It turns out I was wrong in saying WorldCon made an unprecedented move in banning someone over politics. It has happened — one time before. Today on the blog we’re going to take you all the way back to 1939, where WorldCon was, like in this year, all too proud of blackballing someone over their dangerous visionary ideas for science fiction. A reader wrote to me:
The Futurians were kicked out of the first Worldcon because organizers feared that they would distribute communist propaganda. The group included a number of luminaries including Asimov and Pohl.
Because of their fear of not Asimov hurting anyone (no one fears me hurting anyone by the evidence of how I’ve conducted myself at dozens of conventions in the past) — but spreading political ideas that they found too dangerous for the times — WorldCon banned Isaac Asimov.
The implication is clear. The elites in science fiction believe I have the potential to be the next Asimov. They want to ensure I’m deplatformed as much as possible because they fear the influence I’ll have politically to change their stodgy, outdated culture, which would change science fiction into something that’s thriving and fun. In the process, they’d lose their control over the kinds of stories that are published.
Am I the Isaac Asimov of modern science fiction? I’ll be churning out books as fast as I can, and more and more people will read me not only because my book are great — but because of the science fiction elite’s blacklisting, McCarthy-style actions. But pro-tip: if it didn’t work in 1939, it won’t work in the internet age where I can speak freely. You might not see it because your echo chamber gets smaller, but my influence only grows. They should just treat me with basic human dignity, it’s all I ever asked.
Interestingly enough, a LOT of people are t asking about nominating my “Gravity Of The Game” novella for the Hugo Award this year, because it is great classic-style sci-fi that you may have seen when Asimov and Heinlein were at their primes. You should check it out and support the cause on your ballot!