anthimeria: Astro City superheroine Flying Fox (Flying Fox)
[personal profile] anthimeria
Day two was just as awesome as day one (and I am just as tired at the end of it)!

Too many wonderful panels at the same time--this morning I wanted to go to Race Basics, Craft of Writing YA, and The Politics of Steampunk, which were all at ten o'clock.  I ended up doing a lot of panel-hopping, starting in one panel and going to another because I couldn't bear to miss it.

The REVENGE OF NOT ANOTHER F*CKING RACE PANEL ended up being great geeky fun.  We (as an audience) were given categories such as "[blank] IN SPAAAAAAACE!" "zombie care bear stare" "KHAAAAAAAANNNNNN!" "Sparkle Pony" and "We welcome our robot overlords."  We then had to ask the panel (all women of color) a question in that category.  Questions (and answers) ranged from Valdemar fanfic to zombie animals to hard-done-by Star Trek characters and vegan food experiments.  We did, of course, end the "panel" by yelling "WISCONNNNN!" en masse.

Right after that, I attending something completely different--an ally panel, called "White to White--How you as a white person can talk to other white people about racism."  For me, this is a very useful panel, because I often find myself without the strategies for engaging with race that I have when talking about gender or queer issues.  And it's something that comes up in my life and my fiction (Eshe's black!  I'm not!  I would really like to screw up as little as possible with her and with future characters, so I'm trying to crash-course educate myself), so discussing strategies--and examining why white people tend to get defensive, guilty, dismissive or all three when race comes up--was really useful.  We'll have to see how well I can employ them.

Next up, a sort of mix of my previous two panels: The Cultural Construction of Sexuality.  This panel probably should have had "In SF/F" at the end, because the panel took it as read that sexuality is largely (if not entirely) a social/cultural construct, and they and the audience then spent the entire hour and fifteen minutes talking about examples of alternate or speculative sexualities in fiction (on a societal scale, so not "I like this gay character" but "Left Hand of Darkness" and "Xenogensis"), and where we'd like to see spec-fic go next.  We mentioned multi-gendered societies, aliens who don't reproduce sexually, human/alien relations, biology and sexuality (and divorcing sex from reproduction), pushing boundaries in a society (alien, human or cybernetic) whose boundaries aren't ours, and drawing inspiration from the natural world, among many, many other things.

Other panels I wanted to go to in that time slot were Intersectionality in Fandom and Lesbian Characters in Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Then my friend and I hung out in the con suite for dinner and met up with some of the writers we met yesterday to chat before the Tiptree auction, which was at least half improv comedy.  I was extremely tempted by the WisCon 22 shirt signed by Ursula Le Guin, but I can barely afford to come to this con, let alone buy stuff.  I will definitely be coming back, though, and supporting the Tiptree Award as soon as I have the funds. 

The Tiptree Award goes to an author in spec-fic in the last year who has pushed, redefined or experimented well with gender roles.  This year there are two recipients, who win money with the award, and who are flown in and put up in the con hotel.  Tiptree money also goes to WisCon community people in need during the year, so this is quite the worthy cause.

Afterward, I hit the parties and yapped with a bunch of people I met today and yesterday, including a number of panelists who complimented me on my audience participation!  It was really flattering, and I'm glad because I'm good at discussion, but I also think it was at least partly because I had my (3-foot-long) hair in high pig tails today, which is an incredibly distinctive hairstyle.  I will have to remember this strategy for future cons, because the audience learns the panelists' names but not usually vice versa.  Though there are a lot of people with cool hair at this con.  My friend attended and enjoyed the Lightspeed Magazine launch, which I missed because I got caught up in a conversation on my way and walked in literally two minutes before the end.  Such is WisCon.

Tomorrow I am hauling myself out of bed quite early to attend an 8:30 panel, so I'm going to sleep.  WisCon continues to be one of my favorite cons ever!


ETA: [personal profile] starlady has posted notes on the Politics of Steampunk panel!

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anthimeria: unicorn rampant, first line of Kipling's "The Thousandth Man" (Default)
Lauren K. Moody

Positive Obsession

There is hope in error, but none at all in perfection.
--Ursula K. Le Guin

The universe is made up of stories, not atoms.
--Muriel Rukeyser

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
--Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

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