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:
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,
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.