An Apology is Made

Written by Natalie Luhrs

I'm a lifelong geek with a passion for books and social justice.

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February 20, 2014

Sean Fodera apologizes. And shares with us his thoughts about women in SFF.

As I was writing this, went down.  Here are screencaps of the two posts; unfortunately I did not get a screencap of Mary Robinette Kowal graciously accepting Fodera’s apology. If someone else has one, I would be happy to update this post with it.

Fodera Apology

Fodera on women in SF

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  1. Chris Meadows

    Not a screen cap, but copying and pasting from my NNTP newsreader on the group. (Note that the web is not the only, or even the best, way to read SFFnet forums. Just point an NNTP newsreader at the site as per the instructions and read it like Usenet.)

    From: mary [ at] (Mary Robinette Kowal)
    Subject: Re: Mary Robinette Kowal, Macmillan and Daily Dot
    Date: 21 Feb 2014 01:45:12 GMT

    Dear Sean,

    Thank you. That is a deeply handsome apology. I accept without reservation.

    In addition, I want to offer an apology of my own. You were one of the most
    volunteers SFWA has ever had. I have regretted that you felt pushed out,
    any actions that I did to make you feel compelled to leave.

    I am not in office and have not been for two years. The new administration is,
    I think, doing a much better job of communication. I very sincerely hope you
    will consider rejoining.


    • Natalie Luhrs

      @Chris: Thanks! I’ve never been much for newsgroups, even during their heyday, so I don’t have an newsreader on any of my machines. I suspect that if my university had subscribed to better newsgroups, I would have ended up there instead of where I did (Citadel BBSes).

  2. Bugsie

    I’m not a published fiction writer or American, but I’ve been following this with some interest. I’m glad Sean took the time to speak to his daughter, realising that maybe, his comments could hit close to home and actually dissuade his daughter from doing what she loves. I wish people would think before they type, so many things get said on the internet that if you thought about actually saying them out loud you’d realise how insensitive, hurtful and and just plain dumb they come across to others. Mary was extremely gracious in her acceptance of Sean’s apology.

  3. Stephanie Zvan

    Bugsie, my reading of the interaction with his daughter was the opposite of yours–that she wanted to get rid of her female F&SF authors in sympathy with her dad, leading him to some hard introspection. Either way, though, both statements were well done and not easy things.

  4. Ann Somerville

    @Stephanie Zvan:

    “both statements were well done”

    I can’t agree at all. The first missed the point of what he did that was so obnoxious, the second was a mess which added up to “I have female friends and my daughter thinks my critics are all poopyheads”. Plus he doubles down on the defamation claim, and wants us to believe that he really could, truly, sue and win on this, only he has graciously decided not to.

    It’s a better apology than some, but is still clearly delusional and made at the insistence of his employer. I get no sense that he thought better of his idiocy and decided to make amends.

    I’m also pissed off that he made the apology in public, when he could have dealt with it in private emails, and simply made a statement to the effect that he had written to MKR privately. He’s grandstanding, and his ‘gratitude’ for Mary’s acceptance post, is just more of it.

    The only person who comes out well from the whole business is Mary Robinette Kowal, and the only reason she got dragged into the mess is because Fodera has a bizarre, semi-sexual obsession with her and holds pointless grudges worse than Mark Chapman. I guess Mary should be grateful he’s not actually Chapman.

    If you think I’m being hard on Fodera, you should see what I’ve restrained myself from writing on this subject.


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