Buy From TOR Day

Why does the world’s largest publisher of science fiction and fantasy need your help?

TOR big

Well I don’t think they do, actually.  I think they’re doing just fine – and I think they’ll be doing just fine despite the Puppy-inspired almost-might-be-happening-maybe boycott.

Our friends over in Puppyland, county of Rabid (mostly) have taken great exception to one Irene Gallo’s supposedly libelous statement and are using it to try to make TOR cave to their demands that they fire her and several other puppy-kickers – Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden and Moshe Feder who also work at TOR – for the crime of not living in Puppy Bubble Land.  (Excuse me,.  That’s Happy Puppy Bubble Land.)

[Skip the following if more explanatory explanations are not required.

Irene Gallo – highly respected and extremely effective Creative Director at TOR – was asked about a month ago on her personal Facebook page to explain who the Sad and Rabid Puppies were.  She replied with the following:

“There are two extreme right-wing to neo-nazi groups, called the Sad Puppies and the Rabid Puppies respectively, that are calling for the end of social justice in science fiction and fantasy. They are unrepentantly racist, sexist and homophobic. A noisy few but they’ve been able to gather some Gamergate folks around them and elect a slate of bad-to-reprehensible works on this year’s Hugo ballot.”

First thing: Please note that word “respectively” in that first sentence. Use of that word means that “extreme right wing” applies to Sad Puppies and “neo-nazi” applies to Rabid Puppies. I bother to explain this because from my POV, just about all Puppies have chosen to focus on having been called neo-nazi, even to the point of eliding the word “respectively” when they quote. They then move directly to “libel”, despite the fact that an accusation of being neo-nazi like is a defensible claim at least in regards to some Rabid Puppies.

Further, the Puppies commenting (and trying to foist this boycott) are focused on the phrase neo-nazi‘s most direct and (probably) least commonly used definition, that of being a member of a political organization that is in sympathy with Adolf Hitler and fascism. These days, using that phrase usually equates with “people whose right wing views I detest and who probably have no other redeeming qualities”. But even if we accept a more generalized definition, such as:

Neo Nazi’s are people who hold the beliefs and values of Nazi’s in Germany during the Third Reich/Nazi Germany back in 1933-1945.” Urban Dictionary

Then we only need look at the following to entirely defuse any possibility of libel:

Indeed, one of the most striking things about Mein Kampf is that it is not, as one would tend to imagine, a wild-eyed, frothing-at-the-mouth sort of text. Perhaps the most disturbing thing about it is how reasonable Hitler often sounds throughout.” Vox Day

But of course legal reality doesn’t trump the emotional benefit of implied lawsuits. Reality itself doesn’t either, but that kind of goes along with this whole thing.

So anyways, the rest of it goes like this:  People who claim genius or near genius mental capabilities (Member of MENSA!) are apparently incapable of distinguishing a personal Facebook page titled Irene Gallo from corporate pages titled Tor Books (Company), Tor.com Science Fiction (Publisher) and Tor.com (Entertainment Website). True, Irene identifiers her employer on her Facebook page (as most people identify their employers on their pages), but in these days of social networking, it has, for most, become entirely unnecessary to disclaim their employers, their former employers, the schools they attended, the families they belong to, the people they are married to, the organizations to which they belong or the restaurant they last ate at when speaking for themselves.  On their personal Facebook pages.

Gallo’s statement was held (admittedly so) to be used as “ammunition” and was released at a most opportune time to cause chaos and consternation – the Nebula Awards weekend.  (Aren’t they special…they maybe ruined one whole weekend of Irene’s life.)

A huge ruckus was raised online, prompting Tom Doherty (much respected) TOR founder to issue a formal statement that chastised Ms. Gallo and characterized the debate in such a way that Puppies have been able to construe it as being in support of their cause.  This led to further outrage directed at Mr. Doherty’s statement, the most prevalent comment being that Doherty had thrown Gallo under the bus in an attempt to appease the Puppies.

Which turned out to be exactly the kind of leverage that the Puppies were looking for.  Big surprise. (I’d give odds that the calls for firing Gallo et al and the calls for boycott were planned and written before Doherty’s statement was issued.)  They called for TOR to fire Gallo, the Nielsen Haydens and Feder and, when that call went unanswered, they called for a boycott of TOR books, expressed as a show TOR how many of their books you have and won’t be buying in future image campaign, accompanied by an email campaign.  (Which then morphed into an amusing side-battle over how many of the emails TOR received were issued by robots.)  Ironically, this means that the Puppies are advocating against sales of some of their own members.  (You just can’t make stuff like this up.)

As an exercise in curiosity, I went to my own shelves, crammed to bursting with over 6,000 volumes, to see how TOR fared.  Every single shelf had multiple titles from TOR on it.  They sat beside titles from ACE, Baen, DAW, Ballentine, Dell, Mayflower, Signet, Sphere, S&S, Berkley, Lancer, Del Rey, ROC, Doubleday, Pyramid, Harper, and lots of others.  I reluctantly came to the conclusion that if I stopped buying books from TOR, I would A: be denying myself some good reads and B: have absolutely no discernible impact on the publishing industry’s bottom line.  (If I did boycott TOR, for whatever reason, I would of course expect them to seek me out, beg forgiveness for whatever they’d done to offend me and offer me free lifetime access to everything they publish in perpetuity, while simultaneously restructuring their corporate make up to my liking  and providing me with refusal rights over all future publishing contracts. It would be the thing to do if they really, really wanted me back as a reader.  Maybe I should change by Facebook page so it says “TOR” under employer and then post some statements the Puppies would perceive as libelous….)

And now, the boycott.  Thus ends the explanatory explanation.]

To counter the boycott, some folks (sorry, can’t find the original post, please advise so I can include you here) over on File770’s daily Puppy News Roundup, suggested that tomorrow ought to be Buy From TOR Books day.

So now you know all about it and you know what to do.  (Which statement should not be construed as orders for all SJWs and fellow travelers to march in lockstep over to Amazon or Barnes & Noble – or even your local fiercely independent independent bookstore – to buy TOR books, but rather as a suggestion by one individual who STANDS WITH IRENE GALLO to other independently minded individuals who will very well do what they think is right and appropriate all on their very own recognizance, thank you very much.)

Me, I’m going to buy Scalzi’s The End of All Things.  Why Scalzi?  Oh, no particular reason….

Oh.  Yeah.  The preceding is my personal opinion and NOT necessarily that of Amazing Stories, nor does it represent an editorial position of the website, despite the fact that it is categorized as “editorial”.  But that’s only because we don’t have a category for “Opinion”, an omission I am unwilling to devote the energy to correcting for something as tragically ridiculous as this whole ridiculous, time-wasting, puerile, socially anachronistic, hurtful, hateful, egotistical, – oh hell,  you all get the idea.

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  • I suspect it would annoy Sad/Rabid/Hangnailed Puppies if one of the purchases was one or both volumes of of Bill Patterson’s Heinlein bio.

  • Given that Theodore Beale has said on a number of occasions that he regards feminists as *worse* than Nazis (for example, see here: http://www.donotlink.com/flu2), then at the very least he regards that sort of insult as par for the course. Which makes his mock-outrage at Irene Gallo’s comment the basest sort of hypocrisy. So, yes, I’ll be buying from Tor today.

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