Promotional image for the HBO series “Lovecraft Country”
Every once in a while, I visit Mike Glyer’s File 770 SciFi fanzine. I used to follow them and get email updates of new posts, but either due to an accidental technical glitch or me being deliberately booted off for being an “undesirable,” those notices stopped.
Anyway, I was scrolling through Pixel Scroll 8/15/20 To Clickfinity And Beyond! and came across a link to HBO’s ‘Lovecraft Country’ Brings Viewers To A World Of Monsters, Magic and Racism.
I didn’t learn about famed horror writer H.P. Lovecraft’s racism until this last round of Hugos when he was denounced along with a lot of other dead white men.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Lovecraft’s monsters and his racism have both been twisted into a show set in the 1950s which features both:
Mike Glyer (right) sitting with Marty Cantor – April 2008.
The other night it occurred to me that I hadn’t received an email notification of any posts on File 770 for over a week. That seemed rather odd to me since Mike Glyer writes on his “fanzine” rather frequently. Frankly, he’s pretty “chatty.” I thought the emails were going to a different tab in Gmail, but no. Then I checked my spam folder just in case, but again, no emails from File 770.
So I looked, and as of this writing, the latest File 770 post is from today. In fact, not a day has gone by when Mike Glyer hasn’t posted something on his fanzine.
I checked my WordPress Reader to see if they showed up there. Nope. Not present. So where have my notification emails been going?
Undated photo of the late author Marion Zimmer Bradley found at Wikipedia
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.
Logo from Tiptree.org
A few days ago on File 770, Chris M. Barkley wrote a guest piece called “Barkley — So Glad You (Didn’t) Ask: A Column of Unsolicited Opinions #44”. In it, he presented his wrap up of the whole award name/honors messiness involving mystery writer Linda Fairstein, John W. Campbell, Jr., James Tiptree, Jr/Alice Sheldon, and yes, even the “sainted” Hugo Gernsback (the Hugos will be named after him forever, regardless of his reputation in life…go figure).
You can click the link I provided above to read Barkley’s well considered commentary, but toward the end of his lengthy missive, he said:
Found at knowyourmeme.com
Oh heck. I wasn’t going to comment on this here. Seriously. I admit, when I saw the title of the File 770 article Fandom, Entitlement and Toxicity I had a pretty good idea of what it was all about. When I saw the author was my old “friend” Hampus Eckerman (really, we’ve only had brief online encounters, but they were pretty unpleasant) I was sure of it.
Turns out I was wrong.
What Eckerman was really saying was that his “ownership” of certain characters and franchises, he focuses on “The Amazing Spider-Man” comic book, can lead us as fans to respond pretty badly at times when the creators of these pieces of work do something that rubs us the wrong way.
Image found at DragonCon.org
I’m new to the whole hype over awards for science fiction and fantasy, well, ever since last year when I learned about the controversy involving the Hugos and the so-called Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies.
However, I’ve been paying attention to the Dragon Awards. Unlike most other awards of this type, anyone who has internet access can register for no cost and be able to vote for their favorite authors, books, television shows, and so forth (in other words we mere mortals). I even voted myself, but unlike others, the purpose of this blog post isn’t to share who I favored.
I discovered at least three other commentaries on the Dragons: File 770‘s Mike Glyer, Camestros Felapton‘s, an apparently associated blog which I’ve just started following, and Richard Paolinelli’s SciFiScribe.
They all had slightly different takes.
Photo of the late author Brad Linaweaver. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License. Attribution: Caran Wilbanks
I’ll say this upfront, I had no idea who Mr. Linaweaver was before today, and I apologize if what I’ve written here is offensive to anyone. It’s not my intent. Here’s what happened.
I was catching up with posting’s on Mike Glyer’s File 770 SF fanzine when I came across an article called Brad Linaweaver (1952-2019). First of all, I’m chagrined to say that up until this writing, I had no idea who Linaweaver was and now it’s my mission to read his works. After all, I’m barely two years younger than he is, or rather was.
As I said above, I absolutely mean no disrespect upon him or his loved ones in writing this wee essay, but something Glyer wrote not only caught my attention, it seized it in an iron grip:
I met Brad long ago through other Libertarian fans and knew about his good sense of humor – he attended the satirical Hogu Ranquets organized at Worldcons by Elst Weinstein and John Novak. –emph. mine
I’m sorry, did Glyer just call himself a libertarian? Trust me, I’m amazed.
Author Anthony Gramuglia – found at Goodreads
I recently wrote three related blog posts: Jeannette Ng’s Campbell Award Acceptance Speech and Here We Go Again, Science Fiction, Opinions, and Why It’s Okay to Disagree, and especially The Sins of John W. Campbell Revisited. That last one started something of a minor storm in the comments section at File 770, Mike Glyer’s popular SciFi fanzine.
Although I’m still following that site, I haven’t commented there again since, what’s the use? Most people there ignored me (which is fine), one disagreed with me but was pretty civil about it, and two called me “dishonest” and “racist.” I ignored one and actually had to block the other on twitter since he looked me up just so he could continue to troll me.
File 770 does what they call Pixel Scrolls which I gather are collections of all the latest SF/F news, including noteworthy birthdays and such.
I slowed down when I saw a link to Steve Davidson’s article On Renaming Awards. I had previously mentioned that if John W. Campbell’s name was to be removed (and it has been), that perhaps all other awards named after people should be examined, just in case the person in question had a “difficult” past. I pulled Hugo Gernsback’s name out of a hat since the famed Hugo Award is named after him. Lo and behold, Davidson seems to have been thinking the same thing, but in his case, explained why Gernsback’s rather checkered past (in terms of his allegedly shady business dealings) won’t result in the Hugos being renamed.
Author Jeannette Ng – image found at the Angry Robot website
Just for giggles, I revisited the comments at File 770‘s article Storm Over Campbell Award. As you may recall from my own wee missive Jeannette Ng’s Campbell Award Acceptance Speech and Here We Go Again, Ms Ng, a fantasy writer based in the UK, was recently given the John W. Campbell award for best new writer, which she accepted, and then went on to point out Campbell’s terrific flaws, which included being a fascist.
There are now over 200 comments on Mike Glyer’s commentary on Ng and Campbell, and of course, they all damn Campbell, some even comparing him (more or less) to Mussolini. Further, one person said that anyone with even the tiniest hint of actually liking anything Campbell ever did is considered a fascist sympathizer. Really. I had heard of Campbell, but before this, I never had any idea about his political beliefs.
However, even according to Wikipedia, while he may or may not have been a fascist, he certainly was a racist.
His opinions go far beyond the occasional “joke in bad taste,” and many well known authors, including Michael Moorcock and Isaac Asimov, lambasted Campbell for his even then unpopular and heinous ideas.
Screen capture of a portion of Mike Glyer’s online fanzine “File 770”
Having (finally) successfully subscribed to Mike Glyer’s File 770 online SciFi fan newzine, I find that most of what this rather prolific blog puts out doesn’t catch much of my interest. Of course, with WorldCon Dublin coming up next month, a lot of the content is focused there. They also put out a tremendous number of articles about various awards, again, most of which I don’t have an interest in.
However, I did pause to read Neffy Award Ballot Is Out. I’d never heard of the Neffy Awards, so I looked them up.
But before that, I took a look at the ballot, which lists science fiction and fantasy works nominated in a number of categories. They include Best Novel, Best Shorter Work, Best Book Editor, Fanzine, TV Show, Movie, Anime, and so forth. Needless to say, I didn’t recognize any of the names and most of the category entries. Oh, I have heard of “Game of Thrones” and I used to watch “Supergirl,” but that was about it. This reminded me that as a “fan,” I’m probably really lacking in keeping up with what’s current (to find out what I’ve been reading and watching lately, go to my Reviews page).