Everything from:sff pontification

Renewing my SFWA membership

If you don’t already know about the issues plaguing SFWA at the moment, this is a post you can probably skip, but the short version is: I have recently seen a whole bunch of members of my professional organization behave like assholes all over the internet. To be totally clear: I’m talking about people who hold repugnant, racist, sexist, homophobic views.  Not people who stumble sometimes on difficult issues or communicate awkwardly or get blindsided by our own prejudice–those things are true of me, and you, and everyone else.  No, I’m talking about people who are actively working to make my professional organization unwelcoming to me.  Calling for women to shut up when they’ve been sexually harassed.  Calling for less diversity among the membership. I am SO NOT OKAY with this. I’ve been watching a number of people I respect leaving the organization due to this hostile environment.  I wish they could stay, because they’re the people I want to associate with in my professional association!  But I understand and respect their choice. I am choosing differently.  Partly, it’s privilege: I have the energy to keep up with the political discussion, vote, and just plain stick around long enough to […]

Read More…

In which I plan to unleash the Pussy Hurricane

The title for this post came to me from a cherished friend who is one of very few people in my life from whom I’d accept large-scale guidance on the direction of my fiction.  She’s earned this right by being the only person to have read absolutely everything I’ve written in the last four years. She’s read a few things in draft which you, the world, haven’t seen yet, since I haven’t sold them yet.  She says my fiction really comes to life when I write women protagonists, and she asks me to do more of that (the above-mentioned hurricane). This advice comes at an interesting time for me.  When I first started writing seriously, in university, I had a hard time writing believable female characters.  Partly due to internalized misogyny: it’s only recently that women’s works have become more included in the cultural canon, and the literary education I received as a kid was pretty heavily weighted in favour of the dominance of men’s works and men’s stories, which in turn influenced how I write. More personally, I’m told I’m a pretty atypical woman in some ways.  When I tried to write characters like myself, I’d get feedback that […]

Read More…

Hops-day: 23 Fructidor

Reading a whole slew of science fiction this summer, including many titles I wouldn’t have sought out for myself. A few are Community recommendations, and the rest are the informal syllabus for my upcoming writing workshop. I tend to read in patterns, usually by what feels like coincidence; for a month last year it was Tam Lin stories, and for the moment, it’s military coming-of-age stories featuring guys with excellent brains and more than their fair share of good luck. Would I notice these protagonists had been oversupplied with luck if I hadn’t read all of these books in short order? Yes. It’s a pet peeve, in fact. Things coming too easy, answers arriving in flashes of insight or coincidental conjunctions, tend to jar my suspension of disbelief. I can only be won back through a great deal of compensatory hardship for the protagonist. On examination, though, I find I have no grounds for finding this ease unbelievable. I possess, after all, the type of brain that makes connections without showing its work. Many of my good ideas feel as if they’ve arrived in my brain straight from the gods. It shouldn’t be a stretch for me to believe the […]

Read More…