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Transcriptase

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.

Comments

michaeldthomas
Jul. 31st, 2008 05:42 pm (UTC)
Fair enough. The OSC stuff is fresh in my mind, and I just find it interesting that I'm not hearing anything about authors pulling their stories or boycotts of the market. It makes me wonder if the reaction to Sanders's bigotry would have been different if he was more famous and Helix was a SFWA-eligible market.

As for making it easier to ignore or belittle the Sanders stuff, I'm pretty sure that it has been discussed in thorough detail. I believe he deserves all of the criticism. He said horrible things and acted like a jackass when he was caught.

Are people abusing those authors?
Nobody is abusing those authors yet, but I'm afraid that people will think these authors are "inviting abuse" once their stories are published. I just don't think that author should be chastised for the independent jackassery of their editor.

nick_kaufmann
Jul. 31st, 2008 05:49 pm (UTC)
Your concern over author abuse speak well of you, of course, but if it isn't happening, there's no point in wringing hands over it and inadvertently drawing attention away from the actual abusive entity -- Sanders -- and worrying that the authors who have, rightly in my opinion, chosen to withdraw from the market will somehow turn villainous.

As for the OSC thing, it's fresh in my mind too, since it's relatively new. And because it's so new, it may be a while yet before we see any definitive actions from authors regarding it.
michaeldthomas
Jul. 31st, 2008 05:57 pm (UTC)
I fully support the authors who pulled their work. In my mind, it was a brave decision.

Abuses in power should be exposed. I'm pleased that this is happening more and more.
shsilver
Jul. 31st, 2008 08:50 pm (UTC)
How is the OSC thing relatively new. His most recent article is just the latest in a long line of articles of a similar nature which go back for several years (since before IGMS).
nick_kaufmann
Jul. 31st, 2008 09:06 pm (UTC)
Excellent point, but this most recent one seems to be making the rounds enough that even I heard about it, and I'm often out of touch with the sf scene!

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