The world is a funny place. On Mike Glyer’s “fanzine” File 770 this morning, I read an article called New Child Porn Charge Against Ed Kramer. I’d never heard of Ed Kramer before, so I looked him up. According to Wikipedia, he is:
an American editor and convicted child molester. Kramer lives in Duluth, Georgia and was a co-founder and part-owner of the Dragon*Con media convention. Kramer has also edited several works in the genres of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Before pleading guilty in 2013 to three counts of child molestation, Kramer was the subject of a long-running legal battle that began with his initial arrest in August 2000.
The word DragonCon got my attention. DragonCon has been associated with more conservative elements in Science Fiction and Fantasy. In and of itself, that means nothing. If you’ve been sexually abusing children or been into child porn, you are evil and deserve to be in prison, regardless of your politics.
But what gets me is that certain demographics in SF/F fandom seem to give other, similar people a pass because of their politics and because they are feminists, or at least they seem to do so.
To be fair, in my former article, many leftist science fiction authors and editors have condemned Bradley and Breen for their crimes, but not all of them. Further, and perhaps just as important, there is a long running fantasy anthology series that bears Bradley’s name and is published to this very day.
I’ve written about Jeannette Ng’s outrage against the late John Campbell, even as she accepted an award named after him, about his sins, about how the name James Tiptree Jr/Alice Sheldon is to be removed from an award all because they were “evil.”
But when it comes to the Marion Zimmer Bradley anthology, the voices of righteous outrage are silent.
Yes, I’ve engaged a couple of voices (exactly two) on twitter who are (seemingly) leftists who condemn Bradley and who didn’t even know about the anthology. The result was, well…nothing. No outrage. No call to larger fandom to remove her name. Nothing.
Look, if Kramer is guilty, even being disabled and wheelchair bound, he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and put in prison for the rest of his life. After all, Breen was and he too died in prison. However, to allow Bradley to continue to be honored by naming an anthology after her when Campbell and Tiptree were stripped of similar honors seems a tad inconsistent if not massively hypocritical.
You can’t have it both ways. If someone is guilty of hurting children, they are wrong and I don’t care about their politics.
If Glyer or others have a different perspective, then Heaven help them. They are wrong, too.
When there is equal outrage against Bradley and the anthology named after her is renamed, then I’ll take Glyer, Ng, Jemisin, and others who complain about inequality a bit more seriously.