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Baltimore Book Festival Saturday, September 29, 2018




Where Are All the Asian Beach Reads?
Moderator: Aesthetic Distance's Eliza Romero
Panelists: Jay ( - apologies for missing his last name - in for Dr. Tamara Bhalla), Sunny J. Reed, Vanessa Ulrich, Keith Chow 

Takeaways:
Middle-brow literature determines current cultural baselines.
Accessibility to inclusive middle-brow lit is essential for the diaspora of readers.
Incompetent diversity in casts of characters sucks a bushel of lemons.
Transracial adoption and racial mirroring are underrepresented in middle-brow lit.

Book rec's:
Prep
The Private Citizens
Free Food for Millionaires

Some of the panelists' media content:
Nerds of Color
Sunny J. Reed blog
Plan A Magazine
Primpy Sheep


Afrofuturism: Black Panther, Janelle Monae, and the Spaces in Between 
Moderator: Justina Ireland, author of Dead Nation and editor(?) of Fiyah Magazine 
Panelists: Bill Campbell (Rosarium Publishing), Kosoko Jackson, Irette Y. Patterson, L. Penelope

Takeaway:
Reimagining the past to imagine the future sometimes reclaims a more accurate accounting of history, especially when discovering people and their contributions that have been erased from the official record.

Book rec's:
Zone One  
Christian Storm Punches a Hole in the Sky 
On the Comeup
works by Stephen Barnes
and by Eden Royce


Writers & the Legacy of Black Panther 
Moderator: L. Penelope https://lpenelope.com/about-me/
Panelists: Cheryl Barton, Dawn Ibanez, Denny S. Bryce, J.L. Lora, Xio Axelrod

Takeaways:
T'Challa embodies a black man in complete hero mode in conflict with Killmonger as a nuanced villian whose arguments have a some merit.
There's a range of fully developed female characters who are feminine and powerful without mimicking toxic masculinity.
Diversity is not a trend!

Authors' inspirations:
L.A. Banks
Brenda Jackson
Anne Rice
Octavia Butler
Robin Covington
Sandra Brown
Sherrilyn Kenyon
Gloria Naylor


Love and Lies: Contemporary Romance 
Panelists: Stoni Alexander, Christi Barth, Andi J. Christopher, Nancy C. Weeks, Kate Clayborn

Things that made people say, "Hmmm."
Why does the fake relationship trope endure?

  • forced to spend time together 
  • permission to flirt 
  • extra access to who the other person is 
  • team work  
The secret baby debate got heated between its fans and its haters with valid reasoning on both sides. 
The panelists agreed that the secondary characters were essential as mirrors for the primary characters, and as safe places where deceitful characters are able to tell the truth. Otherwise, the deceitful characters are irredeemable. 


LGBTQIASFF 
Moderator: Marianne Kirby http://mariannekirby.com/ 
Panelists: Kosoko Jackson, KJ Kabza, Sam J. Miller, Nibedita Sen, K.M. Szpara  

Takeaways: 
Writing for a mainstream audience versus a queer one 
The expectation for marginalized authors to educate mainstream/majority readers 

Queer canon suggestions: 
Tensorate series by J.Y. Yang 
Sadie by Courtney Summers 
Sam J. Miller quote: "As far as I'm concerned Octavia Butler is the queer canon. And everyone else is extra." 
Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany 
K.M. Szpara recommended works by Sam J. Miller 
works by Cecilia Tan with her own Circlet Press 
M.K. Jameson works where queerness is an element in the world building without being the focus. 
That Inevitable Victorian Thing 
Autonomous


CityLit Stage 
Honorable mention to Christen B.'s outstanding musical performance. Her voice evokes an emotional range of expression. 



Disclaimer: My brain was still in vacation mode after a glorious stay in Kiawah Island, S.C. until Friday 9/28. Add that fact into the background noise of fellow booklovers and a construction truck next to the Maryland Romance Writers Stage and there are probably a few misspellings and other mistakes. Please accept my apologies for any errors. 


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