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Interesting update on the William Sanders/Helix mess from a while back. A number of authors (it looks like fifteen) have chosen to make their Helix-published work available at Transcriptase. Some have removed their work from Helix, while others have chosen to let it remain (for a variety of reasons, including obligation, Sanders' refusal to remove the stories -- which he is within his rights to do, or because they still love the magazine). The author statements are also worth reading.

Reaction to this mess has been interesting. The blogosphere has been pretty strong in its condemnation. In another area, I've watched discussion begin with "What's the big deal" and devolve into people making slut/ho jokes. And in Sanders' newsgroup, I've seen accusations that the only people getting worked up over this are wannabe losers trying to make themselves feel important. To that last accusation, I think it's worth noting some of the names involved in Transcriptase, including Eugie Foster, Jennifer Pelland, Beth Bernobich, and Janis Ian, among others. The author statements are worth reading as well, and I think it's important to note the range of reactions.

Would write more, but I've got a book deadline in 24 hours.

ETA: First paragraph edited to try to reduce my own biases. Thanks, shsilver.


Jul. 31st, 2008 05:33 pm (UTC)
I may be the first to say this, so be it.
No one is abusing those authors, but I think it's safe to say that blindly standing by as this swirls and proclaiming that the two are separate (the editor's views and the magazine which seem to hinge on the editor's views) taints everyone involved.

I have no problem with an author who wants to leave thier works up but decries what Sanders did.

I cannot say with certainty that I will not look at an author published in Helix who claims that this issue is nothing more that whiny authors looking to get attention over a rejection letter with a favorable eye. I've come across three so far, and I while I may not have picked up their work before, I can't be certain that I won't avoid them in the future. I'm human and therefore fickle.

Much like it's hard to read Lewis Carroll's work without the tickling that he may have had an unhealthy thing for little girls. Much like it's very difficult for me to read anything by Orson Scott Card knowing how he feels about issues I in turn feel very strongly about. (Yes these names are "tangentially related", as you say, but still make the point)

Silence isn't an option. Not speaking up about what happened only says the problem doesn't exist or it doesn't matter or it's a non-issue. I can't see how that's acceptable.
Jul. 31st, 2008 05:50 pm (UTC)
Re: I may be the first to say this, so be it.
I agree. This should be talked about.

No one is abusing those authors
According to Jennifer Pelland, she was told by people that they"have no respect for anyone who's been published in the magazine."

The authors got caught in this mess.
Jul. 31st, 2008 06:15 pm (UTC)
Re: I may be the first to say this, so be it.
There are a lot of us that got caught up in this and responded with less than civility.

Over the last few days as this has erupted over and over and people have either calmed down or gone off the deep end, opinions have been formed.

I've been reading, and I did read up on Jen and her reasons for her actions and I respect them. She's in a difficult position being in a nominated magazine that is currently the whipping boy for race relations in Sci-fi/Spec/Fantasy writing.

There will always be ill-informed people who make snap decisions based on little more that hearsay. Luckily there are more people who take time to think things through.

This will be true on both sides of this issue.


Jim C. Hines


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