San Diego Update

So, a quick update about my presence at San Diego Comic-con this year, in the form of a dialogue:

Hey, Scalzi, are you going to be at San Diego Comic-con this year?

Sort of.

Define “sort of.”

I’ll be at various off-site events, including a reading at the Grand Horton Theater on Thursday afternoon (July 24, 1:30pm to 2:30pm). I will not be at the San Diego Convention Center or participating on panels.

Why is that?

Short version: SDCC’s public-facing harassment policy is not all it could be, which I should have checked when Tor asked me to go. I didn’t (the request came though Tor, not the convention, so I spaced, basically), so when it came up later I was all, “well, fuck.” I mentioned this to Tor, and Tor worked it so I’ll be doing things off-campus, at events surrounding the convention. Tor is awesome.

There’s a longer version than this (much longer), but I’ll save that for later.

So no SDCC for you.

No being on the convention floor or wandering the corridors or loitering outside of Hall H looking for movie stars, no. I’ll be signing books for Tor to give away at their booth; I’ll be signing those in my hotel room, most likely. Now, note: My reading is off campus but is affiliated with the convention, as I understand it. But in that case, if someone acts like a harassing asshole at my event, I can have them bounced and reported.

What else will you be doing? 

We’re still in the process of locking down other appearances and events; when I have the full schedule I’ll update. Trust me, even without steeping foot into the convention proper, I won’t be hard to find in San Diego.

34 thoughts on “San Diego Update

  1. Jerome O’Neil:

    I didn’t tell the people at the convention what I was going to do, so I’m not aware of how they’ve reacted, if they’ve reacted at all. On their list of people to worry about, I’m below whoever they have going into Hall H.

    As noted, I do have more thoughts on it all, but I’m going to save those for when I have more time to parse them out. I will say I don’t think the SDCC people are horrible, bad, awful people. I rather think there’s a philosophical disagreement on the best way to handle things relating to harassment. But again, I’ll save that for later.

  2. Thanks for the update, John. I was hoping we’d hear something more from you about the SDCC situation and I’m really, really glad that you’re continuing to address this. I’m very curious to hear more when you write that “longer version” of all this about how the agreement with Tor came about (and really, good on them for working out this arrangement) and what you plan to do next.

    Your pledge not to attend cons that 1) had no anti-harassment policy and 2) did not publicize well or implement well a policy was one of the most inspiring things to come out of the SFF community last year and your voice carries a lot more weight than the average con-goer in this issue, so the SDCC situation was… rather confusing and not a little disconcerting.

    I’m also curious to know if there’s been any dialog with SDCC about this and how they’ve reacted, but I’m guessing we’ll have to wait for the “longer version” to find out.

  3. Thank you for the statement. I know that a lot of people were very upset when they saw you would be appearing there, but I suspected that it was some variation of “I’m in the middle of a book tour and I wasn’t the one making the arrangements – should have paid better attention but have to figure out what to do now”

    Glad to hear that Tor has your back on this, and that you were able to work things out so that fans get to see you, you get to sell books, and still make clear to the SDCC folks that their non-policy is not acceptable.

  4. GeekMelange:

    “the SDCC situation was… rather confusing and not a little disconcerting.”

    Yes. I was unhappy, too. This is one reason why I was very pleased Tor was willing to work with me on this — and not grudgingly, I will note; they totally got where I was coming from.

  5. Thank you and a big thank you to Tor – I expected this of you, but did not expect it of a publisher. Very glad to see this news.

  6. ” if someone acts like a harassing asshole at my event, I can have them bounced and reported.”

    May I suggest that you mention this at the events in question? Having someone you can report harassment to is only effective if they know you’re there for them.

    I’m on a safety comity for a con, and we try hard to make sure that, when a problem happens, people know how to reach us and that they’ll get a safe space to talk about the issue.

  7. “We’re still in the process of locking down other appearances and events.”

    I see what you did there.

    Seriously, it’s nice to know people are thinking about this.

  8. Now until the end of time I’ll not be able to just “lock(ed) down” or “lock(ed) in” as expressions without people thinking I’m referencing my book. WHAT HAVE I DONE

  9. John, I’m very very glad to hear this. I will admit that since I heard about your last update a month or so ago, I was feeling pretty uncomfortable, and have had a half-formed email sitting in my drafts since then trying to express my displeasure with the way things were working out. Hurrah to Tor for working something out with you, and thank you for attempting to finagle such an arrangement that lets you keep your pledge in a clearer manner.

    As I’m sure you’re aware, you and your pledge carry a lot of weight in the community, and it means a lot. I know I wasn’t the only one who was feeling a bit let down that you seemed to be “breaking” the pledge as of the last update, and I’m really glad to hear that’s changed. Because while we can ask for harassment policies, it takes voices like yours to make a more concrete stand that someone like the folks at SDCC will notice.

  10. I for one (of many, I’m sure) appreciate you “putting your money where your mouth is.” Hopefully this will help draw additional attention to the issue and put some appropriate pressure on cons to address concerns.

  11. I am taken aback that SDCC isn’t at the forefront on this issue. This is California, and we’re supposed to be the radical free-thinkers of tomorrow at every waking moment! Is it a case of “too big to steer quickly?” I guess I’ll know once you update us on the problems with their current policies.

    Not that I’ll ever get to go to SDCC again. It’s been seven years of trying to get a foot back into the ticket process, and nothing has worked at all. I really miss seeing the small press end of the room.

  12. …hehe…which makes me sound stupid, especially when i forget all the words in the first post, then post some weird comparison to chess to chess in the second. Lol. Feel free to delete….but the point is i support you standing firm when it costs you.

  13. Good on you for keeping your word and good on Tor for helping you do so without too great a conflict with other obligations.

  14. Yeah, I too look forward to the longer version. And thank you for making this stand. You are awesome.

  15. Kudos to you and to Tor for finding a solution that allows you to meet your obligations while maintaining your pledge.

  16. “if someone acts like a harassing asshole at my event, I can have them bounced and reported.”

    Well and good. Do you have a pointer to the harassment policy you expect folks to understand at your event?

  17. Nice solution, Mr. Scalzi. It did look for a while there that you were just going to go with it, congratulations to Tor and yourself for sorting out a solution. I’m impressed.

    Despite having lived in San Diego for 12 years, I don’t do comicon – I’m much more a lit fan than media.

    Will your main event be open to non-SDCC members? I suspect not, but just thought I’d ask…

  18. I rather hope that other organizations/companies look at how Tor was willing to work with you on this, and take their cues from that example. It also makes a difference when an organization with Tor’s clout visibly recognizes and supports efforts to highlight the need for comprehensive, visible and well-implemented anti-harassment policies.

    People like John often have louder voices that carry a lot more weight than many of us, but even then, it makes that much more of an impact when large organizations signal that they agree and treat addressing issues like con harassment as a priority, rather than an inconvenience.

  19. Thank you- I have to admit I was expecting you to still be part of the main convention and just making a statement during your appearances to the effect that you didn’t feel ComicCon’s harassment policy was up to standard and I was ready to say “well, I guess that’s fair, working from the inside and all” but still being disappointed.

    So Thank You to you for really sticking with this as best you can and a Special Thanks to Tor for working with you on it.

  20. Another SD person not wanting to fight with the system in place for SDCC, I would love to know if non-participants can come to your thing. Also, will Mysterious Galaxy be on your list that weekend?

  21. Jacqui:

    I understand the reading will be ticketed in some manner; I don’t know all the details of that yet. However, I will be in San Diego in September for my book tour, at Mysterious Galaxy. So you’ll definitely be able to see me soon.

  22. Kudos to you and Tor for working this out. I am especially impressed that Tor, having already obtained your consent to appear, was ungrudgingly willing to work with you on this.

  23. I had a couple days in San Diego, before I got on a ship heading, via the Panama Canal, back to England this Spring.

    It was wonderful; Balboa Park is one of my ‘must come back to’ places. The museums were amazing but the architecture was extraordinary; you are walking the streets of Xanadu, Orson Well’s ‘Citizen Kane’ palace.

    The people were really, really nice; immensely kind to a lost tourist, and immensely generous in spending their time helping to set me on the right road.

    They seem to me to be an admirable group of people who thoroughly deserve your book tour :)

  24. Scalzi, SDCC, and could there be a possibility of HopCon with Wil and his W00T Stout 2.0 perhaps?? (squeezing eyes and repeating – wish, hope, wish, hope)

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