December 3rd, 2007


I Still Believe...(the Foamy Foamy Song)

As always, there's a SFWA kerfuffle, or rather the constant low simmer has boiled over on the burner of Copyright once more. However, it's less about copyright -- I don't think there's a single SFWA member who would argue that authors should not have the right to determine how and when their work appears, including whether or not they want to use a Creative Commons License -- than about how SFWA positions itself. "Positions" is odious market-speak, and yet it's appropriate here, because we need an organization that helps us figure out our rights and helps us as needed, and which doesn't in the meantime gain a horrible, heavy-handed, vigilante rep that leads us to comparisons with the RIAA or threats of boycotts.

I'm not going to go into that -- it's being discussed elsewhere at greater length (look at the SFWA, Scalzi, and Doctorow blogs for a sampling), but I wanted to reaffirm that:
  • I do think SFWA is currently useful to F&SF writers and has the potential to be even more so. Benefits for me have included: a chance to rub elbows online with some of my heroes; market and industry information; the SFWA Pressbook (which I have made frequent use of, and appreciate); being able to nominate a deserving piece for a Nebula; a number of online and print resources; and a way to put work up online. I have not used all the SFWA resources -- the speakers bureau, for example, is something I keep meaning to get around to looking at and which seems useful to me. I joined SFWA as soon as I could, and it's something I suggest other neo-pros do as well -- at the least, it pushes you to make some pro sales in order to qualify.
  • I don't think we've got an adequate substitute for SFWA and effort put into revamping the current structure has the potential to pay off better than effort put into creating something new from scratch. And I think f&sf writers NEED a professional organization.
  • I do think Michael Capobianco does a great job and has on more than one occasion acted swiftly and fairly in a way that affirmed the quality of his leadership.
  • I waver between "The SFWA boards are an obscure little swamp that only a few people wade around in shouting the same things over and over at each other" and "The SFWA boards are a toxic wasteland that create some of the problem" although every day I seem to edge a couple of steps towards the latter. I do think that the moderation policy there needs to be re-thought. I have administered several online communities over the past couple of decades and have found that moderators willing to face the occasional accusation of being jackbooted thugs with good grace and a shrug tend to make for communities that function as assets rather than liabilities.
  • Current Music
    The Dandy Warhols - You Were the Last High
  • Tags

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Does the fact that I've knocked off 1200 words on the novel today have anything to do with asking Wayne to take the Civ 4: Beyond the Blade disk into work with him?


I am pretty sure that the complex across the stream will get flooded out before we do on this side, but the stream is high enough that such speculations are crossing my mind. Yay for second floor dwelling!
  • Current Music
    Rolling Stones - Street Fighting Man