Worldcon Open Comments

I’m still on the sidelines but improving. Meantime I thought it a good idea to create a space to leave comments on MidAmameriCon this week for those who are checking here.

480 thoughts on “Worldcon Open Comments

  1. @Christian Brunschen: “Derailing is one thing. Deliberately abusing the trust of the people who gave you a position of authority in order to derail … that’s quite another.”

    Totally agreed.

  2. Wasn’t aware Breen had made the longlist for anything. Probably what I get for trying to stay on top of things while traveling…

  3. ‘AsYouKnow’ Bob on August 20, 2016 at 7:03 pm said:
    …IF SRBI [Chuck Tingle’s story] actually wins, it won’t be an embarrassment for the Hugos… all it will mean is that Beale has a penchant for gay erotica – as BEALE is the person who led the drive for its presence on the ballot… Whenever Beale is mentioned, fans now associate him largely with his promotion of the work of fringe authors such as Chuck Tingle, Vox Day, and John C. Wright.

    I’m not alone in NEVER HAVING HEARD OF Chuck Tingle before his Puppy-fueled nomination. Makes me wonder how the supposedly moral and anti-gay VD/Beale found his work… Seems reminiscent of those passionately moralistic and homophobic legislators and TV preachers who somehow end up caught doing surprising things with hookers, or kids, or strangers in airport bathrooms.

    @Tim: False equivalence. Voting to express my belief that Moira Greyland’s memoir of her wretched childhood is not in any way Hugo-worthy does NOT mean that I:
    1) disbelieve her account of parental abuse
    2) think her abusive parents *are* Hugo-worthy
    or
    3) in any way approve of their treatment of her.

    That said, while I feel sorry for her past traumas, my sympathy ends when she turns around and spews hate at people totally unrelated to those who victimized her. No matter WHAT her parents did, conflating their abusiveness with their being “gay” (or polyamorous, or whatever) and then attacking ALL gays as potential child-abusing monsters is unjustified. She might as well claim that MZB’s and Breen’s abusiveness was characteristic of their membership in any number of other groups and say all “fans” or all “writers” are enablers and supporters of pedophilia. I hope she gets the help she needs, but see no need to agree with her demonizing of EVERYone she perceives as somehow similar to her parents.

    As for Jerry Pournelle, I like the guy. I see him and Larry Niven every year at LosCon, and while he’d probably roll his eyes at my politics, and I at his, it doesn’t stop me from keeping his books in stock or him from signing them for me (when he’s up to doing autograph sessions). I’d be perfectly happy to invite him to dinner, or a drink… but that doesn’t mean I think he deserved the Hugo for which he was nominated THIS YEAR in preference to the people nominated outside of the “Rabid Puppy” slate. I like a LOT of people, and a LOT of SF works, which (despite my appreciation of them) I’d never nominate or vote for as Hugo caliber.

  4. @Tim: cool, please do keep those two. Hell, keep JCW too, and Finn, Freer, Larry, Niemeier…

    I’ll carry on reading The Obelisk Gate and What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours, and any other interesting work that crosses my path, regardless of what the author happens to look like.

  5. Chadwick Saxelid on August 21, 2016 at 1:45 pm said:

    Mary Robinette Kowal was also suspended, which will do a great deal to deflate Truesdale’s martyr narrative.

    I think you underestimate the true conspiracy theorist. Clearly,* Ms. Kowal’s suspension was a ruse to distract people from important matters, like the Evil Cabal (which she clearly works for/is in thrall to), and their ongoing efforts to Ruin SF Forever!

    * by which I mean “not at all clearly unless you’re a paranoid loon”.

  6. I pay attention to what the author looks like, how they behave, what kinds of tropes they use. Being colorblind usually means sticking with your own white people. I find reading from a diversity of backgrounds and cultures gives me more interesting stories not the same story over and over again.

  7. Missing a few hours on the last (I believe?) day, when less happens anyway, isn’t the same as being booted from the con earlier in the event and missing a lot more of the event. I doubt this’ll change anyone’s narrative. 😉

  8. Belated congratulations to Mike! And I appreciated the thanks to us Filers in the acceptances (even though I’m a minor cog). I wish I’d been sitting with y’all – could you see the captions from there?

    I, too, approve of the overall results, even though not all of them were what I’d picked.

    Love is real.

  9. @Tasha Turner: Fair enough. I should probably clarify that I don’t *actively* seek out diverse fiction. But my hobbies and interests do generally lead me eastwards to Japanese and Chinese fiction. I’ve thrown in some Korean this year, just for fun. I’m also partial to West African literature, too.

    Reading diversely, for me, is a consequence of where my interests lie. I think we probably do basically the same thing, except that I just feel more passive about it.

    A quick and dirty count through my reading so far for the current year would suggest that out of 68 books finished so far, 33 (or just under 50%) were written by women, “PoC” or both. If I was to look at women and PoC separately, each takes around 25-30% of my total reading so far (there’s a decent amount of overlap there [if I’ve counted right].)

  10. Re. diversity, I just read stuff that I think I might enjoy. I am more likely to enjoy work from fresh or different perspectives and that has an influence on what I seek out, but in SFF my buttons are mostly pressed by story and good quality writing.

  11. I should probably clarify that I don’t *actively* seek out diverse fiction. But my hobbies and interests do generally lead me eastwards to Japanese and Chinese fiction. I’ve thrown in some Korean this year, just for fun. I’m also partial to West African literature, too.

    For some (and I realize that such a vague term isn’t entirely useful, and vulnerable to straw-manning) it only counts as “diversity” if the content creator is an American from that racial/ethnic background. No specifics at hand, but I have read comments implicitly and even explicitly leaning in that direction multiple times. In Japan, China, and West Africa, the locals aren’t “PoC”, they are simply people, the majority, the norm–the concept of PoC falls apart outside of a heterogeneous society like the US.

    So does it count as big-D “Diversity” to those pushing it when the person is an ethnic/racial minority in the US, but the mainstream for the writer/actor’s home and target audience?

    (tl;dr–if you watch a movie by David Ren, you can punch your “diversity” card–if you watch a movie by Zhang Yimou, maybe not.)

  12. I see that Equestria Daily (probably the biggest MLP fan site) has their response to the Hugo loss up. Comments range from the very savvy (to the point that some might be filers under a different name, and one is an SFWA member) to the uninformed, to the utterly, utterly clueless.

    (Comments on the announcement of nomination are here and here.)

  13. @Oneiros
    Living in places where the population isn’t American or English White and choosing to read local published books will diversify your reading.

    @Darren Garrison So does it count as big-D “Diversity” to those pushing it when the person is an ethnic/racial minority in the US, but the mainstream for the writer/actor’s home and target audience?

    For me YES if it’s being read outside the original country.

    A number of the non-white authors I read are first generation immigrants who remember living in their born country. I do wish we had more stories from non-western non-white authors writing for their home country audience. For example India has a large English speaking population and book industry and I’d love to see their authors books available in the US. More translations of modern writers from around the world would be welcome.

  14. @Darren Garrison

    Thanks for the MLP link. Broadly sensible reactions (leaving aside the gater in the room). They seem a bit bummed at coming last, which is quite understandable.

  15. I feel sorry for the bronies; for the most part, as I understand it, they’re not a part of the kerpupple (and have never HEARD of the kerpupple) and VD using MLP as a hostage is just… sad. It’s like, well, kicking a puppy.

  16. @Darren Garrison: what a bizarrely narrow definition of diversity some people might have 🙂 the world’s a pretty big place and there’s a lot to love out there, beyond the boundaries of our countries.

    @Tasha: I wish I could help more with Indian fiction recommendations but I’ve only read a couple of the heavy hitters: Aravind Adiga and Rohinton Mistry spring to mind (neither are sff if that’s a dealbreaker, and also Mistry has spent most of his life in Canada, having emigrated when he was 23 or so and Adiga emigrated to Australia in his teens I think)

  17. Back at last from Worldcon, but still on Central time, I composed this list. Thanks to the Worldcon committee for hosting such a great time and to the citizens of Kansas City for their unending hospitality.

    Things I learned by going to the Kansas City Worldcon (in no particular order):

    1. Missouri is not flat.
    2. Craft beer and barbecue are a way of life.
    3. Cheese is a condiment and used liberally.
    4. Everyone is so done with zombies.
    5. Drinking too much tea can lead to anemia.
    6. World War I tanks bear a distinct resemblance to daleks.
    7. KC is home to the friendliest folk.
    8. Astronauts look fetching in tiaras.
    9. The only thing better than butter is more butter.
    10. If they have crazy Little Women there, their names are most-likely not Meg, Jo, Beth, or Amy.
    11. Filers are a fabulous crew! But you already knew that.

    Here’s hoping to raise a glass with you in Helsinki!

  18. Seconding the friendliest people comment.
    Amazingly kind people everywhere.
    Also people at Worldcon.
    (Toto, I think we are in Kansas.
    Well, Missouri anyway.)

  19. Heartiest congratulations to you, Mike, on your double-Hugo win at MidAmeriCon II. Well deserved, well deserved!. John Hertz gave rousing acceptance speeches on your behalf saying all the positive things about you that you never would about yourself. The Hugo audience resoundingly agreed. One of the highlights of the entire ceremony!

  20. From what I understand, the USA-Ian construct of People Of Color is, in some ways, far ahead of more than a sizable fraction of the rest of the planet, where, troubling as our treatments/mistreatments/macro and microagressions in that the problematical way people get treated is actually regarded As A Problem, rather than as Just The Way Things Are.

    Consider, parts of the US and Canada (likely Mexico too, but I don’t know people from “there”) regard those who are non-white as simply “other,” and that any imbalance in power or privilege is considered as the way the world works.

    Look at the broad swatches of Japan where those who are ethnic Chinese, or Korean, or Ainu are regarded as inferior “other.”

    In Europe the Romany people are still just regarded as strash “other.”

    Never mind the huge number of places where Jews are simply assumed to be theives or simply inferior, unless you’re looking for a bookkeeper.

    No. Just because the term “people of color” is not used, does not mean the operational concept is certainly at work.

  21. @Craig R.:

    Mexico is extremely race conscious. There, the lighter the color of your skin is, the better your situation is generally. If you’re an Indio/India, you’re at the bottom of the ladder. The lighter your skin, the more European blood you have. Mestizos are in the middle. It truly makes much of the US look “enlightened” by comparison.

  22. 1. As a penal moderator, Truesdale was a Member of the convention, he was not a fiduciary nor a representative of the convention.
    2. By purchasing a membership, he agreed, in toto, with all of the rules and regulations that apply to membership – which means, among other things, to accept the precedence of the CoC over his actions.
    Getting twisty here in regards to MO law: “one party must give consent” The panelists were certainly “parties to the conversation” – but was the audience? Perhaps they weren’t, up to the open Q&A session.
    3. I wish people would stop stating, or even suggesting, that anything done at Worldcon is “public”. Nothing at Worldcon is public in the legal sense of the word. WSFS is an “unincorporated literary society”; it has by-laws and membership requirements (and term limits) and guidelines; you must be a member of the organization in order to attend the convention. To the degree that what Worldcon does does not violate local, state or federal law, it can dictate just about anything it wants to to its members, who have two and only two choices: accept and abide or leave.

  23. what I want out of “diversity” in reading is for a recommendation from a (formerly) marginalized minority to be received in exactly the same manner as it would be if given by those who currently have privilege:

    (Formerly because I assume this will not begin to happen until the marginalized achieve some large measure of parity.)

    What that means to me is, if for example, N.K. Jemisin recommends something in her NY Times review, she doesn’t get emails and tweets and commentary that are in any way related to her minority statuses, but restrict themselves to things like “I’m gonna check it out” or even “I don’t know what she’s talking about – I read that book and thought it was terrible”..

    What it means to me is that the information on diverse works, from diverse authors, will first – be available (I don’t have to seek out special corners to learn about novels by women, or POCs, or …) – they’re part of the normal, every day conversation and second, that they are received with the exact same degree of mixed responses as anything else.

    It would be very nice to not have to acknowledge that a work is by a Chinese Woman, or a Filipina, or a black, but rather acknowledge it as a work by a science fiction/fantasy author who has some unique perspectives to share.

    But that can only happen when the “pantheon” of SF authors has become so broad and familiar that such distinctions have been with us for so long, and have become a minor background fact. SF Author becoming the primary thing we note about someone, with race or sexual identity (or any of the other isms) being about as important as the fact that they live in Cleveland or NYC. (You know, that author lives in Cleveland – isn’t that terrible? Yeah – nobody from Cleveland can actually write sci fi you know. Yeah, you gotta be from Topeka….)

    And no, I don’t mean “erasure” of those identities: I mean that we have all become familiar and comfortable with those identities, to the point where they are not remarkable or cause for questioning validity.

  24. Steve Davidson:

    As a penal moderator

    I think this should be ‘panel moderator’. I puzzled for a few moments about what ‘penal’ might mean in this context.

  25. “Strahan himself was there, though, and insisted he’d learned from the experience and certainly didn’t feel destroyed.”

    And why not? He learned to love Big Brother.

  26. Salamander: JJ – can you say what your “special search” is on Twitter? Or link to it? I’m missing some of these tweets and I’m very curious. 😀 (Also a trainwreck-watcher, although sadly not at Worldcon myself. And a lurker here, not a usual poster.)

    Well, I realize that this is a day late and a dollar short, since your comment only just got released from Moderation Purgatory, but this is my Twitter search, which I have as a bookmark/favorite.

    Note that you need to click the “Live” tab, as Twitter otherwise ever so helpfully decides which tweets you should see, and in what order.

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