Continuum: Con runners Confab

No Award went to Continuum! As we often do, being Melbourne fans of a certain persuasion. We didn’t get to many panels we weren’t on, so rather than doing an overview of the whole con, we thought we’d do a couple of individual posts about things that arose.

The first in this series is about the Con Runners Confab, which was not a panel so much as an informal discussion between past and future con runners about convention culture in Australia (and New Zealand) and its evolution and future.

This post is as unstructured as the confab itself was, but Liz hopes it serves as a jumping off point for ideas about new models of fan gatherings, and recognition of the people who put the work into building and maintaining places (real and virtual) where fans gather.

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Guests of Honour of colour for Australian cons

We are not the boss of you, or of your SFF con, but we think that Australian cons can do better in finding diverse creators to be guests of honour. (We do not exclude cons we’ve personally chaired from that.) But it’s not uncommon to try to think of a potential guest, and go completely blank. Names, how do they work?

So here is an incomplete list of non-binary, female, and male local and international people of not-whiteness who you could consider inviting to your con.

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This Again: “Asian Flavours” in SFF

It was a big weekend, and Liz and Steph were pretty distracted by the AFLGF (and also Steph had a busy Singapore weekend), so somehow we managed to miss the theme of Canberra’s SFF con, Conflux, this year with three white guests:

Chinese watercolour-style design of a monkey and some poorly-painted mountains forming the Conflux 12 logo

Three white guests, and the theme ‘Red Fire Monkey.’

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The invisible women

Last week, The Conversation published an essay titled “Science fiction’s women problem“, by Bronwyn Lovell. It examines women’s past and present place in SF, and looks at issues such as bias against female writers in both publishing and reviewing, and movements like the Sad and Rabid Puppies.

It’s one of those frustrating reads because Liz went in wanting to agree with everything it said, and wound up picking it all apart. Three over-long Facebook comments later, Liz remembered we have a blog.

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Reading the Hugos 2016: Novelettes

FUNNY STORY: so I thought I was eligible to vote for the Hugos already, but then I realised that I didn’t have a membership for the current WorldCon. So, a few weeks ago, I bought a supporting membership … for WorldCon 75. You know. Next year’s WorldCon.

But now it’s all sorted, I have a supporting membership to the right con, and more importantly, I have the Hugo packet.

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the value of the lady dollar

If you’re going to release shoes celebrating an iconic female character, you’re probably not even going to stop and wonder if they’ll be available to women. Because that’s a no-brainer, right? Obviously they’ll be marketed to everyone.

Reebok celebrates Ellen Ripley by selling her shoes in men’s sizes only

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#solidarityisforCatGrant

Supergirl is a delightful, frothy sorbet mingling the sweetness of a family drama (both in the sense of being about family, and suitable for families with older children), the stronger flavours of an action series, and just a dash of Feminism 101.  Its special effects are on the ropey side, some of the acting is a bit rough, and it wears its heart and subtexts on its sleeve.

I love it.

I especially love Cat Grant, self-made media mogul, employer of Kara Danvers and creator of Supergirl’s media persona. Cat’s storylines deal with the complexities of being a woman in a masculine business, being an older woman in an ageist society, and more.  She is a wonderful character who says true things about the challenges facing women in the workforce.  She calls out mansplainers and takes no crap from people who look down on her because she’s a single mother who started out as a gossip columnist. She is, in many ways, a feminist role model.

She’s just not mine.

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