Discuss: Statements and Issues

We welcome your comments about any of the statements made or issues addressed on Transcriptase.

12 comments so far »

  1. Julia Sullivan said,

    Wrote on July 31, 2008 @ 4:30 pm

    Thanks so much for this site, and for the personal statements many of you have chosen to share.

  2. MontiLee said,

    Wrote on July 31, 2008 @ 5:05 pm

    I applaud each and every one of you and look forward to reading and enjoying this site.

    It taks courage to stand up for something you believe in and against something that could potentially hurt your career. I have to wonder about people that defend him over the re-printing letter and miss the point about what he said *in* the letter. Way to go through life with blinders, folks.

    It hurts to see the silence surrounding this issue, how some people are still willing to turn a blind eye to something potentially damaging to the entire community. Having a bigot as a friend is one thing, everyone has someone in their inner circle who makes statements they may not agree with. Having that friend make statements (that end up becoming public, regardless of how), act like a spoiled child by throwing tantrums and exacting demand while you stand by, shake your head, and say, that’s just our Bill” shouldn’t be condoned. If that’s not the friend you know, then maybe you don’t know your friend.

    I’ll be linking this and letting people know. Good luck!

  3. Lyn C. A. Gardner said,

    Wrote on August 1, 2008 @ 3:26 pm

    Congratulations on a beautiful site and a heroic, united effort. It’s great to see how you all worked together in such a short time to complete this project, not to mention the thoughtful composition of the general statement and the individual authors’ comments. While I cannot join you at this time (perhaps once I’m in the archive, though I wish to cast no aspersions on Bud Webster, who is an excellent poetry editor and had nothing to do with the incidents in question), I applaud you for this concerted and thought-provoking statement.

    Best wishes,
    Lyn C. A. Gardner

  4. wealhtheow said,

    Wrote on August 1, 2008 @ 9:04 pm

    I am so pleased to see something constructive and positive come out of the debacle at Helix. I’m so glad I can read great sf/f by authors I respect without ever again having to visit Helix. I’m so proud to be part of a community with people like y’all in it.

  5. Anthony Sullivan said,

    Wrote on August 2, 2008 @ 1:41 am

    I just heard about this site and the ordeal that spawned it. I’m appalled at the actions of Mr. Sanders and I’m disgusted, but not surprised, that in this sort of thing is still happening.

    Everything I’ve read on the site so far has been fairly represented and doesn’t stoop to the level of Mr. Sanders which I applaud. It’s hard not to respond in kind to this sort of hatefulness.

    Keep up the good work and I look forward to enjoying the many stories that are available here.

  6. transcriptase said,

    Wrote on August 2, 2008 @ 3:55 pm

    Regarding what MontiLee said: “I have to wonder about people that defend him over the re-printing letter and miss the point about what he said *in* the letter.”

    It’s uncomfortable to realize that a friend has said or done something less than laudable; it’s easier to find a way to rationalize that than to confront it directly. Perhaps the person has positive qualities that others don’t see. That doesn’t excuse their behavior, but can explain why other people stick up for them.

    This is one reason why divisive issues *are* divisive: they cut through relationship lines, making us uncomfortable with ourselves and each other. Each of us must decide where to draw the line, what we will and won’t tolerate. Some people are more alarmed by the occasionally moblike ferocity of the blogosphere; I know I thought twice before getting involved in this, and made sure to read Sanders’ original words rather than just other people’s commentary.

    In the end, I think the teamwork and tolerance involved in creating this project outweighs the divisive context from which it arose.

    Elizabeth Barrette

  7. Nenya said,

    Wrote on August 6, 2008 @ 6:57 am

    This is wonderful. I was proud of the authors who took down their work from Helix or protested in other ways. It is even more awesome to see a group banding together: it means more when it’s a bunch of people standing together, not just individuals. And hurrah! Now I can read all these stories without feeling guilty about patronizing a racist outlet. I’ll be sharing this link.

    PS: Very nifty archive name! 🙂

  8. Liz Holliday said,

    Wrote on August 17, 2008 @ 11:58 pm

    I’m a bit late coming to this but I just wanted to say congratulations on doing such a great job with this website and on making a principled stand. Please don’t listen to scare tactics that say you are damaging your careers. You are not!

    I thought you might be interested in the two posts I made on my newsgroup at http://www.sff.net.

    http://tinyurl.com/624rsj (discussing the letter)


    http://tinyurl.com/6edmr4 (discussing William Sanders response)


  9. Vylar Kaftan said,

    Wrote on August 18, 2008 @ 2:48 am

    Thanks for the links. And thanks, everyone, for all your comments and support. We’re glad that people are enjoying the site. Please comment on any stories or poems that you enjoy!

  10. Liz Holliday said,

    Wrote on August 18, 2008 @ 8:52 am

    I actually left out a major link – I also posted this:


    (People might be interested to know that both William Sanders and a few of his supporters have responded to these posts in much more temperate terms than usual, meaning that if you do want to find out if there’s any sensible reasoning behind what went on, this isn’t a bad place to do it.)


  11. Ahmed A, Khan said,

    Wrote on September 2, 2008 @ 1:51 am

    Congrats on taking this brave step against racism.

    As Greg Van Eekhout commented on Tobias Buckell’s blog, this issue has clarified for me what writers to follow and what to ignore.

    I think the Helix writers who did not protest against William Sanders’ racist comments and subsequent unprofessional behavior fall under 3 categories: Those who put personal gain and/or friendship above principles, those who are as racist as Sanders, and those who are cowards. I am disappointed to see that there are some quite big names that seem to fall in one of these categories.

    I am linking to transcriptase on my blog at http://ahmedakhan.livejournal.com.

    Congrats again, on your stand.

  12. Anon said,

    Wrote on February 14, 2010 @ 7:10 pm

    There is another reason people might not want their work taken down besides cowardice/racism/self-interest. One might agree that Sanders is an a–hole and almost certainly a bigot, and still not want their work taken down. Not because they agree with Sanders about anything, but because they feel almost as uncomfortable being associated with the high drama reaction of the blogs as they do about Sanders.

    And then there is the feeling that free speech, however noxious, must be preserved. There is a difference between submitting any further work or putting any money towards Sanders and taking one’s work down. Some may follow this middle road because both extremes are frustrating and uncomfortable.

    The anonymous nature of this post is an example of how uncomfortable one can feel with the overreactionary nature of other persons they fundamentally agree with.

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