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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.


Aug. 1st, 2008 03:14 am (UTC)
"The original letter was of course a privileged private communication between an editor and a writer, viz. a rejection letter."

1) And anyone who has any pretensions of being an editor knows that rejection letters are posted, in their entirety, all over the Internet, including on websites specifically devoted to such.

2) I don't care that it was private, any more than I care that the Klan was having a private meeting when it decided to burn crosses. The issue isn't privacy. The issue is Sanders being a bigot. Anyone trying to make it about privacy is reaching. Stretchily.

"Sanders' language can be , shall I say, colourful; he is a skilled user of invective, and would have made a great polemicist were he a Marxist like myself."

Sanders is being racist, intentionally or unintentionally. If it's intentional, then he's just a bigot. If it's unintentional, then he's enjoying his use of invective, and it's not particularly skilled.

As a note regarding general debate and discussion -- if you have to split hairs to explain why you're not being racist, you're probably being racist.


Jim C. Hines


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