Category: Craft

Feeling bummed about magic

Are you feeling bummed by Rowling’s poor effort in Magic in America or whatever it’s called? Truth be told I haven’t read it, and based on reviews I probably won’t. But I can recommend The Cultural Appropriation Handbook, a post on Medium by K. Tempest Bradford.


Speculatively yours

Racism and Science Fiction — classic essay by Samual Delany, an essential text from 1998.

Zen Cho on fantasy — an article from the Independent.

It’s okay to admit that Lovecraft was racist — an article on Salon.

Black to the Future — Philadelphia Weekly reports on the Ferguson is the Future symposium on speculative fiction. Click on that link and you’ll be listening to amazing speculative fiction writers take on questions of race, of voice, of philosophy, Afrofuturism and so so much more.


I don’t even know what to call this post

Here’s an article in Poets & Writers on MFAs addressing diversity issues. And here’s a Tumblr Race & the MFA, which looks to have lots of resources.

Then there’s the recent WTF at an MFA program, which is illustrative. I don’t find the original text, but here’s one student’s response to a talk by an MFA faculty member: On Kindness, On Intention, and On Anger in Children’s Writers

And then there’s this: AWP is Us (original post has been replaced with an apology.)

I leave these here for you to ponder.

Writing the Other: The book and more background

So we started the semester by reading Writing the Other by Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward. It’s a slim volume with several essays, actually. There’s a useful discussion about the “unmarked state,” and a trip into the reptile brain:

The reptile brain will always remember the…bigoted information it learns, even when our conscious minds know the information is false.

(I’d give you the page number for this quote but I read it on my phone. It’s about 12% of the way through.)

The only caveat in my recommendation is the book’s assertion that class is not considered an important marker in America. I don’t know. All I ever heard is that poor people are leeches and if you don’t have resources it’s your own fault. Job creators are awesome, etc. Maybe it’s a generational thing and that’s why I don’t get the argument. It seems to me that class doesn’t matter in America in the same way that people claim to “not see color.”

But still, a useful and even reassuring place to start contemplating a trip out of your comfort zone.