Peter Grant issues a second warning

Does Tor really want war to the knife? Peter Grant counsels action:

I’ve been . . . not astonished, really, because I’ve seen it all before, but . . . taken aback, at least, by the depth of ignorance, prejudice and blind, religious-fervor-style ‘group-think’ displayed by many of those arguing in favor of Ms. Irene Gallo’s comments that precipitated the crisis concerning Tor….

Those tactics are not going to work in this case.  I’ve had enough.  So have many other people. Ms. Gallo’s words were the last straw for us, as I explained in my earlier posts.  They’re merely the latest example of a long-standing pattern of behavior by senior employees at Tor.  I’m not joking about my response, either.  I’m willing to give Tor a few days – a week at most – to rectify the situation and deal with all those involved, not just Ms. Gallo.  If the company fails to do so, I will call for a boycott of its products and publications . . . and I won’t do so alone.  I’ve consulted with a large number of fellow authors and other individuals about this over the past few days.  There are some influential figures involved, as Tor may soon find out to its cost.

If that happens, some readers may be surprised to learn how widespread is the anger and bitterness that has built up during the past few months and years concerning the individuals I’ve identified at Tor.  Their conduct and attitudes have become inseparably intertwined in the minds of many – including myself – with the conduct and attitudes of their employer.  We don’t believe they can be separated.  It’s for Tor to prove us wrong . . . but I suspect that’s not about to happen, because to my mind – our minds – Tor really is standing behind them, despite Mr. Doherty’s attempts to distinguish between the company and its senior staff.

I truly hope it doesn’t come to a boycott . . . but if it does, so be it.  We no longer have anything to lose by acting.  Tor, on the other hand, risks losing everything by not acting.  I say that as a former director of companies, with post-graduate business education and a good understanding of the financial pressures on Tor and companies like it.  (Yes, individuals at ‘some companies’ do talk about such things to outsiders, particularly when they’re also angry over what’s happening internally.  The numbers are . . . interesting.)

Your move, Tor . . . for a short time.  I truly hope you make the right one before it’s too late.

The Evil Legion of Evil has not yet called for a boycott by the many Tor customers attacked by Ms Gallo. It has, after all, only been two days since the management at Tor Books learned about her attack on them. But the one thing they must understand is that an apology is not enough. We expect a resignation.

Sooner or later, Ms Gallo will resign. It’s only a question of how much damage Tor Books, and perhaps more importantly, Macmillan, are willing to take first.

Meanwhile, John C. Wright clarifies a previous statement:

A reader asked what I meant when I said, that as a matter of formality, Irene Gallo’s pro forma and possibly insincere apology for her pro-forma and possibly insincerely insult satisfied my sense of honor.

It is difficult for me to explain something that is second nature to me, which is alien to the modern world at every point. In the military, the soldier is obligated to salute the uniform wore by officers of higher rank, not the man wearing it, and the man wearing it is obligated to behave as the uniform requires. The salute satisfies the formality.

An apology satisfies the demand for apology; if the person proffer it did so with deceptive intent, God Almighty, who sees and knows the hearts of the sinners, will punish the falsehood with penalties nightmarish, vehement, absolute, and infinite, that my heart quails to contemplate them. I cannot burn a disembodied soul in hell forever, and neither can I read minds and hearts. Hence, I am not in a position judge the sincerity of an apology, nor do I have the least desire to do so.

Honor is an external thing, a matter of form. If the form is satisfied, honor is satisfied. Refusing an apology on the grounds of it insincerity is a privilege reserved to women.

In the case of Irene Gallo, I do not need any further words from her, nor does she owe me anything more. I look forward to working with whomever Mr Doherty hires to replace her.