August 18, 2018

WorldCon 2018 Report: Day Three — Lady Dings the Prudes

Celibacy and Asexuality in Spider Robinson’s Callahan and Stardancer Books
Sexual diversity is one of the strengths of Spider Robinson’s works. His characters engage in a variety of types of romantic relationships and sexual encounters, particularly at Lady Sally’s Place. At one point, Lady Sally indicates that celibacy is “the only form of sexual dysfunction,” yet this seems at odds with the overarching themes of diversity and acceptance. The speaker will argue to the larger context of asexuality in speculative fiction, and how this all plays out.

Panel: Emily Fleming

The main title alone, right?

I originally had marked this session on My Schedule for two reasons: 1) I was amused by the title and its lovely related pun, particularly for a session on the Academic Track; and 2) it was about Spider Robinson and his stories. Either of those alone would have been reason enough. However …

Emily stopped by the Paper Angel Press table on Thursday and we chatted at some length with her about books and writing and Spider Robinson, and she wisely mentioned that she was doing this panel. I promised her that I would attend, even if I was still mildly leery of a session on the Academic Track.

I am pleased to report that Emily’s presentation (which followed one titled “Questioning Mononormativity: Heinleinian Non-Monogamies”, which was quite interesting as well) was engaging, entertaining, and informative. To achieve either of the first two about an academic presentation, in my mind, deserves great and high praise.

I won’t endeavor to capture or try to summarize the presentation. If I find out that it is available online somewhere, I will post a link to it — although that will be far, far from the actual experience of being there when it was presented.

Summary: I am very, very glad that I went. Emily, you did a fantastic job and I hope your sister believed you.

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