review a book he hasn’t covered yet!
  • Reviews of movies, TV shows, or other media properties that fit the theme (old or new)
  • Big Note:  we want a healthy balance of general “squee” to criticism and intense discussion about the politics of the sf/f field.

If you have any questions about the podcast or the blog, feel free to ask! Just email us at skiffyandfanty@gmail.com!

Fin:  Let’s Get This Party Started

2017 is going to be a memorable year. For a lot of people, it won’t be memorable for the right reasons. We hope we can add a little light to things with this year’s theme.

Please help us spread the word. Share this page. Tell your friends.  Get your favorite authors to contact us.  Or contact us yourselves at skiffyandfanty@gmail.com, on twitter @SkiffyandFanty, or on Facebook at The Skiffy and Fanty Show.

And so it begins…

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