Well, it’s not every day that Mike Glyer uses his File 770 fanzine to insult me, so I guess I should be honored. I’ve been criticized for being an attention hog (look who’s talking) and for not knowing the various names of SF/F authors involved in the Baen Books forum debate (oh the horror…I didn’t kiss someone’s arse or something).
Anyway, here’s the link to the relevant Pixel Scroll. Scroll down for item 6.
Now here’s the screenshot since things sometimes go “poof” on the internet (keep on scrolling).
Baen books logo.
What a mess.
Scrolling through twitter this morning (it always comes back to twitter), I found Paul Weimer’s thread (never heard of him before this) citing File 770‘s article Baen Strikes Back; Sanford Under Growing Storm of Harassment.
As you may remember from my previous blog post, a whole bunch of nastiness has been happening, not really exactly at Baen Books, but because of an investigative piece written by Jason Sanford titled Baen Books Forum Being Used to Advocate for Political Violence.
That was three days ago and this has gotten anything but better.
According to the aforementioned “Strikes Back” write up, a number of people have come to Baen’s defense, and some of them in a spectacularly hostile manner (so much so that Sanford has temporarily locked down his social media accounts based on a great deal of harassment including death threats).
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
Addendum, 2-17-2021, 4:45 a.m. mountain time: Just an update from File 770 (still not a fan but it is an information source) on the whole Baen Bar fiasco. Of course, from that perspective, all conservatives are evil, but while 770 is also heavily biased, we must make certain that our own behavior and attitudes doesn’t support violence. No one is going to (I hope) cancel us because we believe in smaller government, the freedom to worship as we wish, free speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment, and eating actual beef hamburgers in opposition to the dictates of Bill Gates.
Original content starts here: Oh, good grief. Here we go again. I can just hear it. “All people even slightly to the right of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are Trump, Hitler, and Satan combined.”
What do I mean?
Well first off, a little personal background.
When I started reading science fiction in the 1960s and 70s, it was well before we had any idea of an “internet” much less “social media.” Today, we can investigate pretty much anyone’s past, at least up to a point. And not just individuals, but organizations as well. Thus we can make some sort of determination if we want to be associated with people and groups with a particular “reputation” before we partake of any of their “wares.”
Screenshot of James Pyles Amazon Author’s Page
I don’t visit Mike Glyer’s File 770 very often for a variety of reasons. One of them is that Glyer publishes content so frequently, and I don’t have the bandwidth to always consume it (so when I do visit, the sampling is very sparse). Also, having attempted to interact with his audience in the past, I’ve found at least a few of them to be remarkably hostile, and why talk to people who are going to hate you, right?
Anyway, curiosity got the better of me today and I peeked in at Pixel Scroll 12/4/20 The Rest Of The File, To Scroll Man, It’s… It’s A Filkbook!. I shot past the SFPA Officer Elections because I don’t care as well as someone eating a pizza, but stopped at “Hope for Libraries.”
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.