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Strange Horizons

I'm over at Strange Horizons today, as part of a roundtable on representing marginalised voices in historical fiction and sff, alongside two writers I admire a lot, David Anthony Durham and Joyce Chng (aka J Damask). I loved getting to do this: Joyce and David are very insightful people and I learnt a lot; and our moderator Vanessa Rose Phin asked excellent questions. You can find it here:

In other news, the cats are planting themselves in the flowerbeds where the sun is warmest, the wip is progressing slowly and the lilac bush just outside my window is coming into bloom. I like April.

Skirt of the day: denim


Apr. 28th, 2015 03:04 pm (UTC)
Excellent point about the diaspora narrative. There's an interesting flip side to the diaspora narrative, though, and that's the perspective of the committed pioneer/emigrant. The fiddlefootedness of the typical pioneer type is a cliche in Western Americana but as someone descended from that background, I can attest that it's very real. A diaspora type looks back to where they have been and where they come from and idealizes it. A fiddlefoot type wants to think about where they're going to be next. It's not always a narrative of dominance, though--chronicles of the early fur trappers in Western America reflected a desire to see and discover new things to them. Some of that was for profit and exploitation, but...it was also a big way to reset a life bogged down in more settled circumstances. I'm not particularly fond of a diaspora narrative any more. Exploration, yes.
Apr. 29th, 2015 07:59 am (UTC)
Nods., We don't really have the explorer narrative in the UK anymore -- it's there in 19th century adventure fiction but it's not been current since the 30s or 40s. But I can see how important it is in the US.
Apr. 29th, 2015 01:55 pm (UTC)
It also takes a different form in the country of origin as well. The explorer narrative in the UK is vastly different from the emigrant narrative in the US. The memories of multiple movements are within a few hundred years and in some cases may still exist in family oral history. I have pieces of glassware which may have survived the Oregon Trail passage in 1846 (and appear to have survived the most recent move as well. Tough glass pieces).

The US stories are told in the New Home, not Back Home, and that's a different slant. Which makes me wonder about the stories of other past and current population movements. While the movement to the Americas from Europe was in part optional, there were (are) those for whom it was a refugee or forced movement. Refugees from war, environmental catastrophe, or political changes have different perspectives from those who are moving to maximize economic benefit or get a new job. Complex stuff.

(sorry if I sound incoherent, head spinning and an otherwise smooth relocation on my part--about four and a half hours from Spokane, feel free to holler if you and the marquis want to see Wallowa Lake and some pretty mountains around Sasquan--has finally kicked up complications with regard to paperwork and such. Arrgh).

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