August 20th, 2012
I don’t have time to express adequately the extent to which the decisions of the current editorial staff of Weird Tales dismay and disgust me – I have no doubt others will express it more eloquently than my flailing. But if you haven’t heard of Victoria Foyt’s bizarrely racist-while-pretending-not-to-be YA Save the Pearls, here’s a thorough analysis of how problematic the books is (and I know the blogger Requires Only That You Hate can be hateful and insulting and probably unfair and all that but that post is a pretty good reason for her-as-blogging-entity to exist). Plus statements from the author here and here, which are kind of jaw-dropping in what they say without saying (I point especially to the reference to “the African-American community of readers, if such a category still exists”).
And now Marvin Kaye has decided, in defense of the author, to publish the first chapter in Weird Tales to teach us all that a book in which blacks are called Coals and every other race is a gemstone, and a white scientist has to save everybody, and where the white protagonist can’t stand being touched by a black person, and with the trope of the sexually threatening black male couldn’t possibly be racist.
This is taking all the work the previous editorial team did and flushing it down the toilet. And for something that’s not even a Weird Tales-type story in any incarnation.
Gah and Bah.
Weird Tales was my first "pro" publication - a poem. This was ages ago; I was a baby, but I remember vividly how that felt; the feeling, however fleeting, that I had actually done something worth publishing. Under the Segal/VanderMeer incarnation, I'd published another (one was bought, but seems to have been lost in editorial morass; I've since sold it elsewhere). Now I wish the name wasn't even in my bio. It doesn't hurt even a fraction of the pain that those who have to put up with racism as a real and present intrusion into their lives, but it's enough.
Nutshell - the Save the Pearls excerpt will not be published.