2015 Call for Guest Blog Posts About Representation in SF/F
Last year, I posted an open call for guest blogs about representation in science fiction and fantasy. The resulting essays were, in my opinion, both important and powerful. I was hopeful when I first put out that call, but the stories people chose to share exceeded my expectations in so many ways.
So I’m doing it again. Because, to quote from last year’s call, “it’s one thing for me to talk about this stuff. But let’s face it, it’s not exactly difficult for me to find characters like me in books, TV, movies, advertising, video games, etc. And there’s a painful irony when conversations about representation end up spotlighting some guy who’s part of the most overrepresented group in the country.”
Once again, I’ll be looking for personal, first-hand stories between 400 and 1000 words, talking about what it’s like to not see yourself in stories, or to see yourself misrepresented, or the first time you found a character you could really relate to and what that meant, and so on.
Last year, I collected those essays into Invisible, with the proceeds (roughly $600 so far) going to support the Carl Brandon Society’s Con or Bust program. I hope to do something similar this year.
Here are some of last year’s essays, to give you a sense of what I’m looking for:
- Parched – Mark Oshiro
- Boys’ Books – Katharine Kerr
- Clicking – Susan Jane Bigelow
- The Princess Problem – Charlotte Ashley
- Autism, Representation, Success – Ada Hoffmann
- Gender in Genre – Katie
- I Don’t See Color – Michi Trota
- Evil Albino Trope is Evil – Nalini Haynes
- Options – Joie Young
- Representation without Understanding – Derek Handley
- Non-binary and Not Represented – Morgan Dambergs
- The Power of Representation: SFF Saved my Life – Nonny Blackthorne
Please contact me by February 7 if you’re interested, and let me know what, in general, you want to write about. If last year is any indication, I may not be able to use everything, but I’m hoping to showcase as broad a range of stories from a new batch of readers, fans, authors, etc. that I can.
I can’t offer payment for the blog posts (though I’m happy to include a bio, link, and/or photo if you’d like). If we make Invisible 2, then there will be a token payment with proper contracts and such.
I think that’s everything, though I reserve the right to edit the post if I’ve forgotten something important.
Please feel free to spread the word.
February 4, 2015 @ 5:39 pm
I blog about representation a LOT. Can I offer a post about what ir was like encountering bisexual representation, and how much it changed for me?
Jim C. Hines
February 4, 2015 @ 10:21 pm
FYI, folks – Trying to play the “but us Straight White Men are the Most Unrepresented and Picked On of All!” card will get your dumbass comment sent straight into the trash bin.
February 6, 2015 @ 12:11 pm
And apparently mentioning Vox Day by name will as well.
Jim C. Hines
February 6, 2015 @ 12:13 pm
Not sure what you mean, Silas. I’ve only dumped one comment into the goblin pit on this post, and it had nothing to do with Mr. Beale.
February 8, 2015 @ 11:04 am
It’s hard to believe Con or Bust is a real thing. First, it’s such a small nothing of an issue. Helping non white men get to cons? Seriously?
Second, cons are a luxury. If you can’t afford to go to one, maybe you should spend that time working. Or looking for a job.
Third, what’s with all this enabling? People are being enabled to act like victims here. Enabled to act like small minded self righteous picks. Enabled to bitch about some made up overblown outrage. Everybody has problems. Your social justice crusade is small not the stuff greatness is made of.
Fourth, $600? So you sold copies of this “book” to the authors and their families. Classy. Good on you for getting that editing credit though.
Fifth, there are a lot of guys like you in books and movies? Depending on how broad you want to get, sure. There are a lot of humans in books. Just not a lot of creepy spineless ones.
Jim C. Hines
February 8, 2015 @ 11:59 am
Good morning, Beech!
Do you mind if I ask what it was you were hoping to accomplish with this comment?
There’s so much anger packed into this. Are you angry at me, a complete stranger on the internet? (I’m assuming you’re a stranger, though I could be mistaken, since I don’t know who you actually are.) Is the anger directed more at the contributors from last year who talked about what it’s like to struggle to find characters they can identify with?
Your fourth point suggests you think this project is completely insignificant, and that’s fine. But then what made you decide to spend your time attacking and insulting some guy on the internet over such an insignificant project?
February 13, 2015 @ 1:07 am
Someday in the distant future, all of our books will be written with characters that look exactly like the individual reading it. After all the only true representation is duplication. And in that bold narcissistic future, no one will be able to relate to any character in a book unless they match the reader down to the last skin blemish.
Jim C. Hines
February 17, 2015 @ 10:53 am
Brian – Please see my response to Beech, above. What were you trying to accomplish with this ridiculous and over-the-top misreading and misunderstanding?
February 19, 2015 @ 3:04 pm
Late to this post, but I just wanted to say that I like that you are trying to give a platform to marginalized voices. I think one of the big issues with a lot of allies is how they speak over the minorities they claim to represent.
A few years ago, this was a huge controversy with a white man who had made a name for himself as a prominent anti-racism activist. A POC disagreed with him on something in the comments section of his website, and the white guy said that he had written a lot more books and probably knew more than the other guy did. Not that I think that a POC is always right over a white person by virtue of their skin color – so many of us have internalized racism – but the activist’s reply was just… not on. I think that soured me on allies for a while, lol. You don’t know how much I appreciate that you don’t try to get into a dick-waving contest when people disagree with you the way the other guy did. (That might be a low bar, idk!)
Jim C. Hines
February 19, 2015 @ 3:44 pm
A friend the other day was talking about issues in SF/F, and what gets discussed, and someone apparently said to her that if it doesn’t get blogged by Scalzi, Wendig, or Hines, it might as well not exist. Which is so messed-up and full of WTF…
I’ve watched myself write about the same things my female friends were blogging about, and I get signal-boosted and accolades while they get crickets.
I think it’s important if you have a platform and a voice people listen to, that you use it. But like you say, it’s also important to realize how easy it is to talk over others–often unintentionally–or to drown out the very people you’re trying to support.