So, I have been accepted to give a paper for Nine World’s Academic track – I’m so excited! I’ll be giving a paper on ‘Battlestar Galactica and the Master/Slave Dialectic: Relating Selves to Others’, which is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time.
It’s all a bit intimidating now that it’s real, but I’ll try to do a good job!
For those not in the know, Nine Worlds Geekfest is the best, most inclusive convention I’ve ever been to.
As a geek, it’s great, because it has umpteen million tracks, covering specific fandoms like Doctor Who and A Song of Ice and Fire, as well as Podcasting, Academia, LARP, Social Gaming, Fanfic, Creative Writing, Race and Culture, LGBTQAI + Fandom, Geek Feminism, Young Adult, All the Books, and SO MUCH MORE. Along with kickass evening entertainment, like FRIGGIN’ KNIGHTMARE LIVE and the now traditional Whedon Sing-A-Long, which I have been to every year (see the video of the first impromptu Doctor Horrible act-out here).
As someone who has been marginalised, it’s great, because everyone who is there is there because they want to enjoy a safe environment where no one feels marginalised. As well as having specific tracks to discuss issues faced (by, e.g., women, LGBTQAI people, and people of colour) they also have highly diverse panels for their other tracks. They have an excellent and well-publicised anti-harassment policy (which I have seen in action, being handled with great sensitivity). They also have clear accessibility information and have made an evident effort to ensure that all events are as accessible as possible. I’ve never seen so many disabled people at a con before, looking relaxed and like they’re having fun. Same for LGBTAI folks and women. More present. More relaxed. More fun.
I also appreciate how trans/gender-queer/agender/non-binary friendly they are. Last year all loo signs in the con area were changed to ‘with urinal’ and ‘without urinal’ rather than ‘men’ and ‘women’. Along with tags you could pick up at registration to indicate your prefered pronouns.
It’s also family friendly, and I enjoyed seeing a great many young geeks and their parents being able to enjoy the con.
It’s still a problem going to general SF&F/fandom events that you will have to deal with bigoted/sexist/racist/transphobic people. I experienced this at a local meet-up I attended. Most people were lovely, but I still ended up being shouted at by an older white man aggressively defending his sexist views. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the energy to endure that shit when I want to be geeking out anymore. At Nine Worlds? I simply haven’t had that problem. I once had a heated debate with another feminist, but that’s as confrontational as it’s gotten for me. And I never met anyone who wouldn’t let you drop out of the conversation or change topic if it was stressing you out.
I can’t recommend Nine Worlds enough, and I’m thrilled to be a part of the academic track. My profile is not up on the Guests page – it’s almost like I’m a real person.