Monthly Archives: July 2013

And Now, Here I Am in a Regency Dress

So, Mary Robinette Kowal is over for a visit, and she brought her Regency dresses, because why wouldn’t she. Someone on Twitter mentioned that they wanted to see me in one, so I said, fine, if people on Twitter could send $500 in donations to the Clarion Foundation in half an hour, I’d take a picture in one of the dresses. We raised $600. Here I am in a Regency dress. And it looks fetching on me, I have to say.

Your Semi-Obligatory Reminder Regarding Hugo Voting

Let me provide it:

1. If you are already a member of LoneStarCon 3, and you plan to vote for the Hugos, remember that you have until 11:59pm CDT, July 31st, 2013 to do it. You can vote here.

2. If you are not yet a member of LoneStarCon 3, but would like to vote for the Hugos, then remember that you can buy a membership, the purchase of which allows you to vote for the Hugos. You can buy either an attending membership (which means you can go to the actual convention as well as vote for the Hugos), or a supporting membership (which allows you to vote for the Hugos, but not attend the convention).

3. Both flavors of membership come with the Hugo Voter’s Packet, which is a collection of most of the Hugo nominated works for the year, including my book Redshirts, which is up for Best Novel. The value of the works in the Hugo Voter’s Packet more than exceeds the cost of a supporting membership, incidentally, which is a nice bonus.

Aaaaand that’s your semi-obligatory reminder for the year. (Actually, I’ll probably remind you folks again a little closer to the deadline, too.) Happy reading and happy voting.

 

Real Cost of Living

Atlantic magazine’s Web site has a story which tipped me off to this calculator, which purports to note, in 600 metro areas around the US, “the income a family needs in order to attain a secure yet modest living standard” based on local prices for food, housing and etc. For a family like mine (two parents, one child) living where I do (Dayton, OH metro area) the amount comes to $54,610, broken down like so:

Item Cost
Monthly Housing $738
Monthly Food $598
Monthly Child Care $581
Monthly Transportation $607
Monthly Health Care $1304
Monthly Other Necessities $342
Monthly Taxes $214
Monthly Total $4384
Annual Total $52610

Interesting. And it also seems about right to me. One of the mental games I play from time to time is what we would need make to get along if everything went screwy — that is, what’s the minimum our family would need to live in a way that didn’t have us eyeing the pets for the nutritive value. Running the numbers usually gets to me between $50k and $60k. The individual data points are slightly different (we pay more for housing, and rather less for child care) but in the end it tallies up.

Incidentally, the estimated median household income around these parts is a shade under $45k, and the average household size is 2.7 people. On average people around me are living at or near “securely yet modestly.” It could be worse.

Go On a Quest With Me, Patrick Rothfuss, Jim C. Hines and Mary Robinette Kowal

Yes! A quest! You’ve always wanted to go on a quest, right? 

Short form: It’s a charity auction to come wander through a True Dungeon campaign with the four of us (and a few others) at Gen Con, this August 17. Included in the auction: A three-day pass to Gen Con.

Here are the details. (Note: the auction listing currently has the date lasted as the 7th, not the 17th. It is the 17th.) Having done the True Dungeon thing at Gen Con last year, I can assure you: This is will be a hell of a  lot of fun.

Also, uh, yes, I will be at Gen Con this year. For one day, namely, August 17. No, I have no other events planned other than running through the dungeon with Pat, Jim and Mary. So if you really want to make sure you see me there, this is the way to do it.

Back From Lexington

Yesterday the missus and I headed to Lexington, Kentucky to hang out with friends, enjoy Lexington’s fine southern charm and excellent food scene, and also for me to introduce Neil Gaiman at his event, and to be the “question master” for him, handling the Q&A portion of the evening. And then we fought crime as masked superheroes on the streets of Lexington. Or alternately, I went out to dinner with friends while Neil signed books until three in the morning. You decide which version of the story you like better.

The point is: hi, I’m a little tired from traveling today. How are you?

The Hungarian Cover for “The Last Colony”

In a word: Cool.

And, if you read Hungarian, here’s an excerpt from The Last Colony, in that fine language. The folks at Agave have apparently been doing a fine job with these books, so I’m happy to see them continue with the series.

One Thousand Co-signers

In just over a week, over a thousand people have co-signed onto my convention harassment policy, which says that I won’t attend conventions that don’t have harassment policies, that don’t publicize them or choose not to enforce them. Among those thousand people are writers, editors, publishers, artists, musicians, athletes, convention organizers and staffers, not to mention people who simply like going to conventions and having a good time there. This is just a start, but I think it’s a good start.

I’ve been asked how I plan to make sure all those people who co-signed stick to their pledge, and the answer is: I don’t plan to. Either people will do it or they won’t. I didn’t make this policy to police or nag other people, and I put up the co-sign thread because people were asking me to. Everyone who co-signed is on their own recognizance in terms of keeping to it. The only person I intend to hold to it is myself. Such was my plan all along. Bear in mind that I couldn’t (and didn’t) make anyone co-sign this policy; people did it because they wanted to. If they wanted to co-sign, I generally think that means they agree with it and want to put it into practice for themselves. That’s good enough for me.

I’ve also been asked whether my policy is binding only on science fiction and fantasy conventions, or whether it applies to conventions outside the genre, to conferences and writing seminars/book expos/trade shows/festivals/workshops, etc, and whether it applies to conventions in places other than North America and/or the English-speaking world. My answer here again is to tell people that, outside an obvious “a convention is a thing that calls itself a convention” rule, they should let their conscience guide them. Personally speaking I’m applying this policy to all the conventions and conferences I might be asked to attend; I’ve been a part of that world for a decade now, and I know how conventions and conferences work and run. Everything else, I plan to look at it case by case, but my default line of questioning will always be: If you don’t have a policy, why don’t you, and my default will be to skip events without them. Book Expo America (as an example) is a different on-the-ground experience than Comic-con (as an example), but creepy harassing people can show up both places, and both places need a process to deal with it. A policy — and the willingness to enforce it — is always better than none. There is literally no good reason not to have a harassment policy.

Another question I’ve been asked: What about conventions one had already agreed to attend prior to co-signing? Does one withdraw if they don’t have a policy? Personally speaking I would attend the things you’ve already committed to and exercise the policy going forward. But again, that’s just me. I believe, as nearly all the co-signers are grown humans with functioning brains, they can make the correct decision for themselves.

Shorter version of all above: I am not your dad; use your common sense. But if you co-signed onto the policy, you did it because you believed in the idea behind it. Act on that idea to the best of your ability. It will matter — right now and for the future.

And by all indications it has already begun to make a difference. Conventions that have been hemming and hawing about harassment policies have begun implementing them. People on con staffs have been asking their cons to develop policies when they haven’t had them. And lots of people are asking their local and favorite cons to adopt these policies if they have not already. Again, all a start, but a good start.

I’ve already explained why I chose to do this, and while I am happy to have been able to move the ball here, it’s important to note that at the end of the day I am just pointing toward work so many others, and particularly women, have already done on this score. Others had to deal with harassment on a personal level and push hard against a culture that was inertial at best and hostile at worst. Others had to develop the policies that do already exist, and push to have them adopted by the conventions that already have them. Others have had to fight the same battles, over and over, about harassment in a culture they are part of.

All I am saying is “look, they’re right, I support them and I won’t be part of a convention that won’t support them too.” I recognize that in many ways this is literally the very least I can do — it’s easy for me not to go to a convention. I don’t even need to leave my house to do it. I’ve been getting a lot of credit in the last week for the policy I’ve made, and I am not so lacking in ego that I don’t appreciate it, or don’t appreciate — and in indeed deeply humbled by — the fact that so many people have co-signed my policy. But I want people to know that I know where all the hard work is being done in all this. It’s not by me. It’s by others. Lots of others, and over a very long time.

And to them, let me say: Thank you.

 

A Sneak Peek at Morning Star Alpha

I’m pretty sure most of you are aware that I’m working on a video game with Industrial Toys, called Morning Star, and I’m pretty sure most of you also know — since I wrote about it here, after all — that I also wrote a graphic novel in the same universe, called Morning Star Alpha. What I’m not entirely sure that you folks know is all the very cool stuff that we’re doing with Morning Star Alpha. It’s a graphic novel, but it’s a graphic novel designed from the ground up to be digitally native — and to do interesting things in relation to the Morning Star video game.

Which is to say that the video game and the graphic novel talk to each other: things you do in the graphic novel will matter for the video game, and things you do in the video game will matter for the graphic novel. Both the video game and the graphic novel are complete experiences in themselves — but if you get both, you’ll see how the two of them work together for a wider and richer experience.

Industrial Toys has been adamant in making the point that Morning Star Alpha is not a “tie-in” to the video game, in the sense that it’s something bolted on as an afterthought or farmed out to others to whip up on the quick. I can certainly agree with that; the graphic novel idea has been part of this from day one, and the same folks who are putting together the game (me, artist Mike Choi, Alex Seropian, Tim Harris and the whole Industrial Toys team) are building the graphic novel. And it really is building: the backend of the graphic novel is some fairly impressive programming in itself. And of course, there’s the story and art as well, which, you know, took a bit of work.

But it’s one thing for me you tell you all this, it’s another for you to see a little bit of what we’ve been up to. So, below, check out this sneak preview video of Morning Star Alpha:

If you’re additionally curious about the process of making the graphic novel, and the thinking that went into it, IGN has an interview with Alex, Mike and me you can check out. There should be some more pieces up on Morning Star Alpha over the next couple of days; I’ll update here when I see them come out.

I’m not gonna lie — I think this is all some seriously nifty stuff, which is why I signed up for it in the first place. I’m also excited that my first professional foray into the graphic novel world is getting that much closer to release. I can’t wait for you all to see it. I think you’re really going to like it.

Update, 12:13pm: “Every video game should have a Morning Star Alpha,” says Kotaku.

Thoughts on the Chromebook

Not too long ago, I was sent a Chromebook as a gift (specifically, this model) and in the weeks since I’ve been using it around the house as something of a casual internet appliance; for example, when I’m sitting in the front room of the house and checking e-mail and other similar online activities. Those of you who read Whatever know that a few years ago I received a CR-48, the prototype Chromebook, from Google; while I enjoyed it (and in fact, still have it), I had some substantial reservations about it. So when this Chromebook arrived, I was curious as to whether this update form would alleviate some of my concerns.

The answer: Yes, and no. Some of my fundamental concerns about Chromebooks still apply; primarily, that unless you have a constant connection to the Internet — and can happily exist within the Google ecosystem of apps and services — you’re going to have a problem. This version of the Chromebook does have the capability for some offline use and storage, but at the end of the day it’s a terminal. If you need a laptop to be anything else, then you need another laptop.

With that said, on a day to day basis in my own home, where I do have a constant Internet connection, and because I do have fairly significant integration with the Google ecosystem — I use Gmail and Google Drive on a daily basis — this little computer works really well for me. One, it’s a nice size (small) and weight (close to nothing) for me to use, and while this particular version of the Chromebook will never wow anyone with its parts and build, for a $250 rig, it’s fine. I wouldn’t mind a lighted keyboard, but I also don’t expect it at this price point. I do love that the OS is “instant on,” in a way that not even current Macs (or Windows 8) can match.

Two, in the two and a half years since I first checked out the CR-48, both Google’s Chrome and app ecosystem have gotten substantially better (I had to give up writing Redshirts on Google Docs because the program was not good enough, but wrote much of The Human Division on it because by then it was), more robust and useful — and I’ve started using persistently online services more commonly. This will be your cue to warn me about the evils of sharing private information and data with Google, etc., who do not care about me and will sell my data to the highest bidder, and so on. This is not a trivial concern in a larger sense; it’s also one I’ve baked into how I use online services and tools. As I’ve noted before, there is nothing about my online life I couldn’t confess to my wife and have her say “yeah, okay, whatever” to, which is my standard for information sharing with Google, et al (not to mention the government — hi, NSA!). This is not to say it ought to be your standard. It’s just mine.

On a day-to-day basis I use Google, Yahoo (via Flickr), Twitter, WordPress, Facebook, Rhapsody and a couple of others. All of these services work just fine via the Chrome OS interface, either through the Chrome browser directly or (more rarely) apps created specifically for the Chrome OS. I also appreciate these days being able to move from one computer in the house to the next without having to carry my work with me; it’s there persistently, so long as the Internet connection doesn’t go out, which it usually does not. There are some things I need  Word, Photoshop or some other heavy duty program for, in which case I have them resident on the desktop upstairs. Otherwise, honestly, the Chromebook is perfectly sufficient.

As long as I’m home. When I travel, I’m not always within range of a wifi signal — or I am but I don’t want to bother paying for it and/or otherwise needing to be online to do some trivial task I want to accomplish. I also sometimes want to do more than absolutely basic things in a portable form. This is why my travel laptop is a bit more of a beast when it comes to power and offline usability. I don’t think that I would have been happy with this Chromebook for a month out on the road; I would be butting up against limitations that would bother me at home, where I have the option of a more robust computer just a few steps away.

So in sum: As long as you know what you have in a Chromebook, and where it is the most useful (at home and/or somewhere that you have a constant, uninterrupted wifi connection), it’s pretty nifty. It’s a solid choice, I think, for a second computer around the house. It’s how I use mine and I haven’t been disappointed yet.

Convention Harassment Policy Follow-Up

Interesting responses and questions out there to me announcing my new personal policy of requiring the cons who want me as a guest to have (and actually be willing to enforce) harassment policies. No harassment policy, no John Scalzi as a guest (nor am I likely to attend as a fan).

One very positive response, in my opinion: As of me writing this, nearly 500 other creators, fans and humans have co-signed onto this policy, including but not limited to writers, editors, publishers, con-runners and con staff (update, 7/6, 11:00pm: Now it’s well over 700). This is encouraging, especially because many of these folks signed on during a holiday here in the US. We’ll see where it goes from here. If you are one of the people who have co-signed: Thank you. I’m glad to have written something worth your participation.

Apropos to this policy, I was asked how one might go about implementing it. Well, here’s how I am going to do it, and all y’all can adjust for your own potential needs from there.

1. If I get an invite from a con to be a guest, or otherwise decide I want to attend and/or participate, I’m going to go to the con’s Web site and see if I can find their harassment policy. If I can find it, then hooray! That makes everything a lot simpler.

2. If I can’t find it, then I would write back to the con and say something along the lines of:

Hi there –

I am interested in attending your convention. However, it’s important to me that I attend cons I know have policies to prevent harassment of guests and con-goers, and it’s important to me that those policies are enforced. It’s important enough that I choose not to attend cons without such policies or the commitment to enforcing them.

I’ve looked on your site and I can’t find any information on your con’s harassment policy. So, let me ask: Does your convention have a harassment policy? If you do, is it something that you make sure those attending your convention are aware of? And will your convention assure me that this policy can and will be enforced?

Let me know, so we can move forward from here.

Thanks,

JS

3. If the con responds with “why yes, we have one, and we’ll happily publicize and enforce it,” then, again, hooray! Easily sorted. If they don’t but say they will, then I’ll tell them to let me know when they have and I’ll be happy to consider them then. If they don’t and don’t know where to start, I might point them at some examples of current con harassment polices: Here’s one that’s fairly involved, for example, here’s one that’s a little more compact (scroll down a bit) and here’s a general resource on such policies. Then I’ll tell them to contact me again when it’s all sorted. If they don’t have a policy and don’t want to create one, then we’re done and I won’t go.  I’ll note that I’ll reserve the right to note publicly that, look, here’s a convention that not only doesn’t have a harassment policy but refuses to create one.

So that’s how I am going to do things moving forward.

And now, some responses to questions/comments that have been asked of me or that I’ve seen online about or relevant to this new policy of mine. The comments/questions will be paraphrased/condensed/etc because they’re all over the place and I want to get through them.

You can’t do this.

Sure I can. I just did. And, incidentally, I got almost 500 people so far to agree with me.

No, I mean you can’t expect conventions to make changes just because you say so.

Conventions are entirely free to do what they want. What I am doing is setting conditions for my participation in their convention. If they want me, this is what I require. Other guests might have other requirements: For example, some guests might require business class air travel rather than economy. They might require that they only have to do two events a day. They might require a room with handicapped access and an aide to help them navigate the convention. And so on. This is something I now require. And for me it’s a non-negotiable.

You might now not get invited to some conventions.

Oh, well.

Lots of conventions already have harassment policies, so you’re just grandstanding on a non-issue.

Indeed many conventions do have harassment polices, because a) they want to be places where people feel safe, and b) they understand they have liability issues and they want to have their asses covered. However, some don’t, and in some cases conventions with harassment policies are hesitant for whatever reason to adequately publicize those policies or to enforce them. A convention with a harassment policy that no one knows about is little better than one without one; a convention that will not enforce a harassment policy you could argue is worse, since they’ve assured its con-goers that it has their backs and doesn’t. So I’m happy to grandstand on this one a bit longer, thanks.

You’re just doing this for the feminist cookies and/or to suck up to the women and minorities and/or to get laid. 

Toward the latter, I trust most rational people will understand why “I have asserted you have a right not to be harassed at a convention NOW IN EXCHANGE YOU WILL DO ME LIKE A FEVERED STOAT” is actually not a winning strategy.

Toward the former, I would be perfectly happy if women/minorities/queerfolk of all sorts feel like I fully support their right to go to a convention (and, in general, go through life) and not get harassed for it. The problem is not that I would be happy about this. The problem is the people who think being happy to be seen that way constitutes “sucking up.”

For the record, the reason I’m doing this is that I know too many people who have been harassed at conventions, and who, if they want to go to a convention, have to factor a certain amount of harassment into their day. For every person I know who has to do that, there are twenty people I don’t know who have to do that too. That’s complete bullshit, and I want it to end. I can’t easily stop every single harassing asshole at a con from being a harassing asshole, and when I’m at a convention, that’s not my job anyway. What I can do — and am delighted to do, by the way — is make it more difficult for them do it at a convention I am part of. I can also encourage others — creators and fans — to do the same, so the harassing assholes have less and less cover at a convention to do their thing.

Also, you know what? Fuck these assholes. I’m sick of politely sharing cultural space with the sort of pissy lump of a human who sees nothing wrong with being a racist and/or sexist and/or homophobe, who attacks and harasses people because they feel they have a right to, and who goes out of their way to make the places I work and socialize in uncomfortable and even threatening for too many of the other people I work and socialize with, and for so many others as well.  Having robust, visible and enforced harassment policies at conventions will go a long way to making these assholes behave, or making them go home. Either is fine with me.

But free speech!

Spare me. Conventions are private entities that have every right to put conditions on attendance, including on conduct, including harassment. Conventions also typically take place in private property (i.e., hotels, convention centers), so that’s two layers of private entities you’re dealing with.

But political correctness!

Leaving aside that there’s a high correlation between the sort of person who uses the phrase “political correctness” and the sort of person who either doesn’t know or doesn’t care that the next thing coming out of their mouth or fingertips is going to make most everyone else in the room cringe in embarrassment for that person, and then look for a way to gracefully exit the conversation: Why, yes, it is politically correct not to harass another human being at a convention. It’s also, without any additional modifier, correct not to harass another human being at a convention. This should not be difficult to grasp.

But oversensitive people!

That’s why you have a policy and a process, quite obviously; to allow the con to sort out the genuine problems from the misunderstandings. Likewise there are some people who genuinely don’t know they’re doing something that’s making other people uncomfortable and will happily attempt to correct their behavior when it’s pointed out. Good for them, and that should be allowed for. On the other hand, when you don’t have a policy and process and an institutional memory for these things, a harassing asshole can play the “oh, I didn’t know” card multiple times. That’s no good for anyone but the harassing asshole.

Back in my day, a man could go up and would graphically proposition every woman at a convention! As a way of saying hello!

And? You used to tool around without seatbelts in a car filled with leaded gas, too. You don’t do that anymore. You used to smoke on planes, too. Another thing you don’t do anymore. You used to listen to Edgar Winter on your 8-track! Seems doubtful you do that anymore, either. Wide lapels! Medallions! Sansabelt pants! Members Only jackets! Polack jokes! Tab! And, I don’t know. Maybe you miss the days. That’s fine. But you’re probably not under the illusion Sansabelts and 8-tracks and leaded gas are suddenly going to come back.

Also: the dude back in the day, going up to every woman at a convention, saying hello by asking them if they want to fuck? Harassing asshole. Mind you, back in the day apparently no one was going to call him on his shitty harassing actions. Now they would. And they should. Because they are. Welcome to the future!

The corollary to this is the handwringing that now the sort of awkward people who go to cons won’t ever be able to meet people/you can’t talk to people without worrying that you’re going to offend them/no one will ever get laid at a con again. Jesus, people, have you been to a convention lately? The kids are doing just fine. Also, of course, if your flirting strategy is indistinguishable from harassment, it’s not everyone else that’s the problem.

Let’s also be clear that this mindview is not about how old you are. There are older people who are appalled at harassment; there are younger people who don’t see what everyone’s complaining about. Likewise there are people of good will who are used to particular approaches and attitudes that worked perfectly well at one time that don’t any more — dealing with harassment through “back channels,” rather than making a public deal about it, as an example. I’m all for good, constructive conversation there. It can be had.

You have no right to lecture people about harassment when you harassed that woman when you were on Oprah!

This is the latest stupid dude attack on me. They’re talking about this clip, and specifically me briefly touching the upper back of the woman I’m sitting next to, at about the two minute mark. For the record, if my memory serves, she and I had a perfectly nice chat before the cameras went on, and I let her know why I was there and what I might be doing, so she was neither surprised nor upset with me. I think that’s fairly obvious, but then I’m also not one of those people who believe a robust and enforced harassment policy means no one will ever touch at a con again, ever, so.

I will apologize for the sweater. It was 1996. Like Sansabelts and leaded gas and (hopefully) harassment as an acceptable convention tradition, that sweater is never coming back.

How do you feel about N.K. Jemisin’s amendment to your Convention Harassment Policy?

I agree with it entirely. I’ll note that with this policy of mine, I intended to speak to harassment as a general thing, not just specifically relating to sexual harassment. However, at the moment, thanks to Elise Matthesen’s choice to report her harasser, sexual harassment at conventions is at the forefront of people’s minds. Ms. Jemisin’s comment is a reminder that the harassment issue is larger than that.

Do you really think this will make a difference?

It makes a difference to me. That’s a start.

Hey, Kids! SciFi Comedy Improv!

So, about two and a half years ago, Mary Robinette Kowal and I did a show at Borderlands Books in San Francisco called “John and Mary Show You Their Shorts,” in which she and I presented a bunch of short humorous pieces that we wrote — some with her by herself, some with me by myself, and a couple with the both of us. I’ve put up audio files of the evening before, but now someone with the YouTube handle of “Zombie High Fives” has posted video of most of the entire show (minus the q&a periods). To which I say: Sweet!

Here’s the entire set (seven videos, about an hour’s worth), but I’m going to embed on of the video here, the one called “The Petmaster 2000,” which Mary and I did as an improv bit, i.e., we were totally making it up as we went along. I think it ended up being pretty good. You tell me.

If you enjoyed that then go check out the rest of the evening. It was a lot of fun, at least on our end.

My Convention Harassment Policy Co-Sign Thread

I’ve been asked if I would add a thread for writers/editors/artists/fans/human beings to co-sign my recently-announced convention harassment policy. Well, sure. Here it is. If you’re a writer/editor/artist/fan/human being who wants to adopt my convention harassment policy for your own, put a comment in the thread here. Just a simple “co-sign” will suffice, if that’s all you want to say.

My New Convention Harassment Policy

So, I’ve decided something. I am often asked to be a Guest of Honor or a participant at conventions, which is nice. I also have a number of friends and fans who go to conventions, which is nice too. When my friends and fans go to conventions, I would like them not to have to worry, if they are skeeved on by some creep at the convention, that the convention will take the problem seriously. I would also like them to be able to know how to report the problem, should such a situation occur. 

That being the case, moving forward from this very instant, the following will be a hard requirement for my being a panelist, participant or Guest of Honor at a convention:

1. That the convention has a harassment policy, and that the harassment policy is clear on what is unacceptable behavior, as well as to whom those who feel harassed, or see others engaging in harassing behavior, can go for help and action.

2. That the convention make this policy obvious by at least one and preferably more than one of the following: posting the policy on their Website, placing it in their written and electronic programs, putting up flyers in the common areas, discussing the policy at opening ceremonies or at other well-attended common events.

3. In cases when I am invited as a Guest of Honor, personal affirmation from the convention chair that a harassment policy exists, that it will be adequately publicized to conventiongoers, and that all harassment complaints will be dealt with promptly and fairly, with no excuses or rationalizations for delaying action when such becomes necessary.

Why? Because I want my friends and fans to be able to come to a convention and feel assured that the convention is making the effort to be a safe place for them. I want my friends and fans to know that if someone creeps on them, there’s a process to deal with it, quickly and fairly. And I want my friends and fans to know that I don’t support conventions that won’t go out of their way to do both of these things. I want them to know that if I’m showing up as a guest, it’s at a convention that has their backs.

So, that’s my plan. If you’re running a convention and you want to have me show up, now you know what you have to do for me to consider your invitation. I don’t think it’s too much to ask. If you think it’s too much to ask, you can go ahead and skip the invite. We’ll both be happier.

If any other author, artist, editor, fan or human being wishes to borrow this policy for their own: Be my guest. The more of us that make something like this a hard requirement for participation or attendance, the better.

Update, 7/3/13: Want to co-sign onto this policy? I’ve put up a co-sign thread here.

Update 7/5/13: Additional thoughts on the policy.