I know, two posts in one month. It must be Christmas. Or perhaps I’m goaded into writing by the events in SFdom over the past week.
I won’t waste preamble, if you’re here you’re here through the usual SFF channels and I’m sure you’ve heard about the hoohaa around Jonathan Ross and the Hugos. I don’t need to explain, nor do I have to outline Neil Gaiman’s (among a few others) who have spoken out in Ross’s defence and pointed out the Emperor’s Clothes in the twitterstorm which drew momentum from, in many cases, people who until that point had never even heard of Ross.
The short version; I’m very much in Gaiman’s camp on this. The long version: I’m not only disappointed in much of the SFF community over this issue, but disgusted.
Among the comments on the Guardian’s piece about the affair, one reader said:
Judging by the Twitter/Tumblr mob most calm and rational readers would be best to stay at home quietly reading their books and staying well away from getting involved with the ‘fans’.
I wish it were just the fans who acted this way, but some instigators were well known authors, who up until this moment held themselves as part of the moral elite tackling the inherent issues currently within SF.
One writer in particular has lost all my respect and future custom.
What particularly got my ire up was the open letter by Farah Mendlesohn, who was committee member, who wrote:
[Ross] is a man who has made a fortune (6 million a year at one point) from abusing others—particularly women—live on air.
I’ve only seen such ‘come, let us judge this man on his monetary success’ type wording in Chinese communist propaganda, and that’s before the flat out lying claim he’s made all his success on making fun of people.
The irony that some of the same people who have crusaded against what’s wrong in SFF at the moment have turned into what they hunted has not been lost.