Constant Discord from Imaginary Dragons

This is a quote from a Mr. Steve Davidson of Amazing Stories. If you have not heard his name before, neither have I. He has recently acquired rights to use the name of one of the most famous magazines of Science Fiction history, and has published two online versions to date.

Want to reconcile?  Here’s what puppies must do.

  1.     stop scamming the system.  If you want to recommend works that you think are worthy of the award, go ahead and do so.  But drop the political agenda (you’re [sic] dragons are imaginary) and eliminate the hateful, snarky commentary
  2.     stop attacking the very people who are offering you a bridge
  3.     please learn a little bit about the history of Worldcon and the Hugo Awards
  4.     if you want to be counted as Fans, then be Fans.  Fans who care attend Worldcon, nominate their conscience and attend the business meeting to effect change they think is needed.  They work WITH and within fandom – they do not set themselves up as a cabal that engages in fear and hate.

Good grief. Observe that by kicking up this smokescreen of false reconciliation, Mr. Davidson actually makes it more difficult for any parties wishing for true reconciliation (I believe George RR Martin is one such) to accomplish the task.

This advice is as illogical as it is dishonest.

After over a decade of commotion, crusade, and contumely created by the Social Justice Warriors, Morlocks, and Political Correction Officers insulting and savaging authors and editors for political noncompliance, we are told in a peremptory fashion that no such controversy exists.

Unless he means that we are dragons who are imaginary. The sentence as worded admits of some ambiguity.

For the sake of any undecided readers toying with the notion that the puppykickers have some sort of valid argument or same vestigial desire for peace, allow me to address Mr. Davidson’s four points in order.

Point One: Please note that in the same column he says ” Anyone can become a member and all members enjoy the same rights and privileges as any other member.”

So, when we Sad Puppies did exactly this, Mr. Davidson uses this as an example of us “scamming the system” and advises us, as a condition of reconciliation, that we stop.

Logically, since we cannot cease to do what was never done to begin with, the condition cannot be met. As if one offered peace to a confirmed bachelor on the condition he stop beating his wife.

And Mr. Davidson also uses this to contradict our (accurate) accusation that a small group of inside elite writers and editors over the last fifteen years has been manipulating and dominating the awards secretively, that is, scamming the system.

I trust any reader can see the error in logic here. If one argues that there is no inside elite to the Hugo voting on the grounds that everyone can vote equally hence scamming is impossible, one cannot in the same breath argue that the system is being scammed by our votes.

He then asks us to drop the political agenda.

Not theirs. Ours.

The sheer effrontery of the comment is stupefying. Our consistent public statements from the first have been a request to have stories judged on merit rather than on political correctness.

Mr. Davidson also, in another paragraph, simply denies that there is any political bias or bigotry or political correctness controlling the current Hugo voting.

But if that were so, then one would have to conclude that the independent and non-politically motivated judgement of the voters was that no story in any category length nominated last year was worthy of an award, and no editor performed any editing work worthy of the award, with the sole exception of ‘The Day the World Turned Upside Down’ by Thomas Heuvelt. Because if it were not a politically motivated vote, then the voters honestly thought nothing nominated that year was worthy of an award. But the voters themselves repeated and openly boasted of their political motivations.

Mr. Davidson demands proof that the non-puppies “self-identify” as social justice warriors. In the same column he rebuts the accusation that ill will is at work on the side of the puppykickers by saying “I did not need to mention any of the bigotry, misogyny and downright hate that often accompanied those other statements.”

I trust the contradiction is plain. He at the same time says there is no political bias among the status quo, and then says we are misogynists and bigots.

Point Two: Asking us to stop attacking the people offering us a bridge is an offer of the same type as above. It is a falsehood and a condition that cannot be met. No one has offered us any bridge, and no attack would be made on any who did.

As before, we cannot cease doing what we do not do. One side in this conflicted published actionable libels in the mainstream media that were so outrageously and obviously false that they were retracted within the hour. The other did not.

Your idea of building a bridge, I take it, was to vote No Award in all categories, laugh and vaunt and cheer that you stopped any effort to have an apolitical and honest award, and waved a wooden asshole in the air? I am unimpressed with the dilligance of your conciliatory attempt.

For the record, I was at the awards, and Mr. Martin did not, to my knowledge, invite any Puppies to the private party where he gave out mock awards to those who would have won had not our fans voted for us.

And even Mr. Davidson himself cannot restrain himself from the snarky, sneering, seething, clench-teethed hatred endemic to political correctness while he is in the act of allegedly proffering an olive branch.

Point three: This is mere posturing on Mr. Davidson’s part. I am as old as he, and have been in fandom as long, and have been a published author far longer.

Again, it is a lie that any ignorance about the history of World Con was a cause of the enmity between the Morlocks and the Puppies, and the accusation is made merely for the sake of accusation, because he has no trenchant accusation to make. We are innocent of wrongdoing, and he knows it. However, it is crucial for a Morlock to assume an air of moral and mental superiority, and when he can come up with no plausible falsehood to promote the illusion of superiority, an implausible one is used.

And, again, like asking a bachelor to cease beating his wife, this is a condition that cannot be fulfilled.

Point Four: in the same column where he claims our statement that the elite treats us as being wrongfans, he advises reconciliation by means of becoming trufans. He both says we are not called “not fans” and then says that we are not fans. I quote for the second time his comment:  “Anyone can become a member and all members enjoy the same rights and privileges as any other member.”

As being being members of a cabal that engages in fear and hate, this is not only yet another libel, and yet another condition that cannot be met (bachelors have no wives), it is also psychological projection.

Let us review who joins a cabal of fear and hate, shall we?

This is a quote from a column by Lawrence Person from April of last year (2015). It is the most accurate and correct summary of the Morlock invasion of science fiction as I have seen.

For the last several years, a vocal minority of Social Justice Warriors has wreaked havoc on the fabric of the science fiction community. Taking their clues from the Alinskyite “direct action” tactics of far-left political activists, they’ve carried out a virulent campaign against anyone unwilling to toe the political correct line on victimhood identity politics. Their tactics have included doxxing, online mobbings, demands people be fired from their day jobs for non-PC transgressions, numerous calls for censorship, demands that only politically correct language be used when it comes to race, sex, ethnicity, or anything to do with Muslims, and follow-up demands for “official policies” and “committees” to enshrine their extremists demands as institutional law.

Let me provide a few examples. They went after:

  • Norman Spinrad, for pointing out that, strictly speaking, Octavia Butler was no more African than Mike Resnick was. (It’s a shame that Butler, a first-rate writer capable of considerable subtlety and nuance, has been posthumously adopted as the totem of Social Justice Warriors evidently incapable of either). Several other writers (including the now-late Jay Lake) were viciously attacked for coming to Spinrad’s defense and saying that white writers could, in fact, successfully write about other races and cultures.
  • They attacked Orson Scott Card for opposing gay marriage, and for answering (truthfully) that the the Mormon Church considers homosexual acts sinful.
  • They forced WisCon, the feminist science fiction convention, to disinvite Elizabeth Moon as Guest of Honor (something that’s almost never done in the field) over the “crime” of penning an essay mildly critical of Islamand the planned Ground Zero Mosque.
  • They campaigned to get the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (an organization I formerly belonged to for many years) to institute a “sexual harassment policy“, even though SFWA (last I checked) only had one paid employee and no formal offices. Evidently they believe writers are such shirking violets they are unable to fend off unwanted advances with the time-honored tactics of saying “No” and the occasional slap.
  • Speaking of which, the mob got a Tor editor fired for “sexual harassment,” the nature of which has never (as far as I can tell) been elucidated, or elucidated as something so trivial that it would be laughed out of any court.
  • They got Locus Online, the electronic extension of the science fiction news magazine, to fire me from my part-time gig of reviewing movies on the site (frequently in collaboration with Howard Waldrop) because I made fun of WisCon over the Moon flap in an April Fools piece, which they convinced Locus‘s editor to take down. Because there’s nothing that refutes the image of Social justice Warriors as dour, humorless, thin-skinned avatars of political correctness with authoritarian tendencies like forcing a magazine to take down an April Fools piece.
  • They mobbed Mike Resnick and Barry Malzberg for having the unmitigated gall to call 1950s SF editor Bea Mahaffrey “beautiful” (which she was) in the course of noting that was a big reason the wives of many SF writers started attending SF social functions. (Of course, what reallyriled up the SJW set was Resnick and Malzberg having the sheer gall to defend themselves rather than offering up the standard groveling apology.)
  • They got British comedian Jonathon Ross to resign from hosting the Hugo Award ceremony at the London Worldcon because some of his jokes might have been politically incorrect.

This is not an exhaustive list. Most of the people they have gone after (Spinrad, Malzberg, Moon) are political liberals.

Science Fiction fandom has gone from a big, happy, occasionally fractious family where a far lefty like Harlan Ellison and a far righty like Jerry Pournelle could maintain friendships despite sharp political differences to one where Social Justice Warriors have injected constant discord into the community.

My comment: That was just the beginning. Here is a list of the basic reading needed to understand the controversy as it unfolded in real time:

So the spokesman for the force of constant discord tells us that in order to restore peace, we must cease being accused of four things we have never done: cheater who cheat the voting system, belligerents attack the innocent and scorn the peacemakers, ignoramuses who wallow in ignorance of trufandom, and malign saboteurs who nominate no works they honestly think worth merit but instead combine in a cabal of Hate and Fear.

Speaking for the Evil Legion of Evil and all Sad Puppies everywhere, I politely but utterly reject Mr. Davidson’s advice, on that grounds that it is not advice at all, merely a series of falsehoods and false accusations known by my side as well as by your side to be false, and believed by neither.

Let us consult the Three Law of Social Justice to apprehend the meaning of this otherwise inexplicable verbal behavior of saying things one knows fool no one, and which one does not believe oneself.

  • SJWs Always Lie; Mr. Davidson here indulges in more than one lie per sentence.
  • SJWs Always  Double-down; Mr. Davidson here offers no apologies and admits no shortcomings on his own part nor on the part of the puppy kickers, but voices his resolve to stand at his guns, despite the transparency of his false position and despite the silliness of the nonsense he speaks.
  • SJWs Always Project: Mr. Davidson here accuses us of being what our foes are, interlopers to science fiction, motivated by politics and an all-consuming malice based on race and sex and religion, who log-rolled votes, and who care nothing for fandom.

True fans of the genre would not go to such lengths to insult Jim Butcher and Keven J. Anderson, who are well regarded in the field. Mr. James May has collected year after year of the most outrageously hate-filled racist and misanthropic statements uttered online by the ringleaders of the social justice movement in SFF, including vows to read nothing by white men, and vaunts when all white men are shut out of certain awards, and the most scurrilous attacks on the founders and pioneers in our genre, not based on their writing, never based on their writing, but solely based on their race and sex.

The puppy kickers are enemies of science fiction, not it fans.

But I am a peaceful soul at heart. Therefore: Here is my counter offer, which a vile, faceless minion of Our Supreme Dark Lord suggested, and which, in my offices as Grand Inquisitor of the Evil Legion of Evil Authors I hereby adopt.

For fear of retaliation from you and yours, he hides his name under the name of UNKNOWN, a famous SF magazine. I add not one word to his pristine prose:

Here’s what it will take to make peace, at least as far as this Vile, Faceless Minion is concerned:

1) The Dark Lord of the ELoE must be reinstated to full (and fully paid-up) membership in the SFWA, with full apologies from the board. Failing that N. K. Jemison, John Scalzi, and PNH must be immediately expelled from SFWA.

2) Formal, written apologies from the Board and David Gerrold for intentionally, basely and without provocation, insulting every single nominee for last years Hugos.

3) Every child molester, including MZB, Delaney, Clarke Breen and any others, must be expelled, if still a member, and any awards they have ever received must be rescinded.

4) A formal policy must be in place, with defined procedures for handling suspicions or allegations of child sexual abuse, both at WorldCon and SFWA events, and outside those events by their members.

5) A promotional effort at the next several WorldCons to publicize the history of child molestation at SF events and to inform Con goes how to report any suspicions or allegations.

6) Drop the proposed E Pluribus Hugo nominating rules.

7) add a new category of WorldCon member, WrongFan, with a membership price of $10, consisting of the right to vote in only one Hugo race.

8) Change the SFWA membership rules to allow independent and self-published authors equal access.

And Finally,

9) Every single person on your side of the kerfluffle must personally apologize to John C Wright and buy one of his books. I don’t demand that you read them, I expect they’re beyond the ability of most of your side to appreciate.

That’s what it would take. Are you willing to come to the table, or are you going “to attack the very people trying to build a bridge”?

My comment: If the puppykickers actually wanted peace, something other than a sneering, condescending, libelous, logically impossible and nakedly untruthful call for our total surrender will be needed to open any negotiation.

I think I speak for all Puppies, both Sad and Rabid, when I say, I desire nothing whatsoever from the Morlocks aside from their silence and absence.

I wish the Morlocks to cease preying on us. I have no desire to negotiate with them. They have nothing of value to offer.

To all Morlocks in general and Mr. Davidson in particular, here is my message of reply:  I want you to stop your deconstruction, desecration, and destruction of our beloved science fiction genre, which we love, and to stop libeling, reviling and lying about the authors and editors who love the genre, and who are bold enough and kind enough to oppose your efforts.


I suspect you are too weak psychologically and too corrupted spiritually to be able to cease your attacks. I suspect you do not stop because you cannot.

If you were capable, in the name of honesty or professional courtesy, to show common decency to those you are driven arbitrarily to attack, berate, and victimize, and despise, you would have done so long ago.

If you could coexist with us, you would have done so long ago by the simple expedient of ceasing to attack us. So shut your  foolish mouth, control your childish emotions, get out of our way, and let those of us who love science fiction get on with the serious business of having fun.

* * *

Here me now. I speak to all puppy-kickers, Morlocks, CHORFs and killjoys:

The political opinions, race, sex, sexual orientation, faith, private lives or public worship of your follow fans and writers, and the way we tell stories, and the way we enjoy stories, are not any of your damned business.

You are not our judge and jury, not our mother nor our father-confessor, that you have leave to weigh, criticize, and condemn everything we do, think, and say.

You lust with an unholy lust to act as Thought Police over us and force us into conformity with your sick, sad, nonsensical, ugly, malign, nihilistic and self-destructive vision of life.

No matter your number, fortunes, strength or situations, I defy you and I vow on the altar of Almighty God eternal enmity to all forms of tyranny over the mind of man.

I regret that this sick, sad, grotesque and terrible culture war had to come to my own small genre of rocketship stories, my very doorstep; but if when foe will never relent and cannot cease from his malice, all men of good will must take up the sword and throw the scabbard away.