When You Feel Disowned By Your Own

I’m not usually negative or political (or long-winded) when it comes to my blog, or author page, but the reality of the SF/F world is getting more and more exclusive under the delusion of being inclusive.

Let me start at the beginning, so you’ll understand what makes this so difficult for me:

I can remember as a kid never fitting in. In school, I was made fun of, and bullied to the point of coming home muddied, bloodied, glasses broken, so finally my mother enrolled me in karate. Even with the physical batterings gotten rid of (Tang Soo!), the name-calling and being mocked didn’t stop (they just kept their distance, and unfortunately, there’s no block in karate to stop a foul mouth).

And besides being “different” (who knew what Asperger’s was back then?), I loved “weird” things, and by high school the name-calling took on really making fun of those things, like Star Trek. I spent my whole day on guard, braced for attack, feeling like I had to be ready to fight. Any mention of Star Trek (except among my close friends) was derogatory.

Then I went to my first convention. The first time I heard “Star Trek” and “Spock” just inside the door, automatically I went into “fight or flight.” Then I realized – I wasn’t being targeted or made fun of, but these people loved what I did! I felt a sense of belonging even though I knew no one. We grokked! The Vulcan salute was given and returned, often with “Live long and prosper” as well. I didn’t need to watch my back. These were My People; I had found a place where I could let down my guard and just be me. I could actually relax, breathe, smile, and feel safe.

I still feel that same sense of belonging and fun at local cons (I have raised my hands when seeing cosplayers go by my table and called out “I have found my people!”), but I have a feeling I wouldn’t find that at most of the Big Cons, for example, WorldCon.

It isn’t about loving science fiction and fantasy; it isn’t about finding others who enjoy your fandoms and getting excited talking about your favorite book, movie, or TV show, or whether there’s going to be a sequel, and did she release her newest book yet? Oh my gosh, did you hear, she killed off Character A! Hey, did you read the fanfic about that series? Oh, look at that cosplayer, what a fantastic outfit! Did you see the fanfic webseries about that old show – it’s so well done! Aaaah, Spock is talking to the Doctor and the Hero of Canton, the man we call Jayne!

I don’t think I’d feel that same acceptance and exuberance at the Big Cons. I don’t fit in with their message of “striving to be inclusive of fandom,” which is only inclusive if you agree with them or if you write stories which fit their narrative.

Haven’t those now running these Big Cons understood that stories like 1984, Animal Farm, and “Minority Report” are cautionary, not instruction manuals?

Oh, and let’s not forget, even if I wrote the kind of stories that fit their “message fiction” agenda, because I’m Indie, I’m “not a real writer” and would be shunned anyway. Because, you know, inclusive.


= = =

In case you don’t know what’s going on, or what I’m talking about, “Banned from Hugo” By Moira Greyland Peat explains it very well.

When we pulled into Worldcon in need of R&R
The puppies, Sad and Rabid camped in every joint and bar
We had Trufan expectations of their hospitality
But found too late it wasn’t geared for Puppies such as we

And we’re Banned from Hugo, everyone
Banned from Hugo just for having that Wrongfun
We spent a jolly Worldcon there for just three days or four
But Hugo doesn’t want us anymore…

Our Captain’s tastes were simple and his stories were complex
We found he’d sold five manuscripts and pocketed large checks
The Thought Police were on the way—he had no second chance
His heroine was fair and blonde, and had a straight romance!

And we’re Banned from Hugo, everyone
Banned from Hugo just for having that Wrongfun
We spent a jolly Worldcon there for just three days or four
But Hugo doesn’t want us anymore…

Our Engineer would yield to none at writing Rabid tales
He wrote them for Castalia House and made a ton of sales
His favorite story didn’t win, but it got the votes of all
And now he’s got his No Award on the mantle of his hall!

Our proper, cool new Editor wrote something of her own
And when the draft was finished she was scared to have it shown
Her characters were thoughtful, worse, they acted morally
And Right and Wrong meant only that, and the good guys saved the day!

Our authors are the finest and our bloggers are our pride
And when Dave Truesdale led a panel, tempers quickly fried
We’re sorry that the truth he told was just too strong for you
The SJWs kicked him out and loudly cried boo hoo!

When Truesdale took the mic, he said some things that were no fun
The audience was rude indeed, and told him he was done!
The Emperor has no clothes, he said, the Hugos are a jest
Political correctness has become the litmus test!

And now, just one year later, they have banned Jon Del Arroz
Because he’ll bring a camera, and Wrongthink clouds his prose
#FreeJDA is what we say to the haters at that zoo
But DragonCon will be more fun for fans like me and you!

(Thank you, Moira, for allowing me to reprint this.)

Moira’s story, growing up as the daughter of a famous SF writer, can be read in her book, The Last Closet. I highly recommended it, but be aware, it’s not fun, lighthearted read.

**And for the latest news, this popped up as I was writing this post, so I’m going to put it here for further reading, should you be interested:

Conservative Hispanic Writer Jon Del Arroz Banned from Worldcon Sci-Fi Convention




One thought on “When You Feel Disowned By Your Own

  1. It saddens me to see stuff like that happening. I thought the writing community, if not the fandom community, would be the most open of any. But I completely understand how you feel. There does seem to be a prejudice against indie/self-pub authors. I don’t get why that exists. Readers just want to read. They don’t care you publishes the thing. As for the thought police, it’s a hard thing to swallow. I miss the days where we could all just agree to disagree and it was okay to believe what we believe. There’s a lot of intolerance veiled in the search for tolerance. Don’t let it bring you down. I hope one day you can again feel that inclusion you once felt and be comfortable attending events.


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