The Mad Genius Club has been awarded with a Neffy.
I realize I may be biased, but as I sit here and contemplate the folks who write for this site – I am the least of them – I think it’s well-deserved. For over a decade, over four thousand posts, this blog has existed to help writers. By writers, for writers. Sure, we all cover a lot more ground than that, but it’s the driving force behind the continued existence. I can’t speak for anyone else, but even when I struggle to maintain my own blog, I make darn sure I’m writing here, because it’s a joy to give back to the community that supported me as I struggled to break into the writing world.
The other person on that list of winners I wanted to bring up is Toni Weisskopf. Toni… It’s hard for me to describe what I’m feeling right now. I cried when the wooden asshole debacle happened. Not just because my own fight had been in vain – I never expected it to come to anything. But because of the massive disrespect shown to a lovely lady who has done nothing to deserve that sort of treatment. The sheer hypocrisy of the vainglorious cowards who decided that they could get away with a vulgar display of their privilege and power by mocking women, while simultaneously trumpeting their commitment to diversity? I think we know who the real assholes were at that moment. Toni is unfailingly polite, gracious, and generous with her time and wisdom. I’ve walked through cons with her, asking her advice, and she didn’t even blink as she helped me become my own publisher. This did nothing for her or her business. She just did it, because that’s the way Toni is. I can’t express the depth of my gratitude to her, and she deserves this award, and as many accolades as we can give her. Because on top of being a wonderful human being, she is a woman in a world that is typically male dominated. I don’t mean editing. Editors are, I strongly suspect without looking at demographics, predominately female. Much of the modern publishing world is. No, I mean that Toni edits and publishes MilSF and Fantasy that men enjoy, too. Toni is a believer in equality, first and foremost. She doesn’t care if you’re male, female, what your skin color could be… you could be a banana slug and if you wrote good story, she’d edit it and publish it. I’m proud to know her.
Which brings me to another award. This one is about to close voting, as it will be announcing winners at DragonCon in a week’s time. Go, vote! There’s no gatekeepers, no entry fees, this is all about fans. Fan the fires and bring good reads, films, or what-have-you to the attention of others.
Aren’t familiar with some of the selections are about? Well, there’s not enough time – not even for me, who can read multiple books in a day if I do nothing else – to read them all. But you can go to Papa Pat’s blog and look at his pungent and pertinacious takes. I highly recommend you do, even if you have already read the book in question. I also think someone ought to nominate his blog for an award. He’s a jewel of a man, who has a way with words!
Finally, before I go get that second cuppa, and take a kid to work, I urge you to vote on the Dragons. It only takes a few minutes, and there’s something you should look at on Papa Pat’s blog even if you don’t check out the colorful reviews. He sees a trend, and I see it as well, that the wooden asshole crowd has realized they need to get in on the action there. I thought it was inevitable. Last year they declaimed and protested any contact with the feelthy commoners. This year? Well, I think someone has a half a brain cell still surviving somehow in that muck of self-righteousness sloshing around in their brain pan, and it woke up to the sheer numbers and potential money involved. So please, vote. Tell all your friends they should vote, too. Let’s turn out in all the masses of glorious fandom who doesn’t give a crap about the identity of the author. Vote for the single thing that matters: can they give me a good story with great characters, an actual plot, and enough entertainment to keep me reading to the end? When you can answer that, cast your vote.