Labels and the non-USian SFF writer.

I hate labels.

That’s right. I hate labels with a passion. Unfortunately, labels happen frequently in the real world.

I write SFF. I am a SFF writer. I want to be seen as a SFF writer, period. But as a non-USian (non-UK, as I dare to add) writer who happens to be born in Southeast Asia, I get labeled as a World SF writer. Worse, I get labeled as ‘ethnic’ (‘exotic’, ‘other’, ‘foreign’).

We have seen how pivotal Racefail 2009 has played in how we perceive as SFF. The race debate, the perception of non-white writers/characters/players is on-going. There is still a lot of work to be done.

But what has Racefail 2009 done for me as a Singaporean writer? One thing: I don’t like to be seen as exotic or ethnic, as if my Chinese heritage covers me with pretty and inscrutable things. I write SFF. I happen to be Chinese.

And yes, we do write.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ladyqkat
    Jun 21, 2010 @ 06:32:09

    Labels tend to put people into boxes. Boxes tend to limit the area we can move around in.

    When I read what you have written, the terms that come to mind for me concerning you are: imaginative, fun, challenging, insightful, knowledgable, perceptive. I don’t think they label you, but they do help me perceive you and who you are. There are things I have learned about you in the last year I have known you on-line that help me with that perception. But all it really means, for me, is writer and, hopefully, friend.


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