A Gentle Reminder

John Scalzi

There’s a current kerfuffle in the speculative fiction space and some folks are wondering why certain authors/notables in that space haven’t chimed in (this has not been directed at me, as I’m not in that particular space, but some others I know of). This is a good time to link back to this, which I wrote several years ago about a not-entirely-dissimilar situation that did involve me, or at least, involved people expecting it to involve me. The basic outlines of what I wrote there apply to other people as well, when their public response to a blow-up is asked for, and sometimes, demanded.

The short version is to please remember that when you’re asking someone to respond to some event, they may not want to or be able to, for all sorts of reasons, and maybe keep in mind that there’s an actual person on the other end of your request, trying to process things in real time along with everybody else. What you do with this reminder is up to you, of course.

— JS

22 Comments on “A Gentle Reminder”

  1. Also, I’m not addressing the particulars of the current kerfuffle here because for the purposes of this piece, they aren’t relevant, except for the part noted, where people are asking/demanding responses from other people they want to have weigh in.

    That being the case, it’s okay not to speculate on the particular kefuffle at hand, and attempts to port it over here for discussion are not encouraged (i.e., I’ll probably snip them out if they show up). Thanks.

  2. Kerfuffle sounds more like some yummy dessert than a bad situation.

    “Save some room for dessert! I made kerfuffle!”

  3. Seems like there’s always some kerfluffle going on, somewhere. The tabletop roleplaying space is having a kerfuffle of its own currently. Bit of a lull, one side offering a massive concession, but everything’s not settled yet.

  4. I find it both reasonable and refreshing that you don’t feel impelled to address every issue.

    And it leaves you time to write books I enjoy.

  5. No one without a professional stake is required to weigh in on a subject, however much you may wish their input. Conversely, there are some people who can’t refrain from it, even if you very much want them to shut up and go away.

  6. I’ve liked the term kerfuffle ever since I first heard Eddie Izzard use it. And reading the linked post again, I rediscovered your use of hoofraw. I’m always happy to increase my vocabulary.

  7. oh gosh another flame war distributed via the internet…

    …for which to be enabled it was necessary to lay down two million miles of fiber optic cable, spin up a hundred million CPUs, and waste the brain cycles of a billion people who ought be either out saving the world from climate change (so there will be civilization next decade) or watching cat videos (which was why the internet was built)

    sadly I’m tempted to ask for links but not too tempted

  8. what is the kerfuffle about? I haven’t heard? Gonna check to see if Goodreads mentions it.

  9. Far better that you write more excellent long form fiction than that you get involved in a hoofraugh or kerfuffle…

  10. The older I get the more I take joy in being blissfully ignorant of many of these kerfuffles.

  11. Can we use kerfluffle as a verb too? Can we complain bitterly about the kerflufflication of the Internet? Please? It seems a good match with what Cory Doctorow calls enshittification. Two aspects of the same phenomenon, as it were.

  12. I am remarkably unaware of alleged kerfluffle, which is probably a feature not a bug. Unless it is a dessert offering [grins @Hope above], in which case I want some.

  13. The word sounds like something you’d use to name a not-very-respectable newspaper. Example: The Cleveland Kerfuffler

  14. The second worst thing on the internet is an interminable flame war between two people who are so distant from each other that it’s clear that the whole argument is just pointless alpha-primate bellowing.
    The worst thing on the internet is an interminable flame war between two people who are so much in agreement with each other that it’s clear that the whole argument is just pointless alpha-primate bellowing.

  15. I don’t know what it’s about. That’s fine. I remember the old one.

    Just because you’re a public figure doesn’t mean you’re public property.

    And now, I’m off to play with Monroe. He is quite a kitten! He still enjoys jumping on the seat of my walker and letting me push him around the house. The whole house is his toy, I swear.

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