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Tor has a tribute to MZB up
james_nicoll
I have to say I was little surprised at how little time it took someone to mention her less laudable side-activities.

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comment(s); comment here or there.

*jaw drop* I can usually excuse a writer's racism, sexism, etc given the culture and the times of whenever that writer lived, but that? Holy shitballs. That's fucking creepy.

Anyone have a link to that service some cons ran for Asimov?

Icons must be shattered, after all.

In this case, at least, I'd like the icon's reputation to be ground into dust.

I read it seconds after it appeared on LJ's RSS feed (just the vagaries of timing), and was very tempted to do so myself. There was a point in my life where MZB was one of my very favorite authors, but that article felt awfully whitewashy.

Stephen Goldin on his site claims:

And it doesn't matter in the least that Marion was a housewife in Texas when Walter committed the crimes in New Jersey in 1954; she was busy in the mid-50s with her own federal felony conviction for child pornography.


This is a claim I've never heard before. Does anyone know what he's referring to?

I don't know whether it is what is being referred to, but there was some sort of legal problem involving the mailing of what was considered to be obscene written material between consenting adults. I never recall hearing that that incident involved depiction of minors, and my understanding is that it was purely textual (and not what the phrase "child pornography" usually evokes).

(Deleted comment)
She was a massively important writer to me when I was a kid, and I only found out about the child abuse and molestation a few years ago. Her name makes me want to spit, now.

It's an awful feeling. You have my sympathy.

I wonder if they'd elide various authors' Holocaust denial when writing appreciations? (Note: "various authors" because I can't think today.)

James P. Hogan is the only one who comes immediately to mind, though I'm sure there are others.

Thank you. I will not read her material, or speak her name any further.

She was a prominent participant in my hobby. I didn't realize how much damage I could be doing by mentioning her name.

--Hawk

I think that's extreme.

There are lots of authors who write things I like, or at least can tolerate, or use for mindless entertainment who, on a personal level, I'd probably have to resist the urge to punch in the face. There's lots of authors[1] who, while they haven't reached that level, have said or done some mind-boggling stupid shit. That may or may not make them shitty people, but it doesn't necessarily mean one should automatically dismiss their work as authors or try to relegate them to the level of unpersonhood.

Sure, you might decide not to provide income to a writer you don't like for other reasons by not buying their books (or going to the movies based on their books), and I can accept that, but in this case she's been dead for 15 years. What you do or not do regarding her work isn't going to affect her one way or the other in the slightest.

And like it or not, she did have a significant role in the genre. I'm not fond of rewriting history to try and deny that, anymore than people trying to deny she, or any other writer, wasn't a flawed individual because they were important. One is just the mirror image of the other, and just as repulsive. Both turn a person into caricatures.

I'll have to go with Hamlet via Dinobot on this one: "Tell my tale to those who ask. Tell it truly; the ill deeds along with the good, and let me be judged accordingly."


1. Or actors, or singers, or politicians, or people you work with. Woody Allen is a sleazeball, his films are still good. Roman Polanski should be locked up in a dark hole: it doesn't mean we can't mention that he directed "Chinatown" and "The Pianist".

Edited at 2014-06-05 05:25 am (UTC)

Me too.

And like, I'm torn. I don't know that every time one writes an appreciation of a Problematic Author (particularly a short appreciation), one needs to mention the problems... On the other hand, it's quite clear from the comments here (where I expect most people to know more than me about SF history/fandom) that not everyone knows this about MZB/her circle, and given the subject matter, I think people SHOULD know. So. Dunno.

I've occasionally vaguely considered re-reading a couple of the books that struck me most oddly, back when, given the new knowledge I've gained in the past couple years about her various enabling activities,but they were already pretty skeevy to begin with even without knowing she was an enabling enabler of Enablementland, so... possssibly not.

Edited at 2014-06-04 08:03 pm (UTC)

That was a "work and life" post, though. If it's relevant that she helped create the SCA, surely it's relevant that she tolerated and enabled the sexual abuse of children?

Well, I had no idea about any of it until the Tor.com post went live. I’ve been reading in genre since I was eleven, and went to my first convention at 15, which would be 35 years ago, now. I know writers who consider MZB of enormous personal import in terms of chosen career. None of this was on my radar at all. It’s a bit discombobulating.

Oh, yecch. I'd heard rumblings about this for years, but never in as much detail as now. That's just creepy as hell. I'm glad that I read all of Darkover, and wouldn't unread it if that were possible, but I'm also wanting to spit with disgust.

Did they close comments? Because hours later, there are still only the two.

I think those first two comments essentially nuked the thread. Really, what else is there to say there?

(no subject) (Anonymous) Expand
Yeah, this is rather horrific.

Well. Whatever else this does, it means I won't be able to enjoy rereading anything of hers. So if I come across a book of hers in my collection of books, I can dispose of it.

Interesting. The post has been deleted, rather than have to acknowledge the controversy.

?

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