SciFi Psych-out, or Perhaps I should write under a pseudonym

Talk about ups and downs! Just a couple of weeks ago I received great news. Then I was pelted with an old tomato. Metaphorically, of course.

This past summer, I helped edit some essays for a compilation book by science fiction writer John C. Wright, author of Count to a Trillion and many other fine stories.

I “met” him online many years ago when I had a livejournal account and I took part in a little fandom for a now-cancelled SF show. I started haunting the Science Fiction aisles of used bookstores when I moved to Metro Detroit, but I didn’t know many real-life SF fans.

Mr. Wright’s fans – and other SF writers who occasionally commented on his site – shared my taste for swashbucklers and “pulp” writers like C.L. Moore.  They suggested a lot of writers I’d never read – Gene Wolf and Tim Powers among others. I enjoyed the interaction, both the serious discussions of the writing process and literary movements, as well as occasional updates on The Space Princess Movement and outbreaks of what can only be called Catwoman Appreciation Days. (Of the latter, please don’t ask!)

A couple of weeks ago, I found out Mr. Wright’s book of essays was  for a Hugo award. I was happy for him. But I was also as pleased as punch with the association, especially as I continue my own writing.

Then Entertainment Weekly published a story depicting him and everyone associated with him in a negative light. It seems the EW writer skipped the journalism classes that covered verifying the veracity of one’s sources – also known as “make sure it’s true before you print, stupid.” Not only did she try to tie the Hugo awards nominations in with a recent controversy about sexism in video games – aka “GamerGate” – but she categorized writers like Rajnar Vajra and Kary English as “white men” riding a tide of misogyny and racism to their nominations. (?!?!)

The magazine ran a correction, but you know that saying about the lie traveling halfway around the world while truth puts on its trousers…

I hope that the controversy surrounding the nomination process – including the “Sad Puppies” campaign – blows over before the voting begins. I was really looking forward to seeing if my favorites win.

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