solarbird: (gun good job)

The skiffy net is all abuzz with Sean Fodera’s apology to Mary Robinette Kowal. He also seems to have caught up enough to know that you cannot sue the Internet, tho’ he still seems to think he as a good libel case against… people… who quote him… accurately. Well, baby steps.

Ms. Kowal has, in turn, issued her acceptance of his apology:

He’s also posted about women in SF, in a way that seems to me to be muchly ignoring the point of this entire petition adventure. Screencaps of both are at Radish Reviews, because keeps buckling under the traffic rush.

Me? I’m less than convinced, not really by the apology itself – which seems fine – but by the context of the “I don’t hate women, I have a daughter! And women co-workers!” second post. Commenters at James Nicoll’s Livejournal blog are thinking similarly. But I’m in the enviable position of having superpowers, not the least of which is my innate and tremendous ability not to have to give a fuck. If Mary is happy, well, what else is needed?

Oh, I know. Some sort of settlement of this whole petition flap. Hopefully, Mr. Fodera is sincere, and – tokenism of his women-in-SF post aside – let’s also say well-intentioned. That leaves a whole lot of petition authors and signers who are not so far along.

This isn’t about one person. This is about a systemic problem.

Some people have been calling this apology a resolution to the entire affair; I find that overly optimistic, myself. But we’ll see.

Previous posts on this topic are collected here.

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solarbird: (pindar-most-unpleasant)

You think this whole SFWA petition flap is over, and then, whelp, the goofy just ramps right back up.

Someone has taken a bunch of the discussion off of and posted it over on Tumblr, leading off with CJ Cherryh’s post to Facebook that discussions about SFWA and the petition shouldn’t be on the internet (which, as several have noted, assassinates irony), and proceeding to some prime ranting against “the Young,” such as:

“The Young are all dismayed at CJ’s position and vow henceforth never to sully their eyeballs with her stuff. Not once do they think to wonder— why would she take such a position? Might there be some merit in it? These people aren’t used to thinking.”

“This is the problem with people hanging around on social media where everyone is guaranteed to agree with them—dissenters are purged immediately. It atrophies the capacity for independent thought. On all sides of the opinion spectrum. This is what the Young want to make of SFWA.”

“They probably weren’t buying her books in the first place. They were probably downloading pirated copies.”

“They probably want Carolyn’s shelf space. After all, aren’t they entitled to it?”

There’s more – lots more – but this sets the tone for you.

Meanwhile, Sean Fodera (né Sean Fedora) is threatening everyone who links to this Daily Dot article about the flap with an apparently class-action libel suit, which isn’t actually a real thing and can’t actually happen, but he’s up to 1200 claims against and counting. Glad to be 1201, Sean. See you in court!

Now, all this hilarity aside, there is a genuinely sad thing going on here. The sexism and racism and the unflagging defence of it? Those aren’t sad. The damage done to SFWA and the speculative fiction community? Not sad. Infuriating, sure. Horrible, disappointing, sometimes hilariously self-parodying, all those apply. But not quite sad.

No, the sad part is how utterly and completely self-defeating this entire exercise has been and continues to be. Yes, self-defeating, on a deep and fundamental level.

See, they’re doing everything in their power to defend the old sexist and exclusionary system, making sure women, people of colour, “the Young” (apparently), and everyone else not on the Real People List know our places and know we’re unwelcome. They’re large and in charge, everyone else can go suck it, and if they don’t get their way, they’re gonna tear the whole damn place down.

That’s awful. But we’re still not to the sad part. The sad part comes from the implicit idea that they actually own this turf, and can defend it. The sad part comes from the idea that if they just push enough people out, they can be the only people who matter forever; that they can make people comply or fail, because…

…because they think there aren’t other options available.

And that leads to the sad part, the fundamental misunderstanding of the world part. The part wherein lives the idea that all these people they’re excluding won’t keep creating, somewhere else. The part where it’s still 1978, and you have the Big 3 Magazines, and the paperback publishers, and that’s all that matters. The part where supposed futurists so fundamentally fail to understand the modern world that they think someone can sue the entire Internet for libel. The part where they think it’s possible to keep that gate.

But you can’t, anymore. People will keep creating anyway. It’s easier now to create and distribute than it has ever been in history. And we, “the Young” (apparently), are creating, and distributing, and some of us are making our own damn amusement parks. (And some of us are writing about construction.)

Forcing everyone else out of your game no longer means everyone else can’t play. It no longer means sitting off to the side until we learn the right form of observances and genuflections.

It means we play without you.

Which, in turn, means that all these petitioners are doing is destroying their own influence, and throwing away any remaining choices they could have in shaping the future.

By excluding everyone else – particularly “the Young” (apparently) – they are consigning themselves to irrelevance.

And in this way, it reaches an entirely new level of short-sighted self-destructiveness. This is how it goes straight over into sad.

Much will be lost, of course. Institutional knowledge that still matters, that’s important. There are real advantages to long-term organisations and histories and so on. Memory still matters.

But these petitioners… this crowd… would, it seems, rather just see all that burn.

How sad.


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solarbird: (music)

Anyone following the petition-to-SFWA flap should read John Scalzi’s post this morning for some useful advice.

Yesterday’s hammer dulcimer recording session went very well; we have two more tunes in the can, one really on the first take – Ellen comes in prepared – though we took a couple more as well, just to be safe. She can’t be back in until late March, though. Still, it’s not like we lack work to do.

It is nice finally seeing the Big Board start to turn blue, I have to say. (It’s colour-coded; blue means completed work.)

Today is more eye-surgery follow-up, so I’ll be OOS (Out Of Studio) all day. Hi ho, needs must and all that. See you tomorrow!

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
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solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)

In ref. the latest bit of SFWA-related fail, and the petition to restore the old system that lead to last year’s various racist and sexist disasters – because apparently 2013 wasn’t a bad enough year for the Science Fiction Writers of America, they must need another one – I was pointed at something else today.

The petition’s author, Dave Truesdale, described the 2007 atypically mostly-women PK Dick Award shortlist as, and I quote, “vagina-heavy” and the authors as “five furry pussies on the ballot,” in his column on He later amended the post to claim it was satire and protest against sexism by women, in true Men’s Rights Activist fashion.

Until now, I was merely very disappointed in the signatories to this thing. Now I’m angry. Anybody who would sign a petition by this asshole is off my reading list and onto my die in a fire list. Goddamn.

For those of you on Livejournal, James Nicoll has a poll running, which you may find interesting. The comment section is very active.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
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solarbird: (pindar-most-unpleasant)

Remember all those rounds of Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) racist and sexist pratfail in 2013?

Well, now that SFWA is trying to clean up its act, here comes the pushback, with a petition against “political correctness” and violations of the First Amendment by… applying editorial control to its own publication.

A publication which is, by the way, supposed to be the official house organ of this supposedly professional writer’s organisation, and not the fanzine of a moderately horrible Old Phart Phan.

These things are inevitable, but man, is it still embarrassing. Not because it’s happening – that’s inevitable; old-school holders of racial and gender entitlement will generally push back at any perceived loss of that entitlement. It’s a turf war. That’s only to be expected.

No, it’s embarrassing because of some of the signatories. Many of them are the sorts you’d expect, but some of them aren’t, and in them, I am disappointed, for multiple reasons.

First, the idea. The confusion of “what we want in our trade publication” and the mere idea of editing with censorship, in people who are old enough to know better.

Second, the damn thing leads off with “political correctness.” Anybody who starts with this line has no goddamn facts. To steal a line, “political correctness” is a dog-whistle for resentment about feeling pressured to treat people decently.

Finally, look at this thing. Content aside, this came from a professional writer? This sprawling slurry of rambling resentment apparently formatted by a hyperkinetic hamster who has no comprehension of punctuation and an unsettling attraction to the spacebar?

As someone who has pulled $1.50 a word writing, albeit technical writing, I am appalled on that basis alone.

Honestly, how many faces can one hand palm, anyway?

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solarbird: (fascist sons o bitches)

Oh my, it seems that SFWA has finally rid itself of, well, they don’t say, but we all know which white supremacist it would be, don’t we? I don’t see how they could’ve done anything else, after he used SFWA official channels to promote an overtly-racist screed against another member of the organisation.

The fact – again, just plain fact – that he’s a white Christian male supremacist who explicitly states that only white Christian men are capable of civilisation and must therefore rule everyone else? That’s just icing on this cake.

Oh, look, Scalzi seems to be in a musical mood all of a sudden. Huh, funny. I also a song coming to mind for some reason; there’s no studio version yet, but The Mighty IF posted some audience video from a Toronto house concert, that’s a start…

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
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solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)

Heading off today, north! To festival! To Harrison Hot Springs! Back on Monday. I’ll probably be tweeting a lot tho’. Remember: send any geekmusic news you have for the podcast by Monday if at all possible! If you don’t have any, forward that link around to people who might.

Here, have an awesome link – I actually already knew some of this but not this particular early outright-digital state. Ironically, I think this process got more analogue before it got less – there were comparably-small machines in the 60s and 70s which did more or less this, only with a single copy of the photo print. But they sent over ordinary phone lines, and I think those machines were varying tone in a more analogue fashion. But I could be wrong; maybe they were digitising down to these same five-bit images. Anyway, enjoy:

How Photos Were Cabled Across the Atlantic Ocean in 1926

Finally, welcome Radish Review readers; I think you’ll find this post on harassment in person vs. online trenchant. It’s called “Power and Supervillainy.” And my regular readers may also enjoy Scalzi’s Q&A on his anti-harassment-policy policy, including complaints made by some calling his policy anti-free-speech, an idea about which I can only giggle sadly, not manically. And if I’m not giggling manically, you are doing it wrong and I have a heat ray. Shape up – or else.


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