Dec. 20th, 2009

dmp: Taking a stroll in my finery (Default)
This post has been been cross-posted to Beyond Victoriana's own website. Please submit all comments there.
Image courtesy of Kory Lynn Hubbell

One of the interesting challenges non-Eurocentric steampunk faces is how technology can be re-imagined for peoples that did not develop industrialized technology during the nineteenth century. Case in point this week: First Nation peoples. There has also been the assumption that First Nation peoples “lack” technology, and so therefore what role can they play in any science fiction genre, nevermind steampunk?

Notwithstanding the imaginative block (and racist subtext) implied by those who say FN peoples didn’t have technologywhich is argued against by Kay Marie Porterfield in her article Ten Lies About Indigenous Science – How to Talk Back concepts like time travel, tech, and alternative histories aren’t confined to any particular culture. This week is a linkspam featuring discussions concerning First Nation peoples in sci-fi and reading suggestions to get those mental gears turning.

For research resources, I have included a selection of articles concerning FN sci-fi, history, and technology at hand; for reading suggestions, I’ve listed examples that can also be considered under general sci-fi, alternative history, or Weird West.

UPDATED 15 February 2010: I've updated this post with the most relevant suggestions given by readers included below. Enjoy!

Read more below the cut )
dmp: (Ay-leen the Peacemaker)
I just mentioned Expanded Horizons in my latest Beyond Victoriana post, but they deserve to be highlighted because their mission statement is pure win. Quoted below:

What We’re About

Speculative fiction is any fiction which asks, at its core, “What if?” Speculative fiction encompasses science fiction (SF), fantasy, horror, slipstream, and other speculative genres.

The mission of this webzine is to increase diversity in the field of speculative fiction, both in the authors who contribute and in the perspectives presented. We feature speculative fiction stories and artwork, as well as essays about speculative fiction and fandom from diverse points of view.

Speculative fiction is an uncomfortable art – it is a tool by which we artists push readers and viewers outside of their comfort zones into the truly alien, and in so doing, help them to face themselves and grow as human beings. Excellent speculative fiction depends upon excellent “perspective shifting” skills- the same “mental muscles” we use when we learn to live, work and play with people from different racial, ethnic, cultural and sub-cultural backgrounds. In forming Expanded Horizons, we aim to push the field of speculative fiction out of its own “comfort zone” toward increased inclusion of, and comfort with, diverse perspectives, backgrounds and points of view.

It is comparatively easy to ask “what if?” about an alien culture that is labeled “fictional” than it is to learn to see through the eyes of those people who are different from us in our own neighborhoods and communities. In the real world, we have to take risks- and we can’t close the book if we don’t like what we see. But the speculative fiction community enjoys a challenge, embraces the “alien” with child-like curiosity. What if the readers and writers of speculative fiction applied their “perspective shifting” skills not just to the story on the page, but also to their own communities? What if speculative fiction itself aimed to push readers, writers and editors alike toward appreciating actual diversity with the same enthusiasm as we approach fictional diversity?

What if?

Our Mission

The mission of Expanded Horizons is to increase diversity in speculative fiction and to create a venue for the authentic expression of under-represented voices in the genre. We do not publish material which does not fit with and further the mission of our magazine.
Our specific objectives include (but are not limited to):
  • Increasing the number of authentically portrayed people of color in speculative fiction
  • Increasing authentic ethnic diversity in speculative fiction
  • Increasing the number of women authors in speculative fiction
  • Increasing the number of authentically portrayed gay, lesbian, bisexual and asexual people in speculative fiction
  • Increasing the number of authentically portrayed transgender, transsexual, intersex and genderqueer⁄fluid people in speculative fiction
  • Increasing the number of authentically portrayed people with disabilities in speculative fiction
  • Publishing essays on speculative fiction and fandom which relate closely to the challenges and importance of diversifying the field
  • Creating a venue so that under-represented minorities who tend to be represented unrealistically or negatively in most speculative fiction may speak out in their own voice
We are expressly welcoming of submissions from esoteric minorities, including Otherkin in the broadest and most inclusive definition of the term, Vampyres, and people with rare, energetic sensitivities and awarenesses.




Their submissions guidelines gave me a fangasm when I read it too.



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