Pixel Scroll 5/23/22 Cosplaying And Straying In Pixel Scroll Land, To The Sounds Of The Pixel Scroll Band

(1) DELANY’S STATEMENT. David Lubkin’s Facebook page has become one of the centers for discussing the Mercedes Lackey controversy because Samuel Delany – whose work Lackey reportedly was praising when she used the slur – reacted to the issue in a comment there. Lubkin’s post begins:

Science fiction writer Mercedes Lackey was recognized on Saturday at the Nebula Awards Conference as the newest SFWA Grand Master.

She was removed today from the conference and the additional panels she was scheduled for in accordance with the SFWA Moderation Policy for making a “racial slur” as a panelist yesterday.

The rule is “Respect all cultures and communities. Do not make derogatory or offensive comments even as a joke.” and was deemed to apply in all SFWA space, and being given SFWA’s highest honor that day didn’t exempt her.

I didn’t listen to the panel. But according to the moderator and a fellow participant, what happened: While praising the work of SFWA Grand Master and my old friend Chip (Samuel Delany), she referred to him as “colored.” My guess is she’d chosen the term for being commonplace in Chip’s experience growing up. (He turned 80 last month. She’s 71 herself.)…

Delany wrote in a comment there:

(2) ALTERNATIVE VIEW. K. Tempest Bradford wrote a balanced explanation of why Delany’s exoneration of Lackey won’t be the end of the issue for others: “On Samuel Delany, the use of the term ‘colored’, intergenerational conversations about language, and why SFWA was still right to remove Mercedes Lackey” at Tempest in a Teapot.

On Samuel Delany, the use of the term “colored”, intergenerational conversations about language, and why SFWA was still right to remove Mercedes Lackey from programming.

Several people have tweeted the screenshot below at me due to my thoughts on this situation.

What strikes me about this is that Delany is coming at this issue from a him-centric viewpoint (which is fine). Thing is, this isn’t just a Delany-centered problem. If Delany wants us all to refer to him as colored, fine. If he just doesn’t care if that word is used to label/describe him even if he personally prefers black, also fine.

But this is also about how hearing a Black man referred to as colored by an older white woman affects other Black people and people of color broadly. It’s not necessarily a respectful term to use in public on a panel at one of the community’s most respected events.

Even if Delany is cool with one of his friends calling him Colored, it doesn’t mean that the rest of us can’t have a different reaction or find it upsetting. This is similar to how even worse slurs might be used in-group without issue but are frowned upon when used out-group.

And I’m sure Chip knows and understand this. My guess is he’s upset by the perceived slight against his longtime friend by SFWA and that’s what’s at the forefront of that comment, though he is free to correct me.

Either way, it’s one thing to use an outdated term that’s generally considered a slur within a friend group and another to use the term on a panel at a con. That’s what Mercedes Lackey should have been aware of and that’s what most people are reacting to…

This is roughly the first half of Bradford’s comment, which continues at the link.

(3) RETALIATION. Jen Brown, whose Twitter thread explained what happened on a Nebula Conference panel that resulted in Mercedes Lackey being removed from the event, reported last night on Twitter that she is being harassed.

(4) PUSHBACK. Some of the social media lightning generated by SFWA’s removal of Mercedes Lackey from the Nebula Conference found its way to ground in responses to what was intended as a close-out tweet for the Nebula Conference. Critics protested that the term “comfort elves” resonated with the WWII term “comfort women”.

The tweet was removed and this one took its place.

(5) KAY Q&A. The Reddit subreddit /r/fantasy brought Guy Gavriel Kay in to answer questions and talk about his new release All The Seas“Hello, all. I am novelist Guy Gavriel Kay – Ask Me Anything”.

What has been your favorite book to read over the last 24 months?

I *loved* John Banville’s *The Untouchable* … that’s partly because I’m fascinated by the Cambridge spies. But it is so elegantly written (Banville’s known for that, and he’s Irish, which is unfair) and also, this one actually inhabits the space I do, as to a quarter turn away from ‘using’ real lives and names. This is a fictionalized treatment, with characters *almost* the real ones. I’m always happy when I see other writers exploring that.

(6) PRAIRIE HORROR COMPANION. Westworld Season 4 premieres Sunday, June 26 on @HBO and @HBOMax.

(7) COLIN CANTWELL (1932-2022). Colin Cantwell, a concept designer of Star Wars vehicles, died May 21 at the age of 90. The Hollywood Reporter profile notes:

…His love of architecture and fascination with space provided the perfect combination for Cantwell to make serious moves in Hollywood, working on several projects, his initial credited work being ‘2001: A Space Odyssey.’

Colin Cantwell, the concept artist who designed iconic Star Wars spacecraft, including the X-wing Starfighter, TIE fighter and Death Star…

Cantwell’s film credits include special photographic effects for 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), technical dialogue for Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and computer graphics design consultant for WarGames (1983). Yet, he was most renowned for his work with George Lucas on Star Wars, designing and constructing the prototypes for the X-wing, TIE fighter, Star Destroyer and the Death Star, among more.

… It was Cantwell’s work on WarGames — programming the Hewlett Packard monitors to depict the dramatic bomb scenes on NORAD screens as the WOPR (War Operation Plan Response) computer nearly launched nuclear weapons — that led him to programming software that took the actual Hewlett Packard from a few colors to 5,000 colors.

In addition to his film work, Cantwell’s wrote two science fiction novels, CoreFires 1 and CoreFires 2.

And according to the Guardian:

…He said “a dart being thrown at a target in a British pub” gave him the concept for the X-wing, and explained how he accidentally designed an iconic feature of the Death Star that became a crucial plot point: the meridian trench, used by the Alliance and Luke Skywalker as part of their attack on the mighty battle station in A New Hope.

“I didn’t originally plan for the Death Star to have a trench, but when I was working with the mould, I noticed the two halves had shrunk at the point where they met across the middle,” he told Reddit. “It would have taken a week of work just to fill and sand and re-fill this depression. So, to save me the labor, I went to George and suggested a trench. He liked the idea so much that it became one of the most iconic moments in the film!”

His IMDb listing also has his video game work.

(8) KENNETH WELSH (1942-2022). Actor Kenneth Welsh, best known for his work in Twin Peaks, died May 5. The New York Times noted these genre roles:

…Mr. Welsh appeared in 10 episodes of “Twin Peaks” in its second season, playing Earle, the vengeful, maniacal adversary and former F.B.I. partner of the protagonist, Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan)…

But in his more than 240 movie and television roles, he ranged widely across genres, including … science fiction (“Star Trek: Discovery” in 2020).

His notable film notable roles included the vice president of the United States in Roland Emmerich’s “The Day After Tomorrow” (2004), about the onset of an ecological catastrophe…

(9) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

1980 [By Cat Eldridge.] Forty-two years ago today, the most perfect Stephen King film imaginable came out in the form of The Shining. Directed by Stanley Kubrick from a screenplay by him and Diane Johnson, it was also produced by him. 

It had an absolutely wonderful primary cast of Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall. Danny Torrance, Scatman Crothers and Danny Lloyd. Jack Nicholson in particular was amazing in his role as was Shelley Duvall in hers. And the setting of the Overlook Hotel is a character in and itself — moody, dangerous and quite alive. 

Kubrick’s script is significantly different from the novel which is not unusual to filmmaking. However Stephen King was extremely unhappy with the film due to Kubrick’s changes from his novel. 

If you saw it upon the first release, you saw a print that was a half hour longer than later prints. And Kurbrick released multiple prints, all different from each other. Some prints made minor changes, some made major changes. 

It cost twenty million to make and made around fifty million. It did not make money for the studio. 

So how was it received by the critics? Well it got a mixed reception. 

Gene Siskel in his Chicago Tribune review stated he thought it was a “crashing disappointment. The biggest surprise is that it contains virtually no thrills. Given Kubrick’s world-class reputation, one’s immediate reaction is that maybe he was after something other than thrills in the film. If so, it’s hard to figure out what.” 

However Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian was much more positive: “The Shining doesn’t look like a genre film. It looks like a Kubrick film, bearing the same relationship to horror as Eyes Wide Shut does to eroticism. The elevator-of-blood sequence, which seems to ‘happen’ only in premonitions, visions and dreams, was a logistical marvel. Deeply scary and strange.”

I’ll let Roger Ebert have the last word: “Stanley Kubrick’s cold and frightening ‘The Shining’ challenges us to decide: Who is the reliable observer? Whose idea of events can we trust?” 

Audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes currently give it a excellent ninety three rating. 

(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born May 23, 1921 James Blish. What was his best work? Cities in FlightA Case of Conscience? I’d argue it was one of those works. Certainly it wasn’t the Trek novels though he certainly pumped them out with nearly ninety all told if I’m reading ISFDB right. And I hadn’t realized that he wrote one series, the Pantropy series, under a pen name (Arthur Merlyn). (Died 1975.)
  • Born May 23, 1933 Joan Collins, 89. Sister Edith Keeler in “The City on the Edge of Forever”,  the sort-of-Ellison-scripted Trek episode which won a Hugo at BayCon. She has an extensive number of other genre appearances including Land of the PharaohsMission: ImpossibleThe Man From U.N.C.L.E.Tales from the CryptSpace: 1999The Fantastic JourneyFuture CopFantasy Island and Faerie Tale Theatre.
  • Born May 23, 1933 Margaret Aldiss. Wife of Brian Aldiss. She wrote extensively on her husband’s work including The Work of Brian W. Aldiss: An Annotated Bibliography & Guide. He in turn wrote When the Feast is Finished: Reflections on Terminal Illness, a look at her final days. She also co-edited the A is for Brian anthology with Malcolm Edwards and Frank Hatherley. (Died 1997.)
  • Born May 23, 1935 Susan Cooper, 87. Author of the superb Dark is Rising series. Her Scottish castle set YA Boggart series is lighter in tone and is just plain fun. I’d also recommend her Dreams and Wishes: Essays on Writing for Children which is quite excellent.  The Grey King, part of The Dark is Risk series, won a Newbery, and she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the World Fantasy Convention.
  • Born May 23, 1941 Zalman King. OK he’s best known for The Red Shoe Diaries which are decidedly not genre and indeed are soft core erotica but even that isn’t quite true as some of the episodes were definitely genre such as “The Forbidden Zone” set in a future where things are very different, and “Banished” which deals with an Angel now in mortal form all on Earth. I’m betting there’s more fantasy elements but I need to go through sixty episodes to confirm that. Denise Crosby appeared in two episodes of the Red Shoe Dairies playing the different characters, Lynn ‘Mona’ McCabe in “The Psychiatrist”  and Officer Lynn ‘Mona’ McCabe in “You Have the Right to Remain Silent”. Zalman himself played Nick in “The Lost Ones” episode on The Land of The Giants and earlier was The Man with The Beard in the Munsters episode of “Far Out Munsters”. His final acting genre gig was on The Man from U.N.C.L.E. as Gregory Haymish in “The Cap and Gown Affair”. (Died 2012.)
  • Born May 23, 1979 Brian James Freeman, 43. Horror author. Novels to date are Blue November StormsThis Painted Darkness and Black Fire (as James Kidman). He’s also done The Illustrated Stephen King Trivia Book (superbly done) which he co-authored with Bev Vincent and which is illustrated by Glenn Chadbourne. He publishes limited edition books here.
  • Born May 23, 1986 Ryan Coogler, 36. Co-writer with Joe Robert Cole of Black Panther which he also directed. He will directed Black Panther: Wakanda Forever to be released this year. Producer, Space Jam 2, producer of the announced Wankanda series on Disney+. Black Panther was nominated at Dublin 2019: An Irish Worldcon, the year that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse won the Hugo. 

(11) COMICS SECTION.

  • Crankshaft finds photos from the wrong kind of rover.

(12) A FRESH LOOK AT S&S. Oliver Brackenbury talks about feminism and sword and sorcery with pulp scholar Nicole Emmelhainz on his So I’m Writing a Novel podcast: “Sword & Sorcery & Feminism, with Nicole Emmelhainz”.

This covers things like Weird Tales Magazine, Robert E. Howard and Conan, Jirel as “Alice in Wonderland with a big sword”, Howard and Lovecraft’s correspondence with each other as well as fellow Weird Tales writers like Moore, S&S writing as “an opportunity to expose gender as fundamentally performative in nature”, growth and change in Conan, the flexibility of sword and sorcery, what Nicole sees as the necessary qualities for an S&S story to be feminist, defying gender roles, the body as a vessel for victory, S&S as a very body-centric genre, good old barbarism vs civilization, queer possibilities in S&S, an intriguing ambiguity in the ending of Black God’s Kiss, what might be a “trans utopic space” in sword and sorcery?, the potential for expanding the space of sword & sorcery along lines of gender & sexuality, cozy fantasy, and more!

(13) YOU HEARD IT HERE LAST. The BBC reports that a 1698 book predicting alien life in the solar system has been discovered in the UK: “Rare book predicting alien life discovered in Cotswolds”.

…The book, lengthily entitled The Celestial World Discover’d: Or, Conjectures Concerning the Inhabitants, Plants and Productions of the Worlds in the Planets, Huygens questions why God would have created other planets “just to be looked” upon from Earth….

(14) GIVE CREDIT TO GENRE. The Cultural Frontline episode “Breaking the boundaries of fiction” is available at BBC Sounds.

How novelists working across popular genres like crime, horror and fantasy are overcoming literary snobbery to get their work the credit it deserves and broaden the definition of what makes truly great writing. 

South Korean horror writer Bora Chung, shortlisted for the 2022 International Booker Prize, tells us what it means to see her work, a type of fiction often dismissed in her country as commercial and not ‘pure literature,’ nominated for the prestigious award. 

Crime novelists from two very different countries, Deon Meyer in South Africa and Awais Khan in Pakistan, discuss with Tina Daheley why theirs is a misunderstood genre, one with the capacity to offer a social critique, and even change society for the better, all in the process of telling a great story. 

Critically acclaimed New Zealand fantasy novelist Elizabeth Knox shares the magic of imagining fantastical new worlds, and how writing and reading fantasy can help us come to terms with traumatic experiences. 

(15) IT IS A VERY GOOD YEAR. Glasgow In 2024 have commissioned Pixel Spirits to craft our own bespoke gin called “GIn2024”. (Only available for delivery in the UK, they say: “Sadly, for now, different hurdles make it very difficult to ship internationally. We’ll make sure to keep all Gin lovers updated though, in case this changes.”)

Using the finest Science Fiction & Fantasy inspired botanicals, GIn2024 is rich and zesty, perfectly balanced with a subtle astringency and refined sweetness; exploring a taste journey out-of-this-world!

We have two sizes of bottles available, 70cl and 20cl and both have labels designed by our bid artists Sara Felix and Iain Clark.

Pricing and shipping: VOL 70cl for £37; VOL 20cl for £15; Postage to a UK address: £4.45 per bottle; ABV: 43%

The two bottles have different artwork on their labels. On the 70cl bottle, ‘The Suffragette Tree, Glasgow’ by the BSFA Award-winning artist, Iain Clark. And on the 20cl bottle, an armadillo design by the Hugo Award-winning artist, Sara Felix. Sara is taking inspiration from the Armadillo auditorium at the SEC in Glasgow, where the Glasgow bid aims to host the Hugo awards as part of Worldcon in 2024.

(16) MOON SHOT. NASA Astronaut Thomas Marshburn reads Goodnight Moon from the International Space Station, and Mark Vande Hei answers questions.

Watch as astronaut Thomas Marshburn reads out loud from the children’s book “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown while floating in microgravity aboard the International Space Station. Also, Astronaut Mark Vande Hei joins Thomas to answer questions sent to them. This video was featured as a part of the Crayola and Harper Kids “Read Along, Draw Along” event to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the book’s publication.

(17) NEW ALASDAIR BECKETT-KING VIDEO. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] Orson Welles has risen from the grave to denounce Sonic the Hedghog!

[Thanks to Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Jennifer Hawthorne, Cora Buhlert, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Chris Barkley, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Camestros Felapton.]

28 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 5/23/22 Cosplaying And Straying In Pixel Scroll Land, To The Sounds Of The Pixel Scroll Band

  1. (10) FWIW Blish wrote one original Star Trek novel, Spock Must Die, and wrote or co-wrote eleven collections of short story adaptations of Star Trek episodes. His wife was credited with finishing the series with the last couple of books, though I remember reading somewhere that she’d taken over the writing a few books earlier but Blish’s name still appeared on the cover. As I recall, J.A. Lawrence had shared credit with Blish on Star Trek 12 and sole credit for Mudd’s Angels, which adapted two episodes and added an original third story.

  2. I agree with Chip Delany. And I’m old enough to be familiar with other words than black for, as he puts it, the social construct of race.

    But then, I find it obnoxious when a modern reader, born after 1990, finds an author born before WWII, or before 1900, offensive for not using modern sensibility (yes, that’s a Mark Twain reference.)

  3. Dame Joan Collins: She also appeared in several roles in American Horror Story: Apocalypse, including as a famous movie star who is also a powerful witch. She also appeared in the series The Royals which is set in an alternate Great Britain as an english Grand Duchess!

  4. 16: The “Goodnight Moon” but was a gimmick that made me yearn for Chris Hadfield BUT I thought the questions were very interesting.

  5. I saw “The Shining” at a drive-in with a vanful of other teenage boys and a cooler full of root beer. Even so, it seemed to make so little sense that I concluded that the reels must have been shown out of order.

  6. @ mark
    Those pesky kids! (Somebody born in 1991 is 30.)
    Would you have been fine with my grandfather often using a version of the n-word? I wasn’t. And he wasn’t a professional wordsmith speaking in a public discussion.

    (3) Well, that’s disgusting, but I’m as unsurprised by this as I’ll bet Jen Brown is.

  7. (1) I cannot fault SFWA, who want to meet high standards for inclusivity, or Lackey, who, in spite of her slip of the tongue, has done much to make fantasy more inclusive. Meanwhile, Delany is as kind and gracious as he is brilliant. Would that kindness prevail.

  8. MSB: Twain uses it in the 19th century. Hell, no, I would not have been ok with your grandfather. In my life, there’s only one time I would use that word happily: when I was talking about Dick Gregory’s autobiography (comedian, and 1968 Presidential candidate).

    As I said, I wouldn’t have used “colored” – it never would have come to my mind. But I think it was over the top for SFWA to remove the whole panel, for her use of “colored”.

  9. (1) Language changes; as a writer, Delany should know that. If These Kids Today (and I’m including most people under, I dunno, 50? 60?) aren’t happy with every African-American-descended person being called “colored”, what he personally feels is OK for him doesn’t matter with what’s OK for everyone. It’s “what they were brought up with”, to quote him.

    Speaking as an extremely white person in their 60s, “colored” was already becoming frowned upon even in my youth, when dinosaurs ruled the Earth except for the ones that rode Apollo to the Moon. So I think Tempest has it right. (And I already had a driver’s license by the time she was born!)

    (4) And House Elves are straight-up slaves unless someone gives them a sock, so looks like both those words failed.

    (10) And “Red Shoe Diaries”, of course, also starred the concurrent Agent Mulder/the once and future Agent Bryson, both pretty solid SFnal credentials.

  10. 7) The varied space ship designs are my favorite part of Star Wars. Rest In Peace

  11. Those talking about “professional wordsmiths” have obviously never heard of revision.

  12. 1) Good for Mr. Delany for being thoughtful and supportive in his opinion. I’m glad he understands her intent was likely not bigotry. However, since he was not in attendance, we have to look to the people who were and how THEY felt about it. As others have said, words change. Meanings and intent become something else. Your application of meaning isn’t someone else’s, and that word among others is problematic and has become conjoined with other racist terminology much of society dislikes.

    SFWA’s decision may have been harsh, but I applaud them for at least trying on the uncomfortably tight shoe of “all abide by our rules” and I hope more organizations do the same. I’m exhausted by the “famous and/or wealthy people get a pass” rules of society. Had it been someone with no reputation, no history in the field, there would be no kerfuffle over this. No decision they made would have pleased everyone.

    I’m going to also say that the “the olds vs. the youngs” argument falls flat. My father is older than either Mercedes Lackey or Chip Delany, and I taught him 40 years ago to stop using the casually derogatory terms he used to describe black people. He’s not racist, but society had decided the language he used is. Words used to other groups of people. When I called him out on it, he changed his words. If he could learn this in the 1980’s, there’s no reason ANYONE else can’t. It’s no different than learning not to curse in public.

    And sure, there will always be older literature filled with these words. Good teachers, when assigning such works as Twain’s, speak to that ahead of time and prepare their students for what will likely be upsetting or shocking to many. I’ve read or re-read a bunch of Twain in the past few years, and even I find it upsetting though I know to expect it and understand the commonality of such usage in his time. Words change. Meanings change. Societies change. Those things are natural. Clinging to the past and making excuses for why we should be fine with the way things were when they are repeated today are not positive traits and does not lead to progress.

    2) Exactly what is expected these days. She talks about how it affected her, the emotions that word engendered in the moment. For daring to speak her truth, she’s receiving racist hate in her DM’s and the attacks of anyone who already despises SFWA for becoming more pro-diversity and supportive of marginalized communities. The apologists eager to tell her she’s wrong and Mr. Delany didn’t mind the word, so why should she. This is exactly why people do not often speak up, because they know the attacks they will have to absorb and it takes a hell of a spine to stand up to the onslaught of hate in our country. The real cancel culture has always been to scare into silence those who dare speak up.

  13. Have people here heard the NAACP word being used as a slur, instead of as a shibboleth?

  14. (10) Huzzah for Susan Cooper. I loved the Dark is Rising books.
    (P.S.: A trivial nitpick – it’s “Newbery”

  15. Re: “Give Credit to Genre” from the BBC:

    Ray Bradbury once said that if you want to write good Science Fiction, you MUST first write good fiction.

    Others have said you can write commercial fiction, or you can write good fiction. There is a LOT of commercial fiction out there!

  16. @Jeff Jones Or editing, or typos, or that feeling when you’re looking at something you wrote last night (or five minutes ago) and trying to figure out what the heck you were trying to say…

    Speaking isn’t like writing, not all of the skills are transferrable, and it doesn’t even come with an Undo function, let alone an editor who might take you aside and suggest you use a different word before the text goes to publication.

  17. (9) …the most perfect Stephen King film imaginable came out in the form of The Shining.
    We’ll have to agree to disagree: I think David Cronenberg’s The Dead Zone is the finest film based on a Stephen King novel. It also has one of Christopher Walken’s best performances.

  18. @David Shallcross How about it being used as both?

    The thing that makes a word a slur is the way it’s used, pronouncing it with a mixture of contempt and venom often enough that eventually the mere word spoken in the most neutral way or seen in print causes an antipathetic reaction. This happened pretty thoroughly with the N-word, such that I, for example, couldn’t possibly contemplate using it casually.

    I’m not an African-American, so trying to use it as a shibboleth in those circles would just get me shunned or beaten up; in certain white circles it might be a shibboleth for other reasons, and I’m not sure that I want to be taken for a member of those.

    If the c-word is going through a similar journey, again, it’s not a word I’m anxious to use, and I’m quite happy to not use it.

  19. Introducing the word shibboleth is an unwelcome attempt to ask white people to give intent priority over the clear statements from black people who take offense at the word. Even if Delany or Steve Barnes aren’t condemning Lackey, the status of the word is plain to see.

  20. 1.) I’m in my 60s and I knew better about the use of the word “colored” years ago. As I’ve said elsewhere, those who either say they haven’t heard it was a problematic word or don’t consider it to be one either haven’t held a day job recently (like within the past 15 years) or else were sleeping during regular sensitivity trainings held by HR.

    Or haven’t been readers of Bloom County.

    Age is not an excuse. Inability to change with the times is not an excuse. And people writing in the SFF genre in particular need to be aware of how culture changes, instead of clinging to old meanings.

  21. The present, like the future, is here but not always evenly distributed. “My friends and I all know this” doesn’t mean that everyone else is equally informed; I held a day job until four years ago and never attended a sensitivity training session, because I didn’t work for a megacorp. Some authors may not even have day jobs; as I understand it, that’s part of the appeal.

  22. I didn’t work for a megacorps either, neither did Spouse.

    We just had good HR departments. Nonetheless, there’s no frickin’ excuse.

  23. Since the NAACP word has been close to an archaism for a long time (and normally only mentioned by people who grew up in that era), I think we have been a little lost on how to deal with it. Obviously it is tainted due to its role in segregation, but modern usage was just not there until the word was brought back up. Now we have to settle the word back into usage (or lack thereof), and I personally am happy with where the word’s role is heading.

  24. 1) That Ms. Lackey has a gay Black friend who is cool with her using slurs is nice for her, I suppose, but she is still using slurs and she ought not to.

    Age is not as much of an excuse as people seem to think. Even 50 years ago in the US everyone was aware that certain words for Black people were rude and unwelcome.

    2) K. Tempest Bradford makes excellent points. Even if Mr. Delaney is cool with what Ms. Lackey called him, she did not say it in private between them, but in a public venue where her words have public effect, and as a grand dame of the sff world, her words have a major effect.

    It is beyond unkind to brush aside the pain and upset of Black pros and fans in sff at hearing archaic old slurs like this.

  25. There seems to be some attempt to say “This word is nowhere near as bad as (the N word) so therefore it can’t be considered offensive”.

    That’s not how words work. It doesn’t have to be the worst insult ever to be considered something you do not say on a public stage. Lackey doesn’t have to be Vox Day or even close to a villain for the convention to need to apply consequences for her carelessness. (And in case there is any doubt, Lackey is NOT remotely like Vox Day, never was, never will be.)

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