I never used to know when a major science fiction/fantasy convention is going on, but with Twitter, it was impossible not to be aware (and envious) of the fact that Eastercon was taking place a few days ago. By most accounts, it seems to have been a wonderful experience, filled with insightful talks, interesting people, and the occasional swordfight. An article in the Guardian also pointed out strides made in terms of increasing diversity of representation.
Nevertheless, as is to be expected from most undertakings, there were aspects of the convention that merited critical comment, and for Filipino writers of speculative fiction–or readers of Philippine speculative fiction–I think it’s safe to assume that if you come to Rocket Kapre, you’re one or both–I think that the following blog posts are worth a read:
- Alex Dally MacFarlane – “Eastercon: It was fun, but…“
- Tori Truslow – “Dear Western SFF: stop it with ‘exotic’ already“
Also worth reading–but not really a “critical comment” on the convention, so I’m segregating it– is the “thoughts from eastercon 2012 part one” post from Filipino writer (and Alternative Alamat contributor) Rochita Loenen-Ruiz.
It’s unfortunate that Ms. MacFarlane seems to have taken heat on Twitter for her Eastercon post. As a neutral observer who doesn’t know much about Eastercons past or present, the impression I got from reading her post was that the convention was, overall, quite wonderful, and the “fails” were isolated incidents that show the work that must still be done, without disparaging the improvements that have already been put in place. I know that I’d love to go to an Eastercon if I have the chance, and her post in no way dissuaded me.
[Image: Screencap from the Guardian.]