Elemental, My Dear Sandra

Last night on Twitter various people starting linking to a “periodic table” of women in SF (PDF). Apparently it had been circulated at WisCon. That seemed a nice thing to do, but being on the iPhone I thought no more of it. Then I discovered I was on it! (Thanks Susan!) Let me put that in context.

Firstly I am on a list of just over 100 people that also includes Ursula K. Le Guin, Angela Carter and Octavia Butler. I am staggered, and deeply honored.

Also, I am on it, while people like Liz Williams, Storm Constantine, Pamela Zoline, Kelley Eskridge, Helen Merrick and Timmi Duchamp (to name but a few) are not. Obviously Sandra had to make some choices, so I’m not complaining about people being left off. Also she did provide a few blank spaces for people to add their own favorites, which was a great idea. But that I got on and those I named above didn’t??? Wow.

(Having said that, this does highlight what I believe to be a particular blind spot that WisCon people have when it comes to Liz Williams. She has written some really good feminist SF and y’all ought to go and read it.)

I think, also, that I am the only person on the list who is there for what was basically fan activity. Everyone else on the list is a professional of some sort.

Those of us with chemistry degrees immediately started wondering which element we had been assigned. Last night I thought I had been given Lead, which I found amusing. However, on closer inspection on a full screen I see that Sandra’s table does not have the same number of columns as the periodic table of elements, so direct comparisons are difficult. Numerically I am #71, and the element with that number is Lutetium. That’s a rare earth element named after the Roman city of Lutetia, now Paris. As with many such things, there was some dispute over naming rights to begin with, and Wikipedia says that in Germany it was originally called Cassiopium, which is rather cool.

I note also that I have been positioned directly between Ellen Klages and Nicola Griffith. This could be interesting. :-)

But by far the best thing about this is the awesome video that Sandra made to showcase the project. Watch, it is lovely.

And Sandra, THANK YOU!!!

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3 Responses to Elemental, My Dear Sandra

  1. “These are the only ones of which the news has come to Harvard /
    And there may be many others, but they haven’t been discovered.”

  2. martha says:

    If I were given a number aligning me with the precursor city to Paris, I’d be hop, skipping and jumping with glee. You rock!

  3. Arnold Akien says:

    I was So pleased to see that Andre Norton is UP there at the Top of the Table … all right , maybe that is just the way that it worked with ‘ N ‘, but, still, it is a position that is so well merited.

    ” … and the element with that number is Lutetium. ”

    A casual search discloses that there is a ” Hotel Lutia – Paris ” ….

    ” Hotel Lutetia, the spirit of the Left Bank, celebrates its centenary!
    From December 1st, 2009 to December 31st, 2010, Hotel Lutetia will be celebrating its birthday, a century packed with history, through a great many events held all year long. Exceptional parties, appearances by prestigious jazz artists, photographers and writers, special offers… A year that promises to beHotel Lutetia, the spirit of the Left Bank, celebrates its centenary!
    From December 1st, 2009 to December 31st, 2010, Hotel Lutetia will be celebrating its birthday, a century packed with history, through a great many events held all year long. Exceptional parties, appearances by prestigious jazz artists, photographers and writers, special offers… A year that promises to be festive, sparkling and exciting. ”

    I hadn’t realised that this year promised to be …
    ” festive, sparkling and exciting. ”

    http://www.lutetia-paris.com/en/?

    How can you resist their blandishments Cheryl?

    It looks to be a good small convention Con Hotel.