Worldcon notes – Minotaurs in Space Helmets – using myth in science fiction

Alan Baxter, Gillian Polack, James Shields

I should mention that a lot of the panelists changed or were otherwise different than on the program, and, what with the 5 minutes to get from one end of the convention centre to the other every hour, I didn’t always take note of the actual humans and their names at the front table.  Sorry…

Anyway, the Using Myth in Science Fiction panel started with a few examples of myths and their use, drifted to touch for a moment on Campbell, then spun off into the inevitable Cultural Appropriation debate/discussion/cul de sac.  This was a common thread that ran through the Worldcon, for me.  It’s not an easy issue, by any stretch of the imagination, and I felt for the Americans who came across it time and again.  That isn’t to say that they were uncaring of Cultural Appropriation issues, but it is to say that they seemed equally aware of cultures where such respect had never been extended and were bothered by that fact NOT being addressed.

Basically, it’s an impossible issue that can derail a panel.


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