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Red Writer: I stand with Irene Gallo.

Near the middle of The Grass King's Concubine there's a three page section where one of the protagonists (Aude) explains to one of the inhabitants of the Grass King's reign the basic principles of socialist. It's in chapter 17, pp.217-19, if you want to check. It states, pretty much in black and white, that the character -- and the author, as it happens -- is opposed to a system in which a small number of people have the bulk of the wealth and power, at the expense and to the detriment of the many. I believe this to be true and I included it in the book on purpose. Both Grass King and its sequel, A Fire of Bones which I am working on at present, are overtly, deliberately, avowedly political books. I'm a political writer: more, I am an openly socialist writer. And I'm proud of it. No insult calling me a communist or a pinko or any such thing can offend me, because this is who I am, at core; these are my principles and I hold to them. A system which favours the few over the many is broken. A system in which wealth trickles upwards from the poorest, the excluded, the disprivileged, is immoral. Oppression, deprivation and exclusion are the fruits of unregulated robber-baron capitalism, and the latter in the form in which it currently exists is industrialised feudalism.

A few weeks ago, Tor books art editor Irene Gallo, writing in her own space and under her own name, not in relation to her employer, called Theodore Beale aka Vox Day, the leader of the self-named 'Rabid Puppy' movement which is presently trying to spread the culture war between hard right and centre-right in the U.S.A. a racist, sexist, neo-Nazi. And she's right. I'm not going to provide links here to prove this: I have no interest in giving the man the clicks. But google him, look at his website and you will quickly find that Ms Gallo wrote no more than the truth. Today, Mr Beale is spear-heading an attack to get Tor to fire Irene Gallo, for daring to stand up to him, and getting his followers to write letters to this effect. He does not like what she said. And he wants her silenced and punished.

Mr Beale defends his own abusive language in terms of the U.S. free speech laws, and has used that to launch racist, sexist, homophobic and bullying attacks on many people within the sff community. He has a *right* to be abusive, he tells us, over and over. But he does not believe that this right to what he calls 'free speech' should extend to anyone who contradicts him, or talks back. He does not believe that Irene Gallo has this right. Oh, he has wrapped this up in a specious argument about her position in the industry, but she made her remarks about him in her private capacity. While he abused his membership of SFWA, the official body for professional SF writers, to use the sfwa twitter feed to make a vicious racist attack on writer N. K. Jemison. For this, he was thrown out of SFWA. If anyone has demonstrated an abuse of position, it's Beale and not Ms Gallo.

Mr Beale believes in freedom only for himself and those who agree with him. He believes he has the right to police the words and lives of everyone else and punish or destroy them if they offend. He is the perfect robber capitalist, dreaming of a world in which the rich -- and he is very very rich -- control everything, from resources and awards to bodies and thoughts of those who he considers his inferiors. He's trying that today with TOR books.

And this red writer is standing here in his way. The US culture war does not belong in our genre, which is global and not the property of any one interest group or political belief. Do I want right-wing books and writers in my genre? Yes, I do. Writing belongs to us all. Do I want *only* right wing books and *only* white, straight, American male writers? No, because that is counter not only to the roots of sff -- which lie in the work of writers of all races, ethnicities, genders, sexualities, and political views -- but to my personal principles, which believe in inclusion and support for the many rather than privilege for the (predictable straight white male) few.

I stand with Irene Gallo.

Or, and if you want to go and denounce me and my books as communist, feel free. I'm not ashamed of my politics.


Skirt of the day: denim.

Comments

al_zorra
Jun. 15th, 2015 07:26 pm (UTC)
The moment after finishing reading the bs TD published on the Tor website I knew I would never buy another book with the Tor imprint again.

In fact, whether this is right or not, I'm not going to read any book with the Tor imprint either.

How dare he throw his female employee under the bus and not even acknowledge that Patrick, Teresa and many other of his employees, have weighed in the same way, online, in public, on their own sites? This is the worst pandering and sexist assholery to show up yet. This is direct sexist assholery from a powerful male person in the field. It speaks not only volumes but entire libraries about the sexism that underpins the field.
mevennen
Jun. 15th, 2015 07:32 pm (UTC)
A Tor Hugo nominee has apparently been complaining that he has had emails from people who want to buy his book but are boycotting Tor because of Irene Gallo. So they support him but can't support him because they support him.

I hope to publish my breakthrough novel THE WORLD WITH NO LOGIC, in 2017, independently.
la_marquise_de_
Jun. 15th, 2015 08:15 pm (UTC)
I was not impressed with his letter, for the reasons you give.
On the other hand, a boycott based on that plays into Beale's hands, so I'm not sure. If Tor fold -- which is unlikely, but I'm thinking out loud here -- all the writers and all the employees lose. So... Not sure.
And while I think TD was wrong over this, I don't thing it was the worst part of the puppy mess, compared with the pronoucements of Beale and Wright.
mevennen
Jun. 16th, 2015 07:26 am (UTC)
Yes. I've seen people elsewhere saying that they won't buy Kameron Hurley's essay collection, because it's a Tor publication. A boycott will mainly hurt authors. It won't make much difference to Scalzi, but it will to Hurley.
la_marquise_de_
Jun. 16th, 2015 10:54 am (UTC)
Yes: there are authors whose books I won't buy (Mr Beale being at the top of this list) but I worry about the impact on the innocent of wide boycotts of house like Tor. It's not the same as boycotting a supermarket chain.
murphys_lawyer
Jun. 16th, 2015 12:10 am (UTC)
I'm not boycotting Tor books. VD wants to destroy SF in order to save it, and a boycott fits in with his plans. I'll just choose my books carefully, and keep an eye on which side of the barricades I need to shore up. Ruddy puppies make my personal political; I get political with them.
redbird
Jun. 16th, 2015 03:09 am (UTC)
Have you considered that an effective boycott of Tor by any group, for any reason could cost Irene Gallo her job?
la_marquise_de_
Jun. 16th, 2015 10:54 am (UTC)
This worries me, too. She does not deserve that.
al_zorra
Jun. 16th, 2015 11:59 am (UTC)
I have considered that TD catering to the SP campaign by throwing Gallo under the bus includes getting rid of Gallo. They are demanding he do so.

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