Signal Boost: If you care about the future of SF/F…   2 comments

In case you’re not familiar with him, Jim C. Hines is a terrific writer of fantasy and an incredibly thoughtful blogger on a variety of issues. A couple days ago, someone drew my attention to a post he titled “SFWA Presidential Election Thoughts” by stating that if you’re a member of SFWA (I’m not, but hope someday to be), you should read this.

I’d go a little farther. If you care about the future of SF/F in the US at all, read the post. It looks like it’s on the long side, but it reads very fast. The supplemental links…read slower. But as someone who requires articles and opinions to be reasonably well-sourced before I trust them, I appreciated having them there.

In a nutshell, Beale may just be a troll. But in a world where there is a men’s rights movement that legitimately believes women are the evil enemy plotting to take everything from morally right and well-deserving [usually white] men and incidentally causing the downfall of Western civilization in the process…he may not.

The most legitimate of his first five platform points is splitting the Nebulas into two categories, with separate awards for science fiction and fantasy. Speculative fiction has been a lot broader than that for some time now, which tells me he’s out of touch at the minimum. Combined with his assertions (which may be tongue-in-cheek, but I really don’t get that vibe) that women either don’t or shouldn’t write science fiction, I find just the fact that he’s seriously running concerning, let alone what he might be able to accomplish if he actually won the position.

You may not personally vote for the SFWA president, but SFWA does have an impact on how SF/F writing and publication are accomplished in the US, and leadership does matter.

So does public opinion. Forewarned is for armed, and I no longer take for granted that absurdity cannot be elected and determine policy in US and state politics. I really don’t trust that SFWA is somehow better than that. *wrygrin*

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Posted February 3, 2013 by April L'Orange in Uncategorized

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2 responses to “Signal Boost: If you care about the future of SF/F…

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  1. I’d never heard of Theodore Beale aka Vox Day (“sounds like” Vox Dei–Voice of God–get it? get it? etc.) until the venomous attack he made on his blog a couple of weeks ago against Jim Hines and John Scalzi when they did a cover pose-off for Hines’ Aicardi Syndrome fundraiser.

    That vicious post got VD some internet attention, and I have since learned that this is VD’s longstanding m.o., i.e. attracting attention to himself and traffic to his own blog by using it to repeatedly attack someone of much-higher profile–such NYT bestseller, popular blogger, and SFWA president John Scalzi, who is currently Beale’s favorite target for such attention-seeking attacks. (Tiring of this harassment, Scalzi has recently come up with a brilliant solution: http://tiny.cc/gwuxrw) And VD’s boasting and preening indicates that he consistently confuses his minor internet notoriety as a crank with professional achievement and recognition.

    Similarly, running for SFWA seems to be another attention-getting ploy for VD, Through this gambit, he has attracted a lot of attention on the internet and within SFWA, which negative attention he again seems to be confusing with professional stature.

    And if he weren’t regularly attacking Scalzi on his blog and running for SFWA president, who ever would have have of VD? His sf/f publisher is a small press focused on a niche market and, according to its website, it doesn’t pay advances, doesn’t distribute to bookstores, and considers 300 copies a big print run. Unless you’re that niche audience, chances are slim you’ve ever heard of him as a writer–whereas, as of today, LOTS of people have lately heard of him as an internet crank and SFWA pres candidate.

    • Good to know. I knew that that sort of situation might be the case. There was definitely a time I would have simply brushed it aside as not worth worrying about because it’s so ridiculous. Sadly, the way things are in the States right now, I just don’t feel like I can take that for granted. At any rate, he seems unlikely to pick up any new readers out of this particular move, which is something. He may find that negative attention can indeed backfire. I can always hope. *Tired grin*

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