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Posts tagged ‘SFWA’

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.

Hurrah! Read more

New Author Earnings Presentation Out

This one slipped by me while I’ve been too busy offline: Author earnings did a presentation on Science Fiction & Fantasy at the 2018 Nebula Conference.

http://authorearnings.com/sfwa2018/

Impressions? Thoughts? I’m still fairly swamped, so I’m betting I’m going to miss a few things on my initial read-through.

(And you see that book I put up in the image? It’s an excellent book. I’m getting to read the fourth one right now, because for some crazy reason, Margaret thinks I can write blurbs. If you want hijinks and hilarity, grad students and grackles (think raven, but smaller and even more annoying), check it out!)

And guess what? The sequel’s out! An Opening In the Air has campus protests, outside agitators looking to volunteer students to be martyrs, even more grackles, grad students who just want to math (and teleport. and fly), and really that wasn’t supposed to be on fire… Check it out!

Interview with Jean Rabe

Edward Stasheff, the son of Fantasy Master Christopher Stasheff, and a writer in his own right, contacted me not too long ago and asked if the Mad Genius Club would be interested in hosting an interview with Jean Rabe. I almost broke my fingers answering back yes. I’ll tell you how happy I was, I was replying to an email on my phone. I read emails on my phone, but I hate typing on it, so I usually wait to be back in this office. Not this time. I’d like to heartily thank Ed, and warmly welcome the redoubtable Jean Rabe to the Mad Genius Club. Thank you both! 

Jean Rabe (pronounced RAY-BEE) is a prolific science fiction and fantasy author of thirty-one novels and more than seventy short stories, and is particularly well known for her contributions to the Dragonlance series.  On top of all that, she’s also edited more than two dozen anthologies, as well as multiple military, gaming, and SFF magazines, including being business manager and then editor of the SFWA Bulletin for several years.

I first met Ms. Rabe in 2012 at ChambanaCon, where she is a regular guest, and found her to be a modest and approachable professional who was willing to talk to aspiring writers and hand out free advice and wisdom (and a free copy of the SFWA Bulletin, which I thought was pretty cool).  When the controversy over the SFWA Bulletin arose last year, there was a lot of anger aimed at Ms. Rabe in the SFF blogosphere.  This, however, didn’t fit with the friendly and cheerful person I’d met the previous year, and since then I’ve been curious to get her side of the story.  When I met her again at ChambanaCon this year, she graciously agreed to be interviewed about her career.

ES: I understand you started off you writing career as a newspaper reporter.  Why did you decide to become a journalist?

JR: I wanted to go into some type of writing, and journalism seemed a good avenue.  It required the least number of hours per major, which let me pick up a couple of minors.  I was really interested in geography and geology, so I could major in journalism and get a heavy science emphasis.  I did a lot of news reporting, covered geological surveys, things like that. And then I worked as a crime reporter for a few years.

ES: Why did you decide to transition from being a journalist to a fiction writer and editor?

JR: I honestly got tired of all the blood.  I had one editor tell me, “If it’s bloody and within 150 miles of your office, it’s yours.”  I got to be really good at covering that kind of stuff, and so… I don’t know, some of the people in the other offices up there were calling me the “Gore Reporter.”  I once covered a Satanist who was killing cats in a neighborhood and was threatening the neighbors.  He had killed, like, 120 cats.  This guy was really scary.  Man, that guy gave me the shivers!  I’d cover stuff like that.  I was getting front page stories all the time, but… you know, you see that kind of stuff enough, and at the end of the day, it was just kinda like, “Yuck!”  I don’t know, I did other things—occasionally they’d throw me something happy like covering a concert—but it’s the gore stuff that stood out, and so I was finally like, “You know, I’m tired of this.  I’ll write about fictional blood and guts.”

I was going to SF conventions at the same time—I’m absolutely a lifelong fan—and the woman who was running the RPGA, Penny Petticord, called me and said she was going to quit and I should apply for the job.  I was like, “Eh… I don’t know… but I’ll go in for an interview.”  So I went to the interview and they offered me the job the next day.  So I took it.  Well, you know, that’s a real departure, working for a game company from being a crime reporter.  I did writing and editing for them for a while, then I started writing books, and then I quit to just write books full time.

ES: Do you feel your background as a newspaper reporter and then RPG editor helped prepare you for a successful career as a fiction novelist and editor?

JR: Oh, absolutely.

ES: In what ways?

JR: I had four deadlines a day when I ran a news bureau for Scripps Howard, and because I had four deadlines a day, I could impose my own deadlines on myself for writing fiction.  I never missed a deadline in the newspaper business, and I honestly can say I have never missed a deadline for any fiction projects that I have turned in, editing or writing—I just do not miss deadlines.  It’s just kind of ingrained, and I believe that my newspaper background made me concrete: if you’re given a deadline to meet, it’s something that’s non-negotiable.

It also made me learn how to read people and how to ask questions.  When you’re writing a piece of fiction, with a newspaper background it makes you think more about motives and “does something make sense?”  If you’re writing about something that’s got a crime involved, you can look at it from different angles.  You know what questions to ask that don’t always have to be asked by the characters, but that do have to be answered in the narrative before the end of the story.

ES: I’ve noticed from your panels that you have a very rigorous approach to researching your novels before writing them.  Is that also a carryover from your time as a reporter?

JR: Oh yes.  Well, part of it is experience.  I’ve learned that the more research that I do, the faster the book writes, and the more accurate it writes.  And you have to do a lot of present-day research—buy maps and pick up online newspapers to see, you know, what the price of gas is in that city.  I just finished an urban fantasy set in New York City, and so I had to go buy a subway map and detailed city maps, because you need to get it right.

ES: What do you consider to be your most significant contribution to the SFWA Bulletin during your tenure as editor?

JR: I am adamant about deadlines.  The magazine hadn’t been on schedule for years.  I just thought that was not acceptable, so I put the magazine on schedule.  It did not miss a deadline under my tenure.

ES: And what was your perspective on the SFWA Bulletin scandal*, if that’s something you’re comfortable talking about.

JR: Well, you know what?  I don’t really consider it a scandal.  The whole issue was over an opinion piece—an opinion piece!—by two respected science fiction authors.  And what’s wrong with someone expressing an opinion, especially somebody who’s been writing the column for years and years and years?  I think some people look for reasons to be offended.  And maybe because of my newspaper background, I don’t find offense nor look for offense as fast as perhaps young people now.  And maybe after so many years as a crime reporter, I just have a thicker skin than most.

I actually wanted to run the series about women writers and editors.  I thought SWFA might be, you know, too much of a boy’s club.  So I got the idea for the column approved, then I got the column approved, then I ran the column, and then the shit hit the fan.

ES: Did that catch you by surprise?

JR: Yes.

ES: And why did you decide to resign?  Was that your decision, or—

the cover of SFWA Bulletin #200

the cover of SFWA Bulletin #200

SFWA Bulletin #202

SFWA Bulletin #202

JR: Oh, it was my decision!  I had thought about quitting before then, just because it was taking an inordinate amount of time and I wanted to get back to writing.  And I thought, “You know, why should I defend myself over this?”  It was an opinion column.

You know, we ran the tribute issue to Gene Wolfe, and people complained about the reprint of the cover piece—Don Maitz was the artist, and so he offered us up that cover piece—and they were complaining that the sword looked phallic.  Okay, so they complained about that, they complained about Jeff Easley’s Red Sonja piece—and that’s what it was, it [the cover of SFWA Bulletin #200] was a Red Sonja piece—and had we not pulled the About the Artist page to run an ad, it would even have talked about this being his homage to Red Sonja.  Then we had the Red Cover [SFWA Bulletin #202], and people complained it was too red.  I am not kidding.  I would get emails over the weirdest things.  I never got as much complaint mail when I edited seventy issues of a game magazine for TSR.

ES: What, if anything, can be done to help the SFWA community get past this and move on?

JR: I have no idea.  I quit.  I’m like, “I don’t want any part of this!  I’m done dancing!”  You know, all I wanted to do was edit a magazine.  I thought it looked nice and it came out on time.  I’m actually having a better time now that I don’t have a magazine to edit for the first time in years.  So it was kind of like perfect timing.  I still edit anthologies from time to time.  I’m getting to write more books now.  I’ve got one out now, and I’ve got two more coming out next year.

ES: What projects are you currently working on, or plan to work on next?

JR: I’m actually doing a work-for-hire for a friend, I’m writing a Shadowrun novel.  And then I’m going to go back to a murder mystery that I started.  Yeah, I know I should write fantasy and science fiction, that’s what I’m known for, but every once in a while you get an idea and you just have to follow through with this idea.

ES: It sounds like your background as a crime reporter would be ideal for a mystery writer.

JR: Yeah.  Yeah, I’ve got a few mystery plots that I want to get to—so I’m gonna do it, because why not?  I’ve had agents tell me, “You should stick to fantasy and science fiction,” and I’m like, “Yeah, but I got these other ideas.”  If I gotta sell it under a different name, then I’ll sell it under a different name, and I don’t have a problem with that.

ES: And do you have anything that’s come out recently or will be coming out soon?

JR: Uh, yes, The Cauldron, which I wrote with my buddy Gene DeWeese.  It’s out now in an ebook, and comes out in print in January.  It’s my first science fiction novel, true science fiction.  I’d done fantasy and urban fantasy, but this is my first full line formal entry into sci-fi.  So I had fun with that.  And then there’s the urban fantasies I have coming out this year with Kevin J. Anderson’s Wordfire Press.  They kinda lend themselves to sequels, so I hope they do well enough that I can write more of them.

ES: And what are the names of those?

 

JR: The first one is called Pockets of Darkness, and that’s set in New York City.  It’s pretty gritty, I’d even call it light horror.  And the other one is The Love-Haight Case Files.  It’s set in Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco.  It’s about attorneys who represent undead and goblins and gargoyles.  It’s sort of like spindling Law & Order with Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  You’re just kinda swirling all that up and add in a dash of Remington Steele and Ghost and Mrs. Muir.  I really liked that one.

 

ES: Well, thank you for the interview!

 

For a taste of Jean’s writing, you can read a free urban fantasy short story at her website, http://www.jeanrabe.com.

 

* This was my mistake.  I meant to say “controversy.”

 

It’s all about your options

Last week, Cedar and I were talking about what we might blog about over the next few weeks. One thing I want to do is a breakdown of my sales since the Kindle Unlimited program began. Because it entails math — I’m math-challenged at the best of times — it is something I don’t want to rush through. So it will be another week or two before I get it finished. So that left me scratching my head about what to blog on this week. Then I remembered a link Cedar sent me and a thread I saw on one of the social media outlets and, well, this post was born.

Being a writer, our professional life is a matter of options. Do we go indie or traditional? Do we try to get an agent or not? Do we use pen names or not? Do we try to join professional organizations or not? And the list goes on.

There is no one right answer. You have to look at your own situation and needs and then you have to have a serious talk with yourself about what you want out of the path you’re leaning toward. In other words, you have to look at your writing as your career and then you have to be as clinical about the decisions you make where it is concerned as you want your kids to be when they are choosing a college major. Even then, don’t be surprised to have second thoughts and doubts. It happens and you have to remember that it is all right to change your mind.

But you must, no matter what path you take, keep your eyes open and continue learning about the profession and all the different options that are out there for you.

Not to keep whipping the same old horse, but SFWA is one example of why it is important to be able to look at what you want and what is being offered in a dispassionate way.

For example, Amazon began letting indie authors and small presses begin publishing on the Kindle platform in 2009 – 2010, iirc. Before then, authors were limited to Smashwords and one or two other outlets. But with the introduction of the option of publishing direct to Amazon and the Kindle, indie publishing took off and the traditional publishing industry began to really bury its head in the sand, all the while wishing that the new kid on the block soon moved away and every forgot about him.

It wasn’t just publishers who hoped the indie trend was just that, a trend that would go the way of pet rocks. The so-called professional organizations did as well. For the first year or two, no professional organization recognized indie or direct to digital small press work as “pro”. Then, when it started hearing from its authors that they were making as much money — or more — from their indie work than they were from their “pro” advances, RWA (Romance Writers of America) changed their requirements for membership. They didn’t spend months and years studying the issue. They heard their membership, they did some quick research and they amended their requirements for “pro” level qualification.

Now, let’s look at what SFWA has done. It has dragged its feet. It has made excuses, ranging from needing to do more research to needing to reincorporate in another state to who knows what all to avoid the issue. A committee was formed to look into the situation. This has all been going on for years. Finally, in June of this year, it said it wanted to hear from the membership about what it felt about letting indie authors into their vaunted halls.

So, as an author, if you want to join a so-called professional organization, ask yourself why. What does the organization have to offer you? Does it even admit that you, who work as hard at your craft as a traditionally published author (if not harder), are a “real” author? Or has the organization continued to try to hold onto the old ways and ignoring the changes in not only the industry but in what readers want?

Look, too, at what that organization has said in the past about what you are doing. Organizations are like most anything else. They hate change and it takes time for major philosophical changes to occur. So, when you look at their archives or resources and see what they have to say. Another example again comes from SFWA. While the article initially comes off as fairly unbiased, the bias against indie publishing comes clear later on when it has a section listing the “bad reasons” for choosing self-publishing but there is no corresponding section on why it might be good to self-publish. While the links on the post were updated in August of this month, there is no note that the text has been edited or updated since it was originally posted. I don’t know about you but, to me, the whole thing reads as a “well, indie is an option, but if you want to be a real writer. . . ” sort of thing.

Now, one thing you will face as an indie author is that there are folks out there who think your book will be more poorly edited than a traditionally edited book. That is one of the myths the proponents of traditional publishing have been shoving out there and it’s something a lot of writers and readers have bought into. I’ll even admit that it does happen on occasion. But for those indie authors who take their craft seriously, they hire editors — both for content and for the technical aspects of writing. Do mistakes happen? Of course. I just had it happen to me. I relied on an editor I’d never used before based on recommendations from someone I trusted. Because of that, I didn’t do a final check the way I should have and a book went out with more mistakes than it should have. I have since had the book re-edited by an editor I know and trust and, between us, I think we caught everything. But that is the exception for me and for a lot of indie authors and not the rule.

That said, it doesn’t matter how many editors look at an indie book. There will still be those who give you a review dissing it because of grammar or spelling errors, real or imagined. They do it only because it is an indie book. These reviews are usually framed in such a way that the reviewer also notes that these errors wouldn’t have happened had the author gone the traditional route or hired a good editor. If you can’t take criticism, then don’t go indie. Because you will get these reviews no matter how well-edited your work might be.

I’m not going to tell anyone that they shouldn’t go traditional. There is still one traditional publisher (Baen) I would kill to sign a contract with. But I will tell you not to believe what you see on TV or in the movies about publishing. A “real” publisher isn’t going to send you on a cross-country book tour, on their dime, unless you are the next Stephen King or Nora Roberts. You aren’t going to have a senior editor assigned to hold your hand and talk to you every day. I know authors who have been with publishers for years who still have their work edited by editorial assistants and are lucky if the “editor” actually reads the book. But traditional publishing does take some of the work off of you. The publisher will deal with cover issues and typesetting and conversion and they will, hopefully, make sure your book is in the catalog sent to bookstore buyers. But the cost to you is a loss of control, a huge loss in what you could potentially make in the long term on the work and yet you are still expected to market the book. Few authors see any monies from a book after they receive the advance and their “professional” lives are at the mercy of BookScan numbers.

As an indie author, you are responsible for everything. It isn’t as difficult as it might seem, but you have to learn to let go and find help you can trust for things like editing and cover creation (if, like me, art is not your forte). A lot of it can be done in trade-off. I’ll trade editing services for cover work or conversion work for editing or editing for editing. From time to time, I will “hire” an editor if my go-to editors are busy with other projects and, when that has happened, it has usually bitten me in the butt. But, like everyone going indie, I’m learning.

And, honestly, it isn’t that difficult. Gone are the days when you had to do hand coding to make sure your e-book looked good. You don’t have to any longer. Most sites like Amazon, B&N, and even Smashwords allow you to upload a variety of text formats and they will convert to the preferred format for their outlet. That means, once you learn the tricks, you can upload a DOC file and be comfortable that it will convert accurately. (Smashwords is still problematical because of the meatgrinder and how it tries to convert to too many different formats.) Or you can take your DOC file and convert it yourself to the site’s preferred format — MOBI for Amzon or ePub for Apple or B&N for example — using free programs. That lets you do quality control before it leaves your hands. All tolled, converstion for me from my final edited DOC file to MOBI for Amazon is usually less than ten minutes and that includes flipping through the book doing a visual check to make sure the active table of contents is working and none of the internal formatting has been botched in the conversion.

As I said, it all comes down to what you want and how much responsibility you want to take for your work. But, before you make a final decision, go to the best seller lists in the genre you are writing and look to see how the list breaks down indie vs. traditionally published. (By this, I mean the site best seller lists and not the NYT etc because they don’t usually include indie work.) When you do, I think you might be surprised when you see just how many of those on the top 100 lists are actually indie published.

It is a brave new world out there and I’m excited by it, both as a writer and as a reader because indie has given me more options in what I write and what I read and that is always a good thing.

F%$K me, SFWA, One More Time

*eyeroll* SFWA’s getting involved? On the side of Hachette, obvs. 

 

Nothing like supporting the pimp and dissing the girls.

 

What? I give you pleasure, you give me money. What does that make me? 

 

Only… I don’t have a middleman over my head taking most of my money. I’m a free girl. 

 

I’ve blogged before at length about the whole Hachette-Amazon thing, here, and here, and here. It’s business, folks, nothing personal. Amazon is in the process of renegotiating, which comes after Hachette settled over a price-fixing dispute. If you’ve been living under a rock, this comes as a surprise to you. Otherwise, it’s everywhere.

And now, SFWA has come out in support of Hachette. “Author Don Sakers has posted an essay to his blog complaining that the SFWA has endorsed Douglas Preston’s letter. Sakers, an independent author who makes most of his sales through Amazon, is annoyed that SFWA’s leadership did not make any attempt to consult or discuss the matter with its members before acting, and points out that this comes only a week after SFWA asked its members to comment on a proposal for allowing self-published authors to join.” Chris Meadows does a good job reporting on industry news over at Teleread, and covers this one.

So here we have an organization that still claims it supports authors and helps them get the best deal, but now they are in bed with one of the biggest publishing businesses. Their cover story is getting thinner than a streetwalker’s top.

Fortunately, I don’t need them. Even if they deign to ‘let in’ Indie Authors, I wouldn’t join. For one thing, they are sure to put all sorts of qualifications on membership for Indies. But I don’t need them, I repeat myself. For sure, they aren’t fighting for authors to get the best deal. They just came out in support of the guys who pays 12.5% on a book sale, over the guy who pays 70% on a book sale. Even the least mathematically able among us can see where the “bend over and spread, dear’ side is.

But enough about panderers. I’m sick of them. I’m sick of this whole mess, and the Stockholm Syndrome it has revealed in so many authors. I just want to write, and see my books sell. I’m not trying to put out the “Great American Novel,” I’m a mercenary wench who wants to give pleasure to as many readers as possible. Which is how I set my pricing.

See, here’s the thing. For Amazon, and Hachette, it’s cold, hard business. They are almost reptilian in their lack of warm-blooded feelings. But for me, the creator, I do get a buzz out of feedback. When I hear about people enjoying my work, and the pleasure I see on their faces when they thank me for my books, I get a rush. I want more of that. And I know it’s hard out there. So I balance my costs, which are low, with what I think people can pay for some entertainment to brighten their life.

Hachette just wants to milk the consumer for all they have. They try to skim the cream of the authorial crop (or whatever is floating to the surface, anyway) and push some, while others are left adrift without a paddle. But the prices… why price an ebook at $9.99? Think about that, and we’ll discuss it in comments.

Because me, I have a book to send off to an editor, so when it’s released in less than a month now, I can feel that rush all over again. And it’ll be less than $5, so you, my beloved readers, can afford to indulge, over and over again.

Oh, and because I love you guys, I have a novella up for free over on Amazon this weekend. Grab it before Monday, and be sure to give me a little something when you’re done…

A review! What did you think I was asking for? LOL

 

From Teh Stoopid That Goes Bump At Wiscon, Oh Good Lord Deliver Us

Yes, yes, as if you didn’t have enough stupid cluttering the walls of the Mad Genius Club already, we’ve got even more on display, this time some twit who is incapable of distinguishing between self-delusional ego-stroking and fact going all concern-troll over N. K. Jemison’s Guest of Honor speech at Wiscon last week.

Mostly the article is a little bit of fangirling, a little bit of concern trolling, and quoting honking great chunks of the actual speech. Which seemed just a bit off to me, so I took a deep breath and waded over to the deep end of Glittery Hoo Haa land to Jemison’s blog to read the whole thing.

I’m fairly sure I could feel brain cells dying as I read. Well, no, that’s not quite true. I couldn’t feel them dying, but I could hear their tiny little screams of “No more torture!” “Stop! Stop!” as they scrambled out of my ears and leaped to their deaths on the tiles far below (well, by brain cell standards it’s a long way down).

Let’s get this out of the way to start with. Yes, there are bigots in SFF. Duh. It’s a human field, peopled by humans (at least, I don’t know of any aliens in the industry). It’s possible that there were once far fewer bigots in the field simply because people who look to the future and see hope for humanity tend not to be the sort of people who are going to get hung up on who someone’s parents are. That’s changed, and the people who changed it are the ones this fool and her Feminist Glittery Hoo Haa adore.

That does not excuse lying about past events and claiming bigotry where none exists. Nor does it excuse such a narrow view of life and the industry that everything, no matter what it is, must be viewed through the distorted lens of “racism”.

When she says:

But it has been almost twenty years since his prophetic announcement, and in that time all of society — not just the microcosm of SFF — has racheted toward that critical, threatening mass in which people who are not white and not male achieve positions of note. And indeed we have seen science fiction and fantasy authors and editors and film directors and game developers become much, much more explicit and hostile in their bigotry. We’ve seen that bigotry directed not just toward black authors but authors of all races other than white; not just along the racial continuum but the axes of gender, sexual orientation, nationality, class, and so on. We’ve seen it aimed by publishers and book buyers and reviewers and con organizers toward readers, in the form of every whitewashed book cover, every “those people don’t matter” statement, and every all-white, mostly-male BookCon presenters’ slate. Like Chip said, this stuff has always been here. It’s just more intense, and more violent, now that the bigots feel threatened.

Jemisin neglects to mention one crucial factor. In the last twenty years or so, the Social Justice Warriors and the Feminist Glittery Hoo Haas have subjected everyone to a relentless drumbeat of white=evil, male=evil, not-white=victim, female=victim until anyone with more than two braincells to rub together is heartily sick of it. Jemisin has clearly bought the “victim” idiotology hook, line, and stinker, and seems utterly unaware of the way the – yes, bigoted – establishment has promoted her and her ilk against other equally meritorious authors (and is some cases authors with more merit) simply so they can say they’re doing all they can to “combat discrimination” without ever having to come out of their nice cozy plantation and actually deal with anyone honestly.

See, there’s a sneaky little trap buried in all the Social Justice bullshit that the Warriors and Hoo Haas never see. They’re so busy preening about their glorious glitter they never realize that the people in power aren’t letting anyone who isn’t in the power-club get anywhere near the real seats of power. It’s sickening, really. All they have to do is dole out a few goodies, just enough for those lesser sorts to get by on, and said lesser sorts will be so grateful they’ll never even think of revolt.

Seriously. If Hitler had claimed all his assorted untermenschen were poor, hardworking, hard-done-by people who needed a bit of help and given them unemployment benefits and subsidized housing everyone would have proclaimed what a wonderful humanitarian he was and cheered him on. The six million would still have died, only over a longer time period and nobody would have thought there was anything wrong about it because it’s just terrible the way an unjust society forces those people to kill each other, isn’t it? (Okay, this is pure bullshit – but stop and think about the analogy for a little while. Scary? Good).

Then, presumably in a fit of masochism, I hopped Jemisin’s link to her speech in Australia last year, the one that started off the whole round of bullshit that saw SFWA expel an “unnamed member” (yes, everyone knows who was expelled, but not because SFWA said anything) for doing rather less than anyone else did (namely use the twitter handle SFWA used to provide for SFWA members to link in their blogs to link in his blog) and claim he violated SFWA rules and supposedly brought the organization into disrepute. Honestly if that was an expulsion offense there would have been entire SFWA executive committees dismissed on a regular basis. SFWA’s executive committee brought itself into disrepute with its heavy-handed action towards what was fundamentally nothing more than an opinion they didn’t like.

Anyway. My surviving braincells stampeded for my ears so they could commit mass suicide rather than sit through this drivel. This poor, precious flower feels unsafe in Australia because she’s black? And of course it never occurred to the poor dear to actually research Australian culture or anything. There are very few places where someone’s skin color places them in danger in Australia – and most of those you don’t want to be of the lily white persuasion. That or the area is one of the relative handful where poorly integrated migrant communities have turned a suburb into a mini war zone where anyone who doesn’t belong to that specific community (color doesn’t matter there) is at risk. Most of those are fine during the daylight, and there sure as hell aren’t any within walking distance of the convention hotels.

No, I’m sure what terrified poor, innocent Jemisin is that Australians as a rule don’t bother with PC language. We don’t call a spade a spade, we call it a fucking shovel. And we’re likely to call our best friend of Chinese ancestry “our Chink mate”. And our best friend is just as likely to call us, “bloody convict, mate” or something equally friendly. We call catching a cold “getting a bloody wog” (and will laugh uproariously when one of our friends with Greek or Italian ancestry retorts “yeah, and I’ve got a bloody aussie”). If you don’t realize this, yes, Australians sound incredibly bigoted. But if you sit down and just watch a crowd of Australians in somewhere like one of the major Sydney or Melbourne train stations or the pedestrian malls, you’ll see that every damn ethnicity imaginable is passing through and getting no more and no less attention than anyone else.

But she’s got a Glittery Hoo Haa! It’s all – all – about her. What she sees as bigotry – sorry, racism – is nothing more than people giving her exactly the deference she deserves, namely the amount due any other human.

Until she can see that, she and her ilk are going to be jumping at racist shadows everywhere she goes. And writing and publishing will be poorer for it.

Monday Morning

and it’s the day after a con. For Dave, it’s Conclave Two. He’s posted over at Coal-Fired Cuttlefish that he is having to borrow access and a computer. So that may be why we haven’t heard from him this morning. Either that or his “con-fusion” is like mine usually is the day after a con and he’s forgotten it’s Monday 😉 Either way, here’s hoping he had a great con — and a productive one too.

In the meantime, here are some links of interest, especially if you are following what has now been coined Hugo-gate.

The first is from John C. Wright. He has posted his resignation from SFWA and he hits the nail on the proverbial head.

The second is a wonderful post from Brad Torgersen. One of the cries coming from the other side is that we should shun Vox Day and anyone who dares not to condemn him. Brad’s take on this is a wonderful and thought provoking.

Finally, USA Today has picked up the story, thanks to Glenn Reynolds. Needless to say, Larry Correia features in the article and not as a villain.

And we have how long until WorldCon? Can you imagine what the hue and cry will be if Larry or Vox or any of the other “undesirables” win? I have the popcorn. Who has the drink and chocolate?