To complete a trio of posts on related topics. Jon del Arroz, a science fiction author whose book we’ve reviewed here has had his attending membership of the 2018 Worldcon downgraded to supporting membership. The exact reasons are presumably confidential but Worldcon has indicated that they had concerns regarding Jon and their own code of conduct. People have pointed to examples of things Jon has said he would do at Worldcon including wearing a body cam to video people causing trouble at him.
In the meantime, Jon has gained a lot of publicity as a consequence. A lengthy rant in his defence on Facebook by Larry Correia, a angsty post from Sarah Hoyt on Mad Genius Club, a sneery post by Vox Day – indeed a whole set of people who expressed how much they were finished with Worldcon back in late 2015, and then again in 2016, and then again in 2018, are once again announcing how very much they are now, once again, completely done with Worldcon.
Jon himself is happy with the boost to his sales, stating on Twitter:
“Never thought I’d get up to #6 in steampunk this week (2nd highest this book has been so far) though I’d love to see it up to #1. ”
So it would seem from the conservative & alt-right perspective the “ban” had the net effect of:
- Preventing Jon from attending a convention that according to assorted sad, rabid and scrappy-doo puppies is a terrible con full of terrible people and a complete waste of time.
- Boosted sales of his book.
You’d think they’d be happy 🙂
There are, as far as I can tell, almost no downsides for Jon del Arrox *unless* he really, really, wanted to go to Worldcon. That seems doubtful given that Jon largely accepts much of what Vox Day and the Sad Puppies have claimed about Worldcon and the supposed Sci-Fi establishment AND given that he has been claiming that he expected Worldcon to be a hostile environment for him.
So is this some kind of own goal for Worldcon? After all, the downgrading of the membership could be seen as playing into Jon’s hands? No, just because it is a net gain for Jon Del Arroz doesn’t mean it is some kind of loss for Worldcon.
What was the net effect on Worldcon?
- A community of people who have been claiming for half a decade that Worldcon is to very varying degrees a terrible thing, once again complain that Worldcon is a terrible thing.
- The extent to which Jon can use their time to promote his books is now limited.
The negatives are almost zero – Vox day would be making up shit about Worldcon regardless – and the positives are avoiding a huge amount of timewasting.
It is hard to see anything wrong with a decision in which everybody benefits.
The common element between this trio of posts is that early action does the least harm to all concerned but a less obvious element is that these issues are often presented as a zero-sum game when in fact they are not – or at least are not if action is taken early enough.
- Vox Day didn’t actually suffer because he was expelled by the SFWA and SFWA did not suffer by expelling him.
- Jon Del Arroz has gained by being ‘banned’ by Worldcon and Worldcon has gained by banning him.
- …and Twitter would have probably gained by closing Trump’s account years ago and Trump would have been no worse off as a consequence.
So what are they so upset about? Aside from fragile egos and conspiracy theories – nothing but then aside from fragile egos and conspiracy theories what are the right ever upset about?