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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 01:25 pm (UTC)
"Sheet head" is not a term I would use myself, that's for sure. All the same, I don't think anybody in North America is entirely free of racism, it's ingrained in the majority culture; it should be fought, but I'm not going to break with my online buddy because he says stuff like this. I'm a freight handler at a downtown hospital and I hear worse than that every day from my fellow workers.

The racism to be fought first, IMNSHO, is the institutional stuff that our rulers use to keep us divided. Ki!! that and the other stuff will die.

He and I share an attitude that many liberals find troub!ing, a recognitionn of the necessity of self-defense ... the group we both admire most from the civil rights movement, e.g., is the Deacons for Defense and Justice.
Whether he is a sexist is another question entirely ... he certainly can be openly heterosexual, just ask D or Vera.

Aug. 1st, 2008 01:36 pm (UTC)
"I don't think anybody in North America is entirely free of racism, it's ingrained in the majority culture; it should be fought..."

No argument on that point. I can't speak for everyone, but I can speak for myself, and I know I'm still struggling to excise a lot of what I've learned over the years re: both racism and sexism.

And I wouldn't ask you to turn your back on a friend. I'd hope that *if* you're uncomfortable with what your friend said, that you might mention something to him. But I also know that's damned uncomfortable and hard to do, at least for me.

I hadn't heard of the Deacons for Defense and Justice -- thank you. I've got a second Internet window open on them right now. Interesting reading, and so far it sounds like an impressive group.


Jim C. Hines


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