They tried to cancel those who didn’t conform during the Sad Puppy campaign. You know who I’m talking about. Those self-appointed monitors who believe only the “proper, socially enlightened message” should be published. They attacked the writers who stood up to them, going so far as to try to pressure publishers into dropping writers who didn’t toe the approved party line. When that didn’t work, they changed the rules to take back their beloved Hugo Awards and then changed the name of the awards because Hugo wasn’t “woke” enough despite being dead. Now they’re back, attacking the last bastion in SF/F publishing that believes a good book is better than one that focuses on message before giving readers something they want to pay for. Yes, boys and girls, Cancel Culture has come for Baen Books.
Others have already written about what’s going on and I’m going to point you in their direction–mainly because we’re still having rolling blackouts here and I’ve no idea how long before it hits us. So let’s get started with Larry Corriea, best selling author and a Baen author.
Baen is notable in our current time period because it is one of the only traditional publishers who does not bend the knee to the woke mob. . . Yesterday some nobody, wannabe writer, social justice twit released a hit piece “expose” about how posters on Baen’s Bar were fomenting insurrection or some such nonsense. It was the usual bullshit hit piece (the sad part is, by saying the usual, half the country immediately knows exactly what I’m talking about). . . However, this was clearly part of a coordinated attack in order to materially harm our business, because immediately after the hit piece was released complaints were filed with the various internet companies Baen uses for services to pressure them into kicking us off the internet. This hit piece was presented as “evidence”.
I’ll add here that the so-called evidence consisted of “quotes” taken out of context and often not given in full. But when did that ever stop anyone who wants to silence another? We learned the hard way that those like the author (and I use that term loosely) of the hit piece don’t want to do anything but silence dissenting voices. . . or those who make more money and are more successful than they are.
Larry has much more to say. I urge you to read his post, especially the additional comments from David Weber, author of the Honor Harrington series, Larry added. Weber is one of the nicest men in the business. He isn’t in your face like Larry and some others can be. So when you have him not only angry but cursing, you need to pay attention. When he calls the story causing the trouble “his [the author’s] self-righteous, biased, and intellectually dishonest hit piece”, you would be well-advised to take note.
This attack on Baen is not only an attack on the company for failing to fall into line with the Woke crowd, it is an attack on every writer and every reader who refuse to bend a knee to those online bullies.
My fellow blogger over at Mad Genius Club, Sarah A. Hoyt, also wrote about what is going on.
This is a coordinated attack. Which, btw, makes it mathematically inevitable that yes, they’ll come for me and you too. Because the left — idiot children that they are — think that cutting off a man’s tongue shows his opinions to be invalid. . . Because cancelling is not only wrong. It’s unmaking civilization. And only the idiot sheep fo the left wouldn’t see that.
Cedar Sanderson, another MGC fellow blogger, had this to say:
The Baen Barflies . . . are, a band of bibliophiles, geeks, and nutty people who don’t exactly follow a party line. Any party line, be that political, or… well, there have been debates break out on the Bar over cooking techniques that would rival some scientific conversations. . . And I know that the recent brouhaha is based on falsehoods. It is an openly transparent scheme to win an award, and to make money off scurrilous lies. But because it was a coordinated attack, it laid the Baen’s Bar low. . . I loathe the Cancel Culture and all it stands for. I know what it is, and why it is, and I will oppose it in any way that I can. The freedom of speech – the freedoms we have been guaranteed by our Constitution here in the United States – shall not be abridged. There is a very narrow zone of exclusion, the so-called ‘fire in a crowded theater’ incitement to a clear and present threat of violence. That is being used now, in an attempt to introduce a wedge of intolerance to all forms of free speech. I will not have it.
None of us should have it. We should stand, shoulder-to-shoulder, in opposition to these attacks to silence “wrong think”.
Laughing Wolf had this response, one I fully support:
So, what can you or I do? Save the outrage, they deserve only mocking laughter. What we can do is cheerfully go and buy from Baen books. Look at what they have available, and buy as many as you can.
In full disclosure, I have been a fan of Baen Books for decades. I was once very active on Baen’s Bar but haven’t been for years. Not because of the politics–which range from far-right Conservatism to Libertarianism to far-left Democrats and even Socialism/Communism. Let’s not forget that Baen publishes not only Larry Corriea but also Eric Flint, a card carrying member of the people’s workers party. I left because I got tired of tech issues with the forum and because everyone I interacted with, or most everyone, moved on to other social media platforms. I might not always agree with the decisions Baen’s made regarding authors–hell, who does when it comes to any publisher?–but I admire what Jim Baen did with the company and I admire what Toni Weisskopf has done since Jim’s death. This attempt to de-platform not just the Bar but Baen Books as a whole is not only wrong but it is criminal. Those behind it are basically engaging in coordinated attacks to blackmail Baen into bending a knee. It is threatening the livelihoods of Baen employees and authors.
Because Baen won’t bend a knee and because Baen readers continue to be bad readers and support the house and its authors. How dare we break from the party line?
I stand with Baen. I applaud its authors for staying with the house and I pray Toni and the powers that be continue to fight to remain the publishing house it has always been.
Featured Image: Baen Logo from their twitter page.