SFWA Names the 2021 Guest Editors for The Bulletin

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. (SFWA) announced today Sascha Stronach and Yilin Wang will be The Bulletin guest editors in 2021. Stronach will guest edit Issue #218, slated for September 2021, and Wang will guest edit Issue #219, slated for December 2021. L.D. Lewis was the first guest editor for The Bulletin, helming Issue #215, which was published in Fall 2020.

SFWA Editor-in-Chief Michi Trota said, “I’ve admired Sascha’s and Yilin’s work in SF/F and am excited they’ll be bringing their unique visions and perspectives to shape their issues of The Bulletin.”

Sascha Stronach is an author, editor, and poet based in P?neke, New Zealand. They are of Greek and K?i Tahu M?ori descent and also probably a little goblin. After training in bareknuckle underground web fiction deathmatches for close to a decade, they released their debut novel The Dawnhounds, which is about LGBT+ warlock pirates fighting the cops and won the 2020 Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Novel. In their spare time, they can be found in the woods creating bizarre aggregates of sticks and dirt that hum with strange possibility. 

Stronach said, “I’m excited to be a guest editor for The Bulletin. One thing that’s always struck me about SFFH is how we care for each other, how willing we are to provide guidance and support. The publication [industry] (such a slow beast!) can often feel like an antique, but their slower pace is their strength: they allow for depth and reflection, they have a permanence and weight that’s vital to the sort of discussions writers, new and old, need to keep our blades sharp. I’ve benefited from them for years, and I’m honoured to help shepherd them into the world. Let’s make this a celebration of diversity, insight, and craft.”

Yilin Wang is a writer, editor, and Chinese–English translator. Her writing has appeared in ClarkesworldThe Malahat ReviewGrainCV2carte blancheThe Toronto StarThe Tyee, and elsewhere. She has been longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize, a finalist for the Far Horizons Award for Short Fiction, and longlisted for the Peter Hinchcliffe Short Fiction Award. Her translations have appeared or are forthcoming in PathlightSamovarLiving Hyphen, and The Temz Review, while her research on martial arts fiction has been featured on various gaming podcasts. She is a member of the Clarion West Writers Workshop 2020 and a former assistant editor for Room Magazine.

“I am very excited for this chance to work with Michi Trota and the team at SFWA as a guest editor for The Bulletin,” Wang added. “In this position, I hope to solicit writing from underrepresented voices on a range of topics such as international science fiction and fantasy translation, and game writing. I really look forward to working on this issue and to sharing it with readers.”

SFWA President, Mary Robinette Kowal said, “Sascha Stronach and Yilin Wang are brilliant and insightful people. I’m so pleased they’ll be leading these issues of The Bulletin in 2021.”

[Based on a press release.]

World Fantasy Con 2020 Apology for Program Draft Seeks to Stem Participant Attrition

After seeing the complaints voiced about the draft program for World Fantasy Convention 2020 (“Virtual WFC 2020 Program Attracts Criticism”), the WFC 2020 committee directed an apology at several writers on Twitter.

We are sorry that our program caused hurt and concern, thank you to those that commented. We are working with our team and panelists to amend this and will be revising it as an ongoing process.

And they pulled the panel descriptions, explaining on the convention’s Program webpage:

We are excited about the awesome panel discussions scheduled for the 2020 Virtual World Fantasy Convention. We have some terrific conversations planned, and our panelists are amazing.

But some of our original descriptions failed to live up to our members’ expectations. We apologize for offending the very people we hope to include in this year’s convention. We hear you, and we appreciate your feedback. We’re working to revise the descriptions – with the help of some of those amazing panelists! – and will update them here as they’re finalized.

WFC2020 Chair Ginny Smith also responded to File 770’s post in a comment here, saying in part:

We have sponsored 46 people of color to participate in the convention at no cost (so far – more to come I hope), and have worked very hard to ensure that every panel is comprised of people from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives. The panelist list hasn’t been published yet, but when it is I hope the list demonstrates our commitment to equity and diversity.

But some authors who were going to be on the program have already seen enough to make up their minds.  

David Levine wrote on Facebook and Twitter on October 8.

Very sorry to say this, but I’m going to have to withdraw from World Fantasy Convention 2020. Despite a lot of effort on many people’s part, the recent fiasco with panel descriptions demonstrates that the convention simply doesn’t understand how to operate in a diverse world without stepping on marginalized people. I hope that the World Fantasy Convention ? board recognizes that it has a serious, ongoing problem and takes strong action to change course in 2021 and beyond.

The Writing Excuses podcast hosted by authors Dan Wells, Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, and author and web cartoonist Howard Tayler will not provide content for use by the virtual convention. (Note: Sanderson is one of WFC 2020’s Author Special Guests.)

Also, this tweet from K. Tempest Bradford was retweeted by Mary Robinette Kowal, a signal boost with extra impact because it was Kowal who led the effort to bail out the 2018 Worldcon program.

Jeff VanderMeer tweeted on October 7 that after being told what panel he was on, he was bowing out.

Yilin Wang dropped out October 6.

One writer who has not dropped out, Kate Heartfield, still has some misgivings:

There are three weeks to go before WFC 2020 begins. When the revised program descriptions and panel assignments come out, the decision of other program participants to stay or go will be revealed if they have not announced it before then.

Update: Kate Heartfield tweeted on October 9 that she has now withdrawn from WFC2020 program and membership.

Cat Rambo has also dropped out.