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Author Topic: a hypothetical issue  (Read 13742 times)

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Offline joneastwood

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a hypothetical issue
« on: February 06, 2008, 05:04:18 AM »
I recently sent a story off to Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show. I didn't know much about the magazine, or OSC himself for that matter. I just found the magazine on a list of high paying markets.
After a little research (wikipedia) I found that OSC has some "views" that rather contradict my own. He seems to be quite the vocal opponent of homosexuals (an opinion which both mystifies and disgusts me) is pro-Bush, pro-"war on terror" and sceptical of global warming.
Not sure how I feel about all that.
Obviously he is entitled to think what he wants, but what if my story is accepted by his magazine? Should I let my feelings towards him interfere with my (hopefully) burgeoning career?


All academic, obviously. I'm expecting that rejection any day now...

Offline delboy

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Re: a hypothetical issue
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2008, 06:40:33 AM »
Spookily, I was just sorting through some old paperwork and found a clipping I'd kept about OSC's magazine. I have nothing to submit there, but thought I might have one day.

Personally, I wouldn't worry about whether his views clash with your own. Once you start taking such thing's into account you'll never find anywhere to submit to - I mean, are there any two people who have the same views on everything as one another?. Admittedly, if OSC is especially vocal and very active in his opinions then you may not want to be associated with him, and if the magazine is used to further promote such views then you may not want to accept any acceptance you may get (a lot of mays!), but if the magazine is independant of his views then I wouldn't worry.

You know, how far can you carry your beliefs? "I'm not submitting anything to the American markets until they close Guantanimo Bay! That'll learn 'em! And I'm not submitting anything by snail mail until the magazine's start to realise that post requires deliveries and deliveries requires trucks and trucks have emissions... They'll soon switch to email when they realise they're not getting my tales any more!" Don't cut off your nose to spite your face, is my advice, at this stage of the game.

Anyway, later on, when you're a famous writer of huge proportions (lay off the pies, my boy!!) and someone digs out the old issue of Medicine Show which features your tale and accuses you of being homophobic or pro-war on terror or keen to heat the world up to a level where everything dies then you can smile, ease back onto the studio couch, and lazily say, "I was young then. I was like an actress having to take her clothes off to makes ends meet whilst she waited for that big break..." Most of all you can revel in the fact that any publicity is good publicity.

Done't worry, Jon, is my advice. Especially don't worry yet, when it's only hypothetical. Hypothetical worry can lead to very unhypothetical stress!

And, anyway, Enders Game, was great. If someone who wrote that accepts one of your stories revel in it, rather than worry over it!

Kind regards,

Derek
"If you want to write, write it. That's the first rule. And send it in, and send it in to someone who can publish it or get it published. Don't send it to me. Don't show it to your spouse, or your significant other, or your parents, or somebody. They're not going to publish it."
 
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Offline Sallyq

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Re: a hypothetical issue
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2008, 06:56:14 AM »
Derek, I can see where you're coming from in that it would be hard to know where to stop if we let our principles take over our marketing strategy as writers, but if Jon's work is on a site where hateful views about homosexuals are expressed on the same or nearby pages, I can understand he might not want to have his work up there with them.

It's a more immediate sort of bigotry, as opposed to a general social problem of not agreeing with the treatment of those in Guatanamo. You can't blame the entire publishing world for (insert government of your choice) foreign policy but you can feel concerned when someone you do business with has personal and very vocal views that go against everything you believe in. It's a bit like submitting a story and then finding the site/publication editor who chooses it thinks the holocaust was a great myth and/or the Jews had it coming anyway. I'd be horrified.


delph_ambi

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Re: a hypothetical issue
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2008, 07:31:22 AM »
If the guy's views are that obnoxious, then I think you need to grit your teeth and say 'no thanks' if he accepts the story. That's what I'd do in a similar situation.

Offline Geoff_N

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Re: a hypothetical issue
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2008, 07:35:13 AM »
Jon, I agree with Sally and Derek.

In 1985 I received a hand-written commendation from Ron Hubbard for coming third in the Writers of the Future Competition, but his charming words to me doesn't make me a Scientologist.

or does it... :scratch:

Offline delboy

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Re: a hypothetical issue
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2008, 07:56:25 AM »
Quote
but if Jon's work is on a site where hateful views about homosexuals are expressed on the same or nearby pages, I can understand he might not want to have his work up there with them.

Sally, I don't disagree with you at all. I wouldn't want any of my work in such a magazine, or on such a site. But if Scott Card's views - none of which I was aware of until I read Jon's post - are vociferated at a distance from the magazine then I still say go for it.

What's the alternative? Research each and every editor / owner to ensure that they've never expressed views contrary to our own?

Of course, having uncovered these details about OSC the question of whether to submit or not might become much more important to some contributors (myself, included, were I to be in that position). But, hand on heart, I can say I've never once examined the personal views of anyone I've ever submitted a story to. I haven't even thought about doing so until now.

Derek
"If you want to write, write it. That's the first rule. And send it in, and send it in to someone who can publish it or get it published. Don't send it to me. Don't show it to your spouse, or your significant other, or your parents, or somebody. They're not going to publish it."
 
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Offline Sallyq

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Re: a hypothetical issue
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2008, 08:06:16 AM »
No, neither have I, Derek. It never occurred to me till Jon mentioned it. Obviously I've never targeted obviously obnoxious markets (as far as I'm aware). I suppose the question Jon needs answered is that now he does know about this Scott bloke's views, whether they're included in the magazine or not, does it affect how he feels about getting his work accepted at the site?

Follow your heart and your conscience, Jon. :afro:

From the point of view of debating ethics I think this is a great discussion! :yes:

Offline delboy

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Re: a hypothetical issue
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2008, 08:30:47 AM »
Quote
From the point of view of debating ethics I think this is a great discussion!

Indeed! Perhaps we should start a database of markets with an ethical weighting alongside the payscale (6c a word up to a max of $500 in this case). Or perhaps we should run an honesty survey:

You have a novella that OSC has accepted for $500 dollars. He has also informed you that (he's been told by someone he showed it too - a homosexual fellow, actually!) it's very likely to win a Hugo, and that a certain Mr Spielberg has just subscribed to the Medicine Show as he's actively looking for a story to base his new space trilogy on. Orson has told you that he believes - very strongly - that your tale will fit Mr Spielberg's requirements...

Do you:

(a) Accept the acceptance
(b) Think about it for a few seconds and then accept the acceptance
(c) Think about all day (and half the evening as you're on the the eight-to-eight shift) at the chicken gutting factory before accepting the acceptance

Only joking!

Derek

"If you want to write, write it. That's the first rule. And send it in, and send it in to someone who can publish it or get it published. Don't send it to me. Don't show it to your spouse, or your significant other, or your parents, or somebody. They're not going to publish it."
 
Robert B. Parker

Offline SamLeeFreak

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Re: a hypothetical issue
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2008, 10:48:48 AM »
Ick, this is a tough one! I think if I already sent it (and the magazine was kept independent of the guy's belief system) then I would let it be. If I knew before hand, I would probably not send in the story.

I agree that there is a BIG difference the official face of a magazine being an intolerant person whose political ideals make me ill vs. a magazine published in country or state who had offended me in some way. Or a magazine where only one out of several editors/pivotal employees was bigot/racist/sexist whatever.

The world is a complicated place sometimes.  :/

Offline Sallyq

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Re: a hypothetical issue
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2008, 11:29:50 AM »
I think Spielberg's name involved would have me caving in at number 1, Derek ;)  But isn't he Jewish? So would our friend OSC even talk to him? (or more importantly would Spielberg want to talk to OSC?!)

My late mother used to work in a chicken factory and it ain't all it's cracked up to be. If she was alive, she'd tell me to swallow my pride and take the Spielberg deal.

Offline joneastwood

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Re: a hypothetical issue
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2008, 01:00:57 PM »
I seem to remember reading that OSC is a staunch supporter of the state of Israel (er...the nation state that is, not its current situation), so he probably wouldn't mind old Stevie S.

This IS a toughie, eh? Good discussion here though. From what I can make out, the magazine is simply about fiction. Admittedly I haven't done any more than flick through the website - and its not as if they'll have a big banner up saying "WE HATE GAYS" - but I can't imagine that being published in the magazine would forever link my name to homophobia.

I'm still struggling with this - and I honestly don't know what I would do if I got an acceptance. I would obviously want the attention, not to mention the money, but some of the things he has written...grrrrr is all I can say. Have a look at this:

http://atheism.about.com/b/2004/01/03/orson-scott-card-criminalize-homosexual-behavior.htm

Offline Ed

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Re: a hypothetical issue
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2008, 01:28:36 PM »
I don't know much about the guy, but after reading through the Wiki article about him, he doesn't sound like his views are particularly extreme. He doesn't fit in with a left or a right wing stance. This is what the Wiki says:

Quote
Card is also known for his strong support for the State of Israel.

Political identification:

Card identifies himself as a Democrat because he is pro-gun control/anti-National Rifle Association, highly critical of free-market capitalism, and because he believes that the Republican party in the South continues to tolerate racism.


So he's
  • for gun control
  • critical of free market capitalism
  • anti racist

Personally, I think that makes him anything but extreme in his views. As for his views on homosexuality, the Wiki says:

Quote
He views individual homosexuals as "human beings with as complex a combination of good and evil in them as I find within myself". Speaking of tolerance, he says "That we must treat sinners kindly is true; that we must courageously and firmly reject sin is also true." Thus he condemns the behaviour but equally condemns violence against those practising it: "I think there is no room in America for violence directed against any group (or any individual) for any reason short of immediate defense against physical attack -- which doesn't often come up with homosexuals."[18]

Some describe these views as homophobic, while others say Card is too tolerant of homosexuals. Card himself claims he is "walking a middle way, which condemns the sin but loves the sinner"[18].

The bolded sections signal him as a moderate in my mind.

Given that he's a Mormon and was born and raised within that doctrine, his views (those that I've read about) seems quite reserved. If the guy was preaching hatred then I would roundly condemn him, but he patently isn't - he just espouses views commensurate with his faith and, also in line with his faith, views homosexuality as a sin. That's a fair bit different to bigotry, I think.

I don't share his views, BTW, but I do think we should tolerate other people holding views that differ from our own, and OSC is no Walt Disney, that's for sure :afro:
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Offline joneastwood

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Re: a hypothetical issue
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2008, 01:46:24 PM »
Perhaps I am making an unnecessarily big deal about this. Your reasoning is impeccable Ed and perhaps the best thing to do is say, well - he can think what he likes as long as he pays me. We're all freelance after all.

I suppose he is just reflecting his Mormon upbringing, but something about it really grinds my gears.

But then, as Derek wisely says - don't cut off your nose to spite your face. To be fair,  I've only actually ever written three stories, so perhaps it is a little too soon to start getting twitchy about this sort of thing.


Oh Geoff, I notice that OSC was also a judge in the Writer's of the Future thing, so if that message from Hubbard makes you a Scientologist...   
 ;)

Offline sylvrilyn

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Re: a hypothetical issue
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2008, 02:56:44 PM »
I hadn't heard any of this about OSC till I came in here.  However, I've been submitting to Writers of the Future, even though I knew L Ron Hubbard was...of a completely different worldview from mine.  If I were to win, it would be great exposure, and I think what binds together everyone who enters and judges the contest is a love of the sf and fantasy itself, whatever our other differences are.  I'm not sure what I'm trying to say about the OSC thing...  I would probably submit stuff to him and feel guilty about it, but then I've never been much of an activist, in spite of being queer myself.

Offline Geoff_N

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Re: a hypothetical issue
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2008, 04:11:12 PM »
OSC has written many wise words on how to write sf and I have some of his books. I once had a silly little story published in a church magazine even though I was, and am, an atheist. On the other hand I was expelled from the Boy Scouts when I was a patrol leader at 14 years of age. I was called a heathen by the scout master in front of over 60 other scouts. Naturally, I pointed out that heathens are idolaters whereas I only worshipped my mum. I handed in my woggle.

I'd be pleased if I had a story in OSC's Intergalactic Med Show.

Geoff

Offline SamLeeFreak

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Re: a hypothetical issue
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2008, 04:41:35 PM »
I hadn't heard any of this about OSC till I came in here.  However, I've been submitting to Writers of the Future, even though I knew L Ron Hubbard was...of a completely different worldview from mine.  If I were to win, it would be great exposure, and I think what binds together everyone who enters and judges the contest is a love of the sf and fantasy itself, whatever our other differences are.  I'm not sure what I'm trying to say about the OSC thing...  I would probably submit stuff to him and feel guilty about it, but then I've never been much of an activist, in spite of being queer myself.

Have you ever submitted to Dark Scribe? Their latest anthology looks great, I nearly went crazy perfecting my submission for it! I was surprised at how stressful it was to write on a theme I felt so strongly about.

Offline sylvrilyn

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Re: a hypothetical issue
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2008, 06:45:17 PM »
Looks intriguing.  I'll have to see if I can come up with something.

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