Worldcon Legal Demand Letter – Full Text

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Below is the full text of the letter my attorney sent to Worldcon, which includes the legal statutes they appear to be violating in their discriminatory and defamatory treatment of me. This kind of behavior needs to stop so writers and artists in the science fiction industry can speak their beliefs without fear of prejudice or retaliation.

Please help me to raise the money necessary to fight this injustice that is rampant in the science fiction community: https://www.gofundme.com/make-worldcon-great-again

Dear Mr. Roche:

This office has been retained to represent Jonathan Del Arroz with respect to his legal rights pertaining to actions that your agents and your organization have engaged in to Mr. Del Arroz’s injury and prejudice.

Briefly, your organization has recently decided to “ban” Mr. Del Arroz from “attending” the Worldcon 76, the 2018 World Science Fiction convention, which will be held in San Jose, California in August of 2018.  This “ban” has been publicly announced by your organization on its various social media sites. In connection with this announcement, your agents and organizations have stated, implied or insinuated that the ban is justified on the grounds that Mr. Del Arroz is, in essence, a “racist bully.” This explanation has been republished by others on social media and through other means of publication.

The statement or insinuation that Mr. Del Arroz is a racist bully is both untrue and highly injurious to Mr. Del Arroz’s reputation, both as a writer and as a member of the science fiction community and his local community. The accusation of “racism” is a factual claim that in the present social climate is extremely derogatory and stigmatizing. The effect of such stigmatization necessarily injures the person so stigmatized in the pursuit of his chosen profession, thereby causing substantial foreseeable financial damage.  It is also deeply offensive, particularly to Mr. Del Arroz, who is very proud of his Hispanic heritage.

When you consult with an attorney, you will be advised that these publications constitute “defamation,” in that they are untruthful statements that have a natural tendency to injure reputation. In California, a libel is a false and unprivileged publication by writing, printing, picture, effigy, or other fixed representation to the eye that exposes any person to hatred, contempt, ridicule, or obloquy or that causes him or her to be shunned or avoided or that has a tendency to injure the person in his or her occupation. (California Civil Code § 45.) Since there is absolutely no evidence to support the statement that Mr. Del Arroz is a “racist,” even if he is a “public figure” he will be entitled to state a claim for injury to his reputation, and for all emotional distress and pecuniary damages he suffers. (Douglas v. Janis (1974) 43 Cal.App.3d 931, 940.)

This offense is only compounded by the further false claim that Mr. Del Arroz intends to engage in “bullying.” Apparently, this was a reference to Mr. Del Arroz’s statement of his intent to wear a body camera in the event that he might be subjected to assaults, confrontation or bullying by other attendees of Worldcon 76.  Obviously, Mr. Del Arroz has a civil right to record public events in a public setting, particularly since there is a practice of other attendees in the past wearing body cameras to record events at other conventions. Mr. Del Arroz is unaware of any policy restricting his civil right to record public events in a public setting. (See e.g., Nevens v. Chino (1965) 233 Cal. App. 2d 775, 778-779.) Any legal prohibition on recording is limited to recording “private” or “confidential” communications. (California Penal Code §632; Cr. (Asia Econ. Inst. v. Xcentric Ventures, LLC (C.D.Cal. July 19, 2010, No. CV 10-1360 SVW (PJWx)) 2010 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 133370, at *33, fn. 11 (Penal Code §632 does not apply if parties expect to be recorded.) If there is such a policy, then please advise and Mr. Del Arroz will comply, albeit he would naturally expect that the same policy would be enforced equally as to the other attendees.

Equally significant is the violation of California’s Unruh Act (California Civil Code §51 et seq.) Under the Unruh Act, a place of public accommodation may not discriminate against any person based on a personal characteristic representing a trait, condition, decision, or choice fundamental to a person’s identity, beliefs and self-definition as that factor has been applied in previous cases. (Semler v. General Electric Capital Corp. (2011) 196 Cal.App.4th 1380, 1395; Koebke v. Bernardo Heights Country Club (2005) 36 Cal.4th 824, 842; Curran v. Mount Diablo Council of the Boy Scouts (1998) 17 Cal. 4th 670, 705.) The protection of the Unruh Act extends to political affiliation. (Marina Point, at p. 726 [“Whether the exclusionary policy rests on the alleged undesirable propensities of those of a particular race, nationality,  occupation, political affiliation, or age, … the Unruh Act protects individuals from … arbitrary discrimination.”).)

Mr. Del Arroz has substantial evidence consisting of statements by your agents and representatives demonstrating that his ban has its proximate origin in his political beliefs and commitments. In addition, he has equally substantial evidence that establishes that he is being singled out for disparate treatment in that policies are being crafted or applied to him while those who do not share his political commitments are permitted to engage in the behavior that is being falsely attributed to him. (See Hessians Motorcycle Club v. J.C. Flanagans (2001) 86 Cal.App.4th 833, 837 (No violation of Unruh act where “no colors” rule was applied equally to all persons, regardless of their race, color, sex, etc.).)

When you consult with a legal advisor, you will be informed that a violation of the Unruh Act makes any person who violates that act liable for damages, fines and attorney’s fees.

Mr. Del Arroz does not want to pursue his legal rights unless he is forced to.  His desire is to reach a mutually beneficial resolution of the issues that have arisen because of your organization’s conduct.  In order to resolve his claims, he has instructed me to offer to enter into a settlement on the following basis.

First, your organization and Wolrdcon 76 will publicly apologize to Mr. Del Arroz for its treatment of him, and it will publicly state that it has no reason to assert that Mr. Del Arroz is either a racist or bully.  This public apology and statement will be made through its Facebook and social media sources.

Second, your organization and Worldcon 76 will comply with the Unruh Act by lifting the purported “ban” on Mr. Del Arroz’s participation in Worldcon 76.

Third, your organization and Worldcon 76 will commit to protecting the rights of Mr. Del Arroz from interference by third-parties, or by its members and agents, through harassment, intimidation or bullying.

Fourth, your organization and Worldcon  76 will provide its agents and employees with training on their legal obligation under California law not to discriminate or harass on the basis of political beliefs or relationships.

You are advised to place your insurance carriers on notice.

We look forward to your prompt response to this letter.

https://www.gofundme.com/make-worldcon-great-again

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They’re Trying To Take Away Our Right To Speak (And We Can’t Let Them)

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Yesterday,  I touched on DC Comics’ new “social media policy” for t heir contractors, which is aimed at one specific person in order to silence his political speech.

Against the wishes of its own members, the board of the Bruin Republicans has caved to intense pressure from the UCLA faculty and one of its advisors and voted to cancel the event, less than 24 hours after putting tickets on sale. This follows UCLA faculty members placing op eds in multiple news outlets over the past 24 hours.

Then it came out that UCLA created such immense pressure for one of their student clubs, that they were forced  to cancel Milo Yiannopolous speaking.

This isn’t the first time college campuses have while simultaneously taking public funds, shut down Milo as a speaker. They’re afraid of him being able to reach the young — and for good reason, he’s doing a great job at it.

In the past, conservative speakers were stodgy, boring bowtie types that receive their positions at the National Review from being respectable, never arguing too hard with their opposition, and thus losing all the time. We now have a generation of the right where we’re edgy, interesting,  fun, subversive, and speaking truth to power. I’ve said it before:

We are the new punk rock. 

But unlike the original punk movement where they  relegated themselves to dive bars in seedy areas, having very little influence on the course of events, we are tangibly changing things. We’re present at professional conferences, at colleges, on the internet on our ever-growing platforms, and in the places where ideas are created and where we can move the world.

This is why they’re so afraid of us, and why they’re doing everything in their power to shut us down so we can’t speak. Milo is showing this in a very public way in political speech, I’m showing how bad the blacklisting and hatred is in culture. They’re lashing out so hard because this movement is really gaining legs, and they want nothing more than to completely shut us down.

It’s imperative to not lose heart or lose hope when these sorts of things happens. As Milo himself said, “I guess another university will get to enjoy the show — and the profits — instead.”

Eventually, these institutions will see we’re making money, we’re creating audience, and that they’re missing out. But stay strong. Don’t lose the faith because of some little setbacks. By the same token don’t be quiet about it when it happens to you or someone you know. Share these stories, let the public know. Don’t bow to their evil pressures. It’s how we’re going to affect change in the long run.

If you appreciate my blog content here and want to help our platform grow, support my Patreon. Subscribers are receiving great short stories every month and more. As we grow together, this movement will only get bigger and better.

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The Hilarious Reactions To The Happy Frogs Hugo Slate

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The usual suspects are triggered like always. They can’t just enjoy what they like and have other people enjoy what they like and get along. They have to diminish, demean, and destroy. It’s all they have now.

The slate was carefully chosen to give a nice glimpse at some of the best fiction out there, with one per category because nominating more than one gives diminishing returns in terms of vote, with the new rules they’ve put up to rig it, so it’s better just to place one.

Here’s some common reactions so far:

They’re all nobodies!  

I.e.  they’re not people active in their circles. It’s funny they’d say this about Jody Lynn Nye, who’s one of the most prolific writers of the last century, a NYT Bestseller, co-writer with Anne McCaffrey, co-writer with Robert Asprin, and one of the best storytellers alive. She is more than deserving and never got any attention on the awards circuit, and I think it’s a big shame. But… because the Narrative that this slate is irrelevant must prevail, she must not be worthy.

Richard Fox and Mark Wandrey outsell everyone complaining about the slates combined. They’ve still got their head in the sands pretending that indie is irrelevant and doesn’t exist. It’s the only market where people actually buy books, and it’s gonna be a couple more years before these folk stick their heads up and say “what happened?” when they’ve got no readers left from alienating everyone in favor of their clique.

Your writing is terrible, no I haven’ read it.

The poo-pooing of Gravity Of The Game, my novella in which I already received a dozen messages in support of for the best novella category. Just because of identity. It’s a very diverse book, with good intrigue, a true science fiction concept in the classic sense, and a heartwarming ending. But they’ll never know, because they already know. They’ll tell you so. Shows their hubris again.

‘Maybe  they should check out my reviews of that and For Steam And Country. Readers love what I do. Not my fault this crowd’s not in touch with the market.

THAT BEALE!  I’LL GET HIM NEXT TIME AND HIS LITTLE RABID PUPPIES TOO!

Vox Day’s existence triggers them beyond triggering. Especially since Castalia House is growing so well and he’s more successful every year, and there’s nothing they can do to stop him.

DADDY WARPIG OMG #GAMERGATE

DW is a great fan writer. He writes extremely passionate, fun, and well thought out pieces. They don’t want to acknowledge him over identity, and are triggered by his existence.

BRIGHT IS THE AWFULEST MOVIE OF ALL TIME OMG!

There was a narrative going on about this movie before it came out to diminish it calling it the usual things: racist, sexist, derp derp derp. And identity is all that matters. It doesn’t matter that Will Smith was great, that the movie is fun. The narrative political element is all they need. They  probably, like my books, didn’t even see it.

ETHAN VAN SCIVER IS A MEANIE PANTS… BUT NOT AS BAD AS THAT VOX DAY!

Pretty predictable reaction here. They again, don’t care that he’s one of if not the most talented line artist working out there today. But who needs to look at art or read books to ensure the proper people win hugo awards? It’s about respectability. And Ethan is a Republican. How could anyone literally even?

MOIRA GREYLAND IS ERASED.

The writer of The Last Closet, who exposed the pedophilia going on with the elites in science fiction fandoms with their disgusting lifestyles harming children — even at conventions like worldcon. No one stops them, no one speaks out about them, it’s a dirty secret which these folk don’t want out, and so they won’t even mention her. They’re covering up for this sort of behavior, and don’t want to admit the toxicity within their own ranks. Part of the reason they try so hard to make sure I’m not present, because they know i’d expose it.

It’s been pretty fun and only less than 24 hours. I’ve noticed the talk of the Hugos is very low, very few people care about this award anymore. Between what they did the last several years, and the way WorldCon shamefully discriminated against me for being a political figure, they’ve created the most exclusive, non-diverse, smallest clique possible. It’s amusing to see how upset they get just by someone voicing different opinions for what books are best. It’s that crazy.

If you like my opinions on fiction, you’ll probably really enjoy my monthly short stories, deleted scenes and more on my Patreon. Subscribe and support making science fiction fun again!  

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Hugo Nominating – “Gravity Of The Game” By Jon Del Arroz

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Hugo Nominations just opened, and we’re a month since Wolrdcon made an unprecedented move by banning me from attendance without giving much of a reason, but defaming me on their website and calling me a “racist bully.”

The leadership of Worldcon has made it clear that they are not willing to extend protections to political figures they disagree with in this action, as they didn’t talk to me, didn’t respond to my concerns for my and other conservative writer’s safety when I broached the subject in November, but instead took this shameful action to discriminate against me because of my political beliefs.

But we the writers and fans can send them a message. The Hugo Awards are still a part of this convention, and you can nominate my novella, “Gravity Of The Game” for best novella.

Reviews are extremely positive for this classic science fiction tale. It’s in the spirit of science fiction past, when everyone was welcome at a Worldcon regardless of creed or beliefs. It presents a welcoming future, where we can get along as a society, and this is the vision of the future I want to present in my science fiction. This is the vision the gatekeepers in science fiction are trying to prevent from spreading.

The novella has gone out to everyone on my mailing list for free, and it’s available on amazon for 99 cents. If you’re planning on nominating for the Hugos, I’ll happily send you a copy. The message needs to be sent that both we love fun science fiction, and that their behavior is not acceptable.

Check out the novella on Amazon here, sign up for my mailing list or contact me and I’ll make sure you get a copy.

Nominate “Gravity Of The Game” by Jon Del Arroz for best novella category!

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Why Memes Are Great

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I had so much fun with the SOTU speech last night, mainly because I waited for interesting rhetorical and visual moments and made some wonderful memes.

Memes are about the most effective persuasion tool out there. Humans by nature are visual creature, so when we see a simple message paired with an image that’s either humorous or poignant, it resonates with us, and sticks with us (which is why you see so many copycat memes. I’m going to officially declare the guy looking at the girl walking by while his girlfriend is pissed officially dead btw — stop making memes with that! It’s 2018’s Gene Wilder “So you’re saying…” meme at this point.). It’s that simple. Effectively wielding them can really turn you into a powerful persuader, even if you’re stealing memes like I did with the one above in this post.

But as Vox Day adeptly said this morning, the whole line itself was a stolen meme, and a brilliant move. It’s the only thing that will be remembered in the coming weeks. This is the power of memes. If you haven’t figured them out yet, it’s something to work on.

The reason memes work is the simplicity of it. I’ve seen a lot of people make common mistakes which are easy to avoid: 1. try to crowd too much text into memes — you can’t do this. simple is everything.  2. use a picture that’s no appropriate for the meme (or of yourself to try to make you into a meme) this is a no no.  3. Advertise or try to put a social media handle into a meme — again, defeats the point. let the message breathe. Anyone seeing advertising in a meme will be turned off by your meme.

Simple stuff to make your messaging in memes more effective. And we’ll have more great meme wars to come. 2016 was just the beginning.

If you like my memes, you’ll probably like my characters. Make sure you read my book, For Steam And Country, which is full of fun moments.

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This Is Just The Beginning Of The New Counter Culture

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Yesterday I spent some good time talking to a great professional and industry colleague, Timothy Lim. We’ve  of course communicated a bit online over the last several months, but this was the first conversation we had. In the age of digital communication it’s almost easy to forget about voice and other humans who are on the other end of the screen, and it’s actually nice to have a reminder that someone else is there.

But it’s also great because it solidified just how closely we are aligned and how we’re on the same page.

This is the beginning of a movement in culture. For the first time in more than a generation, people are coming out and speaking and are proud to state their beliefs, pushing back against a monolithic SJW control of music, games, books and film. The SJW elites in these industries have grandstanded for decades, rubbing it in the face of the populace, talking down to everyone as if they know better than the regular folk because they’re “the artists.”

They haven’t cared that the audience doesn’t love their message. They defiantly declared “well, you’re the problem, audience.” They haven’t cared that despite their message being diversity and inclusion, they have ostracized and condemned anyone who thinks differently than them. They openly conspire to physically attack or blacklist people on the right from their conventions, and then began to ban people under the pretext worrying about their own safety. But why are they acting like complete lunatics?

Because we’re finally in an age where we can produce and release our own content. The internet has changed the game, and they don’t know how to use it. They don’t know how to employ their messages in this medium, they’re not interested in learning it, and the barrier to entry and gatekeeping have evaporated, allowing messages they don’t like to get through–ones they would have never allowed published in the decades before.

And it’s happening. Lim’s book Thump had  to go to seven different printings as it went viral. People are starved for funny content that isn’t down in the dumps, dark, or negative. It’s why people love my books so much as well. There’s a lot of what seems overwhelming screaming going on simply because we release content, and we speak out, and we tell them “no, we won’t be afraid, and no we don’t care if we’re respectable to you.”  Guess what? Readers love it. Both the attitude and our works.

And it drives them crazy. We’re supposed to lay down, be quiet, be contrite that they hate us. Realize the error of our ways and be made an example of like they intended.

But we’re not going to do that. Why? Because We’re winning.

The mere act of defiance by continuing to speak out, continuing to make content, continuing to gain readers is important, subversive to the lockstep control of entertainment, and winning by itself. We’re only one year into this and the growth rate is incredible– and not slowing down at all. This is the new counter culture. We are the new punk rock. And people are starved for our content.

If you ever were afraid of speaking out, thinking that you can maintain the respect of the SJW cabal and keep to yourself, it’s not going to work. Join us. It’s more fun over here. We can say what we believe and not worry. Our people actually are open and tolerant. We know how to use the internet to its full potential and have fun with marketing. It’s a brand new world out there.

It’s just going to get better. 2018 and 2019 are going to be huge growth for the movement as more people discover us, people who have tuned out of culture because they thought no one was making it for them. There’s millions of readers out there, and they’re waiting for you and me to show them de wae.

Come rally to the cause and see what the fuss is about. The reason they work overdrive to blacklist me is my books are so good they’re not being ignored. You’ll probably enjoy them too. Join us and check out For Steam And Country. 

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How Terrible Gossip Destroys Friendships – My Story With Jennifer Brozek

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I usually avoid heavy discussions on my blacklistings, because I think it’s proper to respond with quick mocking, showing that I’m able to shrug it off. Which I do often. But this is a personal matter and the light needs to shine upon it. This is the story of how a working relationship and friendship can be destroyed when industry elites collude to destroy someone, and there’s no one strong enough to speak out against it. It’s important, and people need to know.

I’m very sad to report that the in-crowd’s destructive campaign has taken another toll. Jennifer Brozek, the editor of the first novel I published, and also the editor of the first anthology I was a part of as  a professional sale, has joined the chorus of authors attacking me over my political affiliations on a recent blog post of hers. I believe Jennifer is a good person and a professional, but she’s been fed so much fake news about me and overwhelming negative harping on repeat that she’s unfortunately lost objectivity. Here’s the story of our work together and how the social pressures and politics took a toll on her:

Working On An Anthology Together:

I’ve worked with Jennifer Brozek since about 2014. I was a fledgling author then, not really knowing much about writing. She cultivated me and is more directly responsible for my career than almost anyone in the field. I trusted her, because she was giving me solid advice as a working professional along the way.

I originally pitched a Christmas anthology to Evil Girlfriend Media, based on a bizarro horror/romance story I wrote involving Krampus, which I thought was hilarious (though it was a little lewd, apologizes to my current readership if you pick it up!). Jennifer was brought in as the lead editor on this project. She brought in many of the publishing darling big names I used to admire into the anthology, Cat Rambo, Rachel Caine, Maurice Broadus and others. We worked together formulating the list of authors. I brought in some other folk who were great like Kevin J Anderson and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, and we had a pretty good product at the end of the day. It took a lot of work to bring it together, and I learned a ton from Jennifer over the course of its creation.

She was then put on a hugo ballot for best short form editor by the Sad Puppies, because of her work on a Baen anthology. I know this both frightened her to be associated but thrilled to get the nomination. She really didn’t like that she was on the puppy slate, and stated such in interviews, but she thought she deserved the award, and she probably did (I voted for her). She didn’t win, because everyone was No Awarded by the sour group at worldcon that year. She said she was happy with the no awards result, which kept her in the good graces of the in-crowd who was opposed to almost anyone on the slate by association.

Rescue Run

Jennifer then worked with me on my debut novel — which went on to be nominated for multiple awards as readers loved the book. There was a total of one chapter that she suggested I rewrite from scratch — and for good reason, and another scene which she suggested I change for amplification of a bigger point. Those scenes rewritten made the book much better as a whole. Jennifer will attest that I am a hard worker, eager to improve my craft, and I’m receptive to editorial comments. We worked together great and the product shows that. The book is better because of her work on it.

The book released. All was well. Our working relationship was great. I think if there weren’t the political pressure now she’d tell you I was fantastic to work with, and despite the fact that I’d definitely be prone to say otherwise with the deep personal betrayal from her as of late, I’ll tell you she was great to work with, it should have been fine and led to fruitful relations in the future.

President Trump was elected just a few days after my release.

How The Election Caused The Left To Turn On Their Friends On The Right

The timing was a bummer, it actually hurt my initial sales because no one was paying attention to entertainment during that week (pro-tip: don’t release a book during a presidential election!). The internet lost its collective mind, and the science fiction writers community displayed the ugliest, worst face of it. All of my friends on the left in sci-fi started rambling incoherently about how we’re literally becoming Nazi Germany, how death camps are going to happen, how the world’s going to end.

Jennifer was one of those posts as well which is here:

I don’t think I’ve been more ashamed of my country in my life. Half the people have voted for an openly misogynistic, racist, hatemongering, sexual predator for president. One who gleefully threatens the rights of women, LBGT people, and minorities.

I guess I now know what Britian felt like with the Brexit.

Well, I just hope we survive “Mr. Brexit.”

Honestly, I don’t have a lot of hope with Trump/Pence in the Oval Office and the Republicans controlling Congress. I think there are going to be a lot of hard, terrible times for the United States.”

About one of the worst statements I’d seen on the election. Purely hateful and showing animus against moderates and conservatives. As a SFWA board member, she made it clear where she stood against those who voted for the president. She believes we voted for a monster, and therefore are associated with a monster. It’s well over the line.  My response was rather tame, but I was sick of seeing such vitriol on my feed, and wanted to stand up to the echo chamber that was going on on facebook within the elitist SF author community. I was very respectful as I always am in these situations. I said:

I’ve never been more proud. It’s over we can stop the fear mongering and hate and work together now! No need for being ashamed of your friends, that’s not helpful! No one’s being threatened (except me, someone did literally threaten to kill me last evening so I haven’t slept — they were not a trump supporter).

The person who threatened to kill me over my Trump vote was a long time member of BayCon who runs the Klingon bar. No one cared about that, no one did anything about his threat on the BayCon con committee. Yet I was removed from my speaking at Baycon the next year just a couple of months later. It all started that night. It doesn’t matter how far these folk go, they hate anyone on the right, and feel justified taking it to any degree. They are unrepentant and don’t even care when actual terrible things (like death threats) happen to their friends.

I immediately received an email from Jennifer’s long time assistant, Sarah Craft. The first warning I would be blacklisted for having the wrong politics (the spelling is hers):

“As your publicist for the Rescue Run book, I’m going to advise you not to go on other people’s walls and argue about the election. You have your right to your opinion and other people have the right to their own. You are very welcome to post on your own wall about those opinions, but in the interests of the success of your new book, please do not argue on other people’s walls. And please refrain from any political comentary during promotion including on guest posts. We really don’t need a reason for people to not be excited about the novel. And political discussions are a kiljoy.

You got some very unwelcome attention, and possibly lost some support of the writing community. Certianly, you have earned a questionable mark in the minds of some editors. Not because of your opinion, but because you were disrepectful on someone elses page.
There is a time and place for these discussions but not now. Not when your position is from a place of security. (And yes it very much is) Not when people are hurting and afraid. And not when we are less than a week away from a book launch. Maybe in a few months it’s possible to speak more about it. But NOT NOW.
I also hope you appologized to Jennifer. Hate to say it but you were mansplaining. You were on the edge of telling her that her opinion of the situation was invalid. Dude, that’s speaking from a position of priveledge. That’s speaking as someone who can ignore the veiled threats that’s been going on for the past months and years at marginalized people because it’s not directed at you.
Please, for the sake of a sucessful book launch, be careful what you say.”
This is the first time I’ve seen the results of what happens when you speak out on the “wrong” political team. It’s totally fine for everyone to wail calling half the country nazis and to advocate punching them, but if you respectfully try to stop the hating going on, you get warned to silence yourself, called all sorts of things, accused of mansplaining, etc. The current science fiction community shows exactly everything great sci-fi authors like Phillip K Dick or Ray Bradbury warned about. Thought crimes. Pre-crimes. You’re guilty by identity or association. I’d lost the support of the “writing community” because of one post simply saying don’t hate. It was a clear threat then that I was going to be blacklisted if I spoke out as a conservative.

My response, which I’d say today as well:

“If people hate me because they’re going to hate, that’s their problem, not mine. That’s bigotry definition, period. I don’t tolerate/consider bigotry ever for any reason. Her post was hateful and resentful, I took exception to that as a friend because it does imply she’s hateful and resentful of me. I voiced it respectfully, I didn’t call names, i was positive, I mentioned how psychologically burdensome it is to be attacked relentlessly, and it is, I was not afforded the same courtesy. People are disgusting this cycle and I hope they can adult, but it looks a lot like they can’t. It’s sad.”

At this point, I was well on my way to blacklisting. And frankly, it’s only gotten worse as the cognitive dissonance within this crowd who posted such ugly things about how they’d never been more disappointed with the country saw the world getting better and everyone’s lives improving. None of the doom they predicted coming to pass. This is why they’ve gone overdrive the last year to try to blacklist, defame and destroy.

I Showed Jennifer Only Loyalty

My publisher, Katie Cord, months later told me that Jennifer in no way condoned what Sarah said, and that she didn’t have anything to do with that. I took this at face value, and decided to reach out in friendship again. I used my blog and social media multiple times over the last year to promote Jennifer’s projects, whether through her Apocalypse Ink productions or through a kickstarter she was a part of.

Jennifer gained a good number of followers because of one of my promotions of her, as most of my friends do when I promote their work. My readers are eager to follow folk who produce fun science fiction, and my fans take my word for what I say in that regard. They’re very loyal people, and the best fans in science fiction. Jennifer was quick to disavow, even though there was no cause for it, and it’s because of the social pressures that were slowly mounting at the time as I’d become famous for my contributions to center-right commentary webzine, The Federalist.

This was her first signal to the crowd calling for my head over my political affiliations. Why would she willingly turn away readers over politics? I feel bad as she must have been under some pressure to have to post this when all I was doing was promoting her. I never wished that for her, but only wanted to support her works, as I would for any of my friends.

I did not get the same respect back. When I sent For Steam And Country out for publicity, Jennifer did not reply to the email, despite the work I did to promote her. I know now that it was due to the tough bind she was in with the hatred in the small community of writers she’s a part of. Anyone who stands up gets torched and destroyed, even for something as simple as posting a book link. She couldn’t even do that despite the work I’d put into her. Fortunately, the book was known for its quality and reached thousands of readers anyway.

But as she said on the tweet, we remained friends through that month. Until her friend Cat Rambo decided I was getting too big, and it was time to destroy my career. This is where the pressure on Jennifer mounted and where our relationship unfortunately took a turn, not because of any problems between us, but because of the way others decided I must be destroyed.

Cat Rambo’s Hate Campaign

Cat has a lot of influence among the small crowd of left wing writers. She has been–credit where credit’s due–the master of the short story circuit. She’s had hundreds of shorts published in the pro-paying magazines, and because she cranks them out and has that great work ethic, she gained a reputation and eventually became the President of SFWA. She is also a toxic partisan who puts identity politics over everything. Her initial responses to me were purely because of hatred over my political associations, and it got worse because she sees everything I do colored with that lens.

The first interaction I ever had with Cat (outside reading a few of her stories) was when she went on a hate website File 770, where Mike Glyer linked my blog with some snark. She called my writing “egregiously stupid”, which, in her capacity as SFWA president, going and calling a debut author’s blog that is a conflict of interest at the very least. It was hurtful as well! Here I was just trying to sell books, and SFWA’s president is condemning me on a gossip site? Her entire job is to promote and foster the science fiction market, in theory. I took exception to this and we had a couple fights on twitter. This was Cat’s first time attacking me, and it was out of the blue, just like I’ve recently faced from authors like Scott Lynch and James S.A. Corey. Though I’m no threat to their careers, they can’t leave me or my readers alone.

But I tried to forgive and forget with Cat. I’d spoken to a prominent author at LibertyCon who told me Cat was a reasonable person and bridge builder. I took this offer at their word and tried to reach out to Cat over the month of August, and we had some friendly disagreements over politics, but generally cordial conversation. It was going well. She’d even agreed to try out reading my book which was edited by Jennifer and nominated for the Dragon Award. I sent her a complimentary copy.

Our budding friendship soured when I posted a deep analysis of the short fiction markets, and found through intense research, that men are actively discriminated against in the pro-paying markets. Cat couldn’t believe the truth because of cognitive dissonance, as she’d been fighting for women who were supposed to have been oppressed since she came on the scene. She bitterly proclaimed my analysis as “alt-numbers” to try to shame my very real metrics. She took to twitter, blasting my article. She, in an act in violation the rules of SFWA which before has been deemed a bannable offense, retweeted her own tweet from the main account to escalate the feud and to try to tarnish my credibility. Again, the president of an organization supposedly out there to advocate for science fiction writers, was doing everything she could to try to tear a newer author down. It was horrific from the vantage of a person just coming out with a second book.  Enough was enough, so I fired back at this point, blasting back on Twitter and Facebook. Cat used the routine where she didn’t acknowledge she attacked me first, and acted like I attacked her out of nowhere, and that’s when the defamation campaign began.

In a last ditch attempt to salvage our relationship, I tried to ask her to appear on youtube. We’d talk about RPGs (which we both love), and both our audiences would tune in and be amazed and we’d promote each others work, it’d be great. Could you imagine the optic if this came to pass? How it might have actually built a bridge in sci-fi? I saw a really sea change and a utopian vision of true tolerance and diversity. I’m ever the optimist, which may be my main failing.

Cat responded with pure vitriol: “Your e-mails are unwanted and unsolicited. This and any further e-mails will be forwarded to my attorney.”

I was shocked. This was the President of the Science Fiction Writers of America acting like this to a science fiction writer who was planning a show on science fiction. Threatening legal action? Was this real? It seemed like a bizarro nightmare as i couldn’t have imagined someone treating another professional that way.

At this point, Cat’s attacks on me went too far. It was damaging my career. I made a meme poorly photoshopping her face onto the mean girls movie poster. She went ballistic at my response to her extreme negative overreaction to my offer to promote her, resulting in a whisper campaign telling science fiction writers to defriend me and disassociate with me. She defamed me on her facebook, warned people not to be friends with me. At this point she tangibly hurt my career by getting my cover artist Shawn King to block me, which has slowed the output of my books. About 10 other professionals who I won’t name as long as they’re not talking about me did the same. Jennifer was one of those who bowed to the pressure of this hateful campaign.

The people reacting to Cat’s message got nasty. Someone made an anonymous account on twitter and posted info about my children on my blog to try to “warn” me, doxxing them and spreading information on medical conditions. Someone else (or maybe the same person, both anon) sent a spring loaded package to my house. I emailed Cat saying enough is enough, to tell her followers to stop with this, it’s too far. Cat gave her tacit approval of these actions by not speaking up on my behalf despite my request. All of this came within a couple of weeks of each other, and all because of Cat Rambo’s hate campaign. It was frightening. I lay awake night after night, worried as someone had my address that they might break into my house and try to kill me or my children, all because I’d mentioned men weren’t getting a fair shake in short fiction markets.

I messaged Jennifer letting her know of my disappointment for her defriending me. She claimed she was taking a break from my negativity, though she’s friends with folk who post far more negative stuff on the opposite political side of the spectrum, of course those people are within the tight clique who try to destroy me personally and professionally. But I was told by other authors about the whisper campaign and messages demanding people disassociate with me. Since Jennifer is friends with Cat, I know what happened. It’s really sad that she didn’t try to get Cat to talk to me like a reasonable adult after what Cat did to me, as I’m a very forgiving guy and open to dialogue always, but Jennifer being in her position where most of her influence is among that SFWA circle of writers, without much base beyond that, could’t risk that. Instead, she gave into the demands to disassociate.

The Tragic End Of A Friendship

I remained positive. In December, I applied for SFWA. I qualified and was so excited to join an organization which had the likes of Poul Anderson and Jerry Pournelle in the past. Upon my request, Jennifer helped me find the information on the Naughty or Nice sale to prove I duly qualified for SFWA, and sent it to someone within the group, being very helpful on that first day. I didn’t know at the time that she would be approving of my blacklisting. But did she have much choice? We’ve seen what happens to anyone who dares speak out or whistleblow. It takes an incredibly brave person to risk career, friends, and actual harassment and danger in their homes. I totally understand why Jennifer would remain silent in such a situation.

It turned out that two of the SFWA board members conspired on a group called Codex Writers, when an author Merc Rustad led the Codex group into trying to take action about my SFWA app.  The board members were planning to get me banned on 12/21/17, which was within 24-hours of my app being submitted. The members in the thread were Erin M Hartshorn and Sarah Pinkster. Merc also communicated with Cat Rambo via email, who took part in this. I have hard evidence of the transcript from the forum. They conspired to make sure I was banned first — and then SFWA came up with a reason 30 days later, as they scrambled to figure out how to do it under their bylaws. The intent was discrimination because I’m an outspoken political figure. This is something SFWA members need to see and remember. This could happen to you or any of your friends by fiat, because they have rules that don’t care about your professional status. It’s a very bad precedent they just set, regardless of how you feel about me personally.

SFWA went through with their planned discrimination, and coordinated a defamation campaign with several big name authors to occur right after. They thought they were going to be able to remove me from the industry by all coming out, calling me all sorts of defamatory names, and speaking together. They thought the pressure would be so overwhelming it’d make me go away. They were wrong, as I’m redoubling my efforts to fight against the bigotry in the field.

However the main casualty of this campaign was Jennifer Brozek. They finally got to her to the point where she decided to post a blog about me last evening, 1/24/18, and praise SFWA for discriminating against me and taking their immoral and potentially illegal actions for their non-profit.

I found this to be a tragedy. Jennifer, though she’d bowed to pressure at points before, at least remained quiet. Why? Because we’d worked together. She understood. But the critical mass of the defamation took its toll. I posted a response, very respectful just as my original post was when she was making comments about half the country in 2016. It’s important if I’m being discussed to be able to advocate for the truth. I posted this last evening:

Jennifer, unfortunately, went further. She acted as if I attacked her despite my professional approach to her tragic public approval of my blacklisting.

It’s a shame. Months terrified about what I’d do if she’d take a stand? What was there to take a stand against, Jennifer? Like usual, there’s accusations and never anything tangible I ever did wrong. Because if that was said, it’s easy to point out how I was simply acting in self defense.

I’ve been treated horrifically. And it began with the way Jennifer’s assistant treated me over my political views. This has all stemmed from that. And unfortunately, because of the very real blacklisting, the very real whisper campaigns, the very real attempts to destroy lives in this industry, Jennifer and anyone who knew me in that camp was  complicit in allowing it to happen and escalating it. They couldn’t speak up. They know what happens if they do. And eventually, because no one does, they start to believe the libel and defamation repeated about me over and over by my detractors. It’s terrible. And it’s now on record.

My post on twitter that Jennifer referenced was because someone mentioned her, and I’ll post the full text here because it was a positive reply about Jennifer, something she never afforded to me despite my loyalty to her. It’s the only time I mentioned her outside of promoting her work this year. It’s because a fan asked a question and I was only completely supportive of Jennifer publicly as always, as you can see:

There is no “shield” or “hostage” situation like Jennifer hyperbolized to speak to the crowd who’s got their pitchforks ready for anyone who defends me — or even remains silent about me. This is taking a very non-situation and making it look like I’m some boogeyman because she is being pressured. It’s very sad to watch how the blacklisting works in real time, and how they get to folk.

But this is why they’re losing readers. This is why they’re losing power and market share. People see this, and they see the truth. this is the first time I’ve spoken in seriousness rather than jabbing back at the attacks and laughing it off while I continue to work hard every day writing and selling books. I don’t like spending this much time on this, when a quick tweet pointing it out and mocking the terrible behavior by the industry elites will do. Because I’m so positive and energetic all the time, that’s the real reason they hate me. They just can’t see how, with all the hate they throw at me, I can persevere and remain working and optimistic. Here’s a tip for you guys — it’s my faith in my Lord and savior Jesus Christ. It’s amazing how much God loves not only me, but you as well, and when you have your hope in things eternal, no slings and arrows of words can get you down for long. If you want to know more, I’m very friendly — please go ahead and message me. I’m always available to discuss Jesus.

Jennifer is a special case for me where I have to speak out in earnest, because she was a friend, someone I respect both personally and professionally. And over the course of one year, this is the damage that’s done when hate and bigotry prevail to the extent that it has. This is what happens when no one speaks truth to power and the elites are allowed to run rampant. The whistleblowers are the one who get all the weight of the corruption on their backs when there’s no protection for us. It’s all on the table now. I wish Jennifer the best, even though she certainly doesn’t hold that for me. It’s a shame.

If you appreciate my writings and my work, do check out my novels. My books are fun, everyone loves them right or left. And I love all of my readers regardless of who you are. That’s the way fiction’s meant to be. You can pick up For Steam And Country on Amazon. 

 

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