Thursday, May 30, 2013

Another WisCon report to check out

This year at WisCon, I had the pleasure of seeing Aqueductista Kiini Ibura Salaam graced by the Tiptree tiara. Kath took numerous photos of Kiini wearing the tiara, but my camera made a really poor showing this year, and not one of the photos Kath took of her were even remotely clear enough to post. (Which is why I'm posting the photo of her we've been using on her author's page on Aqueduct's site.)

As you probably already know, many of us present on Sunday night at the official presentation of the Tiptree Award were moved by Kiini speech. Kiini did not read from a prepared speech, but after WisCon she took the kernel of her speech and expanded it into a short essay that has been posted on SF Signal here: Surely most women who are writers have at one time or another found themselves beaten down by the doubt that almost always accompanies discouragement. It is a commonplace that the world (often in the form of friends and relatives) assume that writing that hasn't won significant recognition simply drains time from all those things women are supposed to be doing with their time (chiefly nurturing and caring for others). I know I had some pretty grim moments, particularly in the late 1980s, myself, even in comparison with the skepticism I naturally encountered when I decided not to finish my doctorate in history so that I could write novels I had no reason to believe anyone would ever care about. I still sometimes wonder how I managed to keep writing when it seemed the entire world was telling me that I was wrong to think doing so would ever matter to anyone besides myself. So many of us have been there (or are, at this moment, suffering that negative pressure.) Kiini's words both acknowledge and challenge the crushing power of such doubt. 

Kiini has also written a con report-- on her second WisCon, this one attended with her daughter, and as the co-winner of this year's Tiptree Award. I of course adore her observations on hugging at WisCon and have to admit I experienced a moment of frisson at her description of her reading (which I myself attended): "As part of the Kindred Reading Series with my fab New York peeps–Alaya Dawn Johnson, K Tempest Bradford, Jennifer Brissett, and Daniel José Older–and I read the first half of “Bio-Anger,” a science fiction horror story from my collection. I actually traumatized myself while reading it and found myself getting shaky-voiced and emotional as the story progressed."Anyway, you can read her entire con report here:

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