Thought of this in the shower, writing it very fast. Contains exactly one shower’s worth of insight, but compiled over 20 years’ experience.
All this talk of the canon, its straight-white-Western-male bias. All good talk. I have a bigger problem tho. Problem isn’t that the canon is bad, but that it exists as a thing. It isn’t a thing, it’s an artificial construct. IRL it was living, breathing. Now dead weight.
The problem isn’t what the canon is, it’s what it blocks out.
This piece by Sandra Newman pissed me the hell off when I first read it. I thought, here she comes into SF on a literary ticket, has so much to say, has no clue the wars we have all been fighting for women and minorities to be recognised. Was mad. Ears: steam.
Well, she’s rite about what’s wrong–shit was crazy then but not now–but she’s wrong about why.
I think why is because commercial system has got us by throat. Diversity means also diversity of artistic forms and visions. System wants ‘there can only be one’ , plus clones of course. Clone legions ftw.
THIS IS NOT HEALTHY. It reinforces racism, sexism, ablism, all the vectors on which ppl can be excluded and also it excludes their IDEAS. Everybody’s ideas. Especially the wild ones.
The marketing system we have starves the creative genome of opportunities to mix, too. Why do you think there are so many mash-ups? Because it’s the quik & easy way 2 make something new.
Why are there so many reboots? Hedgehog obvs, rite? Bc our marketing system has sucked the life out of our ecosystem. There’s no oxygen or food for the tender, new, different, and strange.
We need to diversify in all ways, guys. We need to stop grabbing sugar and go for fruit. We shop and live like f&cking pawns.
We won’t do it, but it’s what we need.
I get told: ‘If you would just rite this kind of thing and not that’ all the time. So do my friends. We get told, implicitly, ‘If you would just hew to our mold, U could hav nice things.’
We get told this because nobody will buy outside the mold. Well, no. There’s me gone down in flames. Guess I can’t be sold, because your molds don’t interest me, nor your spores, SF 😉
I went to a conference at Oxford for undergraduate women in physics. One of the luminaries of contemporary astronomy, Prof. Katherine Blundell, gave us a talk about how to succeed in science. A question she asked over and over, in different contexts, was this:
‘Are you free to think?’
Science fiction, I don’t think you are. U make me crai because I don’t think ur free at all.
There you go, kids. When I write down my shower musings it comes out same as if me drunk. Hav a niceday.