I can’t get enough of this Chinese designer Guo Pei.
Retrofuturism, power armor, and awesome clothes, oh my! In one of our last recordings from ICFA, Diana Pho and Andrew Liptak join us to discuss Beyond Victoriana, multicultural sf, Western influence, and the now-available anthology, War Stories edited by Andrew Liptak and Jaym Gates.
We hope you enjoy the episode!
Back in March, I had a fantastic interview with the folks at Skiffy & Fanty. The podcast is now live for your listening pleasure.
NEW YORK COMIC CON EVENT
Saturday, October 11th
3 - 3:45 PM
Room: 1A21HAVE A QUESTION FOR THE PANEL? PLEASE SUBMIT ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE HERE or via hashtag #YesAllGeeks by October 10th.
After years of silence, people have become more vocal about speaking against harassment in fandom. How can our community unite and make our spaces – online and offline – safer from creepers of all stripes? Featuring panelists Mikki Kendall (writer & activist, @karnythia), Marlene Bonnelly (blogger, @ilikecomicstoo), Kaye M (writer & founder of #YesAllWomen), Emily Asher-Perrin (blogger, Tor.com), Robert Anders (nurse practitioner). Moderated by Diana M. Pho (editor, Tor Books).Participant bios under the jump.
Still boosting! Please be sure to submit any questions beforehand on our FB page or via the hashtag!
Photo by Studio5Graphics
Fashion Design by Drew Dyrdahl - Twisted Root Studio
Model is Mekdes Sedkem
Hair and Makeup by Milagros SalonSpa
Supposedly invented by the Chinese, there is an ancient form of torture that is nothing more than cold, tiny drops falling upon a person’s forehead.
On its own, a single drop is nothing. It falls upon the brow making a tiny splash. It doesn’t hurt. No real harm comes from it.
In multitudes, the drops are still fairly harmless. Other than a damp forehead, there really is no cause for concern.
The key to the torture is being restrained. You cannot move. You must feel each drop. You have lost all control over stopping these drops of water from splashing on your forehead.
It still doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. But person after person, time and time again—would completely unravel psychologically. They all had a breaking point where each drop turned into a horror. Building and building until all sense of sanity was completely lost.
"It was just a joke, quite being so sensitive."
"They used the wrong pronoun, big deal."
"So your parents don’t understand, it could be worse."
Day after day. Drop after drop. It builds up. A single instance on its own is no big deal. A few drops, not a problem. But when you are restrained, when you cannot escape the drops, when it is unending—these drops can be agony.
People aren’t sensitive because they can’t take a joke. Because they can’t take being misgendered one time. Because they lack a thick skin.
People are sensitive because the drops are unending and they have no escape from them.
You are only seeing the tiny, harmless, single drop hitting these so-called “sensitive” people. You are failing to see the thousands of drops endured before that. You are failing to see the restraints that make them inescapable.
The World War I in Africa Project Sheds Light On An Often Forgotten Part of History.
As a student of history for all my years of secondary education, I can’t say that I never learned about World War I, the events leading up to it as well as the aftermath it had on Europe and to some extent the United States. Perhaps we never delved into it in quite as much depth as we did World War II, but even then, I’d be hard-pressed to think of time where my history teacher (bless her soul) ever mentioned the impact that the First World War had on Africa and Africans. Such a truth wouldn’t concern me if the circumstances were different; if I wasn’t at a school in an African country, if I weren’t an African myself, if I wasn’t one of five black students in a history class of over 20, if I didn’t come from a country that was colonized by the British (who, as history goes, love war).
But all these things were and still are a part of who I am, and it is for these reasons – and so many more, that the World War I in Africa project is incredibly important learning for me. Even beyond the personal connection of history and heritage, the ignorance of many to the involvement of Africans in World War I and the integral roles the played speak to a much broader concern of the omission and reduction of black people and Africans in many important events in Western history.
It’s been 100 years since the First World War began. 100 years since the first shot fired by British troops occurred in what is today known as Togo, on August 7th, 1914. 100 years gone by and still, the world is yet to actively include and universally commemorate the lives of the estimated two million Africans who in some way contributed to the efforts of their colonial empires during this bitter war of the 1910s. World War I was indeed what its title refers to it as – a war that saw involvement on a global scale.
From the Gold Coast to German East Africa, Algeria to the southernmost tip of Africa, a new initiative is bringing to light the forgotten ways in which European politics brought the Great War to African homes. Through the efforts of World War I in Africa project, we are provided with a multimedia database that both highlights and archives the ways in which African lives were affected by a war they had no agency in. Because what happens in Africa should be told around the world.
Cherie Priest’s zombie steampunk mad-science dungeon crawl family adventure novel Boneshaker is everything you’d want in such a volume and much more.
Boneshaker is the story of the Wilkes/Blue family, a storied Seattle clan whose three generations unmade and remade the city through a series of scientific and martial adventures that are recounted with great relish and verve. First, there’s Leviticus Blue, an arrogant mad scientist who developed a great tunnelling machine (part of a Russian-sponsored competition to improve Alaskan gold-mining) and undermined the city of Seattle, releasing the Blight, a poisonous gas that causes the dead to rise, and to hunger for the flesh of the living. Then, Maynard Wilkes, a prison guard in Seattle, committed an act of great mercy and bravery by releasing the prisoners in his care before they could be blighted, losing his life in the process, and becoming a hero to those left behind the walled-off city of Seattle, and a pariah to the settlers in the Outskirts beyond the wall. Then there’s Briar Wilkes, the widow of Leviticus and the daughter of Maynard, who is scraping by in the Outskirts, trying to outrun her reputation but unable to, and unable to escape Seattle because of the great Civil War that is eating America with martial trains and dirigibles and great armies. Finally, there’s Ezekiel Wilkes, the son of Briar and Leviticus, who has snuck back into the walled city, wearing an antiquated Blight-mask, to discover the truth about his father.
And that’s where the action kicks off, with son and mother chasing one another through the Blighted city of Seattle, avoiding the zombies, befriending the Chinese laborers who run the great machines that suck clean air from beyond the wall into the sealed tunnels beneath the city, trying to escape the clutches of the evil Dr Minnericht, the self-appointed king of Seattle (who may or may not be Leviticus Blue), befriending rogue zeppelin pilots, armored giants, and steam-powered cyborg barmaids.
It’s full of buckle and has swash to spare, and the characters are likable and the prose is fun. This is a hoot from start to finish, pure mad adventure.
Stories are powerful devices. And like all powerful devices they are capable of doing great harm as well as great good. Traditionally published fiction in North America has been predominantly representational fiction. The stories are recreations of known or recognizable elements in our world such as people, animals, plant-life, etc. in an environment be it urban, rural, or “wild”, in some form of interaction that is relational. Science fiction, fantasy and horror may bring in elements that are imagined, or yet to be invented or discovered, etc. However, the narratives are still informed by a world experienced through a human filter, and, often, the introduction of the fantastic can be a way of better understanding the existing workings and relationships with the experiential world of that moment. The best of science fiction and fantasy can cast a kind of bending light. We see the familiar in unfamiliar ways. We see the unfamiliar in familiar ways.
Writing story is the act of inscribing a specific vision. But in inscribing the specific story she’d like to share the writer exerts her control. In doing so she eliminates the possibilities of other inclusions. So writing stories can be, simultaneously, an act of creating as well as an act of exclusion.
How important, then, that published stories come from diverse sources; from the voices, experiences, subjectivities and realities of many rather than from the imagination of dominant white culture. For even as we’ve been enriched and enlightened by tales from Western tradition, stories are also carriers and vectors for ideologies. And the white literary tradition has a long legacy of silencing, erasing, distorting and misinforming.