Racist, sexist, bigots are everywhere and unfortunately more than a few have learned to write. Like most chronic diseases, these individuals flare up from time to time. Sure they’re irritating but they’re also dangerous as well. They do real damage those they pursue to say nothing of the perception of their craft. They also recruit others to their cause, which is perhaps the worst part of all.
Ugly stuff, folks.
The world of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America is dealing with one of these flare ups. There’s a lot of ink (both real and virtual) flying around.
Then there was this post by Tobias Buckell:
A glimpse at the racism lurking around science fiction tobiasbuckell.com/2013/06/13/a-g…
— Tobias Buckell (@tobiasbuckell) June 13, 2013
Later, he tweeted an apology for cranking out his post in a hasty manner. I thought… Well, at least he did something, and I told him so. His response?
Now think about this for a second. This guy didn’t just write a blog post, or even a single book about this issue. He created an entire universe and a trilogy where he could grapple with issues of race and gender while still providing readers with a rockin’ good ride.
This is a little more than trying in my opinion. It sounds like a helluva lot of doing. Writers like Toby make me want to be a better writer and a better human being. They make me want to DO something.
So, I did… I bought Tobias Buckell’s books.
All of them. Including different formats of the books I already owned.
Then a tweet by Mur Lafftery pointed me in another direction:
Huh. Bigot pees on the Internet. Time to buy a spec fic book by a woman. Do I have all of @nkjemisin‘s work yet? *heads to amazon wish list*
— Mur Lafferty (@mightymur) June 13, 2013
I’d heard about N. K. Jemisin’s work awhile back. I just hadn’t made the time to dig in.
So, I did something. I bought N. K. Jemisin’s books.
Am I saying that opening your wallet and doing something good for people who are trying to do good is the way to combat chronic assholery? Yes, I that’s exactly what I’m saying.
And sometimes, the people who need a boost are those who haven’t always been good. Sometimes you have to extend a hand to someone who is trying to do better, trying to lift themselves out of the shit and be a better person:
This sucked to write. Moreso to post. But here we go: “I Confess to Killing the Soul of a Woman Just to Watch It Die” bit.ly/16e0ipo
— Matt Wallace (@MattFnWallace) June 12, 2013
So yeah, I bought all of Matt’s books too.
Finally, if you’re in a asshole smashing mood, but maybe not in a reading mood, you should drop by John Scalzi’s blog. Scalzi’s thrown up a donation challenge for the Carl Brandon Society and the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship Fund. You should get in on it…
So after I did all this stuff, what else did I do? I wrote this post. I wrote it because one person out there might go and do something too. I hope it’s you.