WorldCon

Aug. 18th, 2014 07:02 pm
jpgsawyer: (me!)
[personal profile] jpgsawyer
So yes on balance I think WorldCon was good but I do feel a bit cheated. Sure this was the biggest ever but that didn't reduce the amount I paid but as a result you couldn't get into the panels you wanted to because of over crowding. You had a choice go to a panel and risk not getting into the next panel or miss out on a panel to queue for the next one.

I think it would have been fairer to limit membership if larger rooms couldn't be secured. Frankly assigning 50 seats for a reading by Cory Doctorow or Charlie Stross or most of the readers was silly.

I also found the attitudes of people rather interesting. I know diversity in Fandom has been a big deal this year but people are still willing to silo themselves and protect their own at the expense of all others.

From the people in the mobility scooters who ran people over because they where slow to get out of the way to people criticising old guard science fiction readers for wanting to read the fiction they like and not necessarily agreeing with their vision for how SF should be. Not to say that old guard science fiction writers are any better about letting others get on with what they want to do either.

I have a vision where there are no genres of fiction with rules just books, no racial groups, genders or sexual orientations just people. (To paraphrase a t-shirt I saw, Wibbly-Wobbly-Sexy-wexi-personness!)

If we stopped worrying so much about which group someone belongs to and listened to what they actually had to say and called BS out for being BS and like books because they where good not because they where written by people like us then frankly the world would be a much better place.

Then what do I know because I can't even organise a smooth house move.

Date: 2014-08-18 07:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hrj.livejournal.com
The problem is, when books don't pay any attention to genders or sexual orientations, somehow mine never seem to get included. (I don't have that problem for race or nationality, but I do try to pay attention.)

Date: 2014-08-18 08:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jpgsawyer.livejournal.com
Sorry I am not sure I understand what you mean? Do you mean your gender or sexual orientation get ignored? If so yes that is bad and I hate that this is the case.

I guess what I mean is that I don't care what gender, orientation or type of book you write. If you write something I like I will praise it, if I don't like it I will say I don't like it but I won't say you are a bad person for writing it unless what you right deserves criticism. Nor does it make be a bad person because I don't like someones book unless I don't like it because of who they are not what it is.

I got a bit sick of being told my opinion didn't matter because I was a guy. I agree that being a guy often means what I say seems to get more focus that it should but it doesn't mean I what I think doesn't matter at all.

Also being in a mobility scooter doesn't give you the right to run me over because I didn't see you coming at me from behind and then tell me off for getting in your way.

I guess I am just a bit grumpy today.

Date: 2014-08-18 08:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nik whitehead (from livejournal.com)
I agree with you. I want to hear the ideas, I don't care what shape/size/colour/blood group/chocolate preference the ideasmaker has.

Date: 2014-08-19 03:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hrj.livejournal.com
Didn't mean to drop the conversation -- work got busy. I hear what you're saying, because I can easily map it to the one parallel where our positions are swapped: I run into a fair number of contexts where people are really tired of always hearing what Americans think. And it isn't that each individual American voice doesn't have their own unique valuable thing to say, but we have a tendency, collectively, to suck all the oxygen out of conversations. (Or simply to swamp other voices.) And sometimes it's better for me just to keep my mouth shut and listen. So I understand the grumpiness. Totally.

But on the gender/orientation thing -- you say that if I write something you like, you will praise it. My point is that in a world where nobody's paying attention to issues around gender and orientation you will never even encounter my work. And you won't know that it was never even on your plate to taste. And that will have nothing to do with the quality of my writing and everything to do with my gender and orientation. In a world where agents and publishers and reviewers are being "blind" to gender and sexuality, the chances that I will encounter anyone similar to me in a book are extremely small. I know this, because we live in a world that isn't too far removed from that one. You're tired of being told you don't matter, but I'm tired of being told I don't exist. That's what I was responding to.

Date: 2014-08-19 04:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jpgsawyer.livejournal.com
I agree entirely with you. What got me to say this was a panel I went to on sex in SF. On arrival I discovered the panel consisted entirely of women, who all took the opinion in the first statements of the panel that the only good fiction was theirs and that if you didn't want to read what they wanted to you where an idiot. They related a story about something another author had said to them and seemed mystified that an older man might want something different in his fiction to them.

They where right that it is not up to him to be dictating what they read/wrote/got published but they didn't have the right to say that he was an idiot just because he was an older man which was certainly how what they said came across.

I found it amazing that people for whom equality matters so much could be so quick and willing to judge someone else based on their gender and age and belittle them for it.

I really do hope that things change dramatically on equality this years Hugos does show some scope for this.

Date: 2014-08-22 06:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] merlyn-gabriel.livejournal.com
FedCon, the largest annual sci fi con in Europe makes this pretty straight forward. If you buy weekend passes you get an assigned row in the main hall where the main panels take place. You are guaranteed a seat. The smaller room with the "lesser" panels is a free for all seating as is the gallery in the main hall. The tickets are 1st come 1st served so the earlier you book the better your seating. It's probably one of the best run cons I've ever been to as well as the most easy going in spite of the massive numbers of people.

That being said I was sad not to be able to make it to world con.

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