I do my callouts in public: Lars Pearson, you need to correct this.

ETA:

Here is Lars Pearson’s response. He has asked that I include his full response in my blog post, which I agree is appropriate.

Correction to DemiCon bio by Lars Pearson

As requested, I have asked DemiCon to correct my Guest of Honor bio to read that I was Editor-in-Chief of the Chicks Dig… series. I apologize that the original wording caused some concern and offense.

I am both the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief at Mad Norwegian, a small press with a handful of staff. A large part of what I do would come under the banner of “editor” at a larger publisher.

That said, I did not intend to take credit away from any of the hard-working, diligent editors and contributors I’ve worked with over the years. I take great pride in the Hugo nominations Mad Norwegian books have garnered over the years, and particularly that editors Lynne M. Thomas and Tara O’Shea won for Chicks Dig Time Lords. The work was theirs, the credit is theirs (and those who contributed articles), that’s what it says in the book itself, and I never intended to imply otherwise. I’ll do what I can to correct the record.

I would ask people to look at our titles, look at how Chicks Dig Time Lords was singled out by the Sad Puppies as part of their crusade against Social Justice Warriors in science fiction, and I hope you’ll acknowledge that Mad Norwegian is, on the whole, on the side of the angels.

Thank you, Lars, for clarifying your position on the matter.

My original post follows:

I strive, in recent years, to bring my public actions in line with how I like to imagine myself. Part of that process means I have a near-zero tolerance for behind-the-scenes negotiating and back-channel communications. Now, as a professional with some work in SF/F and comics, I understand and respect keeping some things quiet until they are announced, or not revealing forthcoming works, etc. I don’t believe I have talked out of turn on those matters. But when it comes to less-than-professional behavior, I find myself moved to speak out when I know the facts.

Which brings me to Lars Pearson of Mad Norwegian Press, and his bio paragraphs.

I have worked with Lars. I am co-editor of two anthologies, Chicks Dig Comics and Queers Dig Time Lords. Lars published these anthologies, as well as other works in the Geek Girl line. Some of those books were nominated for various awards. One, Chicks Dig Time Lords, edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Tara O’Shea, won a Hugo award for Best Related Work.

Lars Pearson is not listed as a co-editor on any book I worked on, nor is he co-editor of CDTL.

Yet, this bio piece on DemiCon’s website (highlighting mine):

does not mention any editors. It claims that Lars was the “top editor,” a role not used in publishing. If the bio said “publisher,” all would be well and we would not be having this conversation. But to claim to be the editor strongly implies that LARS won a Hugo. Which he did not. Lynne and Tara have that Hugo.

Moreover, in this article in the Des Moines Register from October 2, 2016, the following paragraphs occur:

This again seems to allow the reader to conclude that Lars won a Hugo.

His bio for CONsole Room 2017 states that he is the editor-in-chief of Mad Norwegian Press. While this may be true now, it was not true for the Geek Girl books I worked on. Lars was the publisher. He was never listed as a co-editor of mine.

I sent a quick email to DemiCon yesterday:

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Hello,

It came to my attention today that one of your GoHs, Lars Pearson, is claiming credit for work he has not done. Specifically, he states that he was “top editor” of the Geek Girl series of anthologies. I know this is not the case because I am co-editor of two of those books, and Lars was not involved as an editor. Publisher, yes! Absolutely! He was publisher of all of those books.

I expect this can be cleared up with a minor edit to his bio, perhaps changing “top editor,” a term which does not exist in publishing, to “publisher,” a term that does exist, and which Mr. Pearson has every right to claim.

I hope this can be corrected as soon as possible.

Thank you for your help with this matter.

All my best,

Sigrid Ellis

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I also tweeted at Mad Norwegian yesterday, asking them to please clear up these mistakes as soon as possible. But let me very clear, here:

Lars, your work as publisher has given many good works to SF/F. You took a chance on the Geek Girl books, and they are an act of concrete good in the world. You and Mad Norwegian have made a true difference. I appreciate that, and I thank you for it.

But please, stop allowing others to believe that you have accolades that belong to the many women, queers, and people of color whose efforts brought the books together. Do not erase the work of the editorial teams who brought nominations and awards to your company. Please, stop saying you are the “top editor” of award-winning works of which you are not the editor.

Doing so erases the work of others and it shames the work you have done.

I look forward to your public acknowledgment of this error, and its correction in future endeavors.

Sincerely,

Sigrid

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To my new Twitter followers!

Hello!

My name is Sigrid Ellis. I am a queer white liberal poly progressive feminist cis-woman. My feminism is intersectional and trans-affirming. My progressive politics are practical, long on nuance and complexity and short of divisiveness. We stand together or we fall apart.

I am an air traffic controller, and I rarely talk about my work for reasons of national security. I am a federal employee of the U.S. government, and only tweet about politics when I am not at work.

I am a freelance and part-time editor. I am an occasional writer and an erratic blogger.

I’m married. I have kids. We homeschool. My family has a lot of pets. I knit. I read a lot, fiction and non-fiction.

I am pro-science, pro-civil rights, I firmly believe that Black Lives Matter, I have doubts about late-stage capitalism but am not really informed on the topic, I love history with a vast passion, I live-tweet trips to museums, my Instagram is mostly pictures of our pets.

I likely won’t follow you back on any social media, because omg there are a lot of you. I am not on Facebook. I love Twitter and Tumblr. I won’t argue with you on social media, I’ll just mute and block you. When I live-tweet media, I gripe about side and meta issues, not the plot.

Welcome!

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If you don’t have potatoes and sheep, I want no part of your post-apocalyptic fiefdom

So.

Apropos of a couple of rants I went on yesterday on Twitter, regarding the tv series Into the Badlands

ItB is a show with excellently representative casting, lots of good roles for people of color, some fine-I-guess gender roles (women are mostly for sex, but some are also ninja warlords and one is a doctor?), and a plot which ostensibly relies on economic strife between post-apocalyptic baronies in, I dunno, what used to be California.

It’s this last bit that I stick at.

If the entire engine of your world and story is “people are fighting for territories and resources, and especially for forced labor, in a world in which these things are scarce,” then I as a consumer of your fiction really must insist that you have thought through your economics.

This problem isn’t unique to ItB. I bounced off of the tv series Revolution for the same reason, and I tweeted in exasperation about it all through The 100. And let’s not even discuss the Divergent books/movies, which I found to have wildly terrible economics. In fact, a great deal of post-apocalyptic-society fiction on tv seems to have really incomplete or poorly-considered world-building on the economic front.

A number of people have appreciated my ranting! Yay! And a few asked for some resources, or places to begin looking up how pre-Industrial labor functioned. So here is a partial, nothing-like-exhaustive, list of books that I, personally, have read, that you as an author or world-builder or creative-type might appreciate:

A History of Hand-Knitting
The Middle Ages Unlocked
Khaki Knitting Book
900 Miles From Nowhere
The Foxfire books
Terry Jones’ Medieval Lives
Salt: A World History
Ask the Past: Pertinent and Impertinent Advice from Yesteryear
Empire of Cotton: A Global History
The Complete Guide to Household Chemicals
The Principles of Knitting
The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It
The Encyclopedia of Country Living, 40th Anniversary Edition: The Original Manual of Living Off the Land & Doing It Yourself
Winter Survival Course Handbook
Summer Survival Course Handbook
The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?
Plagues and Peoples
When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance, Sustainability, and Surviving the Long Emergency, 2nd Edition
Longitude
Ninety Percent of Everything: Inside Shipping, the Invisible Industry That Puts Clothes on Your Back, Gas in Your Car, and Food on Your Plate
The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World from Scratch
All New Square Foot Gardening, Second Edition: The Revolutionary Way to Grow More In Less Space
The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook: 100 Delicious Heritage
Recipes from the Farm and Garden
How to Cook Everything: The Basics
Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills, Third Edition
The Five-Year Guide to Self-Sufficiency
A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century
A World Lit Only by Fire
Foundation: The History of England from Its Earliest Beginnings to the Tudors
Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization
1001 Inventions: The Enduring Legacy of Muslim Civilization
Pepys’s London
Feeding Nelson’s Navy
The Sea Wolves: A History of the Vikings

And GOOD historical fiction:

Hild, by Nicola Griffith

And some video options:

The Dark Ages: An Age of Light
Living History
Medieval Lives

And some historical fiction series:

The FIRST season of Vikings
The FIRST season of Outlander
Pillars of the Earth

The Hatch Act and Me

The Hatch Act prohibits federal employees from a number of things. One of those things is that, while being paid by you, the taxpayer, I am not allowed to make partisan endorsements of candidates.

Now, I believe that 45 is not a candidate right now. He won the election last November. However, I believe he has filed paperwork for his 2020 campaign.

To be on the safe side, I try to not make partisan political remarks during the hours I am at work. This has been specifically interpreted by the FAA to prohibit retweets and reblogs of partisan political remarks.

I do, occasionally, reblog or tweet or link to a news article from the BBC or CNN. I, personally, do not believe that saying true facts about events can possibly be a partisan political remark, unless one party is stating that truth belongs to one party and the other party is nothing but lies.

Ahem.

But since I am currently at home, and not on the taxpayer dime, I am entitled to my opinion as a citizen, and can freely say the 45 is a goddamn idiot.

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Odyssey Con backs harassment

Author Monica Valentinelli withdrew as Odyssey Con GoH because the convention would not address her concerns about a known sexual harasser on the concom.

File 770 has a round-up here, and, yes, the known harasser was confirmed to be Jim Frenkel. Odyssey Con not only did not address Valentinelli’s concerns, they opted to keep Frenkel as their Guest Liason.

Both K. Tempest Bradshaw and Catherine Lundoff have posts discussing how and why we harbor harassers in our communities. (Part two of Lundoff’s post is here.)

I would like to emphasize a crucial point of all this:

When a person says they have been harassed, and an organization asks for evidence before proceeding, what that organization is, in fact, saying is “your testimony is not evidence. Your experience is not valid. You are a presumed liar, your word is worthless, and how you feel is bullshit. What happened to you will never be spoken of again because you made it up. You count for less. You count for nothing. You are not as fully human as other, real, people who matter.”

The next time someone tells you they have been harassed, pause a moment before you ask them for proof. Ask yourself if you really want to take that stand.

Be better than Odyssey Con. Be better than Richard Russell and Gregory Rihn.

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John M. Ford would have been sixty years old, yesterday

In his honor, and because I have this sonnet framed and hung on my bedroom wall:

Against Entropy, by John M. Ford

The worm drives helically through the wood
And does not know the dust left in the bore
Once made the table integral and good;
And suddenly the crystal hits the floor.
Electrons find their paths in subtle ways,
A massless eddy in a trail of smoke;
The names of lovers, light of other days
Perhaps you will not miss them. That’s the joke.
The universe winds down. That’s how it’s made.
But memory is everything to lose;
Although some of the colors have to fade,
Do not believe you’ll get the chance to choose.
Regret, by definition, comes too late;
Say what you mean. Bear witness. Iterate.

ETA: Link to the poem’s posting and the notice of Mike’s death in 2006, on Making Light.

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Marko Kloos, Frontlines series

Some of you, who follow these things, might know Marko Kloos from the 2016 Hugo Awards controversies. Kloos was put on a slate without his consent, and he VIGOROUSLY objected to this.

This was brought to my attention last week when a friend recommended Kloos’s books to me. “It’s standard MilSF, like all the MilSF you read twenty years ago, only now with women and gays!”

I was intrigued.

Reader, I loved this series.

It is precisely what it says on the tin. MilSF, now with women and gays. The descriptions of the different space-navy vessels is loving, and repeated in each new book, just in case you haven’t read the others. The color-coding of all the military insignia is detailed and consistent. There is no introspection on the part of any character. Some of the officers are incompetent, others are fantastic. Our largely by-the-book protagonist rises through the ranks through a combination of hard work, following the regs, and being in the wrong place at the right time.

I read all five books in eight days.

If you love MilSF, but wish that there were women and gays in the mix, to have equally glossed-over characterization but GREAT relationships with their sidearms, this is absolutely the series for you.

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