Archive for the ‘essays’ Category

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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A Single Copper Coin

When I was eight (I think), I read a folklore collection that included a Central Asian folktale that I want to share with you. Since I was only eight, I no longer remember the name of the folktale, or the specific collection from whence it came (I do vividly remember the illustrations, but it is

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Feminist SF/F: on Feminist Characters

During #FeministSF twitter chat yesterday, a question was floated about what kind of women we want to see more often in speculative fiction, and what kinds of characters are feminist. Keri@Feministfantasy.com called for strong female characters: independent women who save themselves and make their own choices, and are not defined by men. This is, I

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