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RaceFail

Please note, as a fantasy and science fiction writer, I spend a lot of my time writing things that are really Other--intelligent wolves and giant talking stag-headed ponies, for example. Also angels (fallen and otherwise), hyperintelligent supercolloids, virtual winged dinosaurs, and other stuff. So I keep thinking, well, if I can write something that doesn't even have the same senses I do, how hard can it be to write a Jewish former Army Captain from St. Louis?


--Elizabeth E. Bear.


I've been reading RaceFail '09, the huge, sprawling, occasionally venomous debate on race in speculative fiction. The above quote from author Elizabeth E. Bear is one of my favourites, simply because it manages to be so insulting, and so revealing all at once. There's a few out there, so don't let yourself get limited.

Anyhow, I honestly don't have much to say on the whole thing. Some of it I agree with. Some of it I don't. A lot of it I've seen before, both sadly and positively. Mostly, I just wanted to link these two posts about the subject here and here, which provide a huge amount of links, and which you can follow if you've the time and inclincation. I haven't read everything--it is reportedly two months of blogging on the subject, and it'll take me some time if I persist--but there seems to be a lot on whiteness, and there's some drama from named folk, and a few links that are now protected or deleted, if that kind of thing gets you moving.

I have to admit, though, that I really do wish that it hadn't been called RaceFail. Coming into it late, it gave me the impression of a discussion about race that had failed to get anywhere which, even after all the hurt egos and bumps and slaps and screams, is not the case.

(crossposted)

Comments

frogworth
Mar. 13th, 2009 03:20 am (UTC)
No, it's not just you. That's a very good way of putting it. Of course many people have been saying it for some time, but I'm glad you did too.

I do think it's not entirely unreasonable that certain people feel they've been demonised, but on the other hand many of those people have been incredibly stupid. I also dislike the name RaceFail, but I guess it's with us now.
frogworth
Mar. 13th, 2009 03:21 am (UTC)
"many" = most? all? Depends who those people are that I'm not naming I guess. I haven't delved deep into it because it's depressing, and frankly I'm just an observer - I'm not even part of fandom at all except by being a reader and occasionally reviewing. Still, ick.
benpeek
Mar. 13th, 2009 10:02 pm (UTC)
yeah, i haven't read enough to see everyone whose been stupid. a few people, by the sounds, and it'll be on both sides, probably. i kind of like the train wreck mentality of it, but then i'm a bit like that...