I’ve belonged to blogs in the past which got in fights and arguments with other blogs/organizations, and even when I agreed 100% it got boring really quick. So, I’d fully intended to have that blog on Sunday be the very last one I did on the SFWA mess.
But then I got selected for worst person in the world (though I have to share the trophy with Kate) and I thought, what the heck, I’ll do a final post on my dealings with SFWA from beginning to end, and because I’m tired of being misunderstood, I’ll do it in a way they’ll understand: with video clips.
So, in the mid eighties, I started writing sf/f, and I was so green that I sent submissions to the subscriptions address. I still managed to get a personal rejection asking for more, but I thought “I need help.” And then I heard about SFWA and how it was supposed to help SF/F writers and as a newby, just arrived in the country, with no contacts or connections, I was like:
So I sent them a letter and they were like: You need to have three pro short story sales or one pro novel sale.
So, I was like “But how do I get that if I don’t know how and no one has invented google, yet?” So, I was all like:
But I don’t give up easily, so I was like:
So I was like:
And I finally started selling. And I sold two shorts, and then, before the third I sold the novel, and I was like “Now I qualify for SFWA!”
And then I had some problems with my agent, and some problems with my publisher, and SFWA was like “oh, no. If we get involved in all that type of thing, the publishers will stop publishing us. There’s nothing we can do. And besides your agent and your publisher are members.” And I was like:
But then they said “You know we have helped these people” — mostly against small publishers — “and we run Editors and Preditors and we have a medical emergency fund” and I was like:
At least I was now a member of SFWA, so I could prove I was a real pro, and anyway, I got this nifty directory of all pro writers, so… I was like:
And then I heard from some friends that SFWA, in the past had caused issues for them in their work for hire, by going to the publisher and saying they were representing these people, who had no problems whatsoever with the contracts but who now were told they’d never work for the publisher again and I was like:
But I thought maybe they’d misunderstood something, and SFWA hadn’t done anything bad to me, so I continued paying my dues and I was like:
And then, you know, things happened, and I decided to go at least partly indie, and then SFWA got into this big fight with Amazon over some small-press distributor who was all butthurt. And they were like removing the amazon buttons from member pages and being all like “All of SFWA hates Amazon.” And I was looking at my check from Amazon and looking at SFWA and going like:
So money was a bit tight and when the renewal came around I didn’t renew. If they weren’t going to help me, at least they shouldn’t mess up what was making money for me, right?
And then I heard they were kicking out a life member because they didn’t like stuff he’d said on a kind of might be sort of SFWA twitter feed (oh, there were other excuses, but if that were true, they’d have to get rid of half their membership, including the person he got in a fight with.) And I was like:
But hey, I wasn’t a member and it was nothing to do with me, right? I mean, they said they were a private organization, which is fine, but then shouldn’t they add an S to their name? SSFFWA Some Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America? Just for truth in advertising. But still I was like:
And then in my writing daze, I hear they’re going after Mike Resnick and Barry Malzberg for being sexist, and I’m like:
So I ask what the EFFE is going on, and I’m told that they were making lewd comments about women in bikini, and I know Resnick and know of Malzberg and I’m like:
So I asked around and got the article sent to me and I was like:
because the column was completely unexciting. They were talking about female editors and writers they’d known, you know, back when they were still rare in the field. Part of what seemed to have kicked this off was that they called them “Lady editors” and “Lady writers” which was apparently sexist and I was like:
I mean, it’s an article about female editors and writers. Perhaps they’d prefer they’d used Bitch and Hoes Editors and Writers? Or People of Vaginitude Writers and Editors.
Oh, yeah, and the bikini thing? They said one of the editors was exceptionally beautiful and that all the male writers’ wives were jealous when they saw her. And that was totally sexist because women never talk/have thoughts like that, no way.
And they were also all upset about like women in chain mail on the cover, and the bulletin needed to be carefully censured, so that no bit of sexism got through.
And I was like:
And they were like:
And I was like:
And then my friend Kate blogged about the latest insanity, where established writers of every political stripe signed a petition to have SFWA give up this charming notion of censoring speech on their bulletin and a coalition of young no name or very little name writers (and a few decent writers who are my friends and who must be smoking something) were like:
So, Kate made fun of them, because she does, and an idiot troll came out under the impression it was all about the blogger named Vox Day and I was like:
But then he said that people like Vox needed to be cut off from society and I was like:
Because it was like:
So I was like:
Because apparently telling them they can’t kill/kick out of human society everyone who hurts their feelings is like:
And also, I dissed Marxism which is totally a saintly ideology, because I’m a dumb American and all this makes me the world’s worst person (though I have to share the trophy with Kate Paulk, which is too bad, because I had a place all ready for it on my shelf.)
But life is full of these little disappointments, so then I thought… Hey… I’m the world’s worst person. By pointing out that Stalinist purges are Stalinist and never end, because someone is always going to be offended, I’ve made myself the worst person ever. Worse than Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Stalin, Lenin, and the blood soaked mass murderers and tyrants who have oppressed humanity. I’m worse than Caligula!
And I realized this is incredibly freeing, right? I mean, if you’re already worse than Caligula, how much worse can you get?
I even caused a commenter on that blog to want to change her gender!
So now I’m like:
And I have SFWA to thank for it.
This, my friends, is a full account of my interaction with
Mr. Whickam the organization formerly known as SFWA. And now I’ll stay out of it, no matter what the temptation:
Because they’re like this:
And I need to be like this:
UPDATE: WELCOME Instapundit Readers and thank you to Glenn Reynolds for the link. (I should have done this two days ago, but I was in a fever daze. Anyway, ya’ll know me. Pull up a chair. Stay a while.