Internets, I hope you are ready for some serious reading! The 13th Carnival of Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy Fans is up at Words From the Center, Words From the Edge, and if I had to describe the collection in just one word, I would choose “comprehensive.” As is often the case, many of the posts linked in the Carnival are ones that have been mentioned in previous editions of IRtI, but there’s oodles of great stuff from corners of the internets that I had not previously visited (and also stuff from bloggers I read all the time, and had somehow missed…). Number 14 will be at Heroine Content, and you have until the 27th to get your submissions in.
Also on the internets this week is the 37th Carnival of Feminists (the more general, less dorky version), hosted at KitKat’s Critique. I always mean to read the Carnival of Feminists and can never find the time – Katie’s enormous roundup is probably going to be a tough one for me to start with, but I’m determined to make it through.
There’s also the first issue of Cerise, this week, for further reading. I really enjoyed working on it, and I suspect that those of you with an interest in gaming will enjoy reading it – and perhaps you’ll want to submit something for the second issue.
Most weeks, I mention at least one way to get your work out there if you’re a writer. This week, I also read about an opportunity for artists – specifically, for pencilers and colorists for a comic book: Tommy Roddy (who is, seriously, one of the nicest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of communicating with) is looking for summer guest artists for Pride High.
I read a post by The Angry Black Woman this week that I’ve seen widely linked, but which I want to give as much attention as possible: “How to Promote Diversity in Fiction Markets.” At the end, she sums it up thus:
To promote diversity in your slushpile and then, by extension, your market, you must:
- Make sure a wide range of people know that your magazine accepts unsolicited submissions by reaching out and posting notifications in venues frequented by non-white and non-male individuals.
- Put your money where your mouth is. Publish more stories by established authors that feature non-default people and non-default settings so that newer authors (and readers) will see your market as open to diverse views and ideas.
- Update submission guidelines to very clear statements of what the market is looking for or lacking.
- Get creative with ways to attract more diverse subjects, settings, characters, and writers.
- In the fiction selection process, think carefully about the stories you choose. Publish stories that reflect a true balance (but don’t lower your standards to do so).
ABW is also hosting an upcoming carnival, the Erase Racism Carnival, for which she particularly invites more posts on “the topic of race and racism in the SF/F/H genre.” I’m looking forward to reading it.
LiveJournaler deconcentrate had some interesting things to say about diversity in genre fiction [article since locked], this week. Specifically, about diverse characters in comic books – and about the standards to which they’re held:
You know, unless I’m mistaken, equal rights is about the radical notion that people who aren’t white, male, heterosexual, and Christian are people too. And that means they have a right to be just as generic as everyone else.
After tekanji’s “The beauty myth and character design” post last week, I found Lisa Fortuner’s “Obligatory Power Girl Boob Post” (in her new column, Just Past the Horizon, at Newsarama) particularly interesting. The way she talks about the visual representation of a character as part of characterization, and the images she chooses that show Power Girl’s non-breast attributes are things that I think more artists should see.
Karen Healey also wrote about Peeg’s breasts this week:
I like my breasts, hard as such reception makes it. But they aren’t the most important thing about me. They’re not even in the top ten. If I have to have a radical double masectomy, I’ll miss my breasts, but losing them won’t mean losing myself. I’ll still be me. I’ll still be a vital human being, still bold and quick to anger and eager to fight injustice.
So how do you think I feel, watching writer after writer and artist after artist saying “Yes, Power Girl is bold, she’s angry, she fights the good fight – but don’t ever forget the breasts! It doesn’t matter if that personality isn’t evident in the art! Emphasise the boobs, always, over everything else!”?
Karen’s boob post resonated with me particularly because of another post she wrote this week, “I Think We Need A Bigger Barda,” wherein she calls for Big Barda to be drawn with the “hefty,” “large,” “lummox” body type that the text claims she has. Big Barda is probably my favorite comics character, and I first became interested in her in large part because she’s this gigantic, physically powerful woman. I’m only 5’5”, myself – a far cry from seven feet tall – but I’ve often been described as “looming,” even so. Just as Karen has been sometimes made to feel that her body is inappropriate because of her large breasts, I have often felt that my muscular biceps and huge thighs make mine an inappropriate body for a woman (my own modest A-cups certainly haven’t helped with that). There are very few images in any sort of media of women with bodies like mine. But every once in a while, an artist draws Big Barda so that she almost looks as big as I feel. I can’t even express how powerful those images are, to me.
And after all of that heavy (hah!) stuff, here’s a link to an xkcd comic that made me giggle.