Writing

Avoiding Tokenism in Literature at CONvergence 2018

Avoiding Tokenism in Literature at CONvergence 2018

Creating actual diversity requires a great effort to avoid unintentionally tokenizing your characters. Tokenism, even when unintentional, is what leads to adding "diversity" for the sake of diversity. How do we engender true diversity in our literature?
Panelists:
Tamora Pierce, Justin Grays, Kerry Peterson (mod), Jei Herald-Zamora

CVG 2018 Day 3, Part 2 - Sex in Sci-Fi/Fantasy

CVG 2018 Day 3, Part 2 - Sex in Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Content Warning: Rape gets brought up in this post. It is mentioned in the Hard Passes.

CONvergence 2018 was July 5-8, 2018, almost 3 months ago now. I had planned on getting this post done two weeks ago as I have been trying to get posts out on a regular basis, but certain events tied up my brainspace. I’m not willing to say that I am back on track yet, but I am certainly trying. As a reminder of Day 3 (Saturday the 7th), I was on the panel “Polyamory 101” and attended “Sex in Sci-Fi/Fantasy”. For part 2, I present to you my notes from “Sex in Sci-Fi/Fantasy”.

My apologies for taking so long to post!

My apologies for taking so long to post!

My apologies for taking so long to post - two things have happened recently that have slowed me down. The first thing of note is that my primary laptop (the piece of modern technology) has been finding new ways to stop working (first the power button somehow got disconnected, and then the keyboard was acting funky, and then the screen hinge disconnected, and then lastly the monitor decided that the brightness was at minimum while the keyboard quit working again). The second thing is that I caught the concrud at CONvergence 2018.

Science Fiction, Gender, and Race: How Star Trek Has Failed to Live Up to its Progressive Ideals

Science Fiction, Gender, and Race: How Star Trek Has Failed to Live Up to its Progressive Ideals

In May of 2012, I graduated with my BA in Gender Studies from Metropolitan State University. My capstone paper was titled "Science Fiction, Gender, and Race: How Star Trek Has Failed to Live Up to its Progressive Ideals" - it was because the 2009 Star Trek film was still on my mind (the second reboot film wouldn't be out until 2013) and I was still very disappointed in it.

MarsCon 2018 - Day 3

MarsCon 2018 - Day 3

If you haven't read MarsCon 2018 - Day 1 or MarsCon 2018 - Day 2 already, I would suggest that you read those two entries first. Some parts of the eight previous panels can be connected to today's panels: "Androids, AI, And Gender Theory" and "Artificial People in Science Fiction."

MarsCon 2018 - Day 1

MarsCon 2018 - Day 1

MarsCon is a fan-run science fiction convention for all ages held every March in the Twin Cities area. This year's theme is Robots, Rayguns, & Rockets: The 3 R's of Sci-Fi. Today I was on two panels, "Avoiding the Tokenism in Comics and Sci Fi Cultures," "How to Fail Gracefully," and "Polyamory: Perceptions and Realities." There are audio recordings of all three panels; however, they are still the raw, unedited versions. The normalized, balanced versions will be put up on a later post. I also took some notes for some of the panels - I will include them here so that I can expand on them on a later date. Please feel free to ask questions and post comments about the panels. Enjoy!

NaNoWriMo is upon us!

NaNoWriMo is upon us. National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a 30-day event in November where people attempt to write a 50,000 word novel. Their Mission Statement is:

National Novel Writing Month believes in the transformational power of creativity. We provide the structure, community, and encouragement to help people find their voices, achieve creative goals, and build new worlds—on and off the page.
— https://nanowrimo.org/about

I have been participating in NaNoWriMo since 2011. In that time, I have tried my hand at various Science Fiction and Fantasy tales. This year, as a motivator, I am going to try something different: you all will have the opportunity to see my progress as I go. As I'm writing, I will be posting what I am writing to my Patreon for $1+ sponsors. If I complete stories, they will be available for early download for $10+ sponsors.

I will be dedicating a good deal of my mental resources towards writing for NaNoWriMo throughout November. There will still be blog posts, of course, but they may be shorter than usual. But this will be a fun time! Check out my NaNoWriMo page here: https://nanowrimo.org/participants/justin-grays


If you like what you read here, and would like to show your support, please consider donating.

I am on Patreon to help fund the work that goes into maintaining a website and creating researched content. Also, it will give me some financial relief as I am also endeavoring to complete a number of science fiction and fantasy stories, and hopefully compile them into zines or collected works. As a sponsor, you'll get quality blog posts, early access to completed stories, and the knowledge that you are helping me fund the creative process. I will get the benefit of some stress reduction as I won't have to worry about finances as much anymore, and that will help me be free to create more work.

It's not always possible to sponsor on a monthly basis. If you would like to do a one time donation, please feel free to use PayPal or SquareCash. Producing content takes time and effort, and any support would be most appreciated. Your donations help me cover expenses and eventually will let me be able to create quality content full-time.