Various & Sundry 5/14/07
Little bits here and there, mostly wrapping up the SFWA election stuff:
* Here’s a nice review of The Last Colony by the San Diego Union Tribune, which calls the book “A lovely ending to a very neat trilogy that began with Old Man’s War and continued with The Ghost Brigades.” Excellent.
* David Moles, SFWA’s resident heretic (because someone has to be) has set up an entire CafePress shop with “Don’t Blame Me, I Voted for Scalzi” shirts, mugs and stickers. Get ’em just in time for SFWA’s next business meeting! (For those of you who aren’t members of SFWA, there’s also a “I would have voted for Scalzi, if only I had been eligible” store, too). I approve of all of this, although I suspect the “I Voted For Scalzi” thong underwear might be a bit much.
* Moles also has a somewhat more serious look at what a SFWA membership is good for, and his conclusion is: at this point, not a whole lot. Bearing in mind that Moles has a somewhat unique perspective (he is, after all, currently under censure by SFWA for posting bits from its private boards on his Web page), neither is his perspective completely wrong.
I do think it’s entirely fair to say that SFWA, as an organization, is at a crisis point; not the first in its life, nor possibly the last, or even the most critical, but a crisis point nonetheless. The crisis today is one of its identity: Is it primarily an organization of and for working writers, or it is a clubhouse for science fiction enthusiasts who at one point also wrote some science fiction? Clearly I think it needs to be the former, which is why I ran for president. I think Mr. Capobianco, who won the election, has an opportunity to swing the perception of what SFWA is back toward that; it will take rather a lot of work, and I hope he’s up for it.
* Folks have also asked me what thoughts I have about the current post-SFWA election fracas du jour, the details of which I should not discuss here, because most of said details of it are currently unfolding in SFWA’s private areas. This much I will say: Look, either the party in question will do the right and ethical thing, or they won’t. If they do the right and ethical thing, and quickly, then people will probably cut them some slack and move on. If they don’t do the right and ethical thing, then people in SFWA will continue to think what I suspect a lot of them are thinking right about now, i.e., this person is a lying sack of shit. It’s entirely up to this person how this will play out.
Sorry for you non-SFWAns that I can’t be more direct about this. I’m glad I don’t have to deal with this issue, however, outside of my role as a general SFWA member.
* Finally, for the folks who are asking how I’m taking my defeat: Trust me, I’m fine. I’ve known for a couple of weeks that I didn’t win, which is enough time to internalize the result and move on. The good news is that I have lots to keep me busy. Rumor has it I’m working on a book, and as far as my editor knows, I am! So that’s good.