The Tricky Thing About Reading ‘Neutral’

The following was prompted by a recent Telegraph article responding to K. Tempest Bradford’s reading challenge on XOJane. (I’m not linking the Telegraph article because I think it’s a steaming pile of crap – it’s poorly-researched, uses terrible argumentation, and includes personal attacks)

A response I see come up frequently when people talk about reading challenges or pushing for greater diversity in reading is some variation of the following:

‘I don’t pay attention to gender or race or sexuality of authors when I read. I just read what I like and what looks good.’

On the surface, that’s a laudable approach – it’s meritocratic, it avoids bias based on the background of the author.


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World Fantasy 2014

This weekend I’ll be down in DC for the World Fantasy Convention (abbreviated WFC).

WFC was the second F/SF convention I ever attended, back in 2006 in Austin. I knew almost no one, but was very helpfully schmoozed around the convention by my friends. I’ve been several times since then, and it’s become one of my favorite cons. Being small, it’s not so great for meeting readers – instead, it’s more like the summer camp reunion – a relax atmosphere, but with a lot of colleagues and friends all in one place at one time, without the bustle of WorldCon or a Comic-Con or all of that jazz.

Programming is very light at WFC, with each person usually only on one panel or reading slot. I tend to go for the readings, and to then hit a lot of other readings. I’m a sucker for that live experience.

My reading slot this year is on Thursday at 4PM (in the Fairfax room), so I hope that folks will have settled in enough to come and say hello.

Otherwise, you’ll be able to find me wandering around, at the bar or cafe, and many places between. I’ll be at the banquet on Sunday, cheering on the nominees, especially my dear friend Marie Brennan, up for Best Novel with her excellent book A Natural History of Dragons. Otherwise, hit me up on Twitter to say hello.

Joys of Recent Reading (Comics)

As part of my move into comics writing, I’ve been reading tons of comics, largely assisted by a giant haul from NYCC.

Here’s a few comics I’ve read recently and enjoyed.

  • Birthright #1 (Joshua Williamson, Andrei Bressan) – Disappeared child story meets epic fantasy quest…with several twists.
  • Moon Knight Vol. 1 (Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire) – Batman-esque one-shots starring an Ellis-ified version of the classic Marvel hero.
  • Artful Daggers (Adam P. Knave, Sean E. Williams, Andrew Losq) – Set 50 years after the events of A Conneticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court – Anti-authoritarian action espionage.
  • Edge of Spider-Verse #2: Gwen Stacey Spider-Woman (Jason Latour, Robbi Rodriguez) – THE COOLEST ONE-SHOT where Gwen Stacey gets spider-powers instead of Peter Parker. I am WAY excited about this getting an ongoing comic.
  • Skullkickers Treasure Trove Vol. 1 (Jim Zub, Paul Stevens, Edwin Huang, Misty Coats) – Teenage D&D Sword & Sorcery adventures that starts over-the-top and then keeps going. With bonus shout-outs to Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser in the back matter.