Tag Archives: diversity

Guest Post: Growing up in Fandom in the 1970s, by LJ Cohen

14 Jun

I’m not sure if this still holds true today, but if you came of age in the 1970s, were a strong early reader who had read through all the books specifically written for children, and you were lucky enough to have a sympathetic librarian, you’d be directed to the science fiction and fantasy shelves.

At least that’s my story. The Heinlein juveniles had been published a decade before I was born, but they were the first genre books I read. From there, I found all the Lensman books — written even earlier! I may have only been 10 or 11 when I read these, but even then I was frustrated by the insistence that only one special, fierce woman — to be born in some far future — could be a Lensman. Lenses were objects of power that amplified the qualities within a person. The message I got was that girls, as a rule, didn’t deserve power and couldn’t wield power. That I didn’t deserve power; that I was wasn’t good enough. It angered me that girls weren’t the ones leaping up to explore the stars. Asimov’s Robot books fascinated me, but the only woman portrayed in them — Susan Calvin — was more robotic than the robots. Continue reading

Star Trek: Discovery and the Clueless

8 Jun

We’re getting a new Star Trek series!!! It’s called Star Trek: Discovery, and I’m excited for multiple reasons. We haven’t had a new Trek series in quite a while, and Michelle Yeoh is going to be a starship captain. I’m a big fan of Michelle Yeoh. She’s an amazing martial artist and an incredible actor. Sonequa Martin-Green (see below) will be her first officer. A Trek series piloted by women of color?!?! In addition, this will be one of the few SF properties wherein the women of color are not covered in makeup which hides their race. Also? A black woman with Vulcan training? (I can’t decide if she’s part Vulcan or a Federation ambassador’s kid or someone sent to Vulcan by the Federation to learn as much as possible.) That is wonderful. I can only imagine how affecting it is to see this kind of representation as a black woman who is also a Spock fan. (Hey, it only took a bunch of women pilots in the background of a Star Wars movie to bring me to tears.) Holy crap, I’m so proud to be a Trekkie at this moment, but I’m also disappointed. Continue reading

The Intersection: Imagine

15 Feb

“This is called the theory of narrative causality and it means that a story, once started, takes a shape. It picks up all the vibrations of all the other workings of that story that have ever been. This is why history keeps on repeating all the time.” — Terry Pratchett

“People think that stories are shaped by people. In fact, it’s the other way around.” ― Terry Pratchett

When people ask me why I feel diversity is important in Science Fiction and Fantasy, I direct them to Terry Pratchett. He wrote a great deal about racism, sexism, and classism. He also knew a thing or two about people and story. Mainly, that story has a big effect on how people view the world and themselves. Continue reading

264. Writing the Other / Writing the Self Panel w/ Nalo Hopkinson, Susan Jane Bigelow, Keffy Kehrli, & Kate Elliott

30 Mar

The world, the people, and the mistakes, oh my!  Nalo Hopkinson, Susan Jane Bigelow, Keffy Kehrli, and Kate Elliott join us to talk about the dos and don’ts of writing people who are not like ourselves (and vice versa).

We hope you enjoy the episode!

Note:  If you have iTunes and like this show, please give us a review on our iTunes page, or feel free to email us with your thoughts about the show!

Here’s the episode (show notes are below):

Episode 264 — Download (MP3)

Show Notes: Continue reading

“On sniping, women, and SF” by Brenda Cooper

4 Mar

There’s a lot of sniping going on across genders in our field.  Vitriolic sniping.  Shame on us.

Yes, science fiction is largely male dominated.  So are a lot of fields.  I know.  My day job is in technology, where I’m a c-level exec. It wasn’t necessarily easy to get here even though I live in the liberal bubble of the West Coast where it’s easier than it is in a lot of places.  I’ve been living this conversation my whole life across multiple fields of endeavor.  Yes, it sucks.  Yes, it needs to stop. But sniping isn’t the answer.  Mind you, I’d be fine with sniping if it worked.  It’s kind of fun.  But as far as I can tell, it’s not effective.

Yes, there are truly evil men out there in the midst of the current social fights, like whoever issued the death threats to women writing about feminism in the game world.  This is not an article about how to deal with them.  Jail time would be a great start. Continue reading

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