Thursday, February 22, 2018

On My Mind: Building Community

So, this past weekend I was at Boskone, and it was a wonderful time, as I was reminded what an amazing community we have in SF/Fantasy Literature.  There are some amazing people in this business, who are filled with wisdom and warmth and kindness.   I had the great fortune of sharing the signing table with Mary Robinette Kowal, who all of these attributes in abundance.  We, as a community, are blessed to have her in it.

Sadly, this past week, I've also been reminded that we have a way to go, and there are some people who thrive in being terrible, and making things unpleasant for those around them.  And that behavior, sadly, gets them notoriety.  They get talked about, which serves their ends.  I won't give them the time of day.

Because the people who are wonderful, who do great work and are good people-- they're the ones who deserve notoriety.  They're the ones who should get notice and have their names mentioned over and over.  So here is a large list of great people who deserve your attention.
First off, some of the people who I have been personally connected to, who have been a wonderful part of my local community: Stina Leicht, who wrote Cold Iron and Black Thorne and the upcoming Persephone Station, and gave back to the community for years by running the ArmadilloCon Writers Workshop before passing it to me.  Rebecca Schwarz, who is running it now.  Amanda Downum, author of The Necromancer Chronicles.  Patrice Sarath, author of Gordath Wood and the upcoming The Sisters Mederos.  Ari Marmell, who writes the Mick Oberon and Widdershin books.  Nicky Drayden, who had her fantastic debut last year, The Prey of the Gods.  Chris Brown, who wrote Tropic of Kansas and is one of the nicest guys you'll meet. Alex C. Wrenick, who writes shorts and poems, also as Camille Alexa.  BookTuber Extraordinaire Thomas Wagner.

Also, my fabulous compatriots on SFFSevenJeffe KennedyJames A. Moore (who wrapped me in a great big bear hug this weekend), K.A. KrantzMarcella BurnardVeronica Scott and our newest member, Vivian Jackson!  Vivian was a student of the aforementioned ArmadilloCon Workshop, making her another great success story from that program!

Friends, I'm not even scratching the surface.  There are so many more: Caroline YoachimFonda LeeAnnie BelletElizabeth Bear-- someone who treated me like a peer well before I earned it.  Courtney Schafer.  T. Frohock. ML BrennanSpencer EllsworthJaym GatesLaura M. HughesSarah ChornFoz MeadowsMelanie R. Meadors.  Mike UnderwoodPAUL WEIMER, possibly one of the nicest people in this business.

I could go on and on, because we have so many amazing people in this business.  Who else do you think deserves some praise?


  1. Oh, I love this post. Love it so much. The ArmadilloCon workshop gave me a huge boost of "hey, maybe I can do this." Skyler White (the author, not the Breaking Bad character: launched that booster like whoa. She is inspiration in human form, and I'm so grateful she read my craptastic first scene and said gently, "Okay, now let's play a game of questions." I guess there are jerks in this writing biz, but I don't think I've met them. Mostly I've encountered people who are welcoming, supportive, and absurdly generous with their time and wisdom -- am looking at you, Sharon Lynn Fisher, April Kihlstrom, Darynda Jones, and so many others. My experience with the author community so far has been less "zero sum" and more "we all rise." It's.. kind of gorgeous.

    1. SKYLER! YES. The problem whenever you do something like this is there will always be tons of people you should also name that you forget about.