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bear by san

March 2017



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bear by san

One marvelously clever thing that was suggested at the "Why is SF so White?" panel, as a means of encouraging more non-white writers into the industry, was a mentoring program. (Liz Scheier, from the audience, also mentioned that she doesn't see nearly enough submissions with non-white protagonists or main characters, and would love to see more.)

The idea being that would-be writers of color could be paired with volunteer authors who would help mentor them.

I am not the person to administrate this. I know this about myself. But I thought it was a good enough idea to be worth sailing out into the zeitgeist.


I think the whiteness of sci-fi/fantasy is kind of a mimetic thing/vicious cycle. Theory:

A) Nerdy white d00d(ette)z make SF&F novels.
B) Other nerdy white d00d(ette)z buy and read said novels. Some of them become writers and produce their own.
C) Cycle repeats.

Obviously you have Octavia Butler and others, but this is merely my attempt at esplaining the whiteness of the authordom/fandom.

As for why so many CHARACTERS in SF&F are white, I think it's the "unexamined white male privilege" thing you mentioned. It's the first thing that comes to their mind.

Of course, if I am talking out of my ass (again), please inform me.

(On another note, I now mentally lump Heteronormativity and Default Fantasy Caucasianism into one phenomenon that I call Vanilla Cupcake Syndrome.)
Vanilla Cupcake Syndrome

That is a term that needs to be in general use.
I'd be delighted to co-operatively start a new trend with you. =^D
Posted. See next rock.
Ghods, yes. Yes, it does.
hereby appropriates

Bear, it was wonderful to meet you in passing, uh, one of those mornings this past week in the CC lobby (Sarah waved me over and made introductions; we'd finally just met ftf over Elise's birthday dinner Tuesday night).

I'm glad you got to that panel and even more that the conversations and ideas from it carry on over here, thank you.

Opening doors and making the first move is a good thing for any privileged class member to think about and to do; it's a great way to get woken up from, or to start to be come aware of, the complacencies we don't yet see while in that strange statis of unexamined privilege. Writing characters that are "Other" in whatever way is another start; but opening that door so that what's currently "other" becomes, or can possibly begin becoming, "just all us different folks" is a stronger step towards something calling diversity.

I was glad to see this panel on the program. I'm even more glad to hear about it (cos I couldn't get there, and am curious).

I like how you portray all kinds of folks in your books - you get all the way to a feel for cultures. It makes a difference.

Thank you.

I really enjoyed meeting you, too.
I think you missed a step.

z) Nerdy white d00d(ette)z grow up in a whitewashed world and come to think of it as normal, and thus write SF&F novels that are "the normal world plus SF&F elements".