Banning ‘white’ male heterosexual authors from publishing

neganlucilleRecently I’ve read about the scheme to stop ‘white’, male, and/or heterosexual authors from publishing for a year. Also there are special snowflakes out there who are personally boycotting such authors and encouraging others to go thou and do likewise.

Now, I know there are folks out there who think there is nothing more important that judging authors and other people by their sex, skin color or sexual behavior. But, really, is this proposed ban really necessary? Or possible?

Since the major publishing houses are run by left-of-center people exclusively, I’m sure many would participate in such a ban. Except for the fact that anti-discrimination laws on the books make it illegal. But what would happen if the laws were changed to make the ban possible?

The first thing banned authors like James Patterson would do would be self-publish. If the major self-publishing firms were participating in the ban, any web site that lets people download files in exchange for cash would do. And some struggling authors would publish e-books for free if that was the only way to get their work before the public for a year.

But what about the authors that stood to gain from the ban— the female, queer and/or person-of-color authors? Established authors in these categories might sell more books without being tainted, but for the young, up-and-coming authors, the ban might only get them noticed as ‘second-rate’ writers that needed special help to get their work published, in the form of a ban on competing, more popular authors. Some of these authors actually are second-rate, but only because they are young writers who haven’t yet grown as writers the way older, more established authors have. But if they gain their first writing contracts because of then ban, much of the public will see them as permanently second-rate.

What about the authors who, for whatever reason, keep their true sex, race or sexual behavior private? Will they be included in the ban unless they give up their privacy? If they are not, what is to keep the dreaded ‘white male heterosexual’ author from creating a minority female pen name to publish under? There was once a famous Gothic romance novelist who was, years later, revealed to be a male author. So readers can’t necessarily tell.

Finally, what if the publishing world, left-leaning as it is, decides to extend the ban— perhaps only in the case of certain authors who aroused ire by complaining about the ban or by self-publishing in spite of the ban. Or authors suspected of having conservative views which the left loves to characterize as being ‘racist.’ I would think an author under a five year publishing ban might find his career might never come back from it.

We haven’t yet got to the point where a publishing ban has gone through. But there are signs out there that a lot of influential people believe that such a ban, for the sake of ‘diversity,’ might be the only right thing to do.

Fighting Censorship: CTRL ALT Revolt.

 

66e97ea9f8371e1ba7fb1f7470515d72-bpfullhttp://www.amazon.com/CTRL-ALT-Revolt-Nick-Cole-ebook/dp/B01BKWKBCS/

Once upon a time, science fiction was the genre for the thinking man. Now, some thoughts are forbidden— thoughtcrimes— at least as far as megapublisher Harper Collins is concerned. In ONE CHAPTER of Nick Cole’s book, a Thinking Machine decides that if humans abort their own young, they might react to the advent of Thinking Machines the same way. It wasn’t a major theme of the book. Just a moment. But it had to be censored. Read more about the story here: http://www.nickcolebooks.com/2016/02/09/banned-by-the-publisher/

But there are some things to Celebrate about this sad situation. Nick Cole turned to self-publishing, and his book is now available to the public both in Kindle and in paperback version. As Stephen King, a left-wing writer once said, if you find that they are banning a certain book, READ THAT BOOK. As trad-publishing becomes more and more centralized in just a handful of companies, we need to become indie readers, and not just suck off the politically correct publishing teat.

Another thing to Celebrate is that it is SO easy to fight back against censorship these days. Even if you are a ‘nobody’ as far as the world is concerned. You can just start Tweeting Nick Cole’s blog post (link above) and sharing it on Facebook and blogging about it. For that matter you can Tweet/share THIS blog post. You don’t need to leave your house or even get dressed. Just do it!

This is a post in the Celebrate the Small Things blog hop. You can find the blog hop here: http://lexacain.blogspot.com/2015/01/celebrate-small-things.html

Do you have a Facebook author page? I have one, here: https://www.facebook.com/nissalovescats/        Please visit sometime! There are kitten pictures. And you can share a link to your author blog and I will like it if possible.

Hedwig Courths-Mahler and the Nazis

HedwigCourthsMahlerOnce upon a time, there was a German girl who loved stories…. When she grew up, she was an industrious writer who produced more than 200 novels. Her novels were so widely regarded that during World War One, cheap editions of her novels were provided to the troops at the front.

And then she was an old woman, with two daughters who were writers as their mother had been. And the Nazis came to power. Hedwig Courths-Mahler clearly did not share the Nazis hatred for Jews— one of her daughters had married a Jewish man, with mother’s approval.

One day a prominent Nazi came to visit the famous writer. He had a suggestion— she should rewrite all her old books, making the villains Jews. And the heroes and heroines should be made over into National Socialist Aryans with blond hair and blue eyes.

Old Hedwig was not about to do that. But neither was she about to defy the Nazis in a way that might threaten her daughters— one of whom was already endangered by being married to a Jew. So she just told the Nazi that she was far too old to do all that work. The Nazi accepted her answer.

From a realistic perspective, had Hedwig wanted her books to be Nazified, she need only have given her consent to some other writer to make the small, necessary changes. Clearly, however, she did not want her life’s work to be turned into propaganda for a party she did not agree with. And, luckily, she did not have to permit this.

This story reminds me a bit about the divided times we live in today. A certain political faction is spreading the belief that all members of the other political party are haters in the same way that the Nazis were haters. And the CEOs of the various publishing houses are overwhelmingly from that certain political faction. Even the best known of the Evangelical Christian publishing houses are owned by these big publishing houses.

I have not yet heard that these publishers are suggesting that some popular and prolific author rewrite his books to make the heroes progressives and the villains political conservatives, prolife & pro-marriage activists, and/or believing Christians. But the ideology of the publishers is affecting the books that are published.

I remember once reading a new author (Charlaine Harris) and in the first book I had hope that the author might have Christian values. The main character went to church regularly. She felt guilty, after taking a vampire as a lover, about having sex outside of marriage. She felt bad that she could never go to church together with her vampire boyfriend.

But as the series progressed, openly homosexual characters were added as ‘good guys’, and a Christian organization which objected to ‘equal rights’ for vampires on the ground that vampires killed people (which was true in the world of the story) was portrayed as an evil conservative ‘hate group’. The Christian pastors in the main character’s small town are portrayed as ‘bigoted against vampires’, therefore evil.

Now, these leftie parts of the story became so strong it was clear that Mrs. Harris was not just responding to pressure from her publisher, that she actually had these opinions. But the publishers are the ones that chose to publish Mrs. Harris, and perhaps reject a half-dozen other writers with potential who happened to be ‘haters’ i.e. Christians and/or conservatives.

So here is the question for many young writers seeking publication: do you go along with the ‘Nazis’ of today who believe that only writers who salute the progressive cause in their writing are non-hateful enough to be published? Or do you follow your own star and hold fast to what you really believe?

More about Hedwig Courths-Mahler:

Wikipedia article in English: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedwig_Courths-Mahler

Wikipedia article in German: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedwig_Courths-Mahler

Biography in German: http://www.amazon.de/Hedwig-Courths-Mahler-Leben-Siegfried-Pistorius/dp/3404118324

Tanith Lee (1947-2015), Novelist and Poet

Tanith Lee

Tanith Lee

A rose by any other name
 Would get the blame
 For being what it is –
 The colour of a kiss,
 The shadow of a flame.
 A rose may earn another name,
 So call it love;
 So call it love I will,
 And love is like the sea,
 Which changes constantly,
 And yet is still
 The same.
Poetic excerpt from Tanith Lee’s ‘The Silver Metal Lover’.
I must confess, I was never a Tanith Lee fan. I’ve always been a picky reader and tend to stick to authors I know until I’ve read everything. But I might have become a fan of Tanith’s. I know she was on a list of authors to read if you like Marion Zimmer Bradley (which I do, obsessively), and I’ve recently discovered that she wrote lesbian fiction under the name Esther Garber, even though she wasn’t a lesbian. At one time, when I was not a Christian, I read quite a bit of lesbian fiction. So I could have been a Tanith Lee fan— and perhaps I still will become one, once I start reading her work.
I found out about Tanith Lee’s death from a post at Poet’s United.   According to Rosemary Nissen-Wade, who wrote the post, Tanith Lee was a poet but her work was hard to find online. She has poems scattered throughout her books. I don’t know if Lee ever published a book of her poetry or whether her poems were published in poetry journals or science-fiction/fantasy magazines that publish poems. But I believe that even if her poems were only published embedded in her fiction, she is still a poet.

Tanith Lee’s web page: http://www.tanith-lee.com/

Tanith Lee at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanith_Lee

Tanith Lee obituary at SFWA: https://www.sfwa.org/2015/05/in-memoriam-tanith-lee/

Tanith Lee Tribute at Poet’s United: http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/2015/05/the-living-dead_29.html

Christian Response to Scandal Re: Marion Zimmer Bradley

ShatteredChain2I’ve blogged about my love for Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Darkover lately, and even started a Facebook page dedicated to the cristoforos of Darkover— a Catholic derived sect on the imaginary planet. And if both hadn’t been utterly ignored so far, I’m sure I would have been asked for my response to the scandalous accusations about Marion Zimmer Bradley.

The scandal is this: Mrs. Bradley’s husband, Walter Breen, was convicted of the sexual abuse of children and imprisoned. Now, 15 years after MZB’s death, an accusation was made that not only was MZB complicit in her husband’s sex crimes against children, but that she committed such crimes on her own. The Guardian: SFF Community Reeling after MZB’s Daughter Accuses Her of Abuse

Some of the responses in the blogosphere are so extreme that they not only demand that no further reading of MZB’s books should happen, there is the suggestion that the books should be burned. (Imagine what these book-burners would have said if conservatives offended by the homosexual characters in some of the Darkover books had held a book-burning because of that.)

I don’t believe that’s the appropriate response. As a Christian I believe that we are all sinners. We have all violated God’s moral law. And any violation of God’s law— from a simple bit of cruel gossip to serial killing— is bad enough to cut us off from God. So therefore we must respond to any accusation— or conviction of a person with the knowledge we ourselves are also guilty sinners. Only the death of Jesus Christ on the cross made it possible for any of us to be forgiven.

I read the Psalms of David in the Bible. This is what David once did: he spied on a woman bathing from his rooftop, and instead of turning his eyes away he sent for that woman and seduced her. And when the woman became pregnant, David sent her soldier-husband out with sealed orders that the man be sent on a suicide mission. This happened, and the man died, murdered by the king he served.

Can any decent person read the writings of a man so vile as to commit such a wicked crime? I know, David said he was sorry— after God sent a prophet to admonish him for his secret crimes. But we all have sinned, and fallen short of the glory of God, and so we keep the Psalms of David in our Bible— not even Martin Luther, who wanted to expel James and Revelation from the Bible, suggested that— we read the Psalms of David, and we use those Psalms, along with Psalms by other authors, as the basis for Christian prayer and worship— in the Mass and in Protestant services, in the Divine Office prayed by priests and religious, and in Psalm-based hymns.

Christianity not only points out our sins— even the sins we didn’t think were so bad— it provides a cure. And it is even possible that Marion Zimmer Bradley experienced that cure. I started reading her because, as a Neopagan at the time, I’d heard MZB was some kind of Neopagan or Wiccan. But I heard that later in her life, MZB attended an Episcopal church. So there is the possibility that MZB repented her sins— whatever those were— before her death, and received God’s forgiveness. And if God can forgive child abusers and serial killers, maybe we should be more forgiving as well?

MZB’s fictional world of Darkover is flawed, as all such worlds are, but it has brought intense happiness to Darkover fans. I intend to keep reading and to buy the new Darkover books being written by Deborah J. Ross, even though they don’t compare to the MZB-written earlier books.

Question: what would YOU do if your favorite writer did something very wicked, or was accused of it? Writers: what if YOU someday commit a notorious crime— is it fair if your books are tarnished because of it?