Tag Archives: Conventions

Arisia 2016 Schedule

I am quite active at Arisia this year (even in comparison with previous years)!

B&w photo of Crystal wearing goggles in Finland

Crystal can wear a pair of goggles like a pro, yo!

Friday at 5:30 pm in Marina 1
SUPERGIRL!

Friday at 7 pm in Faneuil
GENRE FICTION IN TRANSLATION

Saturday at 4 pm in Marina 4
MY FRIEND WROTE A BOOK; DO I HAVE TO BUY IT?

Saturday at 5:30 pm in Burroughs
CULTURAL ASSUMPTIONS IN SFF

Saturday at 9 pm in Room 666
WORLDCON 75 PARTY!!! (open to all Arisia attendees)

Sunday at 4 pm & Monday at 11:30 am in Independence Room (both sessions)
WORKSHOP TO COMBAT IMPOSTOR SYNDROME

 

Friday at 5:30 pm in Marina 1
SUPERGIRL!
“Although not (as of yet) connected to the rest of the TV DC Universe, the new Supergirl show is both a hit, and a blast to watch. We’ll talk about the first half-season of the show, what it means to have a positive female hero on the small screen as a headliner, and how the creators are reinterpreting a familiar mythos through an amazing new lens. We’ll also discuss the verve Melissa Benoist brings to the title role, and the dual roles played so well by Laura Benanti.”
My co-panelists are Adam LipkinSharon Sbarsky, Gordon Linzner, and Cassandra Lease.
I have already warned them about how much prep I’ve done for this panel. It may be EPIC. I may pull out various feelings about feminism and liking imperfect things. I imprinted heavily on the 80s Supergirl movie when I was a child. Seriously.

Friday at 7 pm in Faneuil
GENRE FICTION IN TRANSLATION
“Cixin Liu’s _The Three-Body Problem_, translated by Ken Liu, won the Hugo for Best Novel. Clarkesworld’s recent foray into translating Chinese SF has brought some well deserved attention to the vibrant body of stories in that country. Haikasoru has made a name for itself translating works from Japanese, and Tor.com has recently published SF stories translated from Spanish. What possibilities do we see in translation of other cultures’ SF? How might this change the landscape of the genre?”
I’m moderating this panel, with Ken LiuJohn Chu, Sarah Weintraub, and Morgan Crooks.
I plan to bring in plenty of stories the Finns have been telling me about SFF translation work, and we shall plumb the depths of what’s out there and what’s coming up in translation. Likely this conversation will include some structural racism of the genre. Good times, I promise you!

Saturday at 4 pm in Marina 4
MY FRIEND WROTE A BOOK; DO I HAVE TO BUY IT?
“This panel will discuss etiquette for friends of authors and other creators. How do we support their endeavors without going broke or feeling obligated to attend every signing. What do we do when we don’t like their creations and are asked (or feel it’s expected) to give a reaction?”
I’m moderating this panel, with participants Timothy Goyette, Kourtney Heintz, Deborah Kaminski, and Archangel Beth.
This is a panel where I will confess all of my sins that are on-topic, so I half hope none of my friends show up … but actually, I promise to give practical as well as funny advice on this topic, as well as address some of the more sensitive aspects of the question. What is friendship, when money becomes involved? This is another aspect of that question.

Saturday at 5:30 pm in Burroughs
CULTURAL ASSUMPTIONS IN SFF
“Recent novels such as *The Three Body Problem*, *The Grace of Kings*, and *Throne of the Crescent Moon* join other works that challenge the cultural assumptions behind mainstream (American and English) science fiction and fantasy. How are these genres being reimagined beyond just making the space cowboys swear in Mandarin?”
John Chu is moderating this one, with Max Gladstone, Kiini Ibura Salaam, and John Scalzi on the panel.
This panel is going to be amazing, and you should come to all of my panels, but this one especially. I love Firefly, and we’re totally going to address Firefly’s racism. Also, I have some book recommendations you all want to get in on! I know where to find all the cool books doing the awesome shit.

Saturday at 9 pm in Room 666
WORLDCON 75 PARTY!!! (open to all Arisia attendees)
We shall offer some Finnish delights (which are totally different from Turkish delight), and some prizes! Some books! Some music! It’ll be great. Come visit us in Room 666, where apparently we still can’t get past the impression that we’ll nickname the Helsinki Worldcon something evil. 😉


I’m also going to be offering TWO FREE WORKSHOPS to address Impostor Syndrome at Arisia.

Sunday at 4 pm & Monday at 11:30 am
Location: Independence Room (both sessions)

“Impostor Syndrome: the feeling that you aren’t really qualified for the work you are doing and will be discovered as a fraud. Many women, People of Color, QUILTBAG persons, and others from marginalized groups deal with this feeling, especially when they’ve been socialized to value other’s opinions of their work above their own. This workshop includes practical methods of addressing one’s own Impostor Syndrome as well as suggestions for how to improve one’s community. Limit 15 (due to room size).”

This workshop is usually given at a cost of $200 per person (or a company pays for their employees to take the workshop). In 2016, I’ve pledged to offer 12 workshops for free to nonprofits, and these sessions are toward that pledge. I care about the Arisia, Inc. community and want to help make fandom a better place. This is one way I’m working toward those goals.

After taking my workshop, participants have reported higher productivity on projects, improved self-esteem, and better capacity to deal with the negative messages society sends so many of us. I love giving this workshop, and want as many people as possible to take it. I hope to see many of you there this weekend!

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Ba mhaith leat vótáil ar suíomh Worldcon? Go hiontach!

Seo iad na rudaí gur gá duit a dhéanamh chun vóta a caitheamh ar son iarratas Heilsincí d’óstáil Worldcon 2017:

Ceannaigh ballraíocht do Sasquan (an Worldcon dhá bhliain roimh ré). Tá costas USD $40 ar ballraíocht tacaíochta faoi láthair, cé gur feidir leo é sin a ardú.

Ba chóir go mbeadh an ballóid do suíomh Worldcon 2017 oscailte thart ar 15 Iúil 2015. Bí cinnte go bhfuil an dáta sin marcáilte i do chuid féilire!

Íoc an táille don ballóid, ar suíomh idirlíon Sasquan. Pé áit ina bhfuil WorldCon 2017, geobhaidh tú ballraíocht tacaíochta as íoc an táille seo.

Líon isteach do roghanna le haghaidh suíomh Worldcon 2017, in ord tosaíochta.

Seol isteach do ballóide tríd an bpost, trí fhreastal ar Sasquan go pearsanta, nó trí ríomhphost. Níl an próiseas chun vóta a sheoladh isteach trín ríomhphost soiléir go fóill, ach tá sé geallta go mbeidh sé faoin am sin!

Seol ríomhphost chuig info@helsinkiin2017.org ionas gur féidir linn cinnte a dhéanamh go bhfuil do vóta san áireamh, gur féidir linn tuilleadh chabhair a tabhairt má tá deacrachtí agat, agus gur féidir linn ár mbuíochas a chur in iúl! 🙂

Tá tionchar mór ag gach suíomh Worldcon ar na chomdhálacha atá le teacht, le mórán blianta anuas. Mar sin, is dócha go bhfuil vótáil ar an suíomh an rud is tábhachtach gur féidir le gach ball a dhéanamh, go háirithe nuair atá an iomaíocht chomh géar is atá sé i mbliana.

 

Many thanks to Nóirín Plunkett for the awesome translation into Irish!

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Yes, Codes of Conduct Are Required.

Anyone who’s spoken with me over the past couple of years, after Readercon 23, probably knows that I have a strong opinion about harassment and how we handle it, particularly in fannish events like conventions (and parties, and work weekends, and all sorts of other fannish gatherings).  I’ve also been in HR in my professional life, so hopefully I know something about the topic, at this point, from multiple perspectives.

Let’s be clear, though — I developed some of my strongly-held opinions and beliefs after experiencing harassment myself, and I did a lot of reflecting on the topic during my three years as chair of Readercon.  It infuriated me to read the following email about whether or not a convention needed to have a code of conduct (which I won’t attribute because I don’t have permission to do so and suspect I’d never get permission from the person in question)…

“Do we need such a thing?   I have never heard of this being an issue at [convention name redacted] and see no reason to open a can of worms that is best to keep closed until there really is a need to open it.

“And if we do need one, I’d rather have a very short ‘act reasonable, don’t do dumb things, or we may ask you to leave.'”

I would like to say, unequivocally, that we DO need such a thing as a code of conduct.  The time of pretending that harassment doesn’t happen is behind us (not that that was ever an appropriate decision to make, on the part of people running events).  Now is the time of making sure that our conventions are as safe as we can make them, and that when someone behaves in an unsafe fashion, their behavior can be addressed in a clear and unambiguous fashion.

As for a “don’t be stupid” statement in lieu of having a real policy?  Pardon me, but that’s bullshit.  Poorly-developed policies don’t serve anyone well, as we’ve experienced in the past.  Poorly-defined policies don’t set people’s expectations for what they can or should do when they have a problem, other than that people might expect the problem won’t be handled well by the event organizers.  The only thing a lack of policy or barely-existing policy might do is send people the message that you don’t care if they harass other members of your convention.  That’s not quite putting out a welcome mat at the door of your convention for poorly-behaved attendees, but I do note this:  at [convention name redacted] referenced above?  I experienced being harassed multiple times, and no longer want to attend it.  I don’t trust the convention staff to take it seriously if I report a problem, nor address problems appropriately.

I have been the convention chair of Arisia in the past.  A few years ago, despite some objections about it “not being relevant to science fiction” (among other things), I was one of the people who started the tradition of inviting BARCC (the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center) to run workshops with Arisia staff in order to offer some helpful training and tools for addressing harassment and other inappropriate behavior at our conventions.  Since then, I have helped coordinate workshops with BARCC for Readercon, Arisia, Vericon, and local SCA staff.  Readercon ran BARCC workshops as part of the convention programming in 2013 (and possibly also 2014; I can’t recall).

I believe it really helped to have these workshops.  Fandom is not historically good at dealing with harassment, but I hope we are improving, as evidenced by things such as this post about harassment at RWA 2014 and this post about dealing with harassment at Arisia 2014.  I have hope.

But I base that hope partly on having codes of conduct that help set the tone for attendees.  So yes, I think codes of conduct are required.  Not having one is a different message you send to your attendees, if that’s what you choose to do.

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Arisia 2015 Faux Newsletter

It turns out that the Arisia staff didn’t manage to put together a faux newsletter during con this year.  That’s a shame, and too large a crime to let stand.  So, tipsily, we must address this omission!  Let’s hope this works:

Ether Egg Arisia 2015

 

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Arisia Plans Needing More Assistance

It’s time to ask for help for Arisia next week!  It’s past time, actually, but the past month has been hectic enough that I haven’t managed to put out another all-call until now.  Additionally, I’ve heard from an epic number of people unable to come to Arisia this year, which is sad.  So now we scramble.  I’m posting this to all my social media options.

There are two things I could use the most help with: working on the Arisia Photobooth (taking photos of people with props and backdrops we provide) and/or helping with the Helsinki in 2017 party.  Please read more beyond the cut! Continue reading

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So, Du möchtest also über den Ort der Worldcon abstimmen? Hurrah!

(Aka, our German teammates are awesome, and have given us a version of my “Worldcon voting info” post in Deutsch!)

Worldcon ist historisch gesehen eher schlecht wenn es um die Wahl des Ortes geht. Letztes Jahr hatte die LoneStarCon 6130 Teilnehmer… davon haben lediglich 1348 Teilnehmer die Chance wahrgenommen über den Ort abzustimmen. Dies entspricht noch nicht einmal 22% der Teilnehmer.

Die niedrige Teilnahme liegt sicherlich nicht nur daran, aber das Worldcon Wahlsystem ist sicherlich nicht einfach zu Verstehen.

Worldcon ist eine große Sache und viele Dinge sind zu berücksichtigen und leider hat ist das System wie der Ort bestimmt wird nicht immer ganz oben wenn es darum geh Dinge zu erklären. Außerdem, waren laut dem Sasquan Artikel den ich letzten Monat gelesen habe, die letzten fünf Worldcon Entscheidungen ohne Mitbewerber. Vielleicht ist es deswegen verständlich, wieso die Entscheidung in den letzten Jahren nicht so sehr im Fokus war. Ich glaube ich war in mindestens zwei Worldcons involviert, bevor ich gehört habe, daß wir überhaupt abstimmen können.

Aber wir können abstimmen und es hat einen hohen Einfluss darauf, wo die Worldcon als nächstes sein wird. Außerdem ist es die günstigste Variante um an einer Worldcon teilzunehmen.

Nachdem wir Worldcon 2015 mit nur 35 Stimmen verloren haben glaube ich, dass DU Worldcon nach Helsinki bringen kannst. Du und all die anderen die für uns stimmen. Continue reading

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Convention Terminology

A friend of mine recently said something along the lines of, “hey, I go to conventions, and I still don’t understand more than half the lingo!”  I care a lot about making conventions inclusive and accessible, so this seems like a great opportunity to share some intel.  Here are some terms we came up with that might need explaining…

Dictionary picture

A dictionary by any other name …

the 5-2-1 rule – This is a somewhat infamous guideline for attending conventions.  The idea is that you get at least 5 hours of sleep, 2 meals, and 1 shower every day during the convention.  You can’t make up for a lack in one category by doing extra in another; 3 meals will in no way forgive a lack of shower or having fewer than 5 hours of sleep at con.  Please follow this guideline if you go to a convention.  You, and everyone else around you, will have a better time than if you don’t observe the 5-2-1 rule.

code of conduct – A code of conduct is a set of expectations for behavior at the convention, usually written and adopted as policy of the convention by its staff or leadership.  It should be communicated to all attendees well in advance of the convention and it should be applicable to all members (including staff, leadership, guests, etc.).  Ideally, a code of conduct includes specificity on how unacceptable behavior is defined, clear information on what to do if unacceptable behavior is witnessed or experienced, and what might happen upon the convention receiving a report of said behavior.  In addition, many people have co-signed John Scalzi’s policy on codes of conduct, which is very related reading.

conchair – The conchair is the most common term for the person at the top of the leadership for a convention.  If there are multiple conchairs, they are called co-chairs.  An assistant conchair is considered the next level down on the org chart, and is sometimes called a “vice chair.” Continue reading

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