Archive for the ‘essays’ Category

Narrative, objectivity, and viewpoint

What follows is a post-format storify of my tweets, which are in themselves a follow-up to my previous post on “merit”. The real storify of these tweets is here- with many thanks to Serena @activehearts. I do not have spoons to elaborate on these tweets, or to cite references. If you want to read good scholarly

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On the pitfalls of “merit”

As I see it, there is currently a split in the fandom. I tentatively think of it as a split between Golden Age fans and Diversity Age fans. This is not about age, as I’ve written before, but about storylines: who gets to write stories, who gets to be a protagonist of stories, who gets

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Bogi Takács’s “Three Partitions,” and the rabbinical approaches to nonbinary gender

Caveat: I am a close friend of the author, and so this is not an objective review (if such is even possible), but rather a combination of dialogue, musings, and disputation. Bogi Takács’s “Three Partitions” is story is important for me to discuss, my friendship with Bogi aside, because it combines two elements much on

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Replacing “old” with “hegemonic”

This is an expanded summary of what I said on Twitter (see under @roselemberg).  Regarding various ongoing conversations in the SFF field, I see, from all sides, multiple references to the speakers’ ages (‘the Young’, ‘children’, the ‘Old’, ‘the Old Guard’, ‘they will die off’) that make me uncomfortable. I am convinced that these labels

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Disability access and being a bystander

I am continuing my posts on disability and #accessiblecons because there are things I need to say. Yesterday, a commenter, Lou, left this comment to the Disability, Diversity, Dignity post: What the heck? I would not participate on a panel where one of the members had to be seated separately from the rest of the

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Disability, Diversity, Dignity

So imagine you are an up and coming professional in the field of SFF. You worked hard for your credits. You are publishing, people get to know your work, and you are invited to participate in programming at a major SFF convention. It’s pricey, but this is a professional and social opportunity, so you pay

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Languages in contact: Pidgins and Creoles

This started as a discussion on Requires Hate’s blog. RequiresHate questioned, among many other things, Mary Robinette Kowal’s usage of “patois” in a recent story in Apex magazine. Since this is something I happen to know a lot about, I chimed in with comments about language generation through contact, be it in colonial contexts or

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On liminal identities, exclusion, and othering

The general writerly wisdom is that one should never respond to a bad critique. Yet I want to use this one, which is not a critique of my work, to highlight casual othering and exclusion in our communities. Amal El-Mohtar, who is known to some of you as the editor of Goblin Fruit, Rhysling Award winner,

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On Bardugo’s Tsarpunk, Worldbuilding, and Historical Linguistics

Reflecting on Leigh Bardugo’s use of Russian in Shadow and Bone, I have made some comments to friends who asked to hear more. For context: this is the book (link goes to Goodreads); this is a positive review of the book that raised the questions that prompted this entry; this is a trustworthy negative review. Context about myself for those

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No Coming out Narrative, or Growing up Queer in the Soviet Union.

In April 2011, I had a discussion about my participation in an online queer space with a person who ran it, with whom I had casually interacted with before. She said, among many things, “Look, I have no idea what “coming out” even means to you, frankly, if you’re in a heterosexual marriage.” I no

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