If you are a regular follower of my blog you already know I don’t blog all that much. But you also may have noticed that I haven’t posted here in nearly three weeks. If you happen to be amongst my followers on Facebook and Twitter, you probably noticed my absence there until the last couple of days.
Well, the reason for this is simple. No, I wasn’t sent to Club Twitmo or Facebook Jail for an inappropriate (or even a conservative) post on social media. No, I wasn’t kidnapped by aliens or anything else.
I moved. Not across town or across the state. I mean I and my household moved halfway across the United States. And we did so on pretty short notice too. Shortly after the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival my wife was offered a job she couldn’t turn down.
Which meant we had to get ourselves and our belongings from Thousand Oaks, CA to Omaha, NE. A week after she said yes, the movers arrived to load everything we had spent a week packing. A week after that, the movers arrived at our new home in Omaha – one short day after we ourselves had pulled into town.
It was hectic. It was a whirlwind. And it did not leave me a whole lot of time to get online and do anything.
What did not help was my father falling ill in Texas and having to be rushed into emergency surgery at four in the morning two days after the decision to move was made. Thanks to some very skilled medical people my father is still with us. He has at least six more weeks of recovery in the hospital at a minimum. But at this time he is fully expected to walk out of that hospital under his own power. A lot better outcome than the one our family was bracing for that first long day.
So you can see why my online presence was nearly non-existent this month. Try organizing a 1,600-mile move in your head while your heart is another thousand miles away in a different direction. Trust me, everything else gets put into the “I will deal with it later” folder until further notice.
A Lot Happened
As usually happens, all sorts of interesting things happened whilst I was away. One incident was very similar to what happened to our family – albeit on a much smaller scale.
When my father fell ill, the immediate family pulled together. My mom, myself, my siblings and their spouses all were there for each other as much as possible. It is what strong families do in times of crisis.
Unfortunately, the event shattered some familial ties when it came to extended family. (Aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.) While most also rallied to aid family in trouble, others did not. It led to a rift I fear may never be mended. When one person tells the other that, because of what they did, if they show up at the hospital they will be thrown off the roof (an eight-floor building) you get the idea that a wound has been suffered that may never heal.
It got ugly. I’m not happy to see it happen. But it did and we’ll have to sort it out down the line.
A Wound In SF/F
I have seen a similar wound/rift in the science fiction/fantasy realm in recent months. It seems just when the healing process is about to begin, another gash is administered and the wound is ripped open further.
Not too long ago, Jon Del Arroz was pre-crimed in a way not even Philip K. Dick could have foreseen. The organizers of WorldCon76 decided that only thinking about doing something someone might object to (wearing a bodycam to document any potential physical attack upon his person – yeah they said that was a crime) and they banned him from attending an event he had already bought a ticket for and that is open to the public.
Recently, John Ringo, a best-selling author, was disinvited as an attending pro to ConCarolinas. John had done nothing wrong. But he did have the nerve to defend himself from a verbal attack launched at him during a previous convention. This is apparently now a crime as well. ConCarolinas couched his dis-invitation as their concern for his welfare and safety.
So apparently, we punish the victim and take no action against the actual wrongdoers, who are also apparently very much welcome to attend ConCarolinas I might add.
Adding to the stupidity, some poster on File770 (Nope, I don’t link to that vile site) claimed John was trying to lure underage girls to his suite at FenCon. The post stayed up on the site with no regular poster saying anything against the post or questioning its validity.
John addressed the post, completely proving the allegation was a lie, threatened legal action and only when FenCon also released a statement calling the entire post a horrid lie did the Lord of The House Of 770 Vile Aromas, Mike Glyer, bother to pull it down and offer a lame correction. Only then did any regular there attempt to claim they doubted the story in a dubious attempt at CYA.
Completing the trifecta about 10 days ago, best-selling author Larry Correia was announced as a guest of honor at a gaming con and quickly removed as a guest of honor within hours.
It seems a snowflake doesn’t like Larry’s positions on certain issues. And because his opinion is not word-for-word the same as theirs, he too must be punished. The Con removed him, apologized to the offended snowflake and made this statement:
“We believe in inclusivity.”
And they showed just how “inclusive” they are by excluding someone for having a differing opinion. Good grief!
What Is To Come
This is all part of a disturbing trend within the SF/F community. We’ve splintered and are drawing “Us vs Them” battle lines. No quarter can be given to the “enemy” lest “wrongthink” take hold.
The problem is I don’t see things getting any better anytime soon. There is a small group of very vocal rabid activists that are looking to attack anyone in SF/F that they feel is to the right of Lenin. They are threatening assault and slandering these authors until the Con they were planning to attend bans or uninvites the targeted author.
As you can imagine, those being targeted are getting sick of this and are starting to push back – hard. This is how wars start. Just look at the 30-40 years leading up to the U.S. Civil War. The North kept pushing, the South got tired of it and hundreds of thousands of dead men later we’re all wondering why a peaceful resolution could not have been found.
Will it come to this in SF/F? I certainly hope not. But unless the Cons step up and tell these rabid activists to go pound sand, these people are going to keep doing this. Eventually, those targeted are going to say enough is enough.
When, and if, that happens, it is a wound that may never mend.
Where I Will Be
As for myself, I am tentatively scheduled to be on a panel at O Comic Con in Council Bluffs, Iowa in July. I am also an attending pro at DragonCon in Atlanta on Labor Day weekend. I intend to go to both events, meet some new SF/F fans and have a good time. Nothing more, nothing less. My philosophy at the events will be the same as my everyday philosophy: You leave me be, I’ll leave you be.
Could I be the next target for these rabid activists? Maybe. My good friend Declan Finn figures he and I just might be next up on the hit list.
I’ve already discussed the possibility of bringing legal action against any such attack with my attorney if I am targeted. We are thinking of $5 million dollars each against Glyer/File 770 and Camestros Felapton for their well-documented libel and slander in their own posts. There would be an additional $1 million per person, per post (Facebook, Twitter, File 770, Felapton’s website and any other social media site) against anyone who attempts to slander my name enough to get me disinvited to any event I have been invited to.
I rather hope we won’t have to take such action. My personal belief is that the SF/F tent is large enough for all of us to fit under. And if there are those inside that you don’t wish to see or speak to there are many other areas of the tent you can go to.
But no one has the right to deny anyone entry into the SF/F tent. No one has the right to determine by themselves who everyone else in SF/F fandom gets to meet or read. It is time a few anarchists learn that lesson.