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And another one bites the dust

Figuratively speaking at least.

It seems the “right thinking” folks on social media have targeted yet another YA author. Kosoko Jackson has chosen to withdraw his novel after facing “backlash for centering a story about the Kosovo War around two non-Muslim Americans.”

Some early reviews heralded the book for telling a YA love story about two young, queer men of color, while other reviews expressed outrage that Jackson used a devastating war as a backdrop to tell that story without enough historical understanding.

Instead of standing his ground, Jackson caved to the pressure of social media. In doing so, he issued a statement via Twitter apologizing and saying he was withdrawing the book from publication. So the bullies win again. This time, however, they are eating one of their own. If this keeps up, there won’t be any books, at least no entertaining books, out there in the YA genre because authors will be to worried about ticking off all the points on the “approved list of topics, subjects, messages, etc” to actually write anything but the message.

Publishers Weekly had this to say about Jackson’s book and his decision:

Although the book had been positioned as an #OwnVoices LGBTQ romance, discussion of the novel’s problematic representation of the Kosovo War, genocide, and Muslim characters

BTW, the bullying must have been bad because, according to PW, Jackson set his website to “maintenance mode”.

While dealing with the hurt my debut has caused and coming up with a plan of action of how to fix the pain I’ve caused with my words, my site is currently under maintenance. I’ll have an update soon.

Thanks for your patience and for those who I hurt with my words, especially the Muslim readers, teens, and community members, I’m sorry.

When did we become a society with such fragile feelings and egos an author can’t write a novel that might–MIGHT–hurt someone’s feelings?

This isn’t the first time the mob–and make no mistake, it is a mob–has struck out at YA authors, demanding they remove their book from publication. The last time happened mere weeks ago. Amélie Wen Zhao withdrew her debut novel, Blood Heir, from publication due to claims of racism. Reason said it best when it wrote the social justice mob demanded Blood Heir be canceled because it wasn’t “woke enough”.

2017 saw Laura Moriarty facing much the same sort of backlash from the “community cops”.

When is it going to end?

With either the end of the genre or with publishers actually backing their authors and authors deciding the few dozen or so vocal naysayers aren’t going to control the entire genre. There is a reason why so many authors are going indie these days. There is a reading public out there that wants well-written, entertaining books that have a message. But that message doesn’t beat them over the head and it isn’t at the expense of the story. Good guys can be white, black, or purple polka dot and so can bad guys.

What those “community cops” forget is that they may think they hold the power today but tomorrow it will be someone else and they will be on the outside looking in. How do you think they will respond when they are on the receiving end of the demands to remove their work from publication? Can you imagine the howls and cries of “Unfair! Unfair!”? Yet they have no problem crucifying authors on social media now for simply doing what writers are supposed to do–write.

Here’s hoping justice comes to both sides and soon.

 

 

85 Comments
  1. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard #

    What’s ironic, is that this Jackson was part of the mob against other “offenders”.

    IE He got what he was willing to “hand out”. 😈

    March 1, 2019
    • Yep. As I said (I think I said), they are starting to eat their own.

      March 1, 2019
      • Mary #

        Starting? Thermidor, Moscow Show Trials. . . .

        March 1, 2019
    • Madame Guillotine has no favorites.

      March 1, 2019
  2. Matthew #

    Takeaway – don’t engage with the “community”. Just let customers buy the book if they like it.

    March 1, 2019
    • Synova #

      I think this is the key. At least, don’t engage with the toxic, sin-seeking, power hungry tyrant elements of the “community”.

      March 1, 2019
    • Seriously, that’s my take also – put the book out there, and ignore the foot-stomping social justice whiners. As we used to say in the military “F**k ’em if they can’t take a joke.”

      March 1, 2019
    • Mary #

      There was once a publisher that refused to let its employees go to SF conventions on the grounds it would warp their views of the audience.

      Same principle applies here.

      March 1, 2019
    • That’s more or less the gist of what I told someone who asked the question about publishing their zombie apocalypse novel over at Larry’s blogpost on this topic.

      March 3, 2019
  3. Uncle Lar #

    “Here’s hoping justice comes to both sides and soon.”
    Justice, oh hell no, I want retribution. These self appointed censors need to burn in hell!
    Never had much problem with book burners, seeing as those books were already bought and paid for. Burn a bunch and justify a second print run, please.
    But bullying an author to withdraw their work from publication is perhaps the most pure form of evil I can think of.
    Eat their own, absolutely, with hot sauce, and start with the naughty bits please.

    March 1, 2019
    • The US Constitution as currently understood prohibits the Federal government from pre-banning books. They have to be published, then the .gov stop them*. So the mobs are doing what even the .gov is forbidden from doing. *SIGH*

      *There are a very few exceptions, notably national security, that the Supreme Court has permitted, but very few.

      March 1, 2019
      • GWB #

        And that’s the whole point. Get the revolutionaries to do it, and the Constitution can’t stop them.
        It’s the whole point of inciting the mobs.

        March 8, 2019
    • I consider this case justice as Kosoko Jackson was part of the mob that killed Amélie Zhao’s book. Specifically, he was one of the people effectively arguing only American Blacks have any right to discuss slavery.

      One of the most misused quotes from the Bible, generally shortened in its misuse, applies:

      “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” Matthew 7:1-2 (usually only 1 is quoted to condemn judging).

      Mr. Jackson judged and now has been judged and punished by the standard he used.

      That is justice and I’m happy to see it.

      March 1, 2019
    • Never had much problem with book burners, seeing as those books were already bought and paid for. Burn a bunch and justify a second print run, please.

      Once upon a time I dined with Mad Mike Williamson and it came up that I just couldn’t get into his latest book (and maybe not others). No problem. He said he didn’t care if burned his books, so long they’d been bought. Further, he said that should I ever manage to get, say, a pallet’s worth to set alight, to invite him so he could record it. Publicity, you know.

      And that’s what an attacked author (as in the post) ought to reply: “Go ahead, make a big stink. I could use the publicity.”

      March 2, 2019
  4. Simply amazing.

    And such an advertising opportunity, if the author and publisher had stood up to them. “This is a book about the survival of love in the darkest places, two gay young men falling in love in an area of the world where they could be killed if they were discovered.”

    But then I suppose that Islam is above mere homosexuality on the hierarchy of *isms. Allah forbid that any of its brutal flaws be shown. Why, that would give entirely the wrong message!

    March 1, 2019
  5. Synova #

    OMG. No one was HURT by a story about gay POC American men in Kosovo. No one.

    No one was, has ever been, or *could be* hurt by a war-based thriller/gay romance no matter how badly written or ahistorical.

    At some point someone has to wake up to this because it just goes over and over and over again, round and round. Who is being silenced and hurt? A Chinese woman? A black (likely gay) man? Minorities. People who are emotionally vulnerable to in-group bullies.

    Why? Because it’s about power. And we see it over and over. It’s about little tyrants trying to be Big.

    And yeah… those occasional “lefty” lurkers who hang out looking for sin to “report”… I’m looking right at you.

    Own this and fix it you puling cowards.

    March 1, 2019
    • Supposedly one of the main complaints was that the main villain of the book was an Albanian Muslim–who, during the Kosovo War, were the victims of the piece.
      No word on whether this meant the author portrayed the Serbs as heroes, but somehow I doubt that he did.

      (Fun little historical sidenote: the reason we decided to have Kosovo become an independent country instead of attaching it to Albania? It was because the Albanians had their eye on western Macedonia, and we didn’t want to encourage them.)

      March 1, 2019
      • Amsel, Matthew #

        Given that the Kosovo Liberation Army started the dance, I have issues with them being the victims.

        March 1, 2019
        • The KLA confined its activities to government officials. The Serbs targeted anyone they could see.
          The Kosovars weren’t saints, but you don’t have to be a saint to be wronged.

          March 1, 2019
      • Synova #

        Larry just posted about villains as individuals in relationship to this and he mentioned that what you do isn’t not to have members of whatever group be villains, it’s to have others from the same group who are also individuals.

        Which is the right way to do it.

        March 1, 2019
  6. Reziac #

    Maybe it’s time to start writing stuff that deliberately offends the SJW bully mob…

    March 1, 2019
    • Amsel, Matthew #

      Paging Tom Kratman…

      March 1, 2019
    • vavu2009 #

      That would be pretty much anything that isn’t agiprop.

      The mob is an unthinking creature that feeds on hate and outrage. You can not reason with or negotiate with it. It is pure appetite. The author is mistaken if he thinks he has satisfied that appetite.

      March 1, 2019
      • Draven #

        and appetite enough that they devour their own when those they seek to devour ignore them.

        March 1, 2019
      • Keeps bringing to my mind John Carpenter’s “The Thing”.

        March 1, 2019
    • Synova #

      I’m playing with a story where the woman has a powerful desire to have the guy’s babies for the primary goal of reproduction for reproduction’s sake.

      So I’m good on the “offend the bully mob”. Granted, only if they care about me, and only if I care about *them*… and I don’t.

      March 1, 2019
      • I just finished writing something like that. The male character asks his new robot girlfriend if she’s going to stick around or ditch him like every other woman in his life. She responds by quoting Ruth from the Bible and informs him he’s going to have 16 children with her. After marriage and a suitable period for “practicing.”

        Funny how these little pieces of bible stories seem to float up out of the subconscious sometimes. I guess I was paying more attention in Sunday school than I thought at the time. ~:D

        Can hardly wait to find out what form of madness SJWs use to denounce a story about robots wanting to be married (to men!!) and have children.

        March 1, 2019
        • You likely won’t get hit simply because you won’t let them bully you. They only have what power you give them, so telling them to “f*** off and die an agonizing death” pretty much stops them. And if it doesn’t stop them, who cares? It’s not like you or anyone that matters to you cares what some *ssh*t thinks about your writing.

          March 1, 2019
        • Mike Houst #

          Designer babies with robots? Well, if you can find a robot who would program itself to be your perfect mate. If a robot was your soulmate, does that mean the robot has a soul?

          I found the recent movie, “Alita: Battle Angel” to be somewhat disturbing because the main character is basically a human brain in a robotic body. If you strip away everything except the mind, have you also stripped away those things that make us human, or make it worth living?

          March 1, 2019
          • Alita was disturbing on a lot of levels. Great CGI, story and characterization came up very short. I think it strayed very far from the manga, something Hollywood consistently does.

            March 2, 2019
          • The concept is nothing new, and has been explored quite a bit in Ghost in the Shell and similar manga. Alita (Gunnm is the series name; while Gally is the main character’s name in the original Japanese) is just one of them. GitS actually tackles the concept in greater depth in terms of philosophy and tech; Alita takes a different angle (it’s been a couple of decades since I read the manga, but the early arc on which the Western Alita* movie is based is positively idealistic and shiny compared to the later arcs of the first series – I recently found out there’s a second one.)

            One of the minor plot arcs in Ghost in the Shell was the illegal use of ghost-dubbing to create more human-responsive sexbots with a certain amount of programming. The ‘bots in question would go mad after a while and kill their owners, usually in very horrific ways. The plot is afoot when someone finds ‘help’ written in blood on the android brain. The original human sources of those ghosts? Teenagers illegally trafficked from the Philippines. It was touched on in the movie adaptation with ScarJo, I think.

            *There is an animated movie, from… around 1990? that seems to be a lot closer to the Western movie source, and other things added to it.

            March 3, 2019
        • rightasusual2003gmailcom #

          How, exactly, will she reproduce?

          March 2, 2019
          • It’s nanotechnology, otherwise known as Handwavium. If you can make an entire quasi-biological robot in 20 minutes, you can make a human body just as easily.

            So the details are really just for fun. Lots of materials science about osteoblasts spinning carbon nanotube reinforcements along with foamed titanium metal and ceramic bones. Muscles that use sheets of graphene as fascia.

            The question I found more interesting was, lets say you build a 100% working human body. Will there be anyone home?

            March 2, 2019
      • Mary #

        I’m just poking around with an idea, but I know that there are elves who live in eleven lands and think three children is a lot, and elves who live in human lands (usually in elven enclaves) and think that seven children is reasonable, and twenty is a lot.

        The Love Interest comes from the first region, ends up in the second, and by the end has fourteen children.

        March 1, 2019
        • Are they weird fairy-tale elves, or modern fantasy “humans with pointed ears” elves?

          March 2, 2019
          • Mary #

            GameLit. A homebrew game but deriving much from Pathfinder and D&D.

            So pointed ears ones.

            Which gives me two different GameLit universes if this one pans out, since I”m working on one with wildly different races (except for human) too.

            But that’s what happens when you go conjure up explanations for why the D&D world has humans so predominant when elves live so much longer: The plot bunnies run amok.

            March 2, 2019
            • snelson134 #

              Or you could just go by Occam’s Razor: Reproduction rates of humans vs elves and a predator density that argues for survival only if you are a species that breeds like rats.

              March 3, 2019
              • Mary #

                That’s only Ockham’s Razor if you set the world-building up like that. Most RPG worlds do not, in fact, have that kind of predator density.

                Enough to keep adventurers busy, but not enough to prevent thriving city and trade.

                March 3, 2019
    • In progress…

      March 1, 2019
  7. Okay, read the Goodreads review, and I have two conclusions.

    First, this is not a situation where reasonable people pick a side. This one is we sit back with our popcorn and wait for the asteroid to wipe them all out.

    Second, it appears Goodreads is a cancerous haven for crazy women. Going through the review was like reading the Unabomber’s manifesto. If this Tamara Cook bitch thinks the “gay boys cuddling” book was an outrage, her fucking eyes are going to bleed when she reads mine.

    I may send her an advanced copy just so I can see the melt-down. I have a big bag of popcorn all set.

    I also think that if this is what’s being published as YA, it is utterly insane. If a kid of mine came home with that, I’d be concerned. TradPub has gone right off the rails and down a sewer.

    March 1, 2019
    • Oh yes. Dave Freer has had several pieces about how the ick infiltrated, nay took over, YA books. And I thought the angst in the late 1980s was tiring? That’s nothing compared to the dreck being shoved at young readers for the sake of “diversity” and “Exposure to reality” and “learning about the other,” and—

      Oh, mostly because adults read YA because the writing was better, and then said, “Hey, I’d like this even more if it had more sex/violence/sadism/masochism/LGBTQ/whatever.” And found reasons to justify writing and publishing same.

      March 1, 2019
      • It looks more like grooming, IMHO. Training a new generation to accept even the most extreme perversity as normal.

        March 2, 2019
    • Mike Houst #

      Ugh. Goodreads. My SIL is constantly sending me suggestions which I constantly delete. I’ve yet to find 1 in 100 Goodread suggestions that I’m even vaguely interested in.

      March 1, 2019
    • Mary #

      Eh, depends on where in Goodreads you land. I’ve flagged a couple of reviews for personal attacks on the authors, but not happened on much of that.

      March 1, 2019
  8. Christopher M. Chupik #

    Another author taken down by the Wokenstein Monster he helped create. I wish I could feel better about this well-earned karmic payback, but no author deserves to have their work destroyed by a mob.

    March 1, 2019
    • “Live By the Sword, Die By the Sword” wasn’t a curse, it was a reasonable expectation. It’s not something you laugh about, just shake your head, especially when the ‘die by the sword’ was for so very little in this case.

      March 1, 2019
    • Zsuzsa #

      It’s a tough one. As a matter of principle, I agree with you. As a matter of emotion, I find it hard to care too much.

      March 1, 2019
  9. Mike Houst #

    “If this keeps up, there won’t be any books, at least no entertaining books, out there in the YA genre because authors will be to worried about ticking off all the points on the “approved list of topics, subjects, messages, etc” to actually write anything but the message.”

    So in other words, there’s a golden opportunity opening up for NPC Indie authors in the YA genre?

    March 1, 2019
    • Yay I thought so, in my reworking of the Lone Ranger legend _ https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00O2BP0JY/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i15

      March 1, 2019
      • Draven #

        i dare not do mine, lest i attract the attention of the Mouse

        March 1, 2019
    • Zsuzsa #

      See, I actually think the opposite is true. There’s going to be no woke-message fiction left, because no matter how woke you write it, you’ll never hit the platonic ideal of wokeness, and someone will demand you take it down and apologize.

      For those that just write fun, story-filled books, the mob won’t bother because they’ll just be shown two fingers and told to perform anatomically impossible acts of self-procreation.

      March 1, 2019
      • Mary #

        Only once it’s no longer subsidized. And they can subsidize it for a long time.

        March 2, 2019
      • Interesting. Woke will fail because something will never be woke enough, leaving the unwoke and antiwoke to win by default.

        (Ox head hurt, abusing language so.)

        March 2, 2019
      • Mike Houst #

        Somehow I just can’t see the legions of the woke giving up stories altogether. If they drown out all their followers because of minor deviations from the mob; the only thing left will be NPC. Of course that’s the point where they may band together and attempt to outlaw NPC content; which is the point where they are beyond redemption and you may as well start machine gunning the torch and pitchfork crowds besieging your castle.

        March 2, 2019
  10. What strikes me is that in both cases the authors withdrew their books based solely on the ravings of a bunch of people on Twitter. When this happened the first time, I thought, “Nah, there’s got to be more to it than that,” but now I’m thinking maybe not. I’ve had my own experience being attacked, and I think I see a pattern.

    The Twitter mob seems to be driven by two things: first, someone needs to be really, really envious of someone else’s success. This is important; because these episodes are motivated by people who want to destroy the success of another person, the organizers won’t accept apologies of any form.

    Second, the successful person needs to have done something that they themselves can’t defend. They can shout at you all day, but if you don’t believe you did something wrong (according to your own principles), then you really aren’t going to care. Not unless they manage to get the attention of someone who pays you money. This is why the attacks are almost always on like-minded people. They’re the only ones who’re vulnerable.

    When Rocket Stack Rank was attacked, it wasn’t hard to know the motivations of the attackers; they posted daily attacks on Twitter about how bad we were and how we didn’t deserve to be successful when other reviewers who never say negative things about stories were invisible. They kept asking what it would take to make us go away for good. We knew they were saying these things; we just ignored them.

    The way they managed to get us was that we had promised that RSR would be politics-free: focused on the stories alone. But I had been using my reviews to express my annoyance with the use of “non-binary ‘they'” in stories and making it fairly clear I didn’t take the whole non-binary thing seriously. As a long-standing member of the LGBT community, I certainly have the right to voice my opinion of the non-binary movement (although it quickly became clear that I was very out-of-date and should have at least talked to a few non-binary people), but RSR was not the place to have that discussion. Worse, the first my husband (and co-editor) learned of this was when our enemies produced a horrendous “open letter” that was a mix of half-truths and outrageous lies but supported with links to my own reviews. He was, understandably, rather upset with me.

    Most embarrassing was that Locus asked me to withdraw from the panel that selects their annual recommended reading list, and issued a press release about it.

    We recognized that our enemies wouldn’t be satisfied by anything we did. “If we committed suicide, they’d just say we did it wrong.” So we apologized to our readers for what we genuinely believed I had done wrong, and I went through the old reviews and comments and carefully removed everything that we agreed shouldn’t be there, based on our own principles. They made fun of our apology, of course, but we didn’t care; we didn’t do it for them.

    Then we waited to see what happened. We agreed that if volume to the site fell in half, we’d shut it down and find something else to do. It had been a miserable, humiliating experience, and it’s not like we make any money from Rocket Stack Rank. (We brag that we change no fees, run no ads, use no affiliate codes, and never beg for donations.) We think of it as our gift to fandom, and if fans didn’t want it, we wouldn’t keep doing it.

    But, volume increased.

    During the hullabaloo, volume more than doubled (by all measures) for about a month, based on year-on-year comparisons. But the next few months showed that we kept 20% of that. If we lost any readers, they were more than made up for by the ones who learned about us through this thing. (Maybe it really is true that all publicity is good publicity.) Year-on-year growth has continued, and we’re now actually bigger than some of the semiprozines that Locus reports on (although nowhere near the size of the ones we actually review).

    The Twitter mob moaned a bit, asking “why are they still a thing?” But, for the most part, they quit talking about us entirely and moved on.

    The upshot, I think, is that the Twitter mobs only target the successful and the vulnerable, and no one is more vulnerable than someone with principles they don’t quite live up to. You can’t appease the mob, but you can apologize (for your own sake, if no one else’s), clean up your act, and then become invulnerable. Once they see they can’t touch you, they’ll go away.

    For us, cleaning up our act was just a matter of a few hours editing six or seven reviews (out of over 2,000). For someone who has to rewrite an entire novel, that’s a much bigger deal. In the case of the two novels in question, I personally think the authors are being ridiculous; the principles they’re sacrificing for seem silly to me. I have to respect them for having something they believe in strongly enough they’re willing to suffer for it.

    The key is to be true to yourself. Do that, and the Twitter folks can’t touch you.

    March 1, 2019
    • That sounds very much like what I’ve observed in other fields vis a vis Twitter and the e-mob. The Great Knitting Purge (currently on-going) on Instagram and Pinterest is a better illustrated (in the literal sense) version of the same pattern. Someone expresses excitement and pleasure about an accomplishment or upcoming accomplishment, and the mob slaps them down in the name of “conversation” and “awareness” and “not perpetuating historical injustices” or whatever the applicable cause happens to be.

      March 2, 2019
      • In most cases, I don’t think many (if any) of the people in the mob actually believe in the cause. The right name for these folks is griefers, not “SJWs.” Their only goal is to cause pain; they’re not interested in justice in any way, shape, or form.

        March 2, 2019
      • The knitting thing is interesting. It all happened because some knitting lady was excited about going to India, and said so on her Instagram or whatever. Cure the WokeScolds and their colonialism REEEEE conversation.

        I’d be fascinated to know what would have happened if the Going To India lady had told them “I’m going to India and you’re not, neener neener!!!” or even simply ignored them.

        I mean, if you issue a fiery denunciation and the target shows no sign of concern, it takes all the wind out of your sails, doesn’t it? Then you double and triple down and they still don’t care? Now you look like a yapping corgi in a cage full of wolfhounds.

        March 2, 2019
    • “Second, the successful person needs to have done something that they themselves can’t defend.”

      Being white can’t be defended these days, Greg. When they came for RSR you gentlemen had done nothing even remotely wrong. Your crime was being insufficiently excited about the trans-author’s crappy story, and being insufficiently Trans-positive.

      Basically not applauding loud enough for Stalin’s speech.

      Maybe next time you just show them both your middle fingers and carry on with business as usual? The ritual groveling thing is kinda hard on the liver, I expect.

      March 2, 2019
      • I appreciate the kind words. It was an awful experience. I well understand why people respond to things like this by deleting all their social-media accounts. You’d think, well, it’s just words, and they’re from people you don’t even know, so why do you care? But the truth is, you do care; it does hurt. Wakes you up at night. Bad all around.

        The ritual groveling doesn’t help. Not when the real motivation of the attackers has nothing to do with the ostensible complaint. There are other reasons to admit to mistakes and fix them (e.g. it’s what decent people do), but appeasing griefers isn’t one of them.

        March 2, 2019
        • Christopher M. Chupik #

          “There are other reasons to admit to mistakes and fix them (e.g. it’s what decent people do), but appeasing griefers isn’t one of them.”

          Can’t disagree with you there.

          March 2, 2019
        • Where I come from playing MMOs, griefers tended to get killed after a while. This being a game, it was interesting how it’d end up self-policed after a while, because griefers could eventually kill the game (as they tended to prey on lowbies, new players.)

          The metaphorical version needs to happen, but it’s the left’s ‘woke screaming’ that got them to that point, and it’ll be interesting to see if their mob veto power will be torn away from them, since it has no effect on folks like us who don’t care what they think, but affects the entertainment industry we are in as a whole.

          March 3, 2019
          • It will be the iron hand of the market that kills them in the end. Roll Left and die. The population that wants wokescolding is very small. Without government funding and intervention their income potential is zero.

            And as much as socialists hate to admit it, nobody in this world works for free.

            March 3, 2019
    • snelson134 #

      Unless writing isn’t your sole income stream, and they can get to the others by pressuring your employer. Which has been remarkably successful over the last 20 years. I personally know several examples in the conservative blogosphere who are literally unemployable in their original career fields because their subject matter offended the snowflakes, who contacted their employers / clients with visions of boycotts, “hostile environment / discrimination” lawfare both in court and with regulators like the EEOC, and vague threats of more direct action.

      One thing to remember is that Barack Obama’s first major success was persuading lenders that they really wanted to loosen their standards for minority borrowers unless they liked having their lobbies filled with protesters on a daily basis. The Right doesn’t do things like that, and it explains why lots of business will pander to Leftist causes.

      March 3, 2019
      • No offense, but I find that hard to believe. Not for normal employers and not for the sort of stuff we’re talking about here, anyway.

        March 3, 2019
        • Draven #

          I believe he was referring to Mr. DuToit, for one. It would not surprise me at all if there were others.

          The example I can use is, be a conservative working in the entertainment industry in L.A. and cite a political opinion publicly… watch how fast you become persona non grata. Same with the tech industry in the Bay Area.

          Whether you believe it or not, it happens.

          March 3, 2019
          • snelson134 #

            Draven is absolutely correct, he’s a prime exmple. See also Roger Simon at PJ Media.

            March 4, 2019
            • Draven #

              Pretty sure Roger’s co-host of Poliwood (i miss that show) Lionel Chetwynd too. Oddly enough, Lionel taught at my film school and I used to see him upstairs chatting with the semi-conservative Dean of Students who i would go up there to vent to.

              March 4, 2019
            • Do you have links to the stories you’re talking about? I’ve never heard of most of these people. Again, we’re talking about people who had normal jobs (i.e. not public figures, not contractors) and who wrote things that just weren’t sufficiently “woke”–not novels about how great genocide would be–but ended up losing their jobs for it. (Not just threatened by an anonymous nut on Twitter.)

              March 4, 2019
              • Greg, just because you aren’t aware of it, doesn’t mean it hasn’t been happening. Teachers get fired for simply teaching something that isn’t “acceptable” by the mob these days. Medical schools hesitate (hah! they avoid) accepting students who don’t fit the liberal mode. Cops are fired for posting pictures that might be deemed offensive to someone or some group. That’s just the tip of the ice berg.

                With regard to the whiners over the Nebs, these are the same sort of folks who went after John and Larry, as mentioned. They are the ones who publicly advocated going to Toni W at Baen to get Brad and others dropped because they were daring to rock the Hugo boat. Don’t fall for the “it doesn’t happen”, whether in publishing or other profession, because it does.

                Why in the hell do you think so many in publishing kept their political affiliations and beliefs in the closet for so long? And I’m not just talking authors. They knew what would happen.

                March 4, 2019
                • Indeed, just because I don’t believe it isn’t happening doesn’t mean I’m correct; I always try to remember that I could be wrong about anything I believe. However, because I don’t believe anything like what you’re saying really happens, it will take fairly strong evidence to convince me.

                  As for Brad, running the Sad Puppies campaign was a lot more than just writing a book. I don’t think it was right to go after Brad’s employer over that either, but all we’re talking about here is writers who lost their day jobs because the content of their books was insufficiently “woke.” E.g. someone accused of racism for having Orcs and Elves in his/her book. If you’ll concede that that doesn’t really happen, we can talk about the sort of situations where it does happen.

                  George R.R. Martin pointed out back in 2015 or so, conservatives haven’t been closeted in SF, nor have they had trouble getting published. He’s been around a while, and I chatted with him in person a few times. He insists that very conservative and very liberal authors were both around and were cordial to one another up until the last few years. I’ve heard this from other people too.

                  I just keep thinking you guys have worked yourselves into a tizzy about something that isn’t really happening. I understand that you’ve got no obligation to convince me of anything, but I think it’s really yourselves you’re hurting here.

                  March 4, 2019
                  • Draven #

                    GRRM said “until the last few years”.

                    Unfortunately, he’s probably referring to since 1995 or so as ‘the last few years’. I’ll bet he’s certainly thinking of it as such.

                    And you’re *still* going to sit there and just think that your disbelief is enough to make what we’re talking about not happen…

                    March 4, 2019
                  • And yet you can’t google it yourself. You disregard what we have to say but accept what GRRM says without questioning. Why is that, Greg? Why are you giving them basically a pass for all they have done–and they have done a hell of a lot to shut down careers or to bully writers into withdrawing books, etc., simply because they don’t fall into lockstep with what they feel is “right think”. Yet we are the ones who have worked ourselves into a tizzy?

                    Sorry, but you’ve just insulted each of us who have been through this. You have insulted those writers who found themselves at the receiving end of the bullying and lies.

                    Why is it hurting ourselves when we give you examples and you are too lazy to look them up for yourself. Why is it hurting ourselves because you refuse to accept anything we say but you fall over yourself, apparently, when GRRM speaks? Perhaps, if you feel this way, it is time for you to move on to folks who aren’t shooting themselves in the foot because we won’t do your thinking for you and wont’ fall into lockstep with the GRRMs of the world.

                    March 4, 2019
                    • Draven #

                      I’ll give a short answer.. I have, personally, experienced the anti-conservative bias in Hollywood.

                      March 4, 2019
                  • Hullender: given that 1)every study trying to prove that the left are of superior intellect (and there have been a good few) has failed to find this. 2)That the next fallback position of the left – that everyone else is less creative, so naturally they are entitled to dominance in the creative arts like writing, falls on the blunt fact that historically authors such as CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, Gene Wolfe, Tim Powers can hardly be termed ‘less creative’ 3)That, given 1& 2 the natural distribution without any form of discrimination in numbers in publishing should mirror the US National demographic distribution. From editors and staff, to awards, to reviews, number of new entrants, to simple overall numbers of authors.

                    Prove that (3) is the case or acknowledge that GRRM doesn’t actually have a clue or is willfully blind. I suggest starting with the record of how much publishers donate to the various political parties, as an honest proxy to see if 26% of Publishing donates to the Democrats or not.

                    Either provide those proofs, or acknowledge the depth of didcrimination, or don’t post again.

                    Final warning.

                    Oh, and as ‘griefers’ are all to the last one claiming social justice as the justification for their pogroms and twitter mobs, and include such luminaries of the establishment SF/Fantasy world as Gerrold, Scalzi, Hines and Jemison. Show that ‘Social Justice Warriors’ attempt in any way to ostracise these or distance themselves from them their actions and tweeting – or accept they’re one and the same.

                    March 5, 2019
              • Draven #

                The specifics of Kim’s situation, it is not my place to tell. If you think we’re making things up, you can take a walk.

                March 4, 2019
              • TANSTAAFL #

                Google is your friend.

                March 8, 2019
        • Real life examples, Larry Correia and John Ringo.

          March 4, 2019
        • I should add that you would not want to be a medical professional in Canada and get outed as a Conservative. The patients would love it, but lots of bad things would start happening to you on the professional side.

          Ask me how I know.

          March 4, 2019
        • Chad Irby #

          I’m a freelancer, and I’ve lost several gigs over the years because I said bad things about various Democrats within earshot of the wrong people. There are people who literally refuse to hire me because I’m not a card-carrying Democrat or socialist.

          March 8, 2019
          • Draven #

            yep, and … YOU SAID THE F WORD

            March 8, 2019
  11. cthulhu #

    Everybody should do everything under one or more pseudonyms. I’m an early adopter.

    March 8, 2019
  12. Strelnikov #

    “But that message doesn’t beat them over the head and it isn’t at the expense of the story.”

    Oddly enough, based on the descriptions of the banned books each was designed to do exactly that – just not using a big enough stick.

    March 8, 2019
  13. James #

    Maybe these authors are pulling novels because they will not sell on their own merits and require positive social justice buzz. Rather than publish a flop, they are simply moving onto another attempt.

    March 8, 2019

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