2014 Hugo Award Episode Pack: Download away!

If you’re a Hugo Voter, you’ll have seen the little document in the Fancast category from us which includes recommended episodes from 2013 — one from each of our episode types. To make it a little easier for folks to download these episodes, we’ve put up a .zip file containing all four mp3 files, which should be easy enough to load up into your player of choice.
Get it here!

My 2014 Convergence Schedule

I will be at Convergence 2014. So will the Hugo Nominated Podcast I am a part of! Will I see you there?
Thursday, July 3
Skiffy & Fanty Show – Live at CONvergence!
With guests Carrie Patel and Martha Wells
Shakespeare and Fantasy
From mythical kings like Lear and Cymbeline to the mage Prospero and his monsters in The Tempest to the fairies of Midsummer Night’s Dream, and ghosts all over the place. Why are these plays still speaking to us 400+ years later?
Saberhagen’s Dracula
Fred Saberhagen wrote a series of books from Dracula’s point of view, including The Dracula Tape, Old Friend of the Family, and more. We’ll discuss his work, particularly the more complicated moral portrayal of vampires.
Friday, July 4
Gaming When You Have a Life
Mods and DMs, how do you handle being adequately prepared to give your players the best possible experience when you’re balancing family, a full-time job, etc. We’ll discuss Pathfinder Adventure Paths and other timesaving options.
Saturday, July 5
Mythology in Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Urban Fantasy
We have all heard of Zeus and Thor, this panel is about mythology in the modern world or the past, from Marvel’s Thor movie to Percy Jackson and the Olympians, to other less known areas of the mythological world.

Implicit Racism and Sexism in SF readers and writers

The continuing drama in the SF/F field, reading blog posts, listening to podcasts, makes me boil a part of it down to this:
Many people do not like, and are offended, when they are called out on inadvertent racism and sexism (Is there a better term than this? I’m not an academic. Help!).
What I mean is, the kind of genre reader, who, just rolling along without thinking about it, reads 50 books a year, all of them by white men. Not because they have anything against Delany, or Le Guin, or Bear, but because that’s what they read, and they don’t even see the blinders on.
When they are called on those blinders, and using the terms of racism and sexism, you get the backlash, hard. “I have nothing against —-. How dare you call me a racist/sexist?” Then you get the usual doubling down and counter-reactions.
A bit in Foz Meadows’ response to a John C Wright post can illustrate this:
Without any evidence, and not being able to see into his heart, I do think that The Mammoth Book of Mindblowing SF by Mike Ashley is a case of this (and John C. Wright’s defense of it lacking women). I don’t think that Ashley intended to exclude women, or people of color…but his blinders wound up making him do so. That’s a failure of editing. Wright, I think, doesn’t see Implicit Sexism or Racism as a thing (and again, looking into people’s hearts, take with a grain of salt) and so of course defends him.
This doesn’t mean implicit sexism and racism shouldn’t be countered, but perhaps there are more effective ways of handling it than others. I don’t know.
Disclaimer: During the Racefail drama of several years ago, a prominent person in that movement who shall remain nameless set to cyberbulling me for reasons I still can’t quite understand or grok. I was nobody at the time and you probably don’t even realize it happened. So my point of view may be biased in this regard. (And one reason why the comments are off)
Update (May 29): If anyone is reading this. Of course a day on the internet is forever, and things have moved apace in a month. Am I being naive here? Probably. Confused? Almost certainly. Wrong? Well…this is the Internet.

Happy Birthday Gene Wolfe!

Happy Birthday to one of the Grandmasters (and a personal favorite) of F/SF. Gene Wolfe
The Gollancz Blog has a writeup.
He has his critics, mainly for his penchant for obfuscation and unreliable narrators, and some of his work is less than others, but I still maintain he is the SF author most deserving of a Nobel Prize for Literature living today. (Okay, maybe tied with Ursula Le Guin.)


It’s official! I have decided to go to Loncon3, the 72nd Annual Worldcon, this year!
I’m scared and excited.
Anyone excited to meet *me*? 🙂