Wow, the last few weeks have been anything but calm for the industry. We have the continuing saga of the RWA/Courtney Milan debacle. Social media, which my mother calls the worst thing ever to be invented, has seen some of the woke scolds doing their best to dance on the graves of some of the biggest names in SFF. All this and we are only two weeks into the new year. Let’s hope this is not a portent of the year to come.
I’m not going to spend much time on the controversies. There’s been enough written a bout them already. But if you want to see how the MSM is handling the RWA situation, check out the updated article over at CNN. To say it does some hand-wavium to avoid any real research into what’s been going on is putting it mildly. The sad thing in all this is, like what we saw with SFWA a few years ago, RWA is going to be lessened by this controversy and the way it’s been handled. When any organization allows a few folks who know how to leverage social media to set policy, to drive off long-time members and fans, you have a problem.
As for the social media idiocy, there have been a cadre of woke scolds creeping out of the shadows to diss Isaac Asimov for daring to put his arm around a woman years before his death. An action the woman in question said was consensual. Others have been doing their best to drag Mike Resnick, one of the nicest men I’ve had the pleasure of knowing, through the mud over comments he made decades ago. They do this just days after Mike’s passing. They don’t give a fuck about his family and friends. Nothing matters to these folks except their own “feelz” and they don’t care if their attacks are well-founded or not. Read more
I’m down with a bug this morning. So I went looking for a blast from the past and came across this post which is a year old. In light of what’s been going on with RWA, it seemed timely to remind the writers out there that our profession is full of minefields. We have those who would police us because of our sex or sexual orientation, or race or ethnic background, or because of our politics. What we’re seeing in the RWA right now is one example. Another is shown in the following post. We should be on the lookout for both. — ASG
Writers, morality and the #MeToo fallout
I’ve been pondering whether to write this post for the better part of a week. I’d been hearing rumbling from traditionally published authors about a contract clause that is as evil–their words and I agree–as the rights grabbing clauses that have become common in publishing contracts. But then, several days ago, an op-ed piece appeared in the NYT and I knew what I needed to write. The clause? A morality clause. Yes, you read that right. More and more traditional publishers are now including a morality clause in their contracts. Read more
Jon is under the weather today, so we’re throwing the door open and letting you guys ask questions and suggest future blog topics. All we ask is you leave the place standing when you leave and lock the door behind you. Oh, and don’t drink all the coffee or let the cat out. Cranky writers are even crankier when they don’t have coffee and their feline overlords are nowhere to be found.
The floor is now yours.
It is early and I have a couple of things I need to deal with this morning before I can sit down to do a full blog post. In the meantime, the controversy surrounding the RWA/Courtney Milan issue continues. I haven’t had time to do more than a cursory look into the latest from RWA about what happened yesterday. Here are a couple of links. I will say, no matter now this shakes out, RWA is right. It has lost the trust of its membership, on both sides of the issue. The question is going to be how it recovers and what steps it takes moving forward.
Here are the links. I’ll be back later.
12/30 Statement from the RWA12/30 Statement from the RWA
12/30 NYT article12/30 NYT article
Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Just a quick post this Boxing Day with the latest I’ve heard on the Courtney Milan/RWA controversy. In the early evening on Christmas Eve, RWA tweeted an update. Link after the break. Read more
Coffee has been consumed and I’m going over the various pieces of documentation available. Mind you, this is still early days on the topic and RWA has not, to my knowledge, made any statements about what happened other than those contained in the Ethics Committee findings. That means the situation is still fluid and, as is so often the case, folks are jumping in based on emotion and not studying what we do know.
As a bit of background, Milan is known to this blog and we’ve covered her several times before. Not for anything negative but for her work against plagiarists. The latest occurred within the past year when she helped take on a serial plagiarist working out of, iirc, South America. Milan was one of her victims, as we Nora Roberts. So to say I was surprised to wake this morning and see the latest concerning her is putting it mildly. Read more
I will be back later today with more on this. Unfortunately, this morning is going to be busy and I don’t have enough time to do the full research this deserves. However, I wanted to give everyone a head’s up and give you a chance to read some of the documentation and get your initial thoughts.
Some background. Romance writer and RWA member (in fact, she has been a director-at-large and member of the ethics committee) Courtney Milan has been removed from the Romance Writers of America organization following several formal complaints against her. Basically, she’s been accused of cyber-bullying, potential violation of author IP rights, possible libel, and more. In my opinion, her actions, especially on Twitter, rose to a point where they negatively impacted the RWA and the public’s perception of the organization (and I honestly believe that is probably why the organization took the action it did). Read more