Saturday, June 25, 2011

the hardest panel for an f&sf convention

The class and f&sf panel.

I'm feeling more sympathy for Wiscon now. Folks who I trust have told me that their attempts to do class panels have been disasters. Fourth Street Fantasy's attempt was a mess. Maybe it was a necessary mess--after all, if it was easy to talk about class, we would already be doing that. Conventions have been doing panels about gender and race for at least thirty years. Class continues to be the great taboo in a genre that, to a great extent, is created by and for the middle and upper class.

But I think it was a great learning experience, at least for the Brust and me. We'll take a different tack next time.


  1. Man, I wish I could have been there. Reminds me of the discussion over at Shakesville where we (or at least I) wondered why vampires are so often portrayed as wealthy aristocrats, while werewolves can come from any class. After all, Jacob never had a chance with Bella, compared to Edward's unlimited wealth, unlimited health, unlimited lifespan, etc.

    One commenter said that her professor spent a whole class on it, explaining that vampires were aristocrats as a parable on how the upper class drained the life blood from the lower ones, etc.

    Me, I just think that it was unfortunate circumstance. If you can't go out in the sunlight because you'll die (or sparkle), then that pretty much limits your employment opportunities.* Of course, there was always the ever popular profession of "street thug" (which Spike did for a while) but Spike's the exception, not the rule.

    *at least until the invention of electricity

  2. One reason the vampire works as a model for nobles and capitalists: long life suggests the way inherited wealth works. I like thinking of werewolves as being much more working class. I may return to that. Thanks!

    Oh, as for Spike, his history is a mess. I think the decision to make him a human poet/poser was inconsistant with his character, an example of writers going with what seems clever rather than what seems true.