Welcome to the H II Regions, a weekly compilation of SF, publishing and political news. Send thoughts and story tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brick and Mortar
The week of Kickstarter rewards coming to fruition! First I got my copy of Zombicide in the mail, and then Singularity & Co. opened their doors to the public. This second reward is really impressive and heartening–a physical space in New York City devoted to SF novels. Check it out if you’re in the area–I intend to visit at some point in the next few months. [The Verge]
Interesting if controversial article on the presence of black characters within science fiction, which I encourage you to read and draw your own conclusions. I’ve long wondered if assuming race critiques within the writing of non-white authors is a disservice to their prose; I think its a manifestation of white guilt and possibly limiting of other messages within. But it also has to do with where these critiques appear: because every piece of art contains within it numerous interpretations, journals must do a lot of work to maintain their critical focuses. Example: Cosmic Vinegar is largely concerned with money, art, and governance. Every piece of art reviewed here will be studied under this lens. Capitalist critiques are not the only way of doing things; but there are enough places that use different lenses or no lenses at all. [indiewire]
You may notice some similarities between the news presented here and the world of my story The Million, in which water is sold to thirsty consumers. In an effort to avoid spoiling any future plot details, all I’ll say is that I agree with the author. [The Guardian]
No doubt you’ve heard about anti-Putin / anti-establishment band Pussy Riot by this point–catch up if not. Another article online provides some context of other bands that have challenged their governments. I knew about the first two on the list, but the others were new to me. Anyhow, as a recent example of political art, Pussy Riot are valuable and brave–Putin’s regime is a terrifying edifice of state capitalism, relying on intimidation and murder to consolidate its power. [Foreign Policy]
Really useful article about the increasingly one-sided coverage of the Syrian conflict. The article itself focuses mostly on al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya (the Qatari and Saudi news networks), but has implications in Western media as well. I’m no expert on the topic, but increasingly I suspect no one is. [Foreign Policy]