Ballad of the SFWA Facists by Steven Brust.

Related to my post about SFWA’s problems, this is funny as hell:

I’ve never read any Steven Brust books. I’m going to have to remedy that!

EDIT: And apparently Brust is the OPPOSITE side of the political spectrum from me. That should tell you how screwed up SFWA has gotten.

EDIT 2: Agree or disagree on the issue, I’m at least glad people are paying attention. I for one fall into the camp of I think it is sad to see a potentially valuable organization turn into a joke.

Other people think that SFWA is fine the way it is, and thought terminating cliches and PC purges are the best way to run a trade org.

The part that strikes me as humorous is that half the people hear that and think, yeah, those silly people who think SFWA has problems, what a bunch of cavemen. And the other half listens to it and thinks, yep, good thing I didn’t bother to join/renew.

Monster Hunter Challenge Coins, looking for feedback
The Drowning Empire, Episode 26: Shame on Bu

32 thoughts on “Ballad of the SFWA Facists by Steven Brust.”

  1. He’s a really good author, I’ve enjoyed his taltos series a lot, but my favorite if his is “cowboy fings spacebar and grill.” I’ve emailed back and forth with him several times and he’s always seemed like a really nice guy.

  2. Dang… they’ve managed to torque off multiple axes of the political spectrum simultaneously. That takes some real skill.

    “I’ve never read any Steven Brust books. I’m going to have to remedy that!”

    Why, yes. Yes you should. He’s quite a good storyteller.

  3. I’ll second Fuzzy’s recommendation for Cowboy Feng’s Space Bar And Grille – fun and poignant in places and very well written with excellent characters.

    Of course this whole brouhaha confirms the axiom that “Any organization not explicitly and constitutionally right-wing will sooner or later become left-wing.”

  4. I love his Vlad Taltos series, and recommend you start with those. It’s a unique magical and political system he has constructed.

    Killing isn’t exactly “legal”, but assassination is a recognized form of political manipulation. As long as it’s done just right.

    The hard part is getting over the hiccup that the books aren’t published chronologically. They are all about the same character but for the most part you can pick then up in almost any order.

    Also thanks for pointing out this video.

  5. You do understand that he is making fun of the people who have a problem with the SFWA, correct? He is not agreeing with you at all.

    And yeah, first several Vlad books as well as the first Khaavren books are good. ( I haven’t read anything he has put out in this century so, so I make no claims on his newer stuff.)

    1. If that is his message, you’d think he’d do a better job of getting it across, being a professional writer and all.

      1. I’m guessing you haven’t been following the issue. (no big shock, I just kinda fell into it from some posts Mad Mike made a while back.)

        It’s a response to the whole Ted Beale/Vox Day expulsion bit, along with the joke creation of the @SWFAFascists twitter feed, and of course, this

        Go to Brust’s blog ( and read the lyrics again, and do it without any preconceptions.

    2. I’ll admit ignorance to SFWA, their procedures, and set mission statement. I’m such a nobody author I’ve only written a humor/satire book, and am working on the first book in an urban fantasy series. So the only exposure I’ve had about SFWA is from Larry and now this song.

      Even if the song is satire and mocks people like Larry, I don’t think it pulled off that message very well. If it’s goal was to mock authors who think SFWA are fascists. Tricking them into posting the video everywhere, it only helps prove that there are members in SFWA (I’m counting non governing members like other authors) who laugh at authors like Larry.

      If it’s a fake anti-SFWA video, it fails as it will cause SFWA supports to laugh at the authors that believe it. Thus becoming something of a self fulfilling prophecy.

    3. I have no idea if you’re right or not, but either way, the song is funny, and that alone means I should read one of his books. 🙂

      1. Too bad the people who ate your politics (going off of former fans who I have seen say they will never read your books again) can’t put that aside and enjoy your books. I’m betting I don’t agree with most authors politically speaking. Mostly because I’m a jerk and a contrarian by nature. I won’t write an author off because of their personal politics.

        If a story is good it’s good. If it sucks it sucks, the personal opinions of the writer shouldn’t matter. As long as they aren’t advocating harming someone or stripping them of their rights.

        I think you’ll enjoy his Taltos books. You’ll need to check out the pronunciation guide in the front though. He invented many words that don’t sound like they look at all.

  6. Another vote for the Taltos series. There’s something about the perspective he rights the series from that makes it hard to put down.

    Also, Agyar is interesting. I was just going to put my copy of it up on Paperback swap. I can send it to you if you like.

  7. If he’s trying to mock the people that take issue with the SFWA fascists and their PC witch hunts, he’s failed miserably. I think SFWA Fascist may become a meme, thanks to this song. I propose that we all add “fascists” to the end of SFWA anytime the name comes up. I’m sure it’ll piss the SFWA Fascists off to no end. 😀

  8. He likes colt wheel guns, single malt scotch, and wrote a lyric about rainbow striped jackboots. How bad could he be?

  9. But why add to it? It’s redundant, as SFWA clearly stands for Seriously Fascist Writers Association these days.

  10. Larry Correia, I’ve met Steven Brust on a couple of occasions, and anyone who thinks it’s _promoting_ the SFWA fascists, is seriously disturbed. He is very into satire, and this is exactly that. I used to want to be a SFWA member, not anymore. Now, it’s like being a Democrat. The lunatics not only took over, but actively recruited crazies to ru(i)n things.
    It’s time that someone started a new Org that actually works for writers. Let the “old SFWA” die a well deserved death. Being Hard Core Genghis Khn, or Troskyite isn’t important. Being a decent, author, is the only qualification. (Decent meaning that you write books people _want_ to read, in the loosely defined F/Sf realm.) Then, the SFWA fascists can perish in their own fires of indignation. Thus clearing space for those with a semi-functioning brain, to have more room.

  11. Brust is definitely completely on the other side of the economic political spectrum from you (and me), but I used to play in a weekly D&D game with him when I was living in Vegas, and we agreed on more political things than we disagreed about, at least as far as running the country was concerned.

    He’s also one of my long time favorite authors. I’m pretty sure I’ve read everything he’s written. I’ll third or fifth or whatever the Taltos series, and, well, yeah. Everything else, too. 😉

    1. My guess is that you agreed that X was wrong. I seriously doubt that agreement came on whether or not Y was the correct solution.

      That said, ’tis a pity that I dropped out of gaming and reading much SF/F a score years ago. I probably would have enjoyed immensely playing with y’all.

      Another thumbs up for the Taltos series, although I suspect I’d look upon it with much more circumspection if I were to read it today. Assassins as main characters is along the lines of vampires as main characters. Let’s just mainstream and twist into acceptability another evil.

  12. He’s a very good writer. His politics are not at all obvious in his books I have read, which is most of them. Ok, in one of the Taltos books you can see it, but it also doesn’t exactly end the way a revolutionary communist party member would have hoped.

    1. Is that the one where his wife starts a freaking revolution, and he gets a new title for helping undercut the revolution, all the while preventing a war with another nation from exploding?

      That was a good story, and the entire time I was like “Really WTF!” to the actions of his wife. I’m all for her equality movement, but her actions were just plain dumb as all hell.

      Or is there another story, I haven’t finished the series yet.

  13. He only alludes to his politics in one book. He definitely doesn’t push them on you. And hell, he’s writing about an assassin. How liberal can an assassin be? lol
    I’ve had the chance to debate social activism, drink scotch, play music with, and listen to him play both at jams and in his old band, Cat’s Laughing (With Emma Bull as the lead signer). He’s in interesting guy and never dull to be around. If you ever get the chance, any of you, ask him to play “The Ballad of Spaceman Bill.” Or his version of “Momma don’t allow.”
    Oh, and when he mentions the drink “Dead bodies and seaweed,” he’s referring to Laphroig.

    Oh yeah, he performed my last marriage out at the local Ren Fest.

    1. How liberal can an assassin be? lol

      Ummmm…. ask
      Lee Harvey Oswald (Marxist)
      Ramon Mercader (Stalinist)
      Bill Ayers (and everyone else in the Weather Underground)
      Everyone in the Narodnaya Volya
      Everyone in the KGB’s First Chief Directorate tasked with “wet affairs”, i.e., killing Soviet defectors and other enemies of the USSR abroad.

      There have been many, many liberal assassins.

  14. Haven’t watched the video yet, but yes I’d also highly recommend Steven Brust’s works. I’ve been reading them since the early 1990s.

    If he is a Trotskyite, it definitely doesn’t show in his books. There are some Communist/Socialist/Uprising of the Proletariat themes in his Vlad Taltos series around the time the book Teckla was published (which is quite a few years ago in real world terms), but in the book the uprising does NOT create a workers’ paradise. It kills a lot of the Proletariat and destroys Vlad’s marriage, but it doesn’t fundamentally change the system of government.

    His “After the Interregnum” / Khaavren books are set in the same universe, centuries before the Vlad Taltos books — and are written in a tone and style that is VERY different from the Vlad Taltos books, while still being very enjoyable on their own. (I’ve never tried writing fiction myself, but it seems to me that’s a pretty impressive feat for a writer.)

    At the end of one of his most recent Taltos books, he had a truly hilarious “outtakes” section, which included Vlad getting ported into a series of books by a completely different author, and also being ported into the tone and style of the Khaavren books, and some other problems too.

    1. Which book is the outtakes thing in if you can recall? I always try to keep an eye out for his books but don’t always catch them.

      1. I fairly certain it was Iorich. But I will try and find it somewhere in my book stacks and let you know for sure.

  15. Meh, I thought the Taltos books got boring and repetitive after a while.

    The whole “hip anti-hero” thing ultimately palls.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.