So, John Scalzi, whose work I quite like, is throwing his hat in the ring as a write-in candidate for president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. I’m pretty sure only two readers of this site give a fig, but what the hell.
I find this whole thing interesting, not because of the inside baseball aspects of it, but because it’s taken John’s posting to create a spike in blog traffic regarding that hoary old organization whose purpose is…well, damned if I know. SFWA has always seemed like the kind of group one joins just to have the privilege of resigning in a huff over something. Yes, SFWA members vote for the Nebulas. Yes, SFWA does the excellent Writers Beware microsite to warn the unwary about the bastards in the publisher/agency scam axis.
But the fact that SFWA is dealing with the literature of the future, of the yet-to-be, of the wild and out there, and yet hasn’t leaped onto the Intartubes with gusto is funny and sad. Funny just ’cause it’s the kind of thing that provides one’s RDA of irony, and sad because of all the people who should be down with things like social networking, crowd intelligence and Intartoasters, the membership of SFWA should be at the top of the list. I’m really curious how many people have read Jason’s series on marketing for science fiction writers and said, “Really? I didn’t know that. Huh.” I do this crap for a living, but there are bits and pieces of it that any person can and should grasp just because they’re about sharing information, and despite what the people who take pride in their not know how to use a computer say, you are ignorant of this stuff at your career’s peril.
Yes, this is arrogant as hell of me to say. Yes, I don’t have a reputational leg to stand on. Yet I don’t want to see the craft I love go down in flames just because its supposed protectors are too fucking stubborn to learn how to use the internet for promoting themselves, their works, and their publications. I don’t know if we’re going to have an e-reader that’ll make things easier. I don’t know if America’s going to get its mobile phone and connectivity levels up to that of Asia. I don’t care. Just stop bitching, suck it up, and get on the stick. The future is coming, people, and you’d better start paddling right the heck now so you have a chance of catching that wave.
(Executive summary for the unmedicated: don’t let Adam eat a lot of yams before going to bed.)