Hey y’all remember how I was editing that anthology of monsters? Yeah. That’s still A Thing That Is Happening, and we just announced the table of contents (i.e. the authors and their stories) and it is gonna be so good…
So apparently the original English translation for R.U.R. is, and it’s kinda… fascinating to see what has and hasn’t changed in the whole “robot uprising” sci-fi genre.
The play also contains what is possibly the Most Relatable Woman-in-STEM conversation ever seen on stage:
Long-but-interesting look at the, specifically their Original Flavor Tolkien coding as being pretty specifically referencing western European fears and stereotypes of the Mongols and other west/central Asian nomadic peoples.
Also, as someone who is of literal Caucasian descent, i.e. my ancestors came from the Caucasus Mountains, I am always here for even the tiniest bit of deconstruction of how the term “Caucasian” still gets used as a term for “white people” when the people of the literal Caucasus are, at best, “provisionally” white—as is is the case of my own ancestors, who are largely ethnic slavs who’ve really only been considered “white”, both legally and socially,1 within at-most my parents’ lifetimes—and, mostly, not “white” at all.
Any North American peeps who’re interested in some assistance getting to the New Zealand 2020 Worldcon may be interested to note the 2020 DUFF nominations are now open.
Honestly, it’d be really good to get some “new blood”, as it were, into this so… y’know. Check it out?
- The SFF con scene is not very big.
- That includes both fans and pros.
- Big name pros.
- No one is more than two or three degrees of separation away from anyone else.
- Even if people aren’t directly BFFs, they know each other by reputation.
- You want to have a good reputation. Especially with the people you aren’t BFFs with.
- I really, really mean that.
- And not just for “opportunities” and “career advancement” (though it will help that), but also because you just… don’t want to get the reputation of being That Guy.
- If you’re ever That Guy, it’s really, really difficult to ever not be That Guy.
- People notice who Gets Things Done; who organizes events, volunteers time and resources, who goes out of their way to help other people.
- They really notice the people who are only there for themselves.
- Not to mention the people who are never there for—to put it delicately—specific demographic segments within the broader community.
- I mean it is an SFF con, so it’s likely a good number of the attendees are awkward, shy, weird, or all three. Particularly if they’re new.
- So people are fairly forgiving.
- But not eternally forgiving.
- And, like I said, the scene really isn’t that big…
Just… something to keep in mind.
- Not, it must be said, directed at anyone likely to be reading this… [↩]
Transformative fandom sees [social media] as a space for play, because if we’re talking about our fandom in a public space, that in itself marks it as a space we are not using professionally. So it’s a reasonable place to put “.000000000435% Hugo Winner,” or “30-50 feral hogs in a trenchcoat,” or “I am Batman,” or any of the other things we say in publicly-readable social media as jokes. They’re the kind of things we would have put in email sigs back when we were all on listservs, because they’re the kind of jokes that only really work in public or semi-public, where they can be seen by people who don’t already know you well and function as a tribal marker–like wearing your sports team’s jersey.
Putting that in an email sig, when most of us only use email today with friends who don’t need to have the joke repeated, or in our mundane, professional lives? Isn’t a joke. Can’t be. What you are suggesting is a serious attempt to leverage the cachet of the win into some sort of professional advantage, in contexts where that would be seen as pushy at best.
It’s the equivalent of That Guy who sits on a con panel surrounded by a wall of his own books and brings them up every time he answers a question.
Your well-meaning suggestion for how to “correctly” express our excitement? is coming off as telling us to be That Guy.
ellen_fremedon on culture.
For a longer comment thread (and in reaction specifically to this) about AO3/transformative versus con/oldskool fandoms.
Also kind of nails down for me why I find the whole AO3 Hugos wank debate so fascinating, since I am, indeed, someone who’s tried very hard to keep my fannish and “pro”/semi-pro identities very separate, and who found it very confronting to realize that was unusual in con fandom…1
- To the point that it was actively detrimental to my career; my agent/publisher absolutely expected that I’d monetize my fandom base, even if it wasn’t outright stated in exactly those words, and the fact that I didn’t… was a problem. [↩]