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Posts tagged ‘horror’

Reality V. Fiction

Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.—Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar, Mark Twain

While we were on our trip to Washington DC there was one museum my son really wanted to go see, but I had been told it was very difficult to get into, so we left it off the itinerary. It was only when I made a remark to a friend who lives there that I discovered it was no longer timed, ticketed, and waiting-room-only to see the Holocaust Museum. So, as the final stop while in the city, that was our choice. It’s difficult to describe it, so I’m not going to entirely try. Suffice it to say that in a city where we saw several museums out of the lifetime’s worth you could see, this was the one that was hushed, beautiful in design, and utterly austere in message. Humanity is capable of the divine, and the most terrible things we can see on the face of this earth and beyond. Fiction writers can try to encapsulate evil in their villains, but nothing touches reality. Nor, perhaps, should we even try. Read more

Horror Season

My kids love the concept of Halloween, so right now we’ve been talking about it a lot at my house. I didn’t celebrate it, growing up – wrong religion – but they have been trick-or-treating since they were wee bairns, and enjoy it as a time of costumes and candy. Transformation into favorite characters, or creating their own characters through dressing up. The Junior Mad Scientist started working on a paper mache Pumpkinhead more than a month before the event. For the kids, it’s a time to delve into the stories around them in a transformative way.

For me as an adult, I get messages from my reading and listening material that this is the spooky season. Part of this is marketing, part is, of course, what led to the genesis of a day of the dead. The season of life, light, and warmth is drawing to a close in this hemisphere. It’s time to contemplate winter’s drawing death.  Read more

The Thing Which Has Been

The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

-Ecclesiastes 1:9

This year’s flu season is a bad one. Every year we go through this time of year, and the influenza virus travels through from person to person… and this year in the US, it has killed 53 children already. A mere droplet in the bucket compared to the 1918 flu season… one hundred years ago. Seems like ancient history, doesn’t it? Epidemics like that couldn’t happen again, could they? We’ve had several panics in recent decades: swine flu, bird flu, Ebola… but nothing has come of them.

Let me take you back in time with me to another world, another place. Read more

The Good in Scary Stories

This is a guest post written for me by the lovely Amanda Fuesting. I’m at the Fanboy Expo in Knoxville this weekend, but I’ll try to look in at the comments. Maybe. It’s going to be busy (fingers crossed). We’d been talking about the book series she discusses in depth here, and I asked her if she wouldn’t mind elaborating on it. I blogged about it over at my blog, too, talking about the changes publishers are making to classic children’s books, and why. Amanda picks up with why scary stories can be good stories, and shielding kids from them isn’t a good thing. 

When I was a kid, Scary Stories to Read in the Dark were already classics of childhood horror, despite being fairly young books in the market. Older kids passed them to younger kids in an attempt to scare them silly. I was an eclectic reader, like most of the odds who will actually end up reading this blog. By the time these books came to me, I was already reading books above my maturity level by quite a bit. I thought that these would be kid’s books, and not all that scary. The pictures on the front covers were deliciously creepy though, so I gave them a shot. I was honestly terrified. So much so that I went and bought my own copies later on when I had some spending money. I read them until they were worn to bits.

There’s something about fear that makes a person feel alive, but what made these books truly scary wasn’t the stories. They were a collection of urban legends, campfire stories, occasionally dramatic retellings of real creepy events and the like. The author even put references as to where he found the stories in the back of the book, and occasionally included notes as to how make your telling of the tale as frightening as possible. What truly made the books frightening on a soul-deep level were the illustrations. Seriously, look at this picture:

illustration by Stephen Gammell

illustration by Stephen Gammell

That illustration (from the story The Haunted House) is so iconic that it is immediately recognizable by anyone who has ever read the book. She’s staring directly at you. You are in that house, and you cannot escape her pain and anguish. Coupled with the story, it’s terrifying. Stephen Gammell, the artist, reached directly into my soul and implanted the horror deep into my young mind. At 32, I still get a little tingle of fear when I see some of his images. I recently found out that the publisher had replaced the illustrations in the book several years ago, starting with the 30th anniversary edition. I was livid, and I’m still angry. This is the new illustration for that story:frightener

It’s just not frightening in the same way. Brett Helquist is a fine artist. I adored his work in Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events. However, his style of art is not right for Scary Stories. They’re more silly than scary. They don’t really add anything, and that’s the rub. Gammell’s illustrations worked with the stories. They added to it. Sometimes subtly, sometimes not. Sometimes they had nothing to do with the story, but they got you in the right frame of mind for a good scare. Take, for example, this illustration:skull balloon

The story here (Is Something Wrong?) isn’t really scary at all. It ends with the character being tapped on the shoulder by the horrible monster, which politely asks, “Is something wrong?” And then there’s the illustration from T-H-U-P-P-P-P-P-P-P!, a funny story that ends with the ghost blowing a raspberry.scary lamp

The illustrations at the start of the stories are frightening; the endings to the stories are funny, producing a sense of catharsis. The two work hand in hand, and they’re effective. Now, one could ask what the point of terrifying children so badly that over 20 years later they still shudder a little bit when they think back on the stories. All the really horrifying things that happened in the stories are the product of humans doing bad things. In Just Delicious, the ghost of a woman who had the liver cut out of her dead body returns and kills the man who ate it. The man in question was an abusive husband, and his timid wife cut out the dead woman’s liver in order to avoid his wrath. Bad things happened to him because he was a bad person. In Harold, the much abused scarecrow came to life and skinned one of its tormenters while the other fled. The actual “monsters” were mostly harmless, and occasionally just funny.

We can all think back to things we read as a child that stuck with us. I bet more than half of the people reading this can still recall vivid details about books that we haven’t read in 20 years. Those stories spoke to us, and we cried at the death of a favored character or cheered when the hero triumphed. We also thought about the stories, and we learned lessons that we carried with us into adulthood. They shaped us into new and hopefully better people.

Like all good stories, scary stories also teach. That’s the real point here, and it’s one that all story tellers can use. A story has to slip past the reader’s conscious mind and speak to their imaginations in order to really be memorable. Readers of Lord of the Rings learned about honor, sacrifice, not giving up in the face of hardship, and how even the most unlikely person can still be a hero. The lessons are gentle, slipping into children while they read their adventure. In Harold, we learn that the universe exacts justice from cruel people. The lesson slips in with the fear, and it sticks there in the child’s subconscious. The change in illustrations means that those terrifying lessons won’t stick as well, because the reader isn’t scared to their cores.             Frankly, I think that’s sad, and I have already bought a copy of these books with the old illustrations and directed a good friend to where she could find copies for her daughters. If I have a child one day, I want them to keep the lights on for a little while longer while they enjoy their good scare, and I want those stories to stick with them so that they shiver a little bit when they are 30 years old and remember that story.  I want them to remember that the truly scary things in this world don’t lurk in the dark, but hide in the depths of the human heart.

What is . . . .

Last night, I was talking with Kate and some of our regular MGC readers about what I should write about today. We discussed several different possibilities but we kept coming back to a single topic and I signed off the internet, satisfied that I had my topic for this post. I finished editing the chapter I’d been working on and went to bed, knowing I’d be up early enough this morning to write the post. Then morning rolled around and after having a dearth of ideas last night, I find myself hit over the head with several new ones this morning thanks to a quick look at Facebook.

The first is thanks to our own Brad Torgersen. He linked to this article from Barnes & Noble about books publishers and editors want us to read in 2016. Brad’s question relating to the article had to do with the covers for the books from Tor. Take a look at the covers. Do they signal science fiction or fantasy to you? To me, they don’t. Two of them “read” literary. One reads as possible horror and the third has a simple contemporary fiction feel to it.

What struck me about the article even more than the covers was how different the editors from Tor described their recommendations when compared to the other recommendations on the list. Of the seven books on the list, the Tor editors start three of their blurbs with mentions of the awards the author has been nominated for or has won. One then goes on to talk about the “decorative blurbs” from other authors — before discussing what the book is about. Another starts with “For the discerning speculative reader and mainstream fantasy dabbler”. Huh? Again, this is before discussing the plot of the book in question.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but if someone is recommending a book to me, I want to know what the book is about and what genre it happens to be before knowing if the author is award-winning, etc. When I see things like “discerning speculative reader”, my first inclination is to move past that book unless I’m in the mood for something literary. I have nothing against literary fiction. I enjoy reading it from time to time. But it is only one part of my reading and even it needs to entertain me. This is something so many people seem to have forgotten. Literary doesn’t have to be boring. It can be thought-provoking even as it entertains. It can have a message — heck, any fiction can — without preaching. Most of us read for entertainment and for publishers to continue to survive, they need to remember that and quit thinking that those who are buying they books give one flip for how many awards the author has been nominated for.

Then came this article about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. No, this isn’t another opening salvo in whether Rey is a Mary Sue character or not. We can continue to debate that if you want on Saturday’s post. Actually, the article itself wasn’t so much what drew my attention as some of the comments I saw associated with it. I don’t remember who showed up on my FB feed with a link to the post but what made me follow through to it was their assertion that the problem with the movie was that, while entertaining, it didn’t go far enough to make us think. You see, it’s not enough to cast a female in the lead role or to have a person of color as a secondary lead. It wasn’t deep enough, intellectual enough. Apparently, it isn’t enough to have an entertaining movie any longer. It seems that is “dumbing down” our country.

What strikes me by comments like this is that those making them comes off not only as an intellectual snob (and I don’t doubt that most of us here at MGC have more letters after our names than many of these commenters) but they also suggest entertainment is not a good thing. This has been and still is one of the basic differences between the Sad Puppy supporters (I can’t and won’t talk for Vox and his supporters) and the Puppy-kickers. Despite what has been said by the other side, Sad Puppies are not against fiction having a message. We just want it to entertain us as it makes us think. If we — or any other reader — gets bored, we aren’t going to continue reading (or watching). But entertain us, subtly wrap your message in with your plot and character development and we will think about it, talk about it and enjoy it. And isn’t that what we, as authors, want? Don’t we want people to be entertained by our work, to think about it and talk about it?

Finally, we get to the topic that I was going to focus on when I sent to bed last night.

In one of the groups I belong to, someone posted a link to this article. Even though the headline for the post is “The Main Difference Between Urban Fantasy and Horror”, the actual thrust of the article is about the difference between the protagonist in UF vs Horror. According to the article, the difference is simple. An UF protagonist takes the supernatural in stride while the Horror protagonist doesn’t know how to react.

Urban fantasy characters generally take vampires and zombies in stride and react as competently as the reader would like to think they would do in similar straits.

Horror characters, on the hand, tend to freak out, panic, doubt their sanity, make unwise decisions,, or even descend into gibbering madness—which is probably the more realistic approach!

I happen to agree with the above explanation. In Urban Fantasy, the fantastic is part of the world and is usually known to the mundanes. Oh, the main character might not realize at the beginning of the story that the next door neighbor turns furry with the full moon or has a dietary need for hemoglobin but, once they get over their feelings of shock or betrayal, they accept it and move on. Why? Because that is the way the world of UF is built. Horror is different. For those characters, the supernatural is not a part of their world. It is something they might have read about or watched in the movies. But it wasn’t real — until it stood up and spat in their face.

(Now, I’m going to be vague here because the discussion took place in a private forum. I am not going to name names nor be specific about what was said. I ask that those who are members of that forum remember the rules and not be specific with your comments. Forum rules still apply.)

Horror strikes people differently. Some readers love it. Others can’t stand it. Some want to read it because it gives them an adrenaline rush. There are those who won’t read it for religious reasons. Others feel it is too depressing while some see it as glorifying the tenacity of the human spirit. Like any other genre, it has its fans and it haters.

However, one thing I will say is that any author writing good horror is anything but lazy. I can think of no other genre that requires more emotional manipulation of the reader than horror. The horror author has to pull the reader in, put his hand on the virtual heart of the reader and tug it, even as the other hand is wrapped around the reader’s throat, squeezing slowly and inexorably. The author has to create characters we want to see survive and win out over the supernatural threat, even as we hope at least one person gets eaten by the big bad.

Is horror depressing? It can be. But beyond that sense of helplessness the characters feel from time to time because they are so out of their depth, good horror includes the need to survive. There are often heroes who are willing to sacrifice themselves to save the others. As with any good fiction, you see the good and bad of humanity in the characters. This isn’t Buffy who suddenly learns she is the Chosen One sent to save the world. These are Everyday Joes and Janes thrust into a situation straight from their worst nightmares. Some will fall and fail. Some will go mad, unable to adapt and deal with what is happening to them. Some will prevail. Just as would happen in real life (at least I hope so).

So, is horror lazy writing? I don’t think so.

Is entertaining in a book or movie a bad thing? I don’t think so.

Is it necessary to make people think when reading your book or watching your movie? No, but if you can slip your message in in such a way that you make them think and still manage to entertain, cool.

Is it important to readers that authors are nominated or have won awards? Nope. Most readers don’t know what the Hugo or any other literary award is.

What is important to readers? In my opinion, a book that draws them in, keeps them entertained (if they are reading for entertainment) or holds their attention (if reading for any other reason) and if it makes them think too, all the better.

So, what do you think?

The inmates are running the asylum again

The past couple of weeks have been surreal when it comes to some of the things I’ve seen coming out of this profession I love so much. I know that the publishing industry is changing. I’ve been following the industry for much longer than I’ve been writing as a profession. I’ve had to accept that, by some people’s standards, I am not a professional because I don’t have a contract with one of the major publishing houses. That doesn’t matter because I know I’m a professional because I write enough and make enough to live off my writing now. (Yes, my expenses are low but that doesn’t matter. I can live from my writing if I have to.)

But some of the head-shaking stupidity that I’ve seen of late really does leave me at a loss. We have John Scalzi telling us that youngsters don’t get into reading science fiction by reading the classics. On its surface, that is such a sweepingly broad statement as to be false. True, a number of readers don’t first discover their love of science fiction by reading Heinlein or Asimov or any of the other Grand Masters of the genre. But, it is just as true that there are any number of them who do because they see their parents reading them or they find the books on the bookshelf at home. He tends to ignore the fact that our children learn their love of reading, in many cases, from the example set for them by their parents. A kid who has run out of books from the library will go to the bookshelves at home to find reading material (or to the family Amazon bookshelf on their electronic devices).

I could have lived with Scalzi’s statement as just being Scalzi but it was what came next that blew my mind. Scalzi wrote in his blog, “All love to Heinlein, Clarke, Asimov, et al., but they’re dead now. They don’t need the money from readers; living authors do.”  So, if an author is dead, his books should be set back so living authors can sell theirs. What? If that is the criteria, why not apply it to living authors as well? After all, if an authors has been making six and seven figure advances for years — or even more — why do we need to continue buying their books? They have enough money now. Right? Let’s start supporting those other authors who haven’t been so lucky. Why isn’t Scazli supporting that position? Oh, wait! I know the answer. He isn’t because he just got that huge, multi-book, mutli-million dollar contract from Tor. He isn’t about to cut his own throat that way.

Scalzi isn’t, believe it or not, the most unbelievable part of what’s been going on of late. That has to go to the bean counters at Samhain Publishing. Samhain has been around for years. I know authors and readers alike who have sung its praises. However, many of them are now looking at Samhain and wondering what in the world is going on. You see, word has gotten out that Samhain has fired horror editor Don d’Auria. That is bad enough. Authors loved working with d’Auria and his reputation is one of being an exceptional editor.

What makes the news even more unbelievable is the fact that just days before news of his termination reached Samhain authors, they received a request from Samhain’s PR Department asking them to write testimonials about d’Auria. Was this a case of the right hand not knowing what the left was doing or was it an attempt by Samhain to make it look like d’Auria was leaving on his own or perhaps even retiring? I don’t know and I’m not sure anyone does.

What I do know is that the ripples of disbelief and anger are running through the horror community. Samhain has completely bungled the matter, making it seem that having someone who knows social media is more important than having an editor who is respected and who has a proven track record of knowing what he is doing. Worse, it appears from what little Samhain has said on the matter that they are going to, at least for the immediate future, have their romance editors take over the editing and acquisitions on the horror side of the business. You can imagine the howls of outrage that is causing and rightly so.

There is something else that is a perfect example of what is happening in our industry right now. When he learned of d’Auria’s firing, horror author Brian Keene called for a boycott of Samhain’s social media outlets. Using the hashtag #‎SamhainBlackout‬, he asked others who supported d’Auria to join him as he unsubscribed from Samhain’s twitter feed, etc. Guess what happened? Within minutes, the panic set in from those who hadn’t taken time to read what Keene actually asked for. The cries of foul! and traitor! began. After all, he was calling for a boycott of Samhain itself. That would wind up hurting the authors more than the company. Didn’t he see that? Where’s the cliff we can all jump off of?

Except that isn’t what Keene proposed. He proposed a course of action that did nothing more than get people to quit following Samhain in social media, an ironic plan of attack since the company said it let a ell-respected editor go so it could afford more social media exposure. Keene proposed a reasonable consequence for an unreasonable action. But, as we have seen so often before, one person saw the words boycott and Samhain in close proximity and jumped the shark and all the rest of the sheeples followed suit.

Finally, a word of warning. For those of you who are considering going with a publisher, especially a small press, please do your research. Go to Absolute Write and see what the boards there have to say about the publisher. Check out Preditors & Editors. Do a Google search. And then go to Amazon. Search out that publisher’s name as well as authors who have worked with that publisher. Download samples of e-books put out by the publisher to see things like how well they actually edit a manuscript, the formatting, etc. You can tell a lot about not only and author but an editor/publisher by the first few pages of a work.

Look at covers. If the cover is like one I saw from a small press recently, run away. This particular cover was for a supposedly young adult novel. The cues were Western and female because there was a teenager on a horse. But whether it was a straight Western, a romance, a coming of age, Christian fiction, whatever, I couldn’t tell. Worse, when looking at the cover, even in thumbnail I could tell it was a lousy Photoshop job. How? Because half the girl’s leg was missing. Her boot in the stirrup was there and her thigh upwards was there but everything between was missing. Only the horse was present.

But then there was the final straw, at least in my book. For the e-book version, the publication details on the Amazon page looked “legitimate”. Everything was there, including the ISBN and publisher’s name. In other words, it looked like a traditionally published book, even if it was from a small press. But, when checking out the page for the print version, that disappeared. Yes, there was an ISBN. What was missing was a publisher’s name. Instead, it showed that is was published by Createspace.

Now, as an author who uses Createspace for her print books, and as an editor who did the same, I know that there are ways to avoid having Createspace listed as the publisher. You can either supply your own ISBN that you’ve purchased previously for the book or you can spend a whopping $10 to buy one through Createspace. The latter will mean Createspace is listed as your distributor in things like Books In Print. But your publishing house’s name is listed on the product page — thereby making your work look like it came from a “real” publisher.

If you have signed with a publisher who doesn’t do one or the other, you may have some problems. Either your publisher doesn’t know the tricks of the trade, so to speak, or they are in serious financial straits and can’t afford the $10 or they simply don’t care. All should be red flags. If you are giving up a portion of your earnings to go the traditional route, that publisher had better be doing everything it can to make your book look like it came from a traditional publishing house.

So do your homework. Please.

A Window to the Soul

I have read books in my life that I enjoyed, and promptly forgot. I have read books where I wandered off in the middle and forgot to come back again. I have read books which touched the core of my being, changed me, and I was never able to re-read again, they were terrible in their beauty. And I have read books that utterly revolted me. Some were merely indefinably ‘icky’ while others had me standing in a hot shower, washing to try and remove the feeling it had given me.It isn’t always the author. Some authors have imaginations where you don’t think that you are seeing through the book and into the author’s soul. And I’m the last person to suggest that just because I find a work repugnant, no one else should ever read them. I do have authors I cannot and will not read again. Margaret Atwood’s Handmaids Tale was nasty and made me sick to my soul. I will never read another book of hers, nor of Charlie Stross, whose graphic depiction of male rape in a short story collection left me scrubbing in the shower, hoping to remove that feeling. I cannot read Piers Anthony, not even his frothy inconsequential Xanth books, because his book Firefly revolted me and struck too close to home, to violation of innocence and the depiction of the ultimate evil.

But I’m not going to tell anyone not to read those authors. I gave my kids the first couple of Xanth books, because they are fun. In fact, I’m not telling anyone in this post not to read books by these authors. I’m asking you to examine the public actions and decide if

Blue eyes

“The Eyes are the window to your soul”
― William Shakespeare

these are people who ought to be celebrated in our field and held up as examples. Particularly, I might point out, that they are held up as examples of gender and sexual openness. I know quite well that not all who are homosexual are also child abusers. But if you’re holding these people up? You’re fostering that perception, because these are not role models. These are the ultimate evil, the abusers of children, and those who enable those abuses to continue in the shadows, denied and ignored. Will you let that go on, or will you join me in illuminating the dark corners of our art to see what scuttles for hiding?

Matt Wallace, in his excellent blog on separating art and artist: “Yours is whether or not you can disregard the information that an author whose work you love uses that work and your love of it to enable their crimes, their horrible, irrevocable abuse of the helpless and just about the only innocents left in this fucked up world. You have to decide whether or not you can make their crime just a tiny bit okay by telling yourself and everyone else that it doesn’t matter, even in the most removed context.” 

When it comes to well-known, long-beloved artists, it can be easier to turn a blind eye and pretend it doesn’t exist. Tor.com tried to do this with Marion Zimmer Bradley, and sparked a firestorm of controversy beyond anything we have seen before. Against this, the nonsense of the woman who wanted to end binary gender pales.

In an article which has since been removed, but which can be found cached here, Leah Schnelbach lauded Bradley for her life, books, and sexuality. In her bio, she fails to allude to the controversy surrounding Bradley’s husband, saying simply “She was married to Robert Alden Bradley from 1949 until 1964, and had one son. She married Walter Breen in 1964, and the couple had a son and a daughter. She earned a B.A. from Hardin-Simmons University in Texas the following year, and then took graduate courses at UC Berkeley from 1965 until 1967. Throughout this time she continued her work in fandom, and also became involved in a groundbreaking lesbian-rights group, the Daughters of Bilitis.”

The bomb dropped. Dierdre Moen promptly responded to the laudatory Tor.com piece with a blog on the truth behind Marion Zimmer Bradley’s sexual openness, and just how far it would go.

“Q. And to your knowledge, how old was [Victim X] when your husband was having a sexual relationship with him?

A. I think he was about 14 or possibly 15. I’m not certain.

Q. Were you aware that your husband had a sexual relationship with [Victim X] when he was below the age of 18?

A. Yes, I was.”

The words I quote above are from the court transcript, where Bradley was testifying about her knowledge of her husband’s ongoing abuse of at least three children. Two days later, Dierdre blogged again, this time with an open letter from Marion Zimmer Bradley’s own daughter. I will link, but not quote, and I warn you, if you have a tender heart, prepare to have it pierced if you click through to read. http://deirdre.net/marion-zimmer-bradley-its-worse-than-i-knew/

Michael Z. Williamson responded when I asked for a citation on Samuel Delany, another author often lauded for his role in Science Fiction while the reality of his public actions is ignored, with: “The full quote is “I read the NAMBLA fairly regularly and I think it is one of the most intelligent discussions of sexuality I’ve ever found. I think before you start judging what NAMBLA is about, expose yourself to it and see what it is really about. What the issues they are really talking about, and deal with what’s really there rather than this demonized notion of guys running about trying to screw little boys. I would have been so much happier as an adolescent if NAMBLA had been around when I was 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.” 

Samuel R. Delany, professor and author. In extended interviews about his novel Hogg in 2004 he stated he supported a group like NAMBLA because “abuse is fostered by the secrecy itself and lack of social policing”. He expounded that “for thousands of years, relations we assume are abusive by definition (child marriages, slavery, child labor, etc.) were the social and legal norm, institutional and ubiquitous [..] behavior that we [today] find wholly unacceptable—flogging slaves, wife beating, and child beating (in the family, in the school, and at the factory)—was recommended by experts and clergymen as the most efficient and least disruptive way to maintain [social] order. All of these institutions changed, nevertheless, only when they were no longer economically feasible or beneficial to the greater society.”Tor.com again, in a review of Delany’s book A Good Life: Samuel R. Delany’s Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders, quote from reviewer:

“I think he’s doing the same with the “culturally charged language”, race is also a real thing. Delany is making us think about what is taboo and why it is — for us now, talking about race and sex is something we have to do very carefully. By the end of the book, a boy called “Cum Stain” wearing transparent fronted pants, is at a party where it’s accepted that nice people don’t talk in public about science…
The more I kept reading, the more I enjoyed reading — “I’m not speaking for banning these authors, and I know a good many people who have read, loved, and recommended books by them. I’m only giving you their own words, and saying this. Children are to be protected. Find new role models, tor.com, and stop praising those who abuse and defile children.