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*