June 5, 2014

Because so much of fantasy takes place in settings that in no way resemble the real world, featuring species that in no way resemble human, fantasy writers often have trouble dealing with regular people. This is something that, I think, isn’t as much of a problem for mainstream writers, because they can simply describe the world around them and come up with a reasonably accurate representation of humanity. They can also fall back on the plethora of real-world terms used to describe human beings, racially and otherwise. But using these terms makes no sense if you’re dealing with a world that doesn’t share our political/cultural context. You can’t call someone “African American” if your world has no Africa, no America, and has never gone through a colonial phase in which people of disparate cultures were forcibly brought together, thus necessitating the term in the first place.

That said, it’s equally illogical to populate your fantasy world with only one flavor of human being, which is what far too many fantasy stories default to. Granted, many fantasies take place in confined cultural spaces — a single small kingdom in a Europeanish milieu, maybe a single city or castle within that city. (But how did that castle get its spices for the royal table, or that lady her silks? What enemy are the knights training to fight? Even in the most monochromatic parts of the real Ye Olde Englande, I can guarantee you there were some Asian traders, Sephardic or Ashkenazic Jewish merchants, Spanish diplomats or nobles partly descended from black Moors, and so on.) I get that lots of countries on Earth are racially homogeneous, so it makes perfect sense that some fantasy settings would be too. But whiteness is the default in our thinking for Earth-specific cultural/political reasons. So while it’s logical for fantasy realms to be homogeneous, it’s not logical for so many of them to be homogeneously white. Something besides logic is causing that.

So. It’s a good idea for all fantasy writers to learn how to describe characters of color. And I think it’s a good idea to learn how to describe those characters in subtle ways, since they can’t always rely on Earth terminology. Now, doing subtle description increases the chance that the reader might misidentify the character racially — and to a degree, I think there’s nothing you can do about that. You’re working against a lifetime of baggage in the reader’s mind. But you can still insert enough cues so that when combined, they’ll get the idea across.

— N.K. Jemisin, blogging on Describing Characters of Color for Magic District.  (via audreymgonzalez)

(via medievalpoc)

June 4, 2014

suricattus:

lagilman:

kat-howard:

itscolossal:

Man Spends a Decade Transforming a Hedge into a Massive Dragon

I would be so happy if my neighbor was a hedge dragon.

First person to get a photo of a stray cat sleeping on one of its paws, wins.

hedgewitchery!

(via petermorwood)

June 4, 2014

moshita:

Those beautiful skulls are hand carved and painted with oil on raw, gold-lip and black-lip Philippine mother-of-pearl

Gregory Raymond Halili

(via petermorwood)

May 31, 2014
you drink too much. you cuss too much. you have questionable morals. you’re everything i ever wanted in a friend.

you drink too much. you cuss too much. you have questionable morals. you’re everything i ever wanted in a friend.

(via havingbeenbreathedout)

May 30, 2014
mocada-museum:

Early Octavia Butler stories coming out in June
(ASSOCIATED PRESS) A pair of recently discovered early stories by prize-winning science fiction author Octavia Butler will be coming out as an e-book in June.
Open Road Integrated Media, a digital publisher, announced Tuesday that “A Necessary Being” and “Childfinder” will be compiled in a single volume titled “Unexpected Stories” and will be released June 24. Walter Mosley, the best-selling crime writer, has contributed an introduction.
“’Unexpected Stories’ reveals the themes that would become Butler’s lexicon: the complicating mysteries we assign to power, race, and gender,” Mosley writes. “Reading these tales is like looking at a photograph of a child who you only knew as an adult. In her eyes you can see the woman that you came to know much later; a face, not yet fully formed, that contains the promise of something that is now a part of you; the welcomed surprise of recognition in innocent eyes.”
Butler, who died in 2006 at age 58, was one of the first black science fiction writers to receive mainstream attention and was known for such books as “Bloodchild and Other Stories” and the novel “Parable of the Sower.” She was inducted, posthumously, into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2010.
Butler’s literary agent, Merrilee Heifetz, found the stories, written in the early 1970s, among the author’s papers at the Huntington Library in San Marino, Calif. According to Open Road, “A Necessary Being” tells of how the leaders of two ancient tribes “must broker a delicate peace to ensure that their peoples are to survive.” In “Childfinder,” a young woman “locates children with budding psionic powers and teaches them to protect themselves from society.”


!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

mocada-museum:

Early Octavia Butler stories coming out in June

(ASSOCIATED PRESS) A pair of recently discovered early stories by prize-winning science fiction author Octavia Butler will be coming out as an e-book in June.

Open Road Integrated Media, a digital publisher, announced Tuesday that “A Necessary Being” and “Childfinder” will be compiled in a single volume titled “Unexpected Stories” and will be released June 24. Walter Mosley, the best-selling crime writer, has contributed an introduction.

“’Unexpected Stories’ reveals the themes that would become Butler’s lexicon: the complicating mysteries we assign to power, race, and gender,” Mosley writes. “Reading these tales is like looking at a photograph of a child who you only knew as an adult. In her eyes you can see the woman that you came to know much later; a face, not yet fully formed, that contains the promise of something that is now a part of you; the welcomed surprise of recognition in innocent eyes.”

Butler, who died in 2006 at age 58, was one of the first black science fiction writers to receive mainstream attention and was known for such books as “Bloodchild and Other Stories” and the novel “Parable of the Sower.” She was inducted, posthumously, into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2010.

Butler’s literary agent, Merrilee Heifetz, found the stories, written in the early 1970s, among the author’s papers at the Huntington Library in San Marino, Calif. According to Open Road, “A Necessary Being” tells of how the leaders of two ancient tribes “must broker a delicate peace to ensure that their peoples are to survive.” In “Childfinder,” a young woman “locates children with budding psionic powers and teaches them to protect themselves from society.”

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(via smallbeerpress)

4:00pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z-dllx1HKu5k8
Filed under: octavia butler 
May 30, 2014

expressions-of-nature:

Light Fossils by: Darren Pearson

(via artisticwitchcraft)

May 29, 2014

irresistible-revolution:

I feel some kind of way about all these white women writing poems and posts about “feminist dragons” and “monstrous femininity” without

a) acknowledging how Black women have been writing and theorizing and making art about these concepts for a long ass time

b) recognizing the intersection of race and sexuality on which all womanhood and femininity hinges

c) considering the role of colonialism in crushing (and now usurping) the myths of sacred feminine power and/or monster women in various non-Euro cultures

d) bothering to nod at the “Dragon Lady” stereotype that’s been deployed against East Asian women to strip them of humanity and agency

e) thinking about why it’s so easy for white women to give up princesshood for dragonhood when a lot of us weren’t given a choice

basically, this is all in the vein of “weaponized femininity” and the other feminist catchphrases that white women both on and off tumblr pretend to have pulled out of thin air with no sense of accountability or history. smh.

Thank you for this; it’s a point I had never encountered before. If you (editorial you! anyone’s suggestions would be very welcome) are up to it, I would really appreciate a pointer in the right direction so I can do my own reading on this topic — are there authors you’d recommend, or key vocabulary terms I might want to be aware of as I begin learning about “monstrous femininity” and the intersectional aspects of feminism and dragons?

(I’m aware of Jessica Ledwich’s photography series “Monstrous Feminine”, but I get the sense that’s not what you’re talking about, and have put holds on the following books at my library: Managing the monstrous feminine : regulating the reproductive body, Beauty unlimited, The monstrous-feminine : film, feminism, psychoanalysis, Belief, bodies, and being : feminist reflections on embodiment, Speaking of monsters : a teratological anthology.)

May 29, 2014
cestlafindesharicots:

storm in a teacup on Flickr.

cestlafindesharicots:

storm in a teacup on Flickr.

(via ellenkushner)

May 28, 2014
schindermania:

always reblog jenny holzer

schindermania:

always reblog jenny holzer

(via turnabout)

May 28, 2014
People who deny the existence of dragons are often eaten by dragons. From within.

— Ursula K. Le Guin (via observando)

(via smallbeerpress)

12:01pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z-dllx1H86Nlp
Filed under: dragons 
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