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Posts tagged ‘social justice warriors’

World turned upside down

There are times when I wonder if the world turned upside down while I was asleep. You know the times I’m talking about. You go to bed one night and when you wake up, it seems like common sense has flown out the window. But it’s more than that. It also seems as if all too many of our fellow humans have lost the ability to look at all sides of an issue and make up their own minds.  That’s what I’ve felt about the publishing industry for the last few weeks. Well, to be honest, it seems as though there are more and more days and weeks when that happens over the last few years. But since the Hugo slate came out, those days are beginning to far outweigh the days when “normal” ruled.

No, I’m not going to rehash the Hugo debate. Others have done it better than I could. Nor am I going to into the Amazon-Hatchette contract negotiations. Dave did a great job of covering it yesterday.

I guess I’m in a place right now where I’m somewhere between absolutely furious about what is happening to this industry — and especially a genre — I love and heartsick. This past year has seen something new in publishing — the conservatives and libertarians are starting to push back against the liberals. Part of this stems from the increasing importance of indie publishing and small press publishing as the Big Five loose more and more of their control over the industry. Authors are starting to realize that they no longer have to fall into lockstep with whatever the cause du jour is for the editors in their ivory tower New York offices.

If you don’t think this is true, just go to Amazon or iTunes or BN.com and see how many more science fiction books are now available for download. Then see how well those books are selling. Talk to authors who are making a good living from writing and self-publishing their science fiction, authors who hadn’t been able to break into publishing under the legacy model. I’m confident you will find most of them write stories that don’t denigrate mankind, don’t make humanity the enemy that needs to be wiped out to save Mother Earth. Instead, they write stories with a plot and with characters we can identify with. Stories we want to read.

But this renewal of the genre is being denied — long and loud — by some in our industry. What makes this sad is that they are the ones who ought to be thrilled to know there is a broadening market for science fiction and fantasy. But they aren’t. They are terrified of it because indie authors aren’t being constrained by the cause du jour. So they go on the attack. But they don’t attack the indie authors — mainly because, as much as we scare them we are also still beneath their notice. Instead they attack authors like Larry Corriea who is traditionally published — now.  Larry is also a champion of other authors and of gamers and of guns. Oh, and he’s male and proudly married and the father of his own clan.

In other words, he’s a scary man who must be evil. So they must silence him.

Sigh. Authors wanting to silence other authors.

The latest attack on Larry came from Damien Walter of the Guardian. This isn’t the first time he’s tried to shame and humiliate Larry for being wrong-think. It is clear dear Damien isn’t really bright. Either that or he likes being publicly flogged, not only by Larry, who does wonderful fisks of the Guardian articles, but also by Larry’s friends and fans. Because I don’t want to give Damien any more page hits than he already has — and because Larry quotes the entirety of the latest article — here are links to the two part fisking Larry has done:

Fisking the Guardian’s Village Idiot: Part 1

Fisking the Guardian’s Village Idiot: Part 2

Then there is this excellent — and most entertaining — piece by John C. Wright, The Evil League of Evil is Given Pious Advice.

I thank Larry and John for what they’ve said in their blogs and on Facebook. I may not always agree with what they say, but that isn’t the point. The point is no voice should be silenced and most certainly not by artificial social rules determined by a few vocal social justice warriors. There is a place for everyone in the industry. Don’t like what someone writes? Don’t buy it. That’s what readers have been doing for years. But, just as publishers didn’t trust readers to determine what they wanted to read, the SJWs don’t either. Whether it is a need to be relevant or the need to control, I don’t know and I don’t care.

What I would really like is for the SJWs to sit back and actually take a few moments to read what they’ve been saying in social media. Read it and think about it and then tell me how what they are calling for isn’t basically censorship — and don’t give me a lecture here that only governments can censor. When you have people actively calling for publishers to drop authors because those authors aren’t following right-think, when those same people force others out of their jobs because they didn’t follow-right think, that’s pretty darned close to censorship. Frankly, if I say much more, I’ll go into a political rant.

I’m tired of being told how to think by the SJWs. Funny, no one else in the industry is telling me what sort of plots or characters I should be writing. No one else is condemning me — or any other author — if there aren’t enough main characters of whatever ilk in my work. Maybe instead of trying to convince the rest of us about how wrong we are, they ought to be focusing on their craft and not on their political agenda.

Oops, there I go, slipping into another rant.

Or maybe I’m just tired.

(I’ll be back later today to answer any comments but it will be later this afternoon or evening, after the final round of oral surgery. Whee – not.)

In the meantime, here’s a bit of self-promotion:

Vengeance From Ashes (new)Vengeance from Ashes (Honor and Duty) (written under the pen name Sam Schall) is the first in the Honor and Duty series.

Here’s the blurb:

First, they took away her command. Then they took away her freedom. But they couldn’t take away her duty and honor. Now they want her back.

Captain Ashlyn Shaw has survived two years in a brutal military prison. Now those who betrayed her are offering the chance for freedom. All she has to do is trust them not to betray her and her people again. If she can do that, and if she can survive the war that looms on the horizon, she can reclaim her life and get the vengeance she’s dreamed of for so long.

But only if she can forget the betrayal and do her duty.

The full moon rose and the craziness came out

I swear this past week was straight out of The Twilight Zone. Or maybe we fell down the rabbit hole and took a sharp left into Bizarro Land. Whatever the case, not only have we seen a return to social media by members of the SJW clique and the GHHers but also another attack (at least a perceived one) on indie authors by the establishment. If it was a remnant of the full moon, it can go away now. I’m ready for sanity to finally find its way into the publishing world. Not that I’m holding my breath.

EDITED TO ADD: The craziness has just been compounded. It seems if you yell loud enough, concoms will cave, whether you have a valid point or not. The concom at Archon has announced it is withdrawing its invitation to Uncle Timmy to be Fan GoH because people had to go out and find a reason to object to him. Go, Crazies! In fact, go away. Far, far away.

Edited To ADD 2: Welcome to everyone coming over from Instapundit! Thanks for the link, Glenn.

Let’s start with the Nebulas. The winners were announced this past weekend. There had been some controversy going into the awards but it was nothing compared to the vitriol that has been present since the Hugo finalists were announced. Not that it stopped the SJWs and GHHers when it turned out that every winner was female. Oh the crowing and self-congratulatory tweets that hit the twitterverse. How happy they were that they managed to stuff the ballots so that no icky man won. Nothing I’ve seen showed anything about how the voters thought they’d voted for the best works nominated. Oh no, the agenda of making sure no icky, evil, smelly man won. Agenda over quality. Agenda over ability. Agenda rules all.

All hail the glitter!

Next up comes the current movement — which is really just a ripple in the ocean and hopefully will stay that way — to keep Uncle Timmy from honored as Fan Guest of Honor at Archon. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Uncle Timmy, he is the heart and soul of LibertyCon. But he is, gasp, male and is now being accused by some folks who are such precious little flowers that they can’t tell the difference between jokes sent in by other people and what Uncle Timmy actually believes. These folks fall into the class of people who want thought police. The ones who want to tell us what we can and can’t think and say, who we can and can’t insult. Of course, they can insult anyone and everyone they want but heaven forfend that they, themselves, should ever feel insulted, rightly or wrongly.

These folks have taken to Facebook to attempt to convince the Archon concom to remove Uncle Timmy from the proceedings. There is even a comment in the thread from someone who wants to put together posters to take to other cons with the offending quotes on it and recommending people avoid going to Archon as long as Uncle Timmy is being honored. If anyone dares try to point out the difference between Uncle Timmy the fan and Uncle Timmy the publisher, they are attacked for not toeing the line of right think. My suggestion? Go to this page and show your support for Uncle Timmy and all he has done, overall, for fandom.

Then there was the controversy coming out of the RT Booklover’s Convention this weekend. The first I saw of it was when I read Hugh Howey’s post about the mass signing at the end of the convention. The post was soon picked up and being echoed across the internet, especially the part about indie authors being referred to as “aspiring authors”. Since then, there have been more posts about the separation of the authors into two different rooms as well as the “aspiring author” comment. Let’s look at both because they are both issues.

First is separating traditionally published authors from indie authors. One of the best explanations — not that I agree with the thought process behind it — for what happened comes from Courtney Milan. She notes that the traditionally published authors had their books provided by a bookstore and that these books were returnable. The difference being that the indie authors had to provide their own books and they were, therefore, not returnable. So far, so good.

However, if I correctly remember what Ms. Milan said — and assuming her understanding of the process is correct — the bookstore providing the books demanded the separation of traditionally published authors from the indies. I have an issue with that sort of thing because many of those indies have books out that the bookstore could have ordered and stocked. So the “returnable” argument begins to fall flat. No, what I have a feeling happened is the bookstore, knowing that publishers are their key supplier, didn’t want to upset anyone on the traditional end of the business. So the decision was made to only stock books supplied by the “real” side of publishing.

Another issue I have with separating the authors this way is that the indies were not apparently told this was going to happen. Surely the bookstore — or whoever made the decision — told the concom early enough that they could have sent emails to the authors who had said they wanted to take part. One comment I’ve seen speculated that the indies weren’t told about the separation because the con didn’t want to risk the indies pulling out. If that’s the case, doesn’t that point to the power and growing popularity of indie titles? So why alienate them by separating them from the traditionally published authors? More importantly, why make it even more difficult for the con goers, many of whom wouldn’t know if an author is traditionally published or not, by splitting them into two rooms in a way that would make little sense to the average reader?

Let’s face it, folks. Most readers don’t have a clue about who publishes their favorite authors.

But of more concern is the contention that the authors were split between the traditionally published authors and “aspiring” authors. The con claims that the use of the term “aspiring authors” to describe the indies was a mistake made by one of their volunteers. That very well may be. But it still shows an problem, not only with the con and how its volunteers were trained but with the general perception many people still have of indies. The volunteers should have been instructed, and more than once, on what authors were in which room and why. They should have been given the definition of what and indie author is and that definition should have included examples showing how some of the best selling authors around right now either started out as indies or are hybrid authors who do both traditional and indie publishing.

Honest mistake or not, bookstore demand or not, RT Booklovers’ Convention has been damaged by what happened this year.

Frankly, it’s time for those running cons to understand that indie publishing isn’t the vanity press of years gone by. More importantly, the SJWs and GHHers need to get over themselves and start worrying about writing good books, books that people want to read, instead of enforcing their own political and social agendas. And now I’m going to get back to writing books where all I care about is writing a story readers want to read.