Joyousness is mine and so I want to share it with you. I applied for and received a scholarship to attend the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts. ICFA is a small, academic kinda science fiction convention held annually in Orlando, FL. Next one is March 17 - 21, 2010, and the topic is "Race and the Fantastic." There will be papers and readings and luncheons. Nalo is one of the Guests of Honor, and the other two are Lawrence Yep and Takayuki Tatsumi. I was invited to attend, sans membership charge, and rashly said yes, though not possessed of airfare, hotel cost, or food dollars.
Then three friends in a row told me about a privately offered scholarship, and I asked for it. And I got it!
According to the people who made the offer (of their private funds), they said controversial things during Race Fail. I don't know what they said, because I went lalalalala during most of both recent RaceFails--not because I think racial issues are unimportant (they matter, and I really know that), but because I dreaded rehashing them in a format that can make even intelligent remarks look whacked out and clueless. So I don't know what the controversy was. I will find out when I meet the scholarship offerers in person. At ICFA.
(If you know what they said, don't try to tell me unless we're sitting down together face-to-face somewhere quiet for a while.)
I will read a story I've written and appear on a panel at ICFA and do my best to get everyone there to sing songs with me, and play guitar or piano or wine glasses or whatever else is handy. I'm betting I'll receive excellent cooperation.
1) You deserve the scholarship and you're a great choice. 2) The people giving it are doing their flawed best, and you're handling it intelligently and compassionately. They won't cheat you or misuse you.
I know nothing of the drama other than there was drama and people were concerned it would affect who they gave the scholarship to, and i think the fact that you got it shows they used good decision making
Very cool! It's cool to see how much ICFA has grown. I used to go when I was in high school and it was held in Boca Raton. It is where Brian Aldiss offered to fall into the hotel pool for me (so I would know how far away from my chair it was.) Also where I saw Harlan Ellison be rude to ... Frederick Pohl (I think) and subsequently be very embarrassed, and heard Stephen King do a reading of a short story.
One of the many cool things about this is that it looks extremely likely that the woman I've been co-editing the anthology about Octavia E. Butler with (it's called "Strange Matings") will attend ICFA as well. Dr. Rebecca Holden is her name, and she lives in DC, so we don't run into each other every day. If she goes, we may well room together. This would be so good.
You'll very much enjoy the acquaintance of your benefactors, and have an excellent time in Orlando. And “lalalalala” is one of the most sensible responses I've encountered (from my very safe distance with my back turned).
I will add that while "lalalalala" was my response, I don't think it was the only valid one. I know some smart people who rolled up their electronic sleeves and bravely wrote deeply-felt and well-thought-out messages for both RaceFails.
And I am *really* looking forward to doing ICFA, meeting the scholarship funders, rooming with Dr. Rebecca Holden (she's coming!), working out with Nalo, and maybe getting in some swimming in the hotel pool between panels.