Secular Right | Reality & Reason

Sep/13

7

Why I am on the Right, part 1,356,446

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It’s time for science fiction to face up to discrimination:

The author Jim C Hines sparked a conversation on Twitter after posting a picture of the all-white past, present and future chairs of WorldCon and coining the hashtag #DiversityinSFF. As the South African books blogger Lauren Smith wrote, it’s a problem often talked about in SFF circles. “These genres – or at least their English-language versions – lack diversity, with the major problem being that white male authors and straight, white, predominantly male characters are favoured,” she said, adding that it’s clear “who and what is underrepresented: anyone who is POC [person of colour], female, gay, transgendered; settings and cultures that aren’t North American or European; non-western folklore and mythology”.

Saladin Ahmed, who was born in Detroit and raised in a working-class, Arab American enclave in Michigan, was one of the non-white males at WorldCon: his novel Throne of the Crescent Moon was shortlisted for best novel at the Hugo awards, given out at the convention. He called for diversity in science fiction to be extended even further – to class. He tweeted: “Class diversity also needs to be part of #DiversityinSFF. I want fewer kings and starship captains, more coach drivers and space waitresses.”

I can take Lefties who are concerned with the immiseration of the working class seriously. Usually I disagree with their diagonsis and prescription, but the concerns are intelligible and broadly serious. These sorts of cultural obsessions are infantile in light of more pressing material concerns in this world. On this specific point if you read William Sims Bainbridge’s Dimensions of Science Fiction you will note that fandom and authors tend to be disproportionately atheist, Jewish, and libertarian within the culture of science fiction. These are all minority persuasions, last I checked….

5 comments

  • Mike P · September 7, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    Saladin Ahmed isn’t white? Really?

  • Mark English · September 8, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    I like the bit about Tor.com changing their guidelines within hours and calling for works by writers from “underrepresented populations” in terms of the following criteria: “gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, class and ability…”

    Ability? Yes, everyone has the right to be an author apparently, no matter how incompetent they may be.

    But I think perhaps it’s a mistake to give any attention at all to The Guardian, which appears to serve up a continuous diet of this sort of thing. If we all just ignore it, maybe it will go away…

  • Philo Vaihinger · September 9, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    Just another leftist with so-far frustrated totalitarian urges to bring every facet of culture into line with his (her? its?) political line.

  • cynthia curran · September 13, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    Actually, a new movie which is pretty liberal but shows the Los Angeles of the future as a Mexican cesspool, Elysium. Its really the nightmare of Pat Buchanan, the whole US is overrun by Mexicans not able to control their repudiation while the rich Bush Family lives in a perfect home on a space station in outer Space. The liberal hero destroys the home of the rich people in outer space Elysium and the poor get health care and so forth. I’m surprise that a film about LA’s demographic changes in a Sci-fi has not been done before, oddly enough Phillip Dick who lived in Santa Ana a city overran by illegal immigrants even worst than Los Angeles did not predict Mexicans but Asians would overrun LA. Some stated he lived in Santa Ana before the Changed but he lived in Santa Ana in the 1970’s when illegal immigrants started coming in and the city was already 48 percent Hispanic by 1980 and today its 79 percent and 30 percent is illegality in the US.

  • cynthia curran · September 13, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    I mean reproduction- the Mexicans in La of the future.

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