starlady: (coraline)
I am writing this from my MegaBus to Minneapolis.

I had a fantastic time at WisCon - I think, of the three I've been to thus far, this one was my favorite all around. I personally had a fantastic time, the instances of fail seemed to be on the low end from what I heard, there was a lot of interesting programming, and also some people whom I greatly respect said some very flattering things about me and things I've done (and people kept asking me to sign their copies of The WisCon Chronicles!).

WisCon! )
starlady: A typewriter.  (tool of the trade)
Space-Faring Tradition

Holds that there is naught
Between the stars, but the void
Tells other stories.
starlady: (but it does move)
I took a break from my spring break this weekend and went out to FOGcon 2 in Walnut Creek. All in all, I had a good time, with many awesome people, and I'll definitely be happy to go back to FOGcon 3.

My tweets from FOGcon )

FOGcon is a young con, and I do think, unsurprisingly, that it had more energy last year, but I also think the con has a lot of potential. That said, the con runners need to put a bit more thought into the panels and the panelists, so that it doesn't feel like Pro and Semi-Pro Con all the time, as it did at times this year, and so that all of the panels aren't overlapping at points, like I felt the programming was this year. Another thing I'd like to see is at least one panel devoted exclusively to (each of?) the Guests' of Honor works, or otherwise what's the point of having Guests and a Ghost of Honor? I don't really know anything more about Nalo Hopkinson's works than I did going in, for example, which makes me glad that she'll be a Guest of Honor at Sirens in October, since Sirens' format will force all the attendees to think about her works explicitly.

The other thing is that I think FOGcon needs to be more fannish--not even a lot, but there needs to be more of fandom officially on the programming than a one-hour vidshow and a "you kids get off my lawn!" fannish history panel. The vidshow, run by [personal profile] laurashapiro, was one of my favorite things about FOGcon, actually, and in some ways it also did one of the best jobs of any of the panels I attended of thinking critically about the theme of the convention. I'm not surprised that ("new") fandom brought its critical analysis and squee, but "old" fandom and the pros and semi-pros need to meet us halfway. And the way we're going to do that, until and unless FOGcon gets a lot bigger, is via programming.

What did everyone else think? Did anyone else have the frustrating experience of five hotel keys demagnetize in less than 24 hours? 
starlady: headphones on top of colorful buttons (music (makes the people))
So I am going to be putting together a vidshow playlist for the WisCon Vid Party this year, the theme of which will be non-Western fandoms, by which I mean vids with source media that don't originate in Europe or North America. (I am willing to futz this rule of thumb, however, by all means, if there's good reason!)

So, please rec me your favorite non-Western source media vids! I already know about [community profile] festivids (oh, Festivids = <3), and I am planning to trawl through the vids there to see what comes up, but if you have any Festivids that fit this criterion and are particular favorites, do give them a shout-out, and please do let me know about non-Festivids! Also, I'm tentatively hoping to make this a (mostly?) non-AMV playlist, or to, if possible, compare an AMV versus vids take on a source (yes, I'm thinking of that Paprika festivid) but if there are any absolutely stellar AMVs that relate to Wiscon material that you know about, particularly new ones, please let me know!

Signal-boosting much appreciated.

starlady: the OTW logo with text "fandom is my fandom" (fandom^2)
So, I'm going to be at Sirens Conference 2012 in Skamania, WA this fall, and I'd like to impanel a panel on fan fiction there. Let me quote the 2012 theme for Sirens at you, and you'll see why:

Within our focus on fantastic women, each year Sirens features a fantasy-related theme—and in 2012, that theme is "tales retold." Women have been storytellers, oral historians, and eloquent entertainers for thousands of years, and in 2012, Sirens will celebrate—and participate in—that tradition. Within the larger question of women in fantasy literature, we will examine and dissect retellings of tales from around the world.

This theme screams "fan fic and fandom" to me, and I'd like to have something about those things at the conference, partly because I'd like to avoid an entirely folklore-themed conference (especially given that the 2010 theme was Fairies), and partly because the last panel about fandom that I attended at Sirens (again in 2010) was…frankly a little bit uncomfortable, and weird. Everyone on the panel seemed ambivalent about fandom at best, and downright negative at worst (to be fair, everyone up there seemed to have been a veteran of the Potter fandom wars), and I wound up being that one audience member who kept disagreeing and wouldn't shut up. My fandom experience has been, on the whole, wonderful, and fandom and the friends I've made here have unequivocally been great forces for good things in my life. I don't want, or intend, to present a "fandom is 100% kittens and rainbows!" because anyone who reads this journal, hopefully, is well aware that I'm under no illusions on that score, and also because I do think the issues of fandom would be interesting to talk about in the context of Sirens' theme.

So, I have two questions, dear readers. One: if you're planning to attend Sirens, would you be interested in being on this panel? And two, what would you like the panel to discuss? Anything from specific topics to suggested ways to frame the panel discussion are more than welcome!
starlady: (shiny)
This is just to say that I'll be at WisCon 35 in Madison, WI. \o/ I'll be arriving some time on May 25th, the Friday (probably damn early, actually) and leaving…I'm not sure when. Most likely sometime on the 29th, which is a Tuesday.

Who else is going to be there? Is anyone who's going to be around Monday night interested in doing ~something~ birthday-ish, in light of the fact that I'll be another year older on June 4? I know we'll all be exhausted and just as happy to collapse or do whatever, but we could collapse and do whatever with a festive birthday air, is what I'm saying.


I'm also going to be at
- FogCon 2, in the East Bay!

- AX 2012, in LA!

- Sirens 2012, outside of Portland, OR! Watch this space for at least one panel brainstorming post coming soon.

And that's all that I know/can confirm at this point.

starlady: (through the trapdoor)
I like cons, and I've had some great experiences at them--partly, I acknowledge, because I strive to be judicious in choosing which cons I attend. So in the hopes of luring people in to supporting two cons at which I personally have had a great time, and which I would like to support and see become entirely sustainable in the future, some info.

FogCon 2
The Bay Area's WisCon-style SFF con is back, yay! This year it's in the East Bay, on the shadowside (so it'll be warmer than San Francisco or the sunside of the East Bay). Guests of Honor are Nalo Hopkinson, Shelley Jackson, and Mary Shelley, and the theme is the body. The Walnut Creek Marriott, where it's held, is offering a very cheap room rate, and I'd like to encourage people who can to get a room for the weekend--the number one thing that makes hotels like cons is to what degree the con sells out its room bloc. I'd definitely be interested in splitting a room with people, because BARTing in and out every day is a drag and this will fundamentally be my spring break. So let me know if you'd like to talk about that!

Registration is $60 for adults until 1 November. (Even if you're not an avid con-goer, I encourage you to think about a day membership for Friday or Saturday, available at the door!)


Sirens 2012
Sirens will be moving to Stevenson, WA (outside Portland) for 2012. Next year's theme is Tales Retold, and the two confirmed Guests of Honor are Malinda Lo and Kate Bernheimer; the third will hopefully be announced by the time the website updates on 1 November. [livejournal.com profile] praetorianguard has a great post that gets at what I love about Sirens; I've rarely felt more instantly welcomed than I did when I first showed up in DEN to meet the shuttle a year ago, and I was uniformly impressed at the quality of discussions, both on and off the official programming. And yes, I'm brainstorming panel ideas for next year right now.

I hope people who've been thinking about going who can will attend. The registration fee is somewhat on the pricey side, but I'd like to note that it's subsidized by donations and that it includes four scrumptious meals, as well as more tea (and hopefully hot cocoa, next year) than you can shake a stick at, and a fetching conference T-shirt. If you use this link, you can register for $160 until 1 November.
starlady: (coraline)
I'm sitting in DEN after another great weekend in Vail at the Sirens Conference with an amazing group of passionate, intelligent readers and writers. The conference will be leaving Vail for Stevenson, WA next year, which I hope puts it within reach of more people; after having no idea what to expect last year, I've found Sirens to be a welcoming, incisive space in which I've met some wonderful people and had a lot of fantastic discussions.

Panel notes probably won't happen, because I didn't take many, but suffice it to say that I enjoyed all the Guest of Honor keynotes and readings immensely, and the panel discussions were uniformly thought-provoking. I can't wait til next year! (I'm already brainstorming panels.)


Thanks to everyone who contributed a rec to my post yesterday. DEN's internet connection isn't up to individual replies to everyone's comments, but all your suggestions are very welcome, and much appreciated.
starlady: A typewriter.  (tool of the trade)
So my friend[personal profile] shveta_writes and I both had an excellent time at Sirens 2010 in Vail, Colorado, last year, and at this year's con Shveta is scheduled to present on "Magical and Monstrous Female Beings in South Asian Myth and Folklore" with[personal profile] rachelmanija. Sirens is awesome, but even in the off-season getting out to Vail and lodging there isn't precisely cheap, and Shveta is offering her copyediting and proofreading and/or critiquing services for hire, at quite reasonable rates, to raise enough money to cover her costs. I've had the privilege of getting some of my work critiqued by her, and Shveta was a professional copy-editor until she recently quit her job to focus on her writing; she's damn good at both. So, if you have some proofing or critiquing you'd like done and would like to support the cause of diversity in fantasy literature, or have a few bucks to spare to the donate button, please check out her post!


ETA: And [personal profile] recessional is having a book sale to fund her upcoming move. Interesting stuff available, check it out!


And because I haven't done this lately, here's my current con-going intentions: 
  • The Mechademia Conference, Minneapolis, MN, September 30 - October 1, 2011
  • Sirens 2011, Vail, CO, October 6-9, 2011

Everything else is completely up in the air, as usual.
starlady: Ramona Flowers wearing her delivery goggles (ramona flowers is awesome)
# I think at this point a lot of people are aware that I have a sekrit identity, and this is it. I'll be doing panels under my legal name, and I'm concerned to keep them separate as far as Google knows because academia can't handle it, rather than fandom. I answer to my legal name, to Electra, and to starlady, but I'd prefer to have this name linked in fannish contexts and my legal name/journal linked in contexts where I've decided to use it. My badge will have my legal name.

# My finances are much tighter than last year, but I'm definitely up for eating out with people/having drinks.

# I don't have any dietary restrictions, and I eat, literally and happily, just about everything (I prefer not to eat pears or cucumbers, but that's about it). In fact, I'm really looking forward to eating in Madison again.

# I like hugs, but not by surprise.

# I'm really excited to see everyone! I'm not staying in the hotel this year, but hopefully it won't have too much of an effect on my meaningful presence at the con.

# I'm heading to Japan more or less straight from the con, so when I say I can't buy books, I mean it. There are some I'm planning to buy anyway, but I'm incorrigible like that.

# This also means that I have no real idea what I'll be wearing; I just shoved a bunch of clothes in a suitcase before I left California. Identifying me: shorter (5'5.5"), short curly brown hair, usually obnoxious star earrings that have a tendency to stab both me and the other person when I hug someone, white, female.
starlady: Quorra fights CLU's black guard programs (for the users and for me)
  • I'm going to Wiscon!
  • Is anyone/who is going to Sirens?
starlady: a circular well of books (well of books)
So, two weekends ago I went to FOGcon. Short version: It was pretty awesome, especially for a first con! I feel fairly confident in predicting that next year will be even more awesome.

The City in SFF )

In conclusion: When can I register for 2012? Also, next time I'll probably spring for a hotel room with some people, shuttling over from the East Bay and back was a pain in the arse.
starlady: a circular well of books (well of books)
So I am moderating a panel on Saturday March 12 from 13:30 - 14:45 at FOGcon, My City Goes to 1011:

Can an online community be considered a city? Why or why not? If so, how
does one define the community boundaries? If not, what are the
differences?


Who else is going to FOGcon? Also, [personal profile] oyceter is organizing a POC meetup at the con.

See you at the con, I hope!

I need a San Francisco icon, methinks.
starlady: Ramona Flowers wearing her delivery goggles (ramona flowers is awesome)
Confirmed
  • Animation on Display, San Francisco, California, February 19-20
  • FOGcon, San Francisco, California, March 11-13
  • SGMS 2011, Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 30-October 2 (dates TBC)
Contemplating
  • Sirens 2011, Vail, Colorado, October 6-9, 2011
  • World Fantasy Convention, San Diego, California, October 27-30
  • Popular Culture Association, Boston, Massachusetts, April 4-7, 2012
Completely up in the air
  • Association for Asian Studies, Honolulu, Hawai'i, March 31-April 3
  • WisCon 35, Madison, Wisconsin, May 26-30
  • Anime Expo 2011, Los Angeles, California, July 1-4
  • Otakon 2011, Baltimore, Maryland, July 29-31
I don't know yet whether I'll be Stateside or in Japan this summer, which obviously makes it impossible to plan the summer cons, and I probably won't know for sure about that until early March. (Note to self: fill out relevant applications this week.) I really want to go to Sirens, WFC, and PCA, though that last depends on writing a decent paper for it.

But, yeah. Who else is going to be where? Are there any other cons on the west coast I should know about? (I'm aware of Fanime and SakuraCon.)
starlady: Hei poised to strike at sunset (sunset before the fall)
First, Dreamwidth stuff! I'm fascinated by the new site stats page and by the multiple accounts model proposals. The latter sounds like it could be pretty cool.


SF3 has withdrawn Elizabeth Moon's invitation to be a Guest of Honor at WisCon 35. Ugh, finally.

[personal profile] cofax7 has some pertinent comments on the definition of "censorship" for some of the anonymous commenters on the WisCon blog. The post also mentions the case of Juan Williams' recent dismissal from NPR over Islamophobic comments made on FOX News. My reaction is pretty much the same: ugh, finally. Unfortunately, I cherish my doubts as to whether this will have any effect on NPR's de facto policy of general pandering to the right, and I think that WisCon's decision to do the right thing and disinvite Moon is also only a beginning.

Also, Cat Valente's post and N.K. Jemisin's post are both worth reading.

In much happier convention news, I have just registered for the first annual FOGcon (Friends of Genre Convention). It will be held in the fair City by the Bay, San Francisco, this March, and its theme this year is the the City in SF/F, with Jeff Vandermeer and Pat Murphy as GoHs. Its organizers' stated goals are to create a sort of ReaderCon West, and I'm very much looking forward to joining the discussions. Registration is $55 USD until November 1.

You can also register for Sirens 2011 for $150 at this link until November 1.


And finally, while I'm fairly confident the warning is superfluous, as a reminder: this journal is a private entity, and I will not allow hate speech on it. Comments I consider hate speech will be deleted, and commenters will be banned.
starlady: Kermit the Frog, at Yuletide (yuletide)
Astoundingly short real life entry, go!

# Yuletide nominations! This is my partial list:
1. Disney Princess Superheroes
2. Their Majesties' Bucketeers
3. NPR RPF
4. The Magic Schoolbus
5. RahXephon

Thoughts? 

# I signed up for Zipcar last week, and this morning under the pressure of "I need more dayquil and tissues" I reserved a car, and this afternoon my friend L and I went to…Target. Very dramatic and significant, I know. That said, it was a ridiculously easy sign-up process, and the company people I've interacted with have all been both nice and helpful, and Hybrid Car! And cities across the country and internationally, which is good. The rates are slightly high for just one person, at least on my budget, but with two or more people to split the costs it's pretty reasonable. And the cars live six blocks from my house. 

# More ludicrously beautiful days in the Bay area this week. This morning and afternoon I could see all the way past the Golden Gate to Marin. We're so spoiled; also, the psychological boost is unquestionable. I'm glad again that I chose this school, and these people, and still happy to be here (and having the time of my life).

# I'm not sure I'll ever write up a full post on Sirens 2010, but let me just say, it was a total blast from start to finish--I was surprised at how much fun I had, and thrilled to meet a bunch of other people who loved to talk about books and whatnot with just as much passion as me, and everyone I met including the GoHs was ridiculously nice and awesome. It's an intimate con, which definitely contributes to that atmosphere, but the caliber of the discussions does not suffer at all for that. See you next year, all!

# I might as well admit to all and sundry that I'm plotting a really long Sherlock Holmes story. At this point it's probably going to be a novel. I am excited.

starlady: (abhorsen)
 is really, really awesome (because of the awesome ladies who are my fellow attendees). I want to come back every year!
starlady: "They don't play by the rules, why should we?" (dumbledore's army)
Via [personal profile] jhameia and K. Tempest Bradford on Twitter, exceedingly short warning but very important notice about a way in which you can have a concrete impact on the direction Wiscon is taking now and will in the future: 

SF3 holds its annual meeting on October 3, 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin at the Concourse Hotel; all SF3 members are eligible to vote either in person or by proxy, and the meeting will have a conference phoneline for members not present to voice their views.


Question to my circle: Are any of you a) members and b) planning on attending the meeting? 

starlady: Urahara laughs at carnage (urahara)
Hello people, particularly new people. I see I was linked to by [community profile] metafandom -- welcome, all! I'm at Schoolgirls and Mobilesuits in Minneapolis at the moment (listening to Crispin Freeman talk about mythology and the creator's psyche in Evangelion, actually), which is an awesome con that you should totally go to if you're in the area. I will be back with actual content a bit later this week, probably Tuesday. Wish me a good flight, and have a good weekend, or at least what's left of it.

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starlady: Raven on a MacBook (Default)
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