Tag: world sf

Signal Boosting: looking for marginalised/disenfranchised POVs for the Hugos

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The wonderful Shweta Narayan is offering a supporting Worldcon membership (which lets you nominate and vote for the Hugos, and get the Voters’ packet)

So I’d like to [pay a membership], for someone who couldn’t otherwise afford it, but wants to, and can:

– read widely
– optionally (though it’d be awesome!) blog about stories, either critiquing or just signal-boosting ones they loved.
– nominate in all or nearly all categories
– vote in all or nearly all categories

I’d like this to be someone who is marginalized in multiple ways (because I think we have under-represented perspectives) so I’d like to consider people who are some combination of:

poor, of color, not US or UK citizens, queer, female or non-binary IDed, living with a disability (including physical or mental illness), not neurotypical, under 35, not native English speakers, not Christian, and/or marginalized in ways I’m not thinking of right now.

Just to be clear, I’m not holding out for someone who’s all these things! But more than one is a good thing.

More details here–and don’t hesitate to reblog this and otherwise boost the signal!

World SF travel fund

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In which the World SF team strikes again:

A combination of genre professionals and fans from the international scene and the United States have gathered together to create the World SF Travel Fund. The fund has been set up to enable one international person involved in science fiction, fantasy or horror to travel to a major genre event.

The first recipient of the fund is genre blogger and activist Charles Tan, from the Philippines.

Charles is a tireless promoter of speculative fiction. Besides his own Bibliophile Stalker blog, he contributes to the Nebula Awards blog, the Shirley Jackson Award blog, SF Signal and The World SF Blog. He also edited two online anthologies of speculative fiction from the Philippines.

Charles is highly regarded in the SF scene both in the USA and internationally. The Fund’s intention is to facilitate Charles’ travel to World Fantasy Con 2011 in San Diego, California. Multiple award winning editor Ellen Datlow said: “Charles Tan has in a very short time, become a major force in science fiction and fantasy. Bringing Charles over to the United States for the World Fantasy Convention would be a boon the convention by adding a truly international voice to the mix and selfishly, it would allow many of Charles’s fans in the field to meet him personally.”

Living in the Philippines, where wages are far lower than in the West, Charles would be otherwise unable to ever attend a major convention. The Fund’s purpose is to make such a trip possible, for the benefit not only of the recipient but for creating and extending dialogue in the wider world of speculative fiction.

Author and editor Jeff VanderMeer said: “Charles Tan is tireless, talented, indefatigable, a great guy, and someone who has become indispensible to our sense of the genre community. He’s a wonderful choice for this initial effort.”

The Fund has set up a Peerbackers Project with the hope of raising $6000, enabling two years of running. The Board, tasked with selecting future candidates, is composed of Lauren Beukes, Aliette de Bodard, Ekaterina Sedia, Cheryl Morgan and Lavie Tidhar and reflects the truly international nature of the SF world today.

For inquiries and further information please contactworldsftravelfund@gmail.com.

The Peerbackers Project: http://peerbackers.com/projects/the-world-sf-travel-fund

If I can add a few words–Charles is a fantastic person, and more than a little insane. I never quite understood how he could hold a dayjob and do all the stuff he does for genre–but he does, and it’s amazing stuff too, from gathering the SF tidbits for SF Signal, to organising interviews for the Nebula Awards, and of course keeping the World SF blog up and running.
I definitely think it’s high time he was brought over from the Philippines, and also high time we had a travel fund like this. There are many things set up to enable fans to travel to conventions, and they’re fantastic initiatives, but so far there has been nothing that focuses on getting people from developing countries into the US or the UK: the price differential, as Lavie points out, is just ginormous for people like Charles–way too much to pay for so much as the entry fee for the con.

There you go. I hope you’ll check out the peerbackers page, and if you can afford to donate anything… (this is very much a case of every little bit helps)

Thursday linkage: diversity in fiction, plus misc.

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Couple of links:
-Joyce Chng at the World SF blog on the Russ Pledge seen from outside the Western Anglophone world.
-Jonathan Dotse on why the future isn’t Western
-And two from Cheryl Morgan: one crunching data on SF anthologies, and the other on “Diversity is Hard”.

In other news, Irene Kuo is a genius. I’m down to 6 recipes picked out of her Key to Chinese Cooking (tea eggs, cha siu, white-cut chicken, two broccoli recipes, and the sweet-sour sauce), and they all worked out great. Also, the explanations are really clear on why you should do stuff, and it makes for way easier cooking.

While googling stuff on how to use cornstarch, I found this book: On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee. Science and cooking? I’m sold… (but broke)

Recipe of the day: creative carrot cake (didn’t have raisins, so chopped up prunes after removing the stones; didn’t have orange zest, so added Orange Blossom instead; didn’t have walnuts, so put in pecans. And not entirely sure I had the right quantity of carrots. This could be fun)

Right. Back to the %%% story.

Ekaterina Sedia on writers and foreign cultures

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The blog is still on official darkness notice, but just a quick word to go and read Ekaterina Sedia’s superb post, “Seeing Through Foreign Eyes”, on writers and foreign cultures (touches on insider vs. outsider cultural approaches, and the disproportionate value attributed to “outsider” books):

So the issue with books set in foreign cultures, I think, that even though many SF/F readers call for more perspectives and diversity, they don’t really want that. They want someone familiar to show them some exotic stuff without actually challenging the readers’ assumptions or values. But really, if you want to experience a different perspective and a different mindset, read a book in translation.

Yes, yes and yes.

Internova relaunches

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And a last link via zweitpunktnull: Internova, the magazine of international science fiction, relaunches as a webzine.
Here’s a sample of what’s up there, to whet your appetite:

  • Gerson Lodi-Ribeiro (Brazil): Peak Time
  • Eduardo J. Carletti (Argentina): God’s Gut
  • Arthur Goldstuck (South Africa): The Fabulous Yesterdays
  • Aleksandar Ziljak (Croatia): What Colour Is the Wind?
  • Eric Brown (England): Thursday’s Child
  • Sven Klöpping (Germany): Let’s Talk About Death, Baby

Rant/Addendum to “The View from the Other Side”

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The one thing I often get told when I talk about the US/Anglophone dominance of the spec-fic market is some variant of “good translations are expensive, and the market is stretched so there is no money for it”. I’m sorry, that’s just not a valid reason.

Yes, I fully agree that a good translator is expensive. Translating, say, from French to English is more expensive than taking an English author direct. In this we totally agree. But…

But wanna take a guess as to how much a good translator from English into French costs, and how much cheaper it would be to buy a local author? ‘cos it’s known as a symmetrical problem, and we all have the same problems: the literary market is somewhat small (as opposed to TV, for instance), and overstretched.

Most non-Anglophone publishing houses have a fairly large Foreign Rights/Foreign Acquisitions department, which also handles translations. It’s an accepted part of the budget as much as paying authors for books and paying artists for cover art. Most Western Anglophone houses… don’t exactly seem to have the equivalent department. So the “we don’t have any money for translations” thing? Please don’t try to tell me that. It doesn’t stand.

I’ll accept the “there is no market for translations” as a valid point–but then I’ll ask you to start wondering: why is there no market for translations in the US/UK, and plenty in other countries?

Some linkage…

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Mostly around the Spinrad article for Asimov’s, which is a bit like watching a trainwreck in progress. (he tries to make a bunch of good points, but they get lost in some poor phrasing and some appalling ideas)
The original article (incidentally, in the morass of stuff that made me want to hit something, there was the bit where he gushed about the Maya novel and its rigorous research–said research including choice bits like “Ancient Mayan codices [predicting] the end of the world in our era on a very specific date shortly approaching”. Er, no, sorry? That’s Christian Apocalypse eschatology getting mixed with the Maya calendar)
-Some back-and-forth going on on Jason Sanford’s blog
Cheryl Morgan about translation markets and the isolationist nature of the US book market
Nick Mamatas on the stuff Spinrad gets woefully wrong
-The awesome Charles A. Tan nails a lot of what I thought about the article in his editorial for the World SF blog (also, very nice stuff about mixed heritages/cultures, which I haven’t seen that often online).

I could rant, but honestly I feel the article and the comments are self-explanatory; and I’m reassured so many people are seeing it as problematic rather than taking it as gospel. I could dissect the article point by point (and believe me, there would be a lot of points to make, but I like my blood pressure the way it i. I think instead I’m going to go back to that article I was writing about Anglophone SF vs the rest of the world…

Saturday brief post

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Up, about and already late…

I’ll leave you with further linkage to Apex Book of World SF contributors, proving just exactly how indefatigable Charles Tan can be: Han Song from China, Anil Menon from India, Tunku Halim from Malaysia, and Dean Francis Alfar from the Philipines.

Taking the neo with me to improve wordcount on Harbinger of the Storm (24600 words, two murders, one major antagonist, and counting)

Birthday wishes, and plugging

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Happy birthday to Mike Munsil, Liberty Hall founder. Hope it’s a good one!

In other non-related news, here’s some linkage: the other interviews on SF Signal of the contributors of the Apex Book of World SF include French dark fantasy author Mélanie Fazi, horror writer and AR author Kaaron Warren, and Croatian Aleksandar Ziljak (whose story “An Evening in The City Coffeehouse, with Lydia on my mind” is up in the November issue of Apex Magazine).