Monteleone Aftermath: Authors Seek Perspective on His Damaging Statements

Brian Keene and Barney Dannelke have added two notable responses to the widespread discussion about the ouster of Thomas Monteleone from the Horror Writers Association.

In a YouTube video aired yesterday, Brian Keene, Mary SanGiovanni, and Christopher Golden, who each have known Monteleone a long time, used their exceptional gifts to analyze and share the deep emotional hurt they’re feeling over the things he said on Facebook and in a recent podcast. (An auto-generated transcript is available at the link,)

Barney Dannelke has also provided insights about the facts and issues in a Facebook post. Here are some excerpts.

…Little did I know that within 48 hours of my mentioning Thomas F. Monteleone in a Breakfast With Barney that Tom would walk out on to the public square, dowse himself with the kerosene of his own bullshit and gleefully and cheerfully set himself on fire….

…In that capacity he WAS a member of the Horror Writers of America (H.W.A.) and in that capacity he can/could nominate people for the HWA Lifetime Achievement Award – and so he nominated Stuart David Schiff. Except he did it in a manner (or perhaps he only proposed to do it, check my work here) that could best be described as a total dick move. Essentially, he drew attention to the fact that Schiff is an old white male, proposing that to dare to do such a thing in this day and age was somehow a revolutionary act.

Turned out, it was an act of pure “fuck around and find out.” He picked up the heavy stick. He walked straight up to the hornet nest that he had been watching for years. Then he hit the nest with the stick as hard as he could (not very) and then he pretended to be shocked that hornets waiting for an idiot with a stick, went and did what hornets were designed to do. Namely, sting the shit out of him.

Then (!) he went on a podcast linked to YouTube and complained in the most racist and misoginystic ways he could think of for OVER TWO HOURS about how stupid hornets were and how they didn’t properly appreciate him and how confusing sexual designations are for hornets these days and how dumb fat black hornets are and how lucky he was that he made enough money that his kids didn’t have to go to school with hornets and how he has gallons of hornet cream and being old and rich and Italian (note the Fedora) he doesn’t feel shit anyways.

I listened to the entire podcast. I have read the entire 38 page transcript. I am sure you will let me know if I am exaggerating any of this.

Running in background for the last 48 hours there have been dozens of comment threads about this. The most damning addition was a Cemetery Dance op-ed piece from Tom where he explains to the rest of us poor suckers that the ONLY reason that Samuel R. Delany had a career in SF was because of his skin color and that the work had no merit whatsoever….

(There is a copy of that issue of Cemetery Dance #21 [1994-Summer] downloadable from the Internet Archive.)

Dannelke does not object to Monteleone being removed from HWA, however, there are things he would have preferred to be said more explicitly, or not altogether omitted from HWA’s announcement. See the rest of his discussion at Facebook.

The Culture War Comes to MarsCon

MarsCon 2024 chair Joel Lyon announced on January 27 that Larry Correia will be Writer Guest of Honor at the event being held next year in Virginia.

After the Facebook announcement drew a number of congratulatory comments, filksinger Madison Metricula Roberts, who also spoke out when John Ringo was selected as ConCarolinas Guest in 2018, challenged the choice:

Lyon responded: [Note: Clouse was a commenter on Roberts’ comment.]

There followed a surge of Correia supporters voicing their pleasure that he would be a GoH, with only two of the 180 comments on the post criticizing him for his role in starting the Sad Puppies Hugo controversy. After a couple of days Chair Lyon shut down comments on the post.

Roberts’ complaint predictably drove a great deal of traffic to Correia’s Facebook page, and as she wrote on her own Facebook page: “If anyone would like to catch up on public comments and name calling in the public thread on his author page (as well as where he says at least twice I personally got him thrown out of ConCarolinas, which is verifiably false.” Roberts assembled screencaps of what Correia and commenters said there and made it available at Dropbox: “Larry Ref Complaint Thread Grab.pdf”.

Roberts included the screencaps in her “Formal Complaint to MarsCon” that Correia has violated their Harassment Policy, and linked to a copy of the complaint from her own Facebook post:


MarsCon Con Chair and Staff:

I would like to alert you to Larry Correia’s violation of the MarsCon Harassment Policy and Code of Conduct as written and as I interpret it. I am requesting it to be reviewed via this official channel outlined in the policy. 

Harassment:

Mr. Correia has not treated me with “common courtesy” as referenced in the Harassment policy, becoming hostile immediately in response to my criticism of the Con Chair’s choice to promote him as a Guest of Honor. 

He then used my request that harassment, code of conduct, weapons, and diversity policies at the con be updated/reviewed and easy to find as evidence that I was insinuating that he personally was “racist, sexist” and made people feel unsafe. He has continued with those accusations even after my repeated clarification in the thread and my personal conversation with the Con Chair, in which he said Mr. Correia apologized for “goading” me. 

I reiterated that the “tone” I was referring to was the combative tone that Mr. Correia (and many of his supporters, for whom I will make separate complaints) exhibited in the thread using assumptions, hostility, insults, and direct tagging me demanding further explanation–even in unrelated comments on other threads (see attached PDFs for marked instances).

In compliance with the Harrassment Policy and requests from the Con Chair in the threads themselves, I refrained from engaging further with Mr. Correia in that forum, though I offered to continue the discussion with him in another public forum or via private contact. 

After that, Mr. Correia continued to tag me personally in the same MarsCon forum, even after a warning from the Con Chair. This evening, Mr. Correia also included my name on a reposted comment to his followers on his author page. While Mr. Correia has every right to use my public comments in this way, I believe he has already demonstrated in the MarsCon forum his willingness to allow his fans to continue his vitriol and harassment on his behalf (see attached). By continuing to declare his false accusations of my intent and involvement, I think my initial concerns of his combativeness to dissenters were well-founded.

While my comments are public and I stand by them, I have never called Mr. Correia racist, sexist, etc. nor have called fo him to be disinvited from the convention. However, Mr. Correia has continually accused me of doing so, and demanded I respond multiple times after I indicated I was not discussing it in the MarsCon forum further.

In private communication with the Con Chair, I was assured he understood that I was not calling for Mr. Correia to be disinvited nor had I suggested it. The Con Chair also posted this on my behalf publicly, to little effect on Mr. Correia’s continued demands and harassment. 

I reiterate that to my knowledge, no one has publicly called for Mr. Correia to be disinvited, as he claims, though I understand that the difference between “disinvitation” and “we question why you picked him” can be a fine line to someone in Mr. Correia’s situation and experience.

Mr. Correia’s repsonse to my criticism of the Con Chair’s choice of him as GoH has been explosive, derisive, and disproportionate. 

Code of Conduct:

More concerningly, Mr. Correia has flagrantly violated the Code of Conduct, specifically Item 9–”be excellent to each other”–which I interpret to mean that courtesy, kindness, and moderation are values of the MarsCon community. 

My criticism of the Con Chair’s choice of Mr. Correia as GoH was specifically because Mr. Correia and a vocal subset of his fans have a reputation for being combative, rude, and dismissive of social collaboration online. Regardless of whether this was founded or not (though in way of explanation, I took time to read more of Mr. Correia’s blog, social media, and essays to make sure my perception of him was not mistaken), Mr. Correia has behaved in exactly that way to me and others in the MarsCon community. He condones insults and ad hominem attacks, makes false accusations even after being presented with contrary evidence, and generally has been unpleasant, unhelpful, and unrepresentative of the previous tone of the MarsCon forum. I have detailed some examples of his combative tone and inappropriate language below, also in the attached PDFs.

Concerns about Enforcement of These Policies:

Additionally, the ConChair has repeatedly stated publicly that Mr. Correia’s involvement and behavior at other conventions has no bearing on his presence at MarsCon and asked members who bring that up to refrain from doing so. Mr. Correia, however, blatantly continued to do so even after others abided by the Con Chair’s request. 

I believe that at the current time, the Con Chair is setting an unfortunate and unfair set of standards where the GoH doesn’t have to abide by the same rules as everyone else–even after publicly telling Mr. Correia the rules do, in fact, apply to him.

The Con Chair has stated publicly that Mr. Correia’s online behavior (even in professional or professional adjacent spaces) has no bearing on his ability to be a guest as long as he is not “rude in person” (see PDF highlights).

I believe this is a mistake, though I also respect the right of a convention to define and curate what kind of tone and behavior it finds acceptable. In this case, I believe this dichotomy is not in the spirit of the Code of Conduct and it is being blatantly ignored.

My Request:

I request that the Con Chair and committee review my complaint and concerns in accordance to the reporting procedures outlined by the Harassment Policy. I am not requesting any specific action or disinvitation, only that I would like my complaints escalated to the proper channels and allow them to handle it in accordance with their policies or internal procedures.


Marscon’s relatively unsophisticated “Harassment Policy” reads:

MarsCon considers itself a family friendly convention. All forms of harassment are detrimental to the health and well-being of our attendees and the convention in general. In an effort to enhance MarsCon’s standing in the Science Fiction Convention Universe, its staff is developing a standard harassment policy and reporting procedures.

It is imperative that everyone understands that No means No, Stop means Stop, and Leave Me Alone means Leave Me Alone! If attendees treat each other with common courtesy and respect, there should be no reason to institute the reporting procedures.

If you find yourself in a situation where you feel you are being harassed, please maintain your cool and ask the person to stop. If they do not stop, remove yourself from the situation as quickly as possible. Find friends or a staff member and ask for assistance.

At no time is the use of aggression or physical force acceptable unless your life and wellbeing are in question!!

Correia, whose secret is the same as Bruce Banner’s (“I’m mad all the time”), today retaliated in a blog post “My Response To The Official Complaint At Marscon About My ‘Tone’” [Internet Archive] which interleaves brief snips of Roberts’ complaint with acres of verbiage that wander far afield from her actual allegations. Near the end is what might be considered the gist of his 5,700+ words:

… I keep going to cons because I don’t like to let bullies win. I know that every single time I get invited to something, this same exact thing is going to happen. I’ve been through this. I’ve watched others go through this. I know their tricks. I know their tactics. None of this is new.

They’ve tried this for the last few cons I went to. They tried this same exact thing last year when I was the GoH at FenCon. Same thing. Some vague complaints about feeling unsafe. Some outrage. Dire predictions of danger and craziness. About five to ten listless angry types posting lots. And don’t worry, up next in the cycle if you don’t cave, will come the very dramatic flouncing, as those five to ten people very loudly and publicly declare that they simply cannot attend any event which would host such a monster with all his disgusting yet unspecified ideas….

[Thanks to Karl-Johan Norén for the story.]

Dream Foundry Announces Fund to Bring Palestinian Fans to WorldCon

Dream Foundry has announced a new initiative under its Con or Bust program to assist Palestinian creators and fans of speculative fiction in attending the World Science Fiction Convention through 2028.

Con or Bust was conceived as a program to provide greater access for creators and fans of color to science fiction conventions, events, and professional development opportunities. Thanks to the generosity of Farah Mendlesohn from the estate of, and in memory of her mother, Carole Goldman, Dream Foundry has been granted £40,000 to assist self-identified citizens of Palestine and members of the Palestinian diaspora to pay travel and membership expenses to five Worldcons beginning in 2024. Awards from the Goldman Fund will be in the form of direct cash grants.

Applications to the Goldman Fund for the 2024 WorldCon will open from July through September of 2023. For more information about Con or Bust, visit www.dreamfoundry.org/dreamfoundry.org/con-or-bust/

[Based on a press release.]

Samples of Social Media Reaction to Monteleone Before and After HWA Expelled Him

Author and editor Thomas F. Monteleone was expelled from the Horror Writers Association on January 31 for violating the organization’s antiharassment policies.

Here are a few examples of what appeared in social media immediately prior to that decision, and after it was announced.

BEFORE

Alan Baxter

“An open letter to the HWA regarding Thomas F. Monteleone”

… It is particularly saddening to see someone who was considered a legend in the field reveal themselves to be as racist, transphobic, and bigoted as Monteleone has. But more important than lamenting the self-immolation of one person is the direct harm those comments and actions cause to so many others.

Allowing Monteleone to remain in the organisation and to attend HWA events will be putting a large number of people directly in harm’s way. It will also show the HWA is complicit rather than active in the face of hate speech….

Todd Keisling

“An open letter to the HWA regarding author Thomas F. Monteleone”

I’m writing to add my voice to the chorus of members demanding Tom Monteleone be expelled from the organization and barred from attending all HWA events going forward. His actions on social media, and most recently his statements on the disgusting “Facebook Has AIDS” podcast, have revealed his true character to all.

Specifically, his racist, transphobic, and bigoted comments aimed at fellow HWA members, as well as whole classes of people, fly in the face of what the HWA stands for. I believe that maintaining ties with Mr. Monteleone in the organization and allowing him entry to future HWA-sanctioned events such as StokerCon will not only put fellow members in harm’s way but also invite controversy overall.

Doug Murano

Brian Keene

Brian Keene announced that the Borderlands Boot Camp, which Monteleone helped found, will be rebranded so that it does not share a name with his anthology series.

Scares That Care adamantly condemns the recent comments made on Facebook and a podcast by one of the founders of Borderlands Boot Camp. Effective immediately, Borderlands Boot Camp (which became part of the Scares That Care family of events in 2022) will be rebranded as the Scares That Care Writers Workshop.

We are also announcing that effective immediately, two (2) annual scholarships for marginalized writers (writers of color, writers from the LGBTQIA+ community, writers with disabilities, writers suffering from economic hardships, etc.) will be available yearly. While interested parties will be responsible for their travel and lodging, Scares That Care will waive the $750 tuition fee for these two individuals. Interested parties can contact board members Brian Keene ([email protected]) or Sonora Taylor ([email protected]) to inquire. Deadline for this year’s applicants is Friday, February 17th.

Respectfully,

The Scares That Care Board of Directors — Joe Ripple, Alfred Guy, Brian Keene, Jason Cherry, Sonora Taylor, Angel Hollman, Andrew Ely, and Donna Thew — and workshop organizer Mary SanGiovanni.

CAMP NECON

The Camp Necon statement does not name anyone, but it can be inferred from the timing what it’s about: “An Important Statement From Camp Necon”.

In light of recent abhorrent public statements and behaviors (on social media and via other media), we, the Camp Necon Board, feel obligated to take this opportunity to publicly state that we stand against bigotry and prejudice and are dedicated to our efforts to make Camp Necon a welcoming and safe experience for ALL attendees. We cannot be idle while friends and colleagues are deliberately maligned and their well-earned achievements mocked. It cannot stand, and we will not allow it at any space Camp Necon inhabits (be that online or in person). 

The legendary Charles L. Grant, often called “The Godfather of Camp Necon,” consistently championed new voices in horror and always insisted that, “By growing the pie, we all eat more.” It is in Charlie’s spirit and tradition that we’d like to state that by championing not just new, but diverse voices within the genre we believe we all eat BETTER. In that regard, we are moving forward with new initiatives to ensure ours is a place where all voices feel welcome and heard, in addition to taking steps to address present and future barriers to safety and inclusivity. We will continue to work to ensure ours is the kind of event that brings people together in an atmosphere of acceptance and collegiality. We hope to continue to have your support.

We understand that statements such as this may have the effect of “self-selecting” membership in our Campers’ roll. We are fine with that. If you do not feel fully aligned with what Camp Necon has become or the direction we continue to head, please follow your conscience. We have made our choice and we stand by both it and our community…. 

Tim Waggoner on Facebook.

Tom Monteleone encouraged me early in my writing career and gave me so much good advice. I thanked him in my acceptance speech when I won my first Bram Stoker Award. He published my collection A LITTLE AQUA BOOK OF MARINE TALES. He accepted two of my stories for BORDERLANDS anthologies. I asked him to write the introduction to WRITING IN THE DARK. He’s been a big supporter of me and my writing for many years. I have so many of his books on my shelves, and reading his short story “Wendigo’s Child” when I was a child myself was a formative experience for me. I used his IDIOT’S GUIDE TO WRITING A NOVEL as a textbook in my novel writing classes.

I admired him so much.

I’m sickened by the overt bigotry Tom has displayed over the last few days.

It doesn’t matter how good he’s been to me when he’s treated others so horribly. Once Tom was a role model for me in terms of artistry and professionalism. Now he’ll be a role model for what I hope never to become as a writer and member of the horror community as I grow older. I hope my mind never becomes so closed. I hope I never start to lash out from intolerance. I hope I never show such disrespect to people who I should view as colleagues. I hope I continue to build people up instead of tearing them down.

You taught me so many things over the years, Padrone. I suppose I should thank you for this final lesson. I just wish it was one I never had to learn.

AFTER

Adam Troy-Castro on Facebook:

… I said something early in this mess that may now be risky to say now.

I remember the Tom Monteleone I once knew, who I laughed with at I-Con in Long Island and at other places, with considerable fondness. I remember the Tom Monteleone who wrote (mostly) great columns about his experiences, for CEMETERY DANCE. I remember loving some of his fiction, including one novel he churned out for a subpar house that contained one of the worst sentence constructions I have ever read, and another I liked very much that existed in the “evil carnival” sub-subgenre. I harbor considerable affection for that Tom Monteleone of thirty-forty years ago, that none of this banishes. To me, the contrast with current events put that Tom Monteleone in a little memory vault. I do not apologize for feeling that way.

Alas, the Tom Monteleone of today, who ate that Tom Monteleone, was already present way back when, though his manifestations, bad as they could be, were intermittent.

I am mourning, at most, a minor but treasured acquaintance. But I still feel the loss.

That is the end of the risky part.

Understand that the Tom Monteleone I feel sorry for, today, is that one from thirty years ago. I think the one from today invited this fate, however seriously he now takes it, and I am pretty damn certain that there is no coming back from this. I am unsure whether he was still producing work, but he was certainly still an influential figure, an elder statesman, and an important editor, who in a few days of frenetic resentment set fire to his legacy. This is a tragedy, but in the Greek sense, where people suffer the fates their character calls for. This is the natural development of groundwork he laid.

What will happen to Tom Monteleone is that he will not shut up about this, and will continue to court the only audience that still cares about him, the people who share his resentments. He will become more and more fringe, a Theodore Beale of horror, a Kevin Sorbo of horror. I promise you. He will humiliate himself further and he will do it willingly…

Chuck Wendig

David Niall Wilson – Twitter thread starts here.

Some of the Stories

By John Hertz

Great in several ways,
Like-minded among many,
Yet sharp-eyed (mostly),
Energetic — but Quis nar-
Rabit narrantem?  
Aha!

Happy anniversary to File 770.

Are we doing our part to help Glyer keep wind in the sails?  Are you?

File 770 is still called “Mike Glyer’s News of SF Fandom”.

So far as I know there’s no staff of mild-mannered (or other) reporters for this great metropolitan newszine.  Just Glyer, and us.

He has a nose for news and sometimes finds things.  But why should he have to do all the work?

If you’re one of the folks whose names appear at the bottom of the day’s Pixel Scroll, with Glyer’s thanks for some of the stories, thanks from the rest of us too.

If you aren’t – the great Catholic priest and comedian Ronald Knox once answered a correspondent “You say that you are no philosopher; well, why not become one?”

Or as I sometimes say – though I’m not a Catholic priest, anyhow – try it, you might like it.

I’ve written about diversity, doors (one, anyhow), and deaths; birthdays and books; clubs and conventions; friends and fanzines.

What might you do?

That Latin up there is “Who shall narrate to the narrator?”

Another comedian, James Thurber – who was also not a Catholic priest – and who, alas, didn’t live to see Alex Panshin’s book The Thurb Revolution – said “I have done nothing but make fun of weakness and folly; wisdom, strength, goodness have never been my subjects.”

You can do things his way or not.  Freedom, it’s wonderful.

Locus Launches Fundraiser

Here is the press release for Locus Magazine’s Indiegogo appeal.

Locus‘s first annual fundraiser is live! Help raise $75,000+ to ensure the future of Locus.

Locus is an enthusiastic community of readers, writers, fans, and industry professionals, and it’s part of the glue that holds SFFH together. Without Locus, the landscape of the field would be forever diminished.

The Locus Indiegogo Campaign has some great donor swag with more being added daily, including author chats, crits, signed books, Locus coffee mugs and tees, acts of whimsy, personalized letters from bestselling authors, and more. Please take a moment to go support Locus today: https://igg.me/at/locusmag


“I’ve been part of the Locus community for over three decades, and I believe it is incredibly important to the speculative fiction community.”

—Neil Gaiman


When Locus Magazine first went to print as a one-page ‘zine in 1968, no one could have guessed it would become such a fixture of the science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres, guiding its readers through worlds of imagination.

Over the past 54 years, it has published more than 740 issues, keeping readers, authors, artists, book buyers, industry professionals, and fans up to date on what’s happening in the field – the Publishers Weekly of SFFH. Decades ago, Locus launched a website whose archive holds thousands of reviews, news posts, and articles covering fiction, craft, art, conventions, international events, and more, chronicling the field.

Beyond the magazine, they started the Locus Awards in 1971, celebrating writers, editors, and artists of SFFH; proud to include an award specifically for debut authors as well as an award for community development, historically given to those who boost marginalized voices.

Locus started a writing workshop series tapping our immense community of master writers. They offer internships and have seen many move on to establish publishing careers.

A lot has changed at Locus over the years. Most recently, the way advertisers and readers interact with the magazine has shifted drastically. While the paid subscribership is modest but steady, the online readership—which engages with the free content—is orders of magnitude larger, over 100,000 per month.

At the same time, as costs rise across the board, one of the traditional revenue streams has almost entirely collapsed. Print advertising revenue is down across all print media, and Locus is no exception. 

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, they’ve been shifting to a donor-supported model to meet our needs. But Locus is at risk of not surviving this current recession.


“Locus Magazine is the spit and baling wire that holds the entire, bizarre, wondrous enterprise of publishing together. We’re all seriously f—ed if it ever stops working.”

—Cory Doctorow


If Locus ceased to exist, we’d stand to lose much more than the magazine, the website, and the awards. We’d lose a community gathering place where readers, fans, and pros come together to experience:

  • Interviews with up-and-coming and established writers, providing an in-depth look at their publishing journey, process, philosophy, experiences, and more.
  • Reviews of books and short fiction by award winning critics who pinpoint exciting new titles and writers to look out for. 
  • Forthcoming Books Lists used worldwide by bookstores, librarians, collectors, and avid readers to make buying decisions.
  • News including international reports about what’s happening in the SFFH community around the world, to keep us all connected and informed.
  • The Locus Awards, the democratic, readers’ choice award that acknowledges, celebrates, and embraces authors and artists in the field. 
  • And more, including recommended reading lists, convention and workshop news, workshops, internships, event calendars, and obituaries honoring the life and work of SFFH’s voices.

Thank you for your support! Donate today at https://igg.me/at/locusmag

HWA Announces Summer Scares Reading Program 2023 Timeline

The Horror Writers Association’s fifth annual Summer Scares Reading Program will provide libraries and schools with an annual list of recommended horror titles for adult, young adult (teen), and middle grade readers. The 2023 reading list will be released on February 14, Library Lover’s Day. 

Summer Scares’ 2023 spokesperson is Daniel Kraus, author of more than a dozen novels and graphic novels. He co-authored The Living Dead with filmmaker George A. Romero. With Guillermo del Toro, he co-authored The Shape of Water, based on the same idea the two created for the Oscar-winning film. Also with del Toro, Kraus co-authored Trollhunters, which was adapted into the Emmy-winning Netflix series. Kraus says, “Libraries were the space in which I nurtured my early interest in horror. I was able to make autonomous decisions about my own limits and how to push them, and that benefitted my confidence, intellect, courage, and empathy. I couldn’t be more honored to work with Summer Scares to help other kids have their own life-changing experiences.”

He will be joined by a committee of five library workers who, together, will select three recommended fiction titles in each reading level, totaling nine Summer Scares selections. The goal of the program is to encourage a national conversation about the horror genre, across all age levels, at libraries nationwide and ultimately attract more adults, teens, and children interested in reading. Official Summer Scares designated authors will also make themselves available at public and school libraries.
 
Kraus, along with some of the selected authors, will kick off Summer Scares at the 7th Annual HWA Librarians’ Day, Friday, June 16, during StokerCon 2023 at the Sheraton Pittsburgh Hotel at Station Square in Pittsburgh, PA.

Of special note is the forthcoming annual Summer Scares Programming Guide, courtesy of HWA Library Committee Co-Chair Konrad Stump and the Springfield-Greene County Library, which provides creative ideas to engage horror readers. Centered around the official Summer Scares titles, the guide offers tips and examples for readers’ advisory, book discussion guides, and sample programs, enabling librarians, even those who don’t read or especially enjoy the horror genre themselves, to connect their communities with Summer Scares.

See past years’ Summer Scares titles, spokespeople, and programming guides at the program archive here.

[Based on a press release.]

During Lukianenko’s Appearance on Russia’s RT, Presenter Calls for Drowning Ukrainian Children

Responding to Russian sff author Sergey Lukianenko’s statement that when he first visited Ukraine in the 1980s, children told him they would live better lives were it not for Moscow occupying their country, RT presenter Anton Krasovsky said children who criticized Russia should have been “thrown straight into a river with a strong current” reports Reuters. “They should have been drowned in the Tysyna (river),” Krasovsky said. “Just drown those children, drown them.” Alternatively, he said, they could be shoved into huts and burned.

Lukianenko, who was not visibly bothered by the comment, only replied, “In Russia [they] traditionally used rods. They are better than the river.” The Russian sff author is scheduled to be a guest of honor of the 2023 Chengdu Worldcon.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Sunday called for a global ban on the Russian state-controlled news outlet RT as an inciter of genocide. RT America permanently shut down operations in March.

The clip can be viewed on YouTube. (Auto-generated translation to English is an option.)

[Thanks to Borys Sydiuk for the story.]

ASFF President and Vice President Step Down

Australian Science Fiction Foundation President Juliette Cavendish and Vice-President Geoff Allshorn resigned as officers on October 14, a little more than two months following a controversy over their proposal to create a youth fiction award and name it after the late Bill Wright.

Cavendish and Allshorn had debuted a rebranded and redesigned Australian Science Fiction Foundation website on August 1. On the new website they also revealed plans for the award to be named after Wright, who died in January, a choice that a number of Australians immediately spoke against because of allegations that he was a pedophile.

Cavendish and Allshorn not only responded with disbelief, they threatened one of those who spoke out with legal action.

However, by the next day the award title on the website had been redacted to Short Story Writing Competition without any reference to Wright. Since then the page has been completely removed. 

Cavendish’s announcement — “ASFF President Juliette Cavendish Steps Down to Pursue International Photographic Career” – briefly mentions her idea for the award:

…My dream had been to launch a writing competition for Primary and Secondary students in Australia – to promote creative writing and encourage our younger generation of writers. Unfortunately this won’t be done during my time as President, but maybe in the future the ASFF will continue to plan this….

Allshorn’s announcement – “ASFF Vice-President Geoff Allshorn Steps Down” – does not refer to it at all.

Neither post named who will succeed them in office.

Sergei Lukianenko Hails Attacks on Ukrainian Civilian Targets

Russian sff author Sergei Lukianenko celebrated the October 10 mass attack on Ukrainian cities and civilian infrastructure in a social media post. As translated by Ukranian fan Boris Sydiuk, he said:

“Finally, I wish it would be so in February, deliberately and ruthlessly, fascist scum should go to hell.”

February is the month that Russia invaded Ukraine.

A screencap of this remark was posted on Imgur, with a more colloquial translation: “Finally. Should have done this back in February. Methodically and mercilessly. Fascist scum must go to hell.”

Lukianenko, a 2023 Chengdu Worldcon guest of honor, has been an outspoken proponent of Russia’s aggressive policy towards Ukraine for years. His statements sparked passage of a resolution at the Chicon 8 Business Meeting calling for the 2023 Worldcon to refuse him as a guest.

Update: The link to Lukianenko’s post is: https://vk.com/sergeylukyanenko?w=wall533470600_208712.