A few thoughts on Worldcon

MidAmericaCon II is approaching, and as one could expect in a world where we’re waiting to learn if “Space Raptor Butt Invasion” is a Hugo Award-winning short story, things are getting weird. First, someone had the bright idea of a caption contest. Below is The Alt Right DM’s entry.

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Meanwhile, MidAmericaCon II had a big announcement yesterday, and by the sounds of it, McRapey is VERY excited.

John Scalzi @scalzi
The @HugoAwards will have GENDER FREE BATHROOMS! Can’t wait to spend all day in there listening to the sexy ladies going tinkle!”

Unfortunately, Jim “McCreepy” Hines could not be reached for comment, as we are informed that he was already out at Radio Shack purchasing portable recording equipment.

It’s a peculiar sort of convention that sees its bathroom policy as a major selling point, whatever that policy might be. But what was either the most amusing thing, or the most tragic thing, depending upon your perspective and how cruel your sense of humor happens to be, was NK Jemisin coming out and admitting that she knows she’s nothing more than science fiction’s affirmative-action pet. It’s a modestly profitable gig, to be sure, but not one that lends itself to much in the way of self-respect.

Throughout the Sad and Rabid Puppies saga, in which some readers protested progressive themes in sci-fi, Jemisin has been an outspoken voice advocating for diversity in science fiction. (Read her musings on “reactionary assholes” in the interview she did with the WIRED Book Club for more on that.) But too often, she has also found herself unwillingly cast in another role: the token non-white writer.

Ever since a report from magazine Fireside Fiction called out a lack of diversity in sci-fi on July 26, Jemisin has received six invitations to contribute to anthologies or magazines—and she’s leery of being one of the few go-to names when panicked editors scramble to be more inclusive. And in a tweetstorm this afternoon (below), Jemisin placed the onus on the markets, not aspiring authors, to make writers of color welcome. “The front gates are still shut, see,” she wrote. “You’re just letting a few more exceptions in the side door.” Jemisin may have broken into the world of science fiction, but for other writers to do the same, those gatekeepers need to open those doors wide.

Jemisin didn’t break into the world of science fiction. She’s the token African-American. She’s a diversity totem. She was picked up at a kennel for Peeple of Kolor Who Dont Rite Good, brought home, and is now proudly displayed to anyone who visits or even even happens to walk past outside.

“See, we got DIVERSITY!”

And she’s been defecating on the bed and the carpets, and urinating on the legs of the homeowners, ever since.

“After I read that book I realized two things: a) that Heinlein was racist as *fuck*, and b) most of science fiction fandom was too.”
NK Jemisin