Irene Gallo

Irene Gallo is the adroit, talented and able director of the Art Department at Tor Books. In many places and at many times, I have praised and thanked Irene Gallo for her wonderful work on the cover art for my books.

I thought she and I were members of the same team, partners in a joint endeavor to bring you high quality science fiction. I have always treated her with courtesy, and, indeed, loyalty. I would have expected the same in return.

She has decided to join other top brass at Tor Books in describing me and Kevin J Anderson, a small and a large Tor author currently up for Hugo Awards thanks to the effort of the Sad Puppies, in the following terms:

I am not making this up. The original link is here

And the link to the archived page is

I had no idea she had this opinion of me, or so much contempt for the books she adorned so skillfully.

My father in law, may he rest in peace, was a Jew serving in the US Military during World War Two in the European Theater. In fact, he won a Purple Heart medal for wounds to his hands he received while liberating a Nazi death camp. His unit was standing about idly, troopers on one side of the wall, ragged prisoners on the other, waiting for the carpenter to arrive with tools to tear down the planks, but in a fury of impatience he did it with his bare hands, like a superman. He turned down the award, thinking others whose wounds were from the enemy deserved it, not he. That is the kind of man he was, an odd mixture of towering ego and meek humility.

Irene Gallo should have been penning me polite notes of congratulation on receiving an historically unprecedented number of  awards for the prestigious Hugo Award, and rejoicing that any victory for me or for Mr Anderson (who would be receiving his first ever Hugo for his life’s work producing over 50 bestsellers) would reflect well on our main publisher whom we both loyally serve, Tor Books.

Instead, Irene Gallo just said I was a member of the barbaric and racist National Socialist totalitarian political movement that my family fought, suffered, and shed blood to expunge from the earth.

What is the honorable thing for me to do, dearest readers?

I am not asking what is in my short term fiscal interest, which is not my sole, nor even my primary, motive.

More to the point, what is the honorable thing for you to do?

* * *

Allow me to forestall any uninformed comments asking me to merely get over my emotional reaction or hurt feelings.

There is no emotive reaction. There are no hurt feelings. I have little or no concern with feelings.

The question here is not Irene Gallo as a private person uttering these libels. The question here is why she is repeating the libels issued by Patrick Nielsen Hayden and Teresa Nielsen Hayden and Moshe Feder, who are likewise highly ranked editors within the corporation.

This implies, but does not prove, that we are not dealing with private opinion but the official stance of the corporation. I have asked my editor to have Tor Books rebuke this libel. Time will tell.

Hence, to continue to deal with this corporation in a loyal, professional and businesslike way, when I am being treated unprofessionally by libels which hurt our mutual sales and demean both my good name and the good will of the company’s patrons, this becomes a matter of honor, that is, a matter related to the logic of dignity, due worth, and mutual respect.

We are not dealing with a mob. We are not dealing with a stranger.

We are dealing with the person who (very ably) designs my book covers, that is, a partner.

She and I make the book together and present them to the reader. It is a team effort. Well, one member of the team is cheering for the rival team.

Let no one pretend emotion is involved. This is a matter of principle. I trusted, and I was betrayed. It is rational for me to trust again? Or should I ask my readers and patron to boycott my work, and the work of other able authors (including Gene Wolfe) whom I greatly admire?

I ask because I am not certain, and I would like my readers to help me with this question.

But it is no help to answer another question, an emotional question, where I have no confusion and need no advice. How to deal with any alleged hurt feelings is a question I did not ask.


UPDATE: Well, that was quick.

Irene Gallo has posted again:

About my Sad/Rabid Puppies comments: They were solely mine. This is my personal page; I do not speak on behalf of Tor Books or I realize I painted too broad a brush and hurt some individuals, some of whom are published by Tor Books and some of whom are Hugo Award winners. I apologize to anyone hurt by my comments.

Since she did not insult me by name, she need not apologize to me by name. The modern fashion is to assume one knows facts not in evidence, and to pretend one knows the inner hearts of others, and judge accordingly. The judgment is always condemnatory. The modern fashion is to reject apologies if they seem insincere.

I am not a modern man. The insult was pro forma, ergo a pro forma apology is sufficient. I do not care about her emotions any more than I care about mine. I do not care about sincerity.

My personal honor is satisfied.

I do not need any further words from her, nor does she owe me anything more. I look forward to working with whomever Mr Doherty hires to replace her.

The honor of my readers, who were also equally insulted, however, is theirs to look to.

I have heard that some of my readers are stacking up all their Tor books, photographing them, and sending them to the Tor and Macmillan management with a politely worded note mentioning how welcome the lady’s resignation will be when it comes.

I, for one, will regret the event, since a woman of such superlative skill will be hard to replace, but I am confident that Mr Doherty will not insist on keeping her at her tasks in the face of her own shame and regret.

How could she, in good conscience, design a book cover for authors she has so bitterly, absurdly and erratically libeled, and proffer it to book buyers for whom she equally has shone such scorn and mind-destroying hate? It would be cruel of him to insist on her continuing to labor under such adverse and unhappy conditions.