What a month it’s been! September saw about the largest smear campaign ever run against me since I’ve come on the scene as a science fiction writer and journalist. I’d thought it was bad in August when the Dragon Award finalists were announced, and NYT Bestselling Author John Scalzi took to twitter to make chain-tweet rants about me and shake his fist. He got a fellow NYT Bestseller Chuck Wendig to write a passive aggressive article on his blog about me, and we all saw the bizarre Facebook post Wendig wrote about me even though I’d never talked to him before. Then there was the Codex Writers group — whose industry insiders conspired together to remove me from their “pro writers club” despite the fact that I in no way violated their rules, and their moderators actually did violate their rules in nasty personal attacks on me without repercussion. Moreover, they were proud of it. I cancelled my subscription to Locus Magazine because one of these moderators works for them, and I’m not going to support that kind of behavior financially.
This month, my article on discrimination against males in sci-fi publishing made this blog’s traffic go through the roof again. Just doing some work counting up stories and asking questions about a podcast’s “Artemis Rising” event where a professional science fiction outfit openly advertises only accepting stories by women (or those who identify as women, please men, submit and say you’re women! they cannot question you or they’re bigots) made authors from Tor jump on me, and the magazine account itself attack me.
Because of that article SFWA’s president engaged in nsulting behavior toward me, of which she pushed it far too far, and then misled her followers by acting like I attacked out of nowhere from responding to her. Her actions escalated to the point where because of her toxic posts about me, it inspired a troll to go over the line and target my family last week. Both Ms. Rambo and SFWA have not disavowed or said a word about this behavior — I can only imagine they endorse and support it in their hate-fueled rage against indie authors who speak out.
Instead, they doubled down, because SJWs always do. Early this week I received a lot of attacks from mid-list authors, SFWA members and the like. There was a concerted effort to go after me, one to push further than before to make sure I’m blackballed or ostracized. People I didn’t know came after me hard. The bully tactics worked to some degree, several large name science fiction friends (ones I’ve bought drinks for, lunch for, know in person and have spoken with on the phone, talk about disloyalty!) defriended me, disavowed me, because they apparently felt threatened by what being “associated” — yes it’s that ridiculous that these people will comb through to see if they have the “wrong” facebook friends — worries them for their careers.
SFWA was leading the charge on this, because they are still incredibly outraged that I did some journalism proving that men had a harder time getting published than women, proves they are not a club for writers. They do nothing for writers. In fact, they hate any writer who dares talk against the narrative. I humbly suggested they change their name from Science Fiction Writers of America — since they’re so opposed to real Americans and the President (look at all their officers’ twitter accounts! Ugly stuff and a bad look) — to a more accurate, true name, Science Fiction Writers of Antifa.
They didn’t like that.
There is no place for disagreement in science fiction, no place for fact-based articles showing where discrimination truly takes place. There is only the narrative, and we’ll make our echo chamber smaller! It’s a religion to them, which is why they get so crazed about heretics.
The final front where I did an expose in journalism was breaking the story on Diversity & Comics, and how radical alt-left comic professionals, big names in the industry, were conspiring to goad him into committing a crime and getting kicked out of conventions, all because they hate his very poignant reviews on comics. A LOT of people came here from that, and hello to my new friends! As you see, since this, my troll activity on the blog has increased considerably. I let them say what they want, and they even criticize me for that lol. Never anything good to say.
Now I titled this about winning, and it looks like it’s just been a huge fight-fest with not much to show for it. Cower Not, Fierce Reader! (Tagline stolen, check out the very good book/game review site it comes from. I read it every day.)
A busy month! And the overwhelming attacks from multiple fronts look dire for your humble leading Hispanic voice in science fiction…
But here’s the honest truth: the industry professionals shrieking, panicking in closed circles are a very small handful of people with seemingly loud voices. But their voices are in a small, shrinking echo chamber as people see what happens over and over, and they tune out.
On the flip side, I get at least 3-4 messages a day, sometimes more, from people thanking me, saying they wish they were this brave, they see the heat I take, and they’re supporting me. These messages come from big industry professionals who I will never out for their safety (you’d be surprised! I’m honored in a few cases to be on some radars), and most importantly: readers.
For every hate post that a SFWA crony makes about me, I get 100 readers on the blog or buying my books because they appreciate what I’m doing. And usually once they’ve read For Steam And Country, they love the books even more because they’re just politics-free good fun, unlike what my enemies are creating. My reviews are great, and they’re flooding in.
Moreover I’ve made great new allies and friends in the comic review world. There’s Diversity & Comics, Comics Division, Weaponized Nerd Rage, Douglas Ernst and several others. They all want to make comics fun again and they’re not only helping me gain even bigger followings, but are providing some great conversation where we can talk about books critically and honestly and have a good time doing so. It’s great.
I checked in with a lot of my audience yesterday. With the amount of worried gaslighting I get from the professionals, I had to make sure that I’m still connecting there, which is all that matters at the end of the day. The message my readers gave me was clear: keep fighting the good fight, we’ve got your back.
I’ve never seen such loyalty, never had such a friend base in my life I’ve thought “wow, these are my people and they get me.” I do now. And it’s because I dared speak truth against the establishment. The support is tremendous, and there is nothing to fear.
Super-mega bestselling author of Galaxy’s Edge, Nick Cole, said this about the matter, and he really said it best:
You’re better off without them. Writers don’t need other writers. Especially SJW writers. They need readers.
I’ve been blacklisted and my sales are AWESOME.
No one cares what writers think. Only what they write.
This was the turning point for me. When the attacks happened, it seemed overwhelming, and I did have a moment of doubt, but Nick Cole came through and reset me straight. It gave me the power to work and write yesterday. I’m almost finished with writing this next novel and hopefully will complete it today.
They can’t stop me. They have no power over me. And that’s why they’re so collectively afraid. Now with the success of Alt-Hero in its opening crowdfunding hours, their fear is very legitimate. We are winning more readers every day. After the call for defriending and ignoring me, my follower count has gone up 30%, my blog traffic by 100%, my books are still selling at a steady pace. Literally everything they do only makes us stronger.
I also got a nice fat royalty check from For Steam And Country this week from Superversive Press. Let me tell you, petty little calls to ignore me by SFWA can’t sour the sweet smell of money in my account.
Next week I’ll be launching my baseball in space novella, Gravity Of The Game, which my advance readers already tell me is worthy of Hugo consideration. I’m going to be talking about process in writing that a lot next week — I actually did the direct opposite of what I usually do in my writing, as an exercise. I’ll talk a little about why I love baseball so much too, it’s a much more heady sport than the others.
Thanks everyone for being there. I appreciate your readership and support so much. It keeps me going during this really difficult fight with the blackballers and haters who dominate the industry. But we are winning, and we’re not getting tired in the least.