Sci-Fi Alien(ation): Diversity & Bigotry in Science Fiction & Fantasy

Friday night’s event at the CUNY Grad Center was a rousing success. It’s bittersweet to hear that some people were turned away because attendance exceeded the room’s capacity! Fortunately, there’s video!

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This panel discussion, convened by Dr. Philip Kadish, took its point of departure from the debacle of the 2015 Hugo Awards in which a cadre of malcontents tried to game the voting at the World Science Fiction Convention in order to forward candidates who represented their preferences rather than any favorable disposition toward the flourishing diversity among SF writers and readers in recent years. The panelists included people whose livelihood and literary reputations are indirectly implicated in these developments: authors Craig L. Gidney and Jennifer Marie Brissett. And me!

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It was a truly illuminating discussion, with occasional questions from the audience and a legit revival when Jenn Brissett arrived to recount her experiences with the Science Fiction Writers of America, the tepid institutional response to her success, and the systemic nature of the genre’s slow-moving efforts at inclusion. I’ll let the video and the brilliant work of these authors speak for themselves. Many thanks to everyone who showed up. I’m proud to have sold some books, too! IMG_-kn449r

A seasonal cold kept me from the Rainbow Book Fair, but the next stop on the Speculative Blackness #Formation Book Tour 2016 will be Tribble Nation on WHYY with the Black Tribbles, on Monday, April 11! Listen live and check out the podcast at http://www.blacktribbles.com.

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