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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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in relation to tor
children of dune - leto 1
There's been some discussion of a boycott of Tor--I mean, I am not seeing an anti-Tor community popping up or anything, but before that happens, I'm going to quote chopchica on the subject:

The thing is, phn and tnh, while both *huge assholes* =/= Tor, just as some really asshatted authors =/= Tor. There are a lot of authors - and future authors - who will be the ones penalized if there's a boycott or backlass. It's a real conundrum for me. I personally don't ever want them to see a dime of my money. However, I don't want to punish others for their bad behavior.

I'm a bit worried that this post is going to rally up some kind of larger boycott, or be seen as a call for one, so I'm going to run around and paste this response here and there, just to make it clear I am *not* suggesting everybody boycott Tor. I think a much better response would be to send letters of crit to the top of the houses, to try to make it clear that the actions of pnh and especially tnh are very seriously hurting their future business - as well as possibly frightening a lot of future authors into never subbing to them.
- link

This isn't to suggest anyone--anyone, most especially those most hurt by tnh's actions during this--shouldn't follow their conscience and if they are uncomfortable buying from Tor, I respect and support their decision completely and without reserve.

Having said that, I think chopchica hit the nail on the head in what this means. I'm not sure a boycott will have any effect on tnh or her husband, but it could badly damage other writers. As someone with several published writers on their flist (I have no idea what company they use, come to think, but they could be affected, so take this with the knowledge I have a Schrodinger's dog who may or may not be fighting), I'm aware, as far as their entries on the subject have indicated, how difficult it is to make a comfortable living doing it. For that matter, I think most of us can name one or two published or pre-published writers we know and talk to.

I cannot and will not presume to tell anyone, for any reason, what they should do or how they should feel (and if I do, hi, if my pants are down? I will fix that shit first, ask questions later), but I do want to emphasize that the authors affected will be invisible collateral damage. We won't know who they are, or how they will be affected, or if a new writer, maybe one of our friends, a member of our community, our fandom, our flist, was rejected in relation to a formal boycott.

So--yes. I only rewrote that four times in an hour.

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I think Chopchica and your point is well-made.

That said, I'll be staying far away from ML from now on, and there are certain particular writers who will not be getting any of my royalties from now on.

But I really do need to buy Toby Buckell's stuff.

I think I'm going author-specific on this one, too. And yeah, ML is off my reading list. I don't think I can read it again and not remember what was said in tnh's LJ.

*perk* Is Toby involved in NON-asshaberdashery, or was that a general sentiment?

I am *totally* well made! \o/

What you said, and what seperis said.

Ummm...could you please explain what this all about? I tried to read up on the backstory, but so far, all I'm getting is that someone did something mean and someone else did something mean back. What's going on?

God, I'm probably the worst to do this since I wasn't even reading my flist when the cultural appropriation debates started. chopchica's post has a pretty good summary of the latest part of it.

Can I send you to her post? Post is here. The very, very short version is, there was a discussion in tnh's husband's post (now deleted) that called him on some of his assumptions regarding the aforementioned cultural appropriation debates and that some of it had racist connotations (I havent' seen this post; he deleted it when he deleted his lj). She defended her husband in a now-locked post that quickly went badly and accused everyone who didn't agree with her of being sockpuppets. Then there was the second post that is visible now.

That's a completely bare bones rendering of it and I think is way too simplistic to encompass this; I think chopchica's post will at least cover the latest part. I'd also really encourage reading through rydra_wong's links here. It's a *lot* of reading, but it's excellent stuff and I recommend reading through it all if you can.

Yuck, I keep coming late the discussion, and by the time I get there - the original source of the problem is deleted. But I have to say that I'm not wild about the secondary reactions. Just.. complete inability to accept that she might have said something wrong. Complete. No, clearly this is because people don't like her or something. Like that even makes sense.

But I think you are generally correct. While Tor may eventually drop her due to bad publicity (though, in a way, I hope they don't since they'll just play into her paranoia, and I'd always rather people "See the light" rather than suffer damage), it is not like the publisher is endorsing her livejournal.

I do, however, understand that people can no longer buy her material in good conscience. I won't even read Orson Scott Card's work because of some political statements he's made, particularly regarding sexuality.

I do sometimes wonder if in the final analysis, discussions of author's political and other beliefs will just generally lead to publishers strongly suggesting that their authors not communicate with the public outside of official channels. It seems like it rarely does them good, and often does them harm. But it's not like the public can possibly ignore those statements once they're made.

Well, to make it more complicated, TNH is an editor at Tor, not a writer. So people not wanting to support her end up penalizing writers who may or may not agree with her opinions.

It's sad how much BNFs (fandom or publishing) are allowed (or think they're allowed) to get away with just because of their [perceived] status.

I'm certainly not going to read ML any longer, or buy the books of the authors who participated in this thing, but I don't want to participate in a boycott or Tor -- because, as you said, it would also target people who weren't involved in this.

Unfortunately I don't think the boycott is going to be big enough or loud enough to be heard of anywhere but a small part of the online community.

The entire thing is a damn shame. They were people whose opinions I respected and whose works, fiction and meta, I enjoyed reading. To see them behave like this is disheartening.

I was just talking to my husband about this, and how sad I am that writers I really liked have turned out to be such assholes, and that I'll never read them again. Why are the words "I'm sorry" so incredibly difficult for some people to say? And then to walk away from the keyboard.

What a sad, horrible mess.

I think writing a letter of complaint would be better than a boycott. Holtzbrinck USA owns Tor (for various reasons, I think writing directly to Tor would not be worthwhile), and letters could be directed to their HR Department.

Letters could also be directed to the sponsors of BoingBoing and Making Light.

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It's an expression meaning you are acting like an ass (and therefore showing your ass) in public and that theoretically instead of showing your ass, you might prefer to have it pointed out so you can fix the situation (ie put on some pants).


That is a good timeline to get an idea of what started this and what it's turned into. rydra_wong has an extensive set of links as well.

How far back do you want to go? IIRC, it all started with Elisabeth Bear posting about how easy it is to write the Other. Fen of colour disagreed, citing problems with Bear's work, and she apologised & backed down BUT Bear's friends leaped in to defend her, in her LJ and on their own. Nasty language was used, and Bear didn't call her friends on it so it escalated.

*points up* a lot of people have done good links round-ups.

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