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.