Today you can find me as a participant in two fascinating discussions on other websites:
Over at Tor.com, Liz Bourke asked me to participate in a roundtable discussion following up on her recent Reading, Writing, Radicalization post. This ended up being a fascinating conversation between Liz, Renay and myself about an issue I’ve been giving a lot of thought to: the importance of gender balance/parity in SFF reviewing. An excerpt:
The real problem was that I really, truly had no idea how limited and privileged my perspective was. I considered myself a fairly forward-thinking fellow. I read everything. How could it be bad to read everything and not pay attention to gender or race or sexuality? Surely, being blind to those labels was good?
It took a few kind people to step back and engage me in discussion before I understood. Sure, you’re pulling cards from a face-down deck, and you have no way of knowing whether you’ll get hearts or spades. But your deck has been pre-stacked: there are more cards of one type than another. If you select blindly, you’re still playing into a pre-established bias.
Meanwhile at SF Signal, Paul Weimer invited me to contribute to the latest installment in their Mind Meld series, this one focusing on genre series vs. standalones. Here’s a brief excerpt:
I’m a big fan of the standalone, the shorter format, the one-and-done style of storytelling, but there’s also something wonderfully comfortable about sinking your teeth into a long series. I don’t think my approach to either format is different, but due to time constraints and forgetfulness I do have to be a little pickier before committing to longer series. In the end, though, as long as it’s high quality writing, I don’t really care if it’s one book or twenty.