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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Devouring their elders

Instapundit urges support for Malzberg and Resnick and quite rightly suspects "that the real 'radioactive aura' is more likely to attach to the SFWA", while Andrew Fox excoriates the recent attempt of the SFWA's pinkshirted stormtroopers to mau-mau their feminist forebears in considerable detail:
I feel compelled to point out, or at least suggest, that a vocal and very cyber-visible portion of the SF pro and fan community have not been covering themselves in glory recently. In fact, they have been acting like a mob. A cyber-mob. And a mob is an ugly thing....

Given the prevalence of academic jargon from Cultural Studies or other Studies departments in their comments, I imagine a goodly number of the criticizers on the SWFA discussion boards and the broader Internet are either university instructors or possessors of an advanced degree from one of those programs. For many individuals under the age of forty who have been through the university system, mau-mauing may seem normative, or at least unremarkable. They have seen it at work through divestment campaigns of various kinds (divestment from Israeli companies or U.S. companies which provide goods to Israel which might be used in security operations against Palestinians, or from companies involved in fossil fuel production, or from companies connected to certain figures active on the Right, such as the Koch brothers) and through shout-downs and other disruptions of speakers invited to campus whose backgrounds or viewpoints are contrary to those favored by student activists.

Many of the criticizers may not consciously realize that they are mau-mauing Mike and Barry, but mau-mauing is what they are engaged in. Some commentators have pointed out the criticism is not censorship. True; but in this instance, rather irrelevant. Other commentators have stated that freedom of speech does not imply a right to a paid platform (such as that enjoyed until now by Barry and Mike with their quarterly columns for the Bulletin). Again – true, but irrelevant. For what the protesters either seek to do or end up abetting is not censorship, but what can be called shunning and shaming, an application of a radioactive aura to these two men which will make not only the future editors of the Bulletin but also editors at other periodicals and publishing houses, organizers of conventions, literary prize juries, and media outlets shy away from wanting any connection with these two and their works. Remember, this story has now broken out into mainstream outlets such as Salon and the Guardian; people who previously had never heard of Mike Resnick or Barry Malzberg or any of their books will now have their initial (and most likely only) impression of them branded with a scarlet “S” for “Sexist,” as detrimental a negative label in our time as “Adulterer” was in the time of the Puritans. As Barry himself stated in the column “Talk Radio Redux,” the most potent form of censorship is self-censorship, the type that occurs in a writer’s head before he or she sets fingers to keyboard. The mau-mauers, consciously or not, are using Mike and Barry as cautionary examples – “Look what we’ve been able to do to the reputations of a WorldCon Guest of Honor and to a man who has written close to a hundred novels and over 250 short stories, several nominated for Hugo or Nebula Awards. If we could do this to them, what do you think we could do to you if you commit ThoughtCrime?”

The virtually thoughtless piling on is perhaps the most appalling. So many of the criticizers whose comments I have come across admit they haven’t even read the columns in question. Once the ball of shunning and shaming got rolling, hundreds of onlookers, alerted by social media, jumped on the bandwagon, attracted by the enticing glow of participating in shared moral outrage. Moral preening is on overload; industry professionals and would-be professionals frantically signal to each other that they are right-thinkers. According to the mau-mauers, Mike and Barry did not merely misspeak (miswrite?); they did not have decent-enough intentions which were ruined by Paleolithic habits and blinkered upbringings; they are morally suspect, malign and vicious and evil. It’s burn the witch! all over again, but this time on a pyre of blog posts and Tweets.

I mentioned before that I completely understand the vehemence of Barry’s reaction to all this. One sadly ironic aspect of this brouhaha is that Barry is a lifelong man of the Left. He was staunchly antiwar during the Vietnam era (see early stories such as “Final War”), and his dream president was (and remains) Eugene McCarthy. I fully believe, based on his writings about Alice Sheldon and Judith Merril, that Barry considers himself a feminist, and an avid one. Condemnation from one’s “own side” always burns hotter in one’s craw than condemnation from “the other guys,” which can be easily rationalized away; just as criticism (especially when viewed as unfair) from one’s own family hurts much worse than criticism from relative strangers. Forty years ago (and in all the years since), Barry was a fierce advocate of the New Wave in science fiction, whose practitioners (with the sole exception of R. A. Lafferty) were all politically aligned with the Left, as opposed to old-timers such as John W. Campbell and Robert Heinlein. Now Barry must feel as though the children of the Revolution are eating their elders (as so frequently happens, it seems).
The amusing thing about this is that the SFWA folks involved, from Scalzi on down, genuinely believe that it was Mike and Barry making the organization look bad.  But they're doing a fabulous job of doing that all on their own and they just keep digging the hole deeper... especially in light of the recent announcement of a 5-Year 4-Step Plan in which the SFWA Bulletin has been put on hiatus for up to six months while the pinkshirted task force ideologically cleanses redefines the "goals and mission of the magazine."

As for devouring their elders, Fox may not realize quite how literally that has been true.  Although, to be fair, if Laura Resnick has not deigned to publicly defend her father, she has at least refrained from throwing in with the pinkshirted maenads.

Labels: ,

73 Comments:

Anonymous Adsignatos D. June 22, 2013 4:45 AM  

Oh Lord it's worse than I thought, the SFWA warren is now READ-ACTING things!

Anonymous Adsignatos D. June 22, 2013 4:53 AM  

Well now my previous comment will make no sense...

In any case, as much as I'm not so big on SF/F literature, this debacle with these two men just seems to me like a microcosm of that disgusting liberal mind-set.

So many of the criticizers whose comments I have come across admit they haven’t even read the columns in question. Once the ball of shunning and shaming got rolling, hundreds of onlookers, alerted by social media, jumped on the bandwagon, attracted by the enticing glow of participating in shared moral outrage.

And this just sounds so feral and mindless, which is ironic given their moniker of "Progressive".

Blogger Crude June 22, 2013 5:09 AM  

I wonder if one could write an engaging sci-fi story about the SWFA shenanigans. Obviously set further in the future, with a spin to it... could be fun.

Anonymous VD June 22, 2013 5:13 AM  

Well now my previous comment will make no sense...

Yes, I found an updated link in the public section of the site that mentioned the SFWA Board's recent decision to put the Bulletin on hiatus. So it was no longer covered by the confidentiality rule.

Anonymous Auntie Whyte Jemisin June 22, 2013 5:25 AM  

One small victory: Requires Only That You Hate, the most racist and gender bigoted SF&F hate-speech blog known, has just gone Wordpress private; password only.

The blog was of course widely supported among the flak-catchers, such as SFWA member Jim (rape is wrong) Hines who mentions the "incredibly good points she was making about a lot of books — points that no one else was making, about race and gender but also about non-Western perspectives."

And the ever anti-white Nebula Award-winning Aliette de Bodard, waving the blog away as "performance rage" and also waving away "death threats she’s made to various writers" because "RH doesn’t actually intend to send minions to decapitate all white men, or to carry out the death threats she’s made to various writers." Keep in mind de Bodard just admitted on Twitter to stabbing a boy when she was 13 and still being happy about it.

Meanwhile these same people never stop whining about internet death threats made towards women because men DO intend to decapitate all women.

Now if only N.K. Jemisin would move to noble Rwanda where she'll be safe from white supremacists.

And here's the latest Tweet from Jaymee (whites are "sourdough-faced") Goh, WisCon panelist, part organizer of WisCon's non-white segregated room and dinner, and one of ROTYH's biggest supporters:

"Seems lately every week is white stupidity week. And they complain about a month in a year!"

Blogger Rantor June 22, 2013 5:38 AM  

Reminds me of the episode in which The Prisoner (#6) was declared unmutual.

Interesting word mau-mauing: the sound of hyenas voraciously eating...

Anonymous Dr. Idle Spectator, Kremlinologist June 22, 2013 6:19 AM  

I wonder if the purges are going to get really crazy, like they did in the Soviet Union? A taste of what is to come. They are going to start eating each other.

"The Great Purge of 1936–1938 can be roughly divided into four periods:

October 1936–February 1937: Reforming the security organizations, adopting official plans on purging the elites.

March 1937 – June 1937: Purging the Elites; Adopting plans for the mass repressions against the "social base" of the potential aggressors, starting of purging the "elites" from opposition.

July 1937 – October 1938: Mass repressions against "kulaks", "dangerous" ethnic minorities, family members of oppositionists, military officers, Saboteurs in agriculture and industry.

November 1938 – 1939: Stopping of mass operations, abolishing of many organs of extrajudicial executions, repressions against some organizers of mass repressions."


"Although the trials of former Soviet leaders were widely publicized, the hundreds of thousands of other arrests and executions were not. These became known in the west only as a few former gulag inmates reached the West with their stories. Not only did foreign correspondents from the West fail to report on the purges, but in many Western nations, especially France, attempts were made to silence or discredit these witnesses; according to Robert Conquest, Jean-Paul Sartre took the position that evidence of the camps should be ignored, in order that the French proletariat not be discouraged. A series of legal actions ensued at which definitive evidence was presented which established the validity of the former labor camp inmates' testimony."

By the summer of 1938, Stalin and his circle realized that the purges had gone too far; Yezhov was relieved from his post as head of the NKVD and was eventually purged himself. Lavrenty Beria, a fellow Georgian and Stalin confidant, succeeded him as head of the NKVD. On November 17, 1938 a joint decree of Sovnarkom USSR and Central Committee of VKP(b) (Decree about Arrests, Prosecutor Supervision and Course of Investigation) and the subsequent order of NKVD undersigned by Beria cancelled most of the NKVD orders of systematic repression and suspended implementation of death sentences. The decree signaled the end of massive Soviet purges.

Blogger tz June 22, 2013 7:18 AM  

The entire article is worthna read, it summarizes the hysteria nicely.

Saul Alinsky had his rules, black-knighting seems to be the counterspell. Radicals attempt to make the establishment appear unreasonable, but the leftists are now the establishment.

Of course the SWFA is about as transparent as the Obama administration - with their own Holders that won't go after banksters but does gomafter whistleblowers.

Anonymous TheExpat June 22, 2013 7:25 AM  

Although, to be fair, if Laura Resnick has not deigned to publicly defend her father, she has at least refrained from throwing in with the pinkshirted maenads.

Damning with faint/non-praise?

Anonymous agathis June 22, 2013 7:41 AM  

After reading this, no political moderate, libertarian, or conservative could be dragged kicking and screaming into the SFWA. Which only means that it will become even more increasingly ideologically narrow--and irrelevant. If it's not irrelevant already given the changing nature of publishing. It's already an echo chamber. It will be amusing to watch it self-cannibalize.

Anonymous Roundtine June 22, 2013 7:49 AM  

announcement of a 5-Year 4-Step Plan in which the SFWA Bulletin has been put on hiatus for up to six months while the pinkshirted task force ideologically cleanses redefines the "goals and mission of the magazine."

SFWA is completely on the dark side now. If they had the power to execute, there'd be bodies on the walls.

Anonymous Idle Spectator June 22, 2013 8:00 AM  

This is just the SFWA. Think of the lunacy that is going to hit when it gets to bigger organizations.

Blogger JACIII June 22, 2013 8:26 AM  

It already has gotten to bigger organizations, i.e. corporations. The only thing holding it back is the profit motive and the leash is taut as a bowstring. Already, even the lowliest salaryman can at almost no time freely express views/observations contrary to HR equalitarian boilerplate.

Anonymous Idle Spectator June 22, 2013 8:45 AM  

Already, even the lowliest salaryman can at almost no time freely express views/observations contrary to HR equalitarian boilerplate.

They're not going batshit insane and flipping out. Yet.

Wait till the profit disappears.

Anonymous Desiderius June 22, 2013 8:53 AM  

Darkness at Noon.

Koestler already nailed it. Been going on a looong time.

Likely baked into the species.

We need to start expecting the Inquisitions and figuring out how to prevent them/beat them.

Badly.

Anonymous Idle Dickens June 22, 2013 8:57 AM  

Beheadings in the glorious revolution will continue until morale improves.

It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done;
it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.

Anonymous meh June 22, 2013 9:37 AM  

Apparently this lunacy has infected the gaming world as well:

http://www.penny-arcade.com/2013/06/21/well-that-escalated-quickly

Gabe
Well that escalated quickly

Gabe
@cwgabriel
Fri, 6/21/13
Share on Twitter
Share on Facebook

Okay let’s talk about what happened yesterday.

I woke up yesterday to some angry emails and tweets about a panel at PAX Aus. The panel is going to be a discussion about all the social justice stuff happening in the games industry and if it is making for better games. It’s important to know that all panels are submitted by the community and we try and give anyone who wants a place to speak the space to do it. I responded that you don’t have to go to any panels you don’t like or alternatively you could go and tell them what you think.

I was called a bigot and told that I was giving a stage to bigots. I had not even had breakfast yet. I said again that if they have a different opinion they are welcome to submit their own panel. I was then called “cis male garbage”. Someone then tweeted at me that I should die.

Anonymous wcu June 22, 2013 9:41 AM  

Yea, our HR keeps trotting out a powepoint on "social media"..."you are free to say whatever you like in your private life; however there are words that cast our department in a bad light..." Weasel sqaured, weasel to the 10th power.

Anonymous Godfrey June 22, 2013 9:42 AM  

The more absurd the ideology, the more fanatical are its adherents.

Anonymous the wiz June 22, 2013 9:45 AM  

Fox is dead wrong about 2 things... This isn't Liberal Fascism, and They are not going to use the State:

https://twitter.com/KariSperring/status/347053440779816960

Anonymous VD June 22, 2013 9:52 AM  

Apparently this lunacy has infected the gaming world as well

They are a cancer. If you are foolish enough to let them in, they will rapidly metastasize and do their level best to kill the host.

Anonymous Godfrey June 22, 2013 9:55 AM  

It just goes to show you that as things collapse the left is going to double-down.

Facts, reality and external evidence are all irrelevant to the man who's world only exists in the confines of his own mind.

Anonymous jack June 22, 2013 10:00 AM  

Operating under the take no prisoners doctrine I would suggest that, for the good of SF, no fan ever buy a book from any author that is a member of the SWFA. The organization now has a decaying stink attached to it and any person of any moral fiber and honor would distance themselves from the thing.

I understand that Vox may have some strategic interest in maintaining his membership if for no other reason than being an 'insider' with access to the forum and other members who may feel similar disdain for what a fine organization [once] has devolved into. And, the two gentlemen in question that have been so wrongfully attacked may wish to raise the middle finger to their detractors and scream 'NO, you will not hound me out'. This is understandable and honorable. Soon as honor permits I suspect they will make an exit.

That said I would hope that the talented authors of that group would reconsider what they are aligned with and depart for other places. Lets face it. If you are at SWFA in hope of gain only is that the best motive? Also, a real talent in the field should not have to kowtow to such PC nonsense and let the ankle biters command his life. Within this time of the indie publishing available why spend your time throwing up over having to submit to such low hanging attitudes as exemplified by the original complainers within the SWFA that started all this stupid crap.?

Vox may have his strategic plans but if anybody has an legal basis for litigation it would be Barry and Mike what with the damage to their reputations and possibly pocketbooks. And, was not the SWFA bulletin suppose to be kept 'in house'? Why then are the original complainers that threw this into world wide web in its manifestations still members?

Interested and outraged readers want to know. Personally, I would like to have these original complainers [they are all within the SWFA, no?] identified so I can be absolutely sure of never buying any of their work.

Anonymous TheExpat June 22, 2013 10:05 AM  

Apparently this lunacy has infected the gaming world as well:

Yes, but messing with Penny Arcade, and Gabe in particular, is like messing with Anonymous and 4chan back when they meant something. Gabe escalated and then walked things back this time, but I doubt he is going to change his thinking and gaming behavior, and if they keep at him and go too far he will respond in kind a thousand times over.

Gabe: "I’m very good at being a jerk. It’s sort if my superpower."

And from the Paul Christoforo/Ocean Marketing brouhaha a year or so ago:

Gabe: "I have a real problem with bullies. I spent my childhood moving from school to school and I got made fun of everyplace I landed. I feel like Paul is a bully and maybe that’s why I have no sympathy here. Someday every bully meets and even bigger bully and maybe that’s me in this case. It’s the same thing that happened with Jack Thompson. It might not always make the most business sense and it is a policy that has caused us some legal problems, but I really don’t give a shit about that. When these assholes threaten me or Penny Arcade I just laugh. I will personally burn everything I’ve made to the fucking ground if I think I can catch them in the flames."

Anonymous VD June 22, 2013 10:06 AM  

And, the two gentlemen in question that have been so wrongfully attacked may wish to raise the middle finger to their detractors and scream 'NO, you will not hound me out'. This is understandable and honorable. Soon as honor permits I suspect they will make an exit.

Correction: Barry is not a member. Mike Resnick is.

And, was not the SWFA bulletin suppose to be kept 'in house'? Why then are the original complainers that threw this into world wide web in its manifestations still members?

No, the members are free to say what they want about the Bulletin so long as they don't quote what someone else has said in the SFWA forums. I don't believe anyone on either side of the issue has broken confidentiality in this regard.

Blogger The Observer June 22, 2013 10:09 AM  

@Theexpat: Unfortunately, it seems like Gabe has kowtowed to the pinkshirts already.

"I apologized but I was labeled “transphobic” and so when all this stuff came up yesterday I think it was just more fuel to the fire.

[...]

"I’m very sorry about yesterday. There are very few things that someone can say to me that will actually make me lose my temper. All my buttons got pushed yesterday though and I snapped. I doubt that will change anyone’s opinion but there you go. I’m not qualified to talk about the ambiguity of sexuality and frankly I don’t give a shit about it. I like drawing comics and playing video games. I’ll keep my mouth shut when it comes to all the other stuff."

Anonymous Idle Dickens June 22, 2013 10:12 AM  

It just goes to show you that as things collapse the left is going to double-down.

Facts, reality and external evidence are all irrelevant to the man who's world only exists in the confines of his own mind.


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

Liberty, equality, fraternity, or death; — the last, much the easiest to bestow, O Guillotine!

Anonymous VD June 22, 2013 10:12 AM  

I’ll keep my mouth shut when it comes to all the other stuff."

This is always a mistake. If you keep it shut voluntarily, you'll soon find that you no longer have the ability to open it. They always rely upon voluntary silence in order to achieve the necessary power to impose involuntary silence.

Anonymous TheExpat June 22, 2013 10:13 AM  

@The Observer: Yes, as I said he walked it back this time, but if they continue to bash him on this or future issues? For example, did they cancel the Pax Aus panel that started the whole thing? I read that Gabe apologized for the ambiguity of sexuality issue, but nothing else. Will be interesting to see if there are any further developments.

Blogger Nate June 22, 2013 10:13 AM  

ANDREW FOX IS A RSHD!!!!

Anonymous JohnR June 22, 2013 10:14 AM  

When Sheldon Cooper is puzzled by some behavior he does not understand, he pauses, thinks, and then says,

"Oh, who cares!?!?"

Anonymous Josh June 22, 2013 10:17 AM  

It's not just in science fiction and gaming. Food network just fired Paula Deen because she confessed in a deposition to have used the n word years ago.

Anonymous Oso June 22, 2013 10:33 AM  

I've said it once, I'll say it again. In the progressive mind, being offended makes you right. Being the most offended makes you the most correct! It's like they argue over who gets to be King Turd on Shit Island.

Any organization that panders to the social justice crowd is playing with fire, because almost nobody is above reproach in their eyes. They will find the guilt they seek, even if they must fabricate it out of thin air. Once they find it, it's off to Twitter and Facebook to raise the alarm squee and rile up the rest of the pack...

Blogger Bruce Lewis June 22, 2013 10:36 AM  

I work in the entertainment industry. When word got around that I was opposed to so-called gay marriage, I was subjected to a storm of Internet hate that all but destroyed my career in the field. But when my opinions vis-a-vis race relations became widely known, the hate increased to hurricane force. I was ostracized from every group to which I belonged except for my parish. Lifelong friends told me I was unwelcome in their homes. Hate articles were posted about me in various Internet venues. I and my family were physically threatened.

And yet here I am today, defiant. I am (if I may say so) a multitalented individual, so the career disruption I suffered as a result of my opposition to homosexual "marriage" was less damaging than my critics had hoped. I simply shifted my efforts into other areas of work, a shift that has paid off handsomely. I made new friends among those who hold to Traditional beliefs. I have an entirely new social life, one made up of activities congenial to me and mine.

In short, the hate campaign my critics conducted against me has backfired upon them in every way. I now make more money than I did when I was in my former niche. I have higher-quality friends now. (In fact, many of my former friends have come sniffing around recently hoping to get back into my good graces. i have so far ignored them.) Best of all, my social activities now serve to promote Catholic and family values rather than the amoral hedonism of my former social set. I am in toto happier, better off, and more convinced than ever that I am in the right.

Because I am in the right. Those sad people thought they could break me to their will. Instead, they tempered the steel of my beliefs in the fire of their hate.

Fight them, people. Do not give an inch. When they form ranks against you, charge. They are all essentially sheep and cowards and will quail before a resolute Christian man. When they overwhelm you, fade into the brush and snipe their beliefs from cover.

At the risk of sounding dramatic: This is no longer politics. This is ideological war. Show no mercy. Give no quarter. Unsheathe your sword, cry "Deus vult!", and go on Crusade.

Anonymous VD June 22, 2013 10:41 AM  

In fact, many of my former friends have come sniffing around recently hoping to get back into my good graces. i have so far ignored them.

Don't ignore them. Tell them they are, in their present form, a cancer. Tell them why you will not permit them entry. They cannot learn if they are left in ignorance.

This is also why it is necessary to support those on your side and stop supporting those who have declared themselves to be your enemies and the enemies of God.

Blogger Bruce Lewis June 22, 2013 10:44 AM  

I have told my erstwhile friends that I will be happy to renew our friendship. All they need do is beg my pardon and admit they were wrong.

Like the rich young man, each of them has slowly backed away. Pride is a price too dear for them to pay.

Anonymous VD June 22, 2013 10:46 AM  

Like the rich young man, each of them has slowly backed away. Pride is a price too dear for them to pay.

Even better. They reveal their true character to you as well as the value of their friendship.

Anonymous Scintan June 22, 2013 10:48 AM  

It's not just in science fiction and gaming. Food network just fired Paula Deen because she confessed in a deposition to have used the n word years ago.

By calling it "the n word", especially when you're waxing historical and not trying to impart anything beyond accuracy to your words, you demonstrate that you, too, have given in to the censorship. She didn't call them "the n word", she called them niggers.

Blogger IM2L844 June 22, 2013 10:53 AM  

Operating under the take no prisoners doctrine I would suggest that, for the good of SF, no fan ever buy a book from any author that is a member of the SWFA.

I get it, but I don't buy into the boycott mentality. I refuse to allow the opposition to limit or dictate my choices in any way. I'll read, eat, drink, watch and do whatever I damn well please. Otherwise, they've already won. Now, they need to get busy making me a sammich. If it's not good enough, I'll reject it and/or trumpet their defective sammich making abilities.

Anonymous VD June 22, 2013 10:59 AM  

I refuse to allow the opposition to limit or dictate my choices in any way. I'll read, eat, drink, watch and do whatever I damn well please.

Why would you think not buying a book equates to not reading it?

Anonymous Auntie Whyte Jemisin June 22, 2013 11:14 AM  

The SFWA is doing more to institutionalize self-pity and racial segregation than artistry. One would think it's a crying factory. Ironically, the feminists don't realize how much they whine just like the weaker sex they insist they're not. It's obvious to a man. They've also institutionalized doublethink, a land where only men are sexists, only whites are racists, and only heterosexuals bigots.

Blogger IM2L844 June 22, 2013 11:16 AM  

Why would you think not buying a book equates to not reading it?

I'm certainly open to learning new ways acquire stuff I want for free and I would be grateful for anything anyone could teach me toward that end.

Blogger "1951" June 22, 2013 11:21 AM  

There are these places called "used bookstores", see, and...

Blogger IM2L844 June 22, 2013 11:27 AM  

There are these places called "used bookstores", see, and...

Thanks. I'll keep that in mind.

Anonymous kh123 June 22, 2013 11:28 AM  

Had someone at a workplace once use the term "family" to describe the situation there.

Fairweather maybe.

Some industries tend to be cults with health care plans attached.

Anonymous kh123 June 22, 2013 11:31 AM  

...Ironic that scifi is increasing becoming a place where one has to look backwards with nostalgia to find anything interesting or exciting, rather than forward.

Anonymous The Next to Last Samurai June 22, 2013 11:34 AM  

A little off-topic: Blackgate.com reports that Parke Godwin, author of numerous sf/fantasy books, has died. Mr. Godwin was 84.

Anonymous Stickwick June 22, 2013 11:40 AM  

There are these places called "used bookstores", see, and...

Also, libraries.

Anonymous biff June 22, 2013 11:49 AM  

Resnick and Malzberg helped set up the John Campbell prize to burn the John Campbell brand after Campbell was dead and it was safe.
Scrooom. They are getting a little bit of what they deserve, way late.

Anonymous The Next to Last Samurai June 22, 2013 11:49 AM  

And don't forget the library! Amazon also gives away books on Kindle, and some of them are good. I got an excellent book on preventing identity theft for free on Kindle. Of course some of the freebies are worth what you pay for them, but then you just hit the Delete button. The Amazon freebies change daily.

Blogger IM2L844 June 22, 2013 11:53 AM  

Also, libraries.

There's something I do make use of. I hoped there might be some more obscure resources that I was unaware of for newer releases.

Anonymous VD June 22, 2013 11:55 AM  

Resnick and Malzberg helped set up the John Campbell prize to burn the John Campbell brand after Campbell was dead and it was safe.

In what manner? There are some pretty credible winners, particularly in the first 30 years. It looks like it has gone the way of the Nebula prize of late, however.

Blogger IM2L844 June 22, 2013 11:56 AM  

Is there any kind of a free P2P network for books?

Anonymous the bandit June 22, 2013 12:09 PM  

VD, the link to Instapundit is one story off, should be
http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/171142/

Anonymous a. dude June 22, 2013 12:19 PM  

FYI ... you can acquire just about any book from here without paying for it ...

www.bookos.org

Is this stealing? up to you to decide

Anonymous Bobby Trosclair June 22, 2013 1:19 PM  

Ray Bradbury hit the nail on the head in Fahrenheit 451. Those who have never read the book, or read it cursorily as assigned reading in high school and have only hazy memories of it, think it is about government censorship of books, It's not. Montag's boss quite clearly describes that the movement began because of political correctness - aggrieved groups that deny free expression because they find it hurtful, or hateful, and the government trying to protect them against the wounding of speech they find offensive.

Ray's politics changed quite dramatically in his later life. Were he still alive, he would probably enthusiastically echo the words of Robert Conquest, a sometimes science fiction anthologist (with Kingsley Amis) who was better known as an expert on the Soviet Union. His book "The Great Terror" was a scholarly volume on the genocidal cost of Soviet collectivization. The Academic Left, to whom the enemy is always and can only be on the Right, attacked it mercilessly, and claimed Conquest's estimates of death were far too high, the commies weren't that bad and had noble motives, and Conquest's book could only play into the hands of the evil Right wing. After the fall of the USSR, KGB archives that were opened showed that Conquest was far too modest if anything, and that the death toll from atheistic communism was far, far higher than even Conquest had guessed.

Post-USSR, they issued a new edition of "The Great Terror," and his publisher asked if he wanted to add an epilog with an update on the newly released Soviet files. Conquest said no, he thought the work still stood on it's own merits. He did say he wanted to change the title of the book to "I Told You So, You Fucking Fools!"

The rise of identity-based grievance politics isn't a new phenomenon, obviously, but it is probably coming as a shock to a lot of older SF writers and fans who innocently still thought this was a "Literature of Ideas."

Anonymous bob k. mando June 22, 2013 1:20 PM  

over at ArsTech, the rabbits have formed a circular firing squad in the pictures that make you LOL thread wrt a Control-Alt-Delete comic making fun of the XBOne.
http://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=1110312&start=32040

i count, at minimum, three different libtard points of view. ALL of them disagreeing with each other and each trying to be 'more orthodox' and caring than the others.

you've got
1 - feminist anti-rape goons
2 - cis-gendering campaigners
3 - hux

fricking hilarious.

Anonymous Anonagain June 22, 2013 1:28 PM  

Is there any kind of a free P2P network for books?

There are book torrents. I use kickass torrents for movie and cable show downloads like Game of Thrones. I have no idea what books are available, but you might take a look.

Anonymous TWS June 22, 2013 1:33 PM  

What's a Hux?

Anonymous Chancellor Gorkon June 22, 2013 1:36 PM  

About www.bookos.org from an earlier post, I typed in "Frankenstein" and got the message "Link deleted by legal owner", which is strange to me because I would have guessed it's a public domain book.

Try http://www.gutenberg.org/ for public domain books, in case you hadn't heard of it.

Anonymous bob k. mando June 22, 2013 2:14 PM  

hux is one of the la-de-da high pontificators of the warren over there.

Anonymous Daniel June 22, 2013 2:17 PM  

mau-maus in mu-mus. You would think it would be relatively easy to redirect their nature into more productive channels. Temple Grandin could come up with a useful design...

Blogger IM2L844 June 22, 2013 2:55 PM  

There are book torrents.

I know I asked about P2P, but I'm a little dubious of those sort of big open torrent sharing deals. I don't really want to be complicit in stealing from anyone. I don't know what I was thinking...I guess something more along the lines of a more intimate book club kind of deal with some degree of vetting and accountability...Now, I'm just splitting hairs. Screw it.

This just seems like too much of a hassle. I think I'd rather just pay for one of the shit head's books if it appealed to me and I couldn't find a legitimate free copy anywhere.

Anonymous DCM June 22, 2013 3:55 PM  

Fox is spot on, except for one thing: what he calls "criticism" isn't criticism at all. Mau-mauing is the more precise term (which Tom Wolfe might have coined in his 1970 book Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers; the term was a reference to the intimidation tactics employed in Kenya's anti-colonial Mau Mau Uprising).

Anonymous Mike Resnick June 22, 2013 7:52 PM  

A couple of corrections. I -asked- Laura not to get involved in this. I know how much vituperation can get spewn by the hatemongers.

Also, I had nothing to do with the Campbell Award. I never created it, administered it, or won it.

For those who haven't read the offending articles (in which case, you have a lot in common with the screamers): in issue #200, at the request of our (female) editor, we wrote a very complimentary article about editors of that gender...but we had the temerity to call them "ladies" rather than "females", and to state that Bea Mahaffey, who edited Other Worlds 63 years ago and died a couple of decades ago (and was a close personal friend of mine) was beautiful. Those were sins #1 and #2. After the hate mail began appearing, we committed Sin #3 in issue #202: we defended our right to call Bea Mahaffey beautiful, and our (female) editor's right to run a generic, non-naked, non-bare-breasted warrior woman on the cover. They're still screaming for our deaths by slow torture. :-)

It got so bad that our editor, Jean Rabe, resigned, not just as editor but as a member of SFWA. And for the record, I hired her as my assistant on the Stellar Guild line of books 5 minutes later.

-- Mike Resnick

Anonymous Fail Burton June 22, 2013 10:20 PM  

We've got your back Mr. Resnick, though you may not want us to. The insults are one thing; that's just childish name-calling.

The racial and gender hate speech is another, and that's where I'm drawing lines in the sand. It is an obvious trend with obvious names who indulge in it and support it every single day. Outgoing and incoming SFWA presidents indulge in blithe racial bigotry and call it justice.

They nominate obvious racial bigots for Nebulas who never shut up about the evil white male. They violate their own supposed principles almost as often as they open their mouths. The term "white privilege," with its assumed racism, is as thick as snow.

They'll be the first to say not all Muslims are terrorists, which by the way is obvious, but then put together 4 anecdotes about men and use them to hit men in America right on the head in 500 comments on a blog.

With no evidence, they accuse old school SF writers of comprising an informal cabal of endemic racists and sexists bent on keeping out women and PoC, and use this as an excuse to openly solicit literature by race, gender and gender preference. Not only that, they give literary awards only available to gays, women and PoC, and yet whine for diversity outside their gender and racial enclaves.

Mary Elizabeth Kowal, herself one of the worst perpetrators, allowed herself to be forced to revise an already published online fictional story cuz she used the term "diminutive half-breed," which one person said was furthering "racist and colonialist tropes."

Meanwhile, the group openly uses racial slurs on blogs and Twitter without ever being similarly called out by each other - wrong race.

These people are insane hypocrites who verge on paranoid pathological sociopaths. Their rhetoric stinks of being permanently offended and sheer racial and gender hatred, egged on by prominent writers who use their cache to sell books.

Anonymous biff June 22, 2013 10:33 PM  

'I had nothing to do with the Campbell Award.'

My apologies. Thought you hung out with Malzberg.

>'the Campbell Award, to burn the Campbell brand, after John Campbell was dead and it was safe.'
>In what manner?

'giving the first Campbell award -the one given by Harry Harrison and his groupies- to Barry Malzberg for 'Beyond Apollo'- one novel Campbell would never have bought or read more than ten pages of' Jerry Pournelle, in 'Dream Makers'.

Campbell built a hard SF house style. The Campbell Award has gone, nine times out of ten, to people who hate hard SF. Putting John Campbell's name on the cover of books sold them to people who'd hate them, once. See: Science Fiction's declining readership.

Anonymous TheExpat June 22, 2013 10:40 PM  

I -asked- Laura not to get involved in this.

Thank you for the clarification. Betrayal by in-group is one of my hot buttons, seconded closely by failure to stand up for in-group against injustices, so I am glad to see that that is the case.

I hired her as my assistant on the Stellar Guild line of books 5 minutes later.

Class. And I shall have to check out the Stellar Guild line of books.

Anonymous Lurking June 22, 2013 11:17 PM  

@Theexpat: Well, that was quick. And expected. Gabe ended up falling on the sword for the good of the warren -

"I’ve spent the last few days trying to apologize to people I hurt. I’ve been doing it via email and I’ve given out my phone number a lot. I realize I was wrong and I’m genuinely sorry. I also realize I can’t possibly apologize on the phone to each and every person I hurt. I’m going to keep trying, but I’ve also decided to personally make a donation to the Trevor Project of $20,000.00. I also plan to keep interacting with people on a personal level and I understand that will be an ongoing process. In the meantime I’m hoping this donation will do some real good for a group that desperately needs it."

So much for burning everything to the ground...

Anonymous TheExpat June 22, 2013 11:39 PM  

So much for burning everything to the ground...

Quite a disappointment indeed. Oh well.

Anonymous Scintan June 23, 2013 12:16 AM  

A couple of corrections. I -asked- Laura not to get involved in this. I know how much vituperation can get spewn by the hatemongers.

Mr. Resnick, I'm sorry your editor felt a need to step down. That level of heat over nothing is shameful. Best wishes to her, and I hope the hubbub dies down.

Also, I hope a lesson about why one shouldn't be appeasing those who feel they have to right not to be offended is well-learned by those involved.

Blogger IM2L844 June 23, 2013 1:12 AM  

The Stellar Guild Series is an interesting concept. I wonder if there's potential for some mutually beneficial intersection between them and Vox's new game. Seems reasonable.

Blogger James Dixon June 23, 2013 7:29 PM  

> Is this stealing? up to you to decide

Haven't we been assured by leftists of all stripes that politics trumps all else, especially property rights? Is it wrong to take them at their word?

> There are book torrents. I use kickass torrents

Kat is good. Bitsnoop is also good, at least for books. Searching for SFF on Bitsnoop can be informative. The best was probably Demonoid, but it's still down AFAIK.

> I know I asked about P2P, but I'm a little dubious of those sort of big open torrent sharing deals.

There are lots of free legal options out there, but not for any given book. If you want a specific book, the torrents and direct download sites are probably your only option.

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