Traffic report 2016

Last year I mentioned that I believed 2016 was going to be “absolutely extraordinary”. And it turned out to be exactly that, as the God-Emperor Ascendant’s unexpected success in the early primary turned into a Super Tuesday victory that became a nomination and eventual election. More excellent authors joined Castalia House, Infogalactic and Gab were launched, I finally got some new Selenoth out the door, and Milo became the bestselling author on all of Amazon. Incredible.

In 2016, Vox Popoli had 25,817,343 pageviews and Alpha Game 5,332,285 for a total of 31,149,628
Google pageviews. The blogs are now running at a average rate of 85,341 daily pageviews, up from an average 56,923 last year. The running annual pageview totals are as follows:

2008: 3,496,757
2009: 4,414,801
2010: 4,827,183
2011: 5,969,066
2012: 7,774,074
2013: 13,111,695
2014: 15,693,622
2015: 20,776,969
2016: 31,149,628

I very much appreciate the part you have all played in making that happen. On Twitter, I picked up an additional 21,000 followers, but that has proved irrelevant since I stopped using it in favor of Gab, where I now have 14,006 followers. We’ve been making so many server-related changes at Infogalactic of late that the statistics are a bit wonky, but it already has average daily traffic in excess of 90,000 pageviews. The Burn Unit is now 173 subscribers strong and we’re hoping to increase that to 1,000 by the end of the year while making serious progress in Phase Two. Dark Lord Designs now features 11 different t-shirt and sweatshirt designs in a variety of colors.

Castalia House grew from 37 titles, including 5 in print and 1 in audiobook, to 65, with 19 titles in print and 8 in audiobook. Book sales increased 54 percent, with print now accounting for 21 percent of the total. The three new editors made a big difference, although we did not get three of the books out that I anticipated releasing this time last year. This year, we’re looking forward to publishing new fiction from John C. Wright, Nick Cole, B.V. Larson and David VanDyke, Peter Grant, Mojo Mori, Stefan Molyneux, and Martin van Creveld, as well as non-fiction from Jerry Pournelle, Jeffro Johnson, Mike Cernovich, Vox Day, and Martin van Creveld.

Yes, that’s correct. Castalia House will be publishing a novel by Martin van Creveld, which I believe will be his debut novel. I think I can guarantee that the subject matter will blow everyone’s minds. Think CS Lewis meets Robert Graves. We’ll also get the Eternal Warriors trilogy out this year, in ebook and in print, as well as the three volumes that comprise the Collected Columns from my WND days. I anticipate publishing two additional non-fiction books this year, plus the complete print edition of A Sea of Skulls.

Thanks to all of you who continue to support VP and all of its various endeavors. Thanks to the VFM for your mindless obedience and ever-burning hatred for the SJW enemy, thanks to the Dread Ilk for your awe-inspiring loyalty, thanks to the Brainstormers for your support and advice, thanks to the Original Galaxians, Techstars, Burn Unit and Phase 2 donators for making Infogalactic possible, thanks to the Rabid Puppies for your gleeful and wanton destruction, and thanks especially to the entire Castalia House team of authors, editors, proofreaders, and volunteers.

We may not be responsible for the God-Emperor’s ascension, but we are, without question, making a substantive difference in many people’s lives around the world. As good as 2016 was – and it was very good – I anticipate an even better 2017, as more Dread Ilk begin to spread their dark wings, launch their own initiatives, and begin rampaging across the land. In closing, I will note that it’s inspiring to see John Scalzi courageously keeping his nonexistent chin up despite another 11 percent decline in traffic at The Most Important Blog in Science Fiction Ever, a 38 percent decline from its 2012 peak that has brought it back to late-2009 levels of traffic. So brave. Thank you for this.


For the record

I would like to thank everyone who helped with my response to the SFWA Board report, regardless of whether they helped publicly, privately, or anonymously.  I’ve now completed what turned out to be a mere 32-page response in the end, thanks to my need to avoid violating discussion forum confidentiality by providing links rather than direct quotes of various statements made in the forums.  Also, as per the formal process, I have sent some 200 or so statements relevant to the matter to the Canadian Regional Director to be entered into the official record.

I also appreciate the staunch support that so many readers here have shown me in the face of the many false and absurd accusations contained in the report. As I’ve attempted to point out from the beginning, this affair is merely a microcosm of what can happen in nearly any organization in America today.  If your church, or your scout troop, or your neighborhood association, doesn’t deal firmly with the interlopers and busybodies who like nothing better than to invade organizations and “improve” it by constantly interfering with the other members, you may well find yourself on the business end of a similarly selective witch hunt.  If that happens, I hope my response here has provided you with a useful model with which to begin your own.

Even though I have been denied access to the discussion forums, I am still obliged to respect their confidentiality. So, while I can’t present the evidence here, SFWA members who are interested may find the following links to be useful in deciding whether personal attacks made in SFWA spaces have historically been considered an offense meriting official sanction or are simply part of the normal intra-organizational discourse.


Response Part XIII

At long last, we reach the effective end of Matthew Johnson’s epic saga of exaggerations, false interpretations, inept logic, and outright lies, with an appendix in which he attempts to justify using the comments on this blog as evidence of my horrific thoughtcrimes:

Appendix I. Inclusion of blog comments

This Appendix examines the question of whether to give weight to comments made on Beale’s blog by people other than himself. A key question is whether or not Beale actively manages the content of the comment threads on his blog by removing comments: if he does so, it follows that he has permitted all other comments to remain.

In considering the question, it’s worth looking at the precise meaning of the term “moderate” in the context of Blogger, the blogging platform used by Beale. As this article by Blogger explains (https://support.google.com/blogger/answer/42537?hl=en), turning on Comment Moderation in that platform means that all comments have to be actively approved by the operator of the blog before they are published. Beale’s blog is not moderated in this sense, possibly because the large volume of comments on his posts would make it impractical.

However, there is evidence to suggest that Beale actively manages the comments on his blog. To begin with, his post “Rules of the blog” lays out conditions under which he will delete comments: If you refuse to either answer a question or admit that you cannot answer it, then you will not be permitted to comment here and all of your subsequent comments will be deleted. (See Fig X.1)

Cross-comments and off-topic comments will usually be deleted. If your comment gets deleted, deal with it. (Ibid.)

There are at least five people who have been banned that insist on trying to comment here from time to time under different names; just ignore them as someone will get around to deleting their comments as well as the comments of those who respond to them soon enough. (See Fig X.2)

You will not call me a liar without providing any evidence of my lying, nor will you attempt to attribute to me words I have not written or actions I have not performed. If you do, your comments will be deleted and you will probably be banned. (Ibid.)

Any insertion of evolution or Creationism into a post that is not directly and specifically related to either subject will be deleted. (See Fig X.3)

If you are one of the small group of persistent anklebiters who insist on making the same tedious and incompetent attacks over and over again, I will simply delete your comments. This group includes, but is not necessarily limited to Beezle, Cabal, Cisbio, Dan Picaro, and the weirdo who keeps posting about his ancestors being fish. (See Fig X.4)

Attempts to claim that my refusal to further engage with a commenter whose arguments have repeatedly been demonstrated to be flawed are the result of cowardice or an inability to respond are false and will be deleted. (Ibid.)

There are, therefore, clearly stated rules on what is not permissible content on Beale’s blog. Since Beale does not forbid threats or defamatory comments, it would seem that they are allowed under his rules. He restates his willingness to delete comments in a later blog, “In which we are amused,” in which he explains how comments work on the site: It’s even easier to Remove Content using Blogger’s comment template than it was with CoComment… so don’t operate under the mistaken impression that it’s going to be any harder for me to keep the usual suspects from getting out of hand than it was before. (See Fig X.5)

Along with his stated intention to manage comment content on his blog, there is evidence that Beale actively does so. He threatens commenters with deletion:

Obvious, you will address me here as Vox if you wish your comments to remain. (See Fig X.6)

and blocks commenters when he disapproves of their content:

Beale: You can start commenting again as soon as you demonstrate that you can produce something besides ignorant and reflexive anklebiting, Obvious. It didn’t escape anyone’s attention how you fell silent and didn’t admit that you were wrong when I referenced the information about the introduction of 16-bit color and dynamic lighting models. If you can’t bring anything original to the table, no one is interested in what you have to say.

Commenter: Really? (See Fig X.7)

Beale: Yes, really. If you’re just going to ignorantly snap at ankles, you’re not going to be allowed to participate. Take a position, for crying out loud. Stand up for what you believe, don’t just yap in reflexive response to things about which you know nothing. Look at DH. He probably agrees with me about as much as you do. But he has a lot more to say than simply offering snarky negativity. There is nothing wrong with disagreeing. Or being wrong. But for the love of all that is left and right, don’t be so bloody tedious. And it wouldn’t hurt if you’d drop the passive-aggressiveness either. It doesn’t make your arguments convincing, it makes them sound like they’re coming from a petulant teenage girl. (See Fig X.8)

Deletion due to content seems to be common enough on the blog that commenters expect it: Vox is certainly ging [sic] to delete this but your comment is too amusing… (See Fig X.9)

The above comment was, in fact, deleted: it survives in the comment thread because another commenter quoted it. (We can be certain that it was deleted by Beale and not the commenter because when a commenter deletes his or her own comment it looks like Fig X.10. The commenter whose comment was deleted participates further in the thread and does not dispute the attribution of the quote, so we can assume that it is genuine.)

Therefore it would seem that Beale actively manages the content in the comment threads on his blogs, meaning that while he may not necessarily agree with the content of those comments that are not deleted, he does consider them to be appropriate for publication. In addition to the above, there are two comments that should be given particular weight: the rape threat against NK Jemisin (which was published through the SFWAAuthors feed; see Section A.3.3, Rape threat against SFWA member by blog commenter) and the allegation that Teresa Nielsen Hayden has herpes (which he reproduced in one of his own posts; see Section B.1.1, Personal attacks).

Here Matthew Johnson is clearly attempting to use my very light comment moderation, (which is entirely focused on allowing for a very broad range of discourse), and portray it as my only allowing content of which I approve.  He is doing so because he is attempting to manufacture a way to make me responsible for the two comments by blog commenters that he claims “should be given particular weight”.

Never mind that the one comment is not, as he falsely asserts it to be, a rape threat at all, while the second comment is clearly satirical given that it purports to be written by a Sonoran Desert Toad.  Given Mr. Johnson’s evident inability to detect satire, one can only wonder why he has not yet published a lengthy investigative report concerning former SFWA president John Scalzi’s self-described predilection “to force myself on women
without their consent or desire and then batter them sexually.”

In any event, I am simply not responsible for any comments made here or anywhere else by anyone besides myself.  I don’t block even one in one hundred commenters, whether I agree with them or not, not even when they are directly attacking me.  By way of example, here is one of 65 comments made in the last year alone by a single commenter, most of which were made in this vein and were not deleted.
Phoenician February 04, 2013 6:54 PM 
“Odd, isn’t it? Scalzi
would tuck his little manhood away and put on some fishnets for a
little publicity yet he most likely won’t take on Vox for what
would amount to a lot more publicity if crushes his biggest foe.”
 
“Biggest foe”?  Bwahahahahahahahahhahhah!! Do you
people have no sense of your own *ridiculousness*?
“Some sad wanker who has achieved
fuck all in life except helping his father evade taxes starts
preening about “Alphas” and “rabbits”, a bunch of
sycophantic losers slime up to him because his posturing feeds their
neuroses and insecurities, and now you’re claiming that he’s the
“biggest foe” of someone who actually has a life?
“Dude, VP isn’t the “biggest
foe” of anyone or anything except his own grasp on reality. He’s
a sad loser, fawned on by other sad losers.”

As it happens, I neither agree with that comment nor consider it to be appropriate for publication. It is vulgar, factually incorrect, and illogical, but as it was on topic and clearly expresses Phoenician’s genuine opinion, I saw no justification for eliminating it.  The same is true of the two comments about which Matthew Johnson is complaining, although the one written by the Toad also happened to be more than a little funny as well.

My primary concern in moderating the discussions here is to foster genuine intellectual discourse.  That means ensuring that the commenters keep their attacks on each other within reasonable bounds, answer questions that are addressed to them, not repeat the same statements over and over again, and refrain from going too far off-topic.  While I feel an amount of responsibility for defending those who come and participate in the discussion here, I have no concern at all for those who are not participating in the discourse.  I feel no more responsibility to intervene when one commenter expresses a negative opinion about an SFWA member than when another commenter expresses one about a German politician or a Japanese game developer.

According to this report, the SFWA Board is not only asserting the right to supervise my speech, they are asserting the right to supervise the speech of every single individual who comments on my site or the site of any other SFWA member.

In light of how nearly every other SFWA member with a site moderates much more heavily than I do, and how many attacks on SFWA members can be found on those sites, I think the Canadian Regional Director is opening a particularly pernicious Pandora’s Box here in attempting to hold me responsible for the statements of my commenters.  And he may even be putting SFWA itself in jeopardy, considering the hundreds of personal attacks that can be found in the SFWA’s own forums, both at sfwa.org and sff.private.sfwa.lounge.
This finally brings to a close my posting of the SFWA Board report, as I already made the most pertinent bits of Appendix II public in my first post.  However, in the interest of responding to the anonymous comments by SFWA members and non-members in included in that Appendix, I would like to request that any SFWA member or ex-SFWA member who would like his anonymous opinion to be included in my response to the Board report, or any non-member who is potentially eligible for SFWA membership and would like the same, email me or leave a comment here.

Response Part XII 

§ 107 . Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use

Notwithstanding
the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted
work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by
any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as
criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies
for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of
copyright. 


Hiding from the light

MIT is trying to conceal its involvement in the Aaron Swartz affair:

Lawyers representing MIT are filing a motion to intervene in my FOIA
lawsuit over thousands of pages of Secret Service documents about the
late activist and coder Aaron Swartz…. MIT claims it’s afraid the release of Swartz’s file will identify the
names of MIT people who helped the Secret Service and federal
prosecutors pursue felony charges against Swartz for his bulk
downloading of academic articles from MIT’s network in 2011.

MIT argues that those people might face threats and harassment if
their names become public. But it’s worth noting that names of third
parties are already redacted from documents produced under FOIA.

I’ll post MIT’s motion here once it’s filed.

I have never, in fifteen years of reporting, seen a non-governmental
party argue for the right to interfere in a Freedom of Information Act
release of government documents. My lawyer has been litigating FOIA for
decades, and he’s never encountered it either. It’s saddening to see an
academic institution set this precedent.

I find it
fascinating to observe how organizations appear to be increasingly disposed to try keeping their
actions against individuals hidden from the public view.  I recently
received an email from the Canadian Regional Director complaining about
how I’d characterized his previous communications with me:

“The membership numbers in the online directory represent our best data. We do not track membership numbers by specific dates.

“I
note that you have misrepresented my answer to your last request on
your blog. Failure to correct this will be considered in reviewing your
response.

“As previously instructed, all further correspondence in this matter should be directed to me.”

As
requested, I replaced what I’d previously written with a direct quote
to avoid any possibility of misrepresentation. However, note that this is what he
claimed to be a misrepresentation of his answer:


“Mr. Johnson informed me that the membership numbers in the online
directory represent the organization’s best data and that SFWA does not
track membership numbers.”

Of course, if that is
misrepresentation, what is one to make of the numerous, shall we say,
less than entirely accurate representations contained in Mr. Johnson’s report to
the SFWA Board?  Will his failure to correct them also be considered by the Board?  Based on his last sentence, I fear I will
likely not be hearing back from the Secretary concerning the number of
members in the organization on the three dates requested, Article V,
Section 5 (c) of the SFWA bylaws notwithstanding.


Response Part XII

Section C.2 is the last part of the report proper, although there is interesting material in the first Appendix that is well worth reading.  It’s mostly a rehash of previous statements, although the bit on “attitudes” is moderately entertaining.

2. Threats of nuisance litigation

Mr. Beale has repeatedly threatened to harass SFWA through nuisance litigation. Mr. Beale has made explicit his intention to sue both in the SFWA online forums (in a post later removed by moderators): “A lifetime membership in SFWA is presently valued at $5,000.00. Although the bylaws presently contain a formula that is intended to deprive a lifetime member of the greater part of that officially established value, that particular section is highly unlikely to hold up if challenged in any court of law. I’m sure you will understand that the SFWA cannot simply steal property worth $5,000.00 from its members regardless of what the bylaws state or how unanimous the opinion of its board members may be.” (Ibid.)

and also on his own blog: “The board can make that determination [whetheror not to expel him] and hope that it will stand up in court.” (See Fig C.7)

He has also suggested that his intent is to harass SFWA through nuisance litigation:

“Once the lawyers get their hooks in, they’re very, very good at keeping the billable hours going.” (See Fig C.8)

“My lawyer broke his leg a few weeks ago. He’s bored.” (See Fig C.9)

Intentions and attitudes towards SFWA

Mr. Beale has made his attitude towards the organization clear through his blog posts. On the most obvious level, he frequently refers to SFWA through derogatory plays on the meaning of the acronym, such as “Seriously Fascist Women’s Association” (see Fig C.10), “Spitefully Fascist Writers of America (Fig C.11) and “Seriously Fat Women Authors” (see Fig C.12).

More significantly, he has made clear that he sees little value in SFWA or membership in the organization: “SFWA is already sunk so far deep into the mire that it’s hardly possible to bring it further into disrepute.” (See Fig C.13)

Commenter: VD, any value with the SFWA?
Beale: “Considerable entertainment value, but other than that, not so much.” (See Fig C.14) “The appeal [of membership] is the mere fact of my membership infuriates all the right people.” (See Fig C.15)

He has also stated openly that he not willing to compromise, avoid conflict with the organization of other members, or accept sanctions if they are imposed:

“In rejecting NK Jemisin’s call for reconciliation within the SFWA, I declared that there can be no reconciliation between the observant and the delusional.” (See Fig C.16)

“I’ll never back down to them.” (See Fig C.17)

Finally, Beale’s attitude may be summed up in this exchange where he explains his motivations for seeking conflict with SFWA:

Commenter A: The point isn’t to win, the point is to carry out the threat, and to make the threat if it’s warranted. Even if it was to come to Vox’s expulsion from SWFA, then a lawsuit, Vox wins as long as he doesn’t back down. (See Fig C.18)

Commenter B: How is that a win? (See Fig C.19)

Beale: It all depends upon what the objective is. If, for example, I wished to set up a rival organization, it might be more effective to encourage the existing one to burn itself down first. Or perhaps I’m deeply wounded, emotionally, and I’m simply lashing out in the only way I know how. Or it could be the objective is to win three Nebula prizes running as part of a settlement. Or perhaps I think this is the way to become president of the organization since I couldn’t win in a free election. Or it could simply be an instinctive desire to sow chaos. (See Fig C.20)

Once more, Matthew Johnson freely admits that he violated discussion forum confidentiality, and again, I have no intention of nuisance litigation.  I merely intend to stand upon my legal rights according to state law and the organizational bylaws.

As for the idea that I have a bad attitude about the organization, well, I’ve spent the last eight years being publicly attacked by some of the most influential people in the organization as well as by two presidents of the organization, a vice-president, and various and sundry Board members.  Then I’ve had a witch hunt launched against me for something that literally hundreds of members have done and been repeatedly accused of doing things I simply haven’t done.  I’ve read the author of this report tell one lie after another, even as numerous members of the organization publicly claim I am things I simply am not.

To paraphrase Brad Torgenson, this is the organization that is supposedly helping my writing career?  That is supposedly defending my interests?

It is totally false to claim I will not accept sanctions if imposed.  I already have.  My blog was removed from the @sfwaauthors Twitter feed and I publicly acknowledged that was a correct and fitting sanction. However, I will admit that I do not have a particularly positive attitude about the
SFWA.  And I will also admit that I would be vastly amused to see the
Board expel a member for possessing a low opinion of SFWA.

Response Part XI 

§ 107 . Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use

Notwithstanding
the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted
work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by
any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as
criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies
for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of
copyright. 


Response Part XI

Section C.1 of the SFWA Board Report shows that Matthew Johnson’s dark predictions about my behavior have not come to pass.  It also betrays his failure to understand that I have a right to defend myself against the Board’s false and hypocritical accusations despite their attempts to deny me the ability to do so.

1. Declarations of unwillingness to follow SFWA bylaws and procedures

Section A looked at occasions where Mr. Beale may have actually violated SFWA bylaws and procedures. This part of the report will look at his general attitude towards those bylaws and procedures, in particular public statements where he has said that he does not consider himself bound by them and does not intend to observe them.

Archiving Forum material for later publication

Mr. Beale has repeatedly stated that he has made copies of material on the online Forum and intends to publish it: “I’ve already got the entire SF Forum on record, so it would be fascinating to see them attempt to defend various statements by certain authors while claiming that mine were worthy of expulsion.” (See Fig C.1)

Commenter: You can make public the entire contents of the forum you archived, without having to worry that they’ll kick you out.
Beale: Certainly, were I no longer bound by confidentiality. (See Fig C.2)

Note that Beale does not say he has archived all of the discussions relevant to his case, or that he will only publish those: he says that he has archived “the entire SF Forum” and will publish, in his commenter’s words (which he affirms) “the entire contents of the forum you archived.” In another comment he states clearly that he will not consider himself bound by confidentiality “if I was not a member with access to the forums” (see Fig C.3).

To remove all ambiguity, Beale also published this exchange:

Commenter: Archived all the discussions?
Beale: Yep. (See Fig C.4)

Since this material was posted in publicly accessible blog posts bearing the tag “SFWA”, it may be reasonable to view it as constituting a threat the he will publish a large archive of confidential SFWA material if he feels he is wronged by the organization. It’s also worth noting his syntax – “the confidentiality agreement would no longer bind me if I was not a member with access to the forums” [italics mine]: because there is no comma after “member,” the most obvious meaning of this would be that he would respond to a loss of access to the forums with publication of this confidential SFWA material, whether or not he were formally expelled.

Refusal to abide by bylaws and Board sanctions

Mr. Beale has stated clearly that he does not intend to abide by the SFWA bylaws if the Board votes to expel him. In particular, he has said that he does not accept the section of the bylaws specifying the formula for repaying a Lifetime Active member who is expelled: “Any expelled Life member is entitled to more than the bylaws indicate due to the official valuation put on a Life membership. If they attempt to remove it they will without question create real financial damages.” (See Fig C.5)

As the last sentence of that excerpt suggests, Mr. Beale has been clear that he intends to sue SFWA on this basis if he is expelled. His threats of nuisance litigation are examined more closely in the second part of this section. He makes a similar claim in a post on the SFWA online forums in which he suggests, essentially, that the organization has no legal right to expel him: “A lifetime membership in SFWA is presently valued at $5,000.00. Although the bylaws presently contain a formula that is intended to deprive a lifetime member of the greater part of that officially established value, that particular section is highly unlikely to hold up if challenged in any court of law. I’m sure you will understand that the SFWA cannot simply steal property worth $5,000.00 from its members regardless of what the bylaws say or how unanimous the opinion of its board members may be.” [emphasisadded] (See Fig C.6)

One thing at a time.  As is obviously his wont, the Canadian Regional Director has again let his imagination run away with him in this section.  First, I have not done anything more here than point out the obvious, which is that once I am no longer an SFWA member, either due to resigning my membership or being expelled from the organization, the confidentiality that binds SFWA members will no longer bind me.  I fail to see how anyone could possibly dispute that.

I have not declared any “unwillingness to follow SFWA bylaws and procedures”, to the contrary, I have repeatedly claimed that the current SFWA Board is not following them itself.

I do have access to the entire historical forum and that was obviously a wise precaution on my part, as without access to the archive, it would have been much more difficult for me to write my formal response to the complaint.  Gould’s action in denying me access to the forums was hardly unpredictable. However, Johnson makes another stupidly dishonest mistake by falsely claiming that my agreement that I “can make public” the entire forum means that I “will publish” the entire contents.  A professional writer knows  that “I can” is not synonymous with “I will”.

As it happens, I can and will assure the SFWA Board and everyone else that I’m not going to publish the entire contents of the forum regardless of what happens.  Most of it is FAR too tedious to make for interesting reading by anyone.  But just as the Board has asserted that the discussion forum confidentiality rules do not apply to its members, I assert they do not apply to non-SFWA members.

Johnson also misinterprets what I said, which should be obvious at this point because I’ve already been denied access to the forums by the unilateral action of the SFWA president and yet I haven’t posted anything from the forum that was not in the report. I have not done so because, contra the false assertions by Johnson and Gould, I continue to respect discussion forum confidentiality.  In fact, by this point, it should be clear that I respect it more than the SFWA Board does, as Johnson again admits to violating discussion forum confidentiality in this section: “He makes a similar claim in a post on the SFWA online forums… (See Fig C.6)”.

Archiving the forum was necessary because I’ve used it to document 16 instances of an SFWA member providing a link in an SFWA space to an external attack on a member, (which is the primary complaint against me), and 48 instances of attacks on an SFWA member made in an SFWA space, (which is how some have erroneously characterized the complaint).  A number of these direct attacks in SFWA spaces are even openly declared to be attacks, either by the attacking member or by the moderator who has deleted the attack.

These 64 direct and indirect attacks include those made by three members of the present Board as well as 10 made by members who have openly called for my expulsion from the organization.

As for the SFWA bylaws, I certainly don’t intend to continue abiding by them if I am no longer a member.  Does anyone know any non-members who do?  However, I would not go so far as to say that I intend to sue SFWA if I am expelled; obviously if the SFWA were to properly expel me for just cause according to the relevant state laws and bylaws, and refrain from inflicting any financial damages on me, I would have no legal grounds for a lawsuit.  I have no intention of filing any nuisance lawsuits; I will only consider legal action if the Board gives me substantive cause through its improper behavior.

Unfortunately, the very poor quality of this oft-deceitful report does not lend itself to the idea that the Board has been dotting its “i”s and crossing its “t”s properly.  Some of the legal work that has been done on its behalf is actually quite solid, and it is clear that someone legally competent was advising SFWA at some point in the recent past, but it is also apparent that the current Board is not running all of its actions and statements past him.  As one of my lawyers commented, it is as easy to see when a non-lawyer is using legal terms he has picked up as when someone tries to use Google Translate in an attempt to pass for a native speaker. This report is an apt demonstration of how even very good lawyers can only do so much when the clients they are advising are incompetent and dishonest.

Response Part X

§ 107 . Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use

Notwithstanding
the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted
work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by
any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as
criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies
for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of
copyright. 


Response Part X

Section C purports to be evidence of what Matthew Johnson imagines to be my “bad faith”.  Which I find to be more than a little ironic, considering his near-complete failure to provide any of the considerable exculpatory evidence available in his “comprehensive” report.

C. Actions which demonstrate bad faith

This section of the report examines actions by Mr. Beale which, while not individually as serious as those described in parts A and B, may be taken as cumulative evidence that his interactions with SFWA have not been in good faith.

Two general issues will be addressed in this section:

1. Declarations of unwillingness to obey SFWA bylaws and procedures

1.1 Archiving Forum material for later publication
1.2 Refusal to abide by bylaws and Board sanctions

2. Threats of nuisance litigation

As well, the final part of this section will look at posts and comments made by Beale in which he makes statements regarding his intentions and his attitude towards SFWA.

In related news, the SFWA Board has voted on my 17 June complaint, which concerned Nora Jemisin’s apparent violation of discussion forum confidentiality in her speech in Australia,  Lee Martindale’s implied threat to commit criminal violence against me in the event of my election, and Laura Resnick’s threat to kill me, dismember me, and serve the remains to her dinner guests.

SFWA President Steven Gould moved that the Board “disallow the complaint filed by a member against multiple members to continue through the complaint process for insufficient grounds” and the measure passed 6-0.

Just to make it clear that I have not violated any confidentiality rules, please note that I received the results of the Board vote from parties other than the SFWA Ombudsman. I am still awaiting the result of my 11 July complaint concerning the actions of Mr. Gould and Mr. Johnson.

Something else I found interesting related to the charge in B.3 concerning the supposedly negative effect of my membership in the organization.  Given the necessity of an objective metric to ascertain the validity of Mr. Johnson’s charges, I asked him how many members the organization had on June 13th versus July 15th.  Mr. Johnson informed me: “The membership numbers in the online directory represent our best data. We do not track membership numbers by specific dates.”

Given that the online directory still contains several members who left the organization some time ago, this makes it clear that the Board will have little choice but to dismiss that aspect of the complaint for what are, in this particular case, legitimately “insufficient grounds”.

And in the meantime, former SFWA president McRapey appears to have taken the news that rehashed Jane Austen is still acceptable “science fiction” in the eyes of SFWA 3.0 a little too enthusiastically.  That, or he’s simply not dealing well with his copious free time now that he’s left Steven Gould to clean up, however ineptly, the Augean detritus that three years of McRapey’s “leadership” left behind.

Either way, he has let it be known that he would henceforth prefer to be known as Jane Scalzi in a courageous attempt to play life on a more challenging difficulty level.  I know everyone in the Dread Ilk will join me in wishing him well in his transition.

UPDATE: Mr. Johnson’s statement is absolutely fascinating in light of Article V, Section 5 (c) of the SFWA bylaws.

Response Part IX

§ 107 . Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use

Notwithstanding
the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted
work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by
any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as
criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies
for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of
copyright. 


Response Part IX

What I find amusing about Section B.3 is that Matthew Johnson actually affects to take the public posturing of both members and non-members alike seriously while overtly begging the question about my supposed “racism”.  He also ignores the fact that people have openly stated that they have JOINED the organization because of me while others have stated their intention of doing so.

3. Effect of Beale’s continued membership on SFWA

Aside from the threats of harassment and nuisance litigation discussed elsewhere in this report, there is evidence to suggest that following his recent actions Beale’s continued membership in SFWA will serve to alienate many current members as well as discouraging currently qualified writers from joining.

Prospective members

The following is a sample of statements made in social media (blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) in which writers who are not currently SFWA members state that Beale’s behaviour is a barrier to their joining SFWA:

“Now I know not to join SFWA. I don’t go where I’m not wanted.”

“If the Board doesn’t vote Beale out… I’m not sure if I want to join.”

“Please count me in as one of those people [saying they no longer have interest in joining].”

“This is why I belong to NINC, not SFWA.”

“If he’s there when I qualify, then I’m writing a letter explaining why I have no interest in joining.”

“If he’s in when I qualify, I am never joining.”

“I cannot even imagine doing it [joining SFWA] as long as this type of thing happens and people like this are allowed to continue in this organization.”

“I wish I was an SFWA writer just so I could renounce my membership.”

“I’m one of those who won’t join as long as Beale is a member.”

“I’d like to publicly state that, while I qualify for SWFA membership, and have been waffling over whether to join for some time, I will not be joining while Beale is a member.”

(Because of the number of these, and because they were made in publicly-available fora I have not
provided screenshots. They are available on request to Board members.)

Perhaps the clearest evidence of the effect of Beale’s continued membership on prospective writers is the case of a writer who had qualified and applied for membership actually cancelled in the middle of the process, citing the following reason: “I simply can’t be part of an organization that supports racism.”

Current members

Many current members have also stated that they intend to resign their membership if Beale remains a member. (All of the quotes below either come from e-mails sent to officers of the Board, in which case the members gave permission for a portion of their e-mails to be reproduced here, or were taken from publicly-available fora.)

“I will be appalled if SFWA don’t expel Theodore Beale and definitely won’t want to be part of their organization again.”

“I was tempted to walk away after the earlier debacles, but this is just beyond outrageous.”

“My membership is on the table as well. This organization is a professional embarrassment.”

“I don’t want to remain part of an organization that allows its public facade to be used for this sort of drivel. If the question comes down to my support of SFWA versus being part of an organization that gives Beale a platform to harass fellow authors, then I will step away from SFWA.”

“I’m giving SFWA one last chance, but if they botch it I’m gone and will urge others to do the same.”

“I’m concerned for SFWA’s increasingly tarnished reputation and frustrated that Mr. Beale seems intent on alienating myself and other women and minority members from the organization.”

“Keeping this individual in the organisation is not good for members. It makes the organisation laughing stock in the wider community, and detracts from more worthwhile activities.”

“I love what SFWA does for writers, and I love being a member, but I hate thinking that I am a member of an organization that this racist, sexist guy also belongs to.”

“I value various SFWA services, projects, and advocacy efforts, but I am unwilling to belong to a writers’ organization which welcomes and enables a virulently disruptive and unprofessional member who keeps breaking rules and violating policies, and who uses the organization’s tools and venues to personally attack other members.” (This last comment was from a member whose membership was not, in fact,
renewed due to the concerns stated here.)

Most prominently, an outgoing Board Member indicated that he intended to let his membership lapse until Beale was no longer a member: “My membership is due and I can’t in good conscience renew it until SFWA finds the means or moral backbone or whatever’s ultimately required to expel someone as hateful and wilfully destructive as Beale—notjust from the organisation but from the culture present within it.”

A broader sampling from member e-mails received on the issue can be found in Appendix II.

I’ll begin by noting that SFWA is not a sorority where only the right girls are permitted to join and those who lose the favor of the popular girls are expected to leave the sorority house.  It doesn’t matter if every other member of SFWA threatens to quit, that is still not a reasonable grounds for kicking any member out.  If people want to quit, for any reason, then let them quit.  That’s their business, not SFWA’s. Obviously the organization is not providing them with sufficient value for them to remain members.

Now, the reason I find this amusing is that there are some SFWA members who are known to threaten to quit, or to allow their membership to lapse, on a fairly regular basis.  It would be violating discussion forum confidentiality to quote the Forum posts, but I will provide to the Board links proving that there were nine explicit threats to quit over the SFWA Bulletin issues 201 and 202 in the Forum alone, and that doesn’t count all the statements on blogs, social media, or sent to the Board via email.  (If anyone wishes to dig up a few examples of those threats to quit over the SFWA Bulletin, it would be helpful; if you’re not sure if someone is an SFWA member or not you can check it out via the public member directory.)

Moreover, it appears that more people, including the editor of the Bulletin, quit over the Bulletin issue than have quit due to my blog post responding to Nora Jemisin’s deceitful and defamatory attack on me.  Yet, the Board never felt the need to discuss expelling the member directly responsible for all the threats to quit and the actual members quitting even though he publicly apologized and took responsibility for it.

As I pointed out yesterday, Brad Torgerson and other members have openly expressed their intention to quit the organization due to the politically correct behavior of ideologically opposed members, who are now being encouraged in that behavior by the Board’s witch hunt.  Fortunately, there is an obvious and objective metric that is capable of settling the issue here, and I have written to Mr. Johnson to find out how many members SFWA had on June 13th versus how many it had on July 15th.

As for the prospective members, again, there are no shortage of prospective members who are already qualified, or potentially will be qualified for SFWA, who have expressed their lack of interest in joining an organization which is a) politically correct, b) openly left-wing, and c) run by a Board which is not only willing to permit the long-term harassment of some of its members, but take part in that harassment itself.

Since the Board is presently claiming to take the opinions of prospective members seriously, if you are a writer who is not currently an SFWA member and consider the SFWA Board’s behaviour to be a barrier to your joining, (or if it applies, rejoining), please let me know either in the comments, or, if you require anonymity, via email.

The real reason for all of these attacks and all this posturing about quitting can be found in a 2008 comment by the Toad of Tor herself on Nora Jemisin’s site.  It all comes down to the left-wing ideology in the end; left-wing whites are always puzzled by the lack of enthusiasm shown for their ideology by those whose primary form of identity is not left-wing ideology. And note the all-too-familiar pattern: Jemisin was publicly attacking me five years ago, long before I’d ever even heard of her.

“The SF community has always been puzzled by the shortage of fans of
color, and the low percentage of nonwhite pros. I’ve seen a lot of
theorizing about it, but most of that was written by white fans, so I
won’t quote it lest I embarrass myself. 


“As far as I know, the community has one out-of-the-closet racist: Vox
Day (Theodore Beale), who is obviously unbalanced. The primary targets
of his hate are feminists, conservatives, and atheists, but he’s been
known to put in a good word for the Nazis and what he conceives would be
their approach to the problem of illegal immigration. For obvious
reasons, there’s no telling how many closet racists we have, but I don’t
imagine it’s a lot. Where we fall down is in understanding how race
operates in society right now.


“Political leanings: First, while we do have some hardboiled
conservatives, they’re a minority. The U.S. SF community is a lot more
liberal than you’d guess from looking at it, Canandian fandom is even
more so, and on average British fandom is significantly to the left of
U.S. fandom. (I should know more about the Australians and New
Zealanders than I do.) The U.S. community’s third political tendency is Miscellaneous Other:
Marxists, Trotskyists, Bakuninists, misc. commies, and whatever Ken
MacLeod is, plus libertarians, minarchists, anarcho-capitalists,
Objectivists, extropians, a few monarchists, and heaven knows what-all
else.”

Teresa Nielsen Hayden managed to embarrass herself anyhow, since in addition to her outright lies, she didn’t realize that she was attacking one of those pros whose shortage she finds so puzzling. Perhaps if white SFWA members like the Toad of Tor would stop openly attacking writers of color as mentally unbalanced, Nazi-loving racists, other writers of color such as Larry Correia would not find SFWA so hostile and unwelcoming.  As Nora Jemisin herself says: “Of course that sends a message to fans and writers of color: you’re not welcome.”

They have certainly made it abundantly clear that this writer of color is not welcome in SFWA.

Response Part VIII 

§ 107 . Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use

Notwithstanding
the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted
work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by
any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as
criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies
for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of
copyright. 


Response Part VIII

In Section B.2, Matthew Johnson appears to reveal the real source of the SFWA’s institutional fury, which is the fact that I have drawn attention to the organization’s increasingly shabby reputation and nonexistent integrity.  It is a little ironic, as again, there is nothing that I could do as a single member that could possibly be more damaging to the organization than its selective prosecution of me for a one-time action that several dozen members, including its current president, have provably committed.

And, as you’ll see, once again the Canadian Regional Director shows himself to be guilty of doing what he falsely claims I have done.

2. Attacks on the reputation and integrity of the organization

Mr. Beale has made statements on numerous platforms, including but not limited to his blog, that can be seen as attacks on the reputation and integrity of SFWA. This report does not consider the question of whether Mr. Beale’s statements meet the legal tests for defamation in any jurisdiction. Instead, it examines more broadly whether these comments were intentionally harmful to the reputation and integrity of SFWA and, if so, whether or not they were made as criticisms in the spirit of good faith. General evidence on whether or not Mr. Beale has been acting in good faith towards the organization is found in Section C.

However, there are specific questions which must be considered in asking whether Mr. Beale’s accusations were made in good faith:

  • Were the accusations either openly stated or clearly implied?
  • Did Mr. Beale present evidence to support his accusations?
  • Did Mr. Beale believe that evidence to be accurate and relevant?

Accusations of corruption and unfair business practices

Most of the statements made by Mr. Beale that can be seen as attacks on the reputation and integrity of SFWA relate to accusations of corruption and unfair business practices. For instance, he has described SFWA of being “the very people who have created a global cottage industry out of thinly disguised necrophilia and bestiality” (see Fig B.18) and accused SFWA of acting as a monopoly:

Comment from demonl: It’s amazing to contrast the online interactions of fantasy/sci fi writers with the online social interactions of model ship builders.

Comment from VD [Beale]: The difference is that one group of model ship builders isn’t actively trying to prevent another group of them from being able to build model ships. (See Fig B.19)

The majority of Beale’s accusations of corruption relate to the Nebula Awards and are found in two posts on his blog and one at the online magazine Black Gate. In his first post on the topic, “Amazon, the SFWA and authorial corruption” (December 27 2012) he states that “corruption… is absolutely rife within SFWA, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Organization” (see Fig B.20). While he avoided making the accusation openly in the title of the blog post, he was less circumspect in his tweet of the blog, which read “How SFWA corruption proves Amazon is right to limit author-written reviews” (see Fig B.21).

As noted above, there is an important distinction between genuine criticism of the organization and attacks on its reputation. There is nothing that inherently prevents an accusation of corruption from being genuine criticism so long as it is supported by evidence and done in good faith. The original “Amazon, the SFWA and authorial corruption” post offers no evidence, instead inviting readers to find it
in his post at Black Gate. The title of that post, “SF/F Corruption: Part I”, avoids making direct accusations against SFWA in the title, but within the text says “the Nebula Award is, first and foremost, a means for various small groups of people to shamelessly and dishonestly promote the works of themselves and their friends.”

Note that he does not frame this in terms of these individuals misusing or gaming the system, but in terms of the Nebula system – and by extension SFWA – being itself corrupt. (See Fig B.22) No evidence is provided for this beyond the actual Nebula results and Beale’s personal opinion of the aesthetic merits of various books that won or did not win awards. In the comments, Beale also implies further corruption in SFWA, saying “the Nebulas are the least of it” (see Fig B.23) and openly states that “Corruption in SFWA is a documented and easily proven fact” (see Fig B.24). In this comment, and another where he is challenged to substantiate his accusations, Beale says that “this is merely Part I” (ibid.) and “Did you miss the part about Part I?” (see Fig B.25)

So far as I am able to determine, however, no sequel to this post ever appeared at Black Gate, and his post at his own blog titled “SF/F Corruption: Part II” also provides no evidence, instead saying “I had intended to continue on the SFWA theme with which I began the Corruption in Science Fiction series, but a pair of articles concerning the legitimacy of the bestseller lists caught my attention” and then focusing on whether publishers are gaming bestseller lists (see Fig B.26)

In an edit to the original post on his blog, however, Beale did present what he claimed was direct evidence, and it’s worth looking at that in detail. In an edit to the original “SF/F Corruption: Part I” post, Beale added:

UPDATE: An SFWA insider confirms my observations: “[Vox] is correct when it comes to the inbred logrolling. As SFWA Bulletin editor from 1999-2002 I can attest to this first hand. A small clique and their “in” friends control quite a bit of what goes on in SFWA (at least it did back then and I have no reason to doubt that things have changed).” (See Fig B.27)

The phrase “An SFWA insider confirms my observations,” provided as it is without elaboration or context, would seem to imply two things: first, that the source is a member of SFWA; second, that the source agrees with Beale’s accusations of corruption in this post. Neither, however, is true. The quote is taken from commenter “Dave T.” in response to Beale’s Black Gate post, and the text is quoted accurately (see Fig B.28). Later posts by the same commenter, however, show that he had not been a member of SFWA since roughly 2003, or nine years before the post (see Fig B.29), and also that he did not agree with Beale’s overall point about the Nebula process (and by extension SFWA) being corrupt (see Fig B.30). Moreover, it is clear that Beale knew both of these facts, because he participated actively in the comment thread following the article and actually responded to Dave T’s second comment (see Fig B.31).

Therefore, it would seem that Beale knowingly misrepresented someone as a current member of SFWA who was not, misrepresented him as an authoritative source of evidence for Beale’s accusation (since the accusations related directly to the 2012 Nebulas, and Dave T. said he had not been a member since 2003) and misrepresented Dave T’s comments in order to provide support for an otherwise unsubstantiated attack on the reputation and integrity of SFWA.

As a result, it is my conclusion that Mr. Beale made open accusations harmful to the reputation and integrity of SFWA, provided no supporting evidence that would show that he was making an honest criticism in good faith, and furthermore knowingly distorted evidence in support of those accusations.

It is true that I have openly questioned the integrity of the organization’s award process as well as the competence of past and present officers.  The lack of authorial integrity with regards to awards and reviews is a real problem, as evidenced by Amazon’s decision to bar authors from reviewing books on its site. But let’s consider the opinions of some other SFWA members, including a few who have openly called for my expulsion.

“Funny thing is, the Hugos are the cleanest major award in American SF. The Nebs are dreadful.”
– Teresa Nielsen Hayden, March 11, 2005

“The Nebulas are one of the two major awards in literary science fiction, but their luster has dimmed over the last several years; they are no longer the equal to the Hugos in terms of relevance and timeliness, and their nomination process leaves them open to accusations of nomination via logrolling rather than literary quality.”
– John Scalzi, former SFWA president, 2007 platform 

“Getting back to the nebulas: log-rolling is indeed a problem. In fact, it’s encouraged by the structure of the nebula process. The only excuse for the process that I can see is that too much eligible fiction is published in any given year for the jury to read it all, so some sort of pre-filtering is necessary, and the way the pre-filtering evolved within the nebula process just happened to end up FUBARed beyond all recursive acronymisation.”
– Charles Stross, SFWA member, November 30, 2007

“For the 2009
ballot, SFWA members could see how many nominations each story received
in the lead-up to the ballot selection. I really liked this because it
allowed members to know which stories were gaining attention. If a story
was surging in the tally, many members would go out of their way to
read and consider it. However, there was a downside to having a public
tally–logrolling. People could see who supported each story. Because of
this, it was claimed some SFWA members pledged to vote for different
people’s stories if those people voted for their own tales. Now, I
personally thought this practice was rarer than people stated, but it
was still a concern.”

– Jason Sanford, SFWA member, February 20, 2012

“I have served on Neb juries too. And the Election Committee. I used to be a member of SFWA.  Trust me on this, I have never been as pressured and log-rolled for a
nomination as I have been by male authors. Right down to almost in
person physical arm twisting. Women hardly did anything at all, other
than send their works to me. And everyone does it.”

– C. Foxessa, ex-SFWA member, December 29, 2012


“I thought SFWA would be my ‘union’ capable of enhancing or
protecting my interests.  It’s not really been so.  At least in my very
limited experience. Especially not when I stumbled across an e-mail exchange between
several SFWA members who were essentially discussing ways to turf my
chances on the Nebula, Hugo, and Campbell ballots in 2012. Why
should I pay money to remain a member of an organization that seems
(too often?) to be infested with personalities who explicitly want to
hurt my career?  Or at least want to blunt my opportunities?”

– Brad Torgerson, SFWA member, July 9, 2013

“Remember kids, SFWA aren’t just clueless and sexist, they’re also a great platform for log-rolling piss weak fiction into award season glory.”
– Jonathan McCalmont, SF critic, June 13, 2013

I note that one need not present any evidence at all for one to express one’s opinion in good faith.  None of the SFWA members quoted here presented any, and yet they are not being prosecuted by the SFWA Board for their very similar opinions concerning the “dreadful” nature of the SFWA’s awards. Because I am no longer blogging at Black Gate, I don’t write much about the business of science fiction and fantasy anymore; it being an area of less interest to the readers of VP and AG than those of Black Gate.  So, I haven’t gotten around to finishing the series on corruption in SF/F.  I may never finish it. But the fact that I haven’t publicly presented my evidence yet doesn’t mean that it does not exist, nor do I face any obligation to present it to anyone.

Now let’s look at Matthew Johnson’s accusation that I thrice misrepresented DaveT’s comments and “knowingly distorted evidence in support of those accusations.”  Mark his weasely “it would seem” which suggests that the SFWA Board member knows he is playing fast and loose with the facts here.  And keep in mind that this is the SFWA Board member accusing me of harming SFWA’s precious “integrity” in his official SFWA capacity.  There are three components to his accusation.

1. The first charge of misrepresentation is false. I did not misrepresent anyone as a current member of SFWA who was not a current member.  I didn’t say anything at all about DaveT’s membership status as of December 2012, and I even provided a link to the comment where he made it clear that he quit the organization sometime around 2003.  It would have been more precise to describe him as “a former SFWA Bulletin editor who quit the organization” than “an SFWA insider”, but it is hardly misrepresenting him to describe him as precisely what he was, an SFWA insider who edited the official SFWA magazine for three years and knows considerably more about the organization than most of its members.

2.  The second charge of misrepresentation is false. I did not misrepresent DaveT as an authoritative source of evidence for my accusation.  Johnson is straight out lying here.  He claims: “(since the accusations related directly to the 2012 Nebulas,
and Dave T. said he had not been a member since 2003)”.  However, the greater part of my accusation and the subsequent discussion concerned the 2002 Best Novel award given to Catharine Asaro for The Quantum Rose; in addition to the post concerned prominently featuring the cover of that novel, there is even a debate about the connection of that award and her popularity which led to her being elected to SFWA office around the same time

I also denied making any accusations about the 2012 Nebulas in the very comment thread quoted by Mr. Johnson.

Jo Walton: “I am not a member of SFWA and never have been. I think that disposes of your accusations of my logrolling for a Nebula.”

Theo: “I never made any such accusation.”

More importantly, Johnson ignores the way I specifically stated that my accusations primarily relate to the period between 2000 and 2010 in my original post, the very time period during which DaveT was the editor of the Bulletin.

“One of the things that rapidly became obvious to anyone who attempted to
participate honestly in the system between 2000 and 2010 was that the
Nebula Award is, first and foremost, a means for various small groups of
people to shamelessly and dishonestly promote the works of themselves
and their friends.”

3. The third charge of misrepresentation is false.  I did not “misrepresent
Dave T’s comments in order to provide support for an otherwise
unsubstantiated attack on the reputation and integrity of SFWA.”  Here is where Johnson’s blatant dishonesty becomes impossible to deny.  He knowingly misrepresents DaveT’s reminder about the possibility of a simple statistical explanation for Tor’s many awards as a disagreement with my overall point. Johnson writes of DaveT:

“he did not agree with Beale’s overall point about the Nebula process (and by extension SFWA) being corrupt….”

That is totally false, as DaveT clearly did agree with and substantiate my overall point:

I have merely concurred with Theo that there are
shenanigans going on re the Nebs voting process that I think are
deplorable. There are cliques who stick together (as in most
organizations), and some of them even go so far as to purposely avoid
voting for certain types of SF they don’t like
(i.e. the perceived
Analog _stereotypical_ story, for but one example)…. I personally got fed up with the cliques, in-fighting, nastiness,
politics, and all the rest of it, which is why I resigned my Bulletin
editorship in 2002 and let my membership lapse a year or so later.” 
[Emphasis added]

What was Johnson’s basis for claiming DaveT disagreed with me?  Fig. B.30, which is below, next to the text from DaveT’s comment.

“If nearly 25% of all Nebs recs since 1986 were from Tor, then this
means that just over 75% of the Nebs recs since 1986 were not from Tor.
Now, take into account that Tor is the largest SF book publisher in the
United States and it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine that a fair
number of their books might just earn a Neb rec. I bought a red car some years ago. A friend was quick to point out
that statistics showed that more red cars get into accidents than any
other color. To which I replied, “Maybe there are just more red cars on
the road.” To wit, maybe there’s just more Tor books to nominate from,
and they must be doing something right re quality and sales for them to
be the leading SF book publisher in the country (if not the world). Just a thought.”


It’s just a thought.  It is obviously not proof of DaveT failing to agree with my overall point.  In fact, it’s not even a disagreement with me!  I myself brought up the possibility that Tor is simply a very good publisher, in addition to some observations, such as:

  • “the unusually heavy involvement of its authors in the
    awards process”
  • “their representation in the organization’s offices”
  • “the confirmed logrolling in the recent past”
  • “how many of those award-winning books neither seem to sell particularly
    well nor be especially well-regarded by Amazon reviewers”

In fact, our only area of potential disagreement on the subject was that DaveT believes Tor is not cheating, but merely “has an active and successful marketing and networking strategy”, whereas, on the basis of my experience in the music industry, I am less certain that Tor Books has never gamed various awards and bestseller lists.  Tomato, Tomahto.

The only person who “knowingly distorted evidence in support of… accusations” here is Matthew Johnson.  By now, it should be abundantly clear that with his intentional misrepresentations and false accusations, Matthew Johnson, the current Canadian Regional Director and SFWA Board member, is considerably more harmful to SFWA’s reputation and integrity than I am.  And we’ve only reached page 21 of 34.

But since we’re on the subject of the Nebulas and the SFWA Board, I’ve heard there was a bit of disappointment at the SFWA’s secret headquarters following the 2012 Awards.

Response Part VII

§ 107 . Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use

Notwithstanding
the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted
work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by
any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as
criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies
for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of
copyright. 


Response Part VII

In section B.1, Matthew Johnson plumbs new depths, as he attempts to frame my oft-satirical responses to repeated attacks on me by former SFWA President John Scalzi, current SFWA Board member (who has not recused herself from the process) Lee Martindale, SFWA Associate Member Teresa Nielsen Hayden, and others over the last eight years as “attacks on members”.

1. Attacks on members

Attacks on members which occurred through SFWA channels or in SFWA-controlled spaces are addressed in part A. The following looks at attacks and threats which were made in his blog and other public space.

Personal attacks

Beale has made numerous attacks on fellow SFWA members which may be seen as going outside the bounds of professional conduct. The best-known and most consistent is likely his use of derogatory nicknames, such as “McRapey” for John Scalzi and “McRacist” for N.K. Jemisin (see Fig B.1). He has also compared Amal el-Mohtar to an Egyptian cleric who has, according to Beale, called for the ethnic cleansing of Egypt (Fig B.2); accused James Enge of “despicable behavior” (see Fig B.3); accused Ms. Jemisin of plagiarism (see Fig B.4); and has published a blog comment claiming that Teresa Nielsen Hayden has herpes. (See Appendix I for the question of whether and why to consider blog comments. In this case, though, Beale actually reprinted the comment in one of his own blog posts, making him more clearly the publisher of the comment: see Fig B.5)

Threats by commenters

Beale has permitted and, arguably, encouraged threats of violence against SFWA members on his blogs and elsewhere. (See Appendix I for the question of whether and why to consider blog comments.) As we have seen, Beale allowed one threat of rape against Ms. Jemisin to remain in the post that was published through the SFWAAuthors Twitter feed; a similar threat was made in the June 13 post “SFWA Forum: the moderated posts”:

“Jemisin libeled him. the SFWA is aiding and abetting her in this libel. come get some, bitch.” (See Fig B.6)

On June 18 an implicit threat was made by a commenter against member Aliette de Bodard:
“Didn’t we used to drop bombs on Europeans who were fascinated by racial literature? Eventually people like de Bodard will need the air raid sirens.” (See Fig B.7)

Another series of threats was made against Lee Martindale following a comment she made on Jim Hines’ blog (see Fig B.8) to which Beale took offense (see Fig B.9). Commenters to Beale’s blog post posted threats such as suggestions that she should commit suicide (see Fig B.10), statements that “she needs to get punched or laid… or maybe both in quick succession” (see Fig B.11), requests to “Post her home address, I dare you…” (see Fig B.12) and detailed descriptions of her murder: I’m pretty sure that Bane [a former commenter] would have had a long, eloquent post about seeing an eye through a scope and then the brilliant crimson & grey spatter when he caressed the trigger, or maybe something about the slippery, warm feel of entrails spilling over his hand. (See Fig B.13. Note that Beale ended this post with “This post is dedicated to the memory of Bane”; see Fig B.14]

One comment provided instructions on how to “SWAT” her (send a police SWAT team to her house): “If you want to SWAT at the gnatstys [Internet spelling of “nasties”], you could use skype from a café and call into the police phone number local to the threat, impersonating the threat and saying something like you’ve just killed your family, are going to blow up a school, etc. and watch the militarized blue-coats go after them.” (see Fig B.15)

A few notes may be valuable in providing context. First, the suggestion that Beale should provide Martindale’s home address was not an idle one: on at least one prior occasion Beale has posted the home address of a reviewer (not an SFWA member) he felt had not read his book before reviewing it (see Fig B.16. for the post in which this happened. Although the full address was removed by the time that screenshot was taken, the comment seen in Fig B.17 shows that it had been posted.)

Finally, on June 15 2013 (two days after Beale’s attack on Ms. Jemisin went out via the SFWAAuthors Twitter feed) Martindale also received a threat by e-mail which, while it cannot be traced directly to Beale, echoes threats made against her, and the specific language used in them, on his blogs:

“Keep on doing what you do, keep on following the same routine, you will be located, and you will be dealt with just like you deserve to be. My friends are starting a bail fund for me. See, you’re not the only one who can make veiled threats of violence, you fat, stinking, ugly cunt. Kill yourself now and save someone else the trouble you rotten, repulsive piece of human trash.”

With regards to my “attacks on fellow SFWA members”, I will simply note the following:

1. John Scalzi, the former SFWA president to whom I refer by the derogatory nickname “McRapey” has publicly referred to me in the following ways since 2005:

  • the lunatic fringe
  • a jackass, and a fairly ignorant jackass at that
  • your head is pretty far up your ass
  • there’s a definite head-ass conjunction on his part
  • his sphincto-cranial position
  • stupid and sexist
  • a sexist pig
  • he deserves a thumping, and a thumping is what he’s getting
  • Racist Sexist Homophobic Dipshit
  • sociopathic assbag
  • that pathetic ball of issues

There are hundreds of references on Mr. Scalzi’s blog and several other SFWA member blogs such as Electrolite referring to me as either “Racist Sexist Homophobic Dipshit” or “RSHD”. It would be informative to learn if the SFWA Board considers that to be inside “the bounds of professional conduct”. Mr. Scalzi has also referred to the readers of my blog as:

  • VD’s tribe of sexist assbags
  • your own pit of manstink
  • the gibbering follow monkeys of that Racist Sexist Homophobic Dipshit who has an adorable mancrush on me
  • his clutch of equally insecure racist sexist homophobic dipshit admirers
  • gibbering monkey followers 
  • dipshits

Note that in addition to demonstrating that the “derogatory nickname” I use for John Scalzi is well within the bounds of professional conduct as demonstrated by the SFWA president’s own example, this would appear to indicate that it is John Scalzi who is truly the racist, as I am a Writer of Color and I have a large number of black and Hispanic readers to whom the presumably white Mr. Scalzi openly refers as “monkeys”.

Moreover, given that Mr. Scalzi has openly, (however satirically), written I’m a rapist. I’m one of those men who likes to force myself on women
without their consent or desire and then batter them sexually”
and was recorded stating “John Scalzi is a rapist” on Canadian radio, it can hardly be deemed outrageous to satirize him as “McRapey”.

2. The comment “claiming that Teresa Nielsen Hayden has herpes” was clearly satirical, considering that it was written from the perspective of a Sonoran Desert Toad. As in, the warty little frog-like animal that hops.  The full quote was: “I would point out that
licking *me*
brings on a state of euphoria and a series of pleasant
hallucinations, while licking Ms. Nielson would cause spastic
uncontrolled vomiting and give you herpes.”

Moreover, Ms Nielsen Hayden has addressed me in the following professional manner since 2005:

  • It’s really, really obvious that VD is not acquainted with actual women. (2005)
  • he’s had little or no social interaction of any sort (2005)
  • VD fears and dislikes women (2005)
  • a third-rate intellect (2005)
  •  a tad unbalanced (2005)
  • a generally unpleasant fellow (2005)
  • He is a wuss. (2007)
  • You’re also a singularly inept sockpuppet, O Bane/Vox/Theeeeeodore. (2007)
  • Vox Day’s true opinion of women has always been clear to me: he’s terrified of them. (2007)
  • out-of-the-closet racist (2008)
  • obviously unbalanced (2008)
  • been known to put in a good word for the Nazis (2008)

3. In the interest of keeping this less than entirely tedious, I will address the other accusations in my actual response to the Board.  In the meantime, I will simply point out that my “attacks” have almost always been responses to the attacks of others.

With regards to the various statements made by commenters, both here and at other blogs, I will simply point out that I maintain a very light moderation policy with rules that are clearly posted, which is one reason why my blogs are among the most popular in the SFWA, with 1,170,000 pageviews last month alone.  I find it strange to have to point out to a professional writer’s organization that I am obviously not responsible, in any way, for anyone’s words or actions besides my own.  Nor have I ever incited anyone to do anything; quite to the contrary, I have actively dissuaded my readers from responding to various forms of attacks in kind.

I have already shown in my response to section A.3 that Mr. Johnson’s assertion of a previous “rape threat” to Ms Jemisin was, in fact, not a threat at all, and the following three comments, all of which still remain on this blog in addition to many other similar comments, should suffice to demonstrate that my failure to delete a comment does not indicate either permission for, encouragement of, or agreement with the comment, its sentiments, or the commenter.

  • “You sad, silly little fuck. Your father really screwed you over for life, didn’t he?” (Phoenician February 04, 2013 4:16 PM) 
  • “I own your mental space. First Scalzi made you his little bitch. And now I’ve made you my little bitch. You’ll have to face up to the fact that this isn’t a coincidence. It seems to be in your nature to seek out a dominant male and make him treat you like a bottom.” (Pheonician February 09, 2013 8:53 PM)
  • “What a strange, depressing man you are. And how fearful and strange and depressing many of the folks in the comments are. This post is full of logical fallacies that sort of laugh in the face of psychology and history, but . . . it’s not even worth getting into them with you. If you’ve ignored facts up to this point in your life, there’s no real any evidence that you’d start taking them into consideration now.”  (Maggie Stiefvater June 14, 2013 3:14 PM )

Of the 136,270 comments presently available on this blog, a statistically significant percentage of them contain sentiments of which I do not approve, assertions with which I disagree, and claims which I believe to be false.  I am not responsible for any of them.  And I am most certainly not responsible for any threats made here or elsewhere to others by others.

Unlike many members of the SFWA, I believe in unmitigated free speech and free expression.  Calling speech “hate speech” does not justify limiting it any more than calling it “blasphemy” or “uppity negro speech” does.  I find it absolutely and utterly reprehensible that the SFWA Board has abandoned the organization’s formerly strong position on free speech and is not only prosecuting a member for his own free speech, but for permitting others free speech as well.

Stephen Brust might be thinking to mock the critics of SFWA with his “Anthem of the SFWA Fascists, but the simple fact is that the SFWA Board is acting as if it wears “rainbow-colored jackboots” as it actively attempts to limit the ability of its members to freely express their opinions in a hypocritical and one-sided manner. And I find it extremely amusing to observe that Mr. Brust has turned off comments for the video.

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