Great moments at…

Great moments at #ChiCon7: hosting Sofia Samatar, Indian lunch with Dominick Daunno, ice water and gelato with Paolo Bacigalupi. Intense awesome conversations with people I'd never met before -- we talked for perhaps eight hours total, often at high speed, with barely a pause for breath. Could have kept talking for hours. Getting to know awesome new people is one of the very best parts of WorldCon.

Shout-out to dinner with the Wild Cards authors. They were ALL fascinating. Melinda M. Snodgrass, Walter Jon Williams (not at dinner, but met later), Ian Tregillis, Paul Cornell, Stephen Leigh (aka S.L. Farrell), Carrie Vaughn, David Levine, various lovely spouses and partners, and of course, the inimitable George R.R. Martin. (If I've forgotten anyone, forgive me -- I blame the wine.) Listening to Michael Cassutt narrate scurrilous tales of SF's greats was an absolutely fan-girl highlight of the convention. And Melinda's Star Trek stories were just as good. Could have listened to those stories ALL NIGHT.

On a less squee-ing front, I don't agree with everything here; in particular, I think Chauncy De Vega seriously undercounted the people of color both attending WorldCon and on panels, and he doesn't seem to understand how people become leading staff on conventions (usually years and years of grunt work volunteering come first). But nonetheless, lots of good and thought-provoking issues raised here, worth considering. And yes, scheduling my panel on "Finding Minorities" against the Carl Brandon Award ceremony was...deeply unfortunate.

One thought on “Great moments at…”

  1. Thanks for the link. I attended your panel (which was good) and quite a few others every day, save for Monday, of the event. My count was less than scientific, if you can offer up a more accurate one that would be great and I will amend my original number. I think it would be very revealing to also count the numbers of people on the planning and steering committee who are not white, and also the chairs/discussants of the panels by the same criteria.

    I have been going to cons for years, have spoken at quite a few, and have worked on organizing events as well. I am not an outsider to this culture.

    “On a less squee-ing front, I don’t agree with everything here; in particular, I think Chauncy De Vega seriously undercounted the people of color both attending WorldCon and on panels, and he doesn’t seem to understand how people become leading staff on conventions (usually years and years of grunt work volunteering come first). But nonetheless, lots of good and thought-provoking issues raised here, worth considering. And yes, scheduling my panel on “Finding Minorities” against the Carl Brandon Award ceremony was…deeply unfortunate.”

    I think you are hitting on my point–in closed and relatively insular communities there are these fictions about “paying dues” and “meritocracy.” There is also much self-selection going on where people pick and nominate their replacements and reach out for assistance within a small social network. As you certainly know from your own work, one of the ways that whiteness is enforced as normality, and how neoliberal/conservative colorblind politics works in the present, is precisely through fictions of “equal opportunity” and “equal access.”

    A bunch of white guys are sitting around picking other white guys to run panels, be on committees, and invite the speakers because in their minds we are the best qualified, have earned this right, and we are not racist/sexist/homophobic and would never let such onerous attitudes influence us. That is b.s..

    Those attitudes influence all of us because they constitute the social ether of this society. In defense of this taken for granted system of normality and white privilege, the language of “not lowering standards” or having a hard time finding “qualified” people of color, “minorities” and women is used.

    best,

    cd

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