If you missed last week’s drama, the details of my being removed as the Origins Writer Guest of Honor are here: https://monsterhunternation.com/2018/05/15/statement-concerning-my-being-disinvited-as-the-guest-of-honor-for-origins-game-fair/
I was first officially approached to be the GoH on 1/23/2018. My correspondence at this point was with a famous author who was representing their writing track. I’ve left his name out of it, because he’s a good dude, and doesn’t need to get lumped in with the actions of John Ward (who in my opinion is either cowardly, incompetent, or both).
Now normally, when I’m a special guest at a con, I just give them my airport details and they book the flights. On 3/22 they sent me another email saying that it was time to figure out the travel details for myself and my guest. My wife already had plans, so my kids then had to fight over who got to be my guest to what they thought was going to be a super fun game weekend (plus my kids love manatees, and the Columbus zoo has them) so this was a coveted prize. On 4/9 we decided that it would be my son, so I sent all our travel information over.
On 4/10 I was informed by the author, “Also, vis travel arrangements, I wasn’t aware that Origins usually has guests book their own flight and we reimburse them.”
Okay, that’s weird, and a pain in the ass, but I’d made a commitment. On 4/30 I booked flights for myself and my son, stuck it on my credit card, and sent the details. I even apologized for the additional $300 that it took to get the upgrade to economy comfort for all four flights (round trip and connecting, there weren’t any direct from SLC to Columbus), but at a broad shouldered, 6’5”, 300 pounds, I don’t fit in coach (and since my son has never flown before, I wanted to sit next to him) but I said that I would be happy to eat that additional charge and just be reimbursed for the base amount (I will fly myself first class, but I don’t ever expect a con to foot that kind of bill on my behalf ). Receipt was confirmed by the Origins representative, and he said that I would be mailed a check.
When John Ward unceremoniously cut and pasted his facebook announcement into an email to me on 5/14, he added “I apologize that we are making this decision now, but we are receding our invitation to participate in the show. We are happy to still cover your travel expenses and apologize again for the timing of our decision.”
As of today I have still not received the promised check. If you’re going to immediately cave to a bunch of lying harpies, you should at least have the basic professionalism to expedite the reimbursement.
I emailed the author I’d originally spoken with this morning about this, but then I decided, to hell with it, I might as well make this public.
EDIT: The check arrived at 4:05 MST 5/21/18, certified mail. And of course, they only paid me for the base coach amount, not the $300 additional for better seats, you petty, cheap ass, sons of bitches.
In other news, I’ve updated the four year old fisking that caused the initial temper tantrum about my being at Origins. https://monsterhunternation.com/2014/08/19/no-tor-com-gencon-isnt-racist-a-fisking/ I would invite everyone to read this for themselves and decide how it makes people “unsafe”.
I would like to point out a few bits of irony.
I got booted out of a game con, for defending another game con from baseless accusations of racism.
An Indian man claimed that he was upset that there weren’t enough “people who looked like him” represented in fantasy, so his fiancé got an author who writes a fantasy series entirely populated by characters who are Indian, kicked from a convention. Don’t take my word for it. The first novel is Son of the Black Sword and it won the Dragon Award for Best Fantasy. #2 is House of Assassins, which will be out in February.
Also, I have “white privilege” because even though I’m the son of a poor dairy farmer who attended the Junior Gladiatorial Academy For Kids Who Don’t Read Good, I offended the slightly tanner than I am, son of a billionaire, who went to a high school with a $37,000 annual tuition.
Oh, and he and his fiancé weren’t going to attend Origins anyway. They just felt “unsafe” on your behalf.
Several authors have written about how Origins’ behavior was foolish, and how cons shouldn’t invite, then disinvite a professional (barring something huge popping up, like criminal charges). David Weber wrote a great piece https://www.facebook.com/david.weber.5621/posts/1922877941079166
Other authors are agreeing with David in the comments, including some very big names, and a few others have reached out to me in private. Authors aren’t going to attend cons that screw over their guests. Basically, dick move, Origins. Next time do your homework.
In more news, it turns out that employees and representatives of several game companies were dumb enough to publically virtue signal on Twitter about how they colluded to pressure Origins to exclude me, who works in their industry, from their trade event. I will leave this to the lawyers in the audience to realize why that’s really dumb, and then I will not comment further upon the matter.
Still, at no point has anyone offered any actual evidence from any of my thousands of posts, blog articles, appearances, interviews, or panels demonstrating any of the things that are alleged against me.
Despite them looking hard, the only actual quote I’ve seen them try to use to demonstrate my dangerous hatemongery is this quote discussing the best novel Hugo nominees in April 2013(!) (which tells you how hard they are scrambling to find something to prove my imaginary bigotry).
For the other Best Novel noms, Lois Bujold is awesome, but she’s won like 8 Hugos. Mira Grant is cool as heck. In person, she’s really great, and I like her, but notice that since she is beloved by SMOF, she is nominated in every Hugo category except Car of the Year. Saladin’s a nice guy, and beloved by SMOF (we were up for the Campbell at the same time), but I’m predicting he’ll come in last, becasue this is his only book and he’s not built up a huge SMOF backer faction yet, but just having nominated a guy with an ethnic name will make the SMOFers feel all warm and tingly inside and good about themselves, so that’ll be enough for them. (Note, I’m not actually placing any bets that the voters actually read all the works).
Yep. That straw grasping is it. That is literally the best they can do to demonstrate my alleged racism. Now anybody with half a brain or an ounce of integrity can read that and see that my comment is about the nature of the WorldCon voters (who tend to be white, old, and overwhelmingly liberal). I’ve got zero issue with Saladin, last I’d heard he’d gone into comic book writing, and I hope he makes piles of money.
I stand by what I said, I’ve written a bunch of articles on this topic in depth, and I’ll even clarify it again here. There are cliques of Hugo voters who don’t give a damn about the books or the writers, they only care about themselves and virtue signaling about how great they are.
But bear with me for a moment and let’s say that their ridiculous interpretation of that quote is correct… How in the world would me saying that five years ago be justification to kick me out of an event? Because if you can get that nitpicky, then I hate to break it to you, by that standard the perpetually offended would be able to demand anyone get booted.
Beyond the typical, boring, worn thin allegations of racism/sexism/homophobia, they’ve also doubled down about how I’m “mean” or “rude” or “caustic” or “dismissive” or “profane”. They’re all about civility and tone, don’t you know. The part they always leave out of this one is that if I’m an asshole to someone, it’s usually for a good reason. See, they didn’t ban me because I have the wrong politics. They banned me because I had the wrong politics and don’t sit there silently while they insult me. They’ve got no problem with non-leftist guests… Provided they never ever share an unapproved opinion or disagree with rigid groupthink. Those guys are okay (but the second they step out of line, they’ll get destroyed).
It’s kind of funny. If you are on the left, then you can badger, and insult, and mock, and slander, and lie, and feign outrage… But the second the people they are attacking fight back, then they’re all about civility and tone.
So apparently my real crime, which makes me too dangerous and disgusting for this family friendly event, is that I once set out to prove that an award which was supposed to represent all of fandom, was overwhelmingly dominated by a few politically biased cliques, by getting more fans involved. So then they tripped over themselves to prove me right.
That’s pretty damned underwhelming actually. The way they talk about me on the internet you’d think that I was tossing communists out of helicopters or something.
Meanwhile, I’m seeing the other side do that typical thing, where after they act like huge flaming assholes and insult a giant swath of the country, then they pretend to be the real victims. So you slander a guy, say he’s all these horrible things, which by extension means all the people who read his stuff, like him, and worst of all, agree with him, so they must be terrible people too. They get mad, get involved, and then you guys beg for civility and cry about harassment. Uh huh… Sure. At this point, I don’t believe anything you claim until I can see the police report.
But on that note about harassment, bolstered by their recent success in salty tear based warfare, on Friday they started trying to get me banned from a different convention. Only in this case, the con organizers aren’t chumps. They knew me because I’d been a guest before, and they knew the allegations were garbage. So they stopped it hard and fast.
The sad thing is I can’t even say which con it was, because I know if I do, they’ll catch a whole bunch of heat for from the angry cry bully crowd. And these are good people who don’t deserve that. Just be aware, that some conventions do understand what is going on, and they don’t like it either. This “unsafe” tactic puts all cons in a bad place.
But these people don’t care. As we’ve seen, they aren’t even going to the events they’re pitching a fit about. They come from a culture that awards status for being a victim, so they have to seek out victimhood wherever they can find it. Then they shout it from the rooftops, wimps capitulate, and then they feel powerful, so they do it again and again.
Since we are dredging up old quotes trying to find examples of my bigotry (which is apparently scarcer than Bigfoot), Jack found this one, from four years ago, after Timmy Bolgeo got banned from a convention because some nitwit threw a fit about his presence. I’ll close with this because I was right then, and I’m right today:
“Listen fandom, it is time to cowboy up. Put your big girl panties on. You have gotten into the bad habit of immediately rolling over anytime some shrieking Social Justice Warrior says they must retire to their fainting couch because they have the vapors. They started with big name writers, then they began freaking out about things award presenters MIGHT say, and now they’ve worked their way down to attacking other fans. They want a purge. Anybody who may potentially hurt their delicate lilac scented feelings is an untouchable and must be shunned. They’d clone Stalin to run for SFWA president if any of that crowd actually knew how this whole science thing worked.
Luckily for us the SJW’s weapons are their salty tears of sadness and Twitter.
So QUIT CAVING IN.
Their outrage doesn’t grant them magical powers of discernment. Do your freaking jobs. Use your brain. If somebody is angry about a guest, maybe you should slow down and find out why before immediately surrendering to the angry mob, or in this case ONE PERSON.
Otherwise they own you. They own you because you let them. Rule number one of dealing with Social Justice Warriors is never apologize for anything that shouldn’t be apologized for. Rule number two is don’t be afraid to tell them to shove it.”