Tuesday Morning Roundup

Good morning, everyone! I had a post all planned for today and poof! it disappeared from my brain before I could write it. So I went traipsing through the internet, looking for inspiration and came across a handful of articles I thought I’d share. The first has me standing up and cheering because the literary bullies have failed–it took time but Amélie Wen Zhao has decided not to continue bending to the will of the vocal few. The result is that her debut novel, Blood Heir, will be published.


In an article from the New York Times, the history of the controversy surrounding the book is detailed. Basically, some folks objected to how she depicted slavery because it didn’t fit into their narrative. Hurt, stunned (I can only imagine what she felt when social media started blowing up against her), she told her publishers to pull the book. That was back in January. She received support–and criticism–for her decision. The one thing I will say is I give kudos to her publisher for sticking with her, even in the middle of all the name-calling, etc.

Zhao did more than just lick her wounds after making her decision. She took a hard look at her book to see if the critics were right.

She decided they were not, called her publisher and gave the green light to release the book. It is now set to go live in November.

Next up is Locus–and SFWA–doing the usual “slate” denial and condemnation thing all at once. In the process, SFWA manages to malign indie authors. After all, there weren’t any problems with the Nebulas until they let the unwashed, gatekeeper avoiding masses in.

SFWA began admitting “independent and small press writers,” including authors who self-publish, into the organization in 2013. “Since then, we’ve welcomed hundreds of new independent, traditional, and hybrid authors…. We also understand that with growth such as this, sometimes comes the pain of finding our way forward. The recent controversy is no exception, and we fully understand just how frustrating something like this can be.”

If you aren’t up-to-date on what this refers to, a so-called slate was put together by a member of a FB group of indie and small press authors. It was, in fact, meant to be a reading list, not a slate for voting. The person responsible has since apologized. But, oh no, the “damage” had been done and it was done by those evil Indies. How dare they try to manipulate the Nebs?

Sound familiar? Remind you of some of the arguments against the SPs?

Note also, how there is no condemnation for the person or persons who took information from a private social media group and made it public. Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean folks aren’t out to get you.

Next up comes from MWA. It seems MWA is doing it’s best to prove it is as weak as all too many publishers and other ogranizations.

I’ll admit, the headline for the article linked below is what initially caught my eye. The perpetually butt-hurt will latch onto anything they can to keep a writer from getting recognition. It no longer matters if the writer is a fledgling just starting out or someone who has been writing for years. In this particular instance, it’s Linda Fairstein who has dozens of books in print. She is no indie or small press author but one who cut her publishing teeth in the traditional end of the business.

It seems there are some who think because she was once a prosecutor, her art is “sullied” and she shouldn’t be honored.

In a situation vaguely reminiscent of what happened to Zhao, Fairstein was named as one of two mystery writers to be honored by the MWA and named “Grand Master”. Two days later, MWA said it would not honor her.

Wait, what?

The problem? She was one of the prosecutors in the Central Park Five case. The defendants were convicted and later exonerated through DNA evidence. Her role in the case, which included overseeing the police interviews of the suspects, is a matter of public record. So the MWA should have been aware of it.

This is where it starts sounding like the Zhao situation. When MWA announced she would be honored, the Twitterverse went wild, including attacks against Fairstein by last year’s Edgar winner, Attica Locke–who just so happens to be working on a project for Netflix on the Central Park Five (so no reason for Locke to try to stir up controversy at all, is there?). MWA, like publishers and other organizations, caved to the mob.

How are these Twitter-mad social justice (or perhaps I should say injustice) warriors going to respond when it is their backgrounds being dug into and used against them? How many writers out there had jobs before they started selling enough they could quit their day jobs? How many still have to work? And how many of them have had to do something in the course of their work or because they were simply stupid teens and early 20s who thought they couldn’t die that would be frowned on today?

They are so quick to dig and condemn, especially when it might benefit them. What happens when the shoe is on the other foot?


30 thoughts on “Tuesday Morning Roundup

  1. When the shoe …
    Why then they’ll cut off the offending foot and blame the nearest person with a bad toupee.

  2. Oooo! That Evil Uphoff woman! She worked for The Evil Oil Companies! No surprise she’s a denier, and writes about the exploitation of pristine Human-free planets!

    Not that they aren’t perfectly capable of making stuff up on no evidence what-so-ever.

    1. Right? I should be doing my best to rape the earth as I type this. I think I’ll go rearrange a file cabinet now so that I can do so in an organized manner.

    1. I bought it when it was on pre-order, just to rub some mud in the SJWs eyes. If the order goes through, I’ll do a review.

      This is still a big win for Ms. Zhao, even if the book isn’t some kind of world-beater. Stand up to the assholes. Never give up, never surrender!

  3. “How are these Twitter-mad social justice (or perhaps I should say injustice) warriors going to respond when it is their backgrounds being dug into and used against them?”

    They’re doing to deny, lie and “look, a squirrel!” their way to victory. #MeToo does not apply to creepy Joe “side boob” Biden and his Presidential candidacy.

    Here’s what the deal is today, April 30th 2019. Everybody know what Minecraft is? (You should, your kids are learning programming from playing it.) Everybody know that Marcus “Notch” Persson was the creator of Minecraft, and sold it to Microsoft in 2014?


    The latest smear in this on-going smear campaign is Microsoft preemptively dis-invited Notch from their planned Minecraft 10th anniversary events.

    From the link, a Microsoft spokes weasel said: ““His comments and opinions do not reflect those of Microsoft or Mojang and are not representative of ‘Minecraft,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Variety.”

    From Variety article, if you follow the breadcrumbs far enough, you get this:

    “Persson, once an involved member of the video game development community, has increasingly ostracized himself with his Twitter comments, including transphobic statements and comments about a “heterosexual pride day,” and that “it’s ok to be white.” Persson has about 3.7 million followers on Twitter.”

    And of course there’s no quotes of what was -actually- said.

    So, just to recap: Amélie Wen Zhao, a Whammyn of Colour, has to fight the SJWs to get her debut novel published, 20Booksto50 gets smeared for SLAAAATE!!!! by SFWA because the flopping cameltron said so, Linda Fairstein had a job once so she can’t have an award, Notch is a Nazi because he said “Its okay to be white”…

    …and Joe the Molester is running for the Democrat presidential nomination with the full and enthusiastic support of the SJWs.

    They’re scum. Fight them.

    1. Small correction: the important ones will get away with it out of tactical necessity (though they should beware that who’s “important” can change pretty fast). The rest are likely to be purged in a bloody mess. Zhao, after all, was a card-carrying member of YA Twitter. The author of the gay love story in Yugoslavia was one of the mob who came after her before the mob turned on him.

      Biden…well, that’s going to depend. He may get “me too”ed pretty hard in the primary; whether the media ignores that or not depends on who the reporter’s favored candidate is. If he’s the nominee, it will all go away. If he’s not, expect him to become unpersoned, with whoever is the nominee crowing about how this proves, “Democrats are willing to deal with the harassers in our ranks, unlike those evil Republicans.”

    2. This is not a surprise. Notch criticized anti-Gamergate stances – namely, political correctness, if I recall correctly – because he’s pretty much ‘what people find fun.’

      The scolds don’t like him and have been screeching against him for a few years now. There are also people who are mad he ‘sold out’ Minecraft (look up the amount, it’s huge.) So there’s a lot of sour grapes there too.

      1. Well yeah. Super controversial. You’re not supposed to make up your own adventures.

        You’re supposed to follow along with the scripted, Party Approved adventures that have one Black character, one Asian character, one disabled fantasy Elf, and a white female with approved non-sexist costume. There are no white males, and the enemy is Global Warming.

        1. Phantom,
          My muse is tempting me to take that description, and make up something light novelly that is actually good.

          1. Go for it! We’ll all read it. And there are people who will have conniption fits.

  4. Morality clauses, formal or not, in entertainment are beginning to really get to me. I really don’t care what you’ve done or what you’re guilty of, judgement should be on your work.

    I realize that many people can’t read MZB knowing what they know. But that’s an individual choice and fully adequate. I suppose that an editor might consider that someone just won’t sell well and refuse their product. That seems okay to me. But it really has nothing to do with how skilled an artist is.

    But suppose that a murderer decides to write fantasy books from prison? Seems like one of the few things they can constructively do from behind bars. Or all of the many non-criminal things that people have been getting fired for, bad pedo jokes when they were young and stupid, racist jokes, giving money to the wrong cause. Whatever. Or in this case, being the prosecutor on a famously bad case. Jussie should probably do some jail time, but should he be fired? Why?

    (Oh, and if someone curing cancer is a sexist, I really effing don’t care. I’d like the cure for cancer.)

    1. Devil’s Advocate here: what if your hypothetical murderer decides not just to write fantasy novels but really gory ones about a human sacrifice cult from the perspective of the high priest of the cult? And that the basic point of view of the novels is that the cult is completely right in killing people, it’s necessary to protect the universe, and those who are trying to stop them are hypocrites at best and downright evil at worst? In that case, I would find it very hard to separate work from author.

      That’s part of what bothers people about MZB. It’s one thing to read about child rape in Darkover; it’s quite another to suspect that the author sympathizes with the rapist and wants you to agree with the characters who say it’s no big deal and the parents should stop harping on it.

      Now, I’ve never read Fairstein, and don’t have any desire to, but could she fall in that same category? Maybe. On one hand, her heroine is a sex-crimes prosecutor, and it would at least be possible that she’s using her work to justify what people see as her misdeeds. On the other hand, I haven’t heard any of the Twits complaining about specific incidents or passages in her work. It’s mostly been, “she’s evil; therefore she doesn’t deserve this.”

      1. I certainly understand the reasons involved in why people want to censor that way. And I never said that anyone should feel like they have to read a book or watch a movie. If a book seems sympathetic to child rape I’m not going to want to read it, even if the author is a saint. And the murderer’s murder-pron book would probably sell really well and creep me completely out and I wouldn’t want to read it either, though I’m certain that some people would rush to read it.

        At the end of the day, though. If we feel that the law hasn’t punished someone enough, we should change the laws, not find other ways to punish them.

        1. At the end of the day, though. If we feel that the law hasn’t punished someone enough, we should change the laws, not find other ways to punish them.

          And I think I have to part company with you here. I’m not comfortable with the idea that everything falls into either “illegal” or “so trivial that it oughtn’t have any consequences.” There needs to be room for society to condemn things without involving the threat of men with guns coming to cart you off to jail.

      2. And how is that different from someone who never hurt a fly deciding not just to write fantasy novels but really gory ones about a human sacrifice cult from the perspective of the high priest of the cult? And that the basic point of view of the novels is that the cult is completely right in killing people, it’s necessary to protect the universe, and those who are trying to stop them are hypocrites at best and downright evil at worst?

  5. “…may have promoted slate voting to influence this year’s ballot,…”

    I see the problem. Everyone knows Democrats and other leftards are so dumb that if you show them a ‘slate’ they’ll just automagically vote that way. So they believe everyone else is as dumb, gullible, and easily influenced as they are.

    I wish I wasn’t serious.

  6. MWA was absolutely in the wrong.

    Exoneration of the central park five was through a legal process that went through single chain of bodies competent to evaluate the evidence.

    Impeachment of Fairstein for professional misconduct, if that in fact occurred, was not handled by a similar process. The equivalent for the five would involve taking the evidence for activists fraudulently clearing convicts and the evidence for the ambiguity of clearing people by DNA, and shopping it around to their every associate until you’ve found everyone gullible or weak enough not to see that it is wrong to respond to this stuff.

    Yes, the public is an acceptable appeal when a broken or corrupt system prevents earlier appeals from working. Yes, freedom of speech, and public officials. Free speech absolutism that defends this type of venue shopping where serious crimes are concerned is objectively pro-lynching and pro-Segregation. It is not something government should have the power to restrain, but we should all be willing to say that it is a jerk thing to do, and not a desirable behavior.

    This is something that can escalate if people are not encouraged to back down. Civilization in our country can not survive it escalating past a certain point, and we would all regret this becoming the acceptable standard of behavior.

    I’m afraid I’m not writing or thinking clearly enough today to say the rest of my opinion on this in a way that is congruent with MGC posting standards and personal decency.

    There is at least one mystery writer who had been in a murder plot when they were a kid. Depending, MWA may have no grounds to justify an appearance of impropriety standard for awardees.

    1. It can escalate and has, over and over again, to things such as Catholics not being able to get work or build careers in a Protestant nation. Etc.

      If someone commits a crime, they should be arrested.

      If someone is living in sin with a member of the same sex, it shouldn’t matter to their career or to their employers. And in the past, it has mattered. That was wrong.

      The thought police excusing themselves today because they aren’t “government” and therefore can mob and destroy anyone they want for being “bad” are working on precedents that range back to the beginning of time and which we almost universally understand as having been evil.

  7. This persuades me to ensure my WIP is as un-pc and controversial as I can make it, just to enjoy the sight and sound of heads exploding and panties a-twisting.

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