I was in two minds about whether to speak up and say something, but hearing this morning of another incident where a migrant was subject to a racist tirade has helped make up my mind.
I have to speak up.
I’ve read a lot of brouhaha recently regarding a column by Mike Resnick and Barry N. Malzberg in the SFWA Bulletin. I’m not specifically going to comment on exactly what they said: I’m not an SFWA member, nor eligible to be one, nor aspire to be one, so I’m not going to tell a private membership organisation what they can and can’t put into a journal I don’t have a legitimate desire to access.
I’ve read some of the online discussion of this article.
One, by Foz Meadows, irked me a little when Foz said,
“two old white guys in their seventies who I’ve never heard of before”
and I think this cuts to the heart of one of the issues.
I’ve read all of this stuff, but what I haven’t read is anyone trying to have a reasoned, mutually-respecting conversation with Resnick and Malzberg about why they do not agree with the sentiments they viewed.
I have seen a response that I believe would make a large amount of people defensive if it was directed at them, and in light of this I can understand the very defensive, circling the wagons tone of the second SFWA piece.
So while those challenging Resnick and Malzberg may have a valid argument, I feel that the messages being conveyed aren’t the most conducive for mutually respectful dialogue on the issue.
While I doubt that I agree with everything that Mike Resnick and Barry N. Malzberg say and believe, I respect their contribution to SF, the genre I love. I respect their work, I must have first read their stories over 20 years ago. I respect their achievements.
ADDITION: All comments welcome, however house rules are that every commenter should be willing to put their name to what they say.
Disclaimer: Barry N. Malzberg wrote the introduction to Invisible Kingdoms at the request of the late Steven Utley. Mike Resnick will be writing the introduction to the forthcoming Bittersuite collection at the request of author Lezli Robyn. Both titles published by Ticonderoga Publications.