(Yes, I am going to beat that pun into a dead mixed metaphor.)
This week I returned from Continuum 15, where I had the usual fabulous time of attending and presenting on panels, and hanging out in the bar with friends. The undeniable highlight, however, was Mother of Invention taking out three awards:
the Norma K. Hemming Award for excellence in the exploration of themes of race, gender, sexuality, class or disability in speculative fiction (long work category, jointly with Sam Hawke’s City of Lies)
What is it like to be a non-human person? What is it like to be a machine? A collective? A planet, even? What is it like to come back from the dead, or to be beamed to another planet? Would I still be me? If my wolf-self kills someone, then is my human-self morally responsible? Such questions figure prominently in SFF. Does SFF answer them well? Does it answer them in a respectful way? Is SFF shaped by certain cultural assumptions, and is that a bad thing?
Participants: Josh Melican (moderator), J.S. Breukelaar, Rivqa Rafael, Sam Kiss.
If you’re reading a novel set in Ancient Greece, do you cringe when you see Latin? If your universe never had the Norse gods, how do you name the days of the week? What if your stone-age setting predates metalwork? Is this important detail, or pedantic nitpicking? Let’s talk about the opportunities and restrictions in letting your setting guide your language!
Participants: Adeline Teoh, Kathryn A, Paula Boer, Rivqa Rafael (moderator).