The full moon rose and the craziness came out

I swear this past week was straight out of The Twilight Zone. Or maybe we fell down the rabbit hole and took a sharp left into Bizarro Land. Whatever the case, not only have we seen a return to social media by members of the SJW clique and the GHHers but also another attack (at least a perceived one) on indie authors by the establishment. If it was a remnant of the full moon, it can go away now. I’m ready for sanity to finally find its way into the publishing world. Not that I’m holding my breath.

EDITED TO ADD: The craziness has just been compounded. It seems if you yell loud enough, concoms will cave, whether you have a valid point or not. The concom at Archon has announced it is withdrawing its invitation to Uncle Timmy to be Fan GoH because people had to go out and find a reason to object to him. Go, Crazies! In fact, go away. Far, far away.

Edited To ADD 2: Welcome to everyone coming over from Instapundit! Thanks for the link, Glenn.

Let’s start with the Nebulas. The winners were announced this past weekend. There had been some controversy going into the awards but it was nothing compared to the vitriol that has been present since the Hugo finalists were announced. Not that it stopped the SJWs and GHHers when it turned out that every winner was female. Oh the crowing and self-congratulatory tweets that hit the twitterverse. How happy they were that they managed to stuff the ballots so that no icky man won. Nothing I’ve seen showed anything about how the voters thought they’d voted for the best works nominated. Oh no, the agenda of making sure no icky, evil, smelly man won. Agenda over quality. Agenda over ability. Agenda rules all.

All hail the glitter!

Next up comes the current movement — which is really just a ripple in the ocean and hopefully will stay that way — to keep Uncle Timmy from honored as Fan Guest of Honor at Archon. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Uncle Timmy, he is the heart and soul of LibertyCon. But he is, gasp, male and is now being accused by some folks who are such precious little flowers that they can’t tell the difference between jokes sent in by other people and what Uncle Timmy actually believes. These folks fall into the class of people who want thought police. The ones who want to tell us what we can and can’t think and say, who we can and can’t insult. Of course, they can insult anyone and everyone they want but heaven forfend that they, themselves, should ever feel insulted, rightly or wrongly.

These folks have taken to Facebook to attempt to convince the Archon concom to remove Uncle Timmy from the proceedings. There is even a comment in the thread from someone who wants to put together posters to take to other cons with the offending quotes on it and recommending people avoid going to Archon as long as Uncle Timmy is being honored. If anyone dares try to point out the difference between Uncle Timmy the fan and Uncle Timmy the publisher, they are attacked for not toeing the line of right think. My suggestion? Go to this page and show your support for Uncle Timmy and all he has done, overall, for fandom.

Then there was the controversy coming out of the RT Booklover’s Convention this weekend. The first I saw of it was when I read Hugh Howey’s post about the mass signing at the end of the convention. The post was soon picked up and being echoed across the internet, especially the part about indie authors being referred to as “aspiring authors”. Since then, there have been more posts about the separation of the authors into two different rooms as well as the “aspiring author” comment. Let’s look at both because they are both issues.

First is separating traditionally published authors from indie authors. One of the best explanations — not that I agree with the thought process behind it — for what happened comes from Courtney Milan. She notes that the traditionally published authors had their books provided by a bookstore and that these books were returnable. The difference being that the indie authors had to provide their own books and they were, therefore, not returnable. So far, so good.

However, if I correctly remember what Ms. Milan said – and assuming her understanding of the process is correct — the bookstore providing the books demanded the separation of traditionally published authors from the indies. I have an issue with that sort of thing because many of those indies have books out that the bookstore could have ordered and stocked. So the “returnable” argument begins to fall flat. No, what I have a feeling happened is the bookstore, knowing that publishers are their key supplier, didn’t want to upset anyone on the traditional end of the business. So the decision was made to only stock books supplied by the “real” side of publishing.

Another issue I have with separating the authors this way is that the indies were not apparently told this was going to happen. Surely the bookstore — or whoever made the decision — told the concom early enough that they could have sent emails to the authors who had said they wanted to take part. One comment I’ve seen speculated that the indies weren’t told about the separation because the con didn’t want to risk the indies pulling out. If that’s the case, doesn’t that point to the power and growing popularity of indie titles? So why alienate them by separating them from the traditionally published authors? More importantly, why make it even more difficult for the con goers, many of whom wouldn’t know if an author is traditionally published or not, by splitting them into two rooms in a way that would make little sense to the average reader?

Let’s face it, folks. Most readers don’t have a clue about who publishes their favorite authors.

But of more concern is the contention that the authors were split between the traditionally published authors and “aspiring” authors. The con claims that the use of the term “aspiring authors” to describe the indies was a mistake made by one of their volunteers. That very well may be. But it still shows an problem, not only with the con and how its volunteers were trained but with the general perception many people still have of indies. The volunteers should have been instructed, and more than once, on what authors were in which room and why. They should have been given the definition of what and indie author is and that definition should have included examples showing how some of the best selling authors around right now either started out as indies or are hybrid authors who do both traditional and indie publishing.

Honest mistake or not, bookstore demand or not, RT Booklovers’ Convention has been damaged by what happened this year.

Frankly, it’s time for those running cons to understand that indie publishing isn’t the vanity press of years gone by. More importantly, the SJWs and GHHers need to get over themselves and start worrying about writing good books, books that people want to read, instead of enforcing their own political and social agendas. And now I’m going to get back to writing books where all I care about is writing a story readers want to read.

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97 Comments

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97 responses to “The full moon rose and the craziness came out

  1. Christopher M. Chupik

    What’s striking about the Nebula triumphalism this year is how they aren’t even hiding their motives anymore. The GHH are congratulating themselves for chosing only women. The quality of the fiction nominees and their works? Not even secondary. Only their gender matters. Depressing.

    • Agreed. Add in the belief that the world would be so much better with a major percentage of men being removed from existence and I wonder if there are enough of the special white coats in existence to fit them all. It is obvious to me that these same women have forgotten the girls in middle school and how mean they could be. Of course, for all I know, they were the mean girls. They certainly are channeling them right now.

  2. Ben Hartley

    Hmmm… If the only reason to pick up that story is because it was written by a putative woman is, for me, a very good reason to leave it strictly alone.

    Please refresh my memory: SJW =?

    Ben Hartley

    • Splodge

      SJW = Social Justice Warrior

      Paragons all, in the fight against misogyny, racism, and white males…

    • Social Justice Warriors.
      Personally, I define “warriors” as something different than screeching idiots who’d faint at the thought of getting to a real fight. And “justice?” Don’t make me laugh. And they need to add the “ist” to their “social.”

    • Ben, I have that reaction for any story if it is recommended because it is written by a XXXX. Fill in the blank. The only, and I repeat ONLY, reason to buy a story is because it is a good story. Not because it makes a political point or because it was written by a certain type of author.

      • sanfordbegley

        I don’t know, if someone recommended me a book becauswe it was a true Baen book I might just go for it. Of course Baen primarily selects for story. They miss sometimes but they do try

        • True. What I was getting as is I won’t buy a book simply because it is written by a woman or a man and that was the only reason it was being recommended.

      • Holly

        I don’t know, something like “Read this book about XYZ tribe: the guy who wrote it is a member of the tribe who immigrated to the USA as an adult” would be a case where I might very well read it based on the fact that the author is, after all, an expert on the subject. But I wouldn’t expect it to necessarily be entertaining fiction, just to have the facts straight. (Particularly if the XYZ happened to be one of my in-laws’ tribes.)

        • Agreed, but then the work is being recommended not just because the person is male or female, white or black, gay or straight, etc. It is being recommended because the author has some verifiable knowledge of the subject. Doesn’t mean they can write, but the knowledge could be useful if not necessarily interesting.

      • Alpheus

        I personally think there’s room for preachy fiction, but it has to be a message that needs to be told. For example, I hope someday to read Atlas Shrugged, and if I don’t get around to doing it, it will be because I have difficulty getting through thick tomes.

        Besides the problem of making every work a message-first work (which even Ayn Rand didn’t do), the messages that the GHHers and SJWs want, aren’t exactly ones that need to be constantly told (if only because we’re constantly bombarded with these messages from all directions).

  3. Jordan S. Bassior

    Not that it stopped the SJWs and GHHers when it turned out that every winner was female. Oh the crowing and self-congratulatory tweets that hit the twitterverse. How happy they were that they managed to stuff the ballots so that no icky man won. Nothing I’ve seen showed anything about how the voters thought they’d voted for the best works nominated. Oh no, the agenda of making sure no icky, evil, smelly man won. Agenda over quality. Agenda over ability. Agenda rules all.

    All hail the glitter!

    My reaction to this is that they have just made the Nebulas about as meaningful as Nobel Peace Prizes, but without the cash awards.

    • So true. Of course, my thought was let them have the Nebs. Let them have the Hugos. We can start our own award where we actually read the in question and decide if we like it or not. Majority vote of confirmed readers wins.

    • kb

      If you want to understand what’s happened to the Nebulas (and the Nobel Peace Prize) I suggest you acquaint yourselves with Robert Conquest’s Three Laws of Politics, in particular the second. I also suggest you start organising your own concoms (whatever they are).

      Maybe you’ve heard of the fuss in the academic world about how the publisher Elsevier (among others) is gouging everybody, but everybody just carries on working on the editorial panels, reviewing submissions and submitting papers – purely because of the status it confers and is the path of least resistance. One day the dam will break and everybody will wonder how on earth things got so bad. Who will lay the first mine, though?

  4. Synova

    I want to rage against the stupid, but I’m feeling the pointlessness of it today. Probably a lack of sleep or something. I really think it’s all about power, you know? It’s about having the power to force others to bend to your will. Someone decided that it’s necessary to not have any conversations that make some of the people uncomfortable… that making someone uncomfortable is “hate”. But when we’ve a list of things that-must-not-be-discussed nothing can be solved either. “PC” was never about civility or polite behavior. People who objected to it called it “PC” because it was lies… untruths that were only “politically” correct. There is, actually, a certain ability to change reality by pretending it’s changed… but it’s limited… fake it til you make it… tell your kids that they are winners…

    But reality denying language, and the “warriors” who enforce the most prudish standards possible on what can be expressed in public or thought funny… maybe instead of SJW we ought to start calling them Victorians.

    • “Neo-Victorians”. Unless someone else has already taken that name. ;-)

      On Tue, May 20, 2014 at 1:18 PM, madgeniusclub wrote:

      > Synova commented: “I want to rage against the stupid, but I’m feeling > the pointlessness of it today. Probably a lack of sleep or something. I > really think it’s all about power, you know? It’s about having the power to > force others to bend to your will. Someone decided ” >

      • Tully

        The virtual-world steampunkers of the Neo-Victoria space on Second Life have indeed taken the name, and would probably object to the usage in the context proposed..

        Come to think of it, the real Victorians would likely object as well. Their public society was insanely constrained, but in private, well, they made up for it.

        • Micha Elyi

          Feminists have been mocked as neo-Victorians for at least 20 years. Talk up the tag neo-Puritans and the steampunkers might be able to claim the name neo-Victorian for their own in, oh, 20 more years.

          Because the feminist movement in America began with the Unitarian and Congregationalist offspring of New England Puritanism, the name fits PC-nirvana seeking feminists on multiple levels.

          • Tully

            Neo-Puritans would fit better. One is reminded of the early American Puritan colonies and their complete opposition to almost everything.

            • Alan

              Closer. But I’m not sure the Puritans were anywhere near as aggressively belligerent about trying to make everyone ELSE abide by their own standards. I.e., not so much about projecting power.

  5. “And now I’m going to get back to writing books where all I care about is writing a story readers want to read.”

    Yeah. I’m having enough trouble making myself not retreat from all politics. The Con scene and GHHs? I just can’t make myself keep caring. I’m going to go write.

  6. I don’t choose my entertainment based on the political views of the creator, if I did I’d never be able to watch a movie. But those smug self-righteous comments on Twitter make me want to avoid these authors. My “to-read” list is always growing and there are plenty of writers whose work I would enjoy who aren’t actively insulting me and people like me.

    • Yep. My not to be read list grows as more of them take to social media to “educate” and “enlighten” me. I don’t go to movies to be preached at and I don’t read authors who do the same.

  7. Tully

    What really has me shaking my head are those who have proclaimed they will spend Archon actively harassing Mr. Bolgeo. And they say it right after they finish complaining about how long it took Archon to institute an anti-harassment policy. Which policy would of course result in them being promptly kicked out of the con if they followed through …

    Irony.

    • Oh, they they don’t see it as harassment. Just like they don’t see how anyone but white males — and the occasional white female — can be prejudice. After all, they have all the years of whatever form of hurt — in their mind.

    • You think they would follow through? Of course not. Instead, they themselves harass based on lies and insinuations.

    • pst314

      Archon has a harassment policy posted on their website. I suggest having videoing any obnoxious thought police and then asking the con to expel them–or, if it severe enough, to call the police.

    • Oh, they won’t need to. The Archon concom revoked Uncle Timmy’s invitation and erased him from their website.

  8. Gender may not be a construct in real life, but it sure is on the internet. Are these people completely sure they’re cheering on women?

    I mean, if I were a man, I’d hire some photogenic woman to turn up as me at cons and signings.

    Actually, I think that’s a good thing for me too …

  9. CF

    Isn’t a Nebula just a galaxy-sized Glittery Hoo-Ha?

    • You just ruined astronomy night this week, I hope you realize. *SIGH*

      • So you are the peeping Tom that is out there looking at the naked stars with a telescope! Actually, that might be a good title — The Naked Stars. Go ahead, write that story.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      Well, “galaxy” is derived from the Greek “galaxias”, meaning milky, so if anything, if we were going to compare it to a female body part it would make more sense that it was a mammary. ;-)

  10. CiceroTheLatest

    Oh, let the little snowflakes have the awards.

    Think of it as compensation for the royalties they aren’t getting since no one buys their craptastic screeds.

  11. cirby

    The problem is for the Nebula winners this year.

    “I won a Nebula Award in 2014!”

    “Oh. That was the year they gave it out based on gender, right?”

    “Um.”

    • THAT is perfect.

      Exactly. And we should make sure that is pointed out every time.

    • Perfect response! There are times I have considered concealing my gender, I don’t want people to think my books must be read based on what I am. I want them to be read because they are good.

    • John C. Randolph

      “Oh, that’s like Obama’s Nobel prize, isn’t it?”

      Sadly, no SJW will recognize the irony.

      -jcr

      • Another problem is that good writers who aren’t even part of this crap (like Bujold) get asterisked in people’s minds. I remember having to try hard to convince somebody that she was a good writer, because she was on some PC list of correct women writers. Apparently some of the Usual Suspects are starting to decide that Bujold is insufficiently enthusiastic about the program despite living in MN, and so no doubt she’ll soon be disinvited (and de-asterisked) like Evil Elizabeth Moon. Sigh. These people. They turn everything they touch into gray goo.

        • Alan

          No, no … the sorting is useful. If you didn’t know anything about Bujold or Moon, NOT being on the GHH approved list would be cause to investigate their work! ;-)

  12. I’m shaking with anger over this. I’m a tiny female who got up the guts to actually talk to Uncle Timmy at a con last year, despite my agoraphobia. The idea of being afraid to be at a con with him is ludicrous. He was a lovely gentleman, and for him to fall under attack like this, to an anonymous internet troll, is beyond shameful. We must let it be known this is not acceptable behaviour, or it will become commonplace to not only be attacked but for the trolls to win with lies and gossip.

  13. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    I just heard what Archon did. The concom are idiots and I hope only the trolls attend future Archons. [Frown]

  14. The Gramscian march through the institutions continues unabated.

  15. Regarding what the concom — or its board of directors — has done concerning Uncle Timmy, it’s ludicrous, stupid and stinks. Yes, there are stronger words for it but if I start letting them out, my fellow MGCers would blush. I am that angry right now. I am so frigging tired of the delicate little flowers crying because someone has said or done something they don’t like. It hurt their feelings. Evilness occurred. They won’t feel comfortable being in the same building as the evilness. Wahwahwah.

    I urge everyone who values freedom of speech and common sense, not to mention sending the misbehaving brats to their rooms until they grow up, to think twice before supporting a con or organization that so easily caves into the demands of a few trolls. From what I can tell, this started Sunday. SUNDAY! In two days the concom decides that they have to uninvite Uncle Timmy. What sort of due diligence could they have done?

    Authors, consider this. If they cave on having a Fan GoH who publishes jokes in a limited circulation newsletter, what are they going to do concerning your books? If someone claims you don’t have enough people of color or non-binary gender characters — or, hell, pink purple polka-dotted camels — are they going to ask you not to attend?

    It is time for fandom to grow up and realize that not everyone is alike. We don’t all believe in the same things and we don’t all like the same things. There is no way possible to make everyone happy. No matter what you do, someone is going to be insulted. The solution is to quit trying to form some sort of artificial utopia where everything is love and goodness but to just use common sense. Archon’s concom ought to be looking at the vitriol and double standard coming out of the mouths of those who condemn Uncle Timmy and attack any who come to his defense. How is that activity not bullying? How does that help the reputation of the con — assuming it has a reputation to be worried about after this fiasco.

    • Alan

      With respect to “makes me uncomfortable” as an objection to someone. It wasn’t very long ago that we were saying the job of a [preacher, philosopher, etc.] is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Guess these special snowflakes have decided they’re to be of the perpetually afflicted – but the rest of us, when we get to comfortable with what we’ve been doing, NEED a little “makes me uncomfortable” to grow.
      A point to be made to concoms and others in management positions, who perhaps do not consider themselves and their usual attendees to be among the perpetually afflicted, eh?

    • I called it what it was in my blog article on same — hate speech.

      Hey, they defined it. I can use it.

  16. snelson134

    OT – Maybe: Amanda, this site has started showing up in McAfee as a reported “Malware Distribution Site”.

    Wonder where that came from???

  17. snelson134

    Ultimately, making these clowns live up to their own rules is the only answer short of starting our own cons.

    • But they’re special. They don’t have to live with the consequences of their actions. Didn’t you know that the affluenze defense was made just for folks like them?

      Seriously, hold them to their own standards and they’ll start screaming — hell, they already do — that those standards shouldn’t apply because of the generations of misogyny and oppression their kind has lived under. Forget about historical fact. Forget that this is a different day and age. It’s what they want to believe so, by gum, they’re going to make it so.

  18. Micha Elyi

    “It is time for fandom to grow up…”–Amanda

    Fandom started out grown up and has progressively grown infantile.

  19. Pubes McGraw

    Can somebody PLEASE tell me what GHH stands for? I’ve been Googling for twenty minutes and it’s driving me crazy

  20. This isn’t the first time in the last few months I’ve read of this sort of behavior by science fiction writers and their fans. This is why I’m not a “joiner”. Every group has their purity police (usually a very distinct and tiny minority and sometimes only one person) who create and enforce an ever growing list of acceptable behaviors, thoughts, beliefs, and now sex, that have nothing at all to do with what the club is about. And others actually kowtow to them.

    • Unfortunately, you’re right. And it isn’t anything new. This has been going on in sf/f for some time. I think the difference now is the clique has taken to the internet and doesn’t hesitate to slander/libel anyone who doesn’t fall into lockstep with their current agenda. Worse, now they are actively trying to impact our livelihoods. It is time to fight back and send the children to their rooms until they grow up.

  21. toadold

    Book stores killing the goose. Male science fiction nerds will have even more incentive to buy Ebooks and avoid the bookstore. Their are bogus reviews on Amazon but as the number of reviewers of a particular book post on it increase it gets harder to troll it or hype it. Sooner rather than later there will be a rating service that will replace what comes out of the cons. I expect you will be reading about lesbian rape at a con any day now.

  22. Ya know, this may be the time to start pushing the idea of the Human Wave book award a littler harder. Is it a great story that leaves you wanting more, and that makes you feel good about what people can do when the have to/need to/ want to? Add it to the list, spread the word, and see what happens.

  23. I stopped attending cons back in the paleolithic when the con suites stopped offering free booze. I see I was wise.

    • You’re going to the wrong conventions. The Dorsai still have free booze, IIRC.

      • Tully

        Echo “going to the wrong conventions.” If they don’t have booze, or lat least good parties with booze, they fall off of my list. There are a few not on my list simply because they take themselves far too seriously (and no booz is a symptom of that).

        • To be fair, it’s also a function of not being able to trust attendees to hold their booze, or know their limits. The US has been invaded by the UK’s recent culture of yucky drunks, and that makes it less fun.

          You don’t get to go to the Dorsai convention if they don’t know you, and the number of under-drinking-age attendees is low (and the kids aren’t idiots). Most places where they have con parties with drinking either keep a little bit of an eye on proceedings, or feel like they can trust people not to kill themselves or pull fire alarms; or they go invitation-only.

          Of course, the art of the SMOF is to have a convention running like a top and totally channeled toward fun, without actually doing any visible treading on people’s freedom. Today, a lot of people who’ve invaded fandom want to be seen doing the Correct Thing, and actively prefer to take away the fun and freedom part. (And preferably do absolutely no work; just complain on the Internet.)

          You used to get just one Iago per convention (someone in it for the power, and happy to destroy things); but now we have these Iago-net swarms, and fewer of the old SMOFs are around to oppose them.

          • Tully

            Fair enough about con booze. The cons I go to do keep a sharp and dedicated eye open for drunken stupidity (and destructive asininity in general) and ALL of them are extremely careful about preventing underage drinking. First rule: Always have a bartender do the dispensing. Especially if you have experienced volunteers available who know all the tricks, such as short-pouring for power drinkers. ;). .

  24. Christopher M. Chupik

    BTW, this tweet: “Archon 38 Cancels Bolgeo As Fan GoH” has been retweeted approvingly by . . . Ann Leckie.

  25. So the obvious answer is to retreat from these conventions, create new organizations (if they are even warranted), create new conventions that you have your own oversight over, and then simply bar admission and participation by known offenders. In the end you will be doing literature itself a great service.

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  27. The Dorsei, eh? Any fans taking their name from Gordon Dickson’s writings would be worth knowing. I’d say “Sign me up,” except I have no idea what I’d be getting myself into.

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  29. I live in St. Louis. My roommate is a former member of the Archon con committee–she ran the art show for nearly a decade. When this crises broke on Facebook she read and commented on the thread with great enjoyment, and I told her that Archon was going to cave,

    She didn’t believe me, but less than a day later they did.

    • Query: Some years ago, a St. Louis convention invited Larry Niven to be GOH. Larry scheduled it, and when no travel arrangement appeared he made his own. He isn’t entirely connected to reality and he has always been enthusiastic about fandom.
      He got to St. Louis to discover there was no one to meet him, and he telephoned the only contact he had only to discover that for sine reason they had lost their hotel, cancelled the convention — and forgot to tell Niven they had done that.

      Larry invited the con committee to dinner and they had a party, and he went back home, and told almost no one that this had happened because that’s how Larry Niven is.

      Was this Archcon? He never told me what convention it was that did this.

      Jerry Pournelle

      • To the best of my knowledge Archon has never actually cancelled a con, but there have been a number of smaller ones that failed to thrive. If I had to guess, I’d suggest NameThatCon.

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