la_marquise: (Caspian)
Let's start with a link. I'll wait while you go and read it: http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/10/18/shooter_opens_fire_at_fort_myers_florida_zombiecon.html?wpisrc=burger_bar

This is scary. Someone was killed at Zombiecon by someone who turned up and started shooting.
This time, for the first time ever, I looked up what the gun laws were for the place where worldcon was to be held, because some of the things that had been said in the run-up to it by some of the puppy-allies were seriously scary. I didn't enjoy that feeling, nor did I enjoy feeling I needed to know. Fan space isn't necessarily safe space -- indeed, often it isn't safe. But this is an added level of anxiety, which had begun for me two years earlier and is one of the reasons I didn't go to LoneStarCon. I come from a culture in which guns are rare and controlled. I'm outspoken, female and left wing -- very left wing by US standards. Texas feels scary to me (well, some parts of it do).
In the run-up to Sasquan, someone -- I forget who, and don't have the link to had -- called for worldcons in future only to be held in open carry states. Someone else threatened to hit anyone who dared to find his views frightening. That same person stated that he will only accept foreigners who agree with him that the US is the greatest country in the world and who place its interests above everything else.
I've had issues with sexual harassment and misogyny in fandom for years. I've witnessed incidents of homophobia, transphobia and racism at cons. I've witnessed one psychotic breakdown (the concom and site handled it well and with compassion for all involved) and many crises. I've twice been seriously assaulted in fan space and I've long lost track of the minor incidents. SFF has a long way to go. But until the puppies appeared, I've never worried about guns.
SFF is bigger than right wing gun lovers. It's bigger than US exceptionalists. It belongs to all of us, whatever our race, gender, creed, sexual orientation, whether we're cis or trans, old or young, rich or poor. My fanspace has room for everyone, even the puppies (though I'd prefer they left their guns at the door, for everyone's safety).
Yesterday, someone opened fire at a cosplay event.
I don't want this to happen on another day at an sff con. If you'd asked me about this a few years ago, I'd have said, 'That'll never happen.' Now... I know I'm not alone in feeling afraid. I know I wasn't alone in worrying in the run-up to Sasquan.
But here's the thing. This whole deal with guns is part of the US culture war. SFF does not belong to any one country, any one creed or race or gender or whatever. It's bigger than that.
And I want the culture war out of our space.

Skirt of the day: blue flags.
la_marquise: (Caspian)
I'm amongst the speakers at ExiliCon, a one-day convention focusing on games, geekery and sff in Cambridge on 11th July. I shall be talking musketeers and writing. You can find the full details here:
http://www.exilian.co.uk/con/index.php

It looks fun: [livejournal.com profile] bugshaw, I think this might be your kind of thing!
la_marquise: (Caspian)
Tomorrow morning, I shall be setting off to Brighton for World Fantasycon. I'm not as ready as I'd like -- on the plus side, my hair has been cut and coloured -- I have purple streaks!! -- I have baked fairy cakes to take along (almost entirely lactose free [there are 4 with lemon curd in] plus some that are also gulten-free. All lemon flavoured, because, well, this is me.) I've done some packing. But I lost much of yesterday to a migraine and thus am behind. Bah.
Skirts are being selected (of course): green cord mini with deer print; teal and fuchsia flippy; beautiful batik beaded (by request of the marquis). I'm now havering between blue blurred flower print (just about my knee) and silky silver and lilac pint (floor length). These decisions are important :-)

And I have programme:

Thursday 3.00 pm.
Living in the Past: Writing Historical Fantasy
When writing historical fantasy, how important is it to stick to the facts, or is the past fair game for authors of fantastic fiction to manipulate how they wish?
Aidan Harte, Helen Marshall (mod.), Sophia McDougall, Mark Charan Newton, Tim Powers, Kari Sperring.

Friday 6.00 pm
Reading
I haven't decided exactly what to read yet. Any suggestions?

I hope to see some of you there.

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