“Moral high ground is a wonderful place to site your artillery.”

Originally attributed to Napoleon, it would not surprise me to learn the Corsican truly said such a thing. After all, Artillery was his field of expertise before he became a general or an Emperor. The Emperor of France was a Red Leg.  Eat your hearts out cavalry.

Napoleon understood that when your artillery is properly sited on an elevated position, you’re able to increase the distance you can loft a round. You also increase the visible distance at which you can effectively sight an enemy force approaching your position. During the Napoleonic Era of armies moving to contact in lines and columns, this mattered a great deal. The more time your opponent spent observed, under accurate artillery fire, the more likely you were to shatter his morale and slaughter a goodly number of his troops.

George Pickett bears witness to this violently harsh reality. Out of 12,500 men who charged the Union center at Gettysburg, less than 6,000 returned to friendly lines. Given that Meade’s Army of the Potomac suffered less than 1,500 casualties in the engagement, we may consider this a gross disparity.

Even in our modern digital age, this matters. Modern shell artillery can put rounds down range nearly 30 miles, within a 10-meter circle of error. George Pickett would’ve killed for such firepower on his side, if only to take out the Union artillery positions which devastated his men as they crossed that bloody field.

I love artillery. It’s what I did in the Marine Corps. Learned how to run 155mm howitzers, then wound up doing those plus 81mm mortars when I was in Afghanistan. Both have their uses, and despite difference in size, and procedure, certain facets are the same. My billet was to be recorder. I sat on the radio listening to fire commands from the Fire Direction Center and writing them down, then relating that info to the section chief and the ammo team.

When the section chief would check mil settings, or shell and fuze combo, he does so by repeating it back to the reporter.  If it’s incorrect, the record tells him, and he repeats the data.  If it’s correct, the reporter yells “VERIFIED!”

Every fire command is written, by hand, so that the particular guns on the gun line have a physical record of what they should be doing. It must be neat, orderly and written correctly. If you screw up, the Sergeant is going to make your life hell. You must relay all fire commands verbally and do so correctly. Or the Sergeant will make your life hell. For this reason, recorders are expected to ask FDC for a restatement of mission data if there is any doubt about what we heard FDC say.

I was learned this lesson rather neatly at 29 Palms in January, doing a night shoot as part of a field op. Call comes down, and I missed the command “Do Not Load.” And I realize this only after we’ve rammed the round into the breech. Howitzer shells make a neat ringing sound when rammed. You can hear it up and down the gun line as the crews work. And ours was the only ring heard.

Our A-Chief was a Corporal and I turned to him. “Corporal. I think FDC said Do Not Load.” “Crap. Staff Sergeant, we got a problem!” We talked. Staff Sergeant swore. A bunch. Then he said to me “You better pray we shoot this mission, because otherwise you’re gonna be digging alongside Ownby. Cause its a pain in the ass to extract a round and explain it to battery gunny, feel me devil?”
“Yes Staff Sergeant.”
“From now on, if you think you heard something, ask. I’ll back you on it because that’s your job. Okay?”
“Yes Staff Sergeant.”

2 minutes later, we were told to cancel special instructions “Do Not Load” and fire when ready. At which point Gun 6 pulled the lanyard and made a joyful noise unto the Lord. FDC was suitably impressed with our speed and my Corporal reminded me that I “got real f**king lucky.” I won’t argue that at all. But I learned a valuable lesson that night in the California desert and it’s stuck with me ever since: before you do something serious, make sure you’re right. Make sure you’re accurate.

In the world of literature, novels and books, we’ve had lots of turmoil over the last 7 years. Accusations have flown all over the place. As a conservative-minded man, I’d like to think the people I support, and those on my side, retain their integrity in matters. It’s supposed to be one of our hallmark traits, alongside things like Honor, Character, Dignity.

You can dislike a person, without sinking to lying about them. You can dislike an organization without creating false stories about them. I dislike Irene Gallo because she chose to make extremely unprofessional comments about myself and others as being “Nazis,” after which she tendered an “apology.” Irene, sweetie, Lucy Pinder’s 32GG tits on Page 3 less fake than what you put out during that little escapade. That was shameful of you.

I rather intensely dislike Irene’s behavior. That does not mean that I need to make up stories about Irene burning kittens alive with a blow torch while poisoning the water supply in an orphanage. The truth is damning enough. Nothing more is needed. Or necessary. Sorry post-modernism philosophers- truth is not subjective. Just because you don’t like something doesn’t make it less real. You’re just not good at handling bad news.

Now, somebody in the audience will likely say “Jon, why are you so prejudiced against progressivism?” Folks, let me recite the words of Gunny Hartman “There is no racial bigotry here… Here you are all equally worthless!” Just because I speak out against progressives doesn’t mean I don’t have disdain for people on my “side” of the political spectrum, or the arguments going on at the cultural level. If anything, I dislike them just as much. Why? Because they know better, and they still choose to act the fool.

Don’t tell me I “attacked you” and I “shouldn’t attack people on our side.” I’m not attacking anything. When I’ve ram a 155mm HE round through the roof of your house and send you to kingdom come for taking potshots at my friends with a machine gun, that’s an attack. When I stab you in the guts with my Ka-Bar, that’s an attack. Telling you to quit lying about a Given topic, and what they said or didn’t say isn’t an attack. It’s a correction. You rage quitting the conversation and blocking me makes you the fool- you can’t take correction. Doing this repeatedly to others shows a lack of maturity on your part.

In the Corps, we police our own. Lance Corporal steps outta line, another Lance Corporal should be the one to step up and fix him before a Corporal gets ahold of him. Or your Sergeant drop kicks you in the chest when he comes off the back of a 7-ton truck during a night move because you screwed up. Or you dig sandbags for hours. Or you do 800 mountain climbers in a dirt pit while screaming “I’m a f**king moron! One! I’m a f**king moron! Two!” We correct each other because combat zones have consequences.

This conflict over culture has consequences. It demands that we not give in to the base instinct of lying, dehumanizing, and othering those with whom we quarrel. Such is dishonorable. Such will not be tolerated. I don’t want you to my left or right, I don’t want you laying down suppressive fire from behind me as I charge forward, if I can’t trust you to do the right thing.

This means not lying about people like Irene Gallo, Moshe Feder, Scalzi, Glyer, or anybody else in this conflict. Such actions destroy our credibility and integrity.
This means that when a panelist says something rude about Tolkien, and SFWA is merely live-streaming the event, don’t claim SFWA said those things about Tolkien.
When Tor writer Elise Ringo says “This is what I crave from female villains: women who are extended the same complexity and depth- and, potentially, sympathy- as their male counterparts, and also women who are really truly bad… Dark Lords are all very well, but the world needs more Dark Ladies…”
Your reply should not include the words “ calls on writers not to write female villains.”
When a fellow author says they don’t want to be included in your drama on Twitter, then blocks you on rather preemptively, don’t go “declare war” on them. That’s not just rude, that’s unprofessional.
When Brandon Sanderson announces that he’s going to be making some very carefully thought-out decisions about his involvement with a con just because he’s trying to be careful about his professional relationships, and you scream “MUHVIRTUESIGNALING!” you’re not impressing anybody but your own echo chamber and stroking your ego.

None of the highlighted bad behavior advances forward the cause of having better quality literature people will want to read, buy, and re-read in science fiction and fantasy. I have seen far too much utilization, by Conservatives and Libertarians, of leftist tactics and beliefs. KNOCK THAT OFF!

Let the progressives and socialists play by the rules of Alinsky! Let them continue making the mistakes which they have. Remember the phrase “basket of deplorables” and what that did for neutrals during the election? Hillary Clinton remembers. And her bitterness over that statement will haunt her the way Pickett was haunted by the death of his men at Gettysburg on that bloody day. Let those who sit on the fence and wonder what they should do see by our actions, by our words, by our conduct that we are worth respecting and supporting!

If you can’t act without even the slightest shred of honor, integrity, maturity or sound judgement about these matters, you’re going to find out just how lonely life can be. Nobody will want to deal with you, work with you, or associate with you. Those who would have been your fans will not recommend your work to their friends and colleagues. They will not make an effort to seek your work out and extol praises about its brilliance. Ignominy awaits such a person. Don’t put yourself there.


  1. Very well spoken. I do think it’s worth reading Alinsky, but in a “know your enemy” type way, not to adopt his strategies or values.

    1. Not to adopt his values, certainly.

      But most of his rules are value neutral, and damn fine tactics.
      “Make your opponent live up to his stated values”?
      Yes. A thousand times yes.
      “A good tactic is one your people enjoy”?
      We are all volunteers, you know.
      “The price of a successful pressure campaign is a solution “?
      Otherwise, what’s the point?
      “A tactic that drags on too long is a drag”.
      See also: sad puppies.
      “Personalize, polarize, and freeze”?
      Now, this one could go too far. That said… When your opponents are enthusiastically polarizing themselves, declaring that everyone to the Right of Trotsky is a Nazi, and that they don’t want us Deplorables buying their wares… All this involves from us, is providing them a better bullhorn. Shouldn’t the people they’re insulting learn that they’re being insulted? Also, it forces them to live up to their expressed values, and it’s fun.
      I could continue, but you get the gist.

  2. “This means not lying about people like Irene Gallo, Moshe Feder, Scalzi, Glyer, or anybody else in this conflict.”

    Absolutely agree. There is no need to make things up about these weenies. Merely reporting what they do is more than damning enough.

      1. Remember the good old days, when they used to scream GUN CONTROL!!! and we would laugh and say “why not knife control, dewd?”

        Well now they’re screaming KNIFE CONTROL!!! I’m egging them on with pointed stick control, we’ll see how that works out.

        You can’t make up dumber shit than what they are going to say. The healthy human brain can’t summon up that level of malfunction without damage.

          1. Alas, all I ask is that they exercise self-control.

            Apparently that’s too much to ask for.

        1. Oh, I’m going to get in trouble for this then:

          “Hampus Eckerman: It is not unfair to call the Sad Puppies misogynist and homophobic. They did put John C Wrights hate screed on their slate, a deeply sexist and homophobic hate screed.”

          That was a mild one, comment from a post about this very post at the floppy pit of camel dung.

          So sorry, no links for you, Hampus baby. As I said, its hard to make up dumber shit than what they say themselves.

    1. Bingo. When you lie, you give them a reason to not believe any truths you tell.

      1. Oh, that’s not an issue. They never believe anything, no matter what. You can say the sun rises in the East and sets in the West, and point out the window at the setting sun, they will call you a liar.

        1. And at this point, phantom, the feeling is mutual. All I want is for them to leave me alone. Voluntarily or otherwise doesn’t matter.

  3. I am a firm believer in Schlichter’s Rule 4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”

      1. The line is hard to define. It’s more like a fog bank. You know when you’re in it and when you’re not, but there is a transition zone when you’re not quite sure.

  4. Marine, I was exclusively on the other end of that call for fire. FWIW, it never even crossed my mind that I might be in danger due to some mistake back in the FDC, even when calling in a Danger Close mission. In retrospect, that faith was remarkable. Thanks to all you gun bunnies for earning that faith.

  5. “You must relay all fire commands verbally and do so correctly. Or the Sergeant will make your life hell. For this reason, recorders are expected to ask FDC for a restatement of mission data if there is any doubt about what we heard FDC say.”

    Not your main point. but why use voice to communicate in a noisy environment, potentially with electronic warfare used to block communication? A radio telegraph like system can be built with a lot more redundancies, and remove the need for a separate recorder.

    1. My guess: When something goes wrong, a paper trail allows you to figure out where it went wrong. In the best case, a change can be made so it doesn’t happen again. In the nominal case, you know who to blame.

    2. “…why use voice to communicate in a noisy environment…”

      Because it always works, even when everything is F-ed. Equipment is fragile, heavy, takes batteries, some guys are stoopid and can’t work it right… the list goes on. But anybody can scream an order or scream it back for checking, even wounded.

    3. If Merkel can call up Johnny Redleg on the other side of the world and have him rewrite the records to be different, you have a very bad problem. A machine being hackable is a very normal problem.

      1. Several issues:

        1. You can still have a paper trail. It can be created automatically, where you can’t open the machine to remove it without leaving signs.

        2. There are ways to make this stupid enough to be unhackable.

        3. Is the FDC ever within ear shot of the gun battery? That’s the only case where screaming an order would be enough.

        1. You have to carry the damn thing, and fix it when, not if, it breaks.

          I’ve seen a guy break an FN-C1 rifle by accident. The Soviets made the AK-47 like a cast-iron tractor, they still broke. There is nothing in the world, including the head of a three pound hammer, that a soldier can’t break.

          Then there is the apocryphal story of the Space Pen, a miracle of engineering, which writes in weightless space. The Russians used a pencil.

          True, a machine would be way better. But it would break. I think the guns still mount brass micrometer measurements and spirit levels on all the joints so they can be set by hand, for when the auto-aim thingy breaks. Do they still issue trig tables?

          1. Then there is the apocryphal story of the Space Pen, a miracle of engineering, which writes in weightless space. The Russians used a pencil.

            The Americans also used pencils before the Space Pen was invented. But you really don’t want conductive graphite dust floating around in zero-G….

            1. Oh, now there is a hazard I had not considered. Graphite gets into everything. It is insidious.

    4. As a former Army Redleg (M109SP and M198 towed) we did have a digital readout on the gun that provided fire mission data. It was great when it worked… Most of our missions came down verbally via a hard wire commo link. We slept at the guns and let me tell you nothing wakes you up like hearing FDC yell “Fire Mission!” Inside the self propelled howitzer you didn’t even need ear plugs. Even on the towed (which according to my wife after a family day demo is “f***ing loud”) we never had problems hearing the commo net. End gun bunny trivia.

    5. Broadcasting radio waves allows your position to be quickly triangulated, with even 1940s tech. Broadcasting your position is an invitation for immediate counter-battery fire. That the enemy can’t easily break your encryption is irrelevant at the tactical level. There’s a reason 9-lines and calls for fire are transmitted in 3 second bursts.

      We used old-fashioned field telephones and a spool of wire. When they worked. They tended not to. And repairing them wasn’t a budget priority.
      So, sound off like you’ve got a pair. And maybe dig your pit so an ammoman can act as relay.

      1. I didn’t realize the FDC is close enough to communicate by spool of wire. In that case, there is a lot less interference. You can still transmit text on the same spool, but I can see how it would be less of a priority – you need to have the audio regardless for other things.

      2. “Broadcasting radio waves allows your position to be quickly triangulated, with even 1940s tech.”

        Supposedly every German radio in the Wehrmacht had a warning “The enemy is listening.”

  6. “That does not mean that I need to make up stories about Irene burning kittens alive with a blow torch while poisoning the water supply in an orphanage.”

    They’ll probably skim your post and claim you said just that.

    1. Simple question for you, with the understanding that I have no use for Tor’s management. I think they have done an extreme disservice to the genre and have helped perpetuate the lies against good men and women like Larry, Brad and Sarah, to name a few. That said, if we were to somehow manage to destroy Tor, what about the authors who have their work published by them? Have you given any thought to what happens to those titles? Or how about to the fans who like those works?

      1. I am not Jon Del Arroz, but I will hazzard that TOR seems to be destroying itself quite efficiently without any input from us. When it or its parent company are gone, we will start talking about the Big Four and that’s about all that will change.

        The fans who like those works will make a huuuuge fuss on Twitter and Tumblr, and then nothing more will be heard.

        1. You are missing a major part of my point. If Tor goes belly up, most — if not all — of the books published with them will be stuck in limbo. The authors won’t get their rights back, potentially for years. The books, except for used books, will no longer be available for purchase. The authors, most of whom would rather just write and not be pulled into the political/social justice battlefield, will have their income streams cut. Then there are the other employees, the ones who aren’t in decision making positions and just want to be able to bring home a paycheck to help meet their bills.

          1. Well, we could ask those people who worked on the Roseanne set what they think should happen if TOR does go out of business…

            1. Hey, you won’t get me defending what happened regarding Roseanne. Check Victory Girls Blog and you will see I called ABC out for its double-standard.

          2. If your an author at TOR and have no idea what the company and it’s employees are doing in public venues, then that’s on you. Yes, I know you want to “just write” and not worry about the behind the scenes stuff, but that way is fraught with danger and a path to ruin. Don’t believe me? Ask Palahniuk.

            I suspect those authors who do know whats going on have a plan (and lawyer) in place, should such a thing occur.

            1. That plan and lawyer will take money and time still. Look, do I like what TNH and others at the top of TOR are doing? Not only no but hell no. But then they weren’t in charge when a lot of those authors signed contracts. Or are those authors supposed to have been able to foresee the future?

              1. See the future?


                Be prepared for such an eventuality? Yes.
                Again, if you are an author at TOR and you aren’t aware of what they are doing in Public, and how such actions could affect your professional future because you chose to sign with them, that’s on you. There are risks when signing with a Publisher, this is one of them.

                Ignorance is not a defense.

                If it were, the IRS would be in trouble.

                1. And you still miss the point. Some of these contracts were signed years before PNH took control. But I guess that doesn’t matter to you or those who don’t think about how you can — and probably should — separate a person from the company. Too bad for all those who rely on the company for their income. Their boss is an ass, so everyone has to suffer. Shrug.

                  1. Life isn’t fair.
                    Bad things happen.
                    Risk exists.

                    It is certainly possible that some innocent might be harmed by my refusing to do business with a company that openly despises me.

                    I do not care.

                    Tor delenda est.

                  2. So…
                    Unless I WANT PEOPLE TO DIE, I must buy a luxury item from a company that despises me.
                    On the grounds that the company in turn *might* pass along 1/8th of the purchase price to the creator, six months later, and I don’t want him to eventually suffer the loss of a dollar’s income.

                    (Shakes Magic 8-Ball)
                    (Looks at result)
                    Wow. I did not realize these utilized so much profanity.
                    It’s very emphatic that the answer is No.

                    1. Did I say that? No, I didn’t. What I am trying to get folks to understand is there are more people involved than the half dozen or so we would all love to see disappear from the industry. I also want to make sure everyone understands our own double-standard (and yes, we have one). Every time we stand up for Baen or others, be they indies or publishers, because we approve of their message, we are telling folks who don’t agree with us that they can take a flying leap. Which, whether we like it or not, is what certain folks at Tor are telling us.

                      Do I want to see PNH, Gallo and others in control over there? Hell no. And each of you who have been jumping all over me should know that if you have followed this blog for long. However, I don’t like seeing the blithe attitude of killing a company without at least a nod to what the results will be for everyone involved and without an acknowledgement that there will be authors caught up in it who never thought Tor would turn into what it had.

                      Someone said the authors have to take responsibility for signing with Tor, as if assuming the authors knew what Tor would turn into. Remember, PNH has only been in control there a short period of time, relatively speaking. I doubt anyone who knew Tom Dougherty when he was really running the company ever foresaw what has happened the last four or five years. Yes, authors signing during those four or five years made a conscious choice to join the new regime. The others? No.

                      Again, let me repeat. I do not like Tor as it is now. But it is very easy to say “burn it down” without looking at all the consequences.

          3. True, Amanda, bad things will happen to good people if/when Tor fails. L.E. Modesitt is an author that I like, he would suffer from the fall of Tor. Heck, Baen Books would have trouble. Such is life, few things are entirely black and white. This should not stop us from doing what is right.

            Would you excuse a hit man because some of the money he made went to the care of his mother suffering from multiple sclerosis? I’m sure that some folks that work for The Weinstein Co. are decent people, should we excuse Harvey Weinstein because of them?

            Value judgement – is Tor, as it stands, a force for good or ill? I know what I believe.Tor delenda est!


            1. My big issue is that folks are attributing to a company what people who hold positions of power in that company do and say. Do I like what they have done and said? Hell no. But, conversely, how many of us have stood up and defended Baen and its editors when they’ve been attacked for publishing conservative authors? Most of us here have. Why? Because we agree with the conservative bent of the house. We have defended Amazon because it gives authors an option that doesn’t include having to go through the “system” of traditional publishing. Does that mean I agree with Jeff Bezos’ politics? No.

              Instead of attacking an entire company and trying to put folks out of business, attack the persons. Go to the board of directors and the sponsors. Let the authors know so they can make an informed decision. But, for the love of all that is holy, quit using scatter shot to hit a small target, especially if that target is moving.

              Let me turn your own examples around on you. Say your child wants to attend the University of Chicago because it has the best degree program for what he or she wants to be. Should your child be punished and not allowed admission because you have written something the administration doesn’t agree with? By your own analogies, the answer is yes. Is that the way you want things to be done?

              1. Scattershot is the best way to hit a small, moving target.

                We don’t hunt birds with rifles.

              2. My main thing with Tor is, okay; there are authors there whose works I’d love to read.

                However, I cannot stomach the thought of my money going to pay people who go out of their way to slander me and my friends, in very public venues.

                Those people are not the authors I want to read. But some of my money goes to the shitheads who do.

                The authors that I want to read and I lose out; because I don’t get to enjoy their work and they don’t get paid by me.

                Heck, it’s getting to the point that merely LIKING those authors is detrimental TO those authors, because the screeching mob will want their declarations of purity and ‘those people’ not buy their work. That’s why I’m not mentioning the names.

                So, yeah, while authors who just wanna write and not be pulled into the politics are getting hurt, we’re not the ones who are making this worse. They, like us, have to live with the horrible situation that we’re all in, thanks to the social justice zealots.

                1. That was clearly the case a couple of years ago when we know for facts that authors quite rightly expected to be punished if the wrong people nominated them for an award.

                  With friends like that, no one needs enemies. But just as in most abusive situations it comes with a side order of isolating manipulation.

                  After all, where will you go? Who will love you if you leave me?

                2. Totally agree. I choose not to buy anything from Tor right now. Let their bottom line speak to their investors and then let those investors decide what needs to be done. Let the authors know why I am doing this so they can decide whether or not they value my business enough to stay with Tor with their next projects. Then see what the board does.

                  I guess I’m just tired of the knee-jerk reaction from all sides of “I don’t like what you did/said/whatever, so you have to go away!” I would rather support those writers and artists I like and who are either indie or who work for publishers I do like than spend time yelling about how the others should be torn down and their ashes scattered.

          4. “The authors, most of whom would rather just write and not be pulled into the political/social justice battlefield, will have their income streams cut.”

            The entire Canadian steel and aluminum industries are about to pay the price for other people playing politics. That’s what happens when you politics be more important than commerce.

      2. The savvy ones will go indie, if they aren’t already. Those that won’t will probably suffer, but it’s not like they don’t have the option.

        As for the IPs that are likely to get caught up in bankruptcy court, that’s on the publishers for screwing their authors with exploitative contacts, and on the authors themselves for signing then.

        1. The indie ones will still suffer because of their tied-up books, and the time it takes to build up the inventory. They may have option clauses that keep them from going indie until the collapse occurs.

          Easier than it might be, but not painless.

    2. I’ll note here that Brandon Sanderson is published by Tor, and his Stormlight Archives series looks to be a giant kick in the teeth to the kind of claptrap pushed by the SJWs.

      1. Pity he didn’t work with a different publisher.
        I’d be happy to buy that book, but not from that company.

        Tor delenda est.

        1. That, my friend, is why God gave us libraries, used bookstores, and devices that we can use to find the information we need to send money directly to authors.

    3. Catching up on MGC today. And as much as I love the top level ethical discussions, there’s a point Mrs. Green raised that does not appear to have been addressed.

      To wit: the damnable commies at Tor are using decent authors as human shields. Thus, “have you thought about what happens to those authors?” comes with, “and what should we do?” I’ve been worrying about this myself, for some time now, not in any grand sense, but what to do about specific authors I like.

      Of course, as I think others have mentioned: Support their exit strategy: Baen, Castallia, Kelthaven, Superversive, etc., and all the Indy and small press options for reviews and marketing.

      One other thing I’m trying, which may help. Keep track of the used copies you get, and at the end of the year, or quarterly, or whenever, send the author a check for the money they’d’ve got if you’d actually bought their books retail. Then send an e-mail to Tor’s bosses at McMillan(?), explaining what you did and why.

      I think the justifiable desire to see Tor rubble, possibly with the earth of its fields salted, should go hand in hand with keeping them from harming as few creators as possible.

  7. Hear, hear!

    Politics is partly ideology and partly a preference for behaviors. Live the behaviors you prefer.

  8. I remember when John Wright asked everyone not to attack Tor indiscriminately because their employees didn’t deserve to be hurt and specifically said that Irene Gallo had done a good job for him and got him really fantastic covers.

    That was a couple of weeks before she decided to off-handedly declare all of “those people” Nazis as her “yeah whatever” explanation to someone about what was going on.

    And these days I have to sort of wonder how someone like Scalzi manages to go on panel after panel and complain about anyone who has ever asked him not to be “political” since this is an author’s inalienable right, and now some chick resigns from a convention because because her bosses insist that authors will not be uninvited for being political as the convention refuses to take a political “side”, and yeah, Scalzi isn’t her but it would be nice to hear what he thinks.

    Do authors get to be “political” and occasionally grumpy as some sort of “right” that they have or not? And might Scalzi, quite unlike that chick who can’t stand the idea of inviting people she doesn’t like to a convention, insist that the scorn he throws at the idea that authors ought to be a bit circumspect in their public life apply equally to everyone?

    Does it?

    1. “Do authors get to be “political” and occasionally grumpy as some sort of “right” that they have or not?”

      No, authors have zero rights. They have privilege, which is different.

      I believe that Margaret Atwood, random famous author example, can be as grumpy and political as she likes… as long as she stays in that narrow band of acceptable opinion.

      If she had an epiphany one day and decided that Stephen Harper was -not- really Satan after all, or that Donald Trump couldn’t be as dumb as he looks, her special Literary Übermensch powers and rights to her own opinion would magically vanish. She would be cast out from Cultural Olympus to dwell in the mud with the rest of us plebs, and her books would follow her down. Remainder bin hell.

      This despite her being a perfectly lovely person and never having a harsh word for anyone, or so I’ve heard.

      I think the truth is that authors are mostly car salesmen who make their own cars. You hitch your star to the wrong side of a political furball, you lose out.

      1. No doubt you are correct. Particularly as we’ve seen it happen again and again, and Atwood is a very apt example.

        So I suppose that the most likely thing is that Scalzi would never make the mistake of having an UNACCEPTABLE grumpy, political opinion. Which means that what he insists that authors must have the right to do is, as you said, a privilege granted only as long as he keeps inside the lines and doesn’t suggest that grumpy authors with political opinions have equal rights.

        1. “So I suppose that the most likely thing is that Scalzi would never make the mistake of having an UNACCEPTABLE grumpy, political opinion.”

          Clearly he tries hard not to, and so far he’s managed not to. But eventually, they will come for him. The purity spiral does not respect history.

      2. Tell Margaret Atwood “You’re my favorite science fiction author” and see what happens.

  9. Have honor.
    Have integrity.
    Have maturity and judgement.

    But have no mercy until the enemy surrenders or dies.

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