Thursday, July 26, 2007

Re-Post: The WisCON Chronicles

Call for Ideas and Materials

Were you at WisCon this year? Was there a particular panel, discussion, or speaker that especially fired your imagination? If so, Aqueduct Press, publisher of The WisCon Chronicles, would like to hear from you. We are seeking suggestions and submissions for volume two of the series, which will deal with WisCon 31 (2007).

We want this volume to continue and extend the discussions that took place at the panels. So far, we are considering articles that derive from the following panels: The Future of Feminism: How does feminism need to change? Is it time for a reassessment of what feminism means? How can we take more action? Some people attending the panel felt that it was too much about white, middle-class, middle-aged feminists worrying about passing the torch to the younger generation. How would our thinking change if we looked forward to the issues likely to challenge us in the near and middle future, or if we looked laterally to the organizational strategies and tactics of the many feminist movements that are so vibrant and active in the third world today? As readers and writers and critics of feminist sf, surely we can expand our view of what feminism could be in the future!

The Romance of Revolution: This panel was rife with controversy. When a person of color in the audience asked the panelists to include examples of non-American, non-European revolutions, one of the members of the all-white panel said he “liked the Pol Pot revolution” and suggested that you can’t “retrain” people and thus have to “start from scratch” if you want to change a society. He later said that he wanted to make a point about the dangers of “utopian aspirations.” In addition, some audience members were outraged when another panelist asserted that the Indian Revolution was successful only because the US pulled Britain’s loans after WWII. This question remains: why in sf circles is the romance of revolution always so white, when in real life, postcolonial revolutions are so common? For more about this, see two posts at Ambling along the Aqueduct: and

Unfair to Middle-class White Guys: This was a discussion that quickly moved beyond its satiric but misleading title to address issues of increasing racial, cultural, and gender-based diversity in the field. Can editors transcend their own cultural limitations to publish works that appeal to the diverse world of science fiction readers? Are the ones who can’t doomed? Or is it the genre itself that will end as bleached bones kicked to the roadside of literature? What if You Don’t Want to Have Kids: Is not wanting kids the last feminist taboo? For more about this, see the discussion on Ambling along the Aqueduct . If you were on or attended one of these panels and would like to participate­to offer ideas or to submit an essay­please get in touch with us. Don’t be shy. We may want you, and we don’t necessarily have your email.

If you were blown away by a WisCon panel that we haven’t mentioned and would like to see its ideas expanded upon in The WisCon Chronicles, Volume 2, please let us know. Tell us the name of the panel, which participants (including audience members) most engaged you, and what was valuable to you about the discussion. If you’re interested in writing an essay on the topic or contributing to the book in some other way, please mention that as well. Please respond with ideas and suggestions by September 1, 2007. We will follow up with a request for submission of articles and essays on the topics we choose. To receive a list of topics (to be announced September 10), please send a request to

Since the editors will be choosing specific topics to be considered, please query before writing an article. If you want to submit an article or essay, please send a proposal by October 1, 2007. (The earlier the better.) The deadline for the submission of finished essays is November 1, 2007. We’re looking for essays of 1000-5000 words. Payment will be nominal. Email or postal submissions/responses are both acceptable. Send email to

Send postal mail to PO Box 95787, Seattle WA 98145-2787. Thanks! L. Timmel Duchamp Eileen Gunn Editors The WisCon Chronicles, Volume 2

PS: If you are on a blog or mailing list that takes an interest in these matters, please feel free to re-post this message.

No comments: