Page 2 of 10 FirstFirst 1234 ... LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 140
  1. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    145
    There's more than one standpoint from which to oppose racism.

    For instance, there's a standpoint that says racism is a bad thing. It says that a racist is someone who believes there's a difference between people of different races. From this standpoint, the "right" way to act is to behave in a colorblind manner, to treat everyone the same, and to act as if race doesn't exist.

    This standpoint is opposed to racism, but I don't think it's a good approach to the issues of race and racism.

    Suppose you watch a movie where all the black men are horny thugs and all the white people are noble. The movie makes you uncomfortable. According to that approach, you're a racist. Not the filmmakers, but the person who noticed the racism. Because you needed to notice the race of the actors in order to observe that pattern, and being non-racist means acting as if race doesn't exist.

    It's a confused standpoint that boils down to "whoever smelt it, dealt it." It places most of the blame for racism upon minority races, who keep on talking about race, when they (according to this jumble of ideas) really ought to just assimilate already and start acting "post-racial."

    Someone who believed this would genuinely be opposed to overt, ugly manifestations of racism, like burning crosses, school segregation, back-of-the-bus, etc. But they'd support subtle, systemic forms of racism. If you challenge the more pervasive forms of racism, the colorblind would call you a racist.

    And on a completely unrelated note, one can read Victoria Foyt's defense of her book, here: http://www.savethepearls.com/judging...rth-to-racism/

  2. #17
    Registered User ian_sales's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    321
    Quote Originally Posted by Mister View Post
    There's more than one standpoint from which to oppose racism.

    For instance, there's a standpoint that says racism is a bad thing. It says that a racist is someone who believes there's a difference between people of different races. From this standpoint, the "right" way to act is to behave in a colorblind manner, to treat everyone the same, and to act as if race doesn't exist.

    This standpoint is opposed to racism, but I don't think it's a good approach to the issues of race and racism.
    Studies have shown that people who thought themselves "colourblind" are more racist than those who don't (who aren't racists, of course). Race relations is a minefield and it's easy to put a foot wrong. Or many feet. I don't for a moment believe Foyt intended her book to be racist - the fact that it is, I think, is down to her cluelessness. But she's not helping matters with her continual protestations. People more clued in to the topic than she is have pointed out problems with the book, it's past time she started listening to them...

  3. #18
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    In an Ode
    Posts
    12,209
    We're starting to drift a little into the ideologies of combating racism, which is not the thread topic, so let's move back to Weird Tales and the fiction, please.

    Flipping (having blacks or women or another minority group be dominant in an imagined society over the in real life majority in power group,) has been a long time SF approach, occasionally borrowed for fantasy fiction. Ursula Le Guin has probably used it most successfully and famously within her Hainish universe. It doesn't have much to do with "weird fiction" stories, however. The objections to Foyt's book have not been about the flipping premise entirely, since it's not a new idea, but about her depictions of the black characters and the white characters in crude stereotypes that are not flips of each other, but felt to be reiterations of prejudicial beliefs about black people (and for that matter, about white people.) Many people regard the book as ill thought out.

    That being said, there's no call for burning or repressing the book from the author having self-published it going on. Nobody particularly cared that she published it. The controversy is that Weird Tales magazine, a magazine with one of the older histories of speculative magazines, and a magazine that had been considered to have become really brilliant under the direction of editor Anne Vandermeer for presenting multiple kinds of voices, winning a Hugo recently, has now in its new launch under a new editor (Vandermeer forced to step down to be a consulting editor,) decided to excerpt the first chapter of this book -- without a lot of context as has been noted, although many think the context is even more problematic -- and associate this work with Weird Tales in a justifying editorial. It's further complicated because of this new editor's publishing history with reference to controversial projects.

    Vandermeer had apparently advised this editor and the financial backer of the magazine not to publish the piece, that it would be disastrous. She has now resigned as consulting editor over this incident. The financial backer has pulled the story, pulled the editor's column about the inclusion of the story, and issued an apology, but the damage has been done. A lot of SFFH authors don't like this book, as you can see from some of these links, and are unlikely to want to publish with Weird Tales further, meaning that the magazine will lose rising young authors and revenue.

    I believe that Weird Tales is likely to survive this controversy, especially if this editor steps down, as may be very likely. But it essentially trashed the work that's gone into the magazine for the last five years. And even beyond the issue of the story's approach and controversial content, as a simple post-apocalyptic SF story, it was not the sort of story that had any interest for Weird Tales' readers in the first place. So it has definitely driven away readers from the Weird Tales brand, at least in the short term, which can be a huge problem for magazines these days.

    Essentially, in the SFFH publishing community, nobody cares very much about this novel, although a number of them have read the novel. The grief is over Weird Tales and that one of the leading SFFH magazines we have left, a very distinctive magazine, has essentially hung a sign on the door telling non-white SFFH authors and those who support them that they aren't welcome anymore. That was, it is understood, not necessarily the immediate intent of the editorial staff, but that is the result.

  4. #19
    Registered User ian_sales's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    321
    Unfortunately, the incident has now made it into the Guardian newspaper online, where it has generated huge numbers of stupid comments - http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012...l-coals-pearls

  5. #20
    Read interesting books
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ada, MI, USA
    Posts
    2,790
    Quote Originally Posted by ian_sales View Post
    Unfortunately, the incident has now made it into the Guardian newspaper online, where it has generated huge numbers of stupid comments - http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012...l-coals-pearls
    This is why I think that many times it is better to ignore stuff than to oppose it (unless it is something illegal or physically abusive); now the author of this trash (based on the free chapter, i tend to agree with the commenters that wonder not at the obvious and overt racism but at how people want to read such junk) gets free publicity, most likely tons more sales and all that rather than quietly fading away into deserved obscurity.

    As for Weird tales my attitude is simple - their magazine and their money, their choices; do not like it, stop buying it, submitting to it, supporting it in any way, get your own magazine going etc, but they were planning to do nothing illegal excerpting that book

  6. #21
    Registered User ian_sales's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    321
    I disagree. You have to fight bad stuff or it will never change. While it's certainly true that in some cases any publicity is good publicity, it can only be to the good if more people are aware of what's wrong with Foyt's book. They may buy it and read it "just to see" but at least they won't be uncritically accepting its premise - and the process may well educate them a little.

  7. #22
    Read interesting books
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ada, MI, USA
    Posts
    2,790
    Quote Originally Posted by ian_sales View Post
    I disagree. You have to fight bad stuff or it will never change. While it's certainly true that in some cases any publicity is good publicity, it can only be to the good if more people are aware of what's wrong with Foyt's book. They may buy it and read it "just to see" but at least they won't be uncritically accepting its premise - and the process may well educate them a little.
    Yes and the next troll will try and get same splash of outrage to get sales and recognition; the net is full of junk after all. The book was in the 50k ranking level at Amazon until now (which is not the 1M level of true obscurity, but not the level of decent sales either) and hopefully will not rocket higher as imho that is an inducement for more such to be put out

    The main issue at hand is I think with Weird tales and its change of ownership and direction and there you may have a point as it seems some people are passionate about the magazine.

    But leaving aside the "their money, their choice" approach which I favor, the cold hard fact is that the magazine while maybe successful artistically under its previous editorial team, was not (enough) successful commercially to avoid the fate of being sold and the new owner seems determined to change its course, so I doubt things will change there; maybe but most likely is that it will be quietly shut down in a while; anyway we'll see and if this campaign makes Weird Tales successful both artistically and commercially, all for the best

  8. #23
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    145
    Quote Originally Posted by suciul View Post
    the cold hard fact is that the magazine while maybe successful artistically under its previous editorial team, was not (enough) successful commercially to avoid the fate of being sold
    Eh? An intelligent person sells something when it has gained value -- when it has become more successful. I don't have any details on the financial side of this acquisition, but unless the seller had some form of immediate, catastrophic need, like medical bills, then the sale provides evidence FOR the previous editorial team's commercial success, not against it.

  9. #24
    Read interesting books
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ada, MI, USA
    Posts
    2,790
    Quote Originally Posted by Mister View Post
    Eh? An intelligent person sells something when it has gained value -- when it has become more successful. I don't have any details on the financial side of this acquisition, but unless the seller had some form of immediate, catastrophic need, like medical bills, then the sale provides evidence FOR the previous editorial team's commercial success, not against it.
    Today in publishing usually properties are sold because they are unprofitable (or at best not making enough profit for the owner) not the other way around, but I will happily accept correction if someone can link to evidence for it.

    Edit: here is the Wikipedia detailing the history of the magazine and it seems to have been closed/sold for losses in the past so it is not unreasonable to assume this again

    Edit later: Also note that it is very hard to make money publishing short fiction today in magazine form, whether for writers, editors or owners - some people believe that the easy online publishing of today would change that and who knows it may as there definitely has been a huge flourishing of quality short fiction, but the question is the willingness of people to pay for it as magazine after magazine tried and either folded or went on hiatus (see Aeon, Baen Universe etc of which i bought lots of issues as I did of Gud and a few others); when print is added to the equation like here where from what i heard Weird Tales was very successful in presentation, the economics gets worse with the reduced shelf space, the limitations in distribution, the bankruptcy of Borders which massively reduced the available outlets..

    So in a way the 2007-2011 flourishing was the remarkable thing rather than its ending and I agree that it is a testament to the former editorial team's ability
    Last edited by suciul; August 22nd, 2012 at 11:07 AM.

  10. #25
    Riyria Revelations Author sullivan_riyria's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Fairfax, VA
    Posts
    969
    Blog Entries
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by KatG View Post
    Nobody particularly cared that she published it. The controversy is that Weird Tales magazine, a magazine with one of the older histories of speculative magazines, and a magazine that had been considered to have become really brilliant under the direction of editor Anne Vandermeer for presenting multiple kinds of voices, winning a Hugo recently, has now in its new launch under a new editor (Vandermeer forced to step down to be a consulting editor,) decided to excerpt the first chapter of this book -- without a lot of context as has been noted, although many think the context is even more problematic -- and associate this work with Weird Tales in a justifying editorial. It's further complicated because of this new editor's publishing history with reference to controversial projects.
    I agree that the book, which has little to no sales, isn't the big issue. It is the decisions of the management of Wierd Tales that is the bigger issue and the ripple effect that it will cause. I've already seen many sff authors saying they would never submit to the magazine again, and while I agree it will probably survive, the price they paid was greater than they received by taking the risk.

  11. #26
    Riyria Revelations Author sullivan_riyria's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Fairfax, VA
    Posts
    969
    Blog Entries
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by suciul View Post
    This is why I think that many times it is better to ignore stuff than to oppose it (unless it is something illegal or physically abusive); now the author of this trash (based on the free chapter, i tend to agree with the commenters that wonder not at the obvious and overt racism but at how people want to read such junk) gets free publicity, most likely tons more sales and all that rather than quietly fading away into deserved obscurity.
    I just checked... looks like 5 sales since 8/15/2012 at 5:00 am - I don't think you have to worry too much. Many people may know this book exists, but it would appear that VERY few are actually reading it.

  12. #27
    Registered User ian_sales's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    321
    Quote Originally Posted by suciul View Post
    But leaving aside the "their money, their choice" approach which I favor, the cold hard fact is that the magazine while maybe successful artistically under its previous editorial team, was not (enough) successful commercially to avoid the fate of being sold and the new owner seems determined to change its course, so I doubt things will change there; maybe but most likely is that it will be quietly shut down in a while; anyway we'll see and if this campaign makes Weird Tales successful both artistically and commercially, all for the best
    Under Ann VanderMeer, the magazine apparently tripled its subscriber base. This doesn't necessarily mean it made a profit, but it does mean the new owners weren't very smart to fire the editor who had increased their readership so substantially. She also told them back in June that promoting the Foyt book was A BAD IDEA.

  13. #28
    Read interesting books
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ada, MI, USA
    Posts
    2,790
    Quote Originally Posted by ian_sales View Post
    Under Ann VanderMeer, the magazine apparently tripled its subscriber base. This doesn't necessarily mean it made a profit, but it does mean the new owners weren't very smart to fire the editor who had increased their readership so substantially. She also told them back in June that promoting the Foyt book was A BAD IDEA.
    nobody here argues that the new owners are smart or even business savvy - as mentioned even leaving aside the overt racism, the decision to publish something that really reads like junk adds to the perception of clueless-ness; but they have the money and they want to throw it away, again, their choice; lots of people do unprofitable, unwise etc things for lots of motives

  14. #29
    It is sad to me because Weird Tales has a long history in the SFFH genres and is one of the most storied (no pun intended) magazines we have left. The idea that it was still around and publishing after all these years, and publishing great fiction, was an awesome link to our pulp roots. I would hate to see it go down the tubes as seems likely with the current editor. Hopefully when they sell it in a year it will be purchased by someone with some sense.

  15. #30
    Thanks, Michael - you represented my view quite accurately.

    Quote Originally Posted by ian_sales View Post
    Er, no. Being accused of being racist, falsely or otherwise, in no way compares to being subjected to racism.
    I didn' say that they are the same, just that they both suck. "Suckitude" can vary by degree! Just as racism, and false accusations, can also vary. Not all instances of racism are equally offensive; there are subtle forms of racism that aren't experienced as intensely or painfully as more aggressive ones. And, of course, it depends upon the individual being subjected, what their tolerance is, their interpretation, etc.

    That said, being falsely accused of something can be a very painful experience, especially when it is something like racism.

    Quote Originally Posted by ian_sales View Post
    And for those of you happy to sit on the fence regarding Saving the Pearl - read the first chapter of the book, it's available free online (so why were Weird Tales paying to publish it anyway?); watch the promotional video with blackface in it; read the quotes people have posted, read the synopsis... The book is quite blatantly racist and deserves every criticism thrown at it.
    Now without having read that chapter (which I intend on doing), I find this sort of statement problematic. First of all, it isn't necessarily "sitting on the fence" to withhold judgment until one feels adequately informed, or to keep an open mind and not assume that a person meant something other than what they say they meant.

    But even more problematic is the implication that there is a, ahem, black and white definition to racism and no interpretation involved. It may be that you and I will read something and one find it offensive (or racist) and the other not. Does that make it racist or not? This is not to say that there aren't things that we can collectively, by and large, agree on as "blatantly racist" but that there are gray areas in-between and that we can never separate interpretation and usage from the equation.

    With works of art (including literature) the usage is everything. For example, portraying a character wearing black-face doesn't make the book, and thus the author, inherently racist. It depends upon how they are using that trope, and how consciously they are employing it.

    (This is not to say that it isn't problematic to use such tropes, but that I wouldn't not assign inherent or blatant racism to them).

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •