Brief Status Update

Well, yesterday went pretty much as I expected. Many thanks to all of those who made kind comments about my post. However, please don’t be misled by the echo chamber effect. What matters is not just who comments, but who does not. It is pretty clear to me that I am mostly getting support from one side in this, and that means I have made a lot of people very angry with me.

As I have a healthy sense of self-preservation, I have cancelled my appearance at Worldcon. I may still be in London at the time, depending on what Kevin is doing, if anyone wants to catch up.

I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize to anyone who is now worried about being tarred by association with me. I certainly won’t take it against anyone who wants to sever their relationship.

The next task is to take stock of my various projects and see what damage has been done. I suspect that the bookstore may be a casualty of this. However, the biggest problem is the Translation Awards. I confess that one of the reasons things have been so slow this year is that I have been afraid to do anything for fear of accidentally provoking a shitstorm. That’s now gone up by an order of magnitude. So if there is anyone out there who thinks that they are worth preserving, please contact me privately.

Meanwhile, day job, which desperately needs attention after the past few days of distraction.

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31 Responses to Brief Status Update

  1. Jonjo says:

    I for one will be sad not to see you at Loncon3. Fandom will no doubt have another ‘shitstorm’ again soon which will made this one pale into insignificance. Life goes on and there are more important things to worry about at the moment, especialy when England are playing Wales at Twickenham this Sunday.

  2. Adele says:

    Umm well I both in my Hagelrat self and my Aunty Fox guise am entirely happy to be associated with you. I’ll be in London for Nine Worlds so if you are overlapping date wise would be lovely to grab coffee. Also i’ll be sending you the latest book this week. xx

  3. Very sorry you won’t be there, Cheryl. Hugs.

  4. Brian Nisbet says:

    I’m rather hoping you’ll still join us in Dublin for Shamrokon, even if it’s only so we can enjoy your company in the bar!

    • CarolC says:

      Ditto for hoping to see you at Shamrokon!
      Also hoping the Translation Awards go ahead. They’ve been really helpful in my current Read More Books By Other Cultures personal project, as has Small Blue Planet.

    • Cheryl says:

      I have promised Kevin a trip to Dublin (via Wales).

      • Brian Nisbet says:

        Excellent stuff and definitely the best way to get from London to Dublin (I wish I had the time to go that way more often).

  5. Kari Sperring says:

    I, for one, am always glad to see you. And I respect your views, which are thoughtful and sensible. I shared Charlie’s worries over press attention, which I recognise as double-edged and not necessarily valid (I’m not keen on being in the public eye, so the press make me nervous, and, with my Green Room hat on, their presence adds to stress levels. But on the other hand I see the positive side, too.)
    Please rethink and come. It won’t be a proper worldcon without you.
    Much love
    Kari

  6. Gillian Polack says:

    I wasn’t silent through any change in feelings. I was just being silent.

    If you need to not come to LonCon, I understand (been there, done that – none of us can easily measure what makes a place possible and not possible for someone else) and hope you get to London so we can have a drink or something. I owe you one, remember, because of jetlag in 2011.

    If London isn’t possible, then we shall meet up somewhere, sometime, for I am determined to buy you that drink.

  7. Margaret Austin says:

    I can’t see anything in your earlier post to upset anyone. I thought it was all very reasonable. I’m sorry you feel you can no longer attend Loncon. No one should be attacked for expressing, in polite terms, a point of view. This whole debacle is having too many unfortunate consequences. I feel quite embarrassed to be part of the community at the moment. I hope you’ll feel able to reconsider nearer the time when, with any luck, people will have calmed down.

    • Hear hear! Can’t see any reason for anybody to be upset by what you said. If anything, it got me to reconsider some of the prejudices I may have had about the recent discussion, which is always a good thing.

      Also, I’m proud to call you a friend and a member of fandom — if someone thinks you should not be included, that should be their problem, not yours.

  8. Sad to hear it. Would have enjoyed running into you there as I enjoy you work very much. But if there ends up being another London local/event where you could be run into during the time (or perhaps Nine Worlds?) I’d love to hear the whens and wheres.

  9. Morgan Gallagher says:

    Why on earth would people be angry? (Apart, from, of course, this is _people_, we’re famed for not being logical.)

    Attacks on Ross for not being a proper fan were completely out of whack.

    I can’t see how anyone can be angry about anyone pointing out that making comments about anyone, or anything, being a real fan, isn’t…. oh no, wait.

    Insert ‘true’ fan rather than ‘real’ fan….

    Ah. Now’t changes I suppose.

    I’ll just go back to my corner and contemplate my naval. :-)

    We won’t be at LonCon 3 either, but that’s because they didn’t get the accomodation for severe disabilites sorted in time. I’m kinda still devastated, as I so wanted to go. But, there will always be another con, somewhere, sometime. :-)

    • Steve Cooper says:

      Hi Morgan,

      Have you contacted our access team – I know we set a deadline to get as many of the access issues sorted as quickly as possible.

      But we have still been able to sort out a number of late access requests as we have not put our reserved access rooms back into the blocks for this very reason.

      • Morgan Gallagher says:

        Hi Steve,

        As I fed back to your comittee the day you won the bid, disabled access for the cons for severaly disabled needed to be sorted out as soon as possible.

        I had to decide where the respite money for 2014 was going, several months ago. Despite trying to arrange accomodation in London for ourselves (no one would let us on the cheapest accomodation that far ahead) and trying to get the Aloft spaces via the convention committee sorted in the time frame, it was impossible.

        I was left with having to decide to book our other respite venues, or to not book anything, and hope that our entire year’s budget would be enough for a week at Aloft, with us not knowing until too late to book anywhere else, if it would work.

        So I made the decision we’d have to book elsewhere in good time. I simply couldn’t take the risk on an entire year’s respite money.

        I do appreciate you commenting. And I also appreciate that because of the severity of the disability we’re dealing with, we needed to know where we’d be staying, and what it would cost (and that we did have a booking) in 2013 and that’s difficult for the convention too.

        But oh gosh Steve, I did try! I did try so hard! :-)

        But it’s too late for us. Don’t have the money now. It’s gone in the bookings I could get in good time. :-(

  10. Kirstyn McDermott says:

    Wait, what? Your post about Ross and the Hugos has provoked a shitstorm? I thought it was a well-balanced and nuanced argument which brought up some points I hadn’t thought about (and others I heartily agreed with). It awful that you feel you need to avoid LonCon and possibly withdraw from SF fandom, Cheryl. The culture would be far poorer without your voice. :-(

    Feedly as led me out of the habit of commenting on blogs, as it’s not the most conducive interface to doing so, but I read yours regularly and always value what you have to say. Do what you need to do for your own health, well-being and peace of mind. Please don’t leave because you fear your presence will tarnish people and groups with whom you have associations. If fandom can’t withstand and ultimately accommodate voices of dissent from within its own ranks — especially those as thoughtful as your own — but must instead expel them, then frankly, it doesn’t deserve to survive.

  11. Twilight2000 says:

    While I won’t be at Loncon (that 1/2 job thing doesn’t pay nearly enough of the bills for that to happen), I’m quite proud to be associated with your thoughtful, complex posts and you as well. That I don’t always agree with everything you say (or don’t understand it sometimes :>) just proves I should keep on reading – only reading in the echo chamber of my existing beliefs/understandings gets me no where and teaches me nothing.

    Did we learn NOTHING from “kicking out the pros” from the ’39 Worldcon? If we’re not big enough to handle a few thoughtful dissensions from our own voices, we don’t, as Kirstyn McDermott says, deserve to survive as a community. Hell, difference is what we’re SUPPOSED to be ABOUT!

    I can’t hope to speak to your specifics, but I can hope to see many pix of you and Kevin at Loncon.

  12. Daniel Franklin says:

    I, for nth, will be sad to not see you at LonCon but would love to see you in or around London in or around that time. Sorry this whole affair has provoked such a potential for backlash, though hopefully the backlash won’t actually manifest against you.

    • Cheryl says:

      Of course it affects me. It affects all of us.

      It affects me in the projects I’m having to abandon because they won’t get as much popular support they would have done.

      It affects me because there are people out there putting all the blame on “the Hugo People”, which mostly means Kevin, Dave McCarty and me.

      It affects a whole bunch of authors who are watching the reputation of their work plummet because they write SF&F, and who are too scared to say anything in case they are next in the firing line.

      And it affects all of us because a whole bunch of shit is being written about us in the newspapers.

      It is, not to put too fine a point on it, a fucking disaster.

      • Donna Scott says:

        Sorry I haven’t commented much on this except on Charlie’s blog. Too busy, as opposed to unconcerned, though I also had concerns about how what I say might affect me/things and have begun trying several times before stopping and considering whether it was indeed all worth it. I thought JR would have been an awesome MC, personally, but understand why people might have had misgivings. Just wish they’d given him a chance to prove them wrong.

        Feeling mostly saddened by the whole debacle. A project I was going to be involved in also now looks like it has been hit by the Ross fallout… can’t be sure, though, and I really hope it hasn’t as I thought it would be a great boost for fandom and getting outsiders to see why we think SF is the bizniz.

        But if it has, I will try not to get the grumps. I believe in positive action and individual responsibility for success, so just got to get back on that cyberhorse.

  13. Carolyn says:

    I didn’t throw myself into this as I’m not part of fandom and it’s not my business, but I thought your post was thoughtful and very reasonable. If that was enough to raise hackles, all I can say is that in that case I don’t plan on becoming part of fandom either. I’m really sad you won’t get to attend with Kevin. I hope you get to spend lots of time together anyway.

  14. Paul Oldroyd says:

    Well, I must say I’m truly out of touch with what’s going on then. Your post seemed to be a bastion of sanity amongst the fireworks going off.

    Loncon 3 will almost certainly be the last convention that I go to (not because of this but because they cost too much – but I couldn’t miss a UK Worldcon ….) and I will miss seeing you there.

  15. Dave O says:

    To restate what has been said above. I thought it was well reasoned and cogent.

    The tone of conversation today has been far more sensible and I’m seeing far more ‘oh what have we done’ in the comment threads. Sadly, it’s all too late.

  16. Mike Glyer says:

    Oh, you’d be surprised at who’d willing to be “tarred by association” with you.

    Sometimes it seems like the most important ingredient of a fan is the determination to remain attached to fandom in spite of it all. That quality is admirable wherever one finds it.

  17. Glenda Larke says:

    “The culture would be far poorer without your voice.”
    Hear, hear.
    I for one hope to see you in London. I’d be even happier if that was at Loncon…
    Stay strong.

  18. Donna Scott says:

    It was indeed a very reasoned blog, and I’m definitely not going to shun you. Sorry you won’t be at Loncon. I’ll be there still.

  19. Damn. I’m sorry to hear this. I’ve been looking forward to meeting you at Worldcon. It’s my first Worldcon and probably the last for a long time, unless it’s in Europe again soon. Just yesterday, I was talking with a friend and mentioned that you’d be there… and today I visited your blog again and found this unpleasant surprise.

    While I don’t understand what’s so controversial about your blogpost about the Hugo ceremony (seemed like perfectly normal criticism and polemic to me) and why it caused a storm and would have a negative impact on other activities, I get that if the reception had been that bad, you don’t want to attend. So… I guess I just wanted you to know that I was looking forward to seeing you. I stumbled across your site last autumn when you reviewed the issue 85 of Clarkesworld, including my story, “The Symphony of Ice and Dust”. Since then I kept visiting your blog from time to time, always finding something interesting. So – good luck. I hope everything’s better soon.

    • Cheryl says:

      Thanks Julie. I may still be in London at the time, as a number of good friends from around the world will be in town. We’ll see. And thanks for reading.

  20. Colum Paget says:

    Cheryl, you are one of the last people whose blogs I still follow in SF. The reason is that your posts are more measured and fair than any of the others, and you argue from facts and exprience, rather than from knee-jerk outrage. Your blog-post put forward a lot of new information, and was valuable commentry. I don’t agree with everything you always write, but there aren’t many people in the community (or outside of it) who make the effort you make to see both sides.

    I would suggest that perhaps silence from some quarters does not indicate disapproval. It’s looking more and more like the SF community has disgraced itself pretty throughly here, and people might want to not comment at all, they might rather stay out of it (which might be wise, tbh).

    But I’ve only been involved in SF for four years, and overall it’s been pretty bad. Much that you say about feeling that people want to sever connections to you marries up with my own feelings: I’ve become very wary of speaking to people, even people I know (as much as I know anyone in SF), because I often feel they’d rather I didn’t (it’s probably just in my head, but given some of the stuff I’ve experienced it’s very hard to know what’s in my head and what’s real these days).

    # The next task is to take stock of my various projects and see what damage has
    # been done. I suspect that the bookstore may be a casualty of this.

    I’ll ask you the question that many people have been asking me: Could you perhaps be over-reacting? Are things really so bad in SF that stating your opinion means you have to walk away from all your projects? I don’t know the answer to these myself, but if people aren’t commenting, it might be a reach to assume they’re angry with you? They might just not want to comment for any number of reasons, surely?

    Or perhaps I am still naieve, despite all the things I’ve experienced myself.

    Anyways, I long ago decided that Loncon3 will be the last ‘big’ con I attend. If I keep going to any it will be the small ones, and of those likely Bristolcon, which you were busy organizing last year. I always enjoy Bristolcon, probably the most of all cons, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for being one of the people who makes it happen.

    However, the biggest problem is the Translation Awards. I confess that one of the reasons things have been so slow this year is that I have been afraid to do anything for fear of accidentally provoking a shitstorm. Thats now gone up by an order of magnitude. So if there is anyone out there who thinks that they are worth preserving, please contact me privately.

    Meanwhile, day job, which desperately needs attention after the past few days of distraction.

  21. Cheryl says:

    OK, comments closed on this one too.

    Colum. I have indeed Malleted your second comment. If you think about some of the things you said, I suspect you’ll see why I can no longer be bothered with any of this.

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