Over the past year, I’ve applied to join the Science Fiction Writers of America three times. In theory, the organization is supposed to be a group that supports professional sci-fi writers, in assisting with medical insurance, providing access to net-galley reviews for releases, and being a community of writers who sell above a certain threshold.
For those unaware, the threshold is 3 short story sales at 6 cents a word or higher, or having a single work make $5,000.
I’ve qualified by both of these measures several times, most notably through my indiegogo campaigns last year which made $31K and $24K respectively.
I’ve made it a point to apply each time I re-qualify with this group because I qualify and because it’s my right to do so in a free society. As a 501c3 non-profit, they’re supposed to stick to their charter, be a group about advancing professional writers and shouldn’t be playing politics with the org.
Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case with this crop of officers. It’s beyond even the hyper-partisan politics that hits most of the culture war, the petty personal politics these women engage in is beyond anything I’ve seen since high school. They are willing to say anything in order to exclude from the cool kids table, as you probably suspected from the title of this post.
They have a form letter for rejecting my applications on non-qualifying grounds at this point (since I duly qualify a hundred times over), which says the same thing, most notably saying that I can’t be allowed in because “I accuse members of doxxing my children.”
You’d think an organization like this when children are doxxed and there’s an accusation would reach out to try to talk to me about it, since that is a frightening thing to have associated with an organization, as someone harassing children on the internet is about the most awful thing anyone can do. However, they give tacit approval of what’s been done (I’ve never received an apology) because of whose children it’s done to.
I believe part of the reason many of the officers of SFWA have such failed careers in selling books is because their characters don’t ring true. The reason is, if they don’t understand how outraged a parent would get to have some freak on the internet posting his children’s medical information, and believe they should be targeting the parent victim in that instance over that, they don’t understand parenting at all. Because they don’t have the life experiences that most average people have with parenting, as most of these are people without children, and therefore it’s impossible to create characters who relate. Their stories ring false to average people as a result.
But I digress, the problem is what’s going on here. It’s absolutely disgusting. SFWA should immediately offer an apology to me, the victim of having my child harassed on the internet. Which I did not accuse their “members” of doxxing, but I know the instance came from a fan of their president Cat Rambo, when she waged a personal hate campaign against me to smear me across the internet. During the time she relentlessly posted to tell people to disassociate with me, unfriend me, etc., taking to private messages to professionals who were associated with me to try to force this “you choose him or me” nonsense even with her public attacks, someone made anonymous twitter accounts and posted to my blog with my child’s medical information to try to scare me. It directly came from her attacks, and absolutely came from one of her friends or fans.
I emailed Ms. Rambo at the time to say look, I get you don’t like me, but this is too far. No one will threaten harm to my children. You do not want to mess with me on this level. Tell your people to back the fuck off (and I did use strong language with this because this is a child we’re talking about).
Ms. Rambo did not do so. She let this transpire, let people harass me because she has a petty personal vendetta against me.
And now this has transfered over to what once was an esteemed organization, now for the second time in half a year, supporting the harassment of children over political squabbles by attempting to harm the victim rather than doing the right thing and condemning such actions. Which they still should do — your one job is to support professional writers, SFWA. One job.
It’s disgusting. They can’t understand how angry this makes me as a parent, as a man. Someone taking this action is so vile, so awful, and for them to voice approval of it in the way they did and stick a middle finger at me for being angry about having my child harassed? It’s unbelievable. And so I’ll spread the news far and wide because it needs to be heard.
SFWA owes me an apology, a big one.
I’ve been trying to fix the industry and Make Science Fiction Fun Again for two years, but every time I try to do so, these creeps escalate political battles. But they can’t stop me from putting out fun material and going around them even the same. Check out my short fiction anthology where I have a breadth of different FUN sci-fi stories.