A year ago, my children were doxxed. I was facing immense pressure because an author, who happens to be the SFWA president, was running a campaign to smear and slander me, which began with her calling this blog “egregious stupidity” on a public forum when I’d never had contact with her in my life. She continued to escalate the conflict despite my reaching out, never apologizing, and then started claims that I was somehow harassing her for trying to deescalate and patch things up.
Once that happened, I made a meme about her poorly photoshopping her face onto the poster of the movie Mean Girls — because she was acting like a mean girl high schooler trying to turn this professional industry into a high school clique for her and her friends. She wrote nasty posts about me warning professional authors not to associate with me — and didn’t even stop there, but instead went further to private message several authors to tell them they’d better defriend me on facebook. Very petty stuff and very disappointing to see some white woman in her position of power and privilege do to a minority author all because she doesn’t like my politics.
She went so far as to use the official SFWA account for her personal assault on me, trying to discredit another blog I wrote about the industry and its by-the-numbers proof that women are preferred by the publishing industry over male authors. Instead of providing different numbers or being logical and having a debate about a very important topic, she, as the president of the Science Fiction Writers Of America, decided to try to harm my career instead.
When this all happened, anonymous accounts started coming to my blog, my twitter, my facebook, saying nasty things to me. Someone sent a package to my house that was spring loaded, anonymous, and filled with depictions of sexual organs. Despite it being very scary to receive hate male that’s anonymous, meaning I was stalked by someone who looked up my address — I have little children, this sort of thing is horribly inappropriate. On top of that, these anonymous accounts started posting medical information about my children in attempts to threaten/scare me.
Because all of the heat was directed at me from her smear/hate campaign and bigotry, I messaged her and told her please deescalate, that this is not okay and I’m getting really scary shit. Tell her fans to knock it off. She did not reply.
It was about the most trying time in my career as an author, not only to have this done to me and my family, but to have it at least somewhat approved of by her silence by the head of the only author’s guild for professional science fiction writers. Everyone should be against this sort of thing, left or right. It shouldn’t matter. We should in theory stand together against bullying at the very least.
But it didn’t stop there.
I first applied to SFWA in December of 2017. When I did, I found out their board members were in a secret writers’ forum called Codex, where they conspired together that they would find a reason to keep me out of the club even if I qualified. They decided to kick me out over politics before ever coming up with a reason. I’ve posted screen shots of this in the past, and this kind of collusion is wrong — especially a bad look for a 501c3 non-profit like SFWA. This is not a “invite only writers critique group” in someone’s living room. This is a big organization that provides legal defense and medical assistance for professional writers. That is its purpose and it’s not holding up to it.
They of course didn’t let me in, and it was a terrible travesty for their club. Their signal is if you’re a vocal conservative, you’re not welcome.
When Flying Sparks became so successful as a crowdfund project, making over $30,000 to date, I decided to apply again. I figured it’s 9 months down the line, I haven’t interacted with any of the folk who hated me in a long time, cooler heads would prevail?
Not so much.
This time, they gave me the excuse the because my children were doxxed and I was harassed as above, and I knew that it came from fans of their President and have stated such, that that is the reason I’m not allowed in.
So I’m a victim of some of the most intense harassment ever received by an author… to the point where my children are targeted, which escalated around Worldcon this year to several death threats which I duly reported to the police, and instead of saying that’s not okay and standing with me as a professional…. it’s my fault for speaking about it?
This is victim blaming and shaming on a level that’s insane. It’s tacit approval of harassment as long as it’s to “the right people”. It needs to be called out and this needs to be investigated within SFWA. There are plenty of great members of the club, some of whom are friends and others I work with. Will someone be brave enough to step up against this hateful mob and say something? I don’t know, because they’re likely to face the same harassment I did.
Contact SFWA here and let them know this kind of thing is NOT okay: https://www.sfwa.org/feedback/
And if you’d like to support me and another SFWA member whose book I adapted to wild success so far, check out the Ember War graphic novel on IndieGoGo. It’s 120 pages of epic military science fiction and the future of the genre for both comics and books. Back it here.