Here at the Ada Initiative, we like to relax with a good science fiction or fantasy book at the end of a long day of fighting harassment at conferences. Luckily for us, one of the benefits of keeping up with the latest news in conference anti-harassment work is that it’s a good way to find new science fiction and fantasy authors to read.
Chances are, if an author takes a public stand against harassment of any kind (gender, race, sexuality, in person, online, in print, in professional associations, etc.), they probably write better books. Books that have interesting, surprising plot twists because they don’t rely on lazy sexist tropes. Books that have believable, varied characters instead of paper cut-outs supporting the straight white male protagonist. Books that explore ideas and viewpoints that weren’t already tapped out in Homer’s time. (And better short stories and poems too.)
We thought we’d share our favorite discoveries from following and researching conference anti-harassment work in the science fiction and fantasy communities. This list is necessarily incomplete, so please leave a comment with anyone we missed who was involved in SF&F anti-harassment work of any form, along with a recommended book and a reference so we can add them to the conference anti-harassment policy history if appropriate.
Our science fiction and fantasy recommendations
About the Ada Initiative
As a non-profit supporting women in open technology and culture, the Ada Initiative cares deeply about ending harassment in geek communities. Our co-founders, Mary Gardiner and Valerie Aurora, co-authored the most widely used example anti-harassment policy, hosted on the Geek Feminism Wiki. The Ada Initiative’s first project was working as full-time advocates for the adoption of policies in the open source community, often working directly with conference organizers and community leaders as advisors and coaches.