Wednesday, January 3, 2018

More Fun With Hugo

     The science fiction reading / writing community once agreed, albeit tacitly, that the point of our beloved genre was entertainment. You know: fun. Diversion. Scope for the imagination. Maybe, once or twice a year, a get-together with others who share our enthusiasm for this special landscape of the mind.

     Things have changed. The colonization and conquest of the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) and of the World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) at which the once-coveted Hugo Awards are given, by Social Justice Warrior (SJW) snowflakes has permanently marred what was once a thing of pure enjoyment. In brief, they own Worldcon and the Hugos, and no one who differs with their crabbed, self-righteous ideology shall be permitted to participate meaningfully in them. Indeed, the SJWs will do their best to hound out of the Con anyone they regard as inimical to their hard-left / gender-war / race-and-ethnicity-war / homosexualist / anti-capitalist / anti-white / anti-freedom convictions.

     Not everyone who still regards SF as entertainment and a place where the imagination can roam freely is willing to accept that:

     A lot of what I do is point out that so much of these little cliques of Science Fiction writers focus their entire lives on (they certainly don’t focus on selling books) is how they make FAKE OUTRAGE stories out of something that shouldn’t be a story at all. The last week exemplified this as, incredibly, the community of internet science fiction writers collectively lost their minds when:
  1.      A professional Science Fiction writer with the qualifications joined SFWA. This is a writer’s guild. I am a professional writer. It’s that simple. Not liking me doesn’t have anything to do with it. The entire point of the club in theory is to protect writers like me from suffering undue hate or illegal discrimination from the industry. Yet that didn’t stop File 770’s nasty hate brigade from going off the rails over my joining. A lot of the anger must have been because it very uncomfortable about themselves, as it really points to a LOT of ugly truths about them with some of the nasty things they said.
  2.      A professional Science Fiction writer is attending a Science Fiction convention. Like with Diversity & Comics earlier this year, I was immediately targeted by low-level professionals to try to preemptively get me kicked out of the con for my mere presence. This is exactly why I have to wear a body cam to go to the con to begin with, some of these folk will almost certainly try to frame me for a crime, and I will have evidence to the contrary. Worldcon needs to step it up and make sure I’m protected from these crazies so my friends and fans can have fun.

     Now, I don’t know Jon Del Arroz. I haven’t read anything he’s written. My interest in this matter was piqued by a Facebook entry that came to my attention via fellow writer Marina Fontaine:

     Worldcon 76 has chosen to reduce Jonathan Del Arroz's membership from attending to supporting. He will not be allowed to attend the convention in person. Mr. Del Arroz's supporting membership preserves his rights to participate in the Hugo Awards nomination and voting process. He was informed of our decision via email.

     We have taken this step because he has made it clear that he fully intends to break our code of conduct. We take that seriously. Worldcon 76 strives to be an inclusive place in fandom, as difficult as that can be, and racist and bullying behavior is not acceptable at our Worldcon. This expulsion is one step towards eliminating such behavior and was not taken lightly. The senior staff and board are in agreement about the decision and it is final. If you have any questions or concerns feel free to share them here or in email at

     The supposed violation of the Worldcon “code of conduct?” Del Arroz’s intention to wear a body cam, as he stated in the previous post. As I haven’t read the Worldcon “code of conduct,” I have no idea whether that’s prohibited by it explicitly or implicitly. However, if we accept Del Arroz’s testimony about what befell him at the Diversity & Comics convention, he has sound reasons to want the protection of an objective record of any encounters with hostile attendees. And we know from experience how hostile SJWs can be toward us Normals...especially en masse.

     Frankly, if I were involved in staging Worldcon, I’d be hurrying to distance myself from the idiocy of their decision to exclude Del Arroz. I’d be far more interested in getting the full scoop about what happened to Del Arroz at Diversity & Comics, with as many eyewitness confirmations as possible. But it appears that Worldcon is now “wholly owned” by the SJW snowflakes, who deem it their privilege to harass, threaten, vilify, and generally offend anyone they dislike without fear of any adverse consequence.

     However, the first error belongs to Del Arroz: He shouldn’t have announced his intentions. He gave those who despise him a rationale under which to exclude him. That was stupid. He ought to have known from previous events that they would be watching his site for any such.

     Of course, I could argue that joining SFWA and attending Worldcon are equally unforced errors. “Don’t be a joiner!” I cry once more. ("And stay away from crowds," choruses Ol' Remus.) Especially if the organization at issue is already as completely ruined as SFWA or Worldcon. But chacun a son gout.


Joseph said...

The politicization of SF fandom is nothing new. Back in 1971, Donald A. Wollheim said of Campbell-era Analog (in "The Universe Makers"):

"For mighty few are the Hugos and Nebulas won by Analog entries. The highest awards of science fiction in literature and popular reader appeal go fairly consistently to novels and short stories from the pages of Galaxy, Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and the publishers of original novels in book form."

This was despite the large circulation of Analog.

In other words, maybe this merely means the 1970s are back ... like a horrible recurring nightmare.

Unknown said...

Jon's just being a man of integrity. You know, that tells you up-front about who they are, what they're doing, etc. I call it an error, to be honest. The error was converting him from attending to supporting, since that's an explicit material breach of agreement (the body cam ISN'T a breach of the code of conduct like they're making it out to's only a hostile environment if you're going to be an ass...videography is allowed and encouraged throughout all areas of the Con except the Art room, for obvious reasons on the Art room restriction.)

In the end, they're as you described, through and through.

ÆtherCzar said...

I don't think there was anything morally wrong with Jon's conduct. Perhaps you're right about it being a tactical error to tip his hand about the body cam, but it's not like WorldCon couldn't have found a different excuse to ban Jon. It's pretty clear the decision had already been made and they were just looking for an excuse to justify it. While I tend to agree with you that infiltrating WorldCon to subvert... supervert? them away from their social justice mindset was not going to work, being polite and exposing their hypocrisy when they don't reciprocate chips away at their erroneous perception of holding the moral high ground. There's value in that, and many different ways to engage in cultural activism.