Very Brief Thoughts on the Fireside Sci-Fi Diversity Study


“If I was a gay Peruvian, I’d want to be thought of as a good author. Not a Gay Peruvian author. I don’t want to only get published when a Caring Liberal needs to trot out their show pony so they can brag at a WorldCon party about how super not racist they are. Don’t let some jackass editor stick you in a box.” – Larry Correia

I don’t know how much I want to wade into the latest kerfuffle on diversity issues in SFF publishing, but I think the above quote by Larry pretty much sums up my feelings on the matter.

Every once in awhile, I will bring up that I’m Cuban, but mostly in a tongue-in-cheek way to downplay how little importance that is in my day to day life and make fun of identity politics. I’m pretty sure Cirsova is not nor will be thought of as a Latin publication.

Cirsova is open to anyone writing crazy-go-nuts over-the-top high-octane seat-of-your-pants action fantasy and science fiction. Okay, so all of it’s not Philip Jose Farmer or Gardner F. Fox levels of crazy-go-nuts, but we do aim for awesome. In doing so, we may achieve some degree of what I call “accidental diversity”; if you’re legitimately looking for a wide range of awesome things, you’ll probably end up with pretty diverse range of contributors. I won’t single anybody out and won’t ante up any diversity tokens, though, because I feel like that would be a disservice to our contributors, all of whom are awesome.

Pre-Orders for Issues 3 & 4 start later this week. Drop some green, shekels, pounds, lira, ducats, whatever (I’m sure Kickstarter can convert a diverse range of payments) to keep Cirsova open to anyone with a solid story to tell.

7 responses to “Very Brief Thoughts on the Fireside Sci-Fi Diversity Study

  1. A Cuban? Me too! I knew there was something I liked about you. Seriously though, I treat my own Cuban-ity the same way. It frustrates some people. At present the Fireside article is the ‘hot subject’ for a speculative fiction writing group I’m a member of on google+. Much to the chagrin of the virtue-signaling whites who introduced and laud the article, I, the token minority have been busy deriding the article and the condescending prescriptions being offered to help us po’, lil’ minorities compete with the big, bad white man.

    I think I’ll link this post to the thread.

    • Hey, cool! Yeah, mom came over when she was 6.
      One thing I’ve learned about being Cuban is that unless you have a hispanic sounding name, no one will ever believe you’re latino.
      After they came to the States, Grandma & Grampa started giving the kids ‘Murican (but still Catholic) names.

  2. Ah, now the way that you pronounce “Cirsova” makes sense. And yes, I totally understand the kind of gray area that being a member of a “diverse” group without having the proper victim attitude puts you in. I don’t make a big deal about my sexuality, but I don’t go to any lengths to hide it, either. I refuse to be a “LGBT Writer”–I expect my work to stand or fall on its own. I’ve been invited to contribute to a couple of “Gay Science Fiction” anthologies, and I won’t have anything to do with them.

    • I’ll admit, it was kinda weird when one of my more progressive friends made a point of praising the amount of diversity I’d managed to include in issue 1. I was kinda all “Dwuhuh? Do not know if serious…”

  3. “In doing so, we may achieve some degree of what I call ‘accidental diversity’; if you’re legitimately looking for a wide range of awesome things, you’ll probably end up with pretty diverse range of contributors.”

    I think part of the problem with the people who purport to promote diversity is that they’re less interesting in looking for awesome things than in finding things that reinforce their worldviews and ideas of what literature should look like. So, for example, they ignore Larry Correia or worse because his politics are different and his books are too much fun. And if diversity gets explicitly tied to “literary” work, then diverse writers may also be pushed away from writing stuff that can actually make money. Finally, if the would-be literati were less interested in orthodoxy than in promoting “a wide range of awesome things” they would better promote diversity. I like spec fic in large part because I like weird, awesome stuff. I come from the usual Scots-English-American base so there is a natural advantage to stuff I pick up written in China, India, wherever because it’s not what I’m used to.

    • Also, the phenomenon Rusch described in her essay in issue 2 isn’t just something that happens to women; I think that in order to create ‘diversity pioneers’ a lot of the actual diversity of SF has to be erased. It’s a lot harder to tell who’s black in the pulps, but there have been a handful of latino SF writers I’ve come across, but for some reason I don’t think you’d see Alfred Coppel come up in a Latin American literary studies course.

    • Also, there’s a lot of cool Euro “diversity” that folks don’t know about because European culture is thought of largely as homogeneous; like, I knew nothing about the concept of Sworn Virgins in Albania until I got a Sword & Planet story that features a character based on them (a novelette that will be in issue 3).

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