12 June 2013

If you haven't read N. K. Jemisin's incredible speech as GoH at Continuum in Australia, don't hesitate. Follow the link and read it now. Not only is it an amazing, wonderful, inspiring speech, it is a pivotal one for the genre, and for those of us who love it and have been exhorting it to step forward for years now.

For those of you too lazy to follow the link--well, fuck you. Do it anyway. This deserves our attention, if only for this:

We tread upon the mythic ground of religions and civilizations that far predate “Western” nations and Christianity; we dream of traveling amid stars that were named by Arab astronomers, using the numbers they devised to help us find our way; we retell the colonization stories that were life and death for the Irish and the English and the Inka and the Inuit; we find drama in the struggles of the marginalized and not-quite-assimilated of every society. Speculative fiction is at its core syncretic; this stuff doesn’t come out of nowhere. And it certainly didn’t spring solely from the imaginations of a bunch of beardy old middle-class middle-American guys in the 1950s. - See more at: http://nkjemisin.com/2013/06/continuum-goh-speech/#sthash.RyAJdaOc.dpuf

We tread upon the mythic ground of religions and civilizations that far predate “Western” nations and Christianity; we dream of traveling amid stars that were named by Arab astronomers, using the numbers they devised to help us find our way; we retell the colonization stories that were life and death for the Irish and the English and the Inka and the Inuit; we find drama in the struggles of the marginalized and not-quite-assimilated of every society. Speculative fiction is at its core syncretic; this stuff doesn’t come out of nowhere. And it certainly didn’t spring solely from the imaginations of a bunch of beardy old middle-class middle-American guys in the 1950s. - See more at: http://nkjemisin.com/2013/06/continuum-goh-speech/#sthash.RyAJdaOc.dpuf

We tread upon the mythic ground of religions and civilizations that far predate “Western” nations and Christianity; we dream of traveling amid stars that were named by Arab astronomers, using the numbers they devised to help us find our way; we retell the colonization stories that were life and death for the Irish and the English and the Inka and the Inuit; we find drama in the struggles of the marginalized and not-quite-assimilated of every society. Speculative fiction is at its core syncretic; this stuff doesn’t come out of nowhere. And it certainly didn’t spring solely from the imaginations of a bunch of beardy old middle-class middle-American guys in the 1950s.

Speaking as a beardy middle-aged middle-class American guy in the 2010s, I am humbled by Nora Jemisin and her insight. Speaking as a writer, I know from reading this that I have a lot to learn about a lot of things, and that if I am true my education will never stop. Speaking as a human person . . . well. All I can say is that Jemisin nails it. Right on the goddamn head. And I am thankful that she has done so, because she has done so at a time when it is very much needed.

Share this. If you care about the genre, share it, boost it, send it, speak it, preach it, live it. And never, ever stop.
We tread upon the mythic ground of religions and civilizations that far predate “Western” nations and Christianity; we dream of traveling amid stars that were named by Arab astronomers, using the numbers they devised to help us find our way; we retell the colonization stories that were life and death for the Irish and the English and the Inka and the Inuit; we find drama in the struggles of the marginalized and not-quite-assimilated of every society. Speculative fiction is at its core syncretic; this stuff doesn’t come out of nowhere. And it certainly didn’t spring solely from the imaginations of a bunch of beardy old middle-class middle-American guys in the 1950s. - See more at: http://nkjemisin.com/2013/06/continuum-goh-speech/#sthash.RyAJdaOc.dpufv
We tread upon the mythic ground of religions and civilizations that far predate “Western” nations and Christianity; we dream of traveling amid stars that were named by Arab astronomers, using the numbers they devised to help us find our way; we retell the colonization stories that were life and death for the Irish and the English and the Inka and the Inuit; we find drama in the struggles of the marginalized and not-quite-assimilated of every society. Speculative fiction is at its core syncretic; this stuff doesn’t come out of nowhere. And it certainly didn’t spring solely from the imaginations of a bunch of beardy old middle-class middle-American guys in the 1950s. - See more at: http://nkjemisin.com/2013/06/continuum-goh-speech/#sthash.RyAJdaOc.dpuf

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