It was an interesting day to say the least yesterday, as I couldn’t have anticipated SFWA President Cat Rambo threatening a lawsuit over my ask for her to appear as a guest on my youtube show. As I discussed on my periscope, my thought was to talk RPGs and writing — since we both are vocal RPG lovers and could drill down the benefits and drawbacks of using that in our fiction. I clearly said no politics, but Ms. Rambo decided to double down on the political.
Which she’s been doing ever since I came out with my deep journalism on the recent science fiction industry, detailing the very real discrimination against stories written by men. The Pink Mafia or Mean Girls crowd as it’s called has several magazines and anthologies every month that openly advertise their preference of female-written stories, often citing “intersectional feminism” in their submissions requirements. It should be obvious with those in place, what the results would be upon a look into the industry. However, the mere mention of affirmative action on behalf of female writers is enough to send some off the deep end. A discussion on the topic can’t even be had.
When my article came out, I sent it to Ms. Rambo, as she’s in a position of power in the industry as the President of the Science Fiction Writers Of America, and the numbers of published stories by females being so much higher than ones published by males (when the magazines all say there are FAR greater submissions by males) is troubling, as it appears very difficult to get published as a male in the industry — let alone a white one. Instead of having an honest dialogue, Ms. Rambo returned a comment trolling me by calling my extremely hard work “alt-numbers” via an email back. She wrote a second email a few minutes later saying she went through my twitter and is now dismissing ME as a troll — right after she trolled me. As if that very frightening gaslighting wasn’t enough, she then took to twitter to try to discredit my article.
She made a tweet that seems innocuous, and would be were it not for her position of power relative to a humble new indie author, and then what she did with it. Unfortunately, what she did merits removal from the SFWA organization under their rules.
Above is her tweet, which lists a number of markets for short stories. the intention to say that I didn’t put together an accurate sample size of the markets in order to discredit me. Instead of talking to me, saying “add in these markets” (I put in all of the monthly magazines that take open submissions that I could think of), she took her one-sided feud with me to twitter to try to lambast me. This was not the discussion I had in mind certainly, and i would have been happy to add more markets to the analysis.
But the real problem is she then took to the SFWA account — the official Science Fiction Writers of America Twitter, which saves its posts for very real science fiction topics and assistance for authors, to use it to retweet her post to discredit me. She took her personal feud, of which the context matters, and used their main account to try to harm an independent author’s career.
This is a disaster for SFWA’s public relations. What it does is signals that independent free thinking authors are going to be shut down by an organization that labels itself for all Science Fiction writers if they dare step outside the political narratives that a few loud voices have. It says independent authors are not welcome, but more importantly men, whites, and conservatives are not welcome either.
This is where it gets even more political, unless SFWA acts and is consistent with their own rules. Author Vox Day was kicked out of the organization several years ago over this very thing. SFWA actually publicly removed him for using their twitter account for a feud with another author. When asked about it, Vox said, “Actually, it’s worse than that. I didn’t use or have access to @sfwa. I merely used @SFWAauthors.”
If Vox can be removed for using @SFWAAuthors in such a matter, surely using the main account to try to belittle and hurt the career an independent author is worse. I’ve reached out to SFWA’s vice president, Erin M. Hartsorn for comment, but she has yet to reply on this topic.
I’m certain SFWA’s rules that apply to one of their authors will certainly apply to their president. After all, they’re for all Science Fiction writers. It’s not just a political organization, right? If they fail to take action, the thin veil of the extreme politics controlling science fiction may fall off completely.