CoNZealand – Day 5

Another one bites the dust. Worldcon 78 is dead, long live Worldcon 78, aka DisCon III.

I have made a start on catching up on programming. I particularly want to recommend the Afrofuturism panel, if you haven’t seen it yet, mainly because all of the panelists, despite being Black, insisted that they didn’t write Afrofuturism.

This resonated with me, because similar sorts of issues affect writing by trans people. There seem to be three main stages to the representation project. First you get written about by white people (or in my case cis people). Then you get to write your own stories, but only if they are ghettoised in fiction for Your Kind. And finally you get to just write fiction like the other people do.

One of the panel, I think Brandon O’Brien, said something along the lines of, “No one talks about White Futurism, that is just Futurism.” Exactly.

Oh, and Brandon, mate, if you are reading this, I’d love to have a chat with you at some point about American Gods. I totally take your point about Anansi, but it seems to me that the whole point of that book is that every god in it has been appropriated by America and forced to adapt to American culture.

I was also entertained by the other translation panel. As you probably know, German is a language in which most things are gendered. Tables, cups and bicycles have gender. So the German translator of Ancillary Justice carefully made sure that everything in the book was gendered female. Cora Buhlert said that it was very disorienting to read, but I suspect that’s just the effect that Ann Leckie wanted.

Today I did finally manage to get to the Exhibits area. The Art Show was quite fun, if much smaller than it needed to be for a virtual con. I was particularly taken by the people who made monster head hunting trophies to stick on your wall. Some of the exhibits were interesting too, though I though the 3D rendering was more technically clever than useful.

Sadly the Dealers’ Room was rather dull. To my eyes it was the part of the convention experience that worked least well in a vitual convention. Whether that is because of the facilities available to dealers, or because the concept doesn’t work, I can’t be sure.

One thought on “CoNZealand – Day 5

  1. Reading this makes me think all the times in politics when I have noticed how science fiction and fantasy have been ahead of social changes.

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