I’ve spent much of the last week appalled and upset by this message from Tom Doherty, the head of Tor Books. I’m not going into the backstory or ramifications in this post, but suffice it to say that once again, it has made me feel that being a female SFF fan, writer, or editor means fighting for your place forever. It means your boss choosing to give words of support to a noxious racist rather than to you.
Part of what’s been hard is the feeling of helplessness, that there is nothing anyone can do to change what has been said. And this is true. But Theodore Beale/Vox Day (noxious racist, see above) has asked his followers to email Tor/MacMillan to complain about Irene Gallo. Someone suggested that people write to them in support of her, and I have. My email is below.
(Warning: I will be watching the comments and moderating as needed.)
“Dear Tor & MacMillan folks,
I’m a long term SFF fan, a librarian and blogger. I’ve grown up reading and loving science fiction and fantasy in all its complexities and grandeurs. I also support publishing and promoting books which show us worlds from diverse voices and points of view. The Puppy campaign, both Sad and Rabid, stands in direct antithesis to everything I believe in, to all the SFF books I know and love. They want to shut down the voices I want to hear from. The fact that one of the major people involved in both campaigns is racist, sexist, and homophobic in the extreme only underscores the fact that they want people like me out of the SFF fandom.
I understand that as a company, Tor/PanMacMillan cannot take sides. However, the fact that a female Tor employee was publicly chastised for comments she made on her personal, private Facebook account, that support was given to the Puppies and not to her is appalling to me. I don’t know Irene Gallo in the slightest, but I do know I stand on her side. I am a SFF fan and my voice matters too.