Jeannette Ng Was Right: John W. Campbell Was a Fascist
Hi this is the Corey Dr Podcast and I am back home after a couple of weeks in Europe and it is great to be back in my chair and especially great because has I have nowhere to go the takes me out of it out his right. I am no more public. Talks to give until twenty twenty which is terrific for me because it means I got to buckle down and work. I do have a little bit of travel. Frey F. F. but that's only to come up in meet with my colleagues in San Francisco and that's always a pleasure. What news do I have for you before? Got This week's reading. Well the first and I think most important thing is that I turned in the third little brother book with the final edits on time at at the word count that I was hoping for and with the enormous help of Juliet Allman. Who was a great outside editor for me to work with on making some cuts that let me squeeze out thirty thousand words that I had despaired of getting rid of and made the book much leaner and cleaner and ready to go? It's a Christmas twenty twenty title and there'll be lots more to say about that including who is going to be reading the afterwards for this volume and the cover for which is going to be awesome and the reissue of homeland with a very very special introduction and lots of other cool stuff that I will be revealing along with the title in the weeks and months wants to come a reminder as well that my first picture book Posey the Monster slayer comes from first second this Summer July fourteenth twenty twenty and first seconds also so bought another graphic novel for me about which I will have more to tell you soon. I continue to make notes on my next novel. My Truth and reconciliation after the green new deal novel title and now that I'm finished with little brother. I have to write a new locust column and a brief essay for the Christian Science Monitor and then that is my only writing project between now now in the foreseeable if you're in the UK you should know that there's a new paperback edition of my latest book. Radicalized coming out for Christmas very beautiful. They're just a sent me a copy to peruse and I was delighted if you're listening to the shortly after I record it. You'll find a picture of that paperback pinned to the top Papa. My twitter feed. You can get that book at fine bookstores across the UK and makes a lovely stocking filler. Well that's all the format or I have for you and now I'm going to dive straight into my reading. It's my column from the latest issue of Locus magazine. And it's called GINETTE ING was right. John W Campbell was the fascist and apologies in advance for my frog in my throat. I'm getting over a cold. Take Ginette ING was right. John W Campbell was fascist from the November twenty nineteen issue of Locus magazine at the Hugo Award ceremony at this summer's Dublin. World Con- GINETTE ING was presented with the John W Campbell Award for best new writer in gave an outstanding and brave acceptance speech in which he called Campbell. The award's namesake and one of the fields. Most influential editors a fascist and express solidarity eh with Hong Kong pro democracy protesters. I'm a past recipient of the John W Campbell Award for best new writer two thousand as well as a recipient of the John W Campbell Memorial award two thousand nine. I believe on the only person to have won both of the Campbell's which I think gives me a unique license to comment awnings remarks which have been met with mixed reception from the field. I think that she was right and seemingly to make her remarks. There is plenty of evidence that Campbell's views were odious and deplorable. It wasn't just the story. He had heinlein expand into his terrible racist. Authoritarian eugenics inflected yellow peril novels six column nor was a Campbell's decision to lean hard on. Tom Godwin to kill the girl and cold equations in order to turn his story into a parable about the foolishness of women and the role of men and guiding them to accept the cold hard lethal facts of life it is also that Campbell used his op ED space in astounding to cheer the murders of the Kent State for he attributed the watts uprising to black people's Layton desire to return to slavery. These were not artifacts of a less enlightened era by the standards of his day. Campbell was a fond of terrible ideas from his early supportive fringe religion and psychic phenomena to his views. News on women and racialist people so when ing held Campbell responsible for setting a tone of science fiction that still haunts the genre to this day sterile era male white exalting in the ambitions of imperialist and colonizers settlers and industrialists. She was factually correct. Not Not just factually correct. She was also correct to be saying this now. Science fiction like many other institutions is having a reckoning with with its past and its present. We're trying to figure out what to do about the long reach. The terrible ideas of flawed people mostly men had on our fields. We're trying to reconcile the legacies of flawed people whose good deeds and good art live alongside their cruel damaging treatment of women. These men were Rinat aberrations. They were following an example set from the very top and running through the industry and through Phantom to the great detriment of many of the people who came to science fiction for safety and sanctuary and community. It's not a coincidence. That one of the first organized manifestations of white nationalism as a cultural phenomenon within fandom was in the form of hijacking the Hugo nominations process while fandom came together to firmly repudiate its white nationalist wing. These people weren't all entries who showed up to stir up trouble in someone else's community the call to hijack the Hugo awards was coming from from inside the house. These guys have been around forever and we'd let them get away with it in the name of tolerance even as these guys were chasing women. Queer people and racialist actualized people out of the field these same Nazis went onto join Gamer Gate then became prominent voices on red. It's are the Donald which was the vanguard of the white nationalist authoritarian support for the trump campaign the connections between the tales. We tell about ourselves and our past and futures have a real direct outcome. Oh come on the future we arrive at white supremacist folklore including the ECO fascist doctrine. That says that we can only avert climate change by murdering all the Brown people come straight out of. SF folklore where it's completely standard for every disaster to be swiftly followed by an underclass mob descending on their social betters. I to eat and or rape them never mind the actual way that disasters go down when ing picked up the Mike and told the truth about Campbell's legacy see she wasn't downplaying his importance she was acknowledging it Campbell's odious ideas matter because he was important a giant in the field field who left an enduring mark on it. No one questions. That what we want to talk about today is what Campbell's contribution was and what it means. After ing speech John Skulls published a post where he pointed out that many of the people who are angry at ing new Campbell personally or idolize respect the writers that Campbell took under his wing. Many if not most of these people know about his flaws. But even so it's hard to see someone with no allegiance to him either personally personally professionally point them out forcefully and unapologetically they see camera and his legacy abstractly and also as an obstacle to be overcome that deeply deeply uncomfortable skulls. He's right to the people who counted Campbell as a friend are authentically sad to confront the full meaning of his legacy. I feel for them. It's hard to reconcile the mench. Who was there for you? Entreated his dog with kindness and doted on his kids with the guy who alienated and hurt people with his cruel dogma. Here's the thing neither one of those facets of Campbell cancels the other one out just as it's not true that any amount of good deeds done for some people can repair the harms. He visited on others. It's also true that none of those harms cancel out the kindness as he did good for the people he was kind to. Life is not a ledger. Your sins can't be paid off through good deeds. Your good deeds are not cancelled by your sends ends your sins and your good deeds live alongside one another they coexist in superposition. You and I can and should atone for our misdeeds. We can and should apologize for them to the people we've wronged. We should do these things. Not because they they will erase our misdeeds but because the only thing worse than being really wrong is not learning to be better. People are flawed vessels the the circumstances around us our social norms and institutions can be structured to bring out our worst. Nature's or our best we can invite Isaac Asimov to our cons wants to deliver a lecture on the power of Posterior pinching in which he would literally advised men on how to grope the women in attendance or we can create and enforce a code of conduct that would bounce anyone up to and including the con chair and the guest of honor. who try to stunt like that? We collectively through through our norms and institutions create the circumstances that favour socio pathy or generosity sweeping bad conduct under the rug isn't just cruel to the people who were victimized victimized by that conduct. It's also a disservice to the flawed vessels who are struggling with their own contradictions and base urges. Creating an environment where it's normal to do things things that in ten or twenty years will result in your expulsion from your community is no kindness to anyone. There are terrible men out there today. A whose path to being terrible started when they watched Isaac Asimov Grope women without their consent and figured that the chuckling approval of their peers meant that whatever doubts outs they might have had. Were probably misplaced. These men. Don't get a pass because they learn from a bad example set by their community and its leaders but they might have been diverted routed from their path to terribleness. If they'd had better examples they might not of scarred and hurt countless women on their way from the larval stage of shadiness to full-blown Shit Lord and they themselves might have been spared their eventual fate of being disliked and excluded from community. They joined in search of comradeship and mutual actual aid. The Friends of those Shitty dudes might not have to wrestle with their role in enabling the harms those Shitty dudes wrought since her acceptance speech Zhang has been subjected to a triple ration- of abuse and vitriol much of it with sexist and racist overtones but things bravery hasn't just sparked a conversation. It's also made a change in the weeks. After ing speech both Dell magazines sponsors of the Campbell Award and the James Gunn Center at the University of Kansas at Lawrence who awarded the other Campbell award an event called Campbell. Conference have dropped John W Campbell from the names of their awards and events. They did so for the very very best of reasons as a winner of both Campbell awards. I am delighted by these changes. Campbell's impact on our field when lever truly be extinguished. Alas Pass but we don't need to celebrate it back when the misogynist and white supremacist winger started to publicly organized to purge the field of the wrong kind of fan and and the wrong kind of writer they were talking about people like ing. I think that this is ample evidence that she is in. Exactly the right place at the right time. Time saying the right thing all right then. I'll be back next week. You've been listening to the Corey Dr podcast licensed under under creative Commons attribution noncommercial share like us three point. Oh or as Woody Guthrie put it in another context. This song is copyrighted in the US under seal of copyright. I'll be right one. Five four zero eight five for a period of twenty eight years and anyone caused singing without our permission will be a mighty good fern because we don't give a dern publish it right at at singers swing to a Yodel let we wrote up about all we wanted to do. Many thanks John Taylor Williams for mastering. That's right next studio W. R. Y. N. E. C. Case Studio. It Mail Dot Com. John Taylor Williams is a fulltime self employed audio engineer producer composer and sound designer and his free time he makes beer jewelry odd musical musical instruments and furniture. He likes to meditate to read and to cook. Talk to you next week.