Pattern recognition: A dialogue on racism in fan communities
In early 2009, science fiction fandom's online landscape erupted with discussions of race. A post regarding cultural appropriation on author Elizabeth Bear's blog sparked a wide-ranging conversation that soon became acrimonious, with professional science fiction and fantasy writers and fans of science fiction literature and media weighing in. More recently, criticisms of Patricia C. Wrede's decision to set her young adult novel, The Thirteenth Child (2009), in an America empty of indigenous people have spearheaded new waves of discussion. Often the more widely read summaries of these debates have focused on what they mean for writers and aspiring writers who plan to represent minority cultures in their works. But what has their significance been for members of fan communities?
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