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Nine Worlds Schedule

The next month is going to be hugely busy, with 4 cons and a trip to France. It's going to be fun, too, or so I hope. And it starts tomorrow with Nine Worlds at Heathrow.

Here's my schedule: Friday 15.15 - 16.30
Interrogating the Old Shows

A cultural critique of scifi shows pre 2000, examining where episodes or, potentially, whole shows of old favourites (Blakes 7, Old Battlestar, among others), might have become "unwatchable" to a new generation of fans due to their approach to characters' gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

Friday 17.00-18.15
Nine Fanwork Recs

Nine people tell us about their favourite fanwork

Nine speakers, nine favourite fanworks! A fast-paced TED-style set of seven-minute presentations, in which nine people talk about their favourite fanwork -- why they love it, why they recommend it, what makes it stand out from other works by the same creator, whether it works without knowledge of canon ... As with last year's 'Nine Myths About Fanfic', participants will be timed by a samba-dancing green robot. We're sorry.

Saturday 15.15-16.30

Slash & feminism

Is slash inherently misogynist, feminist or something else?

Male characters in canon are often more rounded, three-dimensional and credible than female characters. When we write M/M slash, are we reinforcing popular culture's bias towards male characters, or are we reclaiming them? The panel examine arguments for and against slash as a feminist activity, and talk about gender-bending, femslash and the marginalisation of female characters.

Saturday 17.00-18.15

Beta-reading and teaching writing in fandom

How to be a better beta

Beta-reading is an art as well as a skill, and betas often go well beyond editing text. They can also be cheerleaders, idea-generators, writing teachers, and even co-authors. The panel discuss effective beta-reading and feedback techniques, and follow up with an interactive workshop on a piece of fanfiction.


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 7th, 2014 08:38 pm (UTC)
4 cons? I know you are going to Worldcon, and you mentioned Shamrokon earlier, but which con is the fourth?

I hope you have a lovely time in France, too!
Aug. 7th, 2014 10:02 pm (UTC)
The fourth is UK Fantasycon, at which Kate Elliott is GoH. It's in early September, in York.
Aug. 8th, 2014 03:43 am (UTC)
One of the reasons I stopped reading slash was the widespread incidence of naked misogyny (and mostly by female authors!), usually justified as "oh, I wanted to show why X was better for Y than [a girlfriend]."

The multiple idiocies involved in the assumptions behind that sentence are too much for me to tolerate when I am not being paid to do so.
Aug. 8th, 2014 07:49 am (UTC)
I get the impression that a male partner is much less threatening to some female fan fic writers than [a girlfriend].
Aug. 8th, 2014 09:32 am (UTC)
Or more interesting: too many of us have internalised at a very deep level the idea that women can't be truly equal or have real agency and thus we tend to find writing them in that way difficult or even impossible.
Aug. 8th, 2014 12:49 pm (UTC)
It might be worth asking fanfic writers why m/m slash is so appealing: I'm sure this has been done. I've known people who say that writing slash makes the characters their own in a way that they would not be if they were in a het relationship. I had to back off one of these discussions because the writer got so angry at having her use of people (not characters per se, since this was RL fanfic) challenged. OTOH she may just have problems!
Aug. 11th, 2014 08:52 am (UTC)
This was discussed, in fact: the general feeling was that a lot of it is down to a desire for subversive agency in the context of the show/film/whatever -- to take characters in new directions and to explore alternatives to social defaults. There is also an element of exploring ideas of equality within relationships: we agreed that many of us have difficulty, due to internalised misogyny, writing women as fully equal or as treated as fully equal, and that we didn't always want to be having to confront and work round sexism in our fiction on top of story elements, so two men was a useful shortcut (and a safer space, where our own possibly unconscious internalised sexism wouldn't trip or distract us -- this is certainly true for me in writing of all types). It was a good discussion, mainly about social attitudes to gender and how we try to combat and survive these, in fact, and conducted at a high level of insight. You'd have enjoyed it, I think!
Aug. 12th, 2014 08:17 am (UTC)
Internalised misogyny was a shock to me when I first came across it, since I had been raised in, essentially, a gender-neutral environment. Exam-based meritocracy cares nothing about sex. Our education authorities were interested in the size of our brains, not what bodies we were carrying them around in. Ditto my current employers.

The only reason I would consider Servalan a bad role model is because of her blatant lack of commitment to civil service ethics.
Aug. 12th, 2014 08:17 am (UTC)
The best answer that I have ever received was "one cute guy is good, two cute guys are better!"
Aug. 12th, 2014 08:11 am (UTC)
Oh yes. The number of Tolkien fic writers who have complained to me that it is impossible, impossible, that elves did not practice sex-based social-role differentiation, even if Tolkien said so, would (perhaps not) astound you. Or the ones who claim that Eowyn is doomed to being a powerless potterer around the garden, as if being number two consort in the incipient Western Empire is going to be an unimportant role.

I noticed some of that in your "The Grass King's Concubine" too.
Aug. 12th, 2014 02:54 pm (UTC)
WorldBelow reflects WorldAbove in that book: trying to shape it differently made it really, really hard to make clear to readers, given it was funneled through external (or ferret) viewpoints. But I do struggle with this myself, I admit.
Aug. 13th, 2014 03:54 am (UTC)
It was less obvious in that book than in "Living With Ghosts", where all the major female characters died, and the ones with power were undercut by their personal relationship failures (Yvelliane) and personal weakness(Quenfrida). Though I admit that the ferret women (portraying women as childish or animal being of course also a common way of denying them the right to strive for power on equal terms with men) were rather striking in that respect.

I actually found "The Grass King's Concubine" more interesting as a look at colonialism, through Marcellan and his attempts to change WorldBelow to suit his own ideas of what was right or proper.
Aug. 8th, 2014 09:28 am (UTC)
Yes, the same has happened to me.
Aug. 12th, 2014 05:00 pm (UTC)
I really hope you'll be back at Nine Worlds next year - I thought yours was a wonderful contribution to the various debates and panels.

Aug. 12th, 2014 09:13 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
I thought you were an excellent panellist, too.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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