Sunday, March 15, 2009

RaceFail Again

I continue to be interested in RaceFail, checking Rydra Wong's links every day. I've written three long posts for my blog and then deleted them. I'm not going to delete my previous post here, though I am not happy with it, since my response to other people's unhappiness was to give helpful advice and put things in perspective. When a person is hurting, they do not want either.

I'm doing a lot of thinking about "writing the other." This is what my deleted posts have been about. But I'm not sure that I have anything to say in public.

Anyway, a very interesting discussion. I am heartened by the creation of verb_noir, and by the publications which have issued statements saying that they welcome writing by people of color. I am heartened by Wiscon's response to the controversy. I am heartened by all the people of color who are being very direct about their feelings, though I do not find it comfortable to read their posts.

P.S. A question. SF tends to write about a generic Americanized future. Fantasy tends to write about a generic fake-European past. Mary Anne Mohanraj has done a fine post about creating specific (non-generic) identities for characters. Now, the question I have is -- is it more difficult to sell fiction about non-generic cultures and characters?

It may not be possible to answer this question. Editors say they buy the best stories without bias. Writers always suspect otherwise, if they have difficulty selling. If writers don't have trouble selling, they tend to see no problem.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is a tangent, not a response:

I'm reading David Treuer's essay collection "Native American Fiction: A User's Manual." It's about literary interpretation, with a focus on what he talks about as reading culture into texts and reading texts as culture.

It's obviously not specific to SFF, but it struck me that he asks a lot of hard questions and offers readings of well-known novels that are directly relevant to these issues of 'writing the other,' reading diverse texts, etc. coming up about speculative fiction.

-Carrie Devall