Friday, May 20, 2016

WisCon40 Schedule

I will be attending WisCon40! Here is my schedule for the weekend:

YES, Our Stories Matter: Encouragement and Support For Creators With Marginalized Identities
Friday, 4pm - 5.15pm, University C
Jaymee Goh (M), Riley, Alex Jennings, Mark Oshiro, Susan Simensky Bietila 
Marginalization affects our success as creators, oppression impacts our ability to create and can grind us down. At the same time, encouragement can come in many ways, from reader comments to supporting each other as marginalized creators. Let's discuss issues like: Why do you keep creating? When do you know you've touched someone with your art? How do you recharge after a setback? How can we support each other within and between different marginalized groups? When it feels like the whole world is telling you that your story doesn't matter, where do you find the strength to pick up the pen?

The Downsides to Maker Culture
Sat, 9:00–10:15 pm, Conference 1
Georgie L. Schnobrich (M), Candra K. Gill, Jaymee Goh, Effie Seiberg
Maker culture as promoted by BoingBoing and others has a great deal of appeal to fans (robots, DIY, what's not to love?) but what are its underlying assumptions? Deb Chachra* declared that she is not a "Maker;" critiquing Maker culture as valuing certain forms of making over others (i.e. traditionally male forms of creativity like electronics vs. traditionally female forms like knitting) and which also values creation over other forms of contribution to society (like caregiving). Does it reinforce divisions based on class and entitlement as the ability to make also suggests that the maker has both the time and money to create? Does it indeed reinforce the idea that traditionally male roles are better? *See http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/01/why-i-am-not-a-maker/384767

Science Fiction in Translation
Sun, 10:00–11:15 am, Caucus
Jaymee Goh (M), Arrate Hidalgo, S. Qiouyi Lu 
As Anglo SFF as a whole becomes more aware of the Rest Of The World, translation projects seem ready to see a boom. Let’s hear it from translators: how difficult is it to translate SFF concepts from one language to another? What trends are we noticing in what types of stories get translated, from which regions? What SF-nal influences are visible across borders? What can readers and editors do to increase the amount of translated fiction in the genre's magazines?

Asian Ancestresses
Sun, 1:00–2:15 pm, Conference 1
Jaymee Goh (M), Emily Jiang, Mary Anne Mohanraj 
From Mulan, to Begum Nur Jahan, to Princess Shirin, to the Lady of Mount Ledang, the mythologies and histories of Asia are filled with women who tower large, rivaling the men of their times despite the unequal footing. How were their stories told to us when we were children? How did we find out more about them? What lessons can we take from their stories? And how do we re-tell them and partake in their legacies today?

Women Writing SFF, All Around The World!
Sun, 2:30–3:45 pm, Wisconsin
Jaymee Goh (M), Jackie Hatton, Arrate Hidalgo, Emily Jiang, Justine Larbalestier
A reading recommendation panel! What books would be of interest to WisCon members? Whether Anglophone, in translation, or in different languages, from Indigenous to diaspora works, let's share SFF we've read recently that encourages USian WisCon members to step out of our cultural bubbles.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

"Timezones"

In loving memory of Goh Mei Mei, passed 4/4/16

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Clarion UCSD


Unlike many other people, I didn't apply several times. I apply only for specific line-ups. 2012 was, as I recall, a "year of Asians" with Hiromi Goto teaching at Clarion West, and Ted Chiang and Marjorie Liu teaching at Clarion. Before that, Kelly Link and Gavin Grant were teaching Clarion West, and I highly respect Small Beer Press and wanted to learn from them about the founding process. In general, I've been quite confident in my own skill and learning ability in writing fiction that I can sell. Clarion and Clarion West are highly competitive, and to be sure, there are very many deserving writers who don't get in. Every rejection I received, I would get bummed, and someone would gently remind me, there are other ways of succeeding in the writing world, among them the slow and steady track I've been working on for myself. 

This year, I decided to try for Clarion because the instructor line-up (Kelly Link, Ted Chiang, Andy Duncan, Victor LaValle, Delia Sherman, and Ellen Kushner) was too much to resist. Also, I'm in my 4th year of my PhD, my dissertation is being written, and I intend to leave Southern California soon after. San Diego is just a scant bus ride away!

I also resolved that if I didn't get into Clarion this year, I would never try again, since I would no longer be in California, and hopefully not even in the country.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Happy Birthday to a Very Fine Publisher!

It's Bill Campbell's birthday! I am now going to tell you a story about him:
I first heard of him through the MOTHERSHIP call for submissions, and I was like "well, cool, but I got nothin' for an Afrofuturist anthology." Was totally going to buy it, though.
Then suddenly Bill's in my inbox all, "hey, you wanna send us something?" And I'm like "whut, me??" because at the time, I had nothing, just a ranty blog and one steampunk story, and there wasn't much of a market for steampunk stories set in rather obscure countries back then, but Bill says, "yeah, you" so I send it to him anyway.
Next thing I know I'm in a book with people I have crazy respect for like Nisi Shawl and Sofia Samatar and Nora Jemisin and Silvia Moreno-Garcia. I'm sharing space with people I didn't know like Minister Faust and Ernest Hogan and Daniel José Older and Chinelo Onwualu who I hadn't met yet, hadn't known about, but are trailblazers in their own right, and I got a chance to meet them later on. I'm in a TOC with folks like Linda Addison and Indrapramit Das and Anil Menon and JUNOT DIAZ and my brain is breaking but I don't notice because I'm too distracted by the awesome cover by John Jennings.
And I thought, well, that was a cool fluke.
Two years later Bill's knocking at my inbox again, all, "hey, seen you and Joyce keep talking about this anthology of Southeast Asian steampunk. You really wanna do it?" Why was Bill watching me and Joyce blather into the aether of Twitter, I don't know, but there he was, and now here we are, with The Sea Is Ours. It's not a star-studded TOC like MOTHERSHIP was, but Bill likes it anyway, and off we go to the fundraising races and printing.
Now we're fundraising to push out a whole new bunch of comics and books, which include SUN DRAGON'S SONG by Kim Miranda and Joyce Chng, BREAD & BUTTER by Liz Mayorga, and CRUSHED by Trinidad Escobar. THE ASSIMILATED CUBAN'S GUIDE TO QUANTUM SANTERIA by Carlos Hernandez, VOICES OF MARTYRS by Maurice Broaddus.
(Who are these people? Who's this random Chicana/Filipina/Latino artist/writer? Are they big enough a deal to hustle for? What do they have? What does that matter? These are the kind of people Bill Campbell's gonna hustle for. Because Rosarium Publishing has always been about finding POC talent and hustling for them. Me and The Sea Is Ours isn't a fluke in Rosarium, it's just how Bill works. It's built into how Rosarium is formed.)
Some people do and and some people don't know about how hard it is for people of colour in North American genre publishing. There's too much of a monopoly, there's too little profit to be made, too much debt and risks involved, too little incentive for the top dogs to change. And so here we are, Rosarium Publishing, a little POC-driven, POC-centric outfit trying to make it alive in a sea of monopolies and find a way to be sustainable, which takes time and capital that we don't actually have. As an indie press, Bill is hitting up all the cons and fests trying to appeal to various audiences at one go. We got a distributor taking a risk on us.
And we ARE a risk because we don't necessarily speak the same language as the rest of mainstream genre. Those of us researching critical race theory and racialized bodies in science fiction, and creative writing as a person of colour know how hard it is to speak across borders and languages, how rare it is to have an outfit in which the marginalized and the borderlands form the core. Diversity is usually the afterthought (the thought after "quality" and "profit" as if "diversity" doesn't have the same concerns).
So if you've liked anything Rosarium has put out, MOTHERSHIP or STORIES FOR CHIP or THE SEA IS OURS, or any of the really cool comics like THE LITTLE BLACK FISH or BLUE HAND MOJO or DAYBLACK, then please support us! Give to the IndieGoGo (and pre-order some cool stuff at the same time! Never let it be said you got nothing for giving something to us), tell your friends about us, or just Share this post, and help me say a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Bill Campbell!! -->> bit.ly/rosariumpub