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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 11:06 pm (UTC)
Agreed, at least with what I think you're saying (so if I go off on a strange non-what-you-said tangent, it's me getting it wrong).

I think, as a judgmental self-righteous person who tries to be aware of the fact that I am same, I'm somewhere in the middle. I'm more likely to pick up something by someone who spoke up. I'll try to give the benefit of the doubt to people who didn't pull their stories and didn't issue any kind of statement -- I'll treat them like the friends of the guy who's acting like an asshole at the party, assuming that they aren't assholes but are uncomfortable with their friend being an asshole and aren't sure what to do about it.

The people who defended him do not get that same benefit of the doubt. You want to stand there silently and uncomfortably because you don't feel comfortable taking a stand? Cool. There are issues where I'm like that. But if you jump in to defend Sanders, you've picked a side, and that side is wrong.

So no, I won't be boycotting anyone still on Helix. I just won't be reading anyone who stuck up publicly for bigotry.


Jim C. Hines


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