Seven Days In May

John C. Wright’s roller coaster ride began May 7 when his essay “Heinlein, Hugos and Hogwash” was posted by Intercollegiate Review.

There followed an immediate plunge to the depths. [See Update below.] – of which this comment from John Scalzi is representative:

Not reading another Elizabeth Moon or John C. Wright book. Many other authors who don’t support racists and bigots.>

The same John Scalzi who hosted a Wright contribution to “The Big Idea” on Whatever in 2011 and ran interference with readers determined to snark about Wright’s politics. The same Scalzi that Wright spoke well of earlier this month.Dozens of others followed suit with their own epitaphs for Wright’s career.

Then today, the roller coaster suddenly bottomed out and swooped skyward again, launching Wright on a completely unpredictable ascent when Locus Online posted Paul Di Filippo’s very favorable review of Wright’s novel The Judge of Ages, released in February —

I go must go on to affirm that the novel provides much pleasure. Wright marshals up a big backstory of human evolution that proves to have some secrets we had not known before. The titanic battle scenes are full of mind-boggling super science. The camaraderie among Montrose and his pals evokes Arthurian depths of feeling. Alien psychologies are plumbed, along with Montrose’s old-fashioned, native Texan, dogmatic pureness of intention. And the book’s surprise ending does represent a sea-change of sorts.

After reading that endorsement, fans who have not already made a firm decision to avoid Wright’s fiction may leave the door at least slightly ajar after all.

Update 05/13/2014: John Scalzi confirms that the comment linked above wasn’t written by him. I apologize for spreading this disinformation, and offending the two writers involved. Next, how to deal with this post? Ordinarily when it’s pointed out to me that I have published an error I fix the article and add a note like this. However, since this example has already been widely read, and linked to, I have decided a better plan is to line through the bad information and associated commentary and point to this explanation. Otherwise it will look like I’m pretending it never happened. Or, to phrase it ironically, I feel I should not deprive latecomers of the opportunity to see for themselves that stupid thing Mike Glyer did on the internet.

15 thoughts on “Seven Days In May

  1. The linked article to a writer called Foz was – amazing. She seemed incapable of grasping the simple statement of Mr. Wright’s that he feels there is a heckler’s veto going on.

  2. Uh, yeah. About that comment: I didn’t write it. I don’t know who did.

    Fact: It is trivially easy to imitate someone on the Internets.

    I just tweeted about this from my Verified Twitter account, which I trust will be reasonable assurance that THIS comment, at least, is from the John Scalzi you think it is.

  3. Past time to remove this since Scalzi didn’t write it. Only way to maintain whatever credibility you have left at this point….

  4. Thanks for your comments. I’m glad you stuck around long enough to evaluate the correction. I agree that it is a big withdrawal from the credibility account.

  5. Wright still thinks Card’s bigotry is “mild”. Presumably non-mild goes beyond comparisons to child molesters and calling for armed insurrection. I guess you actually have to physically attack someone for Wright to call you a bigot. Unless it’s someone calling him a bigot, in which case they’re clearly the worst people in the world, destroying his first amendment right.

    Eh. Whatever.

  6. I invite you to point out the post, or letter, or email, where Mr. Wright makes the claim you have attributed to him. Otherwise, it seems like you are simply placing words into his mouth in order that you might make him seem to be defending a weaker position than he is.

  7. Mr Scalzi has unambiguously denounced a comment purported to be from him left by some gossip (whose business it is to stir up enmity between comrades) attempting to drive a wedge between us.

    Does anyone continue to scoff at the claim that there is a plague of gossips among us, making accusations both true and false, whose business is malice? Our business is Science Fiction.

    Myself, I will never doubt Mr Scalzi again! He and I still need to overcome the Pluto-Haters. The Mi-Go are depending on us.

  8. Coming a little late to knowledge of this kerfuffle, but please accept my props for classy behavior on the parts of all involved — the blogger and the two authors as well.

    Also, an unsolicited opinion regarding Wright’s segue: I don’t give a fig about Pluto’s planetary status, but I’ve got a lot of angst about evil scientists stealing my dearly beloved brontosaurus and triceratops. Pluto is a rock in space. Dinosaurs are *beloved characters*.

  9. John Scalzi emailed me to let me know that there might be a spreading rumor attributing the original comment to him, and gave me the link here as proof of what happened. I didn’t really need the proof; I know John Scalzi, have for years. We respect each other as colleagues. However, this is an opportunity to make it clear on my end that there’s no quarrel between us.

    I approve of the way the error was handled here, for exactly the reasons given for doing it–it allows readers to see what the fuss was about without inflaming it or thinking something was being covered up.

  10. Kudos on owning up to and fixing the Scalzi comment issue.

    @Eoin Moloney, you asked for the post where Wright makes the point Jasper attributed to him? It’s right in the linked article (hoping tags work here):

    Orson Scott Card publicly expressed the mildest imaginable opposition to having judges overrule popular votes defining marriage in the traditional way…

    Or did you mistype, and are looking for where Card calls for armed insurrection? It’s at

    …when government is the enemy of marriage, then the people who are actually creating successful marriages have no choice but to change governments, by whatever means is made possible or necessary.


    What these dictator-judges do not seem to understand is that their authority extends only as far as people choose to obey them.

    How long before married people answer the dictators thus: Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down…

  11. Historically armed insurrections have occured for many reasons, but never I think because any government (of the people for the people) wanted to ammend the marriage laws. Oh, but I forgot, no one really takes Mr Card seriously any more anyway. Silly me.

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