A sort of notice I guess

It has been brought to my attention that an author is claiming that they are considering legal action against me in the event of them being targetted in connection with attendance at a convention. The exact statement is a little hard to parse, but the author seems to be under the impression that I’m responsible for or connected with various cases of disinvitation of rightwing science fiction authors from conventions.

I don’t want to take this too seriously but we live in a strange world and people do strange things. So just to be clear:

  1. I have never lobbied any convention or convention organisers to ban, disinvite, or remove somebody.
  2. I haven’t encouraged anybody else to lobby any convention or convention organisers to ban, disinvite, or remove somebody.
  3. I have discussed cases of when a convention has done so but generally after the fact and in a few cases primarily to get information.
  4. I’ve also discussed more generally the practice and processes around such decisions.
  5. I do not believe I have ever defamed a living person on this blog or elsewhere – or even come close to doing so.

However, said author really does genuinely seem to have some concerns about me and this blog and frankly I don’t want to see anybody unduly agitated just because I’m writing. So, as of today, I won’t be discussing this author here or elsewhere on the net – this way the said author can feel assured that if they do experience any adverse experiences on social media or in relation to convention attendance then I played no part in it. As well as not discussing the said author, I shall not be mentioning them either. I note from early past interactions, this author was also concerned about social media and blogging presence even though I had only ever listed their books and author name in wider contexts. Again, to protect this author I won’t be mentioning their name or books so that they can be assured that even neutral coverage is not some underhanded way of me signalling discontent. Finally, I note that a past post of mine in relation to a new science-fiction body may have caused this author some concern. Consequently, I shan’t be discussing that body either – again to ensure that the author in question need not feel any undue concern.

Yes, some may think it odd that champions of free speech would be so keen to ensure some people didn’t speak but that’s a whole other question.

Now, to aid you all in this and to ensure that the said author need not fear any negativity about them here, I have also (to provide them with the protection they need) added their name to a list of words that will move comments into moderation.

Hopefully this will enable the said author feel more safe.


60 thoughts on “A sort of notice I guess

  1. I was going to write about this today til it came down to a choice between spending time rewarding Dick PaoZeronelli for his behavior, or writing a roundup about Gardner Dozois. Strangely enough, it wasn’t hard at all to decide who warranted my attention.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Clearly, your pseudonymity makes you the SMOFFiest SMOF that ever smoffed. So you must be the sole source of that author’s difficulties.

    Do you ever worry that Timothy will rat you out, er, cat you out?

    Liked by 2 people

      • I don’t think it’s completely random. Your pseudonym is very distinctive, and thus easy to memorize. So in essence, you’re a chief target for cranks in part because you’re somebody whose nom de plume they can recall.

        Which admittedly is close to declaring a feud with someone because they were mean to someone you like, once, as that someone tells it, and their house is within walking distance of the train terminal, but there you go.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m now tempted to post The Usual Suspects names in sequence to work out which one it is….but nah.

    At some point they’ll work out that any consequences they suffer for their publicised behaviour is due to the original behaviour, not any publicity it gets.


  4. Okay, I’ve just gotten myself au courant with the latest ridiculousness from these clowns. This one demonstrates that he has no understanding whatsoever of slander or libel laws, or the legal system. I can’t stop laughing, because it’s just so pathetic: it’s like a tiny little man stabbing a giant’s toe with his little sword, and the giant thinks a mosquito has bitten him.

    Once more, for clarity, you clowns: you can keep claiming that consequences for bad behavior are “discrimination against conservatives”, but when you do so, all you are doing is admitting that you think all conservatives behave badly… which is certainly a hell of an admission on your part. And when people point out your bad behavior, it’s not libel or slander, it’s just pointing out the truth.

    Liked by 3 people

    • JJ, this is as good a place as any to sort-of spell out a classic dirty joke I find myself referring to by its punchline lately, due to how relevant it seems to be in all this. Language is cleaned up for minimal dirtiness.

      A tiny mouse is feeling super aggressive and randy one day, and declares that the next female that crosses his path is gonna get a royal rogering from him. At this exact moment, a lady elephant wanders through the clearing. True to his word, the tiny mouse climbs up on something or grabs hold of something, whatever (what am I, a biologist?) and gets to it. Now here comes the part I’ve been quoting:

      Just then, a coconut falls from a tree and hits the oblivious elephant on her head, and she grunts a little. Hearing this, the mouse redoubles his efforts, triumphantly cackling “Suffer, baby! Suffer!!”

      I think you can see how this is relevant to so many of our interactions with these mice. I mean, with these very important men with their very important feelings, which are really facts, and which trump our, uh, you know, feelings.

      My apologies to any mice reading this, especially tiny ones, whose outlook on life has been misrepresented by this brief tale that was told to me by some guy on the Loveland wrestling team at Voc-Tech. Perhaps the story would be better told with a mosquito and a dinosaur, but I understand there are dinosaurs that read this blog, and I don’t want to get into anything with them.

      Liked by 4 people

  5. With this particular character, my default assumption about his motivation would be that it is an ongoing obsession with trying to unmask you and thus score points.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. A clue please!! You cannot honestly send me on a meaningless quest for meaningless information across the internet! It is your fault. No part of the responsibility for wasting time in wanting to know who it is can in any way be laid at my own feet.

    Liked by 2 people

    • All right, I’ll take pity on you. Go to bit.ly and paste this code after the main URL in the address bar, and hit “Enter”: 2GYUSFZ

      Cam, feel free to delete if you think this exceeds your line.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. So I went looking for the source. I started with the twitter profile of a likely suspect, where I found a tweet where they said this about Mike and Camestros:
    “Nothing they say or do is on my radar. Nor can they say or do anything that will prevent me from doing what I plan on doing. ”

    I almost went to the next most likely suspect, but just before I changed direction I found the lawsuit threat in a blog post.

    And yes, it’s the same person. The lawsuit threat is two days older than the “they’re not on my radar” tweet.

    I’m not sure if that means a change of hearts (and that Camestros shouldn’t worry about a lawsuit), or if it just means a sore lack of consistency.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I stand in awe of the POWER that is Camestros Felapton!

    Bow ye mere mortals before the MAJESTY of he who can get people banned from cons by mere THOUGHT… since it’s pretty clear there’s not any other way he’s doing it.

    Liked by 4 people

      • More accurately: “Free speech is my freedom to dictate to you how things must be. Nothing else. No, you don’t get to reply and show me how stupid I’m being; that’s Censorship! What are you doing? I’ll sue!!!”.

        Liked by 3 people

  9. There is some irony in the last lines of the angry author’s post where he talks about how “science fiction is big enough for everyone”, given that he is the guy who said that Dongwon Song is a “cancer on science fiction” when promoting his “inclusive” guild.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that I will never mention said author either, because he will never write a novel that’s worth reading and discussing.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. *uses JJ’s link*

    Kee-ripes, what an idiot.

    It’s very telling, however, that he compares the kerfluffle in SF/F to the American Civil War. “The North kept pushing, the South got tired of it and hundreds of thousands of dead men later we’re all wondering why a peaceful resolution could not have been found.”
    While blithely ignoring the fact that the only “peaceful resolution” possible was if the South had agreed to end the institution of slavery and free their slaves, and they weren’t going to do that.

    Why do these people, inevitably straight white men, use the Civil War as their go-to example? Is this some sort of Freudian slip?

    Also, neither Dick Zero or anyone else has a right to label someone a “snowflake,” when what all they want is to be able to spew their nonsense without anyone being able to push back. Clearly they don’t know what free speech means. “Free speech without consequences” is the conservative’s rallying cry.

    Liked by 4 people

    • An entertaining story about the pre-Civil War era:

      An American Senator told the truth about slavery, which hurt the feelings of a southern Representative quite badly. Being a coward, the Representative didn’t impulsively attack Charles Sumner in the heat of passion – that would have been dangerous. Preston Brooks (the cowardly Representative) didn’t dare challenge Sumner to a duel, for the same reason. Instead, Brooks waited until Sumner was alone, seated in a chair firmly attached to the floor, and beat Sumner with a cane (Brooks had a confederate (hah!) with a gun to back him up – since even facing an unarmed man while armed himself seemed a little too dangerous for Brooks). In response to Brooks’ cowardly attack, all decent folks showed appropriate disgust – while in the South, Brooks was hailed as a premiere example of Southern manhood (quite true, really).


  12. Yes, some may think it odd that champions of free speech would be so keen to ensure some people didn’t speak but that’s a whole other question.

    Well, Cam, that’s the whole point. Use legal threats to get people to shut up about them and their bad behavior.

    “Free speech,” my gold-plated behind.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. Lo, these many years ago when the ‘net was new, I was heavily involved in the USENET group news.admin.net-abuse.email. We used to get spammers who would regularly discover our group, come in blustering and threatening “lawsuites” (spammers can’t spell) and eventually leave frustrated and humiliated when they discovered that discussing protecting private property against the depredations of parasites is not, in fact, illegal.

    Similarly, this particular canine has a long history of throwing around threats of varying emptiness against the people he thinks are his ‘enemies’ of the moment. He will be disappointed to learn that similar to the above example, discussing his past actions is in no way illegal, no matter which country the people doing the discussing live in (this is another universal failing of internet parasites; they always assume that any activity on the internet is within the borders of the United States and US Law applies. Without fail they become dumbfounded when they discover that their threats against people who live in different countries are treated with the scorn and derision they merit).

    I do not fear this particular lame duck’s threats. Nor do I fear that I will ever knowingly subject myself to his fiction; I have better things to do with my life. As a marketing ploy, his newest stupidity fails hard.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, I too remember those days. It was always “lawsuites”, wasn’t it? We used to only comment (in rec and the respectable bits of alt) if they actually spelled it right. Back in the days before the red wiggly lines underneath.


    • And also, it’s even harder to prove libel, slander, defamation in the US than it is in most countries. Their beloved First Amendment and rulings regarding same maintains that truth isn’t libel/slander. Thus, accurately repeating what someone says isn’t actionable. Free speech!


    • Oh wow. I used to monitor that newsgroup (I am the abuse department at a small ISP) and I remember those threats. Didn’t TINC come from that group? Those old spammers outraged that their free speech was curtailed by people refusing to accept their spam were, now that I think about it, an earlier incarnation of what the Scrappies are becoming.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, NANAE, the memories… I was unfortunate to be a news admin both for C&S and the beginning of the never-ending September.


      • Ahh, Canter and Siegel, the infamous ‘Green Card Lawyers’. I remember them. They realized that postings that were sent to too many multiple groups often got automatically blocked, so instead they sent the identical message individually to hundreds of groups, taking up much more bandwidth. And they definitely seemed to hold the attitude that it wan’t illegal so it wasn’t wrong, right up until when Canter got disbarred.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, Ghu, Eternal September and the horrors of “Me TOO!” (not to be confused with today’s worthy #metoo)

        I always wondered how many people needing green cards even had Usenet access back then. It seemed odd.


  14. I’m sure it’s no fun if you’re the target of such a threat, no matter how ludicrous. Sorry this happened to you and Mike. It’s a sad thing, though, if they’ve learned that a lawsuit threat, however far-fetched, is enough to silence their critics.


  15. There’s a cartoon in this week’s New Yorker showing a group of trees, one of which is lying flat on the ground. And the tree is thinking, “So much for that publicity stunt.” You can apply this to pretty much any one of these people, I think.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. I saw that individual’s post and alerted Cam and Mike. And the only reason I saw it was because the URL of said author’s blog was similar to the URL of a somewhat more well known puppy and I got them mixed up.

    Liked by 2 people

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