For those of you not aware, there’s been a bit of a resurgence of Fail surrounding Race over in sciencefictionfantasyland. This latest debate/discussion surrounds a book called The Thirteenth Child. But this post isn’t about that (click on the link for the post about that). During the discussion, author Loid McMaster Bujold came along to defend the book and its author because said author (Patricia Wrede) is a friend of hers. During this defense she about knocked off every square on the BINGO card. At one point she posted this in the comments of a related discussion:
…never before have so many Readers of Color existed to *have* the conversation, or been able to communicate with each other to do so. When I went to my first midwestern convention in 1968, there was exactly one black fan, male; it’s only in late years that I’ve had cause to wonder how brave he must have been to venture in. Octavia Butler, at a library program, once described a young black reader meeting her as a black SF writer, and saying in some wonder, “I didn’t know we *did* that!” As far as I can tell, the biggest single factor driving the current shift and growth in diversity in genre readers has been the invention of the Internet.
Before you click that link to tell Lois how wrong she is, just know that she has been told and has indicated some understanding of where she went wrong with that thinking. Before that, though, delux_vivens made a spectacular post on the LJ community deadbrowalking calling for POC fans to step up and be counted. That post is at 21 pages now and growing. You don’t have to be a member of deadbro to post, but I think you do need to be on LJ.
The deadbro post is titled “wild unicorn herd check in” referring to the fact that a certain segment of SF seems to think that POC who read and watch SF media do not exist or are super rare because they do not see us. Pam Noles is LOLing:
I must add that ‘wild unicorn heard’ is absolutely hilarious, too. Someone who knows how to do those things should make us a T-shirt invoking that concept, with partial proceeds going to Carl Brandon Society, Verb Noir and the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship. I would suggest that the design also include at least one or two Orcs in full combat regalia riding the wild unicorns. Or perhaps slaughtering them. Whichever works best. I would so buy as many of that T-shirt as I could afford, one to keep, the rest to do Other Things with.
As someone else said: “I will buy the t-shirt, the hoodie, the bag, the pencil, the toe warmer, the napkin ring, the bath set, the breakfast cereal, and the movie.”
So let’s do this. I know there are some talented artists out there, some photoshop geniuses, some people who just love to create stuff. Come up with a design we can put on some merchandise. Post links to the image(s) in the comments here. If we get enough really good ones we can open up a Wild Unicorn Herd store whose purpose is to benefit the organizations mentioned above. (Someone will have to talk to the Carl Brandon Society about this. Good thing we’re seeing them next week.)
Wait, back up! Due to previously unknown to me awesomeness by Delux, there is already a plan afoot and an artist tagged for creating the wild unicorn herd gear. (I shall, of course, inform you of where you can buy it when I know.) So let’s do this other thing. Beyond the unicorn herd stuff, I have not seen any new awesome general POC nerd/geek gear in a long time. If you have an awesome design or phrase, post it in the comments (a link, if it’s an image). Then there will be some decision making and some new stuff in the ABW store (with proceeds going to benefit the Butler scholarship or something along those lines).
In the meantime, you should go JOIN the Carl Brandon Society. They’re an organization for POC SF/F/H writers, creators, and fans who want to see more POC creating the media and in the media they consume.