An Open Letter to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America

To whom it may concern,

It is with no regret whatsoever that I rescind and renounce my membership in SFWA. I wish nothing more to do with the organization and no more contact with it.

The cause which impels the separation is clear enough: over a period long enough to confirm that this is no mere passing phase, the SFWA leadership and a significant moiety of its membership has departed from the mission of the organization, and, indeed, betrayed it.

The mission of SFWA was to act as a professional organization, to enhance the prestige of writers in our genre, to deter fraud, and to give mutual aid and support to our professional dreams.

It was out of loyalty to this mission that I so eagerly joined SFWA immediately upon my first professional sales, and the reason why I was so proud to associate with the luminaries and bold trailblazers in a genre I thought we all loved.

When SFWA first departed from that mission, I continued for a time to hope the change was not permanent. Recent events have made it clear that there is not reasonable basis for that hope.

Instead of enhancing the prestige of the genre, the leadership seems bent on holding us up to the jeers of all fair-minded men by behaving as gossips, whiners, and petty totalitarians, and by supporting a political agenda irrelevant to science fiction.

Instead of men who treat each other with professionalism and respect, I find a mob of perpetually outraged gray-haired juveniles.

Instead of receiving aid to my writing career, I find organized attempts to harass my readers and hurt my sales figures.

Instead of finding an organization for the mutual support of Science Fiction writers, I find an organization for the support of Political Correctness.

Instead of friends, I find ideologues bent on jihad against all who do not meekly conform to their Orwellian and hellish philosophy.

Politics trumps Science Fiction in the modern SFWA.

I am willing and eager to work alongside anyone sharing an enthusiasm for fantasy and science fiction, and to put aside as irrelevant all discussion and inquisition and condemnation of personal opinions on matters religious, political, and social, which are no part of that business.

We are not a political party, or so I thought.

Too many members and leaders in SWFA are not willing to reciprocate. They are not even willing, out of common courtesy or common decency, to withhold their pens from libel and their tongues from slander.

To the devil with them.

To the rest, those honest writers in SWFA who remain members out of inertia or false hopes of reform, it is with sorrow and respect I say my farewell and take my leave,

John C. Wright.

POSTSCRIPT and ADDENDUM: Several people, both publicly and privately, have asked me for the details of my claims, to name the events and persons involved.

I politely but firmly decline to do so since some of the names are those I have worked with in the past and might work with in the future, men whose work I read with pleasure and admiration, and I seek no public shame to visit them.

Such is the courtesy which, at one time, one professional expected from another. I find it sad that I am required to explain it.

And it would be ironic indeed if I failed to display the professionalism whose lack forms my main complaint.

As for the public examples of similar unprofessional antics, these are clear enough to anyone paying attention; those who are not paying attention have no reason to pay attention to this letter.

 

335 Comments

  1. Ping from Sharing the Wealth: 5/3/2014 | Story Arcs:

    […] wing (and to be fair, this is one of the most right wing authors you’ll find out there). John C. Wright has resigned over the issue here, citing the fact that the SFWA has become more a political group than a group […]

  2. Ping from Amazing Stories | Appropriating Heinlein - Amazing Stories:

    […] it, the author, John C. Wright – No Longer A SFWA Member - invokes the hallowed name of Robert A. […]

  3. Ping from Sunday Links, May 11, 2014 | Like Fire:

    […] politically correct to win a Hugo today. This comes shortly after Wright left SFWA in a huff, claiming that it has somehow harmed sales of his books (though declining to present any evidence to support […]

  4. Ping from World Wide Websday: May | Fantasy Literature: Fantasy and Science Fiction Book and Audiobook Reviews:

    […] politically correct to win a Hugo today. This comes shortly after Wright left SFWA in a huff, claiming that it has somehow harmed sales of his books (though declining to present any evidence to support […]

  5. Ping from SFWA Breaks My Heart AGAIN! - Gina Drayer:

    […] get me wrong.  I have no illusion that my lack of membership will be mourned, but I see more and more SFF authors (especially women) making the same […]

  6. Ping from But silence is political:

    […] would like to thank John C. Wright for helping me crystallize my views on this subject, though. Wright is a science fiction writer (I’ve never read anything by him) who was […]

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      This is an interesting link. It is from a soul who thinks it is immoral to act professionally, that tolerating someone of unpopular, or, rather of rightwing opinions (which are here said both to be poison and to dominate the narrative) is intolerable. You are not supposed to read books and judge them on their merits. Politics is precisely what a professional association of science fiction writers gathered to protect the interest of science fiction should be about.

      With utterly unintentional hilariousness, the writer denounces Theodore Beale in words of thunder as a misogynist, and to prove the point quotes a utter bland an uncontroversial statement that women are better off marrying young, when they are at their most fertile and most able, thanks to the energy of youth, to care for their babies. (He has said many more misogynistic things, some of which have indeed offended me; why pick this passage? I can only speculate it is because here Beale puts his finger on what feminists hate most. They hate being women, they hate being wives, they hate being mothers, they hate fertility, and therefore they hate babies with the hatred of Moloch)

      For them, everything is politics, and politics is religion, and anyone not on the side of the Leftwing angels is on the side of the Rightwing devils. These are intolerant, zealous, uncivilized fanatics. It is not because of us that there is no middle ground, no quarter, no rules of engagement. This is their life. This is their all.

      No sane man would agree to join, pay dues to, or remain a member of a professional organization like that.

      • Comment by Sparky:

        “For them, everything is politics, and politics is religion, and anyone not on the side of the Leftwing angels is on the side of the Rightwing devils.”

        I remember some famous “village idiot” atheist say something like “atheism is not a religion just like not stamp collecting isn’t a hobby.”

        I don’t remember the last time non-stamp collectors formed organizations to combat stamp collectors over the proper way to live. I haven’t seen any anti-stamp collector billboards put up. I don’t remember the last convention made for non-stamp collectors. Non-stamp collectors, last I recall, did not infer that following their doctrine is the only way to leave a reasonable way of life. I sometimes wonder if the people who say these things are aware of what they’re really saying.

        The point is I’ve never met a man without a god, and I’ve met quite a few atheists. Silence is everything, so it’s pretty clear who this man’s god is.

        Too bad progressivism is the worst god to have. Crueler than any Greek god of legend and just as likely to throw you into the sea on a whim.

  7. Comment by The Phantom:

    Re: “But Silence is Political”, I note that this person is a BIOLOGY teacher at a university.

    However I’ll see your “Vox-hatred” and raise you some Gun Hatred. http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/08/02/ill-be-good-mommy-i-promise-ill-be-good/

    Because nothing says Tolerance like: “Dear Rest of the World: All Americans really aren’t this bugfucking screwed up.”

    Mr. P.Z. Myers (pzmyers@gmail.com) is one of those political scientists. The ones who think politics is more important than actual science.

    Incidentally, it was my understanding that Moloch was rather fond of babies. Particularly when served with a nice mint sauce.

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