Let me start with a quick apology for the late post. The weather has done its best to lay me low. Highs in the 80’s one day and sleet and ice the next. It all has my sinuses clogged, my head fuzzy and a fever hit last night that I can’t seem to shake. I am so ready for Spring to get here. One of the side-effects of all this is that my google-fu has failed me this morning so I can’t find a site I read yesterday and wanted to refer specifically to in this morning’s post.
On the heels of the demand for J. K. Rowling to stop writing, unless it was for children or her own entertainment, and the subsequent “apology” comes news that a major publishing house has penned a deal for an, iirc, multi-book deal for what they are announcing is nothing more than modified fanfic based on Twilight. Sound familiar? Any way, the announcement not only admitted the deal was fanfic but also that it had been posted on online as such. Now, the disclaimer is that the fanfic has been taken down and major revisions have been made to it. Yet, as I read the announcement, I couldn’t help wondering a couple of things. The first is obvious based on my lead-in: where are those like the woman who called for Rowling to stop writing so they could have their chance at shelf and review space? After all, if folks like that have problems with what Rowling has been writing, shouldn’t they really have problems with what even the publishers are admitting is fanfic taking up shelf and review space?
My second thought was to wonder at the wisdom of the publishers to take this action. I’ll admit I haven’t read any of the fanfic in question. I have no idea how well-written it might be. Heck, for all I know, with the revisions supposedly done, it might be a really good novel. However, what it looks like to me is nothing but a panic move by the publisher hoping to cash in on the Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey bandwagon. The problem is, by the time the new books come out, the reading public will have moved on to something else. Publishers ought to know that by simply looking at their bottom lines. Look at how profits dropped for the publishers of Twilight the year after the last book in the series came out. Why? Because they didn’t already have something in the queue and ready to go after that last book was published. Without those sales, profits tumbled. Same with Fifty Shades. Is this another example of too little, too late? Very likely.
If that’s not enough to leave you scratching your heads and the foolishness surrounding LonCon this week has been. I won’t rehash it all here. If you aren’t aware of what happened, let’s just say that the GHHers have managed to strike there as well this week. You can find more about it on my blog here and here. The basic rule now appears to be if someone might feel uncomfortable about something that might be done or might be said at some unknown point in time during some event, no matter what the setting or causation, and if that something that might be said might be said by a white male then steps must be taken to not only make sure that what might be said isn’t said and that, preferable, the whit male who might have said what might have been said isn’t invited to take part in the event. Confusing? Well, that’s how I felt.
Cons have anti-bullying and anti-harassment policies. That’s a good thing. It was too long in coming, especially if you look at the business world in general where such policies for conventions and other large gatherings have been in place for years. What we need now — and by me I mean SFWA and all related groups — is a strong policy about the proper procedures for protesting decisions made by the organization or concoms, etc. The LonCom situation is one such example of where those procedures would have kept the entire SF/F genre (writers, agents, editors, cons) from looking like a bunch of toddlers pitching a temper tantrum. Of course, there are those SFWA proponents who will say such procedures are in place. Well, they may be but right now they aren’t being applied even-handedly across the board. The “cool kids” get a pass when they don’t follow the rules and yet those who then break the same rules to condemn what the “cool kids” (AKA GHHers) did or said, those folks get disciplined or, in at least one case, tossed out of the organization.
If SFWA and concoms, etc., want to be taken seriously, they need to become the grownups. There are times when grownups have to say “no” to the bratty little kids. There also comes a time when everyone has to just grow up. It’s past time for that to happen. Unfortunately, when it comes to SFWA, I doubt that it ever will. It is too busy trying to be “relevant” and “sensitive” to the more vocal members — and non-members — instead of worrying about what it can do to expand the SF/F share of the market. So, while it continues to drive more and more authors aways, I’ll continue trying to write stories people want to read instead of trying to indoctrinate them with the current PC message of the day.
And I’ll wait for the day to come — and it will — when a new batch of entitled darlings hit SFWA membership and turn the tables on the GHHers who will, in turn, find themselves no longer “relevant” and on the outs with those who are even better at screaming and crying on social media than they are.
For an example of just how hard SFWA is trying to be “relevant” and “fair”, take a look at the new cover for the soon to be relaunched Bulletin and tell me what message it’s sending. Tell me it is doing anything more than kneeling at the feet of political correctness, bending over backwards to show that this is a different Bulletin from the last issue. Then tell me if, now that the Bulletin will no longer have chicks in chainmail images on its cover, we will see those same authors who screamed and cried about how that cover was soooooooo wrong campaigning to get rid of covers with half-naked men on them.
Oh, wait, they’re okay with that because men are the oppressors and all those covers are doing is getting back at them for generations of oppression.
Sigh. Where are the grownups and will they please come take the bratty toddlers in hand before it’s too late?