Tying up old plot lines

There is a lot of noise amid the right-SF social media sphere currently. It’s very free form and the broader cause is that in mainstream SF&F communities there has been the recent cases of some very prominent and well connected men being held accountable for the way they have been treating other people (earlier coverage). Although post-Puppies, the world of right-wing science fiction claims to have separated and living an idyllic SJW-free life, in reality ructions in mainstream SF&F are felt keenly in the breakaway bubble. The problem they have is working out a clear position. On the one hand various authors they dislike are having a bad time of things but on the other hand, powerful men are being held accountable for their actions against women. Bit of a tricky dilemma and hence we get to see various diversions attacking the ‘wokeness’ of mainstream SF&F (e.g. Dave Freer recently).

Another recent example is Cirsova magazine. Cirsova was, in many ways, a better attempt by the right-wing SF&F community to challenge their energies into something a bit more positive i.e. an on-going story magazine. Up until recently, it had largely avoided outrage marketing techniques. However, that changed on June 29 with the unintentionally funny announcement that they had declared that the SFWA was a terrorist organisation (File 770 coverage). Cirsova’s stance on terrorism had been notably absent during their long association with Vox Day’s Castalia House despite Day’s infamous support of convicted terrorist and mass-murderer Anders Breivik. (“Virtue signalling” could be the term for it if we could find any virtue signalled…)

I draw two big inferences from this:

  1. This is another example of the diversions I talk about above
  2. Sales/income must be bad for Cirsova. There is always a grift with right-wing SF&F. Always, and this is classic outrage marketing. [That observation got me instantly blocked on Twitter by Cirsova…]

On the second point, right-wing SF&F publishing has been contracting. There are still some big sellers (i.e. Larry Correia) but in the time since the Puppies stormed off with their own football from the field, Castalia House has stopped publishing new science fiction and Superversive Press has closed, various at attempts at alt-SFWA have fizzled and Sarah Hoyt is claiming she can’t get published by Baen any more. There’s still a right wing audience out there but it’s just not big enough to maintain a large number of authors and outlets and much of it is catered to by more generic military SF provided by less partisan groups like LMBPN.

On the first point…well the SFWA statement on Black Lives Matter was June 4. Cirsova’s counter-terrorism unit didn’t make its deceleration until twenty-five days later i.e. not until mainstream SF&F was having its own ructions and right-wing SF was trying to find a way to join in.

Let’s throw in a few other bad actors (n both senses of the term). So I was watching a video by Jon Del Arroz…that’s never a good start to a story nor is it something I would recommend. Anyway, JDA’s video was about another charmer Richard Fox. Remember Richard? Fox got a story nominated for a Nebula award courtesy of the 20booksto50K/LMBPN slate in 2019 (https://camestrosfelapton.wordpress.com/2019/03/02/nebula-shorts-going-dark-by-richard-fox/) and then had a bit of a melt-down in the comments section here partly when people noticed the similarity between him and a Goodreads commenter called “John Margolis” who wrote racially abusive comments to people who gave Richard bad reviews on Goodreads.

Fox would go onto behave in even more odd ways (to put it politely) https://camestrosfelapton.wordpress.com/2019/09/15/authors-behaving-badly-episode-1234543-richard-fox/ accusing Mike Glyer’s File 770 of “piracy” because it had a link to the SFWA public Nebula reading list to a PDF of his story that he had uploaded. No, that made no sense but it was enough for the axis of Jon Del Arroz and Larry Correia to try to spin into a scandal.

Where was I? Oh!…a video by Jon Del Arroz. [Here for reference but seriously, it’s just trolling. You can skip it https://delarroz.com/2020/07/01/nebula-award-nominated-author-pulls-story-from-sfwa-anthology-because-of-their-racism/ ]

JDA was proudly announcing that “Nebula nominated” author Richard Fox was withdrawing his story from the Nebula Award anthology (yes, that story mentioned above) in solidarity with Cirsova. Notably, Fox’s author Facebook page and author website say exactly ZERO about this brave stand against ‘terrorism’. It’s not something Fox wants his regular readers to know but…well he’d like some of those Dragon Award votes from the people who are most likely to vote in them.

Long story short: various right wing science fiction people are generally agitated by the fact that some specific male SF authors (who happen to people they don’t like but are also powerful men…so a bit of a dilemma) are being held to account because of misogynistic behaviour and so are finding various random ways of acting out.

31 thoughts on “Tying up old plot lines

  1. At this point I’m not sure you’re doing any favors by continuing to harm your sanity through JDA video watching – you can pretty much guess what they say without watching I’m sure.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I can’t actually tell you why their announcement annoyed me, but it bugged me enough that I registered 4 different versions of Cirsova’s name (including publishing, press, and magazine).

      That was probably a waste of money, given what the choice of domain and design of their site says about their finances. (They could have registered a domain with WP.com for only $18 per year, and they did not.)

      Liked by 3 people

      1. It’s money spent in the cause of righteousness. Rather than coming across their racism, now people will come across anti-racism.

        Scalzi’s blog is registered through WP, I think — maybe that made them flee? Or maybe they don’t have the $18 to spare. Or maybe it never occurred to them — guess they forgot about Chuck Tingle’s pwning-via-domain registration.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Chuck’s work on that domain (as well as his general delightfulness) is what got him the legitimate Fan Writer nomination the following year.


  2. Same song, umpteenth verse, then?

    Maybe Baen’s contracting down to sure things, and Hoyt wasn’t? Times is tough for everyone, so cutting expenses is a completely non-ideological stance.

    I read an anthology one of her stories was in, and her story starred a cutesy self-congratulatory Mary Sue, which isn’t the sort of thing that sells to anyone.

    Larry sells. Lee and Miller sell (and are proofing a new one). Bujold sells.

    Richard Fox is giving up the money he would have made and the exposure he would have gotten from the Nebula anthology* so he can maybe (secretly) improve his chances at a Dragon? That’s… special. Meanwhile, sales of that anthology will probably go up once word gets out he’s no longer in it.

    *He’s forgotten the aphorism of Castalia House author Jerry Pournelle: “Money will get you through times of no Hugos better than the reverse.” And if he doesn’t win the paperweight, he’s got nothing at all to show for this — other than his warm sense of indignation that Black** people are being recognized as fully human.

    **AP official style: “black” is a color, “Black” is African and African-diaspora people.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Nothing clever to say about it, but I’d normally say that their refusal to condemn Day over his terrorist worship of Anders Breivik and yet condemning SFWA over Black Lives Matters should be telling…but it doesn’t actually tell anything we didn’t already know.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. They complained to my domain registrar, LOL

    For the record, no one registered a trademark for Cirsova, so they have no case. Second, 101Domains isn’t going to get involved without a court order. Third, fighting a trademark dispute over a domain takes more money than they have.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I ran a search on the USPTO (US Patent and Trademark Office) site and it did not return any registrations (dead or alive) for Cirsova.

      I took a look around the Cirsova site to see what country it hails from and they seem to do everything via the internet, so no snail mail address. But at last they’re not registered in the US.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, technically they do still have a trademark, it’s just not registered.

        I too looked over their site andf could not figure out where they are based. Clearly they are in the US (their interest in the SFWA tells us that) but there’s no mailing address, or any sign of business or legal info.

        weird, isn’t it?

        P.S. BTW, please let me know if you want to update your site’s theme.


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