Archive for the ‘random rants’ Category

LeGuin on Lee, the South, Loved Ones Whose Views You Despise

Friday, August 7th, 2015

A brilliant essay by Ursula K. LeGuin on the new Harper Lee novel, with profound character nuance regarding society and race, and the real-life complexity of living among people and family, in the South, whose views you despise (been there).

“it’s all so much more complicated than it looks like from outside, to people who don’t have to consider how love and loyalty constrain you”

For WFA, Jeanne Cavelos

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

World Fantasy Award nominating ballots are due by May 31.

For the WFA for Special Award Non-Professional, I’m nominating Jeanne Cavelos.

For 20 years, Jeanne has run and been the primary lecturer at the Odyssey writing workshop; six weeks every summer, plus a seventh week of alumni workshop, plus a podcast and a crit service, and in recent years also online classes in the fall, winter, and spring. That would be like one award-winning author/editor running Clarion, and teaching four of the six weeks there, and running Viable Paradise, plus the podcasts and online classes. For 20 years.

Odyssey doesn’t get as much notice as the other famous six-week workshops, but it’s as good if not better (more consistency in the lectures), its graduates have gone on to as great a heights, and it’s staggering to think the amount of work Jeanne has put in, for 20 years. A contribution to the field that’s well worthy of such an award.

To An Author

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

Very sad to hear of the passing of Eugie Foster, who seemed a bright person and insightful writer. She sent me a piece at BCS years ago that was more fable-esque than I prefer; I always hoped she would send more. The same for Jay Lake and Euan Harvey.

I’ve known premature loss multiple times in my family; it never makes any sense. I wish her family, and Jay’s and Euan’s, and Iain Banks’s, and K.D. Wentworth’s, and mine, and everyone else’s who has known this, my best wishes as they continue on.

Help with “Missy” Response?

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

In the post-ReaderCon sexual harassment revelations and groundswell, something that incensed me equally didn’t get much discussion. With autumn con season upon us, it’s on my mind again, and I welcome input.

Genevieve Valentine’s account of her harassment at ReaderCon also included mention that she, while on a panel, was referred to by a fellow panelist as “missy.” I find such belittlement, of anyone for any reason, colossally offensive.

Having at the time just moderated a ReaderCon panel myself, I immediately wondered, what’s the best response to something like that, when it’s happening?

I’ve thought about it, but I’m not the most socially adroit, so I would appreciate hearing others’ thoughts.

I think the response would be different depending on what role I was in: audience, fellow panelist, or panel moderator. Here are the responses I came up with. All comments welcome.

As an audience member: when the panel opens for questions, ask the disparaging panelist a two-part question. ‘Did you actually call that other panelist _____, and if so, why in the world would you disrespect a fellow panelist like that?’

As a fellow panelist: when the disparaging panelist finished, or maybe even interrupting them, ‘Did you actually call this other panelist _____? If so, then I’m not interested in a single other thing you’ve got to say.’ And leave the panelist table and walk out of the room.

As the moderator: when the disparaging panelist finished, ‘Did you actually call this other panelist _____? We don’t belittle people like that, at least on any panel I’m moderating. If you do it again, you can answer to the con-com.’

(My vindictive side would like to include in that last one ‘or I will call security and have you removed’ or the Conan-esque ‘or you and I can step outside and discuss it.’ But those don’t seem wise. :) )

Any thoughts? I do think it’s something that deserves pointing out in the moment. But if the disparager chose to get belligerent, things might get tense.

I hope to never need this. But if I ever see this sort of thing happen, I would like to have an idea of what might be a good thing to do.

Thanks very much for any comments.