Nine Worlds Sched and fic recs galore!

It’s nearly time for Nine Worlds 2015! And I’m going to be there! \o/

I’ll be a part of two panels, which are:

OMG WTF: RPF?! Our panel explores real person fiction – Friday 8.30pm – 9.45pm
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? We delve into the past and present of real person fiction.
Emily January, Viktoriya, Pensnest, Melissa T.

And

They used what?”- historical research for fanfiction – Sunday 10.00am – 11.15am, Room 12 (with Fanfic)

Writing fanfiction set in a historical period can involve a great deal of research. (Possibly more than has been done by canon creators, in some cases!) And writing historical AUs can be a great way of unpacking the unspoken prejudices of a modern-day canon. Research can be immensely diverting, it can spark a renewed interest in history, and it can affect the course and content of your story. This panel will discuss how historical AUs open up some canons, and share some of the more interesting facets of their own research into various historical periods.
Panel with Tanya Brown, AL Johnson, Tony Keen, Kari Sperring, Melissa T.

I’m moderating this one! It’s my first time moderating, but I’m sure it’ll go well – just look at my fellow panellists!

So I’m really looking forward to these! I think they’ll both be really fun and I can’t wait!

If you’re also at the con, please do come up and say hi! I’ll probably Instagram outfits, or at least my shoes (I promise, they shall be shiny and unmissable!), or of course I’ll be wearing a name badge!

I was going to bring along fic recs, but then I wasn’t sure if Explicit rated fics would be ok, and also it turns out I have quite a lot, so here they are instead:

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Eastercon 2015 Con Report

So last weekend was Eastercon! I went along and had a jolly nice time.

Y’all probably know what Eastercon is by now, but if not – it’s an annual sci-fi convention held over the Easter weekend. It has a focus on literary sci-fi but includes a healthy (ish, depending on the year!) representation of media, gaming, actualfax science and anything else that comes under the header of ‘geeky’. It is run by volunteers and the committee changes year-on-year, as does the site. I’ve been going for a few years (I’ve been to nine or ten over twelve years) and I’ve always had a good time.

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Nine Worlds 2014

nineworlds

 

Right then, let’s get on this con report thing, shall we? (this incredibly long, rambling con report)

Nine Worlds was on in London from the 8th – 10th August, and I went to it! I was even on panels in it!

 

I started my holiday on the Monday before, by going camping in Sandringham with my Mum (who went to the con with me! :D). It was great fun, but my legs did end up covered in a metric fuckton of bug bites, which I think left me a little run down.

Anyway, on the Thursday, Mum and I made our way to Heathrow and checked into the Premier Inn there, because we’re fancy as fuck and have moved up from Travelodges. That evening we stayed in and I bleached + dyed my hair purple. Or at least, the top 2/3 of it, since I had neither enough bleach nor enough dye, ahaha. The bleach did unfortunate things to the ends of my hair, so Mum gave it a quick cut, and it actually came out looking rather good! Just in time for Friday, which was the first day of the con.

 

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Eastercon 2014

Sup friends! Loooong time no post! And I’m sorry about that, but you know when you leave something, and then leave it a little longer, and then a little longer, and then BOOM, you’re too awkward to put a post on your OWN blog.

Well, a week and change later few months later, I’m posting my con report from this year’s Eastercon!

For those of you that don’t know, Eastercon is a sci-fi convention held annually over the Easter weekend. My first was in 2003, and I have now been to 9, all with my family. I haven’t missed one since 2008, IIRC! This year’s was held in the Crowne Plaza hotel in Glasgow and it was called Satellite 4.

In short: I had an excellent time!

For a longer recap, hit the read more 🙂

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Nine Worlds Geekfest – now with added comics track!

9Worlds_GeekFest_2013_hires_4_by_3

So last year my Mum and I attended Nine Worlds Geekfest in London. Short story, it was so great! It had a wonderful atmosphere, fantastic topics and lovely people! We got home and pretty much immediately bought our tickets for the 2014 event! 

Lately there have been a couple of announcements – one of them being that this year is going to have a discussion track about comics!

Yeah, you can guess how excited I am! Fantastic convention talking about my favourite things? Hell yeah!

So I got in contact with them and volunteered (which is a big deal for me! I’m not all that shy and retiring when it comes to adding my 2p in panels, but being on one? SO scary)! Having had a couple of emails back and forth with Hazel, I can safely say I am now supremely excited! Talking about comics! In a venue open to discussing problematic aspects! A wide variety of topics! The chance to cull recs from all and sundry!

If you think you’d like to come to a really inclusive con with a huge array of discussion tracks, you should really check out Nine Worlds! It’s in August and takes place in Heathrow 🙂 The website isn’t fully updated to reflect the 2014 con yet, but apparently announcements and such are happening soon!

And if you’re interested in comics, then the organisers have a Tumblr and Twitter. (I’d actually rec their personal Tumblrs too! Both are pretty cool! piratemoggy and alwaysalreadyangry)

(I’d apologise for ending nearly every sentence with a ! but uh, srynotsry)

Categories – what on Earth do I do??

Lately I’ve found myself wondering about some of the categories we place people in, and whether those people would find those categories welcome.

I was looking at a photo of a really pretty person on Tumblr and went to reblog it, when I got held up by the tags I’d put on the post. The post is here, but if you don’t want to click the link, it’s of a super pretty fat person in a dress. I’d initially thought to tag the post as fatshion, but then I had to think – would the original poster appreciate me declaring them and their outfit part of fatshion?

I know that if any outfit posts of me ended up being reblogged around, I’d be happy to have the fatshion or fat tag added – they have become part of my identity as I try to love my body. But would someone else like me to make that decision for them? If they consider what they wear to be fashion and not part of the sub-culture of fatshion, is it offensive to them that I declare them part of it anyway, simply because I see a fat body wearing a lovely dress? The person is gorgeous and wearing a beautiful dress either way, but I worry about labelling them as something they may not identify with, and indeed, with a label they might have problems with.

Putting labels on people is something that happens naturally, I think, but people have such complex identities and being accurate can be incredibly hard.

For example, here is a photo of me in the woods:

in the woods

 

(LMAO I know, super attractive photo) I would be totally ok if you wanted to tag this as “fatshion, girl, dress” – but apart from the dress tag, if you don’t know me, how do you know I’m fine with the fatshion tag? How do you know I’m a girl? I am a cis woman, but just because I present in this picture as feminine, that doesn’t mean there aren’t a plethora of identites that I could actually be. It’s really difficult to know how to categorise people and photos sometimes – one way to avoid the problem is to avoid tagging/categorising altogether, but if you want some organisation to your blog or whatever, you do have to organise somehow.

 

Similarly, something else that I’ve seen and have been curious about is the tendency of Sci-Fi conventions to have panels like “Women in writing…” or “Female characters….” – panels that revolve around that one aspect of a person/character. Is it wrong to group all women authors/characters together like that? By prefixing author with ‘women’ are we singling them out and separating them from ‘normal’ male authors?

I think that it is important to hear and draw attention to the experience of women, trans* and non-binary people within any cis/male dominated field, because without highlighting problems, how can anything change? But equally, you have to be really careful not to come off as patronising or othering. It’s a difficult line to walk – redressing the balance and ensuring that more than just white cishet male voices are heard, without suggesting that women or trans* people or non-binary people need their own space to play in, far away from all the serious, normal men. I will say that it’s very rare I’ve seen a “Girl cooties are in this panel, the rest are safe” attitude, but it’s easy to see why it’s a worry for people taking part in conventions.

 

In the end, I suppose we should always try not to assume too much about the people we see and hear – if we don’t know how someone identifies, then it’s best to be neutral, right?

Have you found this? Have you been mis-identified before? Have you given up on categories?