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"Oh, Lord" From a Fan of Baen Books

As usual it would be easy for me to let other people do the emotional lifting. After all, I am not published by Baen or have a horse in the fight one way or another. There are a number of writers in the Baen family who I enjoy and think are good people. I was privileged to meet two of them and my impression is that they are good people. But that is not true of all the members of the family, with well known and documented behaviors showcasing an alarming degree of paranoia on top of racism, sexism, and general xenophobia. Oh I am not talking about their writing or just their writing, I am talking their views.

As I am not a big name in SF/F and frankly have few real contacts, I do not have a large following that I can stir up or lose. In many ways I am just a guy, but this guy is a fan of Baen books and that has to be addressed.

A few days ago I read this patreon post by Jason Sanford. I do not know Jason, but after reading it I was impressed with the way he laid out his argument and information. Nothing about it smacked of dishonesty and in fact, I have been on forums and social media where the kind of behavior he describes at the Baen Bar is SOP. It describes a growing political toxicity and calls for for political violence from reactionary readers and fans. And it struck a nerve for a lot of people. Plenty of folks were not surprised to learn this though I guess some folks were. I am not shocked at all. And here is just a small taste of the responses so far.

So Toni Weisskopf, Baen's editor and publisher, had a response too. Ill copy paste the response here for context.

It’s been brought to my attention by some helpful folks that speech not everyone agrees with, and that may have become unlawful speech, has occurred on Baen’s Bar. In order to fully investigate those serious allegations, and any violations of the Bar “no hitting” rule, we will be taking a break from the Bar as of noon February 16th, and encourage all our readers to enjoy their lawful conversations elsewhere for the time being.—Toni Weisskopf, Publisher

As someone pointed out, this was meant for the forum itself. But I think it speaks volumes about Toni's lack of leadership in this regard. And before I get too into this aspect, let me just say that I will not put up with any personal attacks on Toni Weisskopf; that kind of despicable bullshit is already going on and I will have none of it. Ms. Weisskopf is a friend of friends of friends and no way is this meant to be a personal attack or even a professional one. But lack of leadership is lack of leadership and this milquetoast response to calls for rape and murder and the violent shutting down of American cities calls into question Ms. Weisskopf's own beliefs on the subject. She does not want to offend her readers, I suppose. But it is high time Baen took a side and offended someone.

No longer can Baen stand in the middle and profit from the culture war. They are going to be forced to side with sanity or the lunatic fringe. And they are going to have to tell some of their long-time popular authors, like Larry Correia, who has an interesting response to all of this, to fuck off. In a nice and legally viable way.

What can you do? Well you can buy Baen books from non-shitheads. There are plenty of Baen authors who are not. Money will talk and if you are serious about change, then speak with your credit cards and let Baen know you will be happy to support them making what will be a difficult choice. You will still support authors who do not support open and armed insurrection against their country. And authors who show a respect for human dignity regardless of race, color, creed, or sex. That is also how capitalism works and I find nothing more delicious than to use capitalism to dismantle fascism, which has co-opted capitalism the way it has co-opted many ideas to reach and radicalize an audience.

And I guess, maybe, I can kiss ever getting accepted for Baen goodbye. Well, that is an emotional burden I am willing to face and to carry. By writing this I might be closing a door on a small dream of mine, but that's too bad. We live in a world now where we have to wear our adult pants and live with the beds we make. I'm willing to do that.


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