Thursday, June 5, 2014

Article List Update and other stories

As I procrastinate prepare for quals, have an updated list in the "Read These Before Engaging" tab. I've added four new articles (one of them is actually an ebook), all of them in PDF for you to read on your ereader of choice. They are also all academic articles. Please note the nuances between the different types of racism. Of course it is easy to slip into the "all racism leads to the same racist end" mode, but I think there is value in noting the different manifestations of racism. If anyone is interested I'll post a more much comprehensive reading list on studies of racism.

What is perhaps most depressing is how long these studies have been going on, how long the discourse surrounding racism has been rearticulated and given nuance, and yet still at large we are stuck with people who insist on using a faulty dictionary definition for their arguments on racism.

On a different note I finally read 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and am disappointed there are not more kraken battles and anti-colonial fisticuffs and most of it is just Arronax and Nemo swanning around taking a tour of the oceans with a litany of cataloging sea creatures, geography,  shipwrecks and a Canadian whaler's constant whinging about being stuck in a submarine. (I also mistakenly thought, for some reason, that the submarine could go 20,000 leagues in depth, but no it's 20,000 leagues of a tour of the planet's oceans.) Clearly I am a philistine for my assumptions.

I don't remember if I mentioned meeting Balogun Ojetade; a very fine encounter of minds! Bryan Thao Worra, who works on Laotian speculative fiction, mostly Lovecraft but he's also thought through Laotian steampunk, was also there. Balogun spoke extensively of his new movie, Rites of Passage, which looks tremendously action-packed, and of the challenges he's faced, being cheated in the media production industry. 

WisCon put me at long last face-to-face with my publisher, Bill Campbell, of Rosarium Publishing! I have new books: Day Black (about a black vampire who, I guess, daylights as a tattoo artist) and John Jennings' new artbook, Pitch Black Rainbow. You should check out his catalog and buy stuff because you would be supporting POC artists. Besides THE SEA IS OURS, Bill will also publish an anthology tribute to Samuel Delany, edited by steampunk novelist Nisi Shawl! Keep an eye out for the Kickstarter.

I also got the chance to meet Tim Powers sometime last week when he came to UC Riverside to speak about a writing process through a paranoid lens on reading history. He is a funny speaker, much like KW Jeter, but of course I saved my steampunk question until after the talk, and he told me, "yeah, I don't know much about steampunk or why I got classified into it, but it keeps me at cons and brought the Anubis Gates back into print!" He is also incredibly gracious and warm.

I have three more written exams to go, and my oral defense is on the 19th. I will see you after!


  1. Oooooh, new Lovecraftian fiction to look up! (Actually, how do you feel reconciling the fact that the Lovecraftian Mythos is really cool, and an early example of a Creative Commons kind of thing, with how bigoted/anti-Semitic Lovecraft himself was?)

    1. I don't really care much for the mythos myself, but I know a lot of POC who do. Lovecraft is dead, so wrest the mythos from his cold dead hands and leave him turning in his grave! (You may be interested in Nnedi Okorafor's take on him: She won the World Fantasy Award which is a bust of Lovecraft's head.) (You may also be interested in Innsmouth Free Press, a Lovecraftian micropress run by a woman of color, Silvia Moreno-Garcia.)

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