(1) ARGUMENT AGAINST COLORBLINDNESS. Chesya Burke now has set to “public” her analysis of the lack of diversity in anthologies generally, and in the horror genre particularly.
Some of the arguments I’ve seen mentioned excusing the exclusion of diverse writers:
- Editing is hard. Many anthos are put together as an “afterthought,” editors are forced to simply search out writers they “like.”
Putting together anthos as an afterthought is the first redflag. It’s shocking that anyone would think this is a good idea or will yield good results. An editor who does not have a strong grounding of current writers in the genre is a second. White editors who only choose writers they “like” is the final straw. You’re literally editing white boy escapism at that point. Let’s call it what it is.
- Just mentioning race is racist.
Since when is simply mentioning race racist? That’s absurd. Some people are white, some black and many others. There is nothing racist about pointing this out. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Ignoring someone’s racial identity is racist, because the default is white. There’s all kinds of research on this, it’s called colorblind racism.
- Editors just want the best stories, expecting them to publish writers who don’t deserve it is reverse-racist and sexist. Having black only or women only anthos is “cringy.”
There are LOTS of anthos with only white men writers filling the ToC, especially in the horror genre. It is irrelevant that they didn’t put out a call for only white men, because the outcome is the same. White men have, as we’ve seen, been the default. This is why claiming “I don’t read black or white writers, I just want good stories” upolds the status quo. But never once in the history of ever have you heard a white man writer say that he felt “cringed” because he was published because he was a white man, at the expense of writers of color and women. Because this is what happens, don’t fool yourself.
Burke launched a good discussion, both from people who unintentionally provided examples of the problems, and others talking about the work it takes to overcome them. Among the latter, The Dark Magazine’s Silvia Moreno-Garcia:
Silvia Moreno-Garcia Here’s some free advice for those who may be like but there’s nothing I can do to build diversity and I’m an editor. I funded Innsmouth Free Press paying a penny a word and managed to get POC and women to write in a very male dominated sub genre, Lovecraftiana and Weird fiction. I did this by actively recruiting writers and convincing them my efforts were worth. Writers who had their first credits with me include Daniel Jose Older, Nadia Bulking and Molly Tanzer. I worked out hard, talking about how women and POC were welcome, and then *showing* it. Over time people have come to understand I’m an editor who values work from women and POC, and they sub to me. Because I want to encourage more authors to submit, I just ran a successful Kickstarter for THE DARK, where I’m an editor. I’ve done this and more starting with a penny a word and my friend Paula to support me. Because I truly wanted to be a better editor and give a place to women and POC. And I’ll continue that with the help of The Dark, Sean Wallace and hopefully future authors reading this.
(2) BEEB. Jonathan Cowie of Concatenation did these links in dialect: “First (and forgive me if you’ve already covered) today in Brit Cit we have the start of a mini-series of Mielville’s The City and The City on B Beeb Ceeb 2.”
RadioTimes invites you to “Meet the cast of The City And The City”.
(3) PETER WATTS IN CONCATENATION. And Cowie also informs they have, “advance-posted (that is it is up but not yet on our index and what’s new pages) an article on SF author and biologist Peter Watts scientists that have inspired him. This is part of an on-going series with previous contributors including SF authors
and scientists (different disciplines) Paul Mc Auley, Ian Stewart, Andrew Bannister, and Tony Ballantine. Most people use .rss or the regularity of our seasonal postings to keep tabs on us. But a very few follow us on Twitter for advance alerts only (no chat). For this dedicated few we have just tweeted an advance alert:”
Advance alert: SF author and biologist Peter Watts reveals his top inspiring scientists
(Full summer season edition of news, reviews andarticles up 15th April)
— SF2 Concatenation (@SF2Concat) April 6, 2018
Peter Watts’ post begins:
It’s taken me nigh on two years to compile this list. Perhaps half that time was spent fuming over the demand that it be ten scientists long? I mean, what if I don’t find that many twentieth-century scientists inspirational? What if my pop-culture recognition of Fermi and Feynman doesn’t really rise to the level of inspiration, what if the scientists who did inspire me did so on a purely personal level, without achieving rock-star status? What if the people who inspired me aren’t even real scientists, huh?
Concatenation’s full summer issue is expected online April 15.
(4) CAMERON’S SF HISTORY. A Syfy Wire writer is impressed: “James Cameron joins Spielberg, Lucas for AMC’s ‘Story of Science Fiction’ series”. I’m still waiting to see some writers’ names on these lists:
How exhaustive is Cameron’s trip into the genre’s storied past?
“Throughout each episode of the six-part television series, [Cameron]… explores science fiction’s roots, futuristic vision, and our fascination with its ideas through interviews with A-list storytellers, stars, and others whose careers have defined the field,” says AMC, “including Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Guillermo del Toro, Ridley Scott, Christopher Nolan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Will Smith, and Sigourney Weaver, among some 100 other series participants.”
Whoa — now that’s a lineup that definitely has our attention. To check out more video previews of the one-on-one talks Cameron will be sharing with some of the genre’s biggest luminaries, head on over AMC’s landing page.
(5) SNAPSHOT. Another cat snoozing in the vicinity of SFF:
— Stephanie Burgis ? (@stephanieburgis) April 6, 2018
(6) SFF ART WORKSHOP SCHOLARSHIPS. Artists have until April 12 to apply for the two scholarships being offered to the Muddy Colors 2018 Illustration Master Class being held in Amherst, MA from June 11-17.
Arnie Fenner notes, “I think it’s something around $2800 to participate so it’s a pretty sweet give-away.”
The IMC is a 7 day workshop focused on making you a better artist with the help of some of the best illustrators and fine artists in the world. All disciplines (traditional or digital) and skill levels are welcome. Old or young. Novice or pro. Anyone may apply for this scholarship.
Full guidelines at the link.
(7) TAKAHATA OBIT. Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata has died at the age of 82.
Mr Takahata was nominated for an Oscar in 2015 for The Tale of the Princess Kaguya but is best known for his film Grave of the Fireflies.
He founded Studio Ghibli with iconic director Hayao Miyazaki in 1985.
It became a world-renowned animation studio, producing blockbusters such as Castle in the Sky, and Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.
Mr Takahata started his career in animation in 1959 at Japan’s Toei studio, where he met Mr Miyazaki, who is usually seen as the face of Studio Ghibli.
(8) TODAY IN HISTORY
- April 6, 1967 — Star Trek’s “City on the Edge of Forever” first aired.
- April 6, 1968 — Stanley’s Kubrick’s classic 2001: A Space Odyssey makes its debut in movie theaters.
(9) HAL ORNAMENT. And the anniversary makes this io9 story more timely than it would have been: “Hallmark Has a Talking, Glowing HAL 9000 Ornament Headed for Your Christmas Tree”.
Hallmark is continuing its celebration of the 50th anniversary of 2001: A Space Odyssey right to the end of 2018 with a new keepsake ornament that lets you hang a miniature version of the film’s HAL 9000 computer on your Christmas tree, complete with its menacing, glowing, red eye.
The ornament doesn’t exactly scream “happy holidays,” of course; HAL did kill most of Discovery One’s crew. But as bad guys go, the computer, with its perpetually calm voice, remains one of the most disturbing antagonists in film history, and that certainly earns him a branch on my Christmas tree.
(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY LANDO
- Born April 6, 1937 – Billy Dee Williams
(11) COMICS SECTION.
- John King Tarpinian discovered the Wizard of Id having a kind of entmeet….
- JJ admits Incidental Comics’ “Stages of Work” isn’t genre. In case you have a strict rule about that sort of thing.
(12) LOST IN SPACE. It’s time to “Meet Dr. Smith.”
(13) GUARDING THE GUARDIANS. Karl Urban is back says The Hollywood Reporter:
Karl Urban is returning to the small screen.
The Star Trek and Lord of the Rings actor has landed the starring role in Amazon Studios’ straight-to-series superhero drama The Boys.
The Boys takes places in a world where superheroes embrace the darker side of their massive celebrity and fame, and centers on a group of vigilantes known informally as “the boys” who set out to take down corrupt superheroes with no more than blue-collar grit and a willingness to fight dirty.
(14) PORTION CONTROL. Walking With Giants demos its “Mini Bacon and Eggs.” You might need to order seconds.
(15) HOW THE JURASSIC ERA WOULD REALLY END. Brandon Carbaugh’s thread breaks down how today’s social media would dispose of Jurassic Park.
if Jurassic Park existed in the real world, a kid would get eaten by a dinosaur that wasn't even a T-Rex, the park would shoot the dinosaur, and everyone on the internet would be mad for like a week.
— Brandon Carbaugh (@BMCarbaugh) April 6, 2018
If Jurassic Park was real, Dennis Nedry would not only be alive, but would now sit on the board of six pharmaceutical companies, have a net worth of 3 million dollars, and would be Trump's pick to lead the Department of Dinosaur Affairs. pic.twitter.com/WY227cJlpN
— Brandon Carbaugh (@BMCarbaugh) April 6, 2018
(16) THE BEES KNEES. Camestros Felapton showed me once more why he’s a Best Fan Writer Hugo nominee in his instant filk about the robot bees story linked in yesterday’s Scroll.
(13) To the tune of Yesterday
Robot bees, were tired of flying into trees,
Now they live were there ain’t no seas,
Oh Mars is fine for robot bees
Suddenly, the bees aren’t where they are supposed to be,
There at the poles digging furiously
Oh robot bees teraformingly
Why they had to fly
To the poles
And nearly freeze?
They found, something bad
Now I’m sad
For robot bees
Robot bees, fighting ancient martian zombie fleas
Trapped for eons in a polar freeze
Oh robot bees are hard to please
Monster fleas wiould conquer Earth quite easily
But they can’t defeat a robot bee
Our last defence is an apiary
Why they fight so tough
Is it enough,
To kill the fleas?
They sting twice as hard
They’re battle scared
Those robot bee-ee-ee-ee-ees
Robot bees, fought on Mars apocalyptically
They went and saved humanity
Oh robot bees beat zombie fleas
robot bees beat zom-bie fleas….
[Thanks to JJ, Cat Eldridge, John King Tarpinian, Mark Hepworth, Stuart Gale, Chip Hitchcock, Martin Morse Wooster, ULTRAGOTHA, Carl Slaughter, Arnie Fenner, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kip W.]