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Sunday, June 02, 2013

The dangerous vision of the SFWA

I posted a pair of comments that were in line with my post yesterday on the SFWA Forum.  (Forum posts are private and one is not allowed to quote them elsewhere, otherwise I would quote the posts to which I was responding.) This resulted in numerous complaints to the moderator, a warning for "abusive behavior", the deletion of the following posts, and a temporary removal of my posting abilities there by a creature with the unlikely Warrior Woman name of Cat Rambo.
Not that it will likely make a difference, but I don't see how "Moahr Titz" is going to improve the Bulletin. As for more diversity, that's a fantastic idea if you want to render the Bulletin of absolutely no interest to anyone except women who derive vicarious pleasure from listening to other people moan about the travails of life. If this was the Organization for Respecting Women and not the SFWA, hey, these various suggestions are fine. But they have absolutely nothing to do with science fiction. Consider: it will be a pretty hollow victory to claim that everyone in professional science fiction is finally respecting women, minorities, dwarves, and fairies in the desired manner if in the process you manage to drive away three-quarters of the science fiction readership.

The Bulletin absolutely should have scantily clad women being rescued by manly men from bug-eyed aliens on the cover from time to time. It should have robots and spaceships too. Whether you find that offensive or not, that's part of what science fiction was, and is. Science fiction is supposed to be the literature of dangerous ideas, not safe and inoffensive and respectful and politically correct ones.

And if you can't handle that concept, then you should get the hell out of the field and the organization. You don't belong in either of them.

I therefore encourage every member of the SFWA who is offended by the Dialogues or the Bulletin covers to follow e. Catherine Tobler's excellent example and resign from the organization. Because regardless of your literary talents and interests, you are clearly not fit to be a science fiction writer. Science fiction isn't about respect, equality, or inoffensiveness, it is about science and the future.
I also addressed the idea that the Dialogues column between Mike Resnick and Barry Salzberg should be forcibly retired with alacrity.
How about a regular column by women writers complaining about sexism in [science fiction/fantasy/horror/publishing/games] and how there are not enough female [fill-in-the-blank]. That would be totally new and different and impossible to find anywhere else!

Maybe every four issues we could change it up with a column by a black writer complaining about racism in [science fiction/fantasy/horror/publishing/games] and how there are not enough black [fill-in-the-blank].

Who wants to read about the history of yucky old science fiction by some old white guys of whom nobody has ever heard anyway?
So, praising the decision of a member to quit, expressing the opinion that others of similarly delicate minds would do well to follow her example, and noting that women are inordinately inclined to be easily offended, speech-controlling fascists resulted immediately in fascistic, speech-repressing activity by an offended woman.  In the eyes of the present SFWA, criticism equals abuse.

And you thought the Sports Guy was joking.  Women really do ruin everything. Even for themselves. Perhaps especially for themselves.

No wonder a number of SFWA members refuse to post on the Forum and stubbornly stick with the old ones on SFF.net.  The SFWA Forum doesn't just stifle discourse, it actively eliminates it altogether.

Harlan Ellison wept.

Labels: ,

112 Comments:

Anonymous TheExpat June 02, 2013 2:57 AM  

noting that women are inordinately inclined to be easily offended, speech-controlling fascists resulted immediately in fascistic, speech-repressing activity by an offended woman.

This could not be more perfect.

Anonymous Pa Kur June 02, 2013 3:19 AM  

I love it. Let the old guard SF people stew in their fascist liberalism. Let them keep on publishing PC crap and burying their heads in the sand when Vox tells them a few truths. It has paved the way for the new ebook explosion. Look at the charts. Indies rule sf on Amazon. Much of that sf is anything but PC or liberal. It's red meat enjoyment.

The old guard is cutting their own throats. Let them, because the dollars of the buyers are quickly changing the game for a new golden age of publishing.

Anonymous YIH June 02, 2013 4:12 AM  

Just wow. I wonder how those butthurt 'feminists' would deal with the original Star Trek among many other examples.
It's like a snake eating it's own tail.

Anonymous kh123 June 02, 2013 4:19 AM  

Was hoping this would lead into the extended artistry that was the Electrolite thread. This and the last SFWA post will do for now.

Anonymous Koanic June 02, 2013 4:58 AM  

"I posted a pair of comments that were in line with my post yesterday on the SFWA Forum. (Forum posts are private and one is not allowed to quote them "

Misplaced modifier, makes it sound like the issue was that you somehow broke the SFWA no quoting rule. I had to read the whole thing to be sure that wasn't it.

It will be interesting to see whether they interpret your posting your deleted comments as a violation of the above rule, and ban you for it.

Odds, gentlemen?

Blogger Francis W. Porretto June 02, 2013 5:27 AM  

Friends, everything that needs to be said about this is summed up by a single passage from Keith Laumer:

Retief stood up. "I'm taking a few weeks off...if you have no objections, Mr. Ambassador. My pal Whonk wants to show me an island down south where the fishing is good."

"But there are some extremely important matters coming up," Magnan said. "We're planning to sponsor Senior Citizen Groups."

"Count me out. Groups give me an itch."

"Why, what an astonishing remark, Retief. After all, we diplomats are ourselves a group."

"Uh, huh," Retief said. "That's what I mean."

Magnan sat quietly, his mouth open, and watched as Retief stepped into the hall and closed the door gently behind him.

Anonymous The CronoLink June 02, 2013 5:35 AM  

Harlan Ellison? who cares if that grouchy troll weeps?

Anonymous Stilicho June 02, 2013 6:17 AM  

The time for satire is ripe. Fahrenheit 451 + female protagonist meets Swift, but dumbed down for a modern audience. I wonder how many of the SFWA crowd would get it. And wereseals. Obviously.

Anonymous Stilicho June 02, 2013 6:18 AM  

The Riders of the Purple Wage are in danger of being replaced by the riders of the purple saguaro.

Blogger IM2L844 June 02, 2013 6:19 AM  

Sounds like the Scalzification of the SFWA has been effectively thorough.

Anonymous Stilicho June 02, 2013 7:01 AM  

Why aren't there more Mexicans in the SFWA? Raciss! More transgendered East Indian whatevers? Sexiss raciss! It clearly needs more vibrants. You know, to do the jobs that even the mauve rabbit won't do.

Blogger tz June 02, 2013 7:26 AM  

Women then to dislike numbers. Like 1984 or Farenheit 451.

They turn irony to coppery.

That said, SF/F has generally been the genre for exploring phikosophy. Atlas Shrugged makes the argument more clearly if subtly than the Philosophy of Objectivism.

Or for racism, Out od the Silent Planet, where we were the savages, and the natives the sophisticates.

Perhaps it is merely the hardwiring for shit-testing, but giving into women makes things shitty. But men seem to have difficulty figuring this out, but are waking up. Feminism relies on gammas with guns.

I have to find that old John Wayne - Kathryn Hepburn western. It has been years but I think it got the dynamic right in many ways.

Blogger IM2L844 June 02, 2013 7:33 AM  

Am I the only one besides Vox who thinks it's funny that he's been met with the mercurial mallet of masturbatory moderating from the mauve metarabbit.

Anonymous VryeDenker June 02, 2013 7:36 AM  

Sorry, I'm still trying to process the fact that someone actually wrote about were-seals.

Blogger Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus June 02, 2013 7:57 AM  

Vox, why not just create a competitive SF writers organization, and likely fish off everybody except for the cat women and their Omega foot-massagers?

I have to admit, I like the old SF stuff (up to, say, the 1970s), but am turned off the genre because of the PC cat women garbage. I'd probably be interested if SF started being about SF again (i.e. using SF topics as a vehicle for playing with interesting ideas) instead of being about improbable Amazon action gurlzzz written solely to "prove" that womyn can do anything that a man can. I suspect there are a lot of others like me out there.

Blogger Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus June 02, 2013 8:01 AM  

Can anyone here imagine H. Beam Piper being a member of the SFWA today?

I can't.

Anonymous willneverpostagain June 02, 2013 8:45 AM  

C'mon people! The gurrlz of the SF community are just trying to make "their" future fascist liberal world a fact right now!

What could possibly go wrong?

Vox is right--their authoritarian claptrap needs to be combatted wherever it is found. Stamp it out like the soul killing virus that it is.

Anonymous rycamor June 02, 2013 9:08 AM  

Stilicho June 02, 2013 7:01 AM

Why aren't there more Mexicans in the SFWA? Raciss! More transgendered East Indian whatevers? Sexiss raciss! It clearly needs more vibrants. You know, to do the jobs that even the mauve rabbit won't do.


Were I an SFWA member, this is the sort of black-knighting approach I would be tempted to follow. Black-knighting doesn't just have to mean you abuse the formal rules, but also the informal ones. With the right sort of wide-eyed innocence, you could have a group like the modern SFWA constantly chasing its tail and issuing mea culpas for every possible imagined slight or breach of PC protocol.

Blogger Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus June 02, 2013 9:09 AM  

SFWA feminazi - "You sexist pig! Honor Harrington would KICK YOUR A**!"

Normal person - "Honor Harrington doesn't exist."

Anonymous dh June 02, 2013 9:35 AM  

VD--

Why do you bother? If the art of SF is dying, and it you make a fairly good case it is (and I assume the sales numbers bear it out), and the SFWA is essentially ruined, why not just drop out?

It sounds like you are onto your own distribution channel, so having a publisher is basically useless to you (except for the support they provide outside of distribution).

There is an admirable side to hanging in but it sure looks like tilting at windmills...

Anonymous dh June 02, 2013 9:40 AM  

I would also say that it is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard that a message board that has a very steep membership requirement (i.e. SFWA membership) has to have both moderators, abusive comments monitoring, and deleted comments.

A forum for published professional writers has regulations than your typical mommy blog...

Blogger IM2L844 June 02, 2013 10:00 AM  

Why do you bother?

I'm guessing there's some aspect of it he enjoys. Why are you bothered by how someone chooses to amuse themselves? Or is just that you don't appreciate the way he relates his exploits to a readership who is, for the most part, amused by it as well?

Anonymous dh June 02, 2013 10:04 AM  

Why are you bothered by how someone chooses to amuse themselves?

I am not. I like to find out what motivates smart people.

Or is just that you don't appreciate the way he relates his exploits to a readership who is, for the most part, amused by it as well?

I think you misread my comment. Attempting to change the SF (SF/F, or whatever) world is a Sisyphean task.

Blogger W.LindsayWheeler June 02, 2013 10:04 AM  

Vox, I strongly disagree with your use of the word "fascistic". If you are such a scientist and a logician, when you use that term "fascistic", you are using politically correct populism--but not historical reality.

The Catholic Church often throughout its history suppressed speech. In Homer, Odysseus silences a critic of Agamenon by beating him with a rod. But more importantly, Monarchies throughout Europe suppressed critical press about themselves.

The suppression of speech is NOT Fasicistic! Never was. Was the RC Church fascistic? No. Are Monarchies fascistic? No. How can historic institutions be fascistic before fascism was ever created or coined?

Free speech is only a creation of the atheistic "Enlightnement" writers. It is not a "right" and never was the default of any culture.

You are engaging in Leftist methodology of guilt by association. Since "facsism" is "evil", suppression of free speech must be "fascistic". That is not logical. Suppression of speech has always occurred throughout history.

Anonymous Godfrey June 02, 2013 10:07 AM  

Science fiction writers have a forum?

The thought police are alive and well. The book "1984" was great science fiction... or can it still be considered fiction?

Blogger John Cunningham June 02, 2013 10:12 AM  

As Stilicho said, SFWA is raciss and sexiss!! they have excluded deaf Lesbian Eskimos and Transgendered Malaysian midgets. STOP THE HATE!!

Blogger IM2L844 June 02, 2013 10:18 AM  

it sure looks like tilting at windmills

No. It looks like poking fun at hamster wheels.

Anonymous Maximo Macaroni June 02, 2013 10:19 AM  

Why aren't there more SF novels about old fat women with multiple cats ? Can we leave such a prevalent and fascinating group out of the "conversation"? I smell oppression!

Anonymous hardscrabble farmer June 02, 2013 10:28 AM  

I grew up on Bradbury, Heinlein, etc but SF kind of lost me due to the poor quality of writing, not the content. The only recent SF that's been even marginally interesting to me has been Atwwod's stuff and I take it she is is the antithesis of Vox- as far as her political theology goes, but she's such a great story teller and she makes the concepts so believable, like Oryx and Crake.

People who write about writing are uniformly uninteresting except as an accidental form of humor due to their seriousness about everything, like the SF ladies.

Any comment on someone like Atwood who not only writes well, but espouses a hard left feminist bent.

Anonymous dh June 02, 2013 10:32 AM  

Atwood

The only thing that Atwood and VD probably have in common is that a lot (most?) of people can't get through either of their writing styles.

Blogger IM2L844 June 02, 2013 10:47 AM  

Why aren't there more SF novels about old fat women with multiple cats?

Because too many are being written by old fat women with multiple cats. Wouldn't it make perfect sense if Ms. Tobler had an inordinant affinity for Toblerone and cats?

Anonymous DonReynolds June 02, 2013 10:48 AM  

Most societies recognize the need for leadership, but what is interesting is the various ways (and times) a leader is selected. Those who see themselves as leaders often like the idea of a permanent leader, or at least until his skill sets or physical/mental abilities are called into question. This would be more like a Pope or King.

What I have noticed in the corporate world is the very opposite viewpoint, much more the Musical Chairs approach to leadership. EVERYONE gets a turn at the helm but no one gets to steer the ship for very long. Such organizations do not seem to think leadership is a critical component of the organization, in fact, one specifically told me that (leaders) are like potato peelers...one potato peeler is pretty much as good as another.

I have always thought of writers as leaders and when it does not matter who does the writing, or when we can have just anyone do the writing, or we can all take turns in some affirmative action way to give everyone a trophy if they bother to show up..... I believe we end up worse off than when a writer lives or dies by the books they wrote. There is something particularly dark and hopeless about a society where it does not matter anymore who does the leading (and the writing). Ah....I see it now.....bureaucracy.

Anonymous dh June 02, 2013 10:49 AM  

Because too many are being written by old fat women with multiple cats. Wouldn't it make perfect sense if Ms. Tobler had an inordinant affinity for Toblerone and cats?

Ms. Tobler's physical manifestation is a less conventionally attractive vision of Rachel Maddow.

Anonymous jack June 02, 2013 10:54 AM  

In the what its worth dept. I really like Neal Stephensons stuff, most of it, Kratman's military SF, and a few others. And, of course, the Vox, yarns. I had a brief dialog with Tiffany over at MarchLorder press recently. She called herself a 'virtual assistant' and I asked if she was human or digital. Short version of this, her husband wrote an sf/fantasy novel that is carried by MarcherLord titled Starfire [the mending]. Mostly I ordered the Kindle out of support after the delightful several emails I had with her over what seemed like a possible robot near the heart of MarcherLord. Am about 6 chapters in and am enjoying the story. An interesting take on military activity by intelligent dinosaurs. Quite original in my reading experience.

Anonymous The other skeptic June 02, 2013 10:55 AM  

Well, Controlling the message is what all modern media organizations are all about:

I was told – in no uncertain terms: The Orlando Sentinel has a vested financial interest in the Trial taking place. Investments have been made, arrangements have been budgeted for, hundreds of man hours were already in place, vacations coordinated around the trial, rental contracts signed, equipment and logistical support already in place and the return on their investment was not only expected, it was needed/demanded.

There is more.

There needs to be an internet-based news service, perhaps crowd sourced.

Anonymous TheExpat June 02, 2013 10:58 AM  

Why aren't there more SF novels about old fat women with multiple cats ?

Because that's the non-fiction genre.

Blogger vandelay June 02, 2013 11:09 AM  

How can we be sure that Cat Rambo isn't actually Scalzi himself?

Anonymous Matt June 02, 2013 11:11 AM  

Any comment on someone like Atwood who not only writes well, but espouses a hard left feminist bent.

Ursula LeGuin is another technically adept prose stylist in the genre of women and how they feel about womenness and being women, with a little homoeroticism for variety. Waste of talent, really.

Anonymous jay c June 02, 2013 11:12 AM  

F.y.i. the kindle edition of Tom Kratman's Caliphate is free on Amazon right now.

Anonymous Cail Corishev June 02, 2013 11:14 AM  

For about half a century, the creators and fans of Star Trek have been patting themselves on the back for having a black woman on the bridge of the Enterprise. That certainly offended many people at the time, which is precisely why they're so proud of it -- it was the right kind of offensive. It's been pointed out many times that SF makes it possible to explore new, potentially offensive ideas in ways that ordinary fiction can't get away with.

But now that the right kind of people are in charge of everything and their beliefs have become the mainstream, being preached from classrooms to pulpits, from newsstands to blockbuster movies, why would we still need dissenters? When The Man is evil, dissent is noble; when The Man is all-benevolent, dissent is heresy.

All those years that they claimed they supported the free exchange of ideas, what they really meant was that they wanted people to listen to their ideas. They didn't mean they respected wrong ideas for the sake of diversity of discussion, and now that they're in charge, they are acting accordingly.

Anonymous The other skeptic June 02, 2013 11:23 AM  

F.y.i. the kindle edition of Tom Kratman's Caliphate is free on Amazon right now.

Several Kratman novels are available at Baen's Free Library and have been so for quite a while.

Anonymous The other skeptic June 02, 2013 11:30 AM  

I notice that this web site and iSteve take a long while to load, while others, like WattsUpWithThat, are much quicker to load.

I wonder if Google is subtly trying to make people lose interest in certain types of blogs by making them slow to load?

Anonymous Susan June 02, 2013 11:34 AM  

You may be right Vox in that women ruin everything, but I believe that has happened because the 'sons of Adam' down through history have stood by and let them.

I have often wondered how different life on this planet would be if Adam had given his wife a good smack on the butt when she needed it. Sounds like there could be a novel in there somewhere.

Anonymous jay c June 02, 2013 11:36 AM  

Several Kratman novels are available at Baen's Free Library and have been so for quite a while.

Cool. Thx! This is the first time I've looked.

Anonymous Scintan June 02, 2013 11:43 AM  

All those years that they claimed they supported the free exchange of ideas, what they really meant was that they wanted people to listen to their ideas. They didn't mean they respected wrong ideas for the sake of diversity of discussion, and now that they're in charge, they are acting accordingly.

This tends to be the truth about any group that's not in power. There are very few individuals, nevermind groups, who are genuinely in favor of oppositional speech. Vox's willingness to tolerate it, and to incorporate it, is one of 2-3 reasons why I still read and post here.

Anonymous dh June 02, 2013 11:46 AM  

Vox's willingness to tolerate it, and to incorporate it, is one of 2-3 reasons why I still read and post here.

Seconded. It is a sign of intellectual rigor on VD's part.

Anonymous The other skeptic June 02, 2013 11:53 AM  

I notice that this web site and iSteve take a long while to load, while others, like WattsUpWithThat, are much quicker to load.

When I killed on of my tabs things seemed to get lots better. Either that or Google noticed my complain.

Blogger James Dixon June 02, 2013 11:57 AM  

> Odds, gentlemen?

I wouldn't touch it, no matter the odds. Sounds like there's yet another bridge in the process of being nuked.

> Vox, why not just create a competitive SF writers organization,

Shh. You'll give the game away.

> The book "1984" was great science fiction... or can it still be considered fiction?

Take "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea" and compare it to current submarines, and you'll probably have a fair assessment of 1984's relationship to what we're currently going through.

Anonymous The other skeptic June 02, 2013 11:59 AM  

Interesting things going on in Greece.

Anonymous David of One June 02, 2013 12:03 PM  

OT - Keynesians have their own 8-bit legacy video game called "The Federator" ... compliments of the WSJ.

The Federator

Blogger IM2L844 June 02, 2013 12:06 PM  

Ms. Tobler, unknowingly I'm sure, captures the entire proplem in this single statement:

"Because we ask to be respected and have our point of view respected does not mean we wish to obliterate the point of view of another."

Of course it does! That's exactly what it means.

CEF! Diametrically opposing views inherently disrepect one another. Any point of view is only axiomatically correct from that self-referential point of view. I do not respect the point of view of anyone who takes this sort of convoluted cake eater thinking seriously.

Anonymous Razoraid June 02, 2013 12:19 PM  

This has become like a friggin Greek tragedy. I love it when these pompous jack-wagons are hoisted on their own petard. Ellison is a typical authoritarian egalitarian who wants to kill off old people as they see them as a drag on the state. They've used up their usefulness to the collective. They look at people just like the guards at Auschwitz. The old and the young go first into the "showers".

Anonymous The other skeptic June 02, 2013 12:20 PM  

Is Hitchens predicting what will happen in the UK?

Anonymous a_peraspera June 02, 2013 12:35 PM  

I read that thread on neilsenhayden.com...funny thing is, John Scalzi was the most reasonable person on the thread! I wonder what happened between 2005 and 2012 - did he marry a feminist and get "pod person-ized?"

Anonymous Outlaw X June 02, 2013 12:44 PM  

If I understand you are not permanently banned? And who is allowed to post On that forum, do you need creds?

Anonymous cheddarman June 02, 2013 12:54 PM  

When I release my viking hordes upon the dying western world, and the gamma rabbits have fled the field of battle for the last time, the feminists will cry out for the one thing that would save them...armed Christian men.

Sincerely,

Earl Ragnar Cheddarman

Blogger ashepherd June 02, 2013 1:22 PM  

"In the eyes of the present SFWA, criticism equals abuse."

Now that made me pause and think. While not true of all women, it does seem to fit an awful lot.

An example comes to mind that helps us see where this comes from. I taught middle school for a bit and noticed that the girls fight by ostracism. They start a rumor about one girl that gets her shunned by the "in" group. This can drive a girl to extreme loss of self-worth and ruin her life because belonging/acceptance is so crucial to females. Hence considered "abuse" by the female staff.

The boys on the other hand said that when they had a disagreement that couldn't be resolved easily, eventually they duked it out somewhere and then generally everything was fine again.

In various jobs I've had, men had to tip-toe around the women or make sure no woman was within earshot because one could never anticipate what was going to cause an "offense" and get them shipped off to "diversity" training jail. In an office with cubicles that meant the guys had to whisper or sneak around not because they intended any harm but because they never knew what would be considered an offense. (Someone once made a remark in his cubicle about the odd smells of the food in the lunch area -right next to him- overheard by some woman which soon triggered a memo reiterating that the workplace was made up of many cultures that have to be respected any no one is allowed to criticize -- yadayadayada)

Now there is nothing wrong with the difference between men and women. In fact it's better that women have insight and sensitivity even if it means they get offended. The problem is when they presume to control men and insist that men be women.

Since the 1960's, the feminists have insisted that women be like men, but the result is they insist that men be women because womanhood is the ultimate standard of all that is right. And of course they are getting their way now aren't they?

Blogger Nate June 02, 2013 1:53 PM  

Vox...

Isn't it time the SFWA got some competition? You tried to save the organization... and it obviously doesn't want to be saved.

Wouldn't it be nice if there were a sci-fi association that was actually about writing sci-fi?

Anonymous Outlaw X June 02, 2013 2:23 PM  

Vox...

Isn't it time the SFWA got some competition? You tried to save the organization... and it obviously doesn't want to be saved.

Wouldn't it be nice if there were a sci-fi association that was actually about writing sci-fi?


Nate that's brilliant because Vox is smart enough and well known enough to do just that.

Blogger Nate June 02, 2013 2:32 PM  

The single best magazine I've ever read... is BMW Owners News... which is the publication of the BMW motorcycles owners association.

Every article is written by an owner and submitted to the magazine.

Now... if a bunch of motorcycles riders can produce awesome content... shouldn't a bunch of professional writers be able to do the same?

Anonymous Loki of Asgard June 02, 2013 2:42 PM  

When I release my viking hordes upon the dying western world, and the gamma rabbits have fled the field of battle for the last time, the feminists will cry out for the one thing that would save them...armed Christian men.

Sincerely,

Earl Ragnar Cheddarman


Splendid. You may kneel.

Anonymous Jack Amok June 02, 2013 3:18 PM  

Every article is written by an owner and submitted to the magazine.

Now... if a bunch of motorcycles riders can produce awesome content... shouldn't a bunch of professional writers be able to do the same?


Perhaps the difference is the motivation? The BMW owners want to share their hobby with likeminded folks, and the professional writers want to play status games. In working with various groups, I've noticed something - when the group is made up of people who get their self-respect and status from somewhere outside the group, it tends to run pretty smoothly. Biggest problems are lack of resources and so-and-so dropping the ball on something because he was busy.

It's frustrating when that happens, but I think people are wise to learn to put up with it.

Because the typical reaction is for people with more free time to take over. Then you end up with the organization being run by people who seek validation through the organization, and it's nothing but squabbles and backstabbing.

If you need something done, find somebody who's too busy to do it. He might just get it done anyway, and even if he doesn't, you're still better off in the long run.

Anonymous Obvious June 02, 2013 3:37 PM  

Apparently Vox thinks that he's the only one who understands sarcasm.

Why do so many of his posts follow the "I did a thing, tee hee, now I'm going to whine about the consequences I face because of it"

Blogger Nate June 02, 2013 3:38 PM  

one would think that sci fi writers would get their validation.. from... writing... sci fi?

Anonymous Jack Amok June 02, 2013 3:49 PM  

one would think that sci fi writers would get their validation.. from... writing... sci fi?

Indeed. Hence their need to control the validation process of the SFWA.

I mean, they could go with validation via book sales, but that would be unsatisfactory because they'd mostly lose out to a bunch of old white guys, some of whom haven't written a word in decades. Which is why they're turning the SFWA into a middle school girl's club.

I'm figuring the average BMW motorcycle owner has some sort of outside validation for his life.

Anonymous VD June 02, 2013 3:55 PM  

Why do so many of his posts follow the "I did a thing, tee hee, now I'm going to whine about the consequences I face because of it"

Why do you think I am whining? Would you describe your comment as "abusive behavior"? Do you think I would do well to adopt the SFWA Forum rules concerning comments?

Anonymous Inane Rambler June 02, 2013 4:30 PM  

I'm ruining it by pointing it out, but otherwise, this:

"Why do you think I am whining? Would you describe your comment as "abusive behavior"? Do you think I would do well to adopt the SFWA Forum rules concerning comments?"

is excellent black-knighting.

Anonymous Obvious June 02, 2013 5:43 PM  

Do I think it'd be funny if you started implementing the rules that you're kvetching about?

Yup.

Anonymous VD June 02, 2013 6:10 PM  

Do I think it'd be funny if you started implementing the rules that you're kvetching about?

That wasn't the question....

Blogger Nate June 02, 2013 6:20 PM  

/facepalm

Anonymous Outlaw X June 02, 2013 6:24 PM  

Why do you think I am whining? Would you describe your comment as "abusive behavior"? Do you think I would do well to adopt the SFWA Forum rules concerning comments?

Jeeze when will people learn. Vox, why can't people think for themselves anymore? I reach into the greatest depths of my mind and don't have an answer other than Biblical admonitions about bullshit. Science fiction requires no truth, but its daughters and sons think it has a Pretorian guard.

Anonymous Obvious June 02, 2013 7:06 PM  

Do you think I would do well to adopt the SFWA Forum rules concerning comments?

and

Do I think it'd be funny if you started implementing the rules that you're kvetching about?

are the same to me. Implementing those rules would do well to add to your already sterling reputation as a super genius man of logic. That would amuse me greatly.

I mean you talk about how Sci Fi is supposed to be the literature of dangerous ideas, yet continually rail against the introduction of new ideas, desiring to keep it the same as it was in the Golden Age. You talk about how dangerous Liberal agendas are, how damaging equality and feminism are to this once great nation, but then state that they have no place here? Which is true?

Anonymous Big Bill June 02, 2013 7:11 PM  

Speaking of women and Harlan Ellison, I had lunch with him 40 years ago and the subject of women and marriage came up. He went into a spiel about how he got married to some hot babe, and within months she flipped out.

IIRC (it has been a few decades) she had to be institutionalized. Took a long long time and lotsa money to get her situated and the divorce finalized.

"Most expensive fuck I ever had," sez he. Not a big fan of marriage.

Harlan Ellison would indeed weep. Nowadays you cannot institutionalize them to get their Crazy out of your life. Nowadays they track you down and embed themselves and their Wacko in your life (SFWA).

Blogger Nate June 02, 2013 7:13 PM  

"I mean you talk about how Sci Fi is supposed to be the literature of dangerous ideas, yet continually rail against the introduction of new ideas, desiring to keep it the same as it was in the Golden Age. "

No moron. He's complaining that it no longer a place for dangerous ideas. It instead a neutered shit hole to regurgitate old ideas and pat each other on the back for agreeing with those old ideas.

challenging the status quo is not allowed.

Anonymous Obvious June 02, 2013 7:26 PM  

You can't have it both ways. You can't have equality, feminism, and other such things be dangerous and complain that there is too much of that shit in modern Sci Fi, and also complain that modern Sci Fi isn't the literature of dangerous ideas anymore.

You want it to be like it was back in the Golden Age and that's not what Sci Fi is about. Sci Fi is about the future, and as the present evolves so does people view on the future. If Sci Fi was the same, following the same formulas, and the same stories as it was sixty years ago, why the fuck would anyone want to read it?

Anonymous Big Bill June 02, 2013 7:27 PM  

"Any comment on someone like Atwood who not only writes well, but espouses a hard left feminist bent.'

You ought to read Atwood's writings on feminism. She is not a rubber-stamp ideologue by any means. Check out the later Germaine Greer as well.

A remarkable number of early feminists are not sympathizers with the weepy victim types like the SF writer girl who is complaining about the SFWA.

Atwood and Greer can write and think.

Anonymous CrisisEraDynamo June 02, 2013 7:32 PM  

@ Obvious

What Vox is saying is that you're not allowed to go against the current feminist and equalist orthodoxy in any way.

"Going back to the Golden Age" isn't the only way to oppose it, but those in charge don't care how you go against it -- doing so is not allowed, and all stories must conform to the party line.

Anonymous Mudz June 02, 2013 7:40 PM  

It always amuses me to wonder how well received 'Robinson Crusoe' would be, if it was published for the first time, today.

Because people love stories about a black native joyfully giving up his cultural customs to gratefully accept slavery under his new, white, Christian master. Who could object to such a moving tale of raising up savages from their benighted condition into civilisation, and accepting the love of God?

Anonymous Mudz June 02, 2013 7:43 PM  

@ Obvious

I thought people liked Asimov?

Also, I think we're past the point of that stuff being a danger, it's just corruption. One which prevents contrary cultural movement.

The sci-fi in the Golden Age was about the future. Is Space Odyssey still a sci-fi? We're way past the year 2001.

Anonymous Obvious June 02, 2013 7:44 PM  

CrisisEra,

Publishing is a business. They publish what they think will sell. If they're not publishing it, it's because they think that people don't wanna buy it. If they're not publishing books that go against the current feminist and equalist orthodoxy (Never mind that's not even close to being true) maybe it's because that's not what the public wants?

Blogger LP 999/Eliza June 02, 2013 7:50 PM  

Geez, I wished VD would have won; leadership, vision, order and progression is what I was have hoped if V won. What a loss but there will be future elections, so its a wait and see game.

Anonymous VD June 02, 2013 7:50 PM  

are the same to me.

Then you are obviously not very intelligent.

You can't have equality, feminism, and other such things be dangerous and complain that there is too much of that shit in modern Sci Fi, and also complain that modern Sci Fi isn't the literature of dangerous ideas anymore.

Equality isn't dangerous, it is nonexistent. Feminism is dangerous, but it is dishonestly and disingenuously portrayed otherwise in most SF/F; it's like pretending cobras aren't poisonous. And you quite clearly don't understand Ellison's concept of dangerous visions, which related to ideas that challenge the status quo.

Equality and feminism don't challenge any status quo, they are the status quo now.

You want it to be like it was back in the Golden Age

As I already noted, you're not very intelligent. That simply isn't true. I am simply opposed to the idea that all professionally published work must conform to the Consensus Approved Party Line. You, it would appear, are not.

If Sci Fi was the same, following the same formulas, and the same stories as it was sixty years ago, why the fuck would anyone want to read it?

I note the actual SF from 30 years ago outsells the current stuff. And I'm hardly the only one who has noticed that SF is ailing.

Anonymous VD June 02, 2013 7:55 PM  

Publishing is a business. They publish what they think will sell.

No, they don't. They quite clearly don't. The publisher who decided not to publish A Throne of Bones in paperback and audiobook not only knows it will sell, he knows it will sell better than most of the books in his catalog. They ran the forecasts. And yet, they won't publish it.

My books sell better than many, possibly most, of Tor's authors even without the benefit of being on most bookstore shelves. And yet Tor editors have made it very clear that they will not publish my books, not that I've ever asked them to do so.

Most publishers, you should note, are TERRIBLE at business. They don't understand it at all.

Anonymous Obvious June 02, 2013 7:58 PM  

It's not true that all professionally published work must conform to the Consensus Approved Party Line. Unless you don't consider your books professionally published? Or other authors that you approve of. Larry Correia ,Tom Kratman, Sarah Hoyt, Orson Scott Card, John C. Wright, Lou Antonelli, Jerry Pournelle, Michael Flynn, Kerry Nietz, and Mike Williamson seem to be doing fine at that whole professional publishing thing.

It really says something when a "super genius" bolsters his arguments with "You're dumb" repeatedly.

Anonymous Mudz June 02, 2013 8:09 PM  

Probably why they discuss the difficulties of getting published so much.

Anonymous NobodySpecial June 02, 2013 8:10 PM  

Vox wrote: Women really do ruin everything. Even for themselves. Perhaps especially for themselves.

You've skirted the underlying truth many times over the years: Evil perpetually works toward its own destruction; the rest is collateral damage.

Anonymous CrisisEraDynamo June 02, 2013 8:10 PM  

@ Obvious

No one was saying to toe the line because it sold. They treat it as a moral imperative to never question equalism and feminism in any writing or drawing. And as Vox notes, political correctness doesn't sell as well as you think.

Read this thread to peer into the minds of the politically correct. Pay attention to this line:

Marguerite Reed: But Brad, did you ever think thatit is maybe time for your demographic to be silent for a little while?

Anonymous Obvious June 02, 2013 8:11 PM  

Gee, Vox, I wonder why publishers don't want to work with you.

I mean, we keep hearing about how great of an author you are, how great of a video games designer you are, how you outsell this author, or that author, how visionary you are. But the only one saying that is you.

Meanwhile, people whose job it is to make money by selling books, decide that you're not worth the risk. It is not worth it to take a book that is already edited, formatted, good to go, a book that all they have to do is slap their imprint on it and start the printing press. Your peers in the author community rejected your bid to be SFWA president. Most review blogs won't touch your books, and I've never seen you show up on any top ten lists.

So either it's a massive conspiracy to mask your greatness from the world or... you're not as good as you say you are.

Blogger James Dixon June 02, 2013 8:38 PM  

> ...are the same to me.

Why are we not surprised?

> If they're not publishing it, it's because they think that people don't wanna buy it.

And if you really believe that, I have some ocean front property in Arizona for you.


Anonymous VD June 02, 2013 8:39 PM  

I wonder why publishers don't want to work with you.

I know why SF/F publishers don't want to work with me. I am too controversial, too well-known, and too outspoken. You'll note that those three things have nothing to do with a lack of talent or an inability to sell books, which flies in the face of your claim that publishers only want to sell books. However, there are other publishers not only want to work with me, but have given me a standing offer to publish whatever work I want to send them.

Those publishers are not fiction publishers. They publish non-fiction. And they are focused on the business of selling books rather than imposing their views on readers.

I mean, we keep hearing about how great of an author you are, how great of a video games designer you are, how you outsell this author, or that author, how visionary you are. But the only one saying that is you.

You have never heard the first or second claim from me. I do outsell the average author, that is a simple fact. You only hear that from me because I am one of the only ones privy to the sales numbers.

So either it's a massive conspiracy to mask your greatness from the world or... you're not as good as you say you are.

It's not a massive conspiracy, it's a very small and petty one. You don't seem to grasp that I simply don't submit my books to publishers, for the most part. ATOB was published by the first publisher to whom I offered it. It was rejected by the second one, (about which I've written), is still being considered by the third one, (who contacted me). There was a fourth publisher interested too, but I couldn't do it with them for reasons that will soon become clear.

And that is the only book I have discussed anywhere, with anyone, since publishing RGD.

The other thing you don't seem to understand is that I'm not complaining. Not in the least. You'll understand why soon enough.

Anonymous Loki of Asgard June 02, 2013 8:49 PM  

Gee, Vox, I wonder why publishers don't want to work with you.

In order to make this tolerable, I picture this being spoken by a small boy in a beanie to his older brother.

So either it's a massive conspiracy to mask your greatness from the world or... you're not as good as you say you are.

Here we come to the root of it: If you are popular, you are good. Stephenie Meyer must, indeed, be the greatest author ever to put pen to paper.

The best bit is that I get to say it:

Obvious rabbit is obvious.

Anonymous Obvious June 02, 2013 8:53 PM  

You'll understand why soon enough.

I look forward to it. I await with bated breath for you to "revolutionize the industry" as you've been promising for so long.

Anonymous VD June 02, 2013 8:59 PM  

I await with bated breath for you to "revolutionize the industry" as you've been promising for so long.

So long? It's been what, two months? We'll announce it soon enough. And since both a major game studio and a major book publisher seem to think it's a pretty significant thing, perhaps you will too.

As you may recall, I introduced both 3D graphic hardware and 16-bit color to the PC game industry. So this is hardly unprecedented.

Anonymous Anonagain June 02, 2013 9:50 PM  

Vox is adhering to that wise old saying - the same one I often follow:

It's nice to be important, but it's more important to tell them to go fuck themselves when they try to force you to conform.

I wish you the best of luck and great success with your endeavors, Vox.

Anonymous Obvious June 02, 2013 9:50 PM  

Oh, you did? Which game was that? Do you have anything at all that backs that up?

Anonymous Mudz June 02, 2013 10:37 PM  

I think it's great that you're so concerned with Vox's career, Obvious, it's inspiring to witness such deep empathy espoused with such passion.

But, what does this have to do with the subject? I thought the discussion was about cultural prevalence in SF/F publishing today?

But if you find Vox more fascinating, don't let me inhibit you.

Anonymous Mudz June 02, 2013 10:40 PM  

Thanks for the link Crisis, was pretty damn entertaining.

Anonymous Obvious June 02, 2013 10:41 PM  

I wasn't the one that brought up all of Vox's amazing accomplishments.

Anonymous Mudz June 02, 2013 10:52 PM  

Obvious: I mean, we keep hearing about how great of an author you are, how great of a video games designer you are, how you outsell this author, or that author, how visionary you are. But the only one saying that is you.

Yes. You did.

Anonymous kh123 June 03, 2013 12:19 AM  

"If Sci Fi was the same, following the same formulas, and the same stories as it was sixty years ago, why the fuck would anyone want to read it?"

Ironically, if actual Western science was at the point of inspiration it found itself in 50 to 60 years ago - whether it was in response to the Soviet Union, Kennedy, or to the new toys the Nazis bequeathed to us after WWII - we'd probably have started commercial work on other worlds, be it mining or terraforming, let alone the exploration aspect of it.

Alot of it has to do with how clear and unobstructed your take-off point is.

Anonymous kh123 June 03, 2013 12:26 AM  

...That's a personal take on it. We might well have reached an apex and natural tapering off with space exploration for the moment purely based on logistics, until there's a breakthrough in fuel or material efficiency. Or until entrepreneurs decide there's a very real and obtainable payoff in privately attempting to explore, terraform, or transit between worlds.

Blogger MidKnight June 03, 2013 12:44 AM  

Actually - what I find even funnier is that almost the entire list Obvious published belongs to one publishing house.


Larry Correia - self, now Baen (that company that publishes that mil-SF trash, and despite people like Mercedes lackey and a card carrying trotskyite, is that "conservative house" - the only one).

Tom Kratman, Sarah Hoyt - Baen. ,

Orson Scott Card - with Tor for decades, but the orthodoxy has changed out from under him, and recently had a stint at writing Superman canceled because, writing as a Mormon, in a Mormon publication, he gave a "proper" answer insofar as the Mormon view, but no the PC one, on gay marriage.

, John C. Wright, Lou Antonelli - sorry, haven't read them yet..

Jerry Pournelle - almost exclusively Baen those days, and much /most of his tuff since the 80's.

Michael Flynn - Macmillan and Baen.

Kerry Nietz - Also have not read yet

Mike Williamson - Baen

So out of 10 authors listed, 5 are in a oft-scorned publishing ghetto, one shows up there at times as co-author, and three I haven't read yet despite regularly browsing bookstores and keeping my eyes open at various sf publishers. One has recently had smear campaigns against him for not changing views he's worn on his sleeve for decades.

So they're succeeding - and yet, the outsized representation of one publisher in such a list, combined with the anti-Card smear campaign and regular rounds of "not a real author" I've seen directed at them and their fellow authors actually goes a long way to disprove his point about how accepting the industry is overall of non-PC thought.


Anonymous Obvious June 03, 2013 2:46 AM  

You realize that's the list of Authors that Vox has on the sidebar, and not a list of authors who don't follow the Consensus Approved Party Line, right? There are plenty of authors out there that are decried by the "feminists" and "equalists" and the "Leftists", that aren't on that list. Hell there are even some mentioned in this very post and the thread that comes out of it.

Anonymous Mudz June 03, 2013 3:39 AM  

So there are even more authors they hate? More than just the ten you managed to detect on the sidebar? Well I guess that completely supports your point, then. Oh, no, wait, it's the other thing. It doesn't.

Anonymous Peter Garstig June 03, 2013 3:44 AM  

Vox, the president himself just apologized to you.

Anonymous tiredofitall June 03, 2013 5:21 AM  

"It really says something when a "super genius" bolsters his arguments with "You're dumb" repeatedly." - Obvious

It's not really Vox's fault when you make it so easy.

Anonymous VD June 03, 2013 6:53 AM  

"It really says something when a "super genius" bolsters his arguments with "You're dumb" repeatedly."

It's not part of any of the arguments, merely an inescapable observation. I asked you three questions, you didn't answer any of them, but instead answered a fourth question I didn't ask. Then insisted incorrectly that the fourth question was the same as the third question.

You simply aren't very intelligent. It's hardly my fault, especially when you've gone out of your way to bring it to my attention.

Anonymous David of One June 03, 2013 11:11 AM  

VD ... just in case you haven't seen this yet:

http://www.sfwa.org/2013/06/presidential-statement-on-the-sfwa-bulletin/

Blogger Heather Senter June 04, 2013 11:04 AM  

There are some misogynist dicks posting on this blog.

Anonymous WaterBoy June 04, 2013 8:33 PM  

Quick, round them up! Disembodied penises are not allowed to roam free in these parts, regardless of how they feel about women!

Anonymous Hawk June 04, 2013 11:18 PM  

Wow. Rarely have I seen such whiny, entitled, three-year-old assholes. Amazing that guys who claim to be all about the future have their heads so stuck in the prehistoric past.

Anonymous WaterBoy June 05, 2013 2:28 AM  

"whiny, entitled, three-year-old assholes"

Hmmm...I've got my Peterson Field Guide to Birds right here, and I can't seem to find that one listed anywhere.

Is it perhaps related to the juvenile Middendorff's grasshopper warbler? Or possibly the fledgling Donaldson-Smith's sparrow-weaver?

Ah, here it is, with this annotation: see also, "Hawk".

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