starlady: Holmes and Watson walking around New York (springtime in new york)
# I'm increasingly thinking that I will be effectively leaving Dreamwidth at some point soon. I may start a Wordpress; I may absorb some kinds of content into other venues. No firm decisions have been made, but entropy is running.

# I had a lovely time at CrossingsCon and want to give the staff kudos for pulling off a first-time con rather well. As for me, I am old and jaded and I know for a fact that tumblr didn't invent everything, but I did nonetheless have a lovely time and would happily attend again.

# The Brexit horrorshow is nauseatingly horrific from across the pond, and I am so sorry to all my friends in the UK and the EU who are living it. I've been trying to write a condolences email to some non-internet UK friends, and quite honestly I've found it much easier writing emails to people after terrorist attacks asking whether they or anyone they know are dead. Hopefully somehow the situation may yet be pulled back from the brink. (And if that happens, will people one day say that David Cameron managed to redeem himself in the end, by poisoning the Article 50 chalice a la that one Facebook comment's analysis? Gross.)
starlady: (bibliophile)
I had a great time at Sirens last month, and I'm really looking forward to going back next year: the guests of honor are Renée Adieh, Laurie J. Marks, and Kiini Ibura Salaam! The conference website is up now, and so is the Reading Challenge, which I've pasted below for my own purposes. I hope to see you there!

Books. Lots of books )
starlady: (coraline)
I'm not at WisCon this year; I'm in Tokyo, because I don't have a teleporter. I hope everyone has a wonderful time, and I will see you all next year! ♥
starlady: Peggy in her hat with her back turned under the SSR logo (agent carter)
I feel like longtime readers of this platform will already be aware of my love for the Sirens Conference, which is focused on girls, women, and female-identifying people in fantasy and science fiction--with a particular focus on YA--as readers, writers, and characters. It's in Denver this year, and Yoon Ha Lee, Rae Carson, and Kate Elliott are the guests! You should join us, it's going to be awesome.

This year Sirens has formalized an attendees' version of the staff reading lists as the Sirens Reading Challenge. I am historically very good at winning books and at book-related challenges, and this year's theme--Rebels--is near and dear to my heart, so I am doubly excited for this.

List below the cut; I've copied the links from the Sirens webpage to preserve the partner links to the Tattered Cover, Denver's independent bookstore. Strikethrough = already read.

I am so excited. )
It's going to be great.
starlady: Galadriel in Caras Galadhon, with an ornate letter "G" (galadriel is a G)
I'm in Heathrow again, on my way to Istanbul.

The way things are going, I'm not sure I'll get another chance to say that Loncon 3 was fantastic. My expectations were high, and then low, and then they were all exceeded. I don't think it's a coincidence that the biggest Worldcon ever was also the most international and the one with the biggest Hugo electorate ever. I ushered for the Hugos, and when Ann Leckie won for Ancillary Justice I stood up and cheered, along with many other people. on that note, I'm very thrilled that Tamora Pierce is found to be a Guest of Honor at Worldcon in 2016 in Kansas City, but I absolutely will be maintaining a supporting membership in order to vote for Helsinki in 2017. Worldcon needs to live up to its name.

I didn't go to as many panels as I might have, but that was okay; mine went quite well and I spent the time hanging out with and meeting many awesome people from around the world, who are literally too many to list on timed wifi. It was great to see old friends and to meet new ones, and I'm very much looking forward to seeing you all again soon.
starlady: a barcode with my DW username & user ID (barcode)
Hello again from London. I went to Belgium in the interval of my last entry and it was grand, not least because Belgium is beautiful but also because I slept a lot. And now I am back in another, slightly nicer hotel (we have leveled up to a hair dryer being included in the room!) and am at Loncon. It's pretty great so far, mostly because of the awesome people I've hung out with including [personal profile] littlebutfierce[personal profile] qian, and [personal profile] such_heights, whose vidshow today was quite awesome. [personal profile] seekingferret made an interesting comment about lim's Marvel vid, namely that it lost some of its force up on the big screen, which I think is related to the fact that she managed to make it very comic book-y, very animated, and that some of its energy comes from the compression of motion on the smaller screen, so that the energy spills out into us.

And thanks to [personal profile] liv for organizing the Dreamwidth meetup yesterday, at which I met many lovely people including [personal profile] kaberett. *waves*
starlady: Holmes and Watson walking around New York (springtime in new york)
I actually attended far more of the con than I did four years ago, starting with the Thursday night pre-con meet and greet, at which [personal profile] franzeska and I looked at each other across the crowded room (~cherry blossom petals~) and said, "I didn't know you were going to be here!" And, oddly enough (because we are definitely different in our orientations towards what kinds of cons we tend to attend and to some extent what we want out of them), we had similar reactions to this year's Con.TXT. You can read her con report at her journal.

It was great to see many awesome people who I haven't seen in way too long; that was, in fact, the best part of the con, and I also heard a lot of people I hadn't met before say a lot of smart things. But compared to 2010, when I felt spoiled for choice in terms of panels, there seemed to be much less interesting programming, and the vibe seemed…different, somewhat narrower in terms of range of interest. Partly I think this is because I personally am less close to the center of the mainstream fandom id, if such a thing can be said to exist, than I was in 2010, but OTOH, I kept comparing the discussions to Wiscon and thinking Wiscon was at least as good, which is quite a change from four years ago. I suspect this is partly because Wiscon has come a long way in the past four years in terms of its fandom panels and discussions, and also because I had a particularly excellent Wiscon with a particularly excellent, somewhat select group of people, salted with excellent impromptu panels.

Like Franzi, I also thought the vidshow could use some work, and I will 100% admit that this is partly because this year's [community profile] wiscon_vidparty was so excellent. The 2014 Con.TXT vidshow needed better curation as a playlist, and it also needs not to feature multiple vids by the same creator, no matter how famous they are. They also need to adopt the common definition of "premiering vids," i.e. vids that have not been shown publicly before the con, which ≠ "recent vids," i.e. vids that have premiered within the last six months. (Which is not to say that I didn't like many of the individual vids; I do and did, and there were several that I went back and downloaded immediately. But there were more than a few that qualified as LKBVs in my opinion, many of them unintentionally so--which is not to say that there is anything wrong per se with LKBVs! but I don't think the curation realized that they could be interpreted as LKBVs, which is a failure of the playlisting--and compared to Wiscon, the party vibe felt way less fun. IDK. I was glad to be sitting in the group of people I was sitting with, since we weren't afraid to laugh for the most part.)

My panel on Sunday did at least seem to go pretty well, and thanks again to my co-mod dee_laundry and to our intrepid volunteer "token AO3 tag wrangler," who may or may not wish to be named in this post. Speaking of moderation, however: I understand that there is a different, much more group discussion-based vibe at cons like Con.TXT than at Wiscon, but that said, in terms of accessibility, there need to be much more stringent guidelines about moderation so that panels don't descend into chaos of people talking over each other so that everybody can hear. Compared to Wiscon's Access team and concerns about access, that was a fairly glaring oversight.

Short version: I had a good time, though not as good as in 2010. I go if and when I'm going to be in the area, and it's totally worth it if you're local, but not something I'm going to travel cross-country for in the future.
starlady: Twitter quote: @magneto "come home" (my offer still stands)
I'm really thrilled to be returning to Con.Txt, one of my favorite cons I've only been to once. Leave a comment if you'd like to try to meet up while you're there--I'll be staying offsite, so I'm currently planning to be around Friday afternoon, Saturday most of the day (probably coming back for the vidshow), and Sunday.

I'll even be moderating a panel there: 

Tag, you're it! Tagging for Fun and Profit
moderators: Dee Laundry, starlady

"Tags - on Tumblr, on AO3, on DW and Pinboard - tags are everywhere. How do tags work? What are the most effective ways to tag your fannish content so it can be found? What are the most effective ways to use tags to find content? Why does fandom love tags so much, and why do tags love us so much? Also an AO3 tag wrangler will be around to answer AO3-tagging-specific-questions."

I hope to see you there!

Also, I'll definitely be at LonCon, Wikimania, and Nine Worlds in London in August. More info on that soon!

starlady: (justice)
I'm rather proud of the fact that I managed to find the brain power to submit a vid playlist to this year's [community profile] wiscon_vidparty"A Revolution Without Dancing Is Not a Revolution Worth Having."

You can follow the links above to the entire vid party playlist; here's my portion again: 

In Our Bedroom After the War (Goodbye, Lenin!) by such_heights
Suffrage (Iron-Jawed Angels) by e_transitions
Black Steel (Born in Flames) by Lila Futuransky
Slow Down Gandhi (Battlestar Galactica) by obsessive24
Too Big to Fail (Occupy Wall Street) by starlady
Citizens of the World (The Blues Brother movies) by Trutgras


The vid party organizers kindly gave those of us curators who were present the chance to say a few words, and I wanted to say them again here: I felt really self conscious about the fact that the playlist is so light on SFF, but then I realized that that's on science fiction, not me. I combed through all of Festivids and the entire Vividcon database, as well as some YouTube searching, and couldn't find hardly any vids that were both from a science fictional source and also depicted revolutions as I think they are: collective actions inspired by (radical) ideas. Get it together, science fiction! The lone hero is not actually a solution to systemic problems, etc, etc.

The core of this playlist was actually the last vid, which I watched at laurashapiro's Festivids party and, when it ended, I said, "That is why oppressive governments forbid people gathering in large groups!" Dancing in the street is a revolutionary act, or it can be, which is where I got the title of the playlist--it's a line apocryphally attributed to the great feminist anarchist Emma Goldman, and a line I like quite a lot. (It gets play in V for Vendetta too, a movie I really wanted to include, but I couldn't find any vids that either critiqued its simplistic, naive 1980s take on the dystopian future, or that showcased the people taking to the streets at the end.) The others I thought of for various reasons--they fit the theme of WisCon, they were spec fic-ish, I liked them (mine), etc. I also deliberately ended on an up note, because you gotta give 'em hope, and at least one person thanked me for that. (I also had a few people tell me that they found my Occupy vid to be really sad; I can see why, but I don't, because I think that Occupy will matter more in its ideas than anything else, and that it has mattered. The vid makes me angry, in a good way; I made it because I was angry.) Several people also told me they really liked the playlist, which made me really glad; I'm glad that what I wanted to say seems to have gotten across.

See you next year, I hope!
starlady: (bibliophile)
I will be there! I'm flying in on a redeye from San Jose tonight, as a matter of fact, and driving from Milwaukee to Madison tomorrow morning. I'm leaving early Monday afternoon via more or less the same route in reverse. I'm on two panels under my legal name and I have a playlist in the vidshow.

I'm excited to see everyone! Email, tweet, or text me if you want to hang out and haven't seen me; all will go to my phone. 
starlady: (bibliophile)
First things first: I'm still selling a bunch of genre (and a few random academic) books.

Second: Who's going to Con.txt? I am!

Third: that movie meme!
Everyone should post their ten most CRUCIAL CRUCIAL CRUCIAL-ASS movies, like the movies that explain everything about yourselves in your current incarnations (not necessarily your ten favorite movies but the ten movies that you, as a person existing currently, feel would help people get to know you) (they can change later on obviously).
  1. The Hunt for Red October (1990)
  2. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)
  3. The Return of the Jedi (1983)
  4. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
  5. Ronin (1998) ("Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt.")
  6. Croupier (1998) ("Hang on tightly, let go lightly.")
  7. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
  8. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
  9. My Blue Heaven (1990)
  10. Moonstruck (1987)
Honorable mention: Troop Beverly Hills (1989)
starlady: A girl bent over a sailboat on a lake (build your own ship)
[personal profile] jhameia asked about my favorite event in 2013 and [personal profile] qian asked about my favorite convention. There's enough overlap here that in my continuing attempts to catch up on this meme I am going to combine them.

My favorite event of 2013 might have been…well, I had some really good events. I really enjoyed going to Portland for Trek in the Park with my sister; I had an amazing time seeing Fall Out Boy and Janelle Monáe in concerts in San Francisco, and ditto for Vienna Teng! I can't pick a favorite concert, really, but maybe it was Janelle Monáe. She's a powerhouse in recordings, but live she's ten thousand times better.

I also went to some good conventions in 2013. I like conventions because the ones that I attend regularly combine people I like and don't get to see often enough with talking about things that I am interested in. For the past few years I've attended three regularly: WisCon, Sirens, and Schoolgirls and Mobilesuits.

2013 was actually the last year that SGMS existed in its current configuration; it's not clear whether the con(terence) will rise again like the phoenix or join the ranks of good things that have ended. I had a really good time at SGMS last year; I always do, and it was lovely to see so many of my friends, but also sad to miss some familiar faces.

My favorite convention is…really hard to choose between WisCon and Sirens, actually! I attended both of them for the first time in 2010, and I really, really like both of them. In some ways, though, I think Sirens is actually my favorite. Tempest Bradford wrote a post about attending Sirens and Geek Girl Con last year that I cannot find but that got at what I like about Sirens: small group of great people who are supportive and who are very committed to discussing and expanding the presence of girls and women in fantasy literature. I described it in 2011 thus: "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." And indeed, I've gotten to know people at Sirens in a way that is more difficult at Wiscon simply because at Wiscon there's so much going on--which is a feature, not a bug, of Wiscon! They are fundamentally different creatures.

If the Sirens Conference sounds like it might be your cup of tea, I encourage you to think about attending! This year it will be held in Skamania, Washington, outside Portland, and the guests of honor are Andrea Hairston, Kendare Blake, and Rosemary Clement-Moore. (The theme is hauntings.) Sadly I will almost certainly not be there, for the first time since 2010, but you should go and have a wonderful time in my place.
starlady: Ramona Flowers wearing her delivery goggles (ramona flowers is awesome)
I am in Stevenson, Washington at the Sirens conference with a bunch of awesome people talking about women in fantasy literature today through Sunday, and it is so awesome. You should join us next year! 

However, you should always tell Skamania Lodge that you are making a reservation for four adults. Apparently they believe that reserving a room for three adults means you want a room with just one king size bed. They claim that the resort is booked up this weekend and that all they could do is give us cots. Given that they didn't even offer us a discount for booking us into a hotel room that could not accommodate our party, I am highly unimpressed.
starlady: "Where's your sister?" "She's on Jupiter, Mom." (sister's on jupiter)
I just paid for a supporting membership for the 2014 Worldcon, and signed up to convert to an attending membership on the installment plan. (As well as the installment plan, this con is offering several ways to make membership less expensive, including young adult and family memberships.) I'm also planning to attend Wikimania 2014.

Both of these events are in London in August of next year. I'm currently planning to leave the States on or about August 1 and arrive in Japan on or about September 15. As you can see from the above, I will be spending a good chunk of time in London, and I'm also planning to go to Belgium and Germany, and possibly other places on the Continent depending on whether/where anyone would like to host me. So, in the spirit of "it's a year away but it would be great if we could meet up!" let me know if that is something you'd be able/willing to do, and where. :D And let me know if you will be in London for Worldcon and/or Wikimania!
starlady: (we're all mad here)
I think many people in my networks have already heard about KudosCon, a new convention celebrating fanworks and fan creators. KudosCon will be held in Bloomington, Minnesota (aka Mall of America Town) from January 3-5, 2013. But, as a new con, KudosCon needs money to happen, so they are funding the con through Kickstarter. There are multiple levels of support available, from joint memberships that you can split to plush plotbunnies that you can cuddle to artists' alley tables and more. Even if you can't attend the con, supporting the con at the lurker level ($5 or more) can help ensure that the con happens for other people.

I know a lot of people who are thinking of going, and I've also seen a lot of people asking if anyone knows anything about the people running the con. I actually do know two of the people who are running it, Lee and Lisa--I have known them for about five years now, since we first met at Schoolgirls and Mobilesuits in Minneapolis. We've continued to run into each other at SGMS and at Wiscon since then, and Lisa and I were actually on an anime and manga panel together at Wiscon at one point. They are married and they have a webcomic, Godseeker, and as far as I know they are pretty cool.

So, I hope to see you at KudosCon! Yes, it will be cold outside, but the love of fanworks will fill our hearts and keep us warm.

starlady: Ramona Flowers wearing her delivery goggles (ramona flowers is awesome)
And boy are my arms tired.

No, literally, my arms are pretty tired. I hauled a fifty-pound suitcase of my sister's stuff as well as the suitcase with my stuff and my messenger bag with all my devices and my sister's guitar across the country--double thanks to everyone who rode with the guitar in the car, carried the guitar, and carried crap to/from the car. Of course Delta separated me from my two suitcases after I left Milwaukee, because we got in 30 minutes late to DTW and my connecting flight to Philly was only delayed 15 minutes. I booked it (the terminal A to terminal B underpass is not "just across the hall") and made my connection, though not without unreasonable harassment from the gate agent about the guitar. I ignored her and carried it on and had absolutely no problems. The flight attendants on my first plane were kind enough to put it in an empty row in back. My luggage should be here in about an hour to 90 minutes, I hope.

WISCON!!!!!

I had a lovely time, as usual, even though I arrived later than I'd like and I feel like I didn't get enough time with hardly anyone. The panels I went to were pretty great and I felt like the ones I was on were good. I love everyone in this bar, ice cream shop, vid party, hotel room, etc., and I will see you next year. ♥
starlady: (coraline)
I spent the weekend in Stevenson, Washington with a wonderful (and nearly 25% larger) group of people at Sirens, a conference for women in fantasy literature, and as usual, I had a wonderful time. Although I liked the previous hotel a little bit more, I really appreciated being able to breathe normally the entire time, and this was another year of interesting discussions, thought-provoking panels, and remarkably egalitarian socializing. I met a lot of awesome people, both writers and not, and I can't wait to go back next year.

The 2013 theme is Reunion, and the Guests of Honor are Alaya Dawn Johnson, Ellen Kushner, Robin LaFevers, and Guadalupe Garcia McCall. It should be a really awesome time, and I hope you can join us! Until November 1, you can use this link to register for the discounted price of $165, which is a subsidized cost that includes four meals and all the tea, coffee, and hot cocoa you could want, as soon as the hotel staff get around to refilling the carafes. I also want to say, having heard both Nalo Hopkinson and Malinda Lo as Guests of Honor at other Bay area cons this year (FOGcon 2 and MythCon 43, respectively), that I am firmly convinced that the SIrens programming format forces guests of honor to say things that are less superficial and more interesting than other cons, which I really appreciate.

One thing that makes the Narrate conferences great is the vast amounts of background reading the staff are required to do; I've taken the liberty of following [personal profile] thistleingrey's lead in copying the 2013 Sirens list from [livejournal.com profile] praetorianguard's post: I've bolded the books I've read (and because I'm a bit vain about my taste, I've linked my reviews), and italicized the books I have sitting on my shelves to be read.


Sirens 2013 list )
starlady: ((say it isn't so))
In the Shadows, about how Ed Kramer has successfully perverted the course of justice to evade charges of child molestation for more than a decade. Bonus fun fact: DragonCon is a for-profit enterprise. 
starlady: a circular well of books (well of books)
[personal profile] coffeeandink has a post, Sexual Harassment at Readercon, that details the harassment of author Genevieve Valentine by "a well-known fan," Rene Walling. Despite its stated policy of zero tolerance towards and lifetime bans for harassers, the Readercon board has banned Walling for…two years.

I'd previously heard that Readercon was snooty and inaccessible, but I can safely say that after this I will never go myself and will actively discourage women and people who don't believe that harassment is acceptable behavior to avoid the con like the plague. There are plenty of other great SFF conventions.

Finally: I fully support the decision of several people who were at the con to name Walling as Valentine's harasser. Protecting the anonymity of someone who has demonstrated a pattern of harassment only enables Walling to continue easily preying upon unknowing people. 
starlady: (utena myth)
Save me from housemate interview emails

I am going to Mythcon 43 next month here in Berkeley! Malinda Lo is the author guest of honor and it sounds like an interesting time, though I don't know how much of the four-day programming (!) I'll be able to attend.

I believe registration is still open (and that it will also be available at the door), so check it out if you're interested! Has anyone else ever been to a Mythcon?

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