You’ll Never Believe What Happened to SF Legend Gregory Benford At LosCon

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(Thanks to Mike Glyer for helping me track down some of the info of these events)

Gregory Benford thought he was just speaking on another panel, something he’d done dozens of times over the last 40 years of his career, especially after his novel Timescape won the Nebula Award and has since been hailed as one of the greatest science fiction novels ever written. The topic is The New Masters of Sci-Fi, letting panelists know who in the current day takes on the mantle of the greats like McCaffrey, Heinlein, and Pournelle, and having a robust discussion among authors and friends alike.

It should have been a fun time had for all, as LosCon had a wonderful line up of panels this year that many other conventions could do well to take note of, but for those who attended this panel at LosCon, they’ll only remember one thing for the rest of their lives– a moment soured by identity politics. Another convention ruined by outrage culture and the extreme left doing anything but allowing people to have a good time.

In the context of the discussion, Bedford made an innocuous statement, not to anyone in particular, but talking to himself about what makes science fiction great. He simply uttered the words,”If you write sf honey, gotta get the science right.”

Most of us reading along will nod our heads along with that statement. Of course, the science is important to at least maintain a certain veneer of accuracy. But for a woman in the audience, Bedford’s words triggered her.

She started ranting about sexism, about the word “honey” as if it were some kind of insult. Even though nearly all of the new modern classic authors mentioned by the panelists were women, somehow women couldn’t get their fair shake with this panel.  A long time champion of fandom, Barbara Landsman described the incident: “I couldn’t believe it. My heart started pounding and I knew nobody else was going to say anything. When I caught Benford’s eye I knew that I was just going to do something.Somebody had to stop her. But it didn’t work. She came in there with a political agenda. She wasn’t happy with anything that anybody on that panel said.”

But she didn’t stop. She took over the panel. Ruined the atmosphere. Ruined several fans’ times who were just there to debate who’s the greatest of the great authors. This is what the religion of social justice and their alt-left extremists do wherever they go. You can’t just have a convention. You can’t just have a panel talking about science fiction. They have to make a scene, they have to destroy the fun.

It’s unfortunate, because while most convention committees have given into this political terrorism that festers in sci-fi fandom, LosCon actually had a slate of panels mostly FREE from identity politics. Other than inviting Literally Wu, it seemed like a pretty good slate. It was just going to be a fun weekend. But people remember when their fun gets ruined by these crazies, and the people stay away from conventions. I don’t know what occurred at years past, perhaps such outbursts or commentaries were commonplace, but LosCon is suffering now due to this ever-outraged political tyranny. Their attendance was reported as low to begin with.

This kind of energy doesn’t help. Readers want fun. Fans want fun. If they can’t get that, they leave. It’s a simple statement in every scenario. In this case, people wanted to listen to what an accomplished author like Mr. Bedford thought qualified as a “modern master” of sci-fi. They wanted to think of their favorite books, not get riddled with some feminist rant.

The scenario escalated, and, according to one of the greatest authors working in the field today, David Weber, “someone with the con had felt justified in marching Greg Benford out of a con — out of a SIGNING, in fact — and telling him he he had to leave the con immediately because of an alleged incident in a panel discussion.”

Someone, probably the shrieking woman herself, went to the con comm and demanded his removal. And like every instance when someone is accused, they send security to deal with someone. I can’t fault the con comm too much, and it does turn out that they rescinded that decision, but the heartache, the pain, the hassle they caused Mr. Benford is unacceptable in any context. This is what happens when the feminists get out of control– because they are in control of these conventions at the end of the day.

It’s going to be hard for us all to get back into fun in 2018. The political is the personal now, and vice versa. The rabid fake news media has sent us all into spirals of anger and panic over everything. Nothing can be left untouched. We even have a man who is probably going to be the next president of SFWA calling Tolkien “racist” in recent days. The absurdity of this kind of behavior from the leaders of the field is to blame, and it’s why so many reasonable people walk away, turn to comic cons and indie books on Amazon, rather than deal with these dying establishments.

For Mr. Benford, it settled down, but did anyone really do anything to repay him for his time and effort he put into the convention? The man has been quiet and saintly through this, and he deserves your reader support at the very least. 

This is just another example in the culture war we’ve been fighting since I called out a convention in 2017 for their absurd identity politics, but we’re here to Make Science Fiction Fun Again. No one tells me what I can and can’t write. No one tells me what I can and can’t do. And I’m going to bring readers fun, and when I speak, I’ll bring fans and audiences fun as well. Ain’t no harpy ranting about words like “honey” gonna stop me.

Make sure to pre-order my short fiction collection, Make Science Fiction Fun Again. Out Thursday. It’s bound to trigger the SJWs so badly they might not want to inhabit this planet anymore.

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20 thoughts on “You’ll Never Believe What Happened to SF Legend Gregory Benford At LosCon

  1. It’s getting to the point that any author who goes to a Con probably needs to get a psych eval. Because it’s become nothing but an endless political game. It matters not that the con rescinded its decision. They made a decision without all the facts and acted on it, sullying the reputation of a master writer and the con itself. That’s all most people not deeply into the event will remember.

    I know you like attending cons, but I just can’t see any value in it anymore.

    • Yeah. I won’t go to one without my wife or some back up/witnesses at this point. It’s absurd but these are the days we live in.

  2. Yikes, that’s terrible, but not surprising in an age when a liberal female author gets ejected from a con for being “pro-Nazi.”
    I hope Benford didn’t attempt to apologize. When I’m famous (which will be soon) I have vowed to never apologize. Because, as VD puts it, “SJW’s always double down.”

  3. No, they DO deserve shame for not investigating before acting. And for acting that way at all.

    You have an unidentified problem and you need to remove someone. Do you remove:

    A: One of the biggest names in the field, award winning, best selling, who is certainly a draw for dozens or even hundreds of your attendees, or

    2) Some blithering femorrhoid who is obviously outraged because she’s a perpetually failed wannabe who wants “feminist” science in her fiction, whatever the @#$ that is?

    Choose carefully.

    Also, I didn’t realize that hack nobody was going to be SFWA president. But then, after 8 years of membership I realized the entire organization was utterly worthless, and that dozens of the biggest names don’t belong, and some of the older BNWs only belong because they bought life memberships, and give not a crap about it.

    • You do know that such feminist literary sci-fi most likely exists, right? You neocons are something else, again.

      I’m not going to defend what happened to Benford, but all of the same your hyperbole-laden statement sounds over the top.

  4. By forcing them to destroy the Hugos by predictably doubling down, Vox has gifted us with the thrice Hugo’d one. No old white man in fandom, even the nominal focuses of said fandom, will be safe from banishment to “ist”-island. Speak no ill of the full savage or you must be educated, any push back on your education process is harrassment and prima facie evidence of being a racist.

    • Calling a woman ‘honey’ when they’re not your wife, girlfriend, daughter, or niece is a big faux pas, and shouldn’t be done.Again, I don’t approve of what happened to Mr. Benford, but he’s in the wrong and he has to deal with it, like it or not.

  5. So … not ignoring the incident with Bedford, terrilble and stupid though it is … nevertheless I am left wondering this about the panel: _who_ are the modern sci-fi greats in the same rank as Heinlein, McCaffrey, and Pournelle? Because, no offense to the host here (whose novels/stories I’ve quite liked) or any of the other indies of today (whose novels/stories I’ve quite liked) … but Heinlein? Asimov? Pournelle? Clarke? Niven? Pohl? McCaffery? Bester? Dick?

    Best I can come up with is Stephenson.

  6. My grandfather graduated from West Point in ’32 and stayed in the army for 30 years before retiring and running for Congress. He fought in Europe throughout the war mostly with 3rd Army. His friends always called him honey because he refused to use his first name and with a middle name like his, it was honey or king.
    I’ve never been to a con despite being a fan for over 50 years and I will never go to a con. I think if authors were smart they’d simply get together and boycott them all until the con people pulled their heads out of their asses and banned intolerant shrews, rascist bigots like Jemesin and the other haters instead of making the con something like going with one’s mother to the church christmas social.

  7. This is the post that broke me. I…got nothing. What has happened to this world? My only complaint was the bit about science. I’m more into Pataphysical science fiction, so for me, science is not really that important. But for God’s sake, I wouldn’t become a triggered cry baby!

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