Saturday, January 12, 2013

My schedule at Arisia Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention in Boston Jan. 18 - 21

I'm less than a week and a couple of train rides away from landing in Boston for my first experience of Arisia, a Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention that appears to have something of interest for just about everyone — from otaku to costumer.

I'm delighted that I'll be participating in a number of panels with some absolutely amazing people:

Friday at 8:30 p.m. I'm the moderator for Species as a Metaphor for Race (Avatar, District 9, and even Star Trek are among relatively recent SF films that have offered us aliens who are arguably standing in for real races or ethnic groups. How does SF film handle racial issues? Is it a way of avoiding painful topics or a way of addressing them by other means?) Panelists include James Zavaglia, Catt Kingsgrave-Ernstein, Eric Zuckerman, and Andrea Hairston.

Friday at 10 p.m. I'm on the panel for Papi Chulo to Papi Cthulu - Latinos/as in SFF  (An examination of the limits —and limited — depictions of Latino and Latina people in SF/F. We'll look at roles and characters in movies, TV shows, and books with a special — hopeful or critical — emphasis on Latino/as as written and directed by Latino/as in SF/F) moderated by Daniel José Older, whose book Salsa Nocturna (from Crossed Genres Publications) has gotten fantastic reviews since its publication in July 2012. My co-panelists are Jaime Garmendia and Julia Rios.

Saturday at 11:30 a.m. I'm on the panel for Sex, SF/F, & Racial Stereotypes (A discussion of the ways in which people of color are depicted in SF/F, and the sexual stereotypes that are often included in those characters. Is it really diversity when all you've included is a token character rife with harmful stereotypes? We will also discuss the roots of these tropes and why they're so popular) moderated by Mikki Kendall, with co-panelists Brandon Easton, Andrea Hairston and Tananarive Due.

Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Booksigning along with Adrianne Brennan and JoSelle Vanderhooft.

Saturday at 8:30 p.m. Reading. Robert V.S. Redick, Forest Handford and I will be reading from our work. Don't know yet what order, or what anyone else is reading. I'm reading from INK, of course. ;)

Sunday at 10 a.m. I'm on the panel for Contemporary Fantasy outside the City Limits (There's epic, or secondary-world, fantasy, and then there's urban fantasy, right? Well, what about contemporary fantasy outside the city? There's a growing strain of excellent rural fantasy, but has fantasy touched suburbs or small towns? Come discuss the best contemporary fantasy outside the city limits!) moderated by Vikki Ciaffone, with co-panelists Inanna Arthen, Trisha Wooldridge and Gail Z. Martin.

Sunday at 5:30 p.m. I'm on the panel for Avoiding Culturefail (How can writers best avoid creating simplistic or hurtful imaginary cultures? How can you portray real world cultures — and fictional cultures derived from them — without resorting to stereotypes? Is doing research enough? Where do you start?) moderated by Woodrow "asim" Hill, with co-panelists Daniel José Older and Vylar Kaftan.

Sunday at 7 p.m.  I'm on the panel for Race and Identity in SF/F (Does genre literature have tools and tropes uniquely suited to complex discussions about race and identity? How can authors create racially diverse characters while avoiding tokenism and stereotypes? Is a "multicultural" future enough? Is the very notion of a post-racial society hopelessly naive?) moderated by Kiini Ibura Salaam, with co-panelists Brandon Easton, Daniel José Older and Dash.

Monday at 10 a.m. I'll be moderating the panel for Caught in the Slipstream: Fiction between Genres (An increasing number of works don't seem to fit comfortably within genre boundaries—stories that use science fiction, fantasy, or horror tropes in combination or as an unusual aspect to otherwise non-speculative fiction. This is a discussion of crossover and interstitial fiction that points out the best of what's out there, why each piece succeeds, and how it expands the horizons of readers) Panelists include Daniel José Older, David Sklar, David Shaw and Daniel Rabuzzi.

In between I plan to be at more panels and the launch of Crossed Genres' anthology Menial: Skilled Labor in Science Fiction which includes my short story "Ember." I suspect I'll be physically exhausted but intellectually energized when I get back to Philadelphia Monday night.

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Two stray, INK related notes:'s Angela Lang wrote a lovely piece about me titled "Keyword Hope: Author, Blogger and Immigration Advocate Sabrina Vourvoulias." You can read it by clicking here.

In its sixth year of promoting diverse, compelling Latina and Latino authors, the national organization Las Comadres Para Las Americas has released the first three selections of the 2013 Las Comadres and Friends National Latino Book Club. The first Books of the Month and events are:
January 28 teleconference for Have You Seen Marie?, Sandra Cisneros (Random House/Knopf) and conversation with Maria Antonietta Berriozabal, Maria, Daughter of Immigrants (Wings Press)
February: 8 Ways to Say “I Love My Life,” edited by Sylvia Mendoza (Arte Publico) and conversation with Annie Mary Perez, Clay Hills and Mud Pies (Floricanto Press)
March: Ink, Sabrina Vourvoulias (Crossed Genres Publications) and Manuel Gonzales, The Miniature Wife and Other Stories (Penguin/Riverhead)

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