A couple of months ago, I entered the conversation in the Science Fiction and Fantasy world in a big way by daring to speak out about a long-time sci-fi convention and their bad behavior with the way they treat anyone who disagrees with their staff politically. I was very scared at first, because I’d always been taught that one has to be quiet, never rock the boat, or you’ll lose out on opportunities – and the fear is a rational one. Most of the Science Fiction world is controlled by insane self-professed “social justice warriors” who have such a high level of hate and vitriol for anyone different than them, that speaking out not only makes one worry about their professional opportunities in such a context, but also for personal safety. I’ve gotten my share of death threats, both from frequenters of this convention and from hard left internet trolls as a result – but I don’t regret the decision. What I’ve gained in return is a loyal readership that dwarfs the amount of people who attend this convention at all. That’s the power of the truth, and the sad truth is: Science Fiction and Fantasy publishing and fandom are a disaster, and something needs to be done before there’s none left.
My main premise was that BayCon, the convention I mentioned, needs to cut it out with the politics. They’ve been going at it for years, each year going harder into their extreme politics than the last. The current programming director has pushed this convention into a “down with the patriarchy!” theme in the past, and went so far as to having brought a professional fake victim, Brianna Wu, to be the guest of honor at another convention she ran rather than have an author or artist who creates relevant, fun entertainment.
When she was put in charge of programming this year, she decided to stick it to me because of my support of the president by removing me from speaking. An odd choice at best given that I had just released my debut novel, which has gone to be top-10 Amazon best selling in its genre and been award nominated. I am both more relevant and a bigger draw than ever before, and only on my way up. I’ve always brought a high degree of fun to the convention, always to high reviews from the attendees, of whom I still get messages from time to time asking if they’ll be seeing me there. My post, unlike their responses, was not a personal attack, but a call to action for the convention to return to science fiction fun, to entertainment, to a sense of wonder. I implored them to drop the politics schtick, as it turns people off.
They didn’t listen, but instead lashed out with insults, swearing, and attacking my credibility on fake news sites. The convention chair even sent messages to me attempting to gaslight me on these matters, all in an attempt to save their own public relations. Instead of figuring out how to work with a popular local author, politics trumped all for them. I’m big on forgiveness and moving forward in love, and have since offered to help right the ship since then, even to the point of doing volunteer work which they desperately need, despite everything they’ve done to me. They sadly have no sense of professionalism or even understanding of the marketing boon that my presence would bring them at this point. That’s the self-defeating problem with social justice warriors – they don’t even think about their own sense of business, but that’s a story for another blog.
I looked at their programming schedule which they released yesterday, and it turns out BayCon didn’t even listen to my base premise: stop with the politics. They showed they learned nothing, and doubled down to where their programming is going to be, for lack of a better term, a shit show.
Here’s what attendees have to look forward to spending good money on seeing in the programming:
Writing a Dystopia While Living IN One – Insane and shows a lack of any semblance of reality. Mankind in the west has it better now than any time in history. It’s the complete opposite of dystopia. Which means the whole point of this is to whine about current politics. This opens the convention and sets the tone for their highly politically charged Utopia/Dystopia theme. Could it get more awful?
Witch-hunts and Watch-lists – I’m sure they won’t even drop a mention of the witch hunts about Russia or the fact that we’re all spied on. Or the “disavow” crew that goes around blackballing people from publishing or speaking engagements. Of course they won’t, because they’re creating these witch-hunts and watch-lists.
Confused About Climate Science? – I’m not confused. Current Climate “Science” fails as a predictive model regularly and therefore has no credible value. Of course, no one on the panel will say that because they care more about “consensus” in a 1984 bizarro kind of way to not allow dissent. Science really starts sounding like an oppressive religion these days.
People of Color in Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Fandom – is everyone invited? – I played with this on Facebook yesterday because it’s so funny. The only people disinvited are outspoken Christians and Conservatives. That’s the only spot hate exists in sci-fi or geek publishing and fandom. All of the biggest Hispanic authors in the field are incidentally on the wrongthink side of the aisle. We are never invited to anything. There are no awards for us. No one in the establishment big publishing world gives us accolades, even though our readers are rabid for our stories. Should we start crying racism? Maybe we should.
Science Fiction as a Tool For Social Change – This should be fun. ‘nuff said.
Social Justice Dystopia – I mean when you’re having a PR problem because of your extreme politics, putting SOCIAL JUSTICE in the title of the panel is asinine. I aim to create a Social Justice Dystopia personally by making these people squirm with their hypocrisy when I point out their fake news.
Yikes. I’ve been put on panels like these in the past, and they usually get a handful of people in the room as no one wants to save up for a convention and hotel, go to have their fun weekend, and get angry lectures to feel crappy. We can go to our facebook walls and see all these same people going REEEEEEEEEEE for free.
One thing I will give BayCon credit for – is they have taken my other important advice to get rid of the inappropriate sexual content that has riddled the con both with a group that presents danger to attendees, but makes it so that families don’t want to come, as we don’t want our kids anywhere near that kind of thing. I give credit where credit’s due, but there’s a lot of work to do still.
Sci-Fi conventions are on a decline. They have been for a long time. Worldcon, the premier SF con, saw its membership drop dramatically because of their political B.S. Baycon is on a similar route unless they can get their act together and promote fun over politics. They already have to compete for the Memorial Day weekend in the area with:
Fanime – one of the biggest anime conventions in the weekend, where all the youth go as they can have their fun.
KublaCon – San Francisco area’s biggest gaming convention, wall to wall games, none of the drama that Baycon has to offer.
Clockwork Alchemy – Steampunk fun, themed and good cosplay. You can guess where I’ll be spending my weekend as I’ll be releasing my Steampunk novel, For Steam And Country, soon.
With these alternatives, why would any normal person spend their money on a politics whine-fest that lies in its marketing and calls it a Science Fiction convention? And why have the people running this not even bothered to ask that question, and instead attack anyone personally who dares try to make the convention a better place? Many of us worked hard for BayCon for a long time because we’d always gone there. But it’s just not fun. And if your organization is something that’s supposed to be fun… you’ve got a big problem. This is what happens when SJWs take over anything. You lose your focus, the organization morphs into something that it’s not supposed to be, and before you know it, you’re down the tubes.