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With a couple of books I meant to mention but didn't get around to:
 Christopher Barzak's One for Sorrow
Palimpsest by Catherynne Valente
Last Car to Annwn Station by Michael Merriam
Melissa Scott - The Jazz, Empress of Earth
Plus this reading list that includes some things I've heard of but haven't read or seen.

Pop Culture:
Susan Ivanova from Babylon 5


What other books/stories/comics, etc. would you recommend to others looking to read about more bi protagonists (see previous post first, please)?

catherineldf: (Default)
Just got off Skype from an excellent discussion on interstitionality and genre fiction (podcast link to follow) and remembered I hadn't written up my notes from last Sunday (8/19/12).

So last Sunday a group of 14 or so folks met at the open book for a moderated roundtable discussion organized by
Jenee Wilde, a graduate student from the U. of Oregon who's doing her dissertation on the intersections between bisexuality, identity, fandom and the relationships betwixt and between. Below are some of the things I wrote down (I didn't get permission to name anyone else so you'll just have to take my word for it being a pretty diverse group with lots of different perspectives. Which then gets filtered by what I thought to write down. Welcome to ethnography). That said, we had no comics fans and not much info on current manga and anime. Also need to mention that Jenee will be continuing her research at WisCon 2013 and BECAUSE 2013 (links below).

We began with introductions and a discussion on whether or not those present identified as "bisexual" and extent to which reading/watching science fiction and fantasy had led to use forming our identities.
Some alternatives to bi:
polymorphously perverse
and one person who id'ed as genderqueer and regarded fluidity as part of that.
General discussion ensued on both the historical political experience of taking on the bi label as well as what it means today. Is it limited? This focused on the awareness of nonbinary concepts of gender and sexuality and how that's reflected under the bi label. Does it have value from a cross cultural perspective? Yes, no and maybe. This seemed to come down to different perspectives but no one was determined to abandon the term yet, despite its limitations.
This was followed by a brief discussion on bi stereotypes (remarkably changeless over time) and visibility (or lack thereof. Also remarkable in how little it's changed).
From there, we moved on to portrayals of bisexuals in popular culture, which included Captain Jack Harkness, Willow Rosenberg, Xena and Gabrielle, Inara from Firefly/Serenity, Jadzia Dax from Star Trek, and Bo from Lost Girl as well as sundry nonsfnal characters. This part of the discussion focused on role models and awareness, how we find ourselves in popular culture. Then moved on to a discussion on why there are so few active bi characters. How do you portray active bisexuality without showing a character in relationships with people of different gender identities? No easy answers here but some related discussion on "assigning" different orientations to historical figures.
From there, we moved on to some books that we either recommended or felt were worth mentioning:
Fanfiction, particularly slash fiction from various sources
Ursula Le Guin - Left Hand of Darkness
John Varley - Titan
Samuel Delany - Dhalgren, Babel 17 and other works
Robert Heinlein - Friday, Moon is a Harsh Mistress (problematic portrayals)
Lois McMaster Bujold - A Civil Campaign, Ethan of Athos
J.F. Rivkin - Silverglass
S.M. Stirling and Shirley Meier - The Cage
Octavia Butler - Fledgling
C.J. Cherryh - Pride of Chanur
Diane Duane - Door into Fire
Anne McCaffrey - Dragon Riders
Sharon Lee and Steve Miller - Liadan
Jo Walton - Farthing
Tanya Huff - Blood Ties and other works
Wen Spenser - Brother's Price, Alien Taste
Marion Zimmer Bradley - The Shattered Chain, The Heritage of Hastur, other works

From here we moved on to recommended organizations and conventions, which included:
The Tiptree Awards
The Carl Brandon Society
The Gaylactic Spectrum Awards
Outer Alliance
Broad Universe
Gaylaxicon 2012
BECAUSE Conference
Bisexual Organizing Project

That's all that I have written down so if I missed anything, please let me know. Overall, it was a good discussion and I think a lot of thought-provoking ideas and recommendations got put forth.


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