I’m tired

Let me start with a quick apology for the late post. The weather has done its best to lay me low. Highs in the 80’s one day and sleet and ice the next. It all has my sinuses clogged, my head fuzzy and a fever hit last night that I can’t seem to shake. I am so ready for Spring to get here. One of the side-effects of all this is that my google-fu has failed me this morning so I can’t find a site I read yesterday and wanted to refer specifically to in this morning’s post.

On the heels of the demand for J. K. Rowling to stop writing, unless it was for children or her own entertainment, and the subsequent “apology” comes news that a major publishing house has penned a deal for an, iirc, multi-book deal for what they are announcing is nothing more than modified fanfic based on Twilight. Sound familiar? Any way, the announcement not only admitted the deal was fanfic but also that it had been posted on online as such. Now, the disclaimer is that the fanfic has been taken down and major revisions have been made to it. Yet, as I read the announcement, I couldn’t help wondering a couple of things. The first is obvious based on my lead-in: where are those like the woman who called for Rowling to stop writing so they could have their chance at shelf and review space? After all, if folks like that have problems with what Rowling has been writing, shouldn’t they really have problems with what even the publishers are admitting is fanfic taking up shelf and review space?

My second thought was to wonder at the wisdom of the publishers to take this action. I’ll admit I haven’t read any of the fanfic in question. I have no idea how well-written it might be. Heck, for all I know, with the revisions supposedly done, it might be a really good novel. However, what it looks like to me is nothing but a panic move by the publisher hoping to cash in on the Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey bandwagon. The problem is, by the time the new books come out, the reading public will have moved on to something else. Publishers ought to know that by simply looking at their bottom lines. Look at how profits dropped for the publishers of Twilight the year after the last book in the series came out. Why? Because they didn’t already have something in the queue and ready to go after that last book was published. Without those sales, profits tumbled. Same with Fifty Shades. Is this another example of too little, too late? Very likely.

If that’s not enough to leave you scratching your heads and the foolishness surrounding LonCon this week has been. I won’t rehash it all here. If you aren’t aware of what happened, let’s just say that the GHHers have managed to strike there as well this week. You can find more about it on my blog here and here. The basic rule now appears to be if someone might feel uncomfortable about something that might be done or might be said at some unknown point in time during some event, no matter what the setting or causation, and if that something that might be said might be said by a white male then steps must be taken to not only make sure that what might be said isn’t said and that, preferable, the whit male who might have said what might have been said isn’t invited to take part in the event. Confusing? Well, that’s how I felt.

Cons have anti-bullying and anti-harassment policies. That’s a good thing. It was too long in coming, especially if you look at the business world in general where such policies for conventions and other large gatherings have been in place for years. What we need now — and by me I mean SFWA and all related groups — is a strong policy about the proper procedures for protesting decisions made by the organization or concoms, etc. The LonCom situation is one such example of where those procedures would have kept the entire SF/F genre (writers, agents, editors, cons) from looking like a bunch of toddlers pitching a temper tantrum. Of course, there are those SFWA proponents who will say such procedures are in place. Well, they may be but right now they aren’t being applied even-handedly across the board. The “cool kids” get a pass when they don’t follow the rules and yet those who then break the same rules to condemn what the “cool kids” (AKA GHHers) did or said, those folks get disciplined or, in at least one case, tossed out of the organization.

If SFWA and concoms, etc., want to be taken seriously, they need to become the grownups. There are times when grownups have to say “no” to the bratty little kids. There also comes a time when everyone has to just grow up. It’s past time for that to happen. Unfortunately, when it comes to SFWA, I doubt that it ever will. It is too busy trying to be “relevant” and “sensitive” to the more vocal members — and non-members — instead of worrying about what it can do to expand the SF/F share of the market. So, while it continues to drive more and more authors aways, I’ll continue trying to write stories people want to read instead of trying to indoctrinate them with the current PC message of the day.

And I’ll wait for the day to come — and it will — when a new batch of entitled darlings hit SFWA membership and turn the tables on the GHHers who will, in turn, find themselves no longer “relevant” and on the outs with those who are even better at screaming and crying on social media than they are.

For an example of just how hard SFWA is trying to be “relevant” and “fair”, take a look at the new cover for the soon to be relaunched Bulletin and tell me what message it’s sending. Tell me it is doing anything more than kneeling at the feet of political correctness, bending over backwards to show that this is a different Bulletin from the last issue. Then tell me if, now that the Bulletin will no longer have chicks in chainmail images on its cover, we will see those same authors who screamed and cried about how that cover was soooooooo wrong campaigning to get rid of covers with half-naked men on them.

Oh, wait, they’re okay with that because men are the oppressors and all those covers are doing is getting back at them for generations of oppression.

Sigh. Where are the grownups and will they please come take the bratty toddlers in hand before it’s too late?

28 comments

  1. It took me about 30-45 seconds to realize what the grey thing on the SFWA journal cover was supposed to be. At first I thought it was a snail’s head, or an animal-based creature also in quasi-Middle Eastern fantasy garb.

  2. It’s too late. The children have taken over the daycare and they’re running amok. Let the place burn. It’s the only way to get rid of the infection.

  3. “And I’ll wait for the day to come — and it will — when a new batch of entitled darlings hit SFWA membership and turn the tables on the GHHers”

    Yes. Every Robespierre has his Thermidor.

    “take a look at the new cover for the soon to be relaunched Bulletin and tell me what message it’s sending.”

    She’s completely covered from head to toe, as befits a woman. Her face is still visible, I see no sign of a male guardian, and there’s still the whole “graven image” issue, but, you know, baby steps.

    (Caution: the preceding paragraph may contain traces of sarcasm.)

    1. “She’s completely covered from head to toe, as befits a woman. Her face is still visible, I see no sign of a male guardian, and there’s still the whole “graven image” issue, but, you know, baby steps.”

      And the horse!

      The problem with all of this, you know, is that anything can be twisted to be patriarchial oppression should someone have that desire. This is how saying “lady editor” turns into a sin. Honest to freaking dog… a woman in colorful silks that brings to mind the privileged fleshpots of asia and the orient, covered “as befits a woman” in cultures where women are subservient, on a horse… her name is problably the sanskrit equivalent of Joanna (or some such) which means something like “lover of stallions.” (I discovered this when looking up my own name, which apparently means nothing as it’s simply been a name since before time began. I was flabbergasted at the notion that anyone would willingly answer to something that meant “lover of stallions.”)

      1. I don’t know, I’d rather deal with stallions and geldings than mares any day. Stallions are predictable, mares, eh, well, there’s a reason people buy supplements to help improve their mare’s mood and behavior. And stallions can be trained to behave themselves around . . . Oh, that’s not what you meant? Oops. 😉

  4. Yup, the new Bulletin is checking off the PC to-do list. But it won’t matter. Someone, somewhere, will still say something that will cause another eruption.

  5. Wee-doggies, there’s enough glitter on that cover to make it the poster for Glittery Hoo Haas. I noticed the reference to “Recommended Perspective” in the introduction, so they are going forward with the agenda.
    On the Ross thing: The major foul up in getting rid of Ross was that though unknown to the SF community at large, he is well known in his own circles. Something like three and a half million Twitter followers. He would have introduced approximately 3,500,000 people to Science Fiction. If only ten percent of them bought one Science Fiction/Fantasy book- that’s 350,000 new readers. If I got even one/one hundredth of that, momma would have six months free in the nursing home.
    On a personal note: I had been entertaining the thought of Liberty Con. It’s about six hundred miles; but, since my father’s family reunion is in Houston on the fourth of July and it’s just a drop down from there it would be easy. Since my family is just about all Liberal though, I was wondering if it was worth the bother anyway. Someone on your site said that Liberty Con wasn’t. Nah, think I will stay in Oklahoma. We’ve already got good biker roads and Texas, if you can avoid the main highways has the same atmospere of friendly people and freedom.

    1. On the Ross thing: The major foul up in getting rid of Ross was that though unknown to the SF community at large, he is well known in his own circles. Something like three and a half million Twitter followers. He would have introduced approximately 3,500,000 people to Science Fiction. If only ten percent of them bought one Science Fiction/Fantasy book- that’s 350,000 new readers. If I got even one/one hundredth of that, momma would have six months free in the nursing home.

      Exactly. Now SFFdom has shown itself to be humorless right-on loons to the average Brit. And somehow that suggests they won’t be queueing up to buy the next Hugo award winning novel. Whereas they might have done if Mr Ross was still the presenter.

    2. As to Libertycon. It is still several hundred miles form Houston to Chattanooga so I am not sure we are talking about the same con. If we are the con is very Baen Barfly heavy. There is usually a trip to the shooting range to try out each others guns on Friday morning, often another on Saturday. . Sarah and Cedar will be there. John Ringo is a regular. David Drake will be there this year. There is a small liberal contingent that is trying to grow but, they will kill the con if they go very far. Most Baen Barflies consider Libertycon the annual family reunion. Oh yes Michael Z Williamson will be there. Liberal? Not really

  6. Tell me it is doing anything more than kneeling at the feet of political correctness, bending over backwards to show that this is a different Bulletin from the last issue.

    *mischief* Oh, I don’t know, a lady in a glorified burqa and on a horse is something I might consider to folks who throw fits over admiration of career women in bikinis….

    1. But the burka protects her from the evils of the Male Gaze. And what better symbol for a liberated woman can you imagine than a garment that completely conceals her femininity?

  7. From my perspective as a reader, Amanda, your statement:

    “I’ll continue trying to write stories people want to read…”

    is the most important part of this post.

    Ben Hartley
    (I write it, I sign it)

  8. I *rally, truly* wish I knew what drugs they’re taking. 3 Percocets a day, don’t begin to touch my pain. A 1 mg tablet, of whatever they’re taking, would fix me for *at a least* day. 🙂 Based on that cover, there’s no way I’d pay money for the contents. Maybe DWS would use it as a “what not to do on a cover design.”

  9. Er… a harem girl on a horse? WTF?

    I actually like the picture, but I don’t really see how it’s different from chainmail and some skin.

  10. From Larry Correia’s FB wall is this comment, which I think sums it up:

    Liz Williams I’m a lefty feminist but I can’t cope with pre-cognitive PTSD. I’m now going to get really upset about something Larry might say to me, if we ever meet, but probably won’t, and then I’ll put it all over Twitter.

    (Liz BTW is a good sort despiet penning occasional articles for the Grauniad)

  11. Okay, there isn’t too much feminine showing in that picture, and it is badly out of focus. Kind of needs the subtitle, “when your prince looks like this, you’ve had way too much hashish.”

    1. I can’t see a man in that picture… it’s the thigh, I think.

      I was realizing today that every picture I’ve seen of individual Russian troops in the Ukraine (okay, so all of *two* pictures of individuals close enough for a 3/4 torso shot) with full gear and a face mask were female. It’s possible that the first one was an 18 year old male, but I doubt it.

      1. The femininity is subtle, you can’t point to a single feature and say, see it is a woman because it has this. I would say obviously woman, but it is blurred out of focus to look like one of those “beer goggle” pictures floating around the internet. You know where either an adolescent male or very ugly female gets prettier and more feminine after every beer. Plus the fact that no woman wearing the clothes pictured would ever be riding astride a fractious horse in the culture where such clothes are used.

  12. Why do sign in so late at night, when I know I have to get up early tomorrow??? But I have to confess…the SFWA cover made me think of My Little Pony meets Princess for a Day. This is an improvement…how? Yeesh.

    1. Ramona sighed, and looked up once more from the kitchen tiles she was scrubbing. If only there was someway to have her heart’s desire. Then she saw the shooting star outside, and quickly whispered the sacred words, while wishing as hard as she could.

      She could feel Gaea pulsing under her knees, the blood of Mother Earth rising, and the magic swirling around her. Suddenly her rags turned into shimmering veils of gold and brown, dusted with jewels, covering her from head to toe. Her hair stood up, then twined around her head, braiding itself into a coif under the cover of a fine veil, thick with gold lace and dots of amethyst.

      She stood up, and took a deep breath. Then the hoofbeats sounded outside, and she jumped as a horse of a different color leaped through the wall, landing lightly beside her. He lowered his proud neck, then half-bowed, stretching out his foreleg. He winked at her, and she laughed.

      Then she put her hand on his shoulder, and leaped up onto his back. The minute she settled onto the pad he wore, he quickly rose, and stood, his head high, waiting for her command.

      “Onward, my little pony, until truth, justice, and glitter rules the world!”

      She posed, in a beam of moonlight, before riding into the dark.

      She was truly a princess of the night.

      1. Okay…so *this* is why I log on too late at night and leave the odd comment. Well done, sir! Well done! (I’d say LOL, but since I’m giggling…is there a “GOL”?

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