Hello World – Great Ace Club Discussion Questions

The Hello World Discussion Questions are here! GreatAce.Club is our sister book club. It mostly reads asexual books by asexual authors for asexual readers, but has expanded to read really whatever our host Amy wants. Because great books are great books and aces can do whatever they please. April’s book was Hello World, the first in the .Exe series!

Brew up that cup of coffee because it’s discussion time!

GreatAce.Club - Coffee Time! - Hello World Paperback Discussion Questions

Suggested Reading Schedule:

  • Week One – Prologue through Chapter 4
  • Week Two – Chapters 5-11
  • Week Three – Chapters 12-19
  • Week Four – Chapters 20-26
  • Week Five: Chapter 27 through Epilogue

Hello World Week One Discussion Questions

Hello World deals a lot with technology, data, and what it means to be a person living with that. What do you think about the world we are currently living in?

What do you think is more important, convenience or privacy? How much privacy should society be willing to give up to feel safe? To have information and necessities at their fingertips?

It’s a common trope in media for a character to be motivated to save a loved one. How do you predict Scott will undertake this going forward?

Like all good techy books, Hello World takes pieces of technology that already exist and create logical extensions from them. What technology can you see existing now or in the near future that we’ve experienced in these first few chapters?

We are already getting a sense of what Scott and Sonia’s relationship will be. What can you pick up on how they will befriend each other, or more? What are your predictions about their relationship?

What sort of qualities do you think UltSyn wants for its HIDs?

Besides college job fairs, where do you think UltSyn looks for candidates?

Hello World Week Two Discussion Questions

Have I mentioned recently that I love Scott? Because I love Scott. Now that we are getting into the thick of things, there is so much more to discuss, especially as we start to see more discussion about Scott’s asexuality. Without further ado, let’s read!

As we begin to see more asexual characters in media (see: FuckYeahAsexual’s Character Database or even the Goodreads List), and as asexuality becomes seen more in the mainstream, creators may begin to think about how to incorporate asexual characters into their work. What do you think about how Scott talks about his sexual attraction? Does it match with your own feelings as being ace?

Sinclair and Tauber have so much deliberate representation in Hello World. How many casual LGBT+ characters can you pick up on? Is this something you think is going to continue in more mainstream books? Out of the characters mentioned in this section, is there anyone you want to learn more about? Anyone you want to see in future books?

HIDs are pieces of technology, but they are also people. This is definitely something that the people fighting against UltSyn have to deal with. Do you think that Scott or Terry or Jesse feel the same way about Sonia? What do you think about the morality of HIDs in general? If UltSyn is using them for nefarious purposes, what is the best way to fight back?

Discuss Scott’s choice to sell Sonia. Did it make sense at the time? What did Jesse get out of it besides money? Do you think Jesse is a double agent, or just in it for whoever pays more?

Scott almost immediately regrets his actions. What does this tell you about his character?

Sinclair and Tauber do a lot to humanize their characters, like Scott “pretending” to get a text. How does this make the book more relatable? When’s a time you’ve done something similar?

How many people in Hello World are “just doing their jobs” despite basically experimenting on other human beings? How is a reflection of the real world?

We finally get our first Sonia chapter! What do we learn about her from her actions in this chapter?

How is their relationship changing? What predictions do you have about them?

In between the fast paced action, Sinclair and Tauber insert moments of humanity, like shopping in Paris. How does that help us associate with the characters more? What can we learn about them in these moments of relative quiet?

What technology in this section have you seen happening in real life? What technology would you like to see?

What predictions do you have about the party? What are you hoping will happen?

GreatAce.Club - Hello World Paperback Discussion Questions

Hello World Discussion Questions Week 3

We left off last week with Scott and Sonia preparing to go to the fancy UltSyn party! What do you think they’re going to find there? Let’s read on to find out!

What do you think Scott found in the office?

Do you think all of Scott’s hijinks might spur UltSyn to tighten their security? What could this mean for Scott and Sonia in the future?

Could Scott’s background and experience with UltSyn and HIDs affect how he sees Sonia? Is seeing her as a person first different from how others would see and therefore treat her? Do you think Sonia is different from other HIDs? How could Scott’s treatment help her as well?

In what ways do Sinclair and Tauber use real life security hacks in Hello World? Which things stand out to you as something real people or companies should be concerned about?

After seeing this second HID, does to confirm any belief that Sonia is different? What do you think happened to make her different? What struggles might Scott have if this is how most HIDs behave?

It is easy to see that in universe, HIDs are not considered entirely human. Does this track with how real life humans act about each other? How might incorporating people and technology change society’s view of them?

What have we learned about both Scott and Sonia so far, using the humanizing sections of the book? How has this changed from the beginning of the book?

How does what UltSyn does match up with real world for-profit health care companies?

What do we learn about Scott’s motivations in this section?

Is Scott and Sonia’s relationship fair? Why or why not?

What might Sonia find in her search for her family?

We are ending on quite the cliffhanger! What predictions do you have about what will happen in Denmark?

Hello World Discussion Questions Week 4

Ready to pick up in Denmark? Who has time for an intro when there’s cliffhangers to get through!

How does Scott use his understanding of Sonia to track her? How does this compare to real life tracking and how could UltSyn also use this knowledge?

Do you think UltSyn sends people after Sonia who have knowledge of her life before being an HID? Would that help them or hinder them?

What are some possible meanings of Sonia’s tattoo?

Does one person ever have an obligation or right to withhold information about another from that person? Would you want to know bad information about your past or prefer to leave it there?

Is Sonia/Lydia’s reaction to losing her family appropriate? How might someone dealing with grief react to the promise of losing their memories?

What implications does Sonia’s background raise about HIDs? About UltSyn?

”Sometimes, one act of kindness can change everything.” How does this quote really describe Scott?

At this point and after having several Sonia chapters, how is she different from other HIDs? What might this do to Scott’s expectations about his sister?

What were your thoughts and emotions as the scene with Victoria played out? Should Scott or Sonia have seen this coming? What could they have done to prevent it?

How does almost losing someone we love bring out our feelings? How do we see that in Sonia taking care of Scott?

How much of what Scott is going through is related to his physical wound, shock, and the mental toll of Victoria? What do you think will help him the most?

What do we learn about Sonia with her actions while Scott is hurt? Is what she did brave, foolish, or some combination?

What do you think would help get Scott out of his despair? Is it possible that even knowing it would be hard, he didn’t realize how hard it would be? Is he too close to this situation?

What do we learn about the HID program and UltSyn from Sonia and Victoria talking?

Could the first step of HID deprogramming be developing sarcasm? 2/2 HIDs say yes!

We get an opportunity to see more of Scott’s asexuality. How do you relate to this?

We are leaving this section off in one of the humanizing areas. What are we learning about Scott and Sonia? Where could their relationship be going?

What predictions do you have for the end of the book? What role will Victoria and Sonia play in working against UltSyn? Scott got his sister back; now what?

Hello World Discussion Questions Week 5

Amy here again, I’ve fully learned how to hijack the publisher’s accounts after reading Hello World! 😉 You know the posts that are like “when everything is wrapped up but there’s still a lot of pages left”? Am I the only one feeling that way about Hello World? If we stop here, they can all just live happily ever after, right? Just kidding! Let’s read on to see how Scott’s motivations might change and how Victoria will play a part in that!

Scott throughout the book very much claims to work on his own and to be in it for himself; but is he really? If his actions cause consequences that expose UltSyn, does that mean he did something selfless, even if he didn’t mean to? How much of his actions are actually selfish?

How does having Victoria back change him? How does it change Sonia?

We get to learn more about Terry and his crew in the last part of the book. Who are you hoping to see again in the sequel?
What benefits are there in having a secure home base? How can it also be a liability?

How many people in UltSyn do you think know about the system? How could the people of UltSyn be exploiting the system for their own advancement? How do people in real life do that?

How does needing to take down a computer system change the narrative of taking UltSyn down? How does this change the central conflict of the series?

Scott finally tells someone he’s asexual in this final section. How does this confirm the behavior and thoughts we’ve already seen? How does his description match or not match with your experiences?

What does Sonia’s reaction say about her?

What are some benefits of Scott being part of a group now? What might be some drawbacks?

How is the system different than what they expected?

Do Scott and Victoria get a happily ever after? What does coming home mean to both of them? To their parents?

How could UltSyn exploit this? How motivated do you think they are to do so?

Share your favorite parts of the book; what did you love the most? What do you hope to see in the sequel? Do you have any favorite quotes or characters? We’d love to see them here or in the #GreatAceClub tag!

Did you see any overarching themes or tones you found while reading?

What does the teaser chapter hint at in the next book? What could this mean for Scott and Sonia?

Can we peer pressure Art Over Chaos Publishing (wait a second…) to release the next book sooner? (Warning: Amy’s peer pressure is coming from inside the house!!!) Be sure to sign up for the newsletter at GreatAce.Club to be the first to see what May’s read is!

We hope you found these discussion questions about Hello World helpful to your book club, or just yourself looking to connect with fellow readers at your own pace. If you haven’t picked up a copy of Hello World, there hasn’t been a better time. New cover, and new teaser for book two included in the updated version. Catch you all later!

GreatAce.Club - Hello World Discussion Questions

Our Bloody Pearl Discussion Questions

Greeting Friends! I wanted to make a post with all the discussion questions and a sample schedule so anyone can start reading whenever they were able. For February, Amy featured Our Bloody Pearl. So brew up some coffee and let’s dive in!

The ocean is uncontrollable and dangerous. But to the sirens who swim the warm island waters, it’s a home more than worth protecting from the humans and their steam-propelled ships. Between their hypnotic voices and the strength of their powerful tails, sirens have little to fear. — That is, until the ruthless pirate captain, Kian, creates a device to cancel out their songs. [Full Blurb]

If you want to participate, we’ll be reading the following each week:

  • One: Chapters 1-3
  • Two: Chapters 4-8
  • Three: Chapters 9-12
  • Four: Chapters 13-16

Use #GreatAceClub for updates and to see what other people are saying about Our Bloody Pearl. Add your own thoughts any time, about this book, other features, or books you’d like to see featured next.

Our Bloody Pearl Discussion Questions

Week One Questions:

  • Have you ever read other books about sirens or mermaids? What sorts of background understanding are you bringing to Our Bloody Pearl?
  • Siren songs are usually about wanting, luring people to the depths with longing. Often in popular culture, the songs have a sexual nature. What other types of longing do you think could lead people into the sea?
  • How does Perle match up to what you believe about sirens?
  • There is definitely a power dynamic at play; while Dejean doesn’t want to hurt Perle, he still has power over them. How do you see that power dynamic at play? Do you think he is actually kind or just wants to be? Can a person who inflicts violence to get what they want inherently be a good person? What about a person who keeps another hostage?
  • How does the sirens’ song and behavior match up with your background thoughts?
  • Perle says the sea rejects them; why do you think this is so? Do you think Perle is right, that they are rejected, or that Kian did something to them?
  • The conflict between humans and sirens seems to be at least partially due to a miscommunication. Do you think that the two can reconcile that?
  • What have you enjoyed the most about these opening chapters?
  • How do you feel about the representation in the book so far?

Week Two Questions

  • With the book being first person, we get to be a part of Perle’s thoughts and feelings about the tank that Dejean built for them; How do you think Dejean feels about it? Do you think he feels like he is helping Perle? Does Perle feel helped? How is this a microview into the larger miscommunication between humans and sirens?
  • What do you think Dejean dreams about?
  • How did what Kian do to Perle affect them? Is it a physical issue, as in Kian physically did something to Perle to make them not able to function as a siren should, or a mental issue, reacting to the physical and mental abuse? Do you believe it is something Perle can get over on their own or will they eventually need Dejean’s help to confront Kian? Why do you think that?
  • What can you tell about Murielle and Simone’s relationship based on her interaction with Perle? If you develop any headcanons, please share them!
  • Murielle and Dejean’s offer to help Perle with their tail brings to question how Sirens handle injuries in their own societies. In what ways are Perle’s reactions an indication of their experience with other injuries like theirs? How do you imagine Sirens handle their brethren becoming disabled or being born with a disability? In what ways could you imagine Sirens creating assistive devices to swim for Sirens who are injured?
  • Do you relate to Perle and Dejean’s discussion about gender and pronouns? How did Bryn pull from our world to describe Sirens’ genders?
  • In what ways are Perle and Dejean saving each other?
  • Is what happened to Storm justified? What does this mean for Perle?
  • Do you have any predictions about what will happen with Kian? Perle and Dejean think that the blocker she developed could die with her, do you agree?
  • What other predictions do you have?

Week Three Questions

  • How has being around humans changed Perle? How might cooperating change all the sirens? Would those changes be for the better or worse, in your opinion?
  • Perle talks about wanting to change the system rather than changing the individual. In what ways is this reflective of our society as a whole? What would you want to change about society?
  • Are the other human’s reactions to Perle justified or no? Why?
  • Sirens, specifically Perle, have their own ways of showing love, which Perle is learning to meld with the humans in their pod. In what ways does Perle show Dejean, Murielle, and Simone love? How do they show love in return?
  • Bryn makes a point of showing various sides of humanity; how do you feel about these depictions? What does the humans’ reaction to Storm and Perle say about humans in general? What about Dejean’s reaction?
  • How are Kian’s blockers worsening the relationship between the sirens and humans? If another human had made that discovery, do you think that the outcome would be any different?
  • How can Dejean and Perle fix the damage done by Kian? Do you think they can heal the rift between sirens and humans?
  • Do you have any predictions about the final week of reading?

Week Four Questions

  • How would you describe Perle at this point in the book? Stubborn, loving, willing to learn? How is that different from the beginning of the book?
  • How does Perle’s growth help them fight Kian?
  • Do you think Kian is a good villain? What makes her a good villain or a bad villain?
  • Do you feel Perle offering the choice was the right thing to do? Is it possible for monsters to change?
  • Now that we’ve finished the book, what are your thoughts and feelings about the representation? What might you want to see expanded on in any future books?
  • Our Bloody Pearl deals a lot with themes of change, forgiveness, and what makes a monster. How did you see each of the characters grow and change? How did forgiveness, or lack thereof, play into their characters?
  • What makes a monster? Are humans inherently monstrous? Are sirens? Is it possible for a perceived monster to be anything else?
  • Share any and all feelings you have about all things Our Bloody Pearl!

Be sure you tell us your thoughts and consider leaving review, especially if you liked this book! It helps authors and readers and only takes a minute or two. And PS GreatAce.Club’s next feature will be announced soon!

20 Minutes Into The Future – What has changed, and what hasn’t?

Hello World returns February 23rd 2021

20 Minutes Into The Future trope has us looking at technology and what it can hold for our futures.

It’s not super often I get to you write you to in first person about myself. But when it comes to our debut novel I feel as if it’s a most. Hello World was originally released just under four years ago. The original idea for this post was going to be about how futuristic technology that Scott used to run around menacing corporate tech giants in the book was now being sold mass market.

And in some ways that is true. Most notably is Amazon’s Echo Loop. Their design is exactly how I pictured Scott’s ace smart ring. And what is his own AI, Hallie, if not a private non-commercial version of Alexa that helps you do crime?

But the nature of the 20 minutes into the future trope isn’t about catching up. As Mystery Science Theater’s Tom Servo says, “Fifty years from now it’ll be three years from now”. Unlike other types of science fiction that predicted flying cards in the year 2000. Stories set 20 minutes into the future don’t predict. They tell you something that is already happening, or easily could be behind the scenes.

Turns out Hello World is as relevant as ever. A story about the interplay between technology and identity.

Now days, ‘being yourself’ is even more commercialized. You are your brand. If possible a corporations would kill off the idea of anonymous. And more often than not, it’s not some evil company directly enforcing that change. It’s us. It’s our digital interactions, self policing. Behavior adjustments we make in order to get more likes, just so we can be connected with others.

People like to think of that all being run by an algorithm. But it’s all from people in one way, shape, or form. The human element is the very thing that companies are unable to fully remove.

Hello World is a story about the actions of individuals. And together what changes the world.

A recent example of ‘internet culture’ banding together to change global markets is Wall Street Bets reddit’s interest in Game Stop stock. Their power was in the camaraderie within those memes that allowed them to group together. Without the digital connection among individuals outnumbering the normal rules of the game they’d be less hedge funds going bankrupt today.

If anything Hello World is even more important today than it had been yeas ago, because every day our digital shadow grows. Our lexicon of internet culture grows and just becomes culture. Especially during covid times where we are using technology to safety stay part, and safely connect, and hopefully continue to subvert those withholding freedom.

Be sure to preorder the new edition of Hello World in paperback and ebook. There’s new edits, formatting, and if I do say so myself the paperback is much better size. If that wasn’t enough there’s an exclusive preview to book two within it!

Happy January fellow Ace Book Club Friends!

Welcome ace book club peeps! I’m Amy. It’s certainly already been A Year and the month isn’t even over yet; I started 2021 off by testing positive for COVID despite precautions, and while my case was mild, it still took a lot out of me. I’m eternally appreciative of Rose for their support, love, and patience while I tried to get my brain and body to cooperate with me again, specifically to have the energy to do more than make it through my work-from-home schedule.

Now that my life is getting back to normal, I get to experience the excitement of working with the Great Ace Book Club I can’t wait to read and discuss all sorts of different books by and about ace folks, or featuring diverse groups of characters! Keep your eyes out each month for discussion questions, prompts, and other fun stuff for everything we read!

Join our newsletter at GreatAce.Club by Jan 26th and you’ll get a free ebook to start the year off!

Then I’ll be back with a new book to kick the discussions with a new great ace read for February!

When I’m not working on the book club or reading too many books at the same time, I’m probably doing something related to cosplay or chilling with my husband and three cats. By day, I’m a full time paralegal.

You can find me online at here @dragonbadgerbooks

Twitter at geminidragon_am.

Instagram at geminidragonbadger / dragonbadgercosplays

Or Tiktok: dragonbadgercosplay!

See you again in February!

– Amy

You can find the archive of older book club posts in our archive here.

How to use Asexuality’s superpower of invisibility.

There’s a long standing joke that Asexuality’s superpower was invisibility. It started as a way to reclaim being made to feel invisible all the time. It was such of a thing that when Assassin’s Creed’s Evie has the master perk of tuning invisible I joked that was her ace canon confirmation. This jokes appear all over and even have Stonewall Nominated nonfiction books named after them in “The Invisible Orientation” which is dedicated to discussing asexuality.

But ‘invisibility’ is not a trait exclusively asexuality’s superpower. I’ve talked before about bi erasure and how that too renders someone’s identity invisible.

As of writing this, Supernatural ended after 15 seasons last night and there is lot of behind the scenes story to talk about where most people just laugh it off as queerbaiting to be mean. But it is truly a case of queer process as well.

Because if 2020 has taught me anything it’s that the process we make as a community in huge part is done by otherwise unknown queer people showing up and and fucking running full speed at something. If and when caught or where tip toeing is needed say a “Legacy” show owned by The WB. It becomes an Elementary school style red light green light game.

Queer writers and actors under contacts are often reduced to near morse code proxy of liking tweets. For example Misha going back and liking his own tweet from 2013 after Castiel being queer was made canon in 2020 to confirm that he did indeed attempt to reassure a nervous queer fandom now and then.

At the start of this year I had a celebrity encounter that also played out in this fashion. The more known a queer person is as queer the less freedom to create radical change they have. To those who stick it up dedicated to added representation gain it in inches.

Even this blog is under more scrutiny because it is now considered by some as a “big name player” despite just being a tumblr blog. Our perceived tone becomes an issue, if one of us is hurt and says ow, we get dehumanized. How dare we as activists show a pain. We basically get told “You can’t say ow in public you’ll scare the kids. You can’t make waves, it will scare off new allies.”

And I tell you all of that because that’s in spaces where money is not exchanging hands. There’s no “Man” paying our salary no “Corporate is here today” visits. No network demos, no cons planned around the fandom. Once you add that all in, you have something well… supernatural.

For the seven years I’ve been an asexual activist the general main focus of everyone within the community was awareness. But we must never forget that invisibility is asexuality’s superpower.

I wish it was something that wasn’t needed. That we could freely be, and do, and write the tv scrips we believed in without subtext. If you haven’t been spotted. Pick a lane and drive like hell. But sometimes to make progress you have to be spy-like and plant seeds of change in the things you do when no one is looking.

If you’d like more on this and how it relates to television shows further check out occamshipper on tumblr for some really killer commentary on the capitalist feedback loop that social media creates with a fandom. Or read more about asexuality and fandoms on our blog.

Invisibility and why aces and all queer people can still use it to their advantage.

There’s a long standing joke that Asexuality’s superpower was invisibility. It started as a way to reclaim being made to feel invisible all the time. It was such of a thing that when Assassin’s Creed’s Evie has the master perk of tuning invisible I joked that was her ace canon confirmation. This jokes appear all over and even have Stonewall Nominated nonfiction books named after them in “The Invisible Orientation” which is dedicated too discussing asexuality.

But ‘invisibility’ is not a trait exclusive to asexuality. I’ve talked before about bi erasure and how that too renders someone’s identity invisible.

As of writing this, Supernatural ended after 15 seasons last night and there is lot of behind the scenes story to talk about where most people just laugh it off as queerbaiting to be mean. But it is truly a case of queer process as well.

Because if 2020 has taught me anything it’s that the process we make as a community in huge part is done by otherwise unknown queer people showing up and and fucking running full speed at something. If and when caught or where tip toeing is needed say a “Legacy” show owned by The WB. It becomes an Elementary school style red light green light game.

Queer writers and actors under contacts are often reduced to near morse code proxy of liking tweets. For example Misha going back and liking his own tweet from 2013 after Castiel being queer was made canon in 2020 to confirm that he did indeed attempt to reassure a nervous queer fandom now and then.

At the start of this year I had a celebrity encounter that also played out in this fashion. The more known a queer person is as queer the less freedom to create radical change they have. To those who stick it up dedicated to added representation gain it in inches.

Even this blog is under more scrutiny because it is now considered by some as a “big name player” despite just being a tumblr blog. Our perceived tone becomes an issue, if one of us is hurt and says ow, we get dehumanized. How dare we as activists show a pain. We basically get told “You can’t say ow in public you’ll scare the kids. You can’t make waves, it will scare off new allies.”

And I tell you all of that because that’s in spaces where money is not exchanging hands. There’s no “Man” paying our salary no “Corporate is here today” visits. No network demos, no cons planned around the fandom. Once you add that all in, you have something well… supernatural.

For the seven years I’ve been an asexual activist the general main focus of everyone within the community was awareness. But we must never forget that invisibility is a superpower.

I wish it was something that wasn’t needed. That we could freely be, and do, and write the tv scrips we believed in without subtext. If you haven’t been spotted. Pick a lane and drive like hell. But sometimes to make progress you have to be spy-like and plant seeds of change in the things you do when no one is looking.

If you’d like more on this and how it relates to television shows further check out occamshipper on tumblr for some really killer commentary on the capitalist feedback loop that social media creates with a fandom.

Asexual characters in sex scenes – Should You Do It?

This is actually a cross post from the Fuck Yeah Asexual blog, since I always find the subject of asexual characters important and thought it should be shared in a new format here.

It started with an anonymous ask that went like this:

“I have been seeing a lot of smut with asexual characters having sex. I understand that some Asexuals will still have sex. But I don’t get why some Ace people want more Asexuals in smut. Isn’t that like wanting Gay people in heterosexual smut? I just don’t understand the defense of non tagged asexual characters in fanfiction.”

Here’s our answer if asexual character’s should, well, do it:

We can agree content should be tagged appropriately to help people find or avoid it. The anon’s question is wildly dismissive of the aces. People they already fully acknowledged exist. Why should one person get to see their experiences represented but other’s can’t? Why must we deny expectations of a singular ace experience. Since it would deny the lives of so many people in our own community.

More importantly, we should we never insist on a narrative that contributes directly to our own oppression. One that would ensure allos, allies, and aphobes walk away with a tremendous misunderstanding of asexuality. One that encourages a narrow understanding of what asexuality is. We were there for this type of asexual exception before. We worked for YEARS to shut it down, to spare future aces. So know learn it now: this attitude that aces can never engage in sexual things is one of the most violent tools in the aphobe quiver.

The not so cute sleight of hand attempt at equating the very existence of the fictional asexuals in sex scenes as always wrong makes it clear that the anon asker desires a world where aces are a stereotype. You’ll find no support for that here, and we will not cast stones at aces writers who do write sexual content.

There should be discussions on the number of stories that feature ace characters who are sexless and those who aren’t. Concern about the difficulty of finding the content that does exist due to inadequate tagging are also very understandable complaints, and we’re sympathetic to them.

That’s not actually what the anon asked however. They specifically lashed out at their own community–not the fictional representation, but the real, living, human aces who create or ask for or enjoy that content. Their complaint *as worded* is not a gripe about the fiction landscape, it is an attack on real people, and one that directly mirrors specifically oppressive movements among aphobes.

The anon didn’t ask for sympathy in their difficulties with finding the kind of stories they want to read. They asked us to join them in leveling vitriol against “aces who want [the content anon doesn’t like]” and against aces who “defend [portrayals of their own lives].” That is absolutely not a conversation we will participate in. Especially given how closely it echoes aphobic arguments that do things like deny any ace the right to consent, put forward rape apologia, exclude aces from relationships of any kind, and homegenize and dehumanize the entire community. Let alone echoing the very schisms that have haunted this community since it’s inception.

There’s a lot of history behind this question.

We’re more than happy to encourage conversations like the one this anon wanted to have. Or about how best to accommodate those experiences and where things might be falling short. But that will not happen at the expense of our own community members.

We can have good faith with each other even after comments like this which can read as harsh. Here’s proof of that as the original anon came back and added the following:

“Hey! I was the Anon about Aces in smut. I’m really sorry if I hurt you in any way. I am trying to learn more about Asexuality after one of my friends came out to me recently and was talking about that subject specifically. I am a pretty young lesbian and am trying to learn more about the entire LGBT+ community. Thank you for responding, I appreciate your time! Again I apologize for any hurt I caused, that was by no means my intention. I hope you have a good day!”

Dew adds, Hey thanks! I really appreciate the follow up on this. I know I came out swinging on that ask, but you unintentionally hit on some very tender points. In some really specific ways that unfortunately mirrored attitudes that have historically been very dangerous for the ace community.

But I’m really glad to hear that the underlying motive for that anon ask was ignorance and not malice. Please know that ignorance is not a character flaw; it’s the natural state of humans and easily changed. It sounds like your heart is in the right place and you’re eager to learn more so that you can be a better ally to your friends. That’s awesome, and if you want some more resources on how to approach this topic with a better understanding of ace community history and respect for the diversity of ace experiences.

Others brought up that they actually trust aces writing this more than others. Dew went on to say: There’s definitely a wide range of the quality of depictions of asexual characters of all sorts of experiences. It can be easier to trust ace-spec writers to be coming from an informed and respectful place.

I would of course caution that this doesn’t fall perfectly across clean lines based on the identity of the writers. Nor dismiss the efforts of allies who also approach the subject respectfully. (Recall that the broader aspec community does include allo members!) Nor discount that aces can also externalize their own possible struggles with internalized aphobia.

However, it can be particularly cruel to dismiss the efforts of ace writers. There are valuable discussions to be had about the differences in writing asexual characters from and internal vs. an external perspective. Especially considering how plentiful misinformation and erasure are.

When people suggest that only aces should write asexual characters we have disagree with that blanket statement.

Fuck Yeah Asexual doesn’t stand for stark divisions across identity lines. We can and should talk about what constitutes a respectful portrayal, where the common pitfalls are, and what damage can be done from irresponsible or misinformed understandings of ace experiences without this level of insularity. Not every ace will magically produce a great ace character, and not every allo will magically produce a terrible one.

If only reading works by other aces is a boundary you want to set in your own life, please do so! As I addressed in the previous ask, there are patterns in play that make that an understandable choice.

We won’t, however, support extrapolating that boundary out until it cuts off anyone who isn’t asexual (and this effort nearly always wants to exclude the wrong “”kind”” of asexual. People must be free to write about aces in ways that don’t push way questioning folks or all the allies-in-the-making who won’t ever learn what their mistakes are because we’ve isolated ourselves from them. Nothing good or productive comes from broadly applying that kind of us vs. them approach to entire communities. – Dew

There is absolutely room to talk about the behavior of allosexuals in regard to their fandom treatment of canon asexual characters. There’s also absolutely room to talk about some publishers making a fetish-like “Demisexual For You” trope. Which is a perversion of the biphobic “Gay for You” trope.

But honestly the media we’ve gotten from a main stream source has been from allosexuals inspired by aces, ace works, and ace activism. It’s more of a conversational story feedback loop. That’s the nature of all media.

If you wish you view the asks in their original context you can via that day’s archive. https://fuckyeahasexual.tumblr.com/day/2020/11/20.

On ace characters in sex scenes

This is actually a cross post from the Fuck Yeah Asexual blog written by my mod Dew, but I found it important and thought it should be shared in a new format.

It started with an anonymous ask that went like this:

“I have been seeing a lot of smut with Asexual characters having sex. I understand that some Asexuals will still have sex but I don’t get why some Ace people want more Asexuals in smut. Isn’t that like wanting Gay people in heterosexual smut? I just don’t understand the defense of non tagged Ace characters in fanfiction.”

Here’s our answer –

While I agree that this content should be tagged appropriately to help people find or avoid it, this is wildly dismissive of the aces you’ve already fully acknowledged exist. Why should you get to see your experiences represented but they can’t? Why must we put forth the expectation of a singular experience of asexuality that denies the lives of so many people in our own community?

More importantly, why should we ever insist on a narrative that contributes directly to our own oppression, that ensures allos and allies and aphobes alike walk away with a tremendous misunderstanding of asexuality that encourages them to hurt us, that they’ve used to hurt us before. Maybe you weren’t there for it–we worked for YEARS to shut it down, to spare future aces–but learn it now: this attitude, this belief, is one of the most violent tools in the aphobe quiver.

You’ve pulled a clever sleight of hand here, equating the very existence of the content with irresponsible (untagged) portrayals, but it also seems very clear that your problem is with the content itself and the real aces who it portrays. You’ll find no support for that here, and we will not cast stones at members of our and your own community on your behalf.

This is a clear case of an intercommunity issue, and someone brought up what they thought the anon no actually they meant…, but message I want to bring you is how we go about asking each other these things really matters.

Dew writes I would have responded VERY differently to this ask if it actually was a simple vent about the disparity in the numbers of stories that feature aces who are vs aren’t sex-favourable, or about the difficulty of finding the content that does exist due to inadequate tagging. Those are very understandable complaints, and I’m sympathetic to them!

That’s not actually what anon did in this ask, though, if you actually look at the words they chose. They specifically lashed out at their own community–not the fictional representation, but the real, living, human aces who create or ask for or enjoy that content. Their complaint *as worded* is not a gripe about the fiction landscape, it is an attack on real people, and one that directly mirrors specifically oppressive movements among aphobes.

Anon didn’t ask for sympathy in their difficulties with finding the kind of stories they want to read. They asked us to join them in leveling vitriol against “aces who want [the content anon doesn’t like]” and against aces who “defend [portrayals of their own lives].” That is absolutely not a conversation we will participate in. Especially given how closely it echoes aphobic arguments that do things like deny any ace the right to consent, put forward rape apologia, exclude aces from relationships of any kind, and homegenize and dehumanize the entire community. Let alone echoing the very schisms that have haunted this community since it’s inception.

We will never, ever, deviate from the line that the full spectrum of ace and aro experiences are to be welcomed and protected on this blog. We’re more than happy to encourage conversations like the one you want to have, about how best to accommodate those experiences and where we might be falling short. But that will not happen at the expense of our own community members.

We can have good faith with each other even after comments like this which can read as harsh. Here’s proof of that as the original anon came back and added the following:

“Hey! I was the Anon about Aces in smut. I’m really sorry if I hurt you in any way. I am trying to learn more about Asexuality after one of my friends came out to me recently and was talking about that subject specifically. I am a pretty young lesbian and am trying to learn more about the entire LGBT+ community. Thank you for responding, I appreciate your time! Again I apologize for any hurt I caused, that was by no means my intention. I hope you have a good day!”

Dew adds, Hey thanks! I really appreciate the follow up on this. I know I came out swinging on that ask, but you–unintentionally–hit on some very tender points in some really specific ways that unfortunately mirrored attitudes that have historically been very dangerous for the ace community.

But I’m really glad to hear that the underlying motive for that was ignorance and not malice–please know that ignorance is not a character flaw; it’s the natural state of humans and easily changed. It sounds like your heart is in the right place and you’re eager to learn more so that you can be a better ally to your friends. That’s awesome, and if you want some more resources on how to approach this topic with a better understanding of ace community history and respect for the diversity of ace experiences.

When someone else brought up that they actually trust aces writing this more than others, Dew went on to say:

There’s definitely a wide range of the quality of depictions of ace characters of all sorts of experiences, and it’s often a lot easier to trust ace-spec writers to be coming from an informed and respectful place.

I would of course caution that this doesn’t fall perfectly across clean lines based on the identity of the writers and I don’t want to dismiss the efforts of allies who also approach the subject respectfully (recall that the broader aspec community does include allo members!) or to discount that aces can also externalize their own possible struggles with internalized aphobia.

However, yes, it can be particularly cruel to dismiss the efforts of ace writers, and there are valuable discussions to be had about the differences in writing ace characters from and internal vs an external perspective, especially considering how plentiful misinformation and erasure are.

When another party suggested that only aces should write aces in sexual situations both Dew and I had to disagree with the blanket statement.

Sorry friendo but Fuck Yeah Asexual also doesn’t stand for stark divisions across identity lines. We can and should talk about what constitutes a respectful portrayal, where the common pitfalls are, and what damage can be done from irresponsible or misinformed understandings of ace experiences without this level of insularity. Not every ace will magically produce a great ace character, and not every allo will magically produce a terrible one.

If only reading works by other aces is a boundary you want to set in your own life, please do so! As I addressed in the previous ask, there are patterns in play that make that an understandable choice.

We won’t, however, support extrapolating that boundary out until it cuts off anyone who isn’t asexual (and this effort nearly always wants to exclude the wrong *kind* of asexual eventually) from being able discuss or write about aces, until we’ve pushed away all our allies, all the questioning folks, all the supportive ones, all the allies-in-the-making who won’t ever learn what their mistakes are because we’ve isolated ourselves from them.

Nothing good or productive comes from broadly applying that kind of black and white approach to entire communities. – Dew

There is absolutely room to talk about the behavior of allosexuals in regard to their fandom treatment of canon ace characters. There’s also absolutely room to talk about some publishers making a fetish-like “Demisexual For You” trope. Which is a perversion of the biphobic “Gay for You” trope.

But honestly the media we’ve gotten from a main stream source has been from allosexuals inspired by aces, ace works, and ace activism. It’s more of a conversational story feedback loop. That’s the nature of all media.

If you wish you view the asks in their original context you can via that day’s archive. https://fuckyeahasexual.tumblr.com/day/2020/11/20

August’s Great Ace Club’s Book

It is a mystery! No, really. This month is a detective story, from not one, but two featured authors. Please welcome Katey Hawthorne and Jenna Rose. They are authors of Kanaan and Tilney Investigations. The third book in the series will be released Aug 28th, and to celebrate we are working together to give you the first ebook in the series!

About The Case of the Arms Dealers

John Tilney—praeternatural pyrokinetic and mystery author—has noticed the bottom dropping out of the market for his usual gothic fare, so he goes to Lowell Kanaan, PI, for a crash course in noir. Lowell, a cranky wolf-shifter detective, isn’t sure why he agrees to let John shadow him, though it might have something to do with John’s weirdly endearing honesty…and pretty lips. John thinks he’s found the perfect detective novel hero in Lowell, but it isn’t long before he realizes he doesn’t want Lowell for his book, but for himself.

As they become entangled in a supernatural whodunnit involving the Zombie Mafia, black market body parts, and shady insurance deals, their partnership grows closer—and hotter. But when it comes down to the wire, Lowell’s wolfish protective side threatens to drive John around the bend, or at least out of the office. Good thing John’s as much sunshine as he is fire; hopefully it’s enough to help them catch a murderer before they end up in literal pieces, too.

John Tilney is a biromantic ace, just like one of the authors! 😀

Be sure to sign up at for our email listing at GreatAce.Club before release day to get it!