JDA defeats Worldcon

Jon Del Arroz, Rislandia publisher, Arktoons contributor, and the Leading Hispanic Voice in Science Fiction, recently reached a settlement in his long-running legal dispute with Worldcon. For those of you who have no idea what that is, Worldcon is the organization of SJW science fiction fans that runs the annual convention that gives out the Hugo Awards.

Jon sent me an email to post here explaining what happened:

In early 2017, Vox Day gave me a platform on this blog to speak the truth about how the science fiction publishing and fandom communities had become nothing more than toxic, gossip-filled political arms of the extreme Satanist, globalist elites. It was the first time I’d been unpersonned by SJWs trying to target me and my family over politics and he gave me the advice: “Learn to go public. One reason they get away with it is because everyone they do it to tries to keep it quiet. You shouldn’t.”

I named names, I exposed what was going on, and made a name for myself many of you know in science fiction and comics, of which I thank the readers of VP so much for your support over the years. It hasn’t been without its trials, however, the unpersoning continued with Worldcon 76 in San Jose, who banned me because I told them I had safety concerns about being physically attacked based on death threats made to me online, and they refused to even respond about assurances of security at their convention.

They took it a step further, going to their website and social media citing they were removing “racist bullying” from their convention, libeling me, a Hispanic man who is very proud of my heritage in the process.

I followed Vox’s lead and decided to fight it with everything I had. We filed suit for defamation and have been engaged in a long court battle for nearly 4 years. Finally, WorldCon opted to settle and wrote me a formal, public apology and gave us financial compensation:

SFSFC acknowledges the importance of reputation, especially for a relatively new author, and regrets that its public statement about barring his attendance might have led people unfamiliar with Mr. Del Arroz and his work to infer that he is or was a racist. For that, SFSFC apologizes. This attendance ban was specific to the Worldcon 76 events produced by SFSFC, and Mr. Del Arroz has the same opportunity as other members of the public to register for future SFSFC events. Worldcon 76 does not tolerate discrimination in any form — including through cosplay — based on but not limited to gender, race, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, or physical/mental health conditions. SFSFC firmly believes that healthy political discourse requires active, mutual, good faith participation by members of the community with differing opinions.

Kevin Roche

Chair, Worldcon 76 in San Jose

President, San Francisco Science Fiction Conventions, Inc.

We are in dark times, but there is light and there is good. Even though it can seem overwhelming, you can fight the good fight, you can win. It isn’t easy, you can’t be low energy, and you must never concede, but know that truth will prevail. We follow the one true light of the world, our Lord Jesus Christ, and through him we will be his beacon and bring about his kingdom. It’s preordained. We have already won, and the lesson is to never be afraid of evil. Deus vult. 

The SJWs at File 770 are doing their thing, attempting to transmogrify victory into defeat for Jon. Of course, being SJWs, they would deny that Jon won anything even if the entire Worldcon leadership was personally beheaded by the presiding judge and the entire contents of their meager bank accounts were presented to him on a golden platter.

Not every victory will be fast, flawless, or result in a large financial payout. Much more often, the best that one can reasonably expect to do is a public apology, a retreat from arbitration, the return of the filing fees, or the imposition of expenses that are essentially a rounding error to a massive corporation that one wouldn’t expect to even notice. But a victory is a victory, and more importantly, these victories stack over time to send a very strong message to everyone that converged individuals and organizations cannot continue to behave in the way they have been behaving.

Consider Amazon. Even mighty Amazon had to drop its mandated arbitration policy, and it now faces three class action lawsuits because 75,000 customers brought consumer arbitrations against it. Each individual arbitration was a tiny drop in the bucket to the corporate giant, but collectively, they were enough to force Amazon to retreat and change its anti-consumer policies.

I always thought they had chemistry

It turns out that Lando Calrissian’s true romantic attachment was to Chewbacca:

In 2018 in an interview with the Huffington Post, Solo co-screenwriter Jonathan Kasdan, when asked if he viewed Lando Calrissian as pansexual, replied “I would say yes. There’s a fluidity to Donald and Billy Dee’s [portrayal of Lando’s] sexuality,” Kasdan continued. “I mean, I would have loved to have gotten a more explicitly LGBT character into this movie. I think it’s time, certainly, for that, and I love the fluidity ― sort of the spectrum of sexuality that Donald appeals to and that droids are a part of. He doesn’t make any hard and fast rules. I think it’s fun. I don’t know where it will go.”

Daniel Glover confirmed this, saying “How can you not be pansexual in space? There’s so many things to have sex with. I mean, serious. I didn’t think that was that weird. Yeah, he’s coming on to everybody. I mean, yeah, whatever. He’s like having like a ’70s swing — yeah. It just didn’t seem that weird to me ’cause I feel like if you’re in space it’s kind of like, the door is open! It’s like, no only guys or girls. No, it’s anything. This thing is literally a blob. Are you a man or a woman? Like, who cares? Have a good time out here.”

However there’s a world between a writer or actor saying something, and it appearing on the screen. And suggested flirting between Han Solo and Lando in the Solo movie could just have been in the eye of the beholder.

But in June, Marvel Comics is running a series of Pride Covers featuring LGBTQ+ characters in the Star Wars universe, many – such as Doctor Aphra and Sana Starros – were created for the comic book line. The Marvel Star Wars comics are considered official canon by Lucasfilm, and lots of effort goes into making the canon, canon.

So when Marvel Comics added Lando Calrissian to the LGBTQ+ Marvel Pride covers, approved by LucasFilm, that is as official canon as anything else.

That really puts a whole new spin on Star Wars, doesn’t it?

Pity the poor SF-SJW

Strange, I don’t recall any of them being terribly bothered about fake reviews back when their fellow SJWs were posting fake reviews about A THRONE OF BONES or SJWs Always Lie. But now that Tor authors are being targeted by fake reviewers, it’s a national emergency:

Remember, this is a book none of them have read, and none of them even have access to. We know who advanced reader copies have been sent to, and none of them are on the list. This is purely about continuing their terror campaign against a randomly picked target for fun.

I fully expect that before I wake up tomorrow, STARSHIP REPO will have several dozen fake, malicious reviews already posted on its Amazon page, along with the half dozen that have already appeared on Goodreads. All of the above evidence and explanation has already been repeatedly sent to Amazon customer service, both from myself, and from my publisher. And what has Amazon done in response?

Absolutely nothing. Indeed, they have actively refused to take any action at all, falling back on the excuse that their algorithms have already determined the reviews are genuine, and no human actively polices them anyway.

This is, to put it mildly, disappointing coming from one of the largest and most powerful companies in the entire world. When all is said and done, I don’t really blame the trolls for their antisocial, maladjusted behavior, any more than I would blame a baby for soiling its diaper, or a college student puking up six hours of 2-4-1 Long Island Ice Teas in an Applebee’s sink on their 21st birthday. In all three cases, they simply have no control over themselves, and can’t be expected to do better.

But Amazon and other companies like Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit can be expected to do better. Indeed, we must demand they do. Targets of online harassment campaigns must be given the tools they need to combat these all-encompassing attacks, and their oppressors silenced.

Somehow, when it comes to our collective online lives, society has agreed to the perverse notion that people of accomplishment and status, be they actors, athletes, writers, or musicians, should just shut up and take it when harassed. “Don’t feed the trolls” people who have never been in the spotlight say, not realizing that trolls turn to stone in the presence of sunlight. Meanwhile, hordes of anonymous terrorists are somehow afforded infinite free speech rights, up to and including consequence-free libel, incitement to violence, and threats of bodily harm or death.

This social compact is not just counterintuitive, but utterly insane. It validates and encourages the dead worst behavior, from the world’s most awful people. It has poisoned social media and public discourse, and it must change.

I, for one, can’t be bothered to care. It is what it is. Maybe they should consider building their own platforms.

Scalzi explains the sad state of science fiction

Inadvertently, of course, but he does explain it:

Ugh, we’re talking about the “canon” of science fiction literature, again, for reasons (most imminently the recent Hugo award ceremony and its fallout), and whether, basically, newer writers and readers should and must slog through a bunch of books in the genre that are now half a century old at least, from a bunch of mostly male, mostly white, mostly straight writers who are, shall we say, not necessarily speaking to the moment.

I’ve essayed this before, because I’m me, but here’s my newest set of thoughts on the matter, also because I’m me. Ready? Here we go:

As a practical matter, the science fiction “canon” is already dead.

There are at least two generations of adults now, and two generations of genre writers, who didn’t grow up on it and fundamentally don’t care about it. Long gone are the days where a kid’s first introduction to the genre was a Heinlein or Asimov novel, smuggled out of the adult fiction section of the library or bookstore like samizdat. The Kids These Days got their start reading genre through the YA section and grew up on Rowling and Collins and Westerfeld and Black and Pierce and Snicket, and got their science fiction through film and TV and video games and animation and comics as much as if not more than from books.

I repeat: They don’t care about “the canon.” Why should they? What they grew up with was sufficient for what they needed — to be entertained when they became readers and fans, and to be inspired if they became creators and writers. The writers they read spoke to them directly, because the art was new and it was theirs, not their parents’ or grandparents’. And while one might sniffily declare that what those YA authors were doing had been done before, by [insert spreadsheet of who who did what first in genre, which in itself is probably incomplete and therefore incorrect], no one cares. For readers and developing writers, it doesn’t matter who got there first, it matters who is there now, when those readers (and writers) are developing their own tastes and preferences, and claiming their own heroes and inspirations, both in fiction and in terms of the people writing it.

Also, here’s a news flash: even those of us who are old enough that the “canon” might have some actual relevance to our development as writers didn’t necessarily have that much reverence for it back then.

If the canon is dead, then so too is the genre. SJWs always live in Year Zero, which is why they are totally incapable of creating anything that is either a) original or b) capable of lasting. The degradation of a culture is directly tied to the intentional abandonment of the canon and its declining influence on the culture. This is as true of the larger culture as it is of a sub-literary ghetto like science fiction.

This, of course, is why SJWs were so panicked about the Puppies successful assault on the Hugos and why they were so quick to converge the Dragon Awards. They know their work can’t even begin to compare to the works of the past, so they need to bury every sign of its influence. One thing I noted early on about SF-SJWs like Scalzi et al is that for all their derivative and imitative writing, they actually were not very well read in the science fiction genre and they didn’t even like most of it.

Which, of course, is why they can’t write it very well. This is why Castalia matters. This is why Castalia Library, in particular, is vital, because it cannot be erased by poseurs and pretenders.

Another gut punch for McRapey

It’s really remarkable to learn how many sexual predators John Scalzi is associated with, and apparently, even bankrolls:

This news story hit me like a punch to the gut. It features of accusations of sexual assault and domestic violence against Alan Beatts, the owner of Borderland Books. Borderlands is one of my favorite bookstores in the world; Alan is literally one of the first people I met in the science fiction and fantasy community, and a friend. He’s been a huge supporter of me and my work, and conversely I’ve been a supporter of him and Borderlands. It’s the store I’ve held all my San Francisco events at, basically for as long as I’ve been doing events at all. I’ve supported Borderlands annually as a patron, and I lent the store money to purchase a new building, which it’s currently in the process of moving to.

It actually and genuinely hurt to read these accusations, which I believe. I wrote yesterday on Twitter that I was in shock about it, and I still am. This one stirs up emotions for me in a way I’m not prepared to publicly quantify or express. Suffice to say it hits close to home on a number of levels.

So, about the money I gave to Borderlands for its new store. It’s a loan, and as a loan the store’s LLC pays me back a little each year. I’ve gotten a couple of payments on that loan to date.

At this point, one has to look a little askance at anyone with whom Scalzi associates. My top two suspects for future revelations of this type are Patrick Nielsen Hayden and Jim “McCreepy” Hines.

But seriously, how many confirmed sexual predators do you know? Whereas this guy is apparently surrounded by them. The thing is, pretty much the entire SF community is godless, immoral, and relentlessly depraved. That’s why, despite being an author who occasionally writes science fiction, I never wanted anything to do with them after attending my first and only science fiction convention, at which I was one of the featured guests.

I humbly accept

While I do not seek this grave responsibility, given the historical context of the current situation, if SFWA requires a POC President-for-Life in light of the horrific structural racism of the organization, I will humbly accept the position once the white racist Mary Robinette Kowal resigns her office:

Yesterday, SFWA announced a racist — and illegal via several Civil Rights statutes — action in which if you are a member of a certain race, you do not have to pay SFWA dues nor do you have to pay to attend their convention. Moreover, the California Incorporated SFWA announced they would be giving money from their coffers to causes which have nothing to do with club members nor science fiction.

As a corporation, SFWA has to abide by rules which do not discriminate via race, gender, religion, etc. And yet with their denying my entry when I duly qualify, and now these initiatives, they are showing that they do not respect minority authors at all, but view us as slaves who are too poor to be able to handle business as their “proper” white authors like Mary do, and also they believe we are too stupid to be able to handle our own charitable causes or have our own opinions on public matters which are different than what Mary or Cat (both white women) advocate for.

I recommend she step down from SFWA leadership and appoint a PoC in her stead who will guide SFWA in matters only someone who doesn’t try to culturally appropriate a cause would do. What Mary Robinette Kowal has done these last 24 hours and during her tenure of leadership of SFWA is deplorable and irredeemable and must be disavowed by any non-racists.

My program is straightforward.

  • Appoint an African editor of all SFWA publications. Preferably one who speaks an African language and does not speak the language of the oppressors.
  • Award the 2020 Nebula Best Novel Award to Octavia Butler (posthumous)
  • The 2021-2025 Nebula Best Novel Awards will be given to NK Jemisin, the greatest SF writer in the history of SF writing.
  • Award the 2020 SFWA Grand Master to NK Jemisin.
  • $5,000 annual reparations will be paid to all POC authors from a pool collected from the white membership of SFWA.
Anything less would be racist. #BlackLivesMatterMost

Black science fiction matters

These are the actions that SFWA is taking as first steps to clean our own house and work towards making our community safer for Black writers.

  • For the month of June, 100{105b5945f2a7891a3dd860d3a09046b26c32f8a07d097b566642738deee8841e} of registrations for the Nebula Convention content will go directly to the Carl Brandon Society and the Black Speculative Fiction Society.
  • We are creating a matching program for the Nebula convention so that each registration purchased this month creates a seat for a Black writer.
  • For the next year, we are waiving fees for SFWA membership for Black writers.
  • We are waiving registration fees for next year’s Nebula conference attendance for Black writers.
  • We are creating a travel fund to help defer the costs of Black writers attending the Nebula conference
  • We are committing to reaching out to Black-led science fiction and fantasy organizations about applying for the additional grant money that we have available. 
And here I would have thought handing NK Jemisin the Best Novel Hugo for three straight years would have bought them a certain amount of protection. Apparently not. But wouldn’t it be more meaningful if Tor Books agreed to publish only black authors for the next ten years to make up for their past racism?

And, of course, it’s a given that they will name Ms Jemisin the 2020 SFWA Grandmaster. Anything less would be r-r-racist!

Interpreting the Gamma

John Scalzi attempts to finesse a tricky social triangle. And he actually does a pretty good job of walking the tightrope, in which he simultaneously:

  1. Insinuates that he is friends with Neil Gaiman.
  2. Implies that he does not approve of Neil Gaiman’s heavily-criticized globetrotting excursion in the face of the Scottish lockdown.
  3. Insists that he is not obliged to publicly condemn Neil Gaiman’s behavior.
And all without actually staking a position to which he can be held accountable. Comments, of course, are closed. Secret King wins again!

A solid, creditable performance. I give it 8 of 10.

One can’t “ruin” Star Trek

Nor can it “collapse”, as it came into being pre-collapsed from the mind of a proto-SJW who sold it under false pretenses. All one has to know to confirm that an individual’s mind is intrinsically off-balance is to learn that he’s a fan of Star Trek in any iteration:

Star Trek very much embodied what liberal American white males of the 1980s and 1990s thought the future would (or should) look like: secular, sexually liberated, humanistic, meritocratic, equitable, and technological – a man’s world, basically. In this world, religion plays practically no role in public life. Problems are solved with diplomacy instead of violence. Money doesn’t exist, so there is no capitalism, greed, or want. People spend their lives bettering humanity and doing other such noble things like negotiating peace with aliens or exploring the universe in one of Starfleet’s advanced starships, each equipped with a plethora of miraculous technologies. In their leisure time, the crews of these starships visit a holographic room, the holodeck, which can conjure any fantasy into a photorealistic facsimile of the real thing.

Probably the only place in the Western world where this mentality can still be found is California’s Silicon Valley. As in the fictional world of Star Trek, men do most of the work; they advance through meritocracy; and there is something akin to a fraternal culture, irrespective of the prevailing progressive ideology. Silicon Valley is also still largely free of the odious diversity requirements imposed on the rest of society.

That was also once true of Hollywood itself, and it showed in the television they produced — Star Trek, for example. That franchise, spanning hundreds of television hours and a number of theatrical releases, was mostly helmed by men who got their jobs through merit – actors, writers, ship designers, show runners. The main characters of each of the television series were also men. The Original Series (TOS) featured a lead triangle of male actors – Kelley, Shatner, and Nemoy. The sequel, The Next Generation (TNG), featured mostly male characters, certainly all the most popular ones. These characters often featured something educated men are interested in: the second officer is an android; the chief engineer has a technology-supplemented vision; the executive officer is a ladies man and a master strategist who plays games of skill underpinned by mathematical rules; the captain is a wise and cultured authority figure who reads Shakespeare; the security chief is a noble warrior from an alien species whose culture is based around rules of honor.

Meritocracy in Silicon Valley? Silicon Valley is “largely free” of diversity requirements?

This guy is still stuck in 1985. When Star Trek was differently, but equally awful.

Asimov: portrait of a supergamma

The man who set the stage for modern science fiction in so many ways:

If you wanted to construct the most productive writer who ever lived, based solely on first principles, the result would look a lot like Asimov. He emerged in the pulp magazines of the 1930s, which rewarded writers who could generate reams of publishable prose on demand; he eventually learned to produce serviceable material after only two drafts. Asimov was a rapid typist; he was fond of enclosed spaces and hated to travel; he had a prodigious memory; and he specialized in popular science texts that could be researched straight from the dictionary, encyclopedia, or other common reference books.

When the playwright David Mamet was asked about his writing routine by John Lahr in The Paris Review, he said, “I’ve got to do it, anyway. Like beavers, you know. They chop, they eat wood, because, if they don’t, their teeth grow too long and they die. And they hate the sound of running water. Drives them crazy. So, if you put those two ideas together, they are going to build dams.” One could say much the same about Asimov, whose existing tendencies were enlarged—by fame, a receptive audience, and supportive publishers—into a career that bears the same relation to the output of most writers that the Great Wall does to the work of the average beaver.

When you consider Asimov’s treatment of women, you find an identical pattern. As a young man, he was shy and romantically inexperienced, which was reflected in the overwhelming absence of female characters in his fiction. He openly stated that his relationship with his first wife was sexually unfulfilling, and it was shortly after his marriage that his fingers began to rove more freely. While working as a chemist at the Philadelphia Navy Yard during World War II, he liked to snap women’s bras through their blouses—“a very bad habit I sometimes can’t resist to this day,” he recalled in 1979—and on at least one occasion, he broke the strap.

After the war, his reputation as a groper became a running joke among science fiction fans. The writer and editor Judith Merril recalled that Asimov was known in the 1940s as “the man with a hundred hands,” and that he “apparently felt obliged to leer, ogle, pat, and proposition as an act of sociability.” Asimov, in turn, described Merril as “the kind of girl who, when her rear end was patted by a man, patted the rear end of the patter,” although she remembered the episode rather differently: “The third or fourth time his hand patted my rear end, I reached out to clutch his crotch.”

It was all framed as nothing but good fun, as were his interactions with women once his success as an author allowed him to proceed with greater impunity. He writes in his memoirs of his custom of “hugging all the young ladies” at his publisher’s office, which was viewed indulgently by such editors as Timothy Seldes of Doubleday, who said, “All you want to do is kiss the girls and make collect calls. You’re welcome to that, Asimov.” In reality, his attentions were often unwanted, and women found excuses to be away from the building whenever he was scheduled to appear.

Given the psychosexual issues and socio-sexual shortcomings of Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, and Arthur C. Clarke, it’s not at all hard to understand why the two or three generations of boys who grew up reading them, and were influenced by them, featured so many sexually maladjusted individuals.

I think I was fortunate in that although I read all three of them, I was much more influenced by their contemporary, Jerry Pournelle, who, despite his prodigious IQ, was the only socio-sexually normal one of the four of them. Even as a boy, the two things that most struck me about Asimov was a) his infelicitous names for his characters, and b) his total inability to describe women or intersexual relations.