Sarah Hoyt has a theory concerning the increasingly rapid appearance of Pink SF’s Two-Minute Hates:
The funny thing, though, is that they are not only completely ignorant about us, and so unaware of it that the dime never drops, but that these demonization cycles seem to be coming closer and closer and get more hysterical. The next person who disagrees with them or pokes the tiniest bit of fun at them will be declared “worse than Hitler” and they’ll call for his hanging.
I think I know why. Part of the reason the episodes are coming closer together and getting crazier is that they’re losing power and they know it. They convinced an entire generation of women that Heinlein should not be read. This was because “all the right thinking people know that.” This is breaking. There are enough blogs, and enough of us female Heinlein fans ready to tell them they’re idiots and then describe exactly in what part of their anatomy their head is lodged.
With Resnick and Malzberg the backlash was faster and louder and even a lot of their number thought (privately) that they were off their rocker. With Card, I think only the choir thinks he’s “a fascist.”
And with Larry… There is no word for this. It’s like a Chihuahua trying to hold onto a car by the back bumper. They have not only bit off more than they can chew, they’ve bit off more than they can… bite. In tactical terms it’s getting involved in a landwar in Asia or going up against a Sicilian when death is on the line.
But wait, there’s more. The other reason they’re getting crazier and crazier and trying to enforce group conformity more and more is that they are no longer in possession of the bully pulpit.
That’s definitely part of it. As Hugh Howey showed in the report to which I linked earlier today, independent publishers now sell more daily units in the three primary genres, Mystery/Thriller, SF/F, and Romance than the major publishers do. But the loss of the bully pulpit and the declining power of the gatekeepers has done more than drive them crazy, it has all but eliminated their targets.
Consider how much static I took for a few months from the moment I ran for president. But I’m gone now. They can’t purge me twice. They can’t purge Sarah or Larry, they’re already out of the little club. They can, in fact, they regularly dig up the corpse of Robert Heinlein in order to ritually attack him, but nobody cares, least of all REH.
So, like rats, the rabbits are on the verge of devouring themselves. They have no one else left to attack. We’ve already seen Dave Truesdale and a cohort of elderly members publicly launch a salvo at Stephen Gould and the lowlives of the Board; it won’t be long until those Very Serious and Concerned Individuals strike back with a series of point-and-shrieks directed at various petition signers.
If you’re a young writer on the right half of the political spectrum, you would have to be insane to decide to join the SFWA at this point. I mean, is it going to help you get published by Baen? Is it going to impress anyone at Castalia House? Or, for that matter, Random House, after the way they were attacked by the SFWA worthies? And do you really think the lunatics at places like Tor are going to harbor any interest in your story about spaceships and space battles if it lacks the requisite tri-gendered queer transcultural warrior princess who defends abortions in space from the evil Bible-misquoting raciss white Christian bigot?
We have achieved ideological segregation. Now the wolves can compete among themselves and laugh as we watch the rabbits frantically shrieking “not-rabbit” at their fellow rabbits as they devour each other.