Monday, March 23, 2009

The Internet is Eating My Brain...

....Or at least my time.

I woke up, got the girl off to school, and worked on revisions. Proud of my progress, I didn't think about how taking a little break might derail me for hours. I peeked in at my personal journal's 'friend list' and saw that Will Shetterly (a literary hero from my youth, World Fantasy Award nominee with Gospel of the Knife) had reactivated his account. That didn't exactly surprise me; I've joked that I could almost make a drinking game out of his dumping and reinstating his account. The shocker was that I let myself get sucked back into RaceFail 09.

Since it's there for the skimming (though a link page that had no "Mely is wrong" slant might be better, this one serves well enough), I can explain my thoughts without a recap. Everybody was wrong. Yes, darlings, those words sum up my thoughts and the explanation.

Even the people who right (which each "group" was at one time or another) managed to argue long enough to be wrong. What could have been (in another time and place, perhaps with different participants) an important conversation about race Sf/F between fans and industry professionals very quickly turned to Epic Fail. And it just won't stop.

Instead of cringing and backing away, I checked the links dating back to the last time I cringed and backed away. The Author Shit List sent me into a whole different tangent. "The Nielson Haydens were unfairly misjudged; I'll read more Tor as soon as they publish something I want to read." I've been meaning to read Elizabeth Bear for years. Guess I'll add the book that helped set off this firestorm to my list. Bull and Shetterly are mostly misunderstood...I'd only heard of three of the next six on the list, and one of three I knew only from RaceFail. Since I've got Stross's Accelerando on my desk waiting to be read, I was glad that his great sin was mainly intelligent commentary with a stupid quip about trolls. That makes for guilt free reading.

So I started to think it might all be guilt free for those of us not on the "you're evil if you don't agree with everything we say" side until my mind stumbled on Orson Scott Card. Years ago, and for writing other than was linked, I decided that I couldn't maintain my self respect and generate royalties for him. This was a quiet decision, just between my husband and I--at least my part was quiet; he practically crowed, as he showed me Card's literary spitting on everything I believed in and we fools who dare believe. I no longer have the link, but the one provided offers reason enough....

That's why I checked out the Ellison link. I read very little of H.E.'s work, but I appreciate the altered state it always leaves me in.

Gawd Damn. I'd not stuck my nose into what someone had referred to as "the Connie Willis scandal" because I'd assumed it was something dumb--she got mad at a fan maybe, or drank too much at the con. You know, something small that was no one else's business. Before I knew it, I was backtracking for firsthand accounts of what happened...

To the writer that I am: The manuscript wasn't rewriting itself while you followed paths to nowhere. You know better.

To the author I hope to become: Don't ever do that shit. Any of it.

5 comments:

azteclady said...

I have so far resisted the lure of following link upon link down the rabbit hole known as "RaceFail"

Your post reinforces the need to stay away.

An Again said...

Hello, Azteclady.

It's a good idea to spare yourself! On the other hand, if you ever need a study in communication breakdown, there it is!

Julie said...

I think I'm scared to find out what you're talking about. I can get enough of it from your post to know it involves much drama. I don't like drama... :)

azteclady said...

An Again, I know what you mean--and perhaps one day I'll wade through the mess in search for the few nuggets...

but it's just too much drama and too much trouble, and it's coming in the heels of several other (admittedly smaller) kerfuffles that left me exhausted already.

An Again said...

Be afraid, Julie. Be very afraid. :-D

I don't think that the whole thing should be completely avoided. If I were teaching the class, four of the posts would be required reading. The sad thing comes with the rest (and in comments of the originals) where communication pretty much completely breaks down.