For the past week or so, there’s been a storm brewing in comics fandom regarding Star Wars writer Brian Wood being accused of harassment by another comics creator, Tess Fowler. There’s been much written about this (on high-profile outlets like The Beat, The Mary Sue and Doctor Nerdlove; Wood himself has released a statement) but for those who haven’t been following, I found the most helpful roundup to be Beccatoria’s.
The incident Fowler writes of may be fairly low key by harassment – if not ethical – standards, but it’s still extremely skeevy and far, far from uncommon. Bad, drunken passes happen all the time, above and beyond conventions. And that’s the problem.
That kind of behavior is not acceptable. Whether it’s from a noted professional or just a random dude off the long boxes.
Feel free to give Wood the benefit of the doubt. I don’t know Tess Fowler; I’ve never met Wood. I certainly can’t vouch for her story or his response. But I’ve heard stories like this far, far too many times to instantly doubt that she’s telling the truth. (And when it comes to naming – or not naming – harassers, there’s simply no way to win.)
Awareness of harassment and harassers is important to fandom – all fandoms. All conventions. The more people talk about harassment, the more visibility we give it, the less we pretend that these things are isolated incidents, the more people won’t be afraid to speak up when it happens to them. To talk about it. To name names. To report. To, if nothing else, stand up and say THIS IS NOT OKAY.
Inspired by Matthesen, Maria Dahvana Headley shares some of her own tales of being harassed at genre conventions. A former pirate negotiator, she has this chilling statement: “The pirates in the maritime industry were generally a great deal more polite than the creeps in the SFF world. They stuck to terms.”
It’s been a while since we’ve addressed this topic, and sorry to be a downer as we approach the weekend, but this is important stuff for everyone to know.
An original screenplay/novelette that answers the question of how the warlike Klingons of Captain Kirk’s era came to their end and were replaced by the somewhat friendlier Klingons of the new generation; however, this story does not dwell much upon the Klingons, but upon Kirk’s forced retirement at age 65 and his return from it through a war for the galaxy in which he must become the ultimate chess master.
It’s been a while since we checked in on the Harry Potter Lexicon case, but yesterday’s developments plumb a new low – RDR Books requested a copy of Rowling’s notes for her own encyclopedia, claiming:
…David Hammer, lawyer for RDR… says that the notes are requested in order to “test the merits” of J.K. Rowling’s claims that she is going to write an encyclopedia and that part of the reason for suppressing the HPL would be to suppress potential competition. RDR asked for “copies of any prepatory materials that Ms. Rowling has drafted or authorized to be drafted, including notes, outlines, drafts, marketing proposals, etc.”
And I ask again: Are these people for real? Has she not out and out said several times that’s she’s writing one? Rowling and the WB’s response:
JKR/WB object to what it sees as RDR’s “pattern of writing the Court whenever it wishes without first making any effort to meet and confer, let alone giving sufficient advance notice of its intended communication with the Court”…. JKR’s “overwhelmingly sensitive” notes would serve “no legitimate purpose other than to harass Ms. Rowling. Rather, the burden of producing these notes far outweighs any benefit to RDR in obtaining them.”
You can catch up on other recent developments on Fandom Wank, thanks to the seemingly tireless Cleolinda and friends.
One hopes this is only your standard overblown celebrity news ‘reporting,’ but according to Digitalspy.co.uk, Doctor Who star David Tennant has a stalker who has written a science fiction version of Hamlet co-starring herself, harasses his co-stars (he’s currently working on a more standard version of the play,) and claims to have left her husband for the star.
“She insists that both the Doctor and Hamlet are aliens in a hostile universe, who are terrified of being alone. But she will save him by being his Rose or Ophelia.
“Sadly, the only thing she and Ophelia have in common is their madness. And David is afraid, very afraid.”
It’s creepy as hell when fangirls pull this stuff on the internet, but to cross it over to the real world and the real people… Ugh. (via)