Charity™ and Disabled Futurity
Anthology / Books/Anthologies / Crafting characters / Represention

Charity™ and Disabled Futurity

Editor’s note: I invited Derek Newman-Stille to share with us their own experience with writing fiction, as some people might only know them as a champion in elevating speculative fiction authors and/or disabled voices. Their short story, Charity™, is the grand finale of the Nothing Without Us anthology. Most of my writing about disability has … Continue reading

Disability Tropes 101: Chronic Complainers and Hypochondriacs
Crafting characters / Disability Tropes 101

Disability Tropes 101: Chronic Complainers and Hypochondriacs

“With Edna, illness is a hobby.” Murder She Wrote, “Harbinger of Death” This is a trope that is likely familiar to most readers and TV viewers. It is one where anyone’s symptoms of illness or disability are rejected as hypochondriasis or a general attitude of “chronic complaining.” This trope constructs the disabled person as someone … Continue reading

Disability Tropes 101: The Lithium Kiss
Crafting characters / Disability Tropes 101 / mental health

Disability Tropes 101: The Lithium Kiss

Editor’s note: There’s still time to submit short stories to the Nothing Without Us anthology! Submissions close December 31, 2018. Read more about the submission guidelines here! And Derek’s Disability Tropes 101 series is great reference material to provide tips about what tropes to avoid!  One of the tropes of disability I have wanted to … Continue reading

Disability Tropes 101: Upgrade My Body
Disability Tropes 101 / Represention

Disability Tropes 101: Upgrade My Body

The “Upgrade My Body” trope is one that is frequent in science fiction and other speculative media. This trope generally involves the notion of leaving the disabled or ageing body behind in order to transfer consciousness into another, more “durable” form. This form can involve a robot, android, clone, or another person’s body.   I … Continue reading

Disability Tropes 101: Manipulative Sympathy
Disability Tropes 101 / Represention

Disability Tropes 101: Manipulative Sympathy

I recently watched the musical Wicked, and one scene particularly stood out to me as problematic. It tied into a few other problematic representations of disability that I have encountered in literature, film, and television. In Wicked: The Musical , the main character’s sister, Nessarose, is a wheelchair user. During the performance, she, at various … Continue reading

Disability Tropes 101: Overcoming
Crafting characters / Disability Tropes 101 / Represention

Disability Tropes 101: Overcoming

One of the most problematic tropes that is projected onto disabled people and our narratives is the trope of Overcoming. In these narratives, disabled people are able to “overcome” their disability (that is, become able-bodied) by working hard and pushing boundaries. Disability activist Eli Clare observes: “Overcoming bombards disabled people. It’s everywhere. I think of … Continue reading