Robert Silverberg, a science fiction legend who’s responsible for editing some of the greatest sci-fi anthologies and short fiction collections of all time, among having one of the biggest writing careers in sci-fi himself, had a private email list with a few friends over the summer. On the list, he made commentary about NK Jemisin’s Hugo Award speech, in which she riddled with identity politics like she does everything else. He thought something along the lines that it’s a shame that people seem to be voting based on identity and that instead of celebrating and enjoying that people cared about a story, she used the platform to launch into “muh racist”, like she always does. He lamented this is not good for sci-fi, and rightly so, because it’s not.
But it is an indication of what science fiction’s become. The last decade, establishment publishing has treasured identity over story, and it’s become a trainwreck just like the speech. What Silverberg fails to understand, is it’s not like the glory days of sci-fi where it was about creating exciting stories with these people, it’s about sticking it to “the man” in the literal sense–and he is one, so he’s on the outs regardless of his accomplishments.
The problem is, he was attacked by this very crowd, despite his track record, despite his wondrous accomplishments that should be praised. He violated their most sacred law of “thou shalt not make a comment about a minority whining about racism”, and therefore the entire establishment elite must condemn and destroy him for the rest of their days. He thought he was just talking to people who loved science fiction, loved the work, just like he does, however, and this is where he made his mistake:
He tried to explain himself.
Silverberg made a post with the wrong topic in the wrong forum. He took to File 770 to do a long-winded post basically saying “I’m not racist, I just care about science fiction.” The problem is– the people’s he’s talking to are racist and don’t care about science fiction. You can look at the comments, all they do is trash him: http://file770.com/racism-and-sexism/
Of course, sci-fi elites like Jemisin herself replied with passive aggressive drivel like you would expect. The woman has a publishing contract solely because of her skin color, sells books solely because she whines about it, and wins awards solely so people can pat themselves on the back for it. It’s a joke. She’s used her race to create her entire career, and is one of the biggest race-baiting liars out there. She can’t even be consistent enough to not attack everyone’s favorite humble Hispanic author (me) on race matters, but that’s another story.
It still comes down to this, and i’ve made this mistake with the comicsgate crowd: don’t explain yourself. Don’t argue on the internet. People who are shrieking “racist” aren’t around for rational discussion. They’re not your friends even if you think they are. They’re just trying to destroy because that’s all they know how to do. They’re deriving pleasure from that, not the books, not the work. They don’t care about it.
And that’s the state of the sci-fi industry today. But don’t worry, reader. Because in the indie world, we’re rebelling against this kind of thing. We’re making stories for the fun of it, making stories to entertain YOU, the reader. We’re going to make science fiction adventurous again. We’re going to make science fiction full of wonder again. We’re gonna make science fiction entertaining again. And we will Make Science Fiction FUN again! Make sure to read my new short fiction collection, out today! Read the back cover to see how the establishment in publishing is panicked by me: