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.