The fear factor in SF/F publishing and fandom

Sarah Hoyt did a bang-up job highlighting this in one of her recent blog posts. She talked about how she had to constantly watch herself: what she said, who she associated with, what signs she might give the editors or the other authors or even the fans that Sarah was the “wrong” kind of writer. I know what Sarah is talking about, on a very intimate level. Sarah’s not kidding. In fact, she’s almost being too nice about it. The field (of SF/F publishing and fandom) is soaked with fear. Moreso now than — I dare say — at any time in its history.

I think part of it comes from our general societal fear factor. Activists of all stripes have discovered that — through the magic of the internet — even very small fringe groups can make themselves appear more substantial, by crowd-sourcing their efforts and using Alinsky-style tactics to threaten and punish businesses, politicians, public figures, actors, musicians, comedians, writers, you name it. If there is somebody capable of being pissed off at a thing in this world, that somebody is (at this very moment) staging, or preparing to stage, a letter-writing campaign, a boycott, a comment thread mob, a twitter storm, or some other type of harassment designed to shut the target down. Force the target into the defensive posture. Make the target apologize, capitulate, scrape his belly, mewl for forgiveness, etc.

And the sad part is: this usually works. Folks know that behind every activist mob, there is the threat of a) bad publicity and b) a law suit. Folks don’t like either of those things. So if push comes to shove, a targeted business or individual will almost always try to give the plaintiffs what they want. Either in the form of superficial concessions, or worse yet, by converting and flying the plaintiffs’ own flag — See, world? We’ve changed! We’re one of the good guys now! Not like all these other evil people who’ve not seen the light! Forward, comrades!

Nobody is safe. Not in any area of our world. Witness the poor comet probe scientist who was mobbed and shamed into a tearful Soviet-style mea culpa by the so-called feminist activists — who were outraged that he had worn a loud bowling shirt with James Bond style women depicted in the print. Such a shirt would not have caused anyone to bat an eyelash 20 years ago. Now? Now, it’s a hanging offense.

So, what we’re seeing in SF/F isn’t confined to just SF/F. This is a pandemic problem across the culture as a whole.

It’s bleakly ironic, too, because of all the fields that should be fighting this Maoist-flavor “cultural revolution” with tooth-and-nail tenacity, it ought to be SF/F. Aren’t we the dangerous genre? Aren’t we the genre who proudly flaunted tradition and censorship and restrictions, from the pulp era right up to the present? Didn’t we flip the bird at convention, at conformist thinking, and McCarthyist silencing of “wrong” voices?

Alas, SF/F has drunk the fear kool-aid too.

In my short time in the field as a pro, I have been cautioned extensively to not rock the boat, not make people mad, not say the wrong thing, not publish with the wrong people, not associate with the wrong friends, and not make the wrong editors mad at me. Because apparently my every move is under scrutiny. And always was. Even going back to before I hit print.

Anecdote: I got savaged (as a fan!) in the letters column of Scott Edelman’s Science Fiction Weekly for daring to express the opinion that Ron Moore’s Battlestar Galactica was not, in fact, a racist hell-hole. Even my wife (who has more literal skin in the game than me) said she thought BSG was A-OK. It didn’t matter to the activists. I had expressed “incorrectness” in my push-back against the charges leveled against Moore. And I was treated to a running exchange of sniffy, churlish, haughty barbs and arrows. All because I — then, as a fan — dared to speak up in defense of a program which I felt didn’t deserve the rancor being directed against it.

That was a huge bellwether. A sign of what was to come. It’s been ten years since that particular exchange took place, and though Science Fiction Weekly is sadly no more, the attitudes — the self-assigned police of correctness — have flourished. Gained new sympathizers and megaphones and allies in high places.

Such that, now, the field doesn’t want to be dangerous. It wants to be safe. It wants to be sanitary and clean and properly in tune with whatever it is the police of correctness say it should be in tune with.

You can’t be a free thinker or a free speaker in that environment, without consequences.

Some of those consequences are (as threatened by the soul cops):

● Getting blacklisted at or kicked out of publisher(s).

● Getting blacklisted at or kicked out of convention(s).

● Getting blacklisted by or boycotted by consumer(s).

● Getting targeted and harassed by blog and twitter mobs.

● Having your family or friends harassed by blog and twitter mobs.

● Having your personal details and private info “doxxed” for all the world to see.

● Financial vandalism (if they can get your SS# and bank and credit accounts).

● Workplace jeopardy (they threaten your employer with bad PR — or worse — so your employer lets you go.)

And there are even more dire consequences. If you believe that’s even possible. And it is. But this is the state of fear. This is the gut-level anxiety and panic-inducing leverage that the commissars of correctness levy against you as both a fan, and as a producer of product. If you fail to demonstrate correctness in your words, your actions, and your associations, you are putting yourself on a dunking machine chair. And they are going to hurl all the baseballs they can get their hands on, until you’ve been sufficiently drowned.

This is done for the sake of “inclusivity” or so we are told.

This is done because “safety” is paramount: for people who need the world bubble-wrapped, foam-padded, and child-proofed before they dare step outside their front doors.

This is done because it’s “good manners” and we are told — by people who rejoice in being snide, hostile, smarmy, cutting, critical, peevish, ad hominem assholes — that no decent human being can possibly be opposed to good manners.

Now, maybe I am naive, but 23 years ago (when I first dreamed up the crazy idea to get into this business) I thought the field was a chummy place with overflowing camaraderie. The anecdotes of authors like Larry Niven certainly made it seem so. Worldcon (the World Science Fiction Convention) was touted as the epicenter of all things hip and cool and fun and amazing in the field. And I believe that it once was that, perhaps at a time when people weren’t so obsessed with correctness. When having a difference of opinion was not a sin that got you sent to the social media guillotine.

But that time is over.

This is the oh-so-correct 21st century. Where one of my colleagues can be moved to tears because she is terrified of expressing her Mormon values, lest her friends and peers in our business shun and shame her for not being correct. Where whether or not you can be successful with a publishing house depends on how chameleon-like you can become, in order to reflect back to the editor(s) the ideologies and allegiances those editor(s) want you to reflect. Where “social justice” has become a banner of immunity, justifying outlandish character assassination, baseless slander, and the ruining of reputations. Think I am kidding? Look what happened to Jean Rabe, Barry Malzberg, and Mike Resnick, when they were punished for using phrases like “lady editor” in a column about the history of the field. And those three are veterans of many decades! If they can get carved up like turkeys — by SFWA, the field’s so-called union for professionals — for the tiniest of perceived infractions, what hope is there for a new person?

Again, it’s sickly ironic that our field — the field that ought to be rallying to oppose correctness in any and all enforced forms — has become so thoroughly infested with this mindset.

I am amazed any new people dare attempt to break in at all. I mean, it seemed bad when I was trying to break in, but it’s extra-bad now. Don’t say the wrong thing. Don’t anger the wrong people. Don’t publish with the wrong publishers. Don’t question the bullshit that stinks right in front of your face. Don’t rock the boat. Don’t rattle the cage. And whatever you do, don’t write the wrong stories.

The last is perhaps the most heinous. Don’t write the wrong stories?? Yes, friends, don’t write the wrong stories. For all definitions of “wrong” that include, “Whatever the commissars of correctness feel like making ‘wrong’ this week.”

I keep hoping we’ve reached a tipping point. That the field as a whole has become so strangled by this correctness disease, that people of conscience are standing up and saying, “Enough.” In some ways, that’s what Sad Puppies 3 is about: peeling the field’s top award out of the hands of the commissars of correctness. But really, even if the Hugos tipped into the sea and vanished forever, the fear would remain. As long as new authors have to worry about anything other than perfecting their storytelling craft. No new author should have to be afraid of what might happen if it’s found out (s)he belongs to a given social group, a given political party, a given religion, a given ideology, or have worked with a given professional(s) or publisher(s).

No. New. Author. That fear is a giant red flag. It’s a sign that the field has lost its way in a very dreadful fashion. This field — above almost all others — should never have fear as a front-door component. Either explicitly, or tacitly.

Perhaps all it takes is for people (us folks who are now on the inside, and working) to simply refuse to play the game? Stop caring about the threats? A threat is only effective if it can demoralize you to the point that you act in the way the threateners want you to act. The commissars don’t have to work very hard if all they have to do is burp in your direction, and you run away frightened; or drop to your knees to beg forgiveness.

Many writers simply don’t have the intestinal fiber to face the commissars. Many writers go into writing — and SF/F in particular — because confrontations of this sort are mind-bendingly uncomfortable. They’d rather get a tooth drilled without the benefit of lidocaine. Go face-to-face with loud and obnoxious critics? Nope, nope, nope. It’s too scary. They will ruin your career. You will be shame-shunned. Or is it shun-shamed? Shamey-shunned? The Shameyshunnyshame? Whatever you want to call it, many people will simply keep their heads down and hope they don’t become a target of opportunity.

Many other writers are themselves the threateners, and actively prey on the fear they know permeates the atmosphere. Either because they are true believers in whatever The Cause™ requires, or (very often) because they want to pose as “good guys” who may or may not actually believe the doctrine of the commissars, but it’s important to be seen as a “proper” person who abides all the rules, speaks the correct stuff, and therefore won’t be targeted.

Me? My cohorts in Sad Puppies? We’ve decided that some things are worth the personal risk. We’re done with playing the game. We’re calling out the fear-mongers and we’re saying, “Go to hell, you can’t stop us, because you were never as powerful as you thought you were.”

And it’s true. A lot of this correctness crap is a tissue. A smokescreen. The CHORFs, the Social Justice scolds, the taste-maker poseurs, et al., it’s like an overlapping venn diagram of noxious people. But they rely greatly on all of us being too timid, or too career and reputation-conscious, to risk the blowback. Maybe if I was still a hopeful 18 year old I’d be too spooked to stick my neck out. But I’ve lived too much life to let the commissars have this field uncontested. It’s time to make SF/F live up to its reputation again. As the dangerous field. Yes, dangerous even to — or should I say, especially to? — anyone who tries to use fear and intimidation and exclusion as a tactic. The commissars can’t win if we don’t let them. Enough with making things safe. Spit on your hands. Run up the flags and sails of freedom. Get this ship out of the doldrums of correctness. Put it back onto the high seas where it belongs.

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108 thoughts on “The fear factor in SF/F publishing and fandom

  1. Millions for Offense, but not one red cent for tribute.

    Time to raise the Jolly Roger, because the Sad Puppies are going a-raidin’. . .

  2. I can’t speak for anyone else but my issue is the hate speech – obsessively singling out people for their race and sex and attaching the most absurd and vile motivations, immorality and guilty verdicts to it.

    I don’t care about anything else. People are people but hate speech crosses the line. How do I know that? Because this field went almost 100 years without it. We had politics and personal feuds, but never the hate speech.

  3. I’ve said before, and likely say many more times, more people need to be told just F’ Off!

    If what I write is being graded on my character (or lack thereof) rather than the words I actually typed out you’re doing it wrong. If my political/religious beliefs are relevant to your outrage you had better be living in my house or be my priest. If what I write offends you, then good. Take time so sit back and contemplate just what it is that offends you and why. Oh, and if you feel the need to try and ruin my life, be prepared for the blowback, because I have few qualms about going after responsible parties.

  4. I think one of the reasons why the Myrmidons of Correctness, at least in publishing, have become so shrill is that they are losing their hold on the fields. They guard the gates so steadfastly because the walls are going away. In the past, you had to please the gatekeepers of you wanted your words to go forth to others. The magazines and publishing houses were the only options.

    Today, there is indie. A lot of people are realizing that they don’t need the gatekeepers. They can venture forth on their own.

    Back when I started (before a long college and work derived hiatus) and was selling to Analog, I did a certain amount of work in a given year and made a certain amount of money in that same year. Today, just through epublishing, I make about the same as I did then for about the same amount of work. Oh, it’s spread over more stories–I don’t make as much from a given story as I did from a sale to Analog (or even the late Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy Magazine) but I also don’t have stories going into the “trunk” to never make me anything. It balances out.

    And every time I release something new, I sell more of my previous releases. So success builds on success and I can expect growth in the future both from simply having more stuff in print and from getting better (one would hope) from developing my craft.

    And if I can do it, well that’s a pretty low bar for other people to clear. 😉

    We don’t need the gatekeepers, the Myrmidons of Correctness, to tell our stories and get them to readers. And the MoC can’t. stand. that.

  5. Here is proof that THE FEAR has been in SF for over a decade now. Charlie Stross is warning me about the consequences of being a badthinker, in which writing a nationally syndicated op/ed column is “a career-limiting move”.


    Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2005, 04:30 PM
    You’ve chosen to lay your bedroll in the field of SF, as witness your membership of SFWA and presence on an SFWA panel.

    You have then burped up a mass of rhetoric that — to my eyes — looks calculated to alienate (a) women and (b) anyone remotely to the left of the political spectrum. For the purposes of assessing the impact of your words, it doesn’t matter whether they’re supported by the evidence or not — we’re talking perceptions here. Draw a Venn diagram of the population. You’ve started by pissing off 50% and then dropped another great big circle bracketing close to another 50% halfway over it.

    The people who live and work and pitch their tents in this field have long memories. You’ll have to share the same field with them for a long time — decades, maybe — if you want to be in it at all. And you’ve just offended 75% of them?

    This is Not Clever. You may not need them now, but you have no idea what your circumstances will look like in ten years’ time. Twenty years. Thirty. Five minutes hence. (Etcetera.) Pissing people off for no good reason is counter-productive. In a corporate environment it’s sometimes termed a career-limiting move.

    I think you just made a career-limiting move.

    Take some advice from Uncle Charlie, who did his trolling back in the stone age, when the net was young — start barking, very loudly. Yap your head off and make damn sure everyone knows you’re a troll. That way, when you meet editors and agents and other writers in person you can charm them and they’ll maybe forgive you your youthful errors.

    But for your own future sake, do try to stop digging before the hole caves in on you.

    Needless to say, I didn’t stop digging. And here is how long I’ve been aware of the problem in SF.

    Vox Day ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2005, 08:59 PM:
    The reason I volunteered for the Nebula juries was to try to do my small part to rectify a situation where unreadable dreck is winning awards while far more noteworthy authors such as Neal Stephenson and others go unnominated.

  6. And let me add this: writers like Aliette de Bodard, Ann Leckie, Kameron Hurley, Saladin Ahmed, Sofia Samatar and Daniel Jose Older think they’re going to come into this field and light us all up as racists. The problem there is that in 100 years there is nothing remotely like their own speech they can provide as evidence. Their evidence isn’t quotes or stories. Their “evidence” is being white, straight and heterosexual. That in and of itself is the guilty verdict. Heal thyself, morons.

  7. Clamps? Is that you?

    In the case that this isn’t that DARVO using cyberstalker who has been banned from at least two threads here, may I inform you that the SF community, including the Making Light crowd, seemed to be perfectly fine with the doxxing of Fail Burton/James May and Requires Hate/Benjanun Sriduangkaew. Worse still, many of that crowd approved of and participated in Requires Hate’s targeting and harassing of authors via Twitter mobs. The other Hugo controversy of last year, surrounding American writers driving Johnathan Ross out of his role as host of the Hugo Awards Ceremony, was nothing more than a blog and twitter mob, and was lauded by the Right People.

    So my question is, given SF’s recent sordid past and free passes to twitter harrasment, why is it only not okay if “Vox does it?”

  8. Clamps, you need to get Vox out of your head. You’re letting your boogie man version of him live, rent free, in your head as a never ending source of nightmares.

    Somehow I feel pretty confident that if you were to leave him alone you would never hear from him (or any of us) ever again.

    Even if everything you say about him was true, the only person you’re managing to hurt with all of this is yourself.

  9. It’s funny. They want someone like me to fear because my career is still relatively new.

    However, these are the same people that applaud a NAMBLA supporter who wrote a disturbing work of fiction that were adults take advantage of kids as if it’s a good thing.

    Considering that, I don’t really want their approval.

  10. Yep, it’s Clamps. I’m done. I have no inclination to argue further with a confirmed harasser of seven years who, after being exposed to the world by his victims, attempts to deny, accuse and reverse the roles of victim and offender to paint himself in a positive light. Brad, when you finally ban him from this thread, feel free to erase this message and my previous one in this thread.

  11. Brad – you seem upset that saying things can have consequences. Since when did one’s actions become free of consequences? I decide to sleep in and get to work late, there’s a consequence. I decide to go out and eat a steak instead of hit the gym, there’s a consequence.

    Life has consequences and I thought all adults understood that. The people who pledged their “Lives, fortunes and sacred honor” making this country knew the consequences of failure were a long drop on the end of a short rope.

    Now, hacking somebody’s financials is a crime, and picking on their relatives is bad and might be illegal, but most of your complaints are as a result of other people expressing their opinions. Yes, the NASA dude has a right to wear whatever shirt that meets NASA’s dress code. But the umpteen million people who saw it also have a right to say “dude, really?”

    The convention has a right to say “we don’t want you” (which is usually because the attendee was a jerk to other attendees) – it’s called “free association.” SFWA has a right to say “hey, this is what we want out of our organization.” Lastly, yes things change. What was considered perfectly okay in 1960 is now sexist or racist. Your own religion banned blacks until 1978. Now they don’t.

  12. Guess my stuff will never get published beyond Kindle Direct Publishing because I skewer the left and the right, and champion the individual over group-think in my stories. But that’s okay. I enjoy writing my novels, and I enjoy the little feedback I get. And whether “the powers that be” think so or not, my stuff has some social commentary. It just usually makes a EVERYBODY uncomfortable.

  13. Hey, Gerrib. It’s 2015 and your own religion bans men and whites from reviews, anthologies and physical spaces. Sad Puppies’ side has nothing like that. So why am I not surprised there was nothing in your little life lesson about the concept of fair play? The reason for that is simple: it leaves no room for the hypocrisy you are so obviously addicted to.

  14. SFWA has a right to say “hey, this is what we want out of our organization.”

    Of course they do. But they don’t have the right to ignore the laws of the State of Massachusetts. And they don’t have the right to claim that they support unrestricted freedom of speech and defend freedom of thought when everyone can see that they don’t.

    Actions do have consequences. And Sad Puppies is one of the consequences of SJWs forcing its ridiculous ideological bilge on the readers of science fiction for years. We’re not complaining. We’re not crying. We’re acting. You, on the other hand, have been crying non-stop about the consequences of your side’s actions.

    We don’t care what you say or what you think. You aren’t going to talk us out of anything. You aren’t going to shame us out of anything. As you can see above, this is over a decade in the making. So go ahead, change the Hugo rules as you’re proposing. No Award every single damn category if you like. Do your level best to drown us out and drive us away. Because every single time you double-down, you’re just going to suffer more and bigger consequences. You have no idea how much worse it can become.

    You tried kicking me out of SFWA. You tried telling Larry he was a bad writer because he had no awards. You tried giving me 6 out of 5. You tried telling Brad he’s not a True Fan. How is that entirely predictable strategy working out for you?

    We know you hate us. That’s not news. What you don’t seem to realize is that a hell of lot more people hate you and everything you contemptible control freaks stand for. TNH and Making Light are clucking like terrified chickens about #GamerGate being brought in, but what should terrify them is that we don’t even need them.

  15. I am about as politically incorrect as they come. I suspect I could even give Vox Day a run for his money at times! I have been a member of some fairly large online communities (that were heavily leftist) and I have always leaned rightward and been VERY outspoken about my beliefs.
    Of course, because the things I produced were superior to what everyone else was doing online, they still flocked to my place, and enjoyed the things that I made for them, even though they often disliked what I said or stood for.

    The amount of arguments I won, and they lost, were amazing.

    Interestingly, when I look back now I see so many of the people who used to be against me, or what I said, are now saying the very things I used to say, as they have gotten older, wiser, and tired of having their stuff taken away and given to the liberal cause of the week.

    I think this push back against the SJW’s and the way they have taken over the Hugo’s is the start of something larger. People are really getting tired of putting up with the BS from these losers. But I can understand the fear of those in the business, no one wants to lose their income. So I’m glad that I’m an Indy, and that I am not beholden to, or dependent on, any of those people. I have seen what it has done to the people and the field, and it hasn’t been very good. Hopefully there will be more like Baen in the industry going forward.

    I used to buy several books a week and read them all, but what was coming out became so bad, that if I bought one a month, it was a lot. My old LJ is full of comments on the crap that was being published, and how the scifi section at book stores was shrinking heavily. Now with indy ebooks, we are seeing the trend starting to change, because good stories are getting easier to publish, you don’t need to deal with the PC editors anymore.

    (Sorry for being long winded, but just wrapped up my latest offering, so I’m sort of celebrating until it gets back from the copy editor I use).

  16. This campaign has been a real education for me. I have been very concerned about the steady rise of bubble wrap politic for several years and it does me good to see them beaten on this front. Coincidentally I have been seeing more and more push back against this kind of thing in my everyday life. And I like it… Keep up the good work.

  17. “…writers like Aliette de Bodard, Ann Leckie, Kameron Hurley, Saladin Ahmed, Sofia Samatar and Daniel Jose Older…”

    The real tragedy is that, with the exception of Older, I’ve either read enough of all these authors myself, or heard good reviews from people I know and trust, to confirm that they are all genuinely good writers, at least in the sense of being able to skilfully craft a well-told and (for those who like the themes and ideas they examine) interesting story. Much of their output is not to my taste, but once upon a time it was not a public-shaming offense to express that opinion; ironically, the fact that in all too many quarters it has become so is, I think, ultimately doing the authors more disservice than it is the alienated audiences.

    How many paying fans could I reasonably expect to add to my coterie if the core of my fandom rabidly tore heck out of anyone who wasn’t quite enthusiastic enough? How sincerely could I take the praises of a book I’d written if I suspected, in the back of my mind, that half the enthusiasm came from reluctance to contradict fellow fans rather than love of the book itself? How much real validation is it to an artist’s vision, talent and craft to be applauded not for the quality of her work in itself, but for its politically-evaluated content? The trap that de Bodard, Leckie, Hurley et al have been forced into by their own most fervent SJ advocates is that the very politicization used to promote their stories for their representational-justice merit forever taints any evaluation of their stories as simply stories, as simply entertainment — heck, it taints the idea that we even can enjoy something as “simply” entertainment, for its own sake alone.

    Which would be the ultimate tragedy: SF becoming valued not for its own sake as a thing of wonder, imagination and excitement, but only for its usefulness as a tool towards another goal. However noble that goal, the fate of everything reduced to a tool is always the same: When it is no longer useful for your purpose… it is dropped.

  18. ‘The convention has a right to say “we don’t want you” (which is usually because the attendee was a jerk to other attendees) – it’s called “free association.”‘

    Cool. So if Louis B. Mayer (or the modern equivalent) decides he doesn’t want to buy any scripts from communists, or anyone who even knows a communist, that’s perfectly okay.

    Filed for future reference, and I hope you enjoy the world you’ve made.

  19. Since my experience with the SFWA Bulletin was referred to above — and I think we were treated rudely and unfairly — I have to point out that the only consequence was to SFWA, which “suspended” the quarterly Bulletin and has published only one issue in the past year and a half. How did it affect me personally? In 2013, having just been cast adrift by the Bulletin, I sold 6 books (all to legitimate paying markets; I don’t self-publish…not yet, anyway), and took on the editorship of a new magazine, Galaxy’s Edge, and a new line of books, Stellar Guild. In 2014, I sold 4 more books and a screenplay, edited 6 issues of the magazine, and continued editing the book line. I write this on April 1 of 2015, and I have sold 2 books already this year. I remain the chairman of SFWA’s Anthology Committee. I have been Guest of Honor or Special Guest at 5 conventions in the past two years, which isn’t bad for a supposed pariah. Which is to say, they can -try- to harm you, but if you just ignore them and concentrate on what’s important, you’ll do okay. As for the other two Brad refers to, Jean Rabe is now my assistant editor at Galaxy’s Edge, and Barry Malzberg as a regular columnist there.

  20. VD, of course Charlie Stross was right and this was nothing new. It was a small field. We all know or knew someone who made a mistake, got a bad reputation even if it wasn’t his or her fault, and had to go through contortions and new pen names in order to try to start over from scratch. The cautionary tales of 20 years ago (or more) abound. If you didn’t go through the right channels, format your manuscript exactly so, behave in exactly the right ways you’d signal that you weren’t at a pro-level and you wouldn’t get read. If you broke a rule, submitted to more than one publisher at once, or a publisher and an agent, you’d get found out and it would be over. Forever. No forgiveness. If you had a feud with an editor, even if the editor was at fault… just forget it. Your career was over because, and everyone knew this, the editors were all buddies and they *talked*. You had to be HUGE before you could ever dare to make a fuss over your contract or they’d just dump you. (I’ve listened to RWA members express the same fear of not just rubberstamping a contract.)

    The thing of it all is… as far as I can ever tell… no liberal leaning author ever experienced this fear of speaking out or being overtly rude in public or at conventions. I’ve listened to award winning authors rant about Bush on panels that were supposed to be about science fiction. Then do it the next year. And the next. Has there been similar nonsequitors blurted out about Obama as a normal thing? I’ve listened to panelists, all “real authors” with “real books” from “real publishers” calmly explain that if it weren’t for those nasty anti-science Christians that pandemics (the panel subject) wouldn’t happen. Has there been similar off-hand statements about Wiccans?

    Charlie was right… he was probably even well intentioned. Since he’s firmly on one side of this all (killed Bush off in a book, his words) he’s undoubtedly never actually felt that particular pinch or inhibition. Sarah describes what it’s like very well to wonder if you’ve been covert enough, careful enough, camouflaged enough, on your best behavior enough…

    … and then I’m sitting at a science fiction convention and listening to Big Name rant loudly in the hallway to her posse about “those people” who don’t want to follow the rules, don’t want to put in their time, don’t want to take their knocks, but still want to be treated with the respect of “real” authors… and you can’t help but realize that for those who are “old school”… the FEAR is something they want new authors to feel. They fully approve of fear.

  21. Hey, Chris Gerrib, kindly put this statement in your pipe in and smoke it: A field where people dare not state their opinions for fear of being destroyed is not a good place to be for either the field or the people in it. For the field, the consequences of this are stagnation, stratification, and an ensuing decline in the field’s relevance and power. Furthermore, it gives people the license to be jerks under a banner of righteousness, which harms them because being a jerk is hazardous to your mental health. Also, there’s that constant, niggling fear of misstepping that constrains your every move…
    This mentality was seen in the Catholic church in the Renaissance (Jan Hus), and right now Torgerson and crew are playing the part of the Waldensians. Be careful, or you’ll turn them into Lutherans. And you and yours have neither the tradition, nor the temporal power, nor the capacity to deal with argument, to make Jesuits to fight them.
    Life has consequences, and the consequences of your actions–your dismissiveness, your arrogance, and your pigheaded refusal to acknowledge the opinions of your enemies as having any sort of value–are your long slide into irrelevance.

    TL:DR version: Complaining about people complaining about having their careers destroyed with the comment that “Life has consequences” is the action of a would-be tyrant. Your courage is that of Mao Tse-tung, not George Washington.

  22. “Life has consequences” as an excuse to bully people if they don’t comply only makes you a bully. The “consequences” are artificial. They are In-Group enforcement.

    People have outright stated their intentions to apply “consequences”… to apply this In Group enforcement to people, not because of what they themselves have done, but on the basis that they did not adequately prove themselves a Good Person by making sure that they had engaged in public shunning of those who must be shunned. Authors who are innocent bystanders, essentially, to Sad Puppies have been given notice that they will face “consequences” if they allow themselves to be associated with those people. This *action* on their part is justification for bullies to bully them, and the bullies who freely chose to be bullies, will use the excuse that “life has consequences.”

    Do you have any idea at all how vile this is?

    “Life has consequences” is true about stuff like… If I stay up too late then tomorrow is going to suck. If I spend more than I have then I won’t be able to pay my bills. If I eat too much and work out too little I will get fat. If I have indiscriminate sex I might end up with an STD or a pregnancy.

    Your “consequences” are more like… If the popular girls at school decide that Friday is school spirit day and I fail to wear the school colors they will push my books off my desk.

  23. I find the smarminess very upsetting. It’s quite gross and offputting. They really don’t appear to see how they sound to normal people at all. Chris Gerrib is a case in point. Apparently terrible behavior and rampant unprofessionalism are good things if they keep people who aren’t hard-leftist frightened and afraid of losing social capital in order to secure writing work. Good to know if I ever chance to have business dealings with Mr. Gerrib, or any of the other numerous folks saying it’s great and “just consequences from actions, maaaaannnnnnn” (exhales from doobie.)

  24. Wait, Science Fiction and Fantasy, which come from Weird Fiction, are not supposed to evoke fear?

    Seriously, I’m glad I don’t have a financial interest in this industry, and hope this stuff doesn’t apply to HR departments in other sectors.

  25. Chris, why don’t you put a sock in it. I think that most of us here are well aware of ‘consequences.” We’ve spent most of our lives having to deal with bullying of one form or another. The problem is that there are consequences and there are CONSEQUENCES. There the small petty disgusting world that the Toad and the rest of the TruFen, SJW’s and the Trads, live in and there’s the real world, where we could really use some big ideas and visions right now. And you and your cohorts in the Traditional publishing environment are so wrapped up in your pathetic perverted pornography and concentration on the shade of peoples’ skin that you’ve completely lost the big picture. It’s obvious to most of us who actually read science fiction what’s happened and what needs to be done, but your crowd is still so concentrated on the colors of people’s crotches that you’ve got you’re heads stuck there and can’t see what’s happening to you and the entire genre.

  26. As a Sci-Fi/Fantasy reader, the only books I read these days are either published by Baen, or published by indie authors on Amazon. I wonder what the Hugos would look like if all the indie author fans started voting… authors like Ryk Brown, Vaughn Heppner, Joshua Dalzelle, Sara King, Evan Currie, Stephen Moss, and Rick Partlow (just to name a few) might actually get some nominations.

  27. The best part about these threads is I get links to new authors for the low low price of listening to Chris ramble either pedantically or against a strawman.

  28. Was there ever a decade when someone could go on TV on behalf of the European Space Agency in a shirt with a Bond-girl print and not garner some criticism. As I understand it, he hasn’t planned on giving an interview when he went to the office that day. Someone from ESA PR should have intervened.

  29. “I am amazed any new people dare attempt to break in at all.”

    The only ones still trying either don’t know how inquisitorial legacy publishing has become, or they’ve been conditioned to think it’s the only way to become a “real” writer.

    As the industry’s abuse of the people it depends on gains publicity; as the preferability of indie publishing becomes undeniable, the CHORF gatekeepers will die by starvation because new writers will stop attempting to break in.

  30. I’m trying to break in, and this is all very troubling. File me under the category of naive, new author that thought SF/F was a field full of, to borrow a scientific term, Free Radicals. I just want to write what I love. Where can I do that without burning as a martyr?

  31. “…that NASA guy…”

    Chris Gerrib, there is a whole world out there that isn’t America. This is one such instance.

  32. Ryan, there’s Baen and there’s indie. Some of the small presses might not care, but I don’t know any of them well enough to know for certain. I know that Baen doesn’t care what your politics is so long as you tell a good story, and I know that indie is indie and the only people you need to worry about are your readers.

  33. Mr Resnick, I just wanted to tell you two things. First, I learn to my delight that after having been shunned from the Bulletin for the high crime and misdemeanor of calling a lady a lady, you are flourishing.
    You and Mr Malzberg have my admiration and support. You don’t know me, but your treatment at the hands of SFWA prompted me to resign from that corrupt organization as immediately and loudly as I could. I don’t know and don’t care what an author’s personal opinions and beliefs might be, so long as he can pen a sound and well crafted tale. Anything else is unprofessional. So I could not remain in a professional organization whose banner was now its unprofessionalism.
    Forgive me for rambling: I just wanted to tell you that some people are on your side.
    Second, I tried to leave a message on your blog (http://mikeresnick.com/?page_id=22#FSContact1) but your Capcha button is broken, and returns the message that the capture is incorrect each time it is used. If you have not had any messages from fans on your site recently, that is why.

    JCJW

  34. Many thanks to T. L. Knighton for suggesting Baen. @s1al: I’m a little confused by “…that NASA guy…” Can you provide some context?

  35. Ryan, s1al was pointing out obliquely that the person that Chris called “that NASA guy,” the guy wearing the offensive shirt did not work for NASA and was not American.

  36. An SJW at File 770 is talking the same bullshit about this being “a battleground of American Politics and a Cultural War.”

    This doesn’t have jack shit to do with politics or culture.

    Every single dust up within the last four years has been about race and gender in tandem with the exact same theme: that white Americans are racists who hate non-whites, that heterosexuals hate gays and that men are part of an oppressive patriarchy and “rape culture” which hates women and have been screwing them over in SFF since WW I and to this day. In other words, what I’ve said only 29 kazillion times – intersectional gender feminism.

    It is a cover for a biological hatred no different than anyone who has a thing for Jews, blacks or whites. The fact these insane morons have cooked up gender theory and academic rhetoric to go along with this sociopathic movement should fool no one. Anti-Semitism is not culture and it is not politics.

    What was Correia upset about with Walter at the Guardian? How to fund bridges being built? No. That Walter blithered LC was a racist in a long line of white men who’d had their way in SFF and LC was bitter about it.

    Why was LC upset at Scalzi? Over abortion? No. Because Scalzi threw feminist theory at him about “gendered slurs” and LC therefore hating and oppressing women.

    What was the SFWA bulletin dust up about? The environment? No. Ladies again, and literally the word “lady.” And who was the culprit? “Old white men.”

    What was the K. Tempest Bradford read-no-white-men thing about? The war in Afghanistan? No. The straight, the white and the male. The ugly, the ugly and the ugly.

    And who is Anita Sarkeesian and Brianna Wu? Culture critics? Well, by an amazing coincidence they self-define as “intersectional” feminists.

    Who doesn’t Sunil Patel and Liz Bourke review? Conservatives? No. White men. Your politics and culture literally don’t enter into it. What’s more fucking obvious than that foghorn blowing their true agenda into the air? Patel rarely goes an entire day on Twitter without making some shit remark about whites against zero % positive ones. Suddenly that’s culture and politics? Patel and Bradford’s interest in literature is the same as the KKK, just slightly different targets.

    Every time these SJW morons open their mouth it’s whites this, and men that and oh, you heterosexuals are transphobes.

    The fusion of French Queer Theory and Critical Race Theory this is, is nothing more than a Trojan Horse these sociopaths rode in on to get into the gates while blathering about diversity and people are regretting it. Even the moron I quoted at the beginning is the perfect useful idiot in once did a remarkable job of summing up this whole sick ideology of Third Wave Intersectional Gender Feminism in one sentence: “Some days, this hetero white male guy really wants the Patriarchy to burn, and burn to ashes.”

    There’s your “politics” and “culture,” and by an amazing coincidence it smells like the same “culture” and “politics” they used to have discussions about at Heidelberg U circa 1936. It’s just hate. The fact people like Jim Hines, Mary Robinette Kowal and John Scalzi have been gulled by these dipshits into thinking they are marching from Selma speaks more to their own naive idiocy than the idea America is a white supremacist patriarchy.

    Here’s the obvious truth too much for these Sherlock Holmes’s to figure out: what form of politics in the history of the world has so conspicuously left out women, non-whites and gays as part of the issue? Politics and culture are human issues. This is nothing more than a racist, sexist, supremacist cult in action.

    Another commenter had the right of it: “Pardon me but what has any of it got to do with science fiction?”

    It doesn’t. It has to do with sick and obsessive weirdoes dragging their sociopathies into inappropriate spaces.

  37. Awesome blog, Brad. I always enjoy reading. And I’ve been flourishing! Sold three books this year, contracted for another one, and I’m happily working for Mike on Galaxy’s Edge.

  38. James May – I agree with much of what you have to say, but it is not necessary to trumpet or repeatedly and at every opportunity in every location. Once per thread should more than suffice. As it is I am inclined to skip over your posts every time I see them because the thirtieth instance of ranting about intersectional gender feminism this week is no longer interesting.

    It also friends out any specifically new points that you make.

    Ryan Holmes – What jccarlton said. I’m just kindly pointing out Mr. Gerrib’s insensitive and bigoted Ameri-centric viewpoints 😉

  39. I know I go on long but let me add this yet again: SF in it’s highest literary expressions warns us against perceptual traps and is uniquely suited to do so. That is what we’re dealing with here: the idea NO racism could possibly come from those who falsely pass themselves off as the “oppressed,” the “marginalized” and the “underrepresented. Big Brother was no Big Brother.

    That mechanism of mainstreaming hate speech under a cover of nobility was not only exactly how Nazis turned a nation against Jews but is the fundamental warning of George Orwell in 1984: the perceptual trap. That actual SF authors should have that warning as part of their legacy and still fall for this doublethink is a shitty irony. We above all should know better. In our highest questioning expressions we are the warning genre. Fahrenheit 451, “The Marching Morons,” “With Folded Hands,” “The Country of the Kind,” “If This Goes On-,” “The Weapon Shop,” and above all “The Machine Stops” are part of the bedrock upon which literate speculative SF was built.

  40. Well then skip over the posts. You’re not the first person to say I’m ranting or writing “screeds” and you won’t be the last. The truth is my research has made a difference. I’m not hard to get rid of but if you do I won’t be back, and who’s going to do the homework and provide actual and real quotes instead of lies from The Guardian?

    You?

    Woodpeckers make holes by persistence, not one and out, and there’s always new people who haven’t heard this stuff. Milo at Breitbart has come around to this same realization and Robert Stacy McCain as well. They are hitting it every day and that’s why these shits are on the run. Two years ago almost to the week I wrote an open letter to the SFWA and was laughed at as a racist and people were going “what’s up with this feminist intersectional shit?”

    I don’t recall you being there, or anyone else for that matter. Where were you when Scalzi and his sheep went after me on Twitter and compared me to the Unibomber?

    There’s one hell of a lot more people using words NO ONE used then and one key word is “intersectional.” When I hear that I know people have figured this out. It’s all turned around now and it didn’t happen by rationing comments but by busting them out.

    Of course it’s the same stuff. It’s the same enemy flogging the same shit. if you’re bored I can’t make up new enemies. People who have a bill of particulars lay out a case bit by bit by bit. At the end of the day, it’s the sheer volume of evidence that wins. SJWs can’t fisk 1,000 of their own quotes.

    If you don’t have the taste for this then retire, or get someone to retire me. I can tell you this: it’s that sheer volume that have got some SJWs to retire from the fray. Where’s the 80 blog posts from SJWs about what’s going on now? It’s a hell of a lot worse thing than a Red Sonja painting and the word “lady.”

  41. James May:
    “An SJW at File 770 is talking the same bullshit about this being “a battleground of American Politics and a Cultural War.””

    This doesn’t have jack shit to do with politics or culture.

    Ah, that would be me who is the SJW in question. I’m hurt, James. You normally call me out by name. And I’ve even complimented you the last couple of days on twitter for your photography. I *was* sincere. I’d love to go to Egypt as you did.

    Back to point. I’m sorry, sir, but it IS politics AND culture. When Brad himself in this post name checks Saul Alinsky in this post, which is a signal in conservative quarters to the evils of the left, its clear that this whole thing just as political to Sad Puppies as you ascribe it to being to the SJWs.

    And is it political to the SJWs? For some SJWs, I can’t deny that. But you make as big an error in assigning that motive to all of us as I would in assuming all Sad Puppies are doing this for political reasons.

    Brad’s post, today, though, is a clear signal, to me, the Sad Puppies project as a political project, rather than a “let’s have the best books on the Hugo slate” with a side order of politics in the mix (since everything IS politics, as Aristotle taught us).

    Brad and Larry’s podcast interview suggested it was the latter. This post, to my reading, belies that.

    But I’m just a deluded Social Justice Warrior. What do I know anyway, right?

  42. Yes, the 60’s, the 70’s, the 80’s, and the 90’s. No one would have cared. Well in the 80’s everyone would have wanted to buy a copy, but the the 80’s were pretty tacky.

  43. James,

    Recently you said you were easy to talk to. Then, someone says something to you about these long posts you write, and this is your response. Whether you mean for it to or not, it reads to me like an attack on someone who reached out to say something to you. It’s not the first time I’ve noticed that.

    No, you’re not easy to talk to. Not in the least.

  44. Here’s the thing though. Until we get to the point where conservatives aren’t driven into hiding or out of the industry because of their beliefs just having a “this is what we think is best” will be much harder to do.

    Not because conservatives inherently write better than liberals, no. Because anytime you drive away and marginalize one group of artists you’re cutting out huge chunks of your own growing fields. It’s always easier to get that monster prize winning pumpkin when you’re gathering from 200 acres as opposed to 100.

    At the same time promoting other people because they *aren’t* conservatives does them harm too. How? Well, without challenges we all stop growing. It gets easy to coast. It’s human nature to, the majority of the time, to not over exert ourselves needlessly.

    So a good writer who is endlessly told how great they are, absent any real competition or push back, will have a much harder time growing into the great writer they could be.

    And before you completely dismiss this I have one name for you. Christopher Paolini.

    The Sleeper Must Awaken.

  45. And Paul, have you read the stuff on the slate? Are you seriously telling me that KJA and JCW and Jim Butcher aren’t talented word smiths and story tellers?

    That Kary English and Megan Grey’s stories aren’t amazingly well written?

    Yeah, no. Their stuff is awesome. Even if you don’t agree there is no way you’ll convince *us* they aren’t, and that’s the important thing with how we nominate and vote anyway.

  46. “MichaelDamianThomas @michaeldthomas
    · 3h 3 hours ago
    What makes more sense: You’re not getting published because of an SJW blacklist or because you’re a mediocre writer & an asshole?”

    Keep in mind, this guy is an editor.

  47. Isn’t the real question more along the lines of, in a time when the blockbuster movies, bestselling video games, and hit TV shows are heavily science fiction and fantasy yet print SFF sales are shrinking away, why should we let the same people who organized a famine in a time of plenty be sole arbiters of quality in the genre?

  48. “@PrinceJvstin · 3h3 hours ago
    If Heinlein never wrote Job and I imported it into this universe and published it, the Sad Puppies would howl that it was “anti-religion””

    So, Paul: are we all Christian fundamentalists, or Heinlein-worshippers? Your playing of the Zombie Heinlein Card would seem to imply you think we’re both.

  49. First – well said Brad.

    I’ll submit, having seen pretty much the whole series, that BSG had issues, lots of them, but racism? Really?

    Paul – as to the “alinsky” remarks – why yes, the term is political. It term describes a pattern of action used by progressive and leftist ideologies. “ther personal is political” comes from the same space, and we’ve seen case after case of people going after people personally over some perceived political slight. The political issues are turned into personal ones, and every personal decision suddenly becomes fraught with political overtones.

    See “The social consequences of everything: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqevO_zrxsA

    When a number of non-conservative authors are placed on the SP3 slate, two recuse, at least one mentioned threats, and people trashed a number of others simply because the wrong people liked them.

    But it’s about politics for US, rather than avoiding politics. Or judging the story first.

    We repeatedly state, and act in accordance with, the policy that it’s about story first, and politics of you feel like it, but you come in and say that nope – it’s still abut politics for us.

    We’ve repeatedly and provably discussed, promoted, and praised various authors works of every political stripe (Hello – Eric Flint, literally a card-carrying communist) when they told good stories.

    But it’s all about politics for us.

    We’ve also provably had numerous rants about how people won’t read/consider/try someone on the SP slates simply because of their “conservative” politics. Or because conservatives like them so there must be something wrong with them.

    But no – it’s about politics for US.

    We have editors, organizers, and authors going out of their way to do things in an explicitly political fashion – safe spaces, no-white-male book reading, etc.

    But WE’re the ones making it all about politics all the time.

    And yes, of the day. Feminist Jazz hands. “Lady” editors.

    For chrissake – in less than 20 years, “The Vagina monologues” have gone from cutting edge out-there radical feminist to insufficiently inclusive of transgender people at some places

    —–
    The shirt – as to the ESA guy and his shirt – I could at least understand a complaint that it was unprofessional. Oddly, in the Victorian era, someone would have looked at him, looked at the people entrusting him with highly demanding work, and figured he was just an eccentric.

    Think about it – for all the vapors the left gets into about how oppressive the victorians were, we’ve long since crossed the point of being less tolerant of public differences.

  50. Mr. Weimer said:

    “But I’m just a deluded Social Justice Warrior. What do I know anyway, right?”

    Here’s some knowledge that will help cure two of those delusions: politics has a definite and limited scope, and that scope doesn’t include Sad Puppies.

    What you obviously don’t know is how SP supporters think, though your comments offer edifying insight into anti-SP’s thought process. Accusing us of advancing a political project, contrary to our stated claims, is purely a projection of how the CHORFs have operated for decades.

    Those who systematically doubt an opponent’s word without evidence shouldn’t be surprised if others hesitate to take their claims at face value.

  51. @TL Knighton

    Since most SJWs think anyone who disagrees with them is an asshole, he kind of contradicts himself there.

    And proving that is trivial. Look at even mild mannered progressive-minded types in the programming community – I think it was “Debug” or the accidental tech podcast – were discussing Top Gear. One of the hosts got raged at on twitter for being sad about the show being canceled.

    Did he agree with Clarkson’s politics? No – but even liking a show with a host who’s so “regressive” (another hosts’s words) made people feel entitled people to rage at him.

  52. Hi Chris.

    It is extremely weird and indicative of our life to be asked respond to my twitter posts copy pasta-ed in a Sad Puppy blog comment thread where I didnt bring it up. But all right. I’m game.

    So, Paul: are we all Christian fundamentalists, or Heinlein-worshippers? Your playing of the Zombie Heinlein Card would seem to imply you think we’re both.

    Neither, actually. What I am saying is that many in your part of the Venn diagram of Sf Fandom tolerate Heinlein saying things that would get other people lambasted for. In other words, messenger is most definitely part of the equation and can overmask objections to the message.

  53. @dgarsys

    Did I say there were no politics outside of the Sad Puppies and that everyone outside of them votes strictly on the merits? No, and I’d be foolish to say so. Politics goes back to the first Worldcon.

    And for every exhortation that its about authors and works that I see, I see posts about wanting to sow Chaos, fight back against the SJWs and the like.

    It’s a very muddled message, at best.

    And then I see the giant Making Light threads, and see politics there, too. And I see all sides cherry picking, taking things out of context and ginning up bases.

    And the thing about this is that the Non Americans are just shaking their head at us. I’ve plenty of British, Australian and worldwide SF fans who are disgusted with this entire conflict. It makes the Hugos seem parochial, US-focused and not for Brits, Germans, Australians, Chinese or Pakistanis.

  54. What is it with the SJW crowd and Venn Diagrams? And why do they think that people can so easily be broken down into ‘sets’?
    I think that is part of the problem with the left, they wish to label everyone by a simple identity, and only one identity. Like ‘White’, ‘Black’, ‘Red’, or ‘Brown’, and ‘Straight’, ‘Gay’, or ‘Transgender’. And once you’ve been put in your slot don’t you dare ever try to change!

    What other political systems are so class concision and force people into defined roles that they are never ever allowed to change? Perhaps I’m reading too much into it, but it sure does seem to go along with the rest of their actions.

  55. “Was there ever a decade when someone could go on TV on behalf of the European Space Agency in a shirt with a Bond-girl print and not garner some criticism. As I understand it, he hasn’t planned on giving an interview when he went to the office that day. Someone from ESA PR should have intervened.”

    Being forced into a televised and tearful global apology is not “some criticism.” It’s a repulsive witch hunt by repulsive people who glory in their repulsive acquisition of power. They should be denounced by all sane and caring persons. I would say, actually, that they ARE denounced by all sane and caring persons. The rest of the people are too busy preening and pumping their fists in the air over their ability to defend women’s tissue thin sensibilities and irrational, hysterical natures.

    Lord knows that one glance at that shirt had me melted into an incoherent puddle of whimpering femininity. I just about marched right to school to demand to be switched from a geology major to gender studies. Or I would have, except that I had rolled into a fetal ball and didn’t manage to get out of the house for a week.

  56. Well, our side has no problem with Michael Z Williamson, who frequently criticizes the Right and makes anti-religious remarks. We’re not the lockstep robots you seem to think we are.

  57. Given A) The Ross incident and B) People like Damien Walter I really don’t think you can claim this back and forth is just an American thing.

    Besides, you may be surprised how other countries would generally come down on this. I keep hearing about how well Dan Wells, James A Owen, and Larry do in countries like France, Germany, and the Czech Republic (If I’m thinking of the wrong European country for that last one my apologies in advance. Can’t double check right now.) Seems to me they mostly just want good stories too. Heck, it’s bad enough being beat over the head with politics, how much worse is it when the politics aren’t even relevant to your country?

    Now, I don’t know what JAO thinks about SP one way or the other, but I do know he’s all about the story and being nice to everyone, regardless of their beliefs. Classy guy, James.

  58. I can understand the frustration with American full-contact politics, especially when American authors led the twitter mob that removed Englishman Jonathan Ross as host from the London hosted Hugo Awards last year, only to be replaced by, well, American authors. However, Sad Puppies 2 was not a party to that harassment.

  59. “Damien Walter
    ‏@damiengwalter Honestly I have no idea what Torgersen is talking about. What is a CHORF? What is a TruFen? What is his point?”

    I sense a Guardian column coming . . .

  60. And isn’t some of Larry’s stuff coming out in Chinese before too long?

  61. Lol. Chorf I can see (Only if you’re unwilling to do research, even cursory. Oh wait. He’s a journalist. Oops.) It seems interesting that he paints himself as this major insider but says he doesn’t know what TruFen is.

    Granted, knowing that word is in no way a requirement to be a fan, but he claims to be an insider.

  62. Mr. Weimer, the reason I find you so funny is you carry water for an ideology you in fact know nothing about. Of course intersectionalism stipulates men, whites and heterosexuality in and of themselves constitute an ideology and therefore politics and therefore can be critiqued. That’s the classic ploy of bigots to hide their biological hatreds.

    “Research shows white privilege is real” – Sunil Patel

    “A Much-Needed Primer on Cultural Appropriation” – Feminist website Jezebel; includes the “…’ongoing dehumanization of Indigenous peoples.'”

    “Race, class and national oppressions come from men, serve ruling class white men’s interests.” “We are committed to ending all oppressions by attacking their roots – male supremacy.” – gay feminist Charlotte Bunch

    “I had never questioned or thought of heterosexuality as an institution. Now, I began to understand that everything I had thought was ‘natural’ was a vicious lie maintained to keep women down…” – Bunch’s colleague Sharon Deevey

    “All historical civilizations are patriarchies: their ideology is male supremacy.” – gay feminist Kate Millet

    “Far from being ‘natural,’ phallic sexuality is a moral and political activity. Men’s sexual behaviour is not caused by hormonal dictates.” “Pornography is the ideology of male supremacist masculine desire writ large and shameless. It is the clearest, most unequivocal expression of male supremacist ideology in existence.” – Denise Thompson, Radical Feminism Today (2001)

    I could list a lot more. It’s a con game. It’s not the personal is political, it’s what’s natural which is political. Jews with neo-Nazis for example. Same thing, same biological hatred promoted as “politics.”

    Still want to “the Patriarchy to burn,” Mr. Weimer? The Patriarchy which by an amazing “political” coincidence includes every last man on Earth?

    Please tell me what is political about the white men Sunil Patel will not review, since that would include men of every political stripe. And you know as well as I do that Patel’s views are orthodoxy and widely supported in the SJW SFF community. Patel is an intersectionalist down to his bones. I’ll ask you this again: in what amazing defiance of Las Vegas odds has any “political” movement ever included dogging every last man, white and heterosexual on Earth?

    You’re a rube, Mr. Weimer. We are not.

  63. But I’m just a deluded Social Justice Warrior. What do I know anyway, right?

    It’s not about what you know or don’t know, it’s about the fact that you are a shameless liar. All SJWs are.

    And remember this?

    Cora Buhlert ?@CoraBuhlert 3h3 hours ago @PrinceJvstin @shaunduke @SFReviewsnet Are we talking about VD vomitting all over File770?

    Paul Weimer ?@PrinceJvstin 3h3 hours ago @CoraBuhlert @shaunduke @SFReviewsnet yes, and how I’m crazy for trying to engage with him.

    Cora Buhlert ?@CoraBuhlert 3h3 hours ago @PrinceJvstin @shaunduke @SFReviewsnet I tried to engage with these people, too, at first, but I really think they’re beyond engaging.

    shaunduke ?@shaunduke 2h2 hours ago @CoraBuhlert @PrinceJvstin @SFReviewsnet It would be nice if one could reasonably expect an actual engagement, but you can’t, really.

    Paul Weimer ?@PrinceJvstin 2h2 hours ago @shaunduke @CoraBuhlert @SFReviewsnet I’ve tried. Lord knows I have tried

    Why are you here when you agree that honest discourse is “vomitting” and that we’re “beyond engaging”?

  64. Brad, Dr. Dickwads is Clamps. Just so you know.

    Clamps,

    You’re not welcome here. If that’s not obvious to you now, you really are beyond clueless.

  65. Heck, if he wants to go after Michael Z Williamson, I say let him. 🙂

  66. Mr. Weimer, I have a 2 simple tasks for you:

    First, list all the major dust ups in the SFF community in the last 5 years where it was NOT stipulated men, whites and heterosexuals were the fundamental problem.

    Secondly, list all those dust ups which were NOT based on intersectional dogma.

    Simple. Prove me wrong.

  67. @VD

    I am not a shameless liar. I resent being called as such.

    In your quote, I say exactly two things.

    I confirm for Cora that we’re talking about you and how Shaun thinks I was crazy to engage with you.
    I then say I’ve tried to engage with you.

    Both these statements are exactly true.

  68. The key is that Heinlein and Williamson wrap their “messages” (whether we agree with the particular message or not) in rousing stories. Heinlein, on his worst day, was better than the vast majority of these SJW whiners on their best.

  69. A friend pointed me to this thread, so I dropped in to have a look. Thank you for the kind words, Jared! I try really hard.

    As to my take on the SP thing… I don’t necessarily have one at the moment, because honestly, I’ve been working enough on other things (like actually writing SF/F books, you know, that thing we’re all supposed to love) and so not had the time to really become fully educated as to what it’s all about. I will say these two things (which may or may not even apply, depending): first, I think the general assessments about a recently-released Tor editor are pretty correct. She tended to be a bully, even in situations where there wasn’t much to engage over. I don’t have lots of patience for someone who belittles others simply because they can, and that was my (very limited) exposure to and interactions with her. And that sort of behavior tends to make me skeptical of any other choices and opinions they espouse.

    And second (again, voicing this from an acknowledged limited understanding of the SP issue) I’m on the young end of the old-school fandom category. I cut my pro teeth going to Worldcons and Coppercons And San Diego Cons before I could drive. Some of my early friendships were with people like Kelly Freas and Hal Clement and Harry Turtledove, because I was well-read, ambitious, and a nervy kid. I read Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead when they won back to back Hugos and Nebulas, and to me, those awards stood for quality. The best in the field. But…for those awards to represent the best in the field, the field needs to be represented.And as far as I can tell, that’s not really been the case for a while. Lots of great work IS represented, but it’s also felt a bit like some things have deliberately been kept out.

    Some years ago, A fan/conrunner suggested that one of my books – which presents as fantasy, but is really more SF, when you think about it – should be considered for a Best Professional Artist Hugo (in part because the books I do are fully illustrated, and I do the covers as well.) The idea was dismissed in part because, he was told, the books I do are “Children’s Books”. (You know, the same books being repackaged to sell to adult readers in big omnibus editions starting this year, but I digress.) The same issue was pressed the next year, with a similar result – but this time, he was also told that there had been some bad blood between myself and a couple of the other potential nominees, and so it wasn’t likely I would be considered – because apparently, we can’t agree to disagree and still have our creative work recognized – then the children’s book thing was trotted out again.

    Then I was told that it took as few as three dozen votes to get on one of the Hugo ballots – but all those votes had to be from people attending and/or supporting a Worldcon, which made it harder to even suggest to readers who would otherwise have been more than happy to nominate me and/or my books for something. But still…thirty votes? To get on a ballot for awards that are supposed you represent the best in the field?

    Jared up there mentioned the sales success that guys like me and Dan and Larry have had in other countries, and it’s true: we do okay. Poland is really big for me, and right now, Japan is exploding. My first book in that series of mine from Simon & Schuster is published in twenty countries. The second, close behind. The first is STILL in print in hardcover after nine years. And at the point where my friend was told I was unlikely to even be considered for a spot on a ballot for an Artist Hugo, it had sold 30,000+ hardcovers. So, it’s not necessarily the number of nominations or votes that get you recognized for some of those awards – but they have to be from the right people. And I wasn’t having drinks with the right people anymore. But truth be told, I’d rather have the royalties. 🙂

    – James A. Owen

  70. Paul Weiner – “Neither, actually. What I am saying is that many in your part of the Venn diagram of Sf Fandom tolerate Heinlein saying things that would get other people lambasted for. In other words, messenger is most definitely part of the equation and can overmask objections to the message.”

    Because, as stated, what SP cares about is the quality of the works, and Heinlein provided that in spades? Huh. It’s almost like we really mean those things we say.

    James May – Don’t have a conniption. You have over 10% of the comments in this thread, Correia’s latest thread, etc. Just you. What I’m saying is that the sheer volume of your monomania has become a bit tedious.

    If that bothers you, meh. I’m not the only one noticing it.

  71. Oh holy crap is that series fun!

    I liked it so much I backed his Star Child kickstarter (hc of his older Star Child comic) sight unseen. I was not disapointed in the slightest.

  72. Imaginarium Geographica does look interesting. I’ll add it to the list. Thanks for the recommendation.

  73. The best way I can describe it is Fantasy fandom’s Narnia.

    Yeah. That isn’t an idle comparison.

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  75. @ James May, @s1al – total thread up to this post, counting date time stamps is 11,600 words, of which James’ are 1865.

    This is not a criticism – rather I like to imagine that the (needed and appreciated) collection of so much crap spewed by the racist / sexist crowd, often found congregating at Making Light) fills up James’ HDD to the point where it is pressurized to about 50psi over ambient. This creates a positive word pressure on his keyboard, so we see a lot of text.

    Keeping track of the really nasty stuff that they say/post/tweet is important – otherwise we have ceded the information war – and they are winning it to date. Mind you, the SJW contingent is not a monolithic block, but the vilest on one end are pretty darn bad and the apologists on the other are willfully blind.

    My only gentle suggestion is that we are gifted a sample of twitter quotes from our favorite SJWs once per OP thread. However, it is the internet – of which I own exactly zero shares of founders’ equity!

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  77. @paul

    Well. I Think Mr. Davidson over at ‘Amazing’ did an excellent job of proving our point about which side is all about the politics.

    Deny hour fans or you will be punished for having the wrong fans.

  78. “You’re not getting published because of an SJW blacklist or because you’re a mediocre writer & an asshole?”

    That’s funny. From what I’ve seen, the SP slate has been published, by real publishers, and is available to real paying customers in real bookstores.

    Granted, it’s not uber-pretentious MFA seminar material “published” in an amateur webzine running off a Kickstarter, but….

    I guess you guys will just have to defer to Mr. Thomas and his magazine’s lordly #161,000 Amazon sales rank.

  79. Good article. One’s actions, politics, demeanor etc can turn on fans and bring new fans. Other times it will cost you fans. There are authors who express ideas and opinions I do not agree with but they are respectful of differing opinions and so it does not have any impact. But there are a couple of others that have ideas and opinions that differ from my own but they express them in such a way as to demean or disrespect any and all other thoughts. They I have effectively told to F’Off and they get no more money from me.

  80. And I see on Twitter that Weimer has done his usual flounce, declaring us unreasonable and running away. Oh well.

    (Relax dude, I’m not stalking you: I Twitter-googled sad puppies related stuff and your name popped up)

  81. With the apt comparison to the Chinese Cultural Revolution, I feel somewhat disappointed that the SP3 slate didn’t include the “Three Body Problem” and, given what books the ‘elites’ are putting their weight behind, it probably won’t be included on the ballot. The first section led me to hunt down books and documentaries on the cultural revolution. I also thought the underlying anti-ideology (any ideology) theme of the author’s would be something that could resonate with this audience

  82. And the thing about this is that the Non Americans are just shaking their head at us. I’ve plenty of British, Australian and worldwide SF fans who are disgusted with this entire conflict. It makes the Hugos seem parochial, US-focused and not for Brits, Germans, Australians, Chinese or Pakistanis.

    Ooh, we’ve got “concern trolling.” One more from the Correia spotter and we get a bingo, right?

  83. “D Franklin @D_Libris
    · Apr 1
    Just realised what Brad Torgersen has in common with Scandinavian church-burning racists: an obsession with authenticity & hewing to a form”

    I predicted Hitler comparisons. This is the closest . . . so far.

  84. “Scandinavian church burning racists” Hmm… Why don’t racists like Scandinavian churches? Are they SJWs?

  85. Quote: ” Aren’t we the dangerous genre?”

    Hmm. How did people react to Ellison’s “Dangerous Visions” then compared to Gaiman’s “Trigger Warning” now? I really need to read the latter. The former was rather tame and mostly slightly boring when read 40+ years later (except for my favourite story “If All Men Were Brothers, Would You Let One Marry Your Sister?”, which still tends to piss off people)

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