This year, while Cecily has been working on the numbers for the upcoming 2017#BlackSpecFic Report, Julia, Elsa, Meg and I got together to think about who best to helm the essays that accompany the Report, as our Special Features Editor. We think it’s time to take a deeper dive into issues surrounding Black representation in the genre short fiction field, and to take stock of how the landscape is changing.
We also thought it would be really good to place the focus on Black women this time around, as a way to provide a lens through which to view these issues, but also as a way to amplify Black women’s voices in particular. Black women and other Black female-identifying people do so much of the hidden work in activism, that we think it’s important highlight their perspectives.
We’re delighted to announce Tanya DePass as the Special Features Editor of the 2017 #BlackSpecFic Report. Tanya is the founder and Director of I Need Diverse Games, a non-profit organization based in Chicago, which is dedicated to better diversification of all aspects of gaming. She speaks and writes across multiple platforms on issues we care a lot about like feminism, race, and intersectionality.
While the #BlackSpecFic Report limits itself to the science fiction and fantasy short fiction field, anti-Black racism is obviously not a problem specific to our little corner of the world. Systemic racism—and anti-Black racism in particular—is endemic in our society. So we want to find essayists from beyond just the SF/F literature field. We want perspectives from gaming, journalism, technology, politics, etc. We also want to be as inclusive as we can be, so we’ll be looking for Black and queer, Black and disabled, Black and poor, Black and Latinx voices to round out the essays.
We think Tanya’s a great fit for bringing those voices together, and we’re looking forward to this year’s perspectives on the state of #BlackSpecFic. If you’re an author who is interested in working with Tanya on an essay for this year’s #BlackSpecFic, send us a short pitch by filling in this form. And if you are a reader who wants to help us keep doing this work, please support us with a cash donation. Fireside finances the #BlackSpecFic Report and Special Features every year as part of the core work that we do, but a direct donation to support the BlackSpecFic Report reinforces our mandate, and provides us with a larger budget to amplify more voices, while paying them for their work.
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We spent around $1,700 paying the various people involved in producing the 2016 #BlackSpecFic report and its accompanying essays. This type of work is a core part of our mission, and it is only possible due to your direct support.
You can make a one-time contribution directly to our #BlackSpecFic fund, or back us morea broadly by becoming a monthly Fireside subscriber. Either way, your cash will go toward helping us ensure a bright future for a thriving, sustainable field.