You know what? I'm tired. Let's do something easy and fun.
Back for a third go-round, by popular demand! Writers of color working in F/SF face unique challenges, it's true. But, at the end of the day, being a "person of color" is only one aspect of what makes up our identities as writers. While it's very flattering to asked to be on panels, most of these panels never crack the ceiling of Race 101. With that in mind, wouldn't it be nice for multiple writers of color to sit on a panel that isn't about race at all? Here's our chance to do just that. So, what are we gonna talk about, instead? Practically anything! Presented in game show format, SIBLING OF REVENGE OF NOT ANOTHER F*CKING RACE PANEL brings together writers of color to get their geek on about any number of pop culture topics—none of them race related.
M: K. Tempest Bradford. Amal El-Mohtar, LaShawn M. Wanak, Isabel Schechter, Candra K. Gill
So the audience member rolls a 20-sided die and that determines which of a pre-determined number of topics they ask a question about. (This rule is subject to change if it would be more fun.) Someone brought a beach-ball-sized d20, which wouldn't stay inflated, so a heroic non-panel-member stuffed it with newspaper until it was sufficiently full and before then everyone used regular-sized die. The categories were:
- superhero costumes/powers
- ways to punish enemies
- anime, manga, cartoons, comics
- urban fantasy
- Doctor Who
- franchise reboots
- If you had a ____ name, what would it be?
(Each had two numbers assigned. If you rolled a 1, you could choose any from there; if you rolled a 20, you could ask anything at long as it wasn't about race.)
As before, I took notes on a netbook, and was typing furiously to keep up. I believe this is fairly complete and is a close paraphrase unless otherwise noted, either by quotation marks which indicates that I believe I am reporting verbatim, or by a qualifying statement. Corrections, additions, and requests for clarification are welcome.
The relevant bits for future parts of the panel:
One of Tempest's blogs is The Angry Black Woman, which is actually a collective out to destroy world and make all white people uncomfortable at WisCon.
LaShawn (sitting next to Amal) introduced herself by saying "I am Amal's mortal nemesis."
sparkymonster: suppose you were in Mercedes Lackey novel and had white sparkly pony companion with beautiful blue eyes that called to your soul, but you didn't like all-white Herald costume because you thought it was ugly. What costume would you have and what power?
Amal: have not read any ML novels, but "would choose costume that would make me completely invisible in a Mercedes Lackey novel"
LaShawn: may have read but don't remember, use power of literary powers to change to spanky pony and then wear black leather. Am a Christian woman but WisCon has corrupted me, year ago would not wear something as risque as this (a sleeveless shirt): "Next year there will be cleavage!"
Candra: wants to directly interface with Internet & global communications system at all times, wouldn't really fit in ML novel but doesn't care; costume? Tabatha's Salon Takeover, TV show, title panel has someone wearing black asymmetrical skirt & black top
Isabel: will "not so freely admit" just read a ML novel, in fact two, last week; discussing with husband, think telepathic communication is great but useless if just listen, wants power to control thoughts
Tempest: last time sparkymonster asked a sparklepony question, Jane Irwin (?) drew her fanart of her and her sparklepony; love idea of black leather, but would have to go with crazy pink chiffon thing, make everyone really confused, that would be superpower: "What is Tempest doing in that pink?! *bam*": power to confuse the fuck out of people until get what want
popelizbet: if you were to punish your enemies, prefer (1) throw down well (2) feed to pigs (3) some other creative idea?
LaShawn starts (Amal says, since my nemesis, she's really invested in what LaShawn's going to say): if going to kill . . . not that I would . . . (audience: why haven't you pre-planned that?) . . . such things have to be delicately done (will come back)
Amal: I am powerful enough to not have any qualms about revealing my secret plans. Not down the well because socially minded & would not want to poison well with corpse; pigs, why feed to innocent? Difficult, think punishment should fit the crime, so having recently had delicious experience of throwing water in someone's face unexpectedly at this con, was a delirious power, so going with: acid cup
Isabel: vegetarian trying to be vegan, would not involve pig, also Jewish; more cynical re: well, last kid fell down one is celebrity, not a punishment. Important thing is plausible deniability, need either witnesses providing alibi elsewhere or that you were there and didn't do a thing; just happen to walk with your friend (arm around Candra), come next to stairs, "Oops! They tripped. Down the stairs. Twice. You don't know how it happened."
Candra: existence of dry wells! but don't want to kill anybody (punish not kill, like that we all went lethal); also on team "folks having to think about what they did"; so put them in front of TV and make watch later seasons of Heroes and write essays about it
Isabel: "and you thought I was bad"
LaShawn: "I will become a god. And then I will strike them down. And then I will resurrect them. And strike again."
audience: thought you were a Christian!
LaShawn: I know how it works! After millenia, get bored, reestablish enemy on Earth, but make a man living on planet full of women and he has gay tendencies
Tempest: so many ways
Amal: you've done so many already
Tempest: "I will write about you on the Internet!" (not about race, get this about technology and Jem too) But thinks throwing down well, big fan of Dolores Claiborne who came up with very elegant solution
(But audience member had prepared question on other topic, so:)
if were going to have a Doctor Who episode in next season where go to any place and time AND HAVE DESSERT, where would go?
Candra: my Doctor is 4th, not up to speed on new ones. Would go somewhere where people evolved from spiders (and have spidery desserts), finds fascinating: hunter, jumper, orb-weaving
(Me, to myself: Deepness in the Sky!)
Isabel: that's deep! I was going to say something like place where Dairy Queen River is . . . oooh! village where Strawberry Shortcake and her friends live
Amal: Doctor, Amy and Rory (adore them) visit planet where everyone appears to them as their most delicious dessert; want to see them change up the threat level, want them to be the threat not being threatened: "Oh god, oh god, we're going to eat people!" prevent selves from committing "mass cakey genocide"
LaShawn: not much of a fan, watched Tom Baker's Doctor when five and freaked out, but does have crush on David Tennant, so logically, a planet of whipped cream
Isabel: "you are a brazen hussy"
Tempest: again! this is WisCon, not allowed to say
Amal: think compliment
LaShawn: "thank you!"
Tempest: Doctor, "and maybe Amy and Rory, if we must" (Amal makes face): maybe planet where fall into volcano of chocolate (not as awesome as Martha or ___ or even Rose); and Stephen Moffat can fall in
(Someone, still Tempest?) Scary: planet where manufacture terrible chocolate, or Peeps
Amal: Cadbury Creme Eggs, can't understand how eat, scald my throat
(various applause, boos)
Candra: "that's okay, she's from a different country"
Amal: vile, evil
Candra: "delicious evil"
Tempest gestures at panelists: "and this is the episode"
Candra: "and then the spider people come and defend their eggs"
Audience member (white guy (I think only one to ask question)): going to do Doctor Who question that's really about desserts: need to find way to counterattack Tempest's efforts to make me uncomfortable, so arrive in Tardis, need dessert to lure--okay, does sound dirty
Amal: "no dessert on this planet that could lure me into your Tardis"
Some more back and forth. Audience member persists with question about using dessert to get them into Tardis to make him less uncomfortable.
Candra: "The just desserts of privileged bullshit! Let's go to something else."
Tempest: Candra said so, that's the rule for panel
(Note: it is my opinion from the audience member's manner that he thought he was joking in the spirit of the panel, but did not understand that it was really skeevy. I am given to understand that he apologized later to at least a couple of the panelists. In other words, clueless and privileged, but as far as I could tell, not intentionally malicious.)
Audience member: if you were to live in South, like she does, what superheroes costumes/powers use to endure that?
Tempest: some breathable fabric!, also supercute outfit with embroidery, (South is big into people acting like?) fashion show, look cute while kicking butt
Candra: involve climate control system. Down road when Afro grown back, also make sure looks fabulous at all time. Also sweet tea and biscuits because favorite part of South
LaShawn: steal Amal's invisible costume
Amal: but then I'd be naked!
Amal: best way to endure the heat, was going to say let popelizbet dress up every day. "I'm from Canada, so you're all South." Only been Atlanta, really liked it, don't have answer
audience: sweet tea tanks on back
other: big hat
LaShawn: and nothing else!
Isabel: is incredibly boring and practical re: South: "One, I don't go", so aside from wicking fabric, ponytail (preferably matching fabric)
audience: Daisy Dukes?
Isabel: "May I remind you that I am an old married lady!"
Holdt: if were werewolf and did not want to hang out with other werewolves, how convince neighbors wouldn't slaughter in sleep?
Isabel: why not?
Isabel: been on concomms, practiced consensus decisionmaking, so could make co-op thing work
LaShawn: don't sparkle!
Candra: something about identifying with (horrible?) brother, don't have patience to live in co-op, lone wolf in woods
Amal: depend on whether actually WANTED to eat them; but people tell her all time don't appear very threatening (someone: "Fools!"). Puts on cute face: "Hi! I'm your neighbor! I'm not going to eat you!" Or (when someone mentions premise that really don't want to eat) could always say would rather eat their enemies
Tempest: big believer in liquor, bring bottles, say come to my awesome vodka party; anyone gotten drunk with you, probably not too afraid will eat; also like enemy idea
ways to punish enemies, again
Audience: my way of punishing enemies is: Michael Bay going to make a movie about your life, who would make the fanfic of the movie, and what kind of song would you have?
Candra: "Femslash. Lots and lots of femslash."
Tempest: Elizabeth Bear would not only write fanfic about the movie, but would create whole novel and Will Shetterly would come in to make shared world about the movie, because they write fanfic about me anyway! In sequel, more explosions, less plot, Jessica Alba playing me, then there would be emo song about her trying to read fanfic about first movie which would greatly resemble Jem song
Amal: "Your answer was erroneous. I would write the fanfic about you."
LaShawn: "You took my idea!!!!!"
Amal: how else insert Mary Sue to have all makeout sessions!
Tempest: those are already in movie
Amal: LaShawn would write and only then (would I?) foil nefarious plans
LaShawn: lots of pretty ponies and sparkly rainbows (etc) and pretty big explosions and nuclear holocausts, rabies, little mice that run around with really long sharp teeth that say "Ni!" Written by me, because I'm an awesome writer too; wanted to say Amal because poetic
Amal: would write about you!
Isabel: too stumped
(I don't think we actually rolled for this one.)
Audience: which franchise needs and who cast?
Tempest: Xena, without Dayhawk and Christianity shoved in with no reason. Still cast Lucy Lawless, but if have to go with younger, then Summer Glau for kicking ass, not entirely sure about acting, but hasn't seen besides Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles. In response to audience yelling: "look I'm not going to watch Firefly and YOU CAN'T MAKE ME" (for reasons can't talk about on this panel). Cast Christina Aguilera as Gabrielle and then put a lot more lesbianism in it
Amal: torn between two profoundly formative childhood influences: She-Ra, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as done by Lauren Faust of new My Little Pony Friendship is Magic: so fantastically cracktastic: or all three crossover
Candra: all those Hasbro cartoons made to make toys: Transformers, GI Joe, Rainbow Bright, Care Bears (some more I missed), cross them all over! ALL OF THEM!; but one issue, screwed up Baroness story in GI Joe movie, must stay badass
Isabel: when found out she & Tempest both loved Jem, knew destined to be together forever; have long discussions over whether Jem and (characters) are actually in poly relationship; Michael Moore type reboot, want someone to ask the difficult questions
audience: "Behind the Music!"
Tempest: there was a He-Man reboot
Tempest: did watch, kind of impressed, Eternia made up of different races and cultures derived from Masters of Universe, e.g., not just random wasp guy, actually went to wasp-people culture and showed background
LaShawn: Brady Bunch done as anime by Rumiko Takahashi. Greg cursed a la Ranma ½; Peter engaged to Jan; dad is drunk panda; Alice is turned into pig trying to kill Greg; and then all other sorts of weird crap
Amal: "why are you not in television"
someone, something about gay Marcia
Audience: if you were either a Care Bear or a My Little Pony: name, mark, power/talent
LaShawn: just saw new My Little Pony Friendship is Magic for first time, and it's like "candy crack cocaine". Had one as kid and loved, so if MLP, named "Nightmare Death", but won't look like it, sneaky, hidden agenda, crony ponies
someone: what's your cutie mark? (on butt)
LaShawn: sigil of Saturn, but sailor's Saturn (i.e., death!). Wields spatula of death. "I am a Christian. I really am!"
Candra: spiders obviously! but if MLP, have bright cardinal-red body and black mane and tail; if Care Bear, red & black fur, named Sardonica, superpower: crankiness
Isabel: "My mother clearly did not let me watch enough TV." *passes on mike*
Amal: anyone know Homestuck web comic? (One person.) Addictive, amazing, deeply involved in fandom and actually made up character, troll, from the comic and role-playing it with other fans; because spent huge amount of time figuring out troll name, symbol, superpowers, the temptation is very strong to just use that but aesthetic is wrong: MLP named Aspirant Exegesis?
(various): oh go for it!
Amal: okay! turquoise pony, amber mane; mark is open book; power is reading between the lines; special weapon: rope, so could tie people up--"Oooh, I didn't mean to say that"--was going to say "tie people up in tight pedantic knots"
Tempest: pony name would have to be Tempest; zebra; mark: motherboard pattern; power: tech! make tech she builds work even if just "I threw some chips at that"; fascinates how MLPs do all human things but have hooves
audience: Dragon Spike does everything needing thumbs
Tempest: unicorns have magic horns that can move things, but pony village was founded (before unicorns discovered?) by earth ponies as we found out in episode . . . (audience dissolves in laughter)
Amal: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic!
Victor Raymond (originally scheduled for panel) walks in and is totally unprepared to be asked what kind of pony he would be. When asked to say something silly or plug something, also totally unprepared, so sparkymonster ran up and poked him very gently in side so he would make silly noises.
And that was basically the end. And 95% of it was completely fabulous and I laughed so hard I'm amazed I typed this much.
(I actually signed up for this just in case they were short of people, and wow, no, I am so glad I wasn't because I am totally not funny enough. I mean, I can be funny, but not like that. (And I didn't watch enough TV as a kid either.))comment(s) | reply | link