The reactions seem to be a law with these keyboard warriors out for vigilante social justice. 1. Someone flies in the face of their Narrative 2. They lose their collective minds and won’t stop droning on and on, parroting each other in an attempt to prove their virtue 3. When it doesn’t seem to be effective, they change the Narrative.
This is what’s been happening to me with the sci-fi establishment. These writers can’t seem to spend their time writing fiction like is their jobs (in theory) but they make post after post and blog after blog trying to defame me, as if it’s going to stop me from writing great books that everyone reads.
The original Narrative was a defamatory statement calling me a “racist bully” and claiming I was “planning on engendering a hostile environment” – that’s quite a mouthful of lack of meaning. When it was clear that didn’t make any sense, and in terms of double standards, it could apply to almost everyone attacking me, they did what they always do, they changed the Narrative.
It took some time for the “he’s planning to record!” Narrative to surface. They were coached on it by a couple of my usual trolls before it came about, and I don’t believe it was ever part of the original Narrative plan, which was left vague and unprovable on purpose. This change in Narrative fast proved a mistake, because the double standards were even worse here. A quick YouTube search shows dozens of people who record at WorldCon regularly, and other conventions. It’s a normal occurrence with these events being open to the public and being in essence media events. Normal people saw this rightly as a violation of my civil rights and free speech as a journalist, and it wasn’t an effective strategy to be blasting me on this. The most damning part of this Narrative for the haters trying to criticize me on it was it said right on their website “Recording is permitted.” So it wasn’t about that.
In the past couple days, with that Narrative being such bad publicity for the convention because of the double standard they applied over political affiliation, it’s shifted to “he’s mean on the internet!” NYT Bestsellers have been swearing about me on their twitter, lower-selling midlist authors are cheering and congratulating each other over spreading rumors and gossip like this is a high school clique rather than professionals. This strategy is going to backfire as well, because first, being mean on the internet is not a crime. No one has been banned from conventions over being mean on the internet before. And it applies to these folk in a massive double standard way. I don’t go around being nearly as mean or cruel as they are. I’m generally pretty nice and only even respond after someone’s been unusually cruel in the first place, which is well-documented. Anyone researching their “examples” of my “meanness” will find in every instance, those people attacked me hard first. It’s another desperate effort to preserve an ever-shrinking clique, and it’s really sad to watch the lengths they’ll go to for their Narrative. If the standard for banning is being mean, all of these people who are attacking me now should be banned. But they won’t be, because of the double standard of their political affiliations.
And none of that has anything to do with conventions. As one of the commenters on a recent hate thread noted, someone who attacks me regularly even admits: “he really is open and friendly and personable in person at cons.” The Narrative doesn’t make any sense in this context.
It’ll be interesting to see what they’ll do when this backfires again because of the double standards and disingenuousness. We’ve seen them do this a dozen times to right-leaning authors in Sci-Fi over the last several years. You’d think they’d learn. But at the end of the day, these folks are scared of their diminishing power structures because of self-publishing and small press. They can’t stop my books from coming out, they can’t stop them from being well-received by readers despite their desperate attempts to destroy me personally.
Their motives are clear: ban first because of his identity, then we’ll come up with a reason later. If that reason doesn’t work, we’ll try a new one. Will they ever get tired of being dishonest?
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