A special thank you goes out to everyone we met while attending Convergence this year in Minnesota.
Once again, the local Asian American writers came together to give a series of panels and presentations to over 1,000 science fiction and fantasy fans of all ages in one of Minnesota's largest conventions.
Hmong, Lao, Vietnamese, and Taiwanese writers were represented by Bao Phi, myself, Shoua Lee, May Lee, Peter Yang and Juliana Pegues.
On Friday, July 7th, at 9:30 PM, we presented our annual Giant Lizard Theater poetry reading, providing a fun and engaging opportunity for families to become familiar with Asian American poetry, and even destroyed a miniature city in the process.
Interestingly, the panels highlighting Hmong American writing as well as tales of the supernatural (both traditional and modern) were very well attended, showing that there is indeed an audience for their writing, despite what some publishers have said.
Other workshops included "Out There: Sulu, Sex and Space," addressing the implications of George Takei's recent revelations that he was GLBT, as well as current issues in the depiction and treatment of GLBT and Asian Americans by speculative media, and why it matters.
We had a packed room for "Heroines and Heroes of the Old Country," where we discussed several figures from Hmong, Lao, Vietnamese and Chinese traditions, including a reading of the original Fa Mulan poem (I should note that it was an edition translated into English, however.)
We also conducted "Yellowspace" a panel discussing the history of Asians and Asian Americans in the popular science fiction of the 21st century. We tackled everything from Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings to the X-men, Serenity/Firefly, Star Wars, Star Trek, The Grudge, and almost every other major film or tv show that had come out during that time.
We even held the first Golden Horde Awards, which gave recognition to the worst actors, actresses and films that set back perceptions of Asians and Asian Americans in the last 6 years. Sadly, there were far too many viable candidates. This year's winners were Tom Cruise, Lucy Liu, and The Last Samurai.
Will we attend next year? Definitely! Once again, thank you all for supporting us!
I'll try to post photos soon!