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  • A Very Funny Post About a Very Serious Topic

    Posted by David Foster on February 20th, 2014 (All posts by )

    The association known as the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) has apparently been wracked, of late, by political-correctness insanity. SF writer Sarah Hoyt  posts about her experiences with this organization. Not to be missed!

    The politicization of all aspects of American life continues apace.

     

     

    17 Responses to “A Very Funny Post About a Very Serious Topic”

    1. Sgt. Mom Says:

      I’ve been following the SFWA fracas off and on for a good few months, all the while shaking my head and thanking my stars I do not write science fiction or fantasy … and that to the best of my knowledge any writer’s orgs that I could qualify for or be interested in are not achieving such epic levels of melt-down and sink to the center of the earth. My daughter read it this morning on my insistence, and said “Mom, these people are nuts.” I reminded her about the truism regarding academic fights: they were so vicious because the stakes were so small.

      The true pity is that likely it will tear the SFWA organization apart – because honestly, writers and their political opinions are all over the place, and one element of the org getting into a snit over the beliefs and values of another element is counterproductive. I don’t know how many times I had to leap into the IAG discussion group and ixnay any further political discussions. Because at least as many of the members were liberal as were conservative – and that wasn’t the point of the group at all. It was about our books, how to write and market the best that we could, by sharing knowledge and resources.

      If you read down through the comment thread all the way, you’ll be rewarded when you get to Mercedes Lackey’s epic comment. (Well, it seems to be genuinely Mercedes Lackey, although some other commenters are doubtful, especially considering the f-bombs.) She did have to make a sideways swipe at the Tea Party, but the rant itself is simply epic; she tells the fainting little feminist flowers to grow up and put on their big girl pants.

    2. RonaldF Says:

      The women who took pity on me and helped me through English in High-School and college saved me. I could do any type of mathematics, physics, chemistry — but English was a mystery, and I am so grateful to those who helped. THANKS to ALL.

    3. Tom Holsinger Says:

      This is more evidence of the internet utterly transforming the fiction market. The SFWA used to provide market services to SF&F authors in collecting royalties from too-rapacious publishers. I know some retired elective SFWA presidents who did that, and one is THE most reactionary right-winger I’ve ever met. Politics had nothing to do with election of SFWA presidents as that office concerned the electorate’s income.

      But internet publishing and distribution of fiction has eliminated the need for hard-nosed business-type Alpha Males as SFWA presidents, so SFWA membership and offices have become dominated by people who truly live on other planes of existence than messy money reality. People who actually write for a living don’t need to devote time and energy to SFWA organizational matters.

      Similar things have happened to other professional organizations for other reasons. The American Bar Association has been there for about 25 years.

    4. dearieme Says:

      The same thing happens with trade unions. The union I was in couldn’t negotiate a pay rise, but golly it could adopt an independent foreign policy.

    5. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      I’m totally impressed with the way Sara handled the whole thing through that post. Talk about channeling your anger into something that dissipates it, she essentially laughs it all off. That takes a lot of self understanding, understanding of people, and emotional balance.

    6. David Foster Says:

      “The devil, the proud spirit, cannot endure to be mocked”

    7. David Foster Says:

      (Previous quote was from Thomas More, 16th century)

    8. Cormac McRoadie Says:

      “[S]ince politics has spread throughout our culture like some super-charged memetic kudzu.”

      (Quote from here.)

      Yup. And the SFWA becoming a partisan political organization is just another example.

    9. David Foster Says:

      Cormac…”Political Tourette’s”….a good phrase. I’ve observed this a lot. Common in book reviews…for example, something about medieval stained glass somehow works in a swipe at George W Bush…and even in financial analysis.

      Often, I think, it is intended as a wink-wink nod-nod form of signaling, to communicate that the author is on the same political side as the authority figures by whom he wishes to be accepted.

    10. Tom Holsinger Says:

      Lefties demonstrate tribalism instead of engaging in politics. Politics is about power. Tribalism is about identity.

    11. Michael Kennedy Says:

      “writers and their political opinions are all over the place, and one element of the org getting into a snit over the beliefs and values of another element is counterproductive.”

      I quit a publishing news group in the usenet days over the left wing politics. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the politics (I didn’t) but it had become all the group was about. This was after the 2000 election.

      The medical associations have become visibly left wing. They were obsessed with”save the whales” while the medical profession was being attacked. One of the funniest was when I was still a delegate. There was a proposal, from female members of course, who were students and new graduates, that a spouse who had been supported by the other spouse during medical school had the right to half the MD spouses lifetime earnings. I rose in the house of delegates and asked the ladies who were pushing the proposal if it had ever occurred to them that a husband might claim their earnings. Eeeek !

      The proposal was immediately dropped.

      Six or eight years ago, medical students were very interested in single payer. At one point I was asked to be a faculty advisor to such a group. The interest seems to have disappeared since Obamacare.

      Reality bites.

    12. Joe Wooten Says:

      I know some retired elective SFWA presidents who did that, and one is THE most reactionary right-winger I’ve ever met.

      Are you talking about Jerry Pournelle? I would not call him a “reactionary right winger”, more of a libertarian. OTOH, John Scalzi IS a wingnut card carrying leftie.

      I don’t write SF/F, but I’m an avid reader and I quit ignoring the nebula awards from SFWA years ago after the organization was taken over by the statists. Dang near all the winners wrote leftist tinged crap not worth reading.

    13. ErisGuy Says:

      They have marched through the institutions and captured almost all of them, even the trivial SFWA. All the good people are compromised or fled. All the people who find PC Marxism unacceptable are expelled, resign, or… resigned. Leaving the Marxists in control of the enduring (at least for a while) institutions. And this is a victory against PC.

    14. Tom Holsinger Says:

      Joe, he’s now an LSU professor emeritus with black grandchildren courtesy of a foster child he raised. Jerry is an old-fashioned southern conservative. John is a true knuckle-dragging political reactionary. Both are unique individuals.

    15. pst314 Says:

      Sgt Mom “all the while shaking my head and thanking my stars I do not write science fiction or fantasy”

      Don’t worry: You can have a successful writing career without any contact with SFWA. They won’t do anything for you, but then they cannot do much to you–at least not as SFWA (as editors they can act as gatekeepers to exclude writers whose politics they disapprove of.)

    16. Joe Wooten Says:

      Pst, That’s why Baen is the best of the old line book publishers. They actively seek out the writers that the lefties at other houses reject.

    17. pst314 Says:

      Joe Wooten: Yes indeed! You are absolutely correct.