SFWA Can Haz Glittery Hoo Haa

Yes, it’s that time again. As I write this with Snowmageddon Episode I forget which because there’s still a bloody foot or so of cold white global warming on the lawn and nowhere to shovel the next round (which is forecast to be about another bloody foot), there is yet another SFWA shitstorm grumbling around the horizons.

To be fair, this is to some extent a continuation of one of their previous shitstorms. In that episode of Glittery Hoo Haa-induced madness, two stalwarts of the field and one editor got shitcanned for the terrible sins of describing a female colleague as a beautiful lady who got a whole lot of attention from the males of the field at the time (which frankly was 100% true – and they admired the lady in question for her ability to handle the drooling fanboi lust as well as for being an awesome editor – but that is apparently not good enough for the GHH crowd. Their supplies of glitter must have been interruped by the damn weather) and using a golden age style scantily-clad babe with weapons image on the cover of the Bulletin respectively.

Long story short, the Bulletin went into hiatus, the editor and the authors went bye-bye as far as the SFWA GHH club was concerned and the GHHs slipped back into their customary haze of cronyism and mutual mastubati… *ahem* admiration. Other scandals and shitstorms took over and the whole thing was showing signs of sliding down the blessed memory hole.

(Cue Jaws music)
Then the job guidelines for the next editor were posted… Now, I’d swear that what’s on the site right now is not what I read a couple of weeks ago before the latest shitstorm in a B-cup. Dave Truesdale writing for Tangent Online has a nice summary of the original storm and the current setup, complete with some truly fascinating emails from the current SFWA president (you know, the one whose first major action as SFWA president was to expel the losing candidate). This spawned a petition signed by a pretty damned impressive list of people (if you don’t recognize any of these names, shame on you) of all political leanings from so hard left they’re practically lying on the left sides on the ground to the same degree of lean to the right.

Naturally all who dared criticise the SFWA GHH club were castigated loudly by the usual suspects and a fair few others as well, and the president posted this wonderfully illuminating non-answer which translates to “We’re totally not going to put a leash on the Bulletin editor except when we are. Just trust us. Promise.” Oh, and of course “there will be regular oversight of the Bulletin to ensure that it is inclusive of and reflects the diversity of all our members”. Little things like precisely who or what is going to provide that regular oversight – much less what form it will take or how intrusive it will be – are not mentioned (really, just trust us guys. We totally won’t do anything like kick out a life member for doing things a fraction as bad as… oh wait. We already did that. Well, we totally won’t do it again. Pinky swear.)

In the light of this, perhaps the successful applicant should consider stocking up on glitter for their hoo haa, since possession of a glittery hoo haa in SFWA demonstrably confers immunity for any and all sins – but you do have to get the glitter from the approved suppliers. It wouldn’t do to have insufficiently diverse glitter. Or default bi-gender glitter. Oh, no, that would be just tacky (actually, no, it would be bloody prickly and uncomfortable. And no I do NOT speak from experience. It’s just… small pieces of metallic stuff in an area of the anatomy that’s rather… sensitive. Ow). It must be properly multi-gendered glitter with diverse racial and sexual heritage (but heaven forbid your glitter leans conservative. What? Stranger things have happened).

There is of course the usual display of glittery hoo haa meltdown over the least bit of criticism, in the form of (among other things)

  • a sad attempt at fisking which refuses to acknowledge the actual petition and instead tries to savage the first draft, which has about the same impact as an elderly dog savagely gumming the the postman while said postman pets the dog.
  • an attempted satire by someone who has no idea what satire actually is.
  • an open letter that manages to make the writer of said open letter look a) like a whiny twat, and b) like he’s got no idea what he’s talking about. Admittedly this is probably not hard, to judge by the other posts on his blog, but still… It’s sad to see a grown man act like he’s got a hoo haa full of glitter and it hurts, mommy, it hurts.
  • a rather sad attempt to analyze the furor by someone who doesn’t appear to have read the original article by Maltzberg and Resnick that kicked off the whole rolling turd in a bucket.

I’m sure those of you who feel so inclined can go and find more. There’s plenty of it out there, along with the oh-so-edifying spectacle of the so-called young guns savaging the elders of the field for expressing disquiet about the job criteria – or even suggesting that people are getting too worked up about this and could we examine the facts, please (if you doubt, take a look at C J Cherryh’s page on Facebook. It’s ugly). Funnily enough the same folks who cheered along at the notion of kicking out a life member for doubleplusungood thoughtcrime are quite happy to turn on their fellows for the slightest disagreement.

It’s funny as hell, but it’s also sad to watch. The organization founded to help authors and act as their advocate has become a grotesque carnival freak show devouring its own newborn children, as often as not with the publishers who are busily devouring the slightly older authors watching on and approving. Not a word is said about the contracts that try to stop authors writing anything except what the publisher approves (even when it’s a totally different genre and a totally different name), or the contracts that claim the rights to your first born and your dog for all of eternity and beyond (yes, I’ve seen these. I didn’t sign).

Oh well. Time to break out the popcorn and enjoy the show. I just hope the glittery hoo haas don’t get glitter all over me. I hate that stuff.

174 Comments

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174 responses to “SFWA Can Haz Glittery Hoo Haa

  1. When you come across a web page that you want to quote but you suspect might get changed, look it up in the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine: ‹http://web.archive.org/web/*/complete-URL›. The page will most likely not yet be saved there, and you’ll be given the option to save it.

    As regards the SFWA editor’s position ad, it still includes the red-flag item that touched off the controversy:

    • Participate in proofing and review process with select volunteer and board members

    (And if they delete it, well, I’ve got it saved.)

    • Kate Paulk

      Ah – now that is a useful thing to know.

      And yes, there is still a total absence of data on precisely what this proofing and review process is, much less how the select volunteer and board members are going to be selected.

    • Bill

      You can also make a PDF of the page. Bullzip is a free PDF printer driver to print from the browser.

  2. All that glitters is not gold, eh?

  3. Pingback: What I’d like to see from a professional writer’s organization | Nocturnal Lives

  4. Scott

    Sigh, I’m glad I don’t have a Hoo Haa! All that glitter sounds painful.
    Maybe that’s why they are so angry?

    • lonejanitor

      Sounds more itchy than painful.

      • Kate Paulk

        This would be why they’re always so angry. Itches in unscratchable places are miserable.

        • masgramondou

          Possibly better than a Poison Oak/Ivyed Hoo Haa. Which happened to someone I know (and her boyfriend had the reciprocal problem)

          • Kate Paulk

            Oh! Owie. Remind me to tell you about the Gympie Stinging Tree some day. They tell horror stories about that to hikers in Australia.

          • bearcat

            From the stories I have heard of this problem, it usually originates with the male, who ‘shares’ before developing symptoms. And yes I have worked with a couple guys who had this problem. One who went to the doctor worried that his ex-wife had given him something.

  5. I would never accept the job of Bulletin editor under those terms not that I’m fielding any offers mind you, but still.

    The idea of science fiction and fantasy writers enforcing orthodoxy in thought and word evokes serious cognitive dissonance.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      I might, assuming it could be done in a way that wouldn’t impact my real world employment opportunities.

      I mean, if I have enough time that I’m not making better use of.

      Doing a digest of trade magazines on industrial technology can’t be too political can it? Unless I explain my skepticism towards many futurists, and that I’ll trust it when I see it come off the manufacturing floor and sell well.

      I can write diatribes against white supremacism and pro-rape attitudes. That said, the supplemental information could well be a sticking point.

      I could argue that, for example, one of the ‘leftists’ on the letter to SFWA is objectively pro white supremacist.

      Ah well, it is best to avoid professional relationships where one wonders if one’s personality is combative enough to do a proper job of burning.

      I don’t qualify as a member of the SFWA. I am also probably fairly ignorant of SF as far as MGC readers go.

    • Kate Paulk

      It does. Particularly since their idea of orthodoxy is so… banal. I mean, surely they could have found an INTERESTING orthodoxy to try to enforce

  6. Like – it just confirms my intentions to NOT join the SFWA if I ever hit it big.

  7. Sean

    I wonder what ol Larry has to say on this one.

  8. I don’t know if my response to Cj’s post made it, but here it is in brief. “When I was young, and _wanted_ to join SFWA, it was authors against publishers and bad agents. It stopped being that, and I stopped wanting to join. If/when it goes back to helping authors, I’ll see if I qualify.” It was much longer, and more detailed, but that’s it in brief. But, she was right about “_both_ sides need to act like grownups.” It no longer matters “who started it.” What matters is that it needs to STOP. If SFWA (or any other similar grroup) stops being about authors and artists in the field, and *how to protect them from abuse* it has no reason to exist.
    Along the way, I gave a (wait for it) “Boot to the head,” to a those who want _their_ versions of acceptable material.” I pointed out that a _paperback_ costs ~ 1 1/2 _hours_ at minimum wage. A Hardback is about _5_hours_ work_. Readers don’t care how much the author gets, they only care about. “Is this worth the work hours I spend on it?” I said (you will all like this). “If you want to write Zombie Dinosaur porn, go ahead. Just don’t expect to make many sales. The buyers have limited budgets. . . I’ve spent the last 40 years trying poverty, I want to try lower Middle Class.”
    That should sufficiently infuriate the idiots on both sides. 🙂

    • lonejanitor

      Which is why I have to limit my self to one or two new HC/TPB a year and as many used ones as I can find, and wait for MMPB for the rest. And it’s become difficult to even trade in the glittery sf anymore, so many people dump them in the used book stores and they don’t sell. Have to be careful what to buy or I end up wasting both money and reading time.

      • Kate Paulk

        This is why with hardcopy books I usually read the first chapter or so before deciding. Except that the glittery stuff it’s more like “read the blurb and try not to gag”

    • Kate Paulk

      Pretty much, yes. It is sad to see something that could have been a powerful organization to help writers become the farce it is today. I’m staying mostly out of it – but I reserve the right to poke fun at the most egregious examples of Teh Stoopid I find.

  9. Synova

    Ooohhhh… you are much more interesting than the English homework I have an hour to write.

    Grrr…

  10. Christopher M. Chupik

    Every time I read “glittery hoo-ha” I want to put it into a song based on “Zippity Doo-Da”. Or is that forbidden too?

    • Jim McCoy

      You evil, sexist man. You do not denigrate the glitter on the hoo-hah. Your proper place, as a perfect reasonable person who believes in gender equality, is to kneel before it in supplication.

    • Kate Paulk

      Glittery hoo-haa, glittery eh?
      My oh my what a glittery day
      Non-binary gender coming my way…

      Um.

      (Runs. Screaming)

    • Forbidden AND racist. Song of the South was horribly evil and racisty racist and stereotypy. Which is just what ALL those Hatey McHaterson conservatives do. The racisty sexists.

      • Kate Paulk

        The first commandment of the glittery hoo haa: “thou shalt not let the facts interfere with thy purity”

      • Funny thing is, ask one of them WHY it is racist, and they won’t have an answer, because none of them have seen it. “Song of the South” being racist is just another example of the Leftist Lore being passed down from one ignorant generation of Leftists to the next.

        If they DO have an answer, they might call Uncle Remus an Uncle Tom “Isn’t calling someone an Uncle Tom racist?”), or they may complain about the southern black speech patterns as being racist (“But Urban Black speech patterns, a.k.a. Ebonics are NOT Racist then?”), or they will talk about something they HEARD was in the movie, but of course, none of them have seen it since it’s been embargoed for so long, and that is a success the left will hang on to forever, blocking any chance of release.

        • Christopher M. Chupik

          I remember that The Song of the South still played on Canadian TV up until the 1980s. Disney should just release the thing already. Everybody knows it exists anyhow.

        • Kate Paulk

          Pretty much. Besides, if they let it out, someone might see it and disagree with them.

  11. Christopher M. Chupik

    I guess Mercedes Lackey, C J Cherryh and Nancy Kress are now evil misogynists now.

  12. You know that old (and impossible to kill, no matter how many names you name) myth that SF wouldn’t sell if it had a woman’s name on it? I can see it coming to pass. And no swishy male names either.

    I’m going to have to think up a Real Man’s Name to use as a pen name. How about Bruno? Or Tex. Can’t go far wrong with a nickname like that . . .

    • Manly? You could say it’s in honor of Manly Wade Wellman. Oh, I know, try Ivan.

      BTW, is Kit still in use as a man’s name, or is it one of those which now makes one think ‘probably woman’ when seen? I mean, I could drop the -i from the end. 🙂

      • Kate Paulk

        It’s not particularly common, but the last I heard it’s one of those “could be either” names, like Toni/Tony, Lesley/Leslie, Kim, and a few others.

  13. dgarsys

    Oh. Wow.

    a sad attempt at fisking which refuses to acknowledge the actual petition and instead tries to savage the first draft, which has about the same impact as an elderly dog savagely gumming the the postman while said postman pets the dog.

    A very sad attempt. Reading the comments made my eyes hurt. How many people can possibly not get the point that there’s a difference between an editorial board that sets policy, and fires/reprimands editors if they think they’re doing a crappy job, and one that – as was implied in the original guidelines, is going to pre-review everything, essentially acting as an editor-in-committee?

    More sad, the number of petulant, teenage, “I’m so sad an author I respect for his (presumably correct) views signed this” comments.

    Has it occurred to them that if a person they respect and find has the “correct” views, who’s capacity to communicate in english you admire, says there’s a problem, you may want to parse what he’s saying and assume that he may have an honest – if possibly still incorrect – complaint?

    And good lord. “Mr Silverberg – you were an editor, how could you not understand how this works?” – paraphrased, but to that effect.

    So he was an editor, and he was willing to sign even the first “offensive” draft because he had huge issues with it. And they think HE’S clueless and “doesn’t get it”.

    an attempted satire by someone who has no idea what satire actually is.

    While I enjoyed the first couple goblin books, halfway through the third one was all it took for me to wholeheartedly agree with this position. He once knew, but seems to have forgotten.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      Hines is certainly displaying all the skill and wit he did when he took on Larry Correia. 😉

      • Kate Paulk

        In quantities that match the amount of global warming landing on my house today. (lots. And lots)

        • Christopher M. Chupik

          I know what you mean. We’ve been slammed pretty hard by global warming here in Canada. Last week was . . . chilling.

      • dgarsys

        Yeah.

        In all fairness, I actually really LIKED the first couple books. He was spoofing “Dungeon Crawl” and video console RPG tropes – seriously, how many RPG’s have you effectively stealing from households? – with a dash of “monsters are people too” – so of course the adventurers are “bad.”

        By the third book it’s obvious that of the ‘civilized’ people, the humans were the worst, whereas the dwarves showed some understanding, and that the human guys were all jackasses whereas the human female warrior was the smart and wise one.

        And so his next series is a set where the fairy tale princesses are super-agents?

        Meh.

        • So, derivative writing taking on and trashing classic and beloved tropes. He must be Scalzi’s protege.

          • dgarsys

            OK – maybe the elves were really the worst in Jim’s goblin series, or at least the most arrogant compared to the humans – it’s been long enough since i read them and haven’t bothered to reread them.

            In either case, I believe what was grossly violated in those books was, as explained to Mycroft Holmes in TMIAHM, “funny once” – maybe twice.

            It’s hard to describe exactly why Larry plays so well with turning over similar tropes (Orcs as misunderstood noble savages, elves as trailer trash, gnomes as gangsters) – but I think part of it is that the elves, etc. are still respected and to be reckoned with.

            • TXRed

              Larry inverts the trope, but leaves the power. So you still have to pay attention and give respect, even if you are fighting like mad not to giggle at an elf in pink curlers and a mumu.

              • Kate Paulk

                Yes. There’s two ways to play the trope for satirical purposes. One is to ramp it up to eleven and way overplay the trope. The other is to invert it. For both to work the power has to stay there.

                Er. Three ways. The other one is to play it straight but around utterly ridiculous circumstances.

                And no matter what, you have to respect the trope or you fail.

              • I was about to say that you could, forex, “invert” the trope of the mad scientist genius by making him NOT the smartest ever, but that leaves you either a) tearing him down as worthless (in which case he should be worthless as a person, and not “because mad scientist”) or b) still, as said, leaving the power.

                See “Dexters Laboratory” as how to invert the Mad Scientist trope well.

  14. Dan Lane

    Why is politics necessary for a professional *writer’s* publication? In what form or fashion does it exist to inform, promote, defend, or advocate for said writers?

    The first amendment protects individuals from governmental influence over their free expression, and I get where they say that it does not apply to individuals and private institutions. That said, it begs (demands) a question, when such egregious favoritism is placed on one view with scathing (okay, lukewarm, but if intentions had a caloric quantity we’d be roasting) derision, how does this help writers in their craft?

    I may disagree with Jim C. Hines’ politics (a lot, and humorously for me) for example, but that does not make his work any less the product of a writer’s craft. Virginia Wade is no less an author, with published sales that I envy, for the *content* of her craft. Even works which actively offend me, which I shan’t waste your time and give them free advertising by mentioning, are no less professionally written works.

    If the sfwa is going to live up to its stated mission, then warping the definition of what science fiction writing (professional, for publication and dissemination) is needs to stop. Needlessly excluding members merely because their politics offend other members is wasteful and foolish. Political Correctness is not mentioned in any place when one applies for membership that I can find. It either needs to be made explicit, that certain expressions of belief will not be tolerated within, or they need to put on their big person undies and decide that the organization as a whole will be above politics and have no official opinion on anyone’s personal political proclivities.

    I don’t expect the latter to come to pass. This saddens me because, as others have mentioned far more eloquently than I, the sfwa could be a Damned Good Thing for writers of speculative fiction. The fact that its leadership has chosen to turn an industry asset into a private club for cool members only lessens its impact with new writers (which it needs if it is going to survive). The fact that so many respected professionals from wildly differing viewpoints are against this close minded turn of events should be a warning.

    In the relentless pursuit of eliminating offense they have chosen to make themselves weaker. Once, the sfwa could be said to represent a large swath of writers, PC and -isms be damned, they were about promoting and expanding the craft. Now they exclude more than those who aren’t a part of the profession, they drive out dissenters from the official voice as lepers, outcast, unclean.

    Even though I find the majority of their opinions in poor taste, I see no reason why they can’t have them. I do get the impression that they’re not willing to grant the same freedom to me and mine, however. Pity. I’d once hoped to be a part of an organization that would be what the sfwa could be, despite differences in opinion that I’m certain would exist in such a place. I’ll certainly not grant support to one that demonstrates its open hostility to what I believe.

    I’d much prefer an organization that was agnostic about my personal beliefs, whatever they may be. If I’m personally offended by, say, scaly lizards fighting giant apes on a snowscape (yes, I can imagine warm-blooded or otherwise internally regulated lacertillia in a sci-fi setting), I’ll just have to get over it. If someone makes a comment about how men are pretty much useful only for creating more females, I’ll somehow manage to live. My being offended will not end any worlds.

    My grandmother used to tell me, “you’re only as big as what you let make you mad.” I’d like to think I’m not so small a man as to take such grievous offense at opinions that differ from my own. Of the two issues, one wherein a person takes offense and the other wherein an organization seeks to silence dissent, I know which one I perceive to be the larger concern. Perhaps Mr. Gould could use a talk with my gran. The organization could well profit from a broader approach to such issues.

    (apologies for the walltext. Didn’t realize it got that long until I saw the slider bar on my reply!)

    • Kate Paulk

      The wall’o’text in this case is a well-reasoned argument. And your grandmother is right. A smart person rises above things like differences of politics, things they find offensive and so forth.

      I’ve known for years that the absolute best way to “convert” someone to your viewpoint is to be a damn good *example* of that viewpoint. If you believe honesty matters, then you need to *be* honest. And so forth.

      Not to mention my issues with narcolepsy and the sleep-deprivation depression that goes with it mean I’ve had to learn to decide when it’s worth getting angry and let things go that aren’t worth getting angry over.

      These rants of mine aren’t in anger. They’re mostly amusement mixed with the sadness of seeing something that could be valuable repeatedly flush itself down the s-bend.

      • Dan Lane

        I realize this isn’t anything done in anger. For one thing, it is too well thought out. *grin*

        Can’t agree more that the best way to win over someone is to be a good example of what you believe. It is what wins the most respect from folks when they see it done and done well. I wish more folks would do this (it would make identifying certain belief systems easier, at least).

        Anger… anger always has a price, I believe. Most of the time it’s not worth paying, not in raised blood pressure, not in the consequences that follow harsh words, and it makes one a lousy fighter compared to the guy that keeps his cool.

        Righteousness is not anger, even though I believe they come from the same sort of place. It’s outrage, indignation, sorrow, and conviction. That’s more what I see in your posts Miss Kate. Well, that and a good dose of humor. *grin*

        Hope it’s warm wherever y’all are at, because my fingers are still numb from being out in the cold today. Thirty degrees, they told us. Hah! Where’s my global warming? I could use a few more degrees today.

  15. Christopher M. Chupik

    And on Twitter, the most clever attack on the petition signers is someone misspelling Brad Torgersen’s name. Of course, everyone who signed it is defending racism, sexism, white privilege and heteronormativeness. Hate to shock the heck out of you.

    • Kate Paulk

      Oooh. Such intellectual vigor! Such cleverness! I am shocked, shocked I say. How could it come to this?

      Er. Sorry. (puts the industrial-spec sarcasm shovel away)

  16. librarian

    Just finished reading up on the back story to all of this… it occurs to me that I’ve learned a new feminist rule this evening: that chick on that that tv show? “Girls” I think it’s called? When she’s nude or scantily clad or whatever, then it’s because bravery, beauty, something ,something, feminism, don’t judge we’re women roaring here. But scantily clad, hot warrior chick on a book cover means evil men, sexism, the patriarchy, you’re probably a rapist etc.

    Everyone got that now?

    • Stephen J.

      But Lena Dunham means her nudity ironically.

    • I think so. It seems to have something to do with looks. If she is somebody who could get a job as Victoria’s Secret or Playboy model, it’s definitely sexist. If she looks less than perfect it’s more likely it’s a feminist statement. Usually you can also add ‘how she is dressed’, anything a woman would put on when she was planning to seduce a man is probably bad.

    • Well, to be fair the chick on the show is butt ugly, so she doesn’t make the feminist true believers feel bad.

  17. Pingback: Don’t judge a book — well, its author — by its “cover” | Nocturnal Lives

  18. Pingback: a friday of followups | Crime and the Blog of Evil

  19. John Wesley Hardin

    Having no other dog in this fight, I would just like to say that Vox Day is a reprehensible human being, and deserved to be forcefully ejected, not only from the SFWA, but from society in general. But that’s just my opinion.

    • Kate Paulk

      Well, John Wesley Hardin, it must be a pretty strong opinion, since you came over to a blog post that’s not even about Vox Day in order to state it.

      What criteria do you use to decide who deserves to belong to “society in general”? After all, something rather similar happened in Germany in 1930s, as well as in every Communist regime known to history. The precise methods they used to expel their “undesirables” varied, but the end result was the same.

      Personally, I’d say that anyone who comes meandering over to a blog they’ve never visited before to claim someone given a passing reference in the post is a “reprehensible human being” who deserves to be “forcefully ejected” from society in general is demonstrating that they are the kind of person who would happily sign orders to execute someone who didn’t share their beliefs.

      But that’s just my opinion.

    • sanfordbegley

      John Wesley Hardin? Really? You must have some idea that using an infamous name makes you special, and give you some cover when you vomit in someone’s house. Go peddle your whiney little dish of have and socialism elsewhere. I don’t particularly have any emotions either way about Vox Day but, if people behave like you because of him he must be doing something right

    • Oh, how cool. So, you have been given license to decide who gets to live and who gets to die? Great.
      Because 100 million dead is never enough. Let’s give it another try.

      • John Wesley Hardin

        Live and die? Hardly. I’m sure the ruff, tuff libertarian Vox Day could, if he were ejected from society, single-handedly hack a Randian utopia out of the wilderness and show the rest of us namby-pambys how to really go Galt.

        • Kate Paulk

          What a delightful exercise in dodging the question while simultaneously airing your ignorance. I’d call it a virtuoso performance, except there’s nothing virtuous about it.

        • Bravo! Yet again you fail to discuss the issues of the post or even to address the comment this in response to because, gee, your first comment — deserved to be forcefully ejected, not only from the SFWA, but from society in general — sure does seem like you’re advocating he not be allowed to live. And why? Because he doesn’t live up to your standards? Golly, it must be hard being that much better than the rest of us. Doesn’t all that moral superiority get tiring?

        • How does one go about “ejecting” someone “from society?” What happens if not everyone in “society” goes along with this “ejection?” Shall they too be “ejected?” And how?

          • Kate Paulk

            The usual method involves the ejected getting a shortcut to a state of fertilizer, also known as firing squads, concentration camps, ethnic cleansing, the Final Solution and other such similar epithets.

          • Jordan “all the right thinking people will back” whatever these idiots want, because you know, there’s only one right way to think. (Falls to the floor gagging.)

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              On “expelling somebody from society”, it might be an interesting little story about a society that actually votes on “expelling somebody from society” with the catch that if you nominated somebody to be expelled and that person isn’t expelled, you are expelled instead. [Very Very Big Evil Grin]

        • Perhaps Mr. Hardin (although for some reason I suspect that isn’t his real name) should consider the origin of the term “outlaw” and what it actually meant. What expelling someone from “society” leads to goes a lot farther back than the 20th century (of course, Sarah, you know that but Mr. Hardin or whoever he actually is, probably doesn’t).

          It’s people like this that are pushing us toward blood and they have no idea what kind of fire they’re playing with.

    • Oh, look. We have a PFM.

      Anybody want to run down Larry’s “Internet Arguing Checklist” against his posts? I’m not particularly interested. His first post and I’m already bored.

      http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2013/09/20/the-internet-arguing-checklist/

    • Bob

      Bit late to the reaming, but might as well toss a word in.

      I don’t like Vox. Don’t like him one little bit. Don’t like his opinions. Don’t like his antics. Occasionally followed his blog, but I don’t choose to anymore. The test of how you value free speech is how you react to speech you don’t like.

      John, you flunk the test.

    • Gee, Where Have I Seen This Before?

      Sig heil!

  20. John Wesley Hardin

    Please allow me to clarify. I was sent to this page via Gary Farber’s Facebook link. He seems to have been struck dumb by your “glittery boo ha” line.

    You managed to strike Gary Farber dumb, so congratulations on that. As to why I focused on the hapless Theodore Beale, I thought he was a schmuck years ago, well before I knew he had delusions about being a writer. It was a pleasure to see his long-running reprehesibility rebound to such positive effect. Thanks for the pleasant reminder.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      I don’t know who this “Gary Farber” is but your “support” for him doesn’t make me want to know more about him.

      Oh, who makes you the person to decide if somebody is to be “forcefully ejected from society”?

      • Yes, exactly. I THINK Gary Farber is (?) the president of SFWA, but since I quit the damn club, I can’t be bothered.

        • Kate Paulk

          Um. I think Stephen Gould is the current SFWA president. I don’t know or care who Gary Farber is (or who Stephen Gould is, for that matter. I just have a memory for trivia).

    • Kate Paulk

      At least try to spell it properly. It’s “glittery hoo ha”.

      I honestly don’t give a shit what Gary Farber, Theodore Beale, you, or anyone else believes – unless they try to force me to follow them. SFWA acted against Beale on spurious grounds (and yes, I’ve been a SFWA member and I know what’s been considered acceptable) because the ruling clique didn’t like his beliefs.

      You, on the other hand, seem to think it’s perfectly fine for someone you despise to be treated unjustly. That view, sir, is what ultimately leads to police states and the more than 100 million (and counting) deaths – because it treats humans as inherently less worthy as you because you disagree with them.

      The blood is on your hands whether you choose to deny it or not.

    • And what does any of this have to do with an attack on Vox?

      I just love how folks like you will yell and scream and pitch royal hissy fits over what Vox writes on his blog. You have no problem calling him names and, as you yourself exhibited, you have no problem tossing him out of society just because you don’t like his beliefs. Yet, if someone would dare suggest the same thing happen to the right-thinking folk, they get attacked just as Vox did (and, no, I don’t agree with a lot of what he says) or Mike Resnick because he dared talk about a “lady editor” and relate something that happened years ago and how people thought YEARS AGO. But that’s venturing far afield from your comment.

      Or perhaps I should say lack of a comment. You want to discuss Kate’s post? Discuss. But drive-by trolling only results in games of whack-a-troll.

    • And still, no discussion of the post. I hate to tell you this but Vox isn’t the anti-Christ. He isn’t going to cause the destruction of literature in this country. Now is Vox going to cause a pox upon your house.

      However, if you want to really see just how far the idiocy that has become SFWA “policy” has gone toward destroying an organization that once had the good of its author members at heart, just check out Facebook. There are any number of posts by current members — and not all of them are “old, white, straight guys” — who are contemplating leaving the organization because it is more worried about kowtowing to a vocal minority of members with a social agenda that has nothing to do with what readers want to read. Then there are those younger or newer writers who are now qualifying for membership under SFW’s antiquated membership requirements who are not joining because of what they are seeing. When a writers’ organization forgets that its primary goal should be to assist and support writers and starts trying to look more politically correct and then to force that image on all members or else they be publicly shamed, it has outlived its time.

      And yes, there is an attempt to publicly shame and humiliate those who stand against the GHHs. They have no problem insulting those they don’t feel live up to their glitteryness. They want those who don’t agree with them thrown out of the organization. They attack those who dare voice opinions different from their own but don’t you dare call them on it or you are prejudiced and a traitor to your gender (and yes, I have seen them say that to female writers who don’t follow the GHH club rules.)

      Now, you want to discuss the post. Fine. Otherwise, go running back to Gary Farber’s FB page and whine about how mean we all were to you because we didn’t fall in line with the condemnation of Vox and the adulation of the GHHs.

    • BTW, I have to love how “brave” you are to go back to Farber’s FB page and post lies about Kate. She is a “professional” author by SFWA standards. As she said, she had a membership and chose not to renew it because of BS like what’s going on now. But then, I guess the truth really doesn’t matter if it doesn’t fit the picture you’re trying to paint, does it?

      • I, too, am a former SFWA member. I didn’t make any big deal about it, just quietly let my membership lapse. For most of the time I was there, the only value I got from it was entertainment value and, after a while, I realized that finding that entertaining was . . . disturbing (like someone actively seeking out train wrecks to watch). Wasn’t who I wanted to be.

        There is some value to SFWA: the emergency medical fund for those who need it, the grievance committee, I am told at least, has been of some value to some, but, well, the expectation value of either of those being of value to me did not seem to come up to the $50 a year, certainly not when combined with the negative value of all the drama.

      • John Wesley Hardin

        What? Kate’s own bio here says she’s a QA analyst.I admire the self-awareness.

        • I guess then, by this definition, that the only “pro” writers you recognize are those who don’t work outside the house. Maybe you ought to check the number of writers who qualify for pro status under your beloved SFWA who also work at other jobs.

        • Kate Paulk

          It’s called a “day job”, dear. Most authors have one. Of those who don’t, the majority are supported by parents or partners. The last time I looked the number of authors who are supporting themselves on the proceeds of their writing makes the 1% look like a sizable majority.

          • I do, and the irregularity of the payments almost kills me — as it does even my bestseller friends. So, day job until you’re swimming in dough. Which has nothing to do with being professional or not, particularly by the rules of the Stalinist Sewing Circle SFWA.
            Someone linked us with a rant over us being “Disgruntled right wing authors” — I’m trying not to bust a gut laughing. My beliefs are so mix and match even the libertarians don’t want me, and as for “disgruntled”? Seven years ago, sure — right now? I like my publisher, I like the indie side and I just like writing. But apparently not wanting to kow tow to the rules of political correctness makes us disgruntled and being anti-communist (Dave is what? Close to Shavian socialist? And you would be a typical democrat in the fifties? And as for me, I’m a libertine radical set to bring down society and all its pillars) makes us “right wing” — fascinating insight into the group think JWH and his ilk engage in.

            • Kate Paulk

              Right wing? Us? Dear god what did they put in that kool-aid?

              • I know, right? We’re approaching Jim Jones level Koolaid. And as for disgruntled — I don’t know about you but I have ALL my grunts — since when is bitchy about people playing exclusion games the same as “disgruntled”?

                • Kate Paulk

                  I don’t know, but I personally find it offensive to be compared to a castrated pig. For starters I don’t have the equipment and never did, and for seconds, if I *did* have it I wouldn’t want it removed in order to become disgruntled.

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                We don’t use the proper buzzwords so their “programming” tells them that we’re “Right Wingers” and likely “Religious Right” (they really don’t know you Kate [Wink]).

                By the way, on the basis of John Ringo’s politics and Barb of _Princess Of Wands_, some nut came to Ringo’s Tavern while thinking John Ringo was Christian/Religious Right. [Evil Grin]

    • dgarsys

      Personally, the few stories I’ve read by him so far have been pretty well written. And since he’s managed to publish several books, and gotten people to pay him to write more, I think “delusions of being a writer” (given your pretentious use of verbiage) is more a reflection of something in your worldview than a reflection of fact.

    • Dan Lane

      “John Wesley Hardin,” since you’re new here, a primer of sorts might be useful to you. Mag Genius Club deals with the business of writing, how to improve your craft, and related issues. The main thrust of Kate’s blog post here concerns the sfwa, true, but aims more at the latest PC nonsense, that being the Beacon kerfluffle and surrounding reactions and consequences.

      Kindly stay on topic. Vox Day is neither here nor there to the topic at hand, and neither is this Gary Farber fellow. Your dislike of the former is quite alright for you to hold, but bringing it up here, now, isn’t germane. There exists nowhere a Right To Not Be Offended.

      Think about it. When they start ejecting folks from a place like the sfwa, not because they have broken any laws, but because they simply disagree with their opinions and don’t like how those people express them, then the real purpose of that organization is being subverted. Once that precedent is set, it ceases to be a place for professionals to inform, promote, defend, and advocate for their craft.

      Whether that person is a reprehensible individual or not, if they are a writer then that is what they are. A mechanic is no less a mechanic because he is Jewish. A singer sings no less sweetly for the fact she’s lost the use of her legs. A writer is no less a writer because he holds personal beliefs that offend you.

      When you turn a professional organization into what amounts to merely a clique for like-minded folks, when you discriminate on such an unprofessional basis, it must necessarily become less. Writers like those who post and comment here don’t want that. If the shoe were on the other foot, I can’t think of a one here who’d kick anyone else over a simple personal disagreement. Much less “forcibly eject” them from “society in general.”

      If you want to talk about Vox Day, bring it up when it’s more relevant to the topic at hand. Or do it on your own blog. Or his, if you’re rather foolhardy (and don’t say you weren’t warned). What’s going on in the sfwa matters because they’ve deviated from concern over professional standards and veered into the weeds of Political Correctness. They will wither away sooner or later if they don’t shape up and start acting like adults rather than a clique of snobbish teenagers.

      • John Wesley Hardin

        Dan, thanks for the cogent, polite, reply. Beale wasn’t removed from the SFWA for his opinions, but the channel he employed to air them. Using the official SFWA Twitter feed to post racist remarks about a fellow author would seem to be a bridge too far. Yes, my post about Beale was off topic; tangential at best, but now I am amused at the outraged “harrumphs!” at my comments. Were those people outraged when Day called N.K. Jerking an ignorant savage on the SFWA Authors feed?

        • John Wesley Hardin

          “N.K.Jesemin” DAMN YOU AUTOCORRECT

        • Yes, we were. But we were also outraged when she took those comments — made on a private feed — and took them public. How come she wasn’t disciplined? How come her supporters can get away with calling Beale and others who don’t agree with her vile names and suggest — sometimes very pointedly — that they ought to die and yet the other side is vilified when they do the same thing? It is the double-standard we dislike. But, since you seem to see no problem with it, you will avoid this topic just like you did with the original post.

          • Actually I’m not outraged, no. This is because I have reading comprehension. What VD said was that she was a different amount of Homo Sapiens than the rest. The belief he was calling her non-homo-sap was ENTIRELY hers and QUITE lunatic. Africans are MORE homo sap than those of us from other continents who are what is known as “mutts.” For someone who teaches in college not to know this is dumb. REALLY dumb. She wanted to take offense and she read offense into it. And VD baited her, which is reprehensible on his part, but well… I too might not be able to resist, if I had time to play those games. All the idiot white knights who came to her defense just proved themselves just as stupid and gullible. I think VD spends WAY too much time playing mind games, and in that sense he gets on my nerves, but at least he’s the puppet master. You people? You’re puppets and don’t even know whose hand is up your behind.

            BTW, little boy, in your link you accused me of Goodwin offenses thereby proving your cultural ignorance. If I were referencing the Nazis, I’d have said six million. Please read the Black Book Of Communism. And while you’re at it, and before you tell me “but that was an accident” note it happened everywhere, in every culture where the state arrogated to itself the right to say who’s to live and who’s to die. Boy, I really hope you’re under twenty. Then there’s hope for you still.

            • I disagree with his theory of time preference, because I don’t think is genetic. The reason is that I saw it change as Portugal veered left, and the state couldn’t be counted on to enforce laws uniformly or to keep you safe in your property. I’ve told him he’s up his own behind with that one. Note, that he’s failed to go after me, just said he still believes so.

              He’s not the only one who believes genetics are the main determinant of behavior, though — I’ve been in massive arguments with liberal writers about this in the past. I think it’s a sucky and inherently racist idea — OTOH he’s the only one associating it directly with skin color. This is nonsense, but if genetics WERE the main component of our actions and there were no individual will as in “he couldn’t help himself, he was born bad” THEN race would be an obvious factor too. You can’t have it both ways. Either the human DNA is so mixed that individuals can raise themselves up, as it were. Or it’s all determined, and then every characteristic is linked.

            • dgarsys

              FWIW – I’m personally not sure if he’s looking at it as genetics. I think it’s more memetics – and what you observe in rapid generational degradations would be because mimetically, as well as in the real world, it’s far far easier to tear down than to build.

              Make it difficult or too risky to build up over time because it cold just be taken away by the looters (govt or populist), and even the virtuous start behaving in a different manner. Quickly.

              Cultures have baggage, and inertia. They also have more potential energy the higher they metaphorically rise. It takes WORK to reverse a fall, and to push that civilization back up the metaphorical hill. But when it falls – hey, gravity works.

              And anything that adds friction – more looters and leeches and those who don’t want to do their share or add red tape (we have enough energy to spare on useless crap, so many simply do…), the more we slow down the rise and go to the tipping point where things fall.

              An imperfect analogy, but civilization doesn’t require a “high” IQ, just a sufficient one. After that, culture counts.

        • Dan Lane

          That channel being the @sfwaauthors, I take it? I recall looking into that some while ago. Twitter is a sort of “at your own risk” service, and most organizations have a byline that states that the opinions presented there do not/may not necessarily reflect the position of the parent organization, especially when it’s a group feed like that.

          Given the statements I’ve read and heard from the average sfwa member, Vox Day’s comments differ in kind but not so much in degree. It isn’t hard to find sweeping generalizations* made on personal blogs, even ones that link to the @sfwaauthors twitter account. I may disagree with his statements, or N. K. Jemisin’s, but I will defend their right to have those opinions.

          Yes, a private organization can expel a member- for whatever reasons they choose. The sfwa may dress it up in pretty language, but what appears to have happened is a purge. I’m not alone in thinking that.

          You may be amused at the “harrumphs,” but there is a point to them. When we draw your attention to the phrase “expelled from society in general,” that’s because we read history, and know that attitude has been used to justify some pretty horrible things (and aren’t I the master of understatement today).

          If we’re going to oppose racism, sexism, whathaveyouism flavor of the month, it makes sense to judge by impersonal standards. That means no playing favorites. That means no one gets to complain “it isn’t fair!” if they happen to be the only Cherokee Indian in the camp, so long as the rules apply to everyone equally. It’s also the best way to utterly destroy those -isms.

          From where you are, looking at that screen, you have no idea what “race” I am, or Kate is, or anyone else here. What matters is what you do- or what you write in this case. Results matter. Facts matter. Wanting enough colors to make the rainbow hued “set” does not.

          Would I cheer him calling her an “ignorant savage”? No. Even though I disagree with her opinions (and think her constant harping on race is counter productive), that statement alone I don’t agree with. Even though I *have* read his reasons, which go into more depth than that, I don’t always agree with his conclusions. That’s fine. I don’t agree with her and those like her calling folks that believe as I do vile names and making even worse assumptions about our motives (also fine for her to have, as long as she’s not trying to force them on me). I’m with Amanda on this one. If the standard applies to Beale, it should apply to *everyone,* no exceptions.

          If racism is bad, and folks who are openly racist aren’t welcome in the sfwa, then I would expect a whole slew of people getting ejected soon. Because there’s been a whole lot of hatin’ white folks going on. And straight folks, especially guys. And folks of certain political and religious leanings.

          Or they could just focus on speculative fiction. Trying to get more readers, who cares if they have tan lines or not. Sorting out the big five mess and giving the big six FIVE a kick in the pants. Being a great resource for sf/f authors, like they’re supposed to be. That’d be good. Not that I expect it, but hey, if I can dream about winning the lottery at one in almost two hundred million…

          *sweeping generalizations is what racism is. Saying all white guys do/say/believe this is just as bad as saying all black women do/say/believe that. Content of character, not color of skin. N.K. Jemisin gets no free passes for being black from me.

        • Kate Paulk

          Actually, no. You really need to stop assuming that someone else’s talking points are facts.

          First: Vox was one of many SFWA members who used the SFWA twitter feed to send notifications. He used that feed no differently than any other SFWA member. There was no policy on its use at the time. That was added retroactively.

          Second: Vox’s allegedly bigoted remarks were made in response to an objectively false statement Jemisin made about him at a conference, and later blogged and tweeted.

          Third: Nothing Vox said was in fact racist or bigoted, unless you were looking to read it that way. I don’t agree with the conclusions he reaches from the data, but I *do* agree that when using the standard definition of civilization, his culture and ancestry is a lot more civilized than hers – particularly the culture and ancestry she chooses to celebrate.

          You are welcome to your opinion. You do not have the right to deny the data.

          • Dan Lane

            ^ This. Much clearer than what my lazy memory was able to dredge up (thanks Kate!). This is why I believe it was a purge. It is wrong when they did it to Vox, and would be wrong if they did it to Jemisin for the same reasons. Reprehensible human being or no.

            There are writers I disagree with (none I think of as reprehensible, come to think, but I rarely hold that opinion about anyone personally), but whose work I still enjoy. Eric Flint tells a good story- I may have issues getting into the 1632 series, but it’s nonetheless well written and many people read it. Can’t exactly agree with his politics, but he’s got chops.

            Life’s too short to go seeking out things to get mad about. It tends to interfere with my reading habit, and I’m something of an addict. I love a good story. Y’all keep writing, I’ll keep buying books. *grin*

    • You know, the mark of a great minion is that he doesn’t reveal who his master is at the first opportunity. You are a poor minion.

    • I’d stack Beale’s accomplishments up against yours any day.

      What were yours, again?

      • Kate Paulk

        Based on what little google and so forth I’ve done, the fellow’s achievements would be “troll: third class” and “wannabe”.

    • As to why I focused on the hapless Theodore Beale …

      Beale has a significant income from writing and a blog which is widely read. Can you say both about yourself? So why is he “hapless?” Because of his failure to agree with every opinion you hold?

      Here’s a clue:

      Perhaps he DOESN’T CARE about pleasing you.

    • Teri

      I believe you mean “redound.” Professional writers know stuff like that.

  21. Pingback: The Heart of Darkness | According To Hoyt

  22. My main character in my science fiction book is of non-binary gender. Can I haz a glittery hoo haa? Please? I will take good care of it.

    SFWA is obviously done. It was done when their creepy minions started to insult Robert Silverberg’s writing. Stick a fork in it. But I would love to join the Independent Speculative Fiction Writers’ Glittery Hoo Haa Association.

    • Kate Paulk

      You’re welcome to haz glittery hoo haa if you want one .
      And the Independent Speculative Fiction Writers’ Glittery Hoo Haa Association sounds like a whole lot of fun – so long as an actual glittery hoo haa isn’t required.

    • Wait, if the SFWA hates Silverberg, maybe we can sick Chlamydia on them. They deserve each other.

  23. VD

    Beale wasn’t removed from the SFWA for his opinions, but the channel he employed to air them. Using the official SFWA Twitter feed to post racist remarks about a fellow author would seem to be a bridge too far. Yes, my post about Beale was off topic; tangential at best, but now I am amused at the outraged “harrumphs!” at my comments. Were those people outraged when Day called N.K. Jerking an ignorant savage on the SFWA Authors feed?

    Four untruths here.

    1. I was purged from SFWA for my opinions. The action for which I was nominally purged was committed by 69 other SFWA members, including 3 members of the Board and the President.

    2. I did not use the official SFWA Twitter feed at all. I used the @sfwaauthors Twitter feed. Two difference accounts, neither of which is an official SFWA channel, as per the Twitter guidelines.

    3. I did not post any remarks about any author on the Twitter feed, let alone racist remarks. I posted nothing more than a link to my blog.

    4. I did not call NK Jemisin “an ignorant savage” on the SFWA Authors feed. I called her “an educated, but ignorant half-savage” on my own blog. And I stand by those words.

    Ironically, Steven Gould had previously linked to NK Jemisin’s blog where she falsely called me “a self-described misogynist, racist, anti-Semite, and a few other flavors of asshole” in the SFWA Forum itself. That’s how I found out about her attack on me in the first place, and I was responding to that attack.

    Larry has described the process:

    Liberal: attack attack attack attack
    Liberal 2: attack attack attack attack
    Conservative: ATTACK
    Liberal: so rude!
    Liberal 2: yes, so very rude!

    Anyhow, I was purged for doing the same thing to which I was responding, only on Twitter (which is not an SFWA channel) instead of in the SFWA Forum (which is). Like it or not, those are the facts.

    • Kate Paulk

      And if the poor dear bothers to go through your blog, he can find the links there which verify your facts – including those to NK Jemisin’s blog posts where she libeled you.

      Not that I expect him to. He’s probably scared he’ll get cooties.

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