Linkspam, 12/6/13 Edition

Written by Natalie Luhrs

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

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December 6, 2013

Fandom, you are the gift that keeps on giving. Truly.

In summary, I think this tweet from Genevieve Valentine basically sums up this week in the SF/F community:

Onwards to other links (I am terribly distracted by the Sound of Music abomination, though)!

On a much more serious note, Nelson Mandela died yesterday. Anything I could say would be trite, so I’ll let his legacy speak for itself. And I’ll close with this amazing image from next week’s issue of The New Yorker.

Madiba, by Kadir Nelson

Madiba, by Kadir Nelson

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  1. John O'Neill

    Hi Natalie,

    Thanks for the link to the Black Gate article on James Frenkel. I’m the one who wrote it, so you can blame me, not the whole site. 🙂

    And I think you’re right that my article didn’t directly reference the accusations against Frenkel, and that this minimizes his crimes. Sorry about that. I had a different intent in mind when I wrote it.

    I wrote a report on the accusations against Frenkel for Black Gate back in July (it’s linked in the first line of the Bluejay article). One of the biggest critiques I got at the time was that I completely ignored all of his accomplishments, and just focused on the accusations. I thought there was some validity to that, especially since I had been a big fan of Bluejay. So I wrote this article to address that complaint, and deliberately focus on James’ work at a publisher I admired years ago. I limited the reference to the accusations to the link to the previous article.

    Taken all on its own, you’re right that my Bluejay article is very flawed. I think my first article may have been flawed in the opposite way. I’m hoping that, taken together, the two make a more balanced and complete picture.

    Thanks for letting me comment,

  2. Polenth

    You didn’t create a balanced picture, because it’s not a balanced situation. He got away with harassment precisely because there was a strong focus on his achievements. The pain of his victims was unimportant compared to his work. The achievements of his victims, or the opportunities removed due to the harassment which hindered their achievements, didn’t matter as much as him. It was all about him and what a good editor he was, so everything else was brushed under the rug. This went on for years.

    People complained about you not focusing on the nice things he did, because they wanted you to do exactly what you did. They want to go back to holding up his work, so that the harassment can be ignored and the victims blamed.

    The same people won’t be saying, “But think of what the victims achieved.” They’ll be looking for dirt on them, so they can be painted as people who deserved to be harassed.

    Balance doesn’t mean writing the same number of words about every issue. It can mean giving more words to the issue that’s previously had none.

  3. John O'Neill


    I think that’s an astute analysis, especially for a situation where the power disparity is as acute as it was here.

    I hope you’re wrong in ascribing such sinister motivations to my readers, though. I try not to think that way. After an ugly incident like this, I think my readers just want to get back to what Black Gate is all about — celebrating books. We’re not trying to silence anybody. Just do what we do best.


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