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The SFWA Want's You!

Discussion in 'Notice Board' started by psychotick, Jun 29, 2014.

  1. psychotick

    psychotick Auror

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    Hi,

    Short and sweet. As of about four days ago the SFWA has announced that it will consider allowing some self published authors join its ranks as members. They're calling for submissions / comments on the proposal - and on the criteria for indies to join.

    Now I'm not going to tell you whther I think you should say yea or nay - completely up to you. But I do think that since this will be an important issue to many, you should take the chance to read the post and comment if you want.

    Link's here: Home | Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America

    Cheers, and as always - be good or don't get caught!

    Greg.
     
  2. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

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    The SFWA is asking for the opinions of their members. They don't care what I or most people think.

    My personal opinion, as a future self published fantasy writer, is that I have no desire to join an organization that is so rife with political bias and so slavish to political correctness. The recent "scandals" that have been rocking the organization have led me to believe that it is a pointless and outdated elitist club. I wouldn't join if they begged me.
     
  3. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    They're getting quite a few comments from non-members. I do think they are at least perceived to have a problem with intolerance, and that it has pretty well flipped from what it might have been decades ago.
     
  4. Jabrosky

    Jabrosky Banned

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    Would it be breaching the forum's moratorium against political discussions if I asked exactly what kind of issues people have with SFWA?
     
  5. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    Hmm...

    closed forums - even to viewing.

    repeated claims of infighting.

    hints of intolerance.

    enough to raise some flags with me. seems almost like an internal squabble that boiled over.
     
  6. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

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    Here's a handy timeline of what went down: A Timeline of the 2013 SFWA Controversies | SL Huang

    For the record, I don't come down on any side in the controversies. My opinion is that none of this stuff has a place in an organization of fiction writers. And when drama like this starts within a group, it's next to impossible to stamp out the biases that cause it.
     
  7. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    I've kind of watched all of this from afar. One of my goals when I started seriously writing fantasy was to become a member of the SFWA. For me, it meant I had gotten three professional sales, which would be a nice landmark to reach. I still want to reach that goal. I never try to shut any door if I can. However, I'd have to weigh if such a thing would be beneficial in some way. That is the point of those kind of groups: find some benefit from them and contribute all the same.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2014
  8. acapes

    acapes Sage

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    I was once curious about the SFWA but now I'm thinking that they're basically broken in terms of credibility - OF COURSE I don't know how they operate now, after being (rightly) beaten around a bit online, and I'm sure there are lots of folks who still find the group beneficial.

    They musts still have positive aspects, but personally I don't feel the need to seek them out. Cool that they're opening the doors to self-publishing thought.
     
  9. ScipioSmith

    ScipioSmith Sage

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    Well, they're asking the members whether they should. Considering that, as I understand, they've asked before and the members said no, I'm not holding my breath.
     
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  10. acapes

    acapes Sage

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    Ah, I see. I imagine they'll vote it down then, assuming their membership is as conservative as the values they'd been taken to task for of late?
     
  11. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I don't think being too conservative is what has caused the problem in the organization of late. I think it is the opposite, where members that are conservative and/or not politically-correct aren't really welcome.
     
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  12. stephenspower

    stephenspower Inkling

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    I don't think it's a matter of political correctness or conservativeness. It's a matter of being an old school male. When I worked at Avon, a legendary sf writer (like Willie Mays-level legend) came in to celebrate our repub of one of his books. During the little fete he made some ridiculously offensive remarks regarding women in the course of his little thank you speech. Not long after, we had a fete for another legend, the guy whose books got me into fantasy when I was 12. Same story. I'm not apologizing for them. I'm just saying that ironically these fantasists, these most forward thinking sf writers, were themselves trapped in 50s attitudes. It was sad.
     
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  13. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I don't think the 'old school male' explanation works well for the organization running Jean Rabe out of her job, or for members getting Jonathan Ross to step down from the World Science Fiction Convention, or the hand-wringing over a Correia Hugo nomination. That all looks a lot like political correctness to me, and the it looks like the people who were on the outside in the past now doing the very things that they rightly complained about being done to them in year past (i.e. exclusion).
     
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  14. acapes

    acapes Sage

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    That's true - I think I'm also questioning whether an organisation which seems so broken and full of strife, is really forward thinking enough to embrace self publishing. Interesting point about the hard swing too, I hadn't looked at it like that.

    I wonder what writers who aren't members think about the group now? Whether they still see any value there? The SFWA must provide some useful services?
     
  15. acapes

    acapes Sage

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    That does sound very disappointing - I remember reading some of Ray Feist's e-mails that were a bit revealing, a shame.
     
  16. acapes

    acapes Sage

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    I hadn't heard about nomination hand-wringing, cripes - the group really does seem like it's lost its way, huh?
     
  17. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

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    Well, given how the SFWA just came out strongly anti-Amazon in a misguided effort to support authors, many of the indie authors over at The Passive Voice have said they now have no interest in the SFWA since clearly the SFWA doesn't have any interest in supporting their way of doing business.

    Also, as far as I can tell, the organization doesn't provide much of anything other than a social club.
     
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  18. psychotick

    psychotick Auror

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    Hi Myth,

    "Also, as far as I can tell, the organization doesn't provide much of anything other than a social club."

    And that's my main problem with this whole thing too. The simple question - what can the SFWA do for me? And why would I want to belong to an organisation that either won't do anything for me or else won't tell me in advance what they'll do? Like I have to join first to find out? That's backwards. I joined the AA because I knew that they would provide an emergency breakdown service before I joined. I wouldn't have joined if I didn't know that.

    But that's just my opinion. Maybe if we have some SFWA members here they could actually answer the question. Who knows maybe those magical hidden fora of theirs contain the secrets of the writing universe! Or a recipe for chicken soup! I have no way of knowing.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  19. acapes

    acapes Sage

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    My fear is exactly what Myth says - that the SFWA might not actually be more than a club?
    I agree with Greg, love to hear from some SFWA members as to the benefits they get from being in the org.
     
  20. ScipioSmith

    ScipioSmith Sage

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    The fact that it is just a club doesn't put me off so much as the fact that it is a club that doesn't seem to offer any of the benefits of a club, not even a good dinner.

    Acapes, How SFWA holds up against similar groups | T.L. Knighton this link here provides a decent starting point for what the SFWA offers versus similar writer's associations.
     
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