An Open Letter To The Old Time Fans at WorldCon

Dear WorldCon,

You are cowards.

Several years ago, because some of you were angry at me for getting a bunch of people you don’t like award nominations, us lowly deplorable outsiders with the incorrect kind of politics, you treated my publisher, Toni Weisskopf, like garbage. Years later, after you thought the controversy had safely died off, you felt bad about how you acted and tried to make amends. You invited her to be the Guest of Honor. Only you have no concept of honor. And you screwed her over again.

I’m not here to debate what I did for the umpteenth time. I’m not here to talk to the woke mob you bend the knee to. I’m talking to the regular WorldCon people. I’m here to talk about how you’re fucking pieces of shit who turned your back on someone who was once one of you, someone you called friend, and how after you felt guilty about it years later, you tried to make amends. But the instant it became uncomfortable, you threw her under the bus again.  

Toni had been participating in WorldCons for decades. She grew up in your scene. She volunteered. She hung out with you. She helped out. When she got into the publishing business she kept on helping out, whatever you needed, she was always there for you. She became an editor, and a damned good one too (and you fucking know it).

In fact, she became one of the best and most successful editors in the history of the genre… yet year after year, she got no prestigious award nomination, and instead you just kept giving the award to the same assholes from the same publishing house, over and over and over, as you ignored Toni because she was at that publishing house. The uncouth one. You talk a big game about “honoring strong women” as you took turns rotating through the same cadre of old white dudes for best editor.

It took me, the barbaric outsider, to rally the barbaric outsider fans to finally get Toni some recognition in your sainted halls. And even though your bleating social justice contingent threw a fit, you know what most of you old time, old school, long attending WorldConners told me in private? Good. About time.

Because even though you hated me and my friends (and trust me, we’re cool with that) you knew that Toni deserved it. Toni had earned it. She had long since put in the work. As George R.R. Martin so haughtily proclaimed when he finally admitted I was right all those years ago, and that Hugos were not for everybody (as long claimed) but rather only for your elite select body of special fans, only people who had served their time deserved your fancy awards. Except by every fucking measure in the universe, Toni had served her time.

Then along came the awards, and you snubbed her. Hell, you didn’t just snub her. They openly mocked her, said all sorts of hateful shit, and you people who claimed to be her friends, you old timers who claimed to be all about the sainted dignity of WorldCon, you sat there, silent and afraid, as they did their little high school mean girl games. Toni got up and left the awards ceremony because she wouldn’t give the sicks fucks the satisfaction of watching her endure it. Unlike you, Toni has dignity.

You fuckers talk a big game about tradition. But then the instant there was heat you crumbled before the woke mob that doesn’t give a shit about your precious traditions either. You even renamed one of your awards just to placate their tantrum.

And when those assholes fucked her over last time, you did nothing. Some of you put up some timid posts, but overall you cowered before the mob you helped create, the same one you mocked me for warning you about. People who claimed to be Toni’s friends sat there, silent, worried that if they did the right thing the mob would come for them next. At least they had the decency to stab her in the front. You stabbed her in the back.

Then several years later, after the old controversy I caused had died off and most of us barbaric outsiders had said screw cheesy WorldCon and moved on with our lives, some of you still felt guilty for how you’d treated Toni, so you extended an olive branch. You offered her the Guest of Honor spot at your little convention. How nice. How fucking magnanimous.

Toni, being a far better human being than any of you could ever aspire to be, thought the offer over. She knew there was risks. She knew that she’d take heat from people on the right (and she has). Morons on my side of the political would call her a sell-out, quisling, traitor, boot licker, so on and so forth, and they did. She got attacked by the useless grifters on both sides, looking for hate clicks. But unlike you, Toni ignores the baying mob and always does what she thinks is the right thing to do.  She looked at your peace offering, and said fine, If you want to try and mend fences, okay, I’ll take the heat, I’ll be your guest of honor. She was the bigger person.

She talked to me about her decision. I told her I understood, I wouldn’t do it, but I respected her call, but that she’d surely get yelled at by the idiots on both sides. She already knew, but she thought it was the right thing to do anyway. Because unlike you, Toni actually has a moral compass. Your moral compass is a windsock. Her one mistake in all this was assuming that any of you old time Smofs would have a spine.

Then many months later, after a super contentious and questionable election, when the country is incredibly divided, some little fuckstick, bitter wannabe, alleged writer decided to beg for scraps on Patreon with an “expose” of the alleged evil hatemongery on Baen’s tiny web forum (which Toni has mostly kept around out of tradition, because unlike you fucks she doesn’t just pay lip service to the concept).

This wannabe released a report that was filled with distortions, half-truths, quotes taken out of context, misquotes, errors, innuendo, and outright fucking lies. (and spare me the defense of this dishonest dirtbag, because he’s published like half a dozen pieces of short fic over a decade and has a number of Amazon reviews you can count on your fingers, but with some snooty Nebula noms, so all you old time Smofs know damned good and well exactly what kind of bitter loser poser I’m talking about, because you’ve seen hundreds of them come and go over the years.)

For a far better and more eloquent dismantling of just what a disingenuous hit piece this is, you can read David Weber or Eric Flint’s very detailed takes. David is on the right. Eric is on the left. They can come across the aisle and agree that Jason Sanford is a lying sack of shit. As for me, I’m all out of eloquence. You fuckers are lucky dueling is illegal.

Of course, once called on his lies and obvious horseshit, the guy cries about harassment and plays the victim. Predictable as fucking clockwork. The crusade is picked up by the usual suspects. Worthless vultures looking for hate clicks, the lot of them, and again, you old timers know exactly what parasitic weirdos I’m talking about.

Once you discard the bullshit and stuff that was cherry picked from years ago from that report, at worst a handful of angry no names talked shit that wouldn’t even stand out on Facebook or Twitter (while Sanford acts like this is all happening in a vacuum and current events don’t exist). And if you think that’s bad then you need to get out of your echo chambers and get out into red state America because they are sick of your shit. I’ve heard more subversive conversations recently at my local small town grocery store between literal grandmas than that.

But this nonsense “report” comes out (and is immediately used to try and get the entire publishing house deplatformed off the internet, which would kill our ebook sales, which would financially fuck over hundreds of authors, bipartisan authors, many of which are also supposedly your friends, only you don’t give a shit about that), Toni takes the forum down in self-defense and says she’ll look into the posts in question, but the woke mob erupts as they always do, crying for Toni’s head… And what do you do in response?

You fold like a cheap lawn chair. You kick your guest of honor. So much for your olive branch. So much for your bullshit reaching across the divide.

You cowards disgust me. You’ve got no heart, no spine, and no balls. None of you are worthy to clean Toni’s toilet.

You’re also fucking hypocrites, because if the new WorldCon standard is “some random anonymous assholes said bad things in a space that is nominally under your umbrella, ever, you’re out.” we all know that if applied evenly, that bullshit standard would remove most of your guests.  At least all of them who has ever been on the internet, because we’ve all seen the horrible, hateful, cruel, downright fucking evil shit posted in their corners for years.

Oh, but wait… Those comments get a pass. Those always get a fucking pass, no matter how outlandish. If you didn’t have double standards you’d have no standards at all. Re-education camps? Pass. Just drone bomb whoever won’t turn in their guns? Pass. Kill the racists and everybody I don’t like is automatically declared racist? Pass. How many lefty author pages have comments on them right now dancing in blood because a 70-year-old right wing celebrity just died of lung cancer? How about that for your “policy of inclusion”.

You’re about as familiar with the concept of inclusion as you are honor.

Speaking of your mealy-mouthed, wishy washy, double standards… Would booting Toni be more misogynistic? Or Anti-Semitic?  Sorry. My bad. My side isn’t the one who gets to ignore every criticism because of identity politics. That’s also a one-way street.

Naw. It isn’t a street. It’s a river of shit that only flows one way.

Some of you know it, but you’re too scared to talk. You’re the ones who piss me off the most. The ones who come to me at events in confidence or send me sheepish emails about what goes on behind the scenes, and how you recognize the rot, the fucking cancer in the bones of your organization. But you do nothing, you say nothing in public, you never take a stand, and so you get bulldozed. Great. You fucking deserve it, cowards. You know who you are.  

It’s kind of funny, actually (sad funny, that is). You rallied together to drive me and my people off, and once we were gone, you started eating each other. That’s because you’ve allowed the creation of a mob that is addicted to outrage, and addicts don’t just stop. You allowed it to grow, and now it’s bigger and more powerful in your organization than you are. So with no outspoken people with the wrong politics to attack, you attacked each other. Hell, you let them cancel John Campbell! Toni came back and that gave them a new target, but now that she’s gone (and no openly conservative or libertarian author or editor should ever be gullible enough to take your GoH offer ever again) the mob will go back to cancelling you Smofs. Have fun giving your awards to whoever gave last year’s angriest award speech about how you and everyone you’ve ever enjoyed reading was evil.  

Toni is better than you. America is better than you. The world is better than you. On a deep and personal level, I’m glad you keep going out of your way to prove that I was right about you all along. As you ride your little canoe down your shit river into obscurity and irrelevance, the rest of us will say good riddance. We’ll be over here enjoying books and trying not to get cancelled, while you hang out with the book burners cosplaying an Orwell novel.

Good luck.

Larry F. Correia

Yard Moose Mountain, Utah.

p.s. the “good luck” was sarcastic. You shit heads deserve each other.

RIP Mr. Limbaugh

Now that man was legend.

The first time I heard Rush was probably 1992. I was a teenager, and on a long road trip with my dad. There were radio stations we didn’t get at home, and there was some guy talking politics, only it was funny and entertaining. We enjoyed it and talked about those topics the rest of the ride. (Me and my dad bonded over very few things, so that memory kind of hit me hard yesterday).

After I moved to Utah, Rush was on the radio. I remember getting one of his books from the Delta Utah library and reading it on my breaks at the crappy factory job I was working. That’s 29 years I’ve been listening or reading Rush off and on. When I told my wife he’d died, she got choked up. She’d been a fan since she lived in California as a teenager and he’d had a TV show.

There are a lot of haters out there saying vile things today. But they’re idiots with sad pathetic lives looking for validation from their tribe. What would Rush do about their hate? Use them as a teachable moment and then mock them in an amusing way for the audience. There’s a valuable lesson there for all of us.

The man was brilliant and could articulate things in a way that most people simply can’t. He had that gift where he could take the things that many people were feeling but couldn’t put into words, and then give them a voice. That’s a rare talent. Some might even say on loan from God.

Rest in peace, Mr. Limbaugh.

I Couldn’t Make It One Day Back on Facebook Without Getting Banned

Oh man. I laughed my ass off when the notification popped up. I’ve been almost entirely off Facebook for a month. I went back on to signal boost because of the cancel culture attack on Baen. I lasted less than 24 hours before catching a 30 day ban for “bullying.”

Damned right. My only regret is that I didn’t bully them harder while I had the chance.

I’m glad though. Facebook is soul sucking garbage. I’m telling you guys, after going cold turkey for a month and then jumping back into the thick of something controversial, the nastiness of that place becomes abundantly clear. I checked the threads of people sharing my blog post, and that place is the perfect environment for snide morons to drive by and guilt shame their “friends”. There’s no meat to what they say. It’s just vapid sound-byte level hot takes from low information dipshits designed to cow people into line. (and these “friends” are usually meaningless nobodies who would be safely ignored in your real life, but people grant them importance online). Facebook is designed to make you put up with their shit, and when you fight back they report you. I ended up in a dozen separate arguments in one afternoon. It was only a matter of time before one of them snitched me out to the bots.

Groovy. Now I’ve got to get back to work. Unlike the wannabes and has-beens I fight with I’ve actually got lots of fans waiting to read my books.

Publishing House Baen Books Attacked by Cancel Culture

EDIT: I’ve added the responses from Toni Weisskopf, David Weber, and Eric Flint at the end.

Baen Books is a sci-fi/fantasy publishing house that has been around since the early 1980s. They’ve published thousands of titles from hundreds of authors. Baen is notable in our current time period because it is one of the only traditional publishers who does not bend the knee to the woke mob. Our publisher, Toni Weisskopf, truly believes in free speech. Baen’s Bar is one of the oldest forums on the internet. It’s a place for authors and fans to hang out and talk. Today Toni is shutting down the Bar in order to stave off a Parler style cancel culture attack against Baen’s service providers.

Yesterday some nobody, wannabe writer, social justice twit released a hit piece “expose” about how posters on Baen’s Bar were fomenting insurrection or some such nonsense. It was the usual bullshit hit piece (the sad part is, by saying the usual, half the country immediately knows exactly what I’m talking about). It was lots of pearl clutching over regular people not toeing their arbitrary political lines, misquotes, errors, quotes taken out of context, and some flat out lies.

However, this was clearly part of a coordinated attack in order to materially harm our business, because immediately after the hit piece was released complaints were filed with the various internet companies Baen uses for services to pressure them into kicking us off the internet. This hit piece was presented as “evidence”. Without going into details the companies then contacted Baen about these “serious allegations” so last night Baen temporarily took down the Bar forum to protect the rest of the company from being deplatformed.

I’m not going to talk about the moronic loser or go through all the nonsense in his ridiculous hit piece. Other people are going through it now and carefully cataloging his bullshit. In typical leftist fashion he’s already pretending to be the victim and claiming he’s getting death threats. Maybe he can get in touch with Anita Sarkesian and Arthur Chu for tips.

However, lying hit pieces from lefty activists aren’t anything new. We’re used to those. The real issue here is the complaints to the internet companies so they’ll deplatform anyone who doesn’t fall in line. The woke left saw what Big Tech did to Parler and they learned from it. This is a new weapon in their arsenal to beat America over the head with. The nail that sticks up must be hammered down.

Toni Weisskopf is a strong believer in free speech. She publishes books by republicans, libertarians, democrats, and socialists, it doesn’t matter what we believe as long as we entertain our readers. Toni doesn’t tell us what we can or can’t speak about. She is a rarity in the bland oatmeal world of traditional publishing. Most of the publishing world adheres to a rigid left-wing monoculture, and those who work there who don’t believe that way have to keep their heads down or face repercussions. Professionally she is a brilliant editor, personally, she’s a single mom with a special-needs daughter, her family were Jews who escaped the Soviets, her great-uncle was THE Weisskopf on the Manhattan Project, and she’s my friend.

But of course the commenters over at the hit piece and other cesspools are already plotting about how they’re going to get her banned from everything in society for hosting all this dangerous hate speech.

I’ve tried to warn people about the growing danger of Cancel Culture for years. Too many people who are nominally on my right side of the political divide are still debating philosophy and pontificating about moral equivalence things like the Red Scare from decades ago, while right now the left is actively mastering how to weaponize technology in order to crush the free exchange of ideas. You need to wake up and catch up.

The Bar isn’t a hotbed of extremism. It’s not a hotbed of anything. It’s an old forum that was mostly kept around because of tradition. It was created at the dawn of internet forums. I haven’t used it in years (I had already built up my online presence elsewhere when I started writing for them). But that isn’t the point. Anything that can be a target, will eventually be a target. They’re coming for your business next.

If you would like to help out, please spread the word. Go buy some Baen Books and help support publishers who don’t give in to bullies. Everyone needs to stand up to these dirtbags.

EDIT: Here is Toni’s official response:

To Whom It May Concern:

What is it we do at Baen Books? We publish books at the heart of science fiction and fantasy.

Science fiction has traditionally been a unique kind of intellectual pleasure, a process of glorious intercommunication and inspiration, with ideas flowing from scientist and engineer to writer and artist, to reader and viewer, back and forth, in a delightful mélange of shared thoughts, wild speculation, cautionary tales, reality checks, and the sheer fun of playing with boundaries and ideas. It is not for everyone. But those who enjoy it, take great pleasure in the dialogue.

When the modern form of SF began, with Hugo Gernsback and the other pulp magazines of the early 20th century, the publishers fostered that interaction through letter columns in the magazines and by encouraging science fiction readers to organize in clubs and meet in conventions. Baen Books continued that tradition with Baen’s Bar, a kind of virtual convention and on-line conversation that has been around in some form for over 20 years.

The moderators are volunteers. The readers, editors, and writers post and interact on the Bar at their own desire. Some conversations have been gone over so many times, they’ve been retired as simply too boring to contemplate again. Sometimes the rhetoric can get heated. We do not endorse the publication of unlawful speech. We have received no complaints about the content of the Bar from its users.

That said, it has come to our attention that allegations about the Bar have been made elsewhere. We take these allegations seriously, and consequently have put the Bar on hiatus while we investigate. But we will not commit censorship of lawful speech.

It is not Baen Books’ policy to police the opinions of its readers, its authors, its artists, its editors, or indeed anyone else. This applies to posts at the Bar, or on social media, on their own websites, or indeed anywhere else. On the Bar, the publisher does not select what is allowed to be posted, and does not hijack an individual’s messages for their own purposes. Similarly, the posts do not represent the publisher’s opinion, except in a deep belief that free speech is worthy in and of itself.

Most sincerely,
Toni Weisskopf

EDIT 2: And here is what bestselling author David Weber had to say about this idiotic hit piece. Just like I said above. “The usual.” David is probably our most famous author currently working and a lot more of a statesman than I am.

So, Jason Sanford thinks that Baen’s Bar, the online discussion forum that Baen Books has maintained for its readers for around twenty years, is “Being Used to Advocate for Political Violence,” to quote the title of his self-righteous, biased, and intellectually dishonest hit piece.

Which, in case you haven’t already deduced this, is in my opinion — I realize I am sometimes guilty of a certain lack of clarity — a pile of horse shit.

I haven’t been on the Bar regularly in quite some time, and when I have been there in the last few years, I’ve tended to lurk rather than posting myself. Mostly, that’s because I do not have the time to engage with readers there the way that I would if I didn’t just lurk. There’s way too much conversation back and forth, too many fascinating rabbit holes to dive down, too many “oooooh, shiny!” moments. And there is enough online interconnectivity — now, as opposed to when Jim Baen demonstrated his forward thinking yet again by creating the Bar — that I have manifold other ways to reach people.

But there is no way in hell that the Barflies, as they are affectionately known, are advocating for political violence. Opinions are expressed, especially in the politics forum, and tempers are running high on both sides of our current political divide, so there’s a certain degree of venting. And there are a surprising number of historians, who can be relied upon to summon up historical examples to back their points. And there are heaps of independent thinkers, who aren’t going to hew to any particular party’s line and can be trusted to step upon any sore political toes in the vicinity. And there are quite a lot of veterans, who know what violence is REALLY like — unlike the vast majority of people who are currently hyperventilating about it in this country — which means the LAST THING they would want would be to instigate violence that is anything except defensive.

But once upon a time, back when there was genuine free speech in this country, one was ALLOWED to vent, to express opinions, to worry publicly about current political trends WHOEVER YOU WERE. You didn’t have to be on the “right side” of some self-appointed Guardian of Public Morality™ or the Currently Correct Way to Think.™ All you needed to be was an American citizen exercising your right to state an opinion. There are times when I regret closing in on 69 as opposed to 19 at this particular time in history for reasons that have nothing to do with age, because I remember how it’s SUPPOSED to work. I remember how we were SUPPOSED to have the right to disagree with one another without having hateful labels — Libtard, Commie, White Supremacist, Racist, Nazi, Whatever-The-Fuck-I-Hate-Worst — applied to us by people who simply don’t want to hear what we have to say and make the monumentally arrogant assumption that they KNOW what we are REALLY thinking, no matter what we SAY. Or what we actually DO, for that matter. And if we don’t prove that we Agree with Them™ by worshiping — publicly — at THEIR altar of who must be canceled or silenced, we must be evil, corrupt, VILE human beings out to overthrow All That Is Right and True™. I wish that my kids, who are CURRENTLY 19, would be in a position to remember the same “how it’s supposed to be” that I do, but how likely is that, really, in a world where politically motivated hit jobs like this have become the norm?

Baen Books is frequently characterized as a “right wing publisher.” That’s as stupid as the notion that the Barflies are plotting a violent coup. Baen Books doesn’t care what the political orientation of its writers — or their fiction — may be as long as the stories are good, as long as they engage and entertain the reader, and as long as there is a market for them. If Baen has a deep bench of conservative readers, that’s because so many other publishers are avoiding the kinds of stories they want to read and Baen is filling that void. Well, that of the fact that Baen Books tries really hard to publish GOOD stories that reasonably attract readers on their merits, as well. But Baen publishes conservatives, libertarians, socialists, and everything in between.

That doesn’t mean that Toni Weiskopf, as an individual, doesn’t have political views or that she — personally, not as an editor and publisher — doesn’t prefer some “flavors” of stories over others. But Toni is also a businesswoman, and she understands that her job as a businesswoman is to provide the best quality stories to ANYONE who likes a good SF/fantasy story, regardless of political orientations. And she understands — unlike some people — that that means publishing stories and allowing opinions to which some people might take exception. Well, as far as I’m concerned, anyone is entitled to take exception to anything he or she chooses to take exception to. That doesn’t give him or her the right to cherry pick, use partial quotes, take things out of context, or resort to all the other filthy, underhanded, unscrupulous, contemptible tactics people who produce hit jobs like this routinely reach for.

I know Baen Books. I know Toni Weiskopf. I’ve known her for 33 years, when she was barely old enough to drink. I knew Jim Baen. I knew his philosophy. I know his legacy, and the way both that philosophy and that legacy continue in the publishing house that he founded. And because I know all of that, I know one other thing, as well —Baen Books is not allowing the Bar to advocate for violence. The notion would be laughable, if it were not so vile, so politically motivated, and so contemptibly calculated to “deplatform” a publisher of whom the moral pygmy behind the hit piece disapproves.

EDIT: And here is another response, from way over on the opposite side of the political spectrum, bestselling author Eric Flint, who also recognizes this hit piece smear for what it is. He goes into a lot of details about just how slimy it is.

I disagree with Eric A LOT. (heck, even in this one, the Sad Puppies didn’t just collect quotes from nobodies, because we also got lots of big editors, and authors up to GRRM, saying stuff that validated my claims! ) but this is an honest stand up piece (and too long to cut and paste here, so go read it) and Eric goes into a lot of detail about just how sleazy and dishonest the “investigator” is.