Looking forward- Plans for the SFWA Bulletin

The whole sexism thing with the Bulletin blew up literally hours after I paid for a subscription to the SFWA magazine. Call it dumb, bad luck I guess, because they’re now going, “on hiatus for a period not to exceed six months.”  I’m glad these issues are being addressed however, and I agree with the folks who had a problem with the tone and content of the magazine of late. Anyways, here’s the full release or you can also read it on their site:

 

On the advice of the task force, and with the approval of the board, the president has authorized the following plan: 

STEP ONE:

As we refresh the magazine and search for a new editor, the Bulletin will be put on hiatus for a period not to exceed six months.

During the hiatus, SFWA will honor its contracts with all authors and other professionals whose work has already been accepted for publication.

STEP TWO:

SFWA will conduct a membership survey and consult advisors about the Bulletin and its future direction. Many aspects of the Bulletin will be discussed, including but not limited to: its format, its aesthetic, its content, its budget, and its inclusivity.

Once these tasks have been accomplished, we will assemble a clear outline of duties and responsibilities for the Managing Editor and open the position to interested individuals.

STEP THREE:

After the interview and hiring processes are complete, the new editor will relaunch the publication, aligning to the redefined goals and mission of the magazine.

For a period of time after relaunch, appropriate SFWA personnel will work with the editor to help ensure that the magazine meets expectations as defined in this ongoing process.

*

Separately, the task force would also like to announce that they are being joined by Tansy Rayner Roberts, incoming Overseas Regional Director.

Jean Rabe, Editor of SFWA Bulletin Resigns

Editor for the SFWA Bulletin, Jean Rabe has tendered her resignation after the recent controversy erupted concerning concerns over repeated sexist articles that appeared over several issues of the organization’s internal communications magazine.

Effective immediately, Jean Rabe, the editor of the SFWA Bulletin, has tendered her resignation and I have accepted it.

Ms. Rabe came to the magazine as the business manager during President Russell Davis’ administration and immediately became an essential part of the publication; creating deadline schedules and moving the publication to a new printer to improve the look and feel of the magazine. Under my service as President of SFWA, she was promoted to editor.

During that time, she has kept the magazine running smoothly and efficiently with excellent communication to all involved parties. She was responsive to criticism and suggestion and always willing to try new things to improve the magazine. Her commitment to the organization and to the editors and writers with whom she worked is proof of both her professionalism and her drive to make the SFWA Bulletin the best that she could make it.

I thank Jean for her service to the organization and her commitment to the SFWA Bulletin, and wish her every success in her future endeavors.

John Scalzi
President,
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America

Morning Cuppa – 06/03/13 – WTF: Turkey! SFWA! GoT!

It was a weekend of wtf’s of varying shapes and sizes. The most troubling of course was the news out of Turkey, which I round up a bit for you below. Then there was the kerfuffle within the ranks of the SFWA and finally, last night’s episode of GoT (no spoilers, promise).

  • What started as a peaceful protest to prevent the razing of a public park has turned into a fight for the soul of a country. Neil Gaiman’s tumblr has some harrowing photos of what’s happening in Turkey right now. Note: there have been no confirmed deaths at this point, in spite of what those photos say.
    Washington Post roundup of events here, from Friday.
    There are a number of social media angles you can follow, a Facebook page, the #occupygezi hashtag on twitter and this page on tumblr.
  • The latest issue of the SFWA member’s magazine, Bulletin has raised some hackles with a couple of arguably sexist pieces that ran. The first thing that brought it to my attention was E. Catherine Tobler’s blog post where she announced that she was leaving the organization. Not being a subscriber, I found this excellent, well thought out sum-up on Kate Milford’s blog with quotes from the article in question:

    Our Warrior Woman protesters and enemies of the adjective (who unlike Ms. Dworkin will not identify themselves) fall into the category of what Right Wing radio talkers call “liberal fascists,” and I cannot disagree with that description.

    Liberal fascists, huh? Fuck’s sake you guys know how to clear a room. This, of course, is the response to reader complaints about an article by long time SFWA members Barry Malzberg and Mike Resnick by the same.
    Jim C. Hines rounded up responses from sites near and far if you want to get more into the nitty gritty.
    And finally, the SFWA responded quickly with a task force headed up by VP Rachel Swirsky as well as issuing a formal apology from President John Scalzi.

  • Finally, fans of the Game of Thrones television show finally made it to the Red Wedding scene. For those who haven’t read the books, you poor, poor people.
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Morning Cuppa – 05/01/13 – GoodReads! New SFWA site design! Tor piracy!

Happy May Day! This is the original Labor Day as well as the day of many pagan festivals in celebration of spring and fertility. So take the day off work and get your groove on!

  • Are you an author who is not taking advantage of GoodReads? Have you been too intimidated to take the plunge or just feel like you don’t have time? Or maybe you’re feeling grumpy about Amazon buying them… As Joanna Penn writes, you can either take control of your account or risk readers entering your information for you. Which might not be all bad as long as they love your work, right? Fortunately for you, she’s got a guest blog post by Mayor A. Lan that takes a deep dive into the site and teaches you everything you need to know about it.
  • After years of dedicated service, the old website design for the SFWA has been replaced by a new WordPress design. Go check it out, ooh and aah over how pretty it looks now.
  • So how’s that whole DRM-free thing going for you Tor? How precipitously have sales dropped?
    Oh… not at all? Well, okay, I’ll just continue about my work then.

Morning Cuppa – 03/12/13 – Game of Thrones! Terry Brooks! Elizabeth Bear!

Twice in a week! Okay, my apologies once again for my absence to those of you who check in daily here. I had some family in town for the weekend and I should have anticipated that I wouldn’t be writing much at all while they were here. This should hopefully be the end of interruptions, at least for the foreseeable future. On to the links then…

  • There’s an advanced review of Elizabeth Bear’s forthcoming book, Shattered Pillars, her second from the Eternal Sky series which is set in a fictionalized version of the 12th-13th century Asian Steppes. 
  • Terry Brooks, author of the Shannara series, among others, did an AMA yesterday on Reddit. The conversation is now closed but you can still read through it. Some interesting tidbits about the annotated Shannara that recently came out.
  • In just 9 days, season 3 of Game of Thrones will begin! The Mary Sue has a quick 14 minute roundup from HBO that has the actors and executive producer recounting what happens in season 2. Watch it and prepare to loose the dragons!
  • And, if you’re still following the SFWA/Random House tiff that’s going on, John Scalzi rounds up his own posts on the matter for you here.