A Note on Robert Silverberg

Posted: November 29, 2018 in Critical Hit
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

As busy as I’ve been today, my attention has nonetheless been drawn to Robert Silverberg’s recent post on File 770, wherein he seeks to defend himself against charges of racism and sexism stemming from his reaction – made privately, but later reported publicly – to Nora Jemisin’s 2018 Hugo Award acceptance speech. In the spirit of full disclosure, I will say that I’m lucky enough to call Nora a friend, while Silverberg, both as man and author, is a virtual stranger to me. On the night of the Hugo Awards in question, I was briefly introduced to him by a third party as one of the nominees for the Best Fan Writer award, which category he was set to introduce. He looked at me in a way which, both at the time and on reflection, felt as if I was not so much being seen as looked through. I mention this, not to cast further aspersions on the man – Silverberg was not obliged to pay me any special attention, nor did I expect it from him – but to be honest about our limited interaction, which extended not much further than a hello and a brief period of standing in the same circle.

I do know, however, that Silverberg is a beloved figure to many fellow SFF writers, such that his original reaction to Jemisin’s speech and the things he’s written now are distressing on a personal level. Once upon a time, I might have sworn and shouted about Silverberg’s post, but 2018 has been a very long year, and I am tired. Yelling at Silverberg will not make me feel better about the state of the world, and so I will rather attempt to explain, for the sake of anyone who might want such an explanation, why Silverberg’s comments have produced such an upset reaction.

The problem, at base, stems from Silverberg’s misapprehension of four key points. Specifically:

  1. His evident failure to understand the relevance of Jemisin’s experience, and the experiences of those like her, to both the work for which she was being awarded and its context within the SFF world currently;
  2. His apparent belief that a Hugo speech should not be politicised;
  3. His mistaken belief that Jemisin was angry in the first place; and
  4. His confusion as to what, exactly, he’s being accused of.

To quote the File 770 piece:

At San Jose, the Best Novel Hugo went — for the third consecutive year — to a writer who used her acceptance speech to denounce those who had placed obstacles in her path stemming from her race and sex as she built her career, culminating in her brandishing her new Hugo as a weapon aimed at someone who had been particularly egregious in his attacks on her.  Soon after the convention, I commented, in a private chat group, that I felt that her angry acceptance speech had been a graceless one, because I believe that Hugo acceptance speeches should be occasions for gratitude and pleasure, not angry statements that politicize what should be a happy ceremony.  I said nothing about her race, her sex, or the quality of her books.  My comment was aimed entirely at her use of the Hugo stage to launch a statement of anger.

I would not presume to comment on her experience of having had racist and sexist obstacles placed in her career path.  I have no doubt that she did face such challenges, and I’m sure the pain created by them still lingers.  I in no way intended to add to that pain.  However, it seemed to me that this writer, after an unprecedented three-Hugo sweep and considerable career success otherwise, had triumphed over whatever obstacles were placed in her path and need not have used the Hugo platform to protest past mistreatment.

Beginning with my first point: by his own admission in his original comments, Silverberg has not read Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy, for which she won the unprecedented three consecutive Best Novel Hugo Awards. Both individually and as a series, the Broken Earth is about exactly the issues that Jemisin raised in her speech: bigotry, prejudice, institutional cruelty, and how goddamn difficult it is to overcome all these things in pursuit of change. To everyone who has read and understood her books, Jemisin’s speech is in clear conversation with them, and therefore makes perfect thematic sense.

But at another level – that of real-world SFF politics – the points she made were also deeply relevant, not just in a general sense, but to the actual goings-on at that convention. As I’ve previously recounted elsewhere, throughout the weekend of the 2018 Worldcon, right-wing protesters affiliated with the Sad Puppy movement showed up in front of the building with the aim of harassing congoers. Some chanted actual Nazi slogans; others carried pro-Trump signs. Antifa and police showed up in response, and while the original protesters were few and handily dealt with, their physical presence was just one manifestation of an increasingly ugly culture of far-right bigotry in the SFF community: one with which Silverberg himself, as he points out, has now become unwillingly associated, as his private comments were initially posted on website run by one of the more prominent Puppies. This same man is known for casting racist abuse at Jemisin, which event she alluded to in her speech.

Which brings us to the second point: Silverberg’s seeming objection to the political content of the speech. I say seeming, because I’m not entirely sure he means this particular comment in quite the way it reads – or at least, I have difficulty believing that he thought through the full implications. Because, dear God: has there ever been a time when Hugo speeches weren’t political? I’ve been on the SFF scene for nearly a decade – which, granted, is a pittance compared to Silverberg’s tenure – and in that time, I’m pretty sure that every single Hugo Awards ceremony has featured multiple speeches whose contents touch on politics in some way, sometimes because of events surrounding the con itself, as in the Sad Puppy era, or else just due to the political nature of the work that was being awarded. Even if that’s a new development in the history of the Hugos – and I’m inclined to think it isn’t – it’s still an ample precedent for Jemisin’s speech.

The alternative explanation here is that Silverberg is using the word “politicize,” not as a literal criticism of Jemisin’s decision to reference politics, but for daring to say something that could, potentially, split the room in terms of its reception. And I just, like. Not to be all glibly millennial, but it’s a fucking awards ceremony, Robert. By definition, the choice of winner is always a bit politicised, in that individual people have different tastes and different reasons for voting for particular candidates, and the overlapping discussion of pros and cons, merits and failings, has a tendency to get heated, not to say personally felt. Name me a major awards ceremony in which, in any given year, not a single person claims that the argument for Winner X was politicised, or that there were political reasons why Nominee Y missed out, and I will fall over backwards in astonishment.

Either way, this seems like a strange and incongruous complaint to make of Jemisin in particular, as though she were the lone culprit of something unprecedented. It strikes me as being the type of complaint you’d only raise if you were disquieted by her speech and looking to blame that reaction on her, sans personal introspection as to why that might be. What Jemisin accomplished with her win was unarguably historic – and, just as unarguably, took place within a political context where there was demonstrable, immediate overlap between the issues raised in her work, the issues raised in her speech, events at the con where she was being awarded, events within the wider SFF community, and the broader political reality of living in 2018. Which is a large part of why her win, in addition to being historic, was historically meaningful – which is why, in turn, her speech was so overwhelmingly well-received by people other than Silverberg.

Which brings us to the third point: his misapprehension of Jemisin’s anger. Because Jemisin, for all that she spoke with passion, was not angry: she was triumphant. The point of mentioning everything she’d overcome to win and how bad things have been in the world – just as things had been bad in the world of her books – was to speak with hope for the future: to say that, like her characters, we can endure and make things better. She talked about working her ass off to succeed because, over and over again, the accusation flung at minority authors within the SFF community, including Jemisin herself, is that any success we have is due wholly to insincere virtue-signalling on the part of others; that we’re not really talented and deserving, but are rather the creative equivalent of an unloved diversity hire, selected for tokenism and nothing else. Jemisin knew this, as did everyone who cheered during her speech. We recognised it for what it was: a powerful, happy celebration of triumph over adversity.

Triumph, as I should not have to tell a fellow writer, is not synonymous with anger – but when you have been socially conditioned to see an outspoken, passionate black woman as an inherently angry figure, the unconscious leap is an easy one to make. Which is where we come to the fourth point: Silverberg’s failure to understand exactly what he’s being accused of, and on what basis.

In penning his self-defence piece on File 770, Silverberg goes into detail about how he cannot possibly be sexist or racist, because he has black writer friends and has published women. There are many ways to respond to such a trite assertion, the majority of which are profane, but in this particular instance, I’m going to go with this one: Silverberg has confused conscious racism and sexism with unconscious (racist and sexist) bias. Specifically: as he does not actively think of women and people of colour as inferior – and is, indeed, opposed to the logic of those who do – he believes he cannot be rightly accused of committing racist or sexist acts.

Silverberg sincerely believes this to be true – and in another decade, such a statement might well have been viewed as self-evident by those who shared his political leanings. The problem is that we now know, quite conclusively, that this belief is wrong – a fact that has been repeatedly born out by academic research into unconscious bias and related fields of study. Whether we like it or not, we all unconsciously absorb information about the world which influences our actions and reactions, particularly about groups of people to which we don’t belong or with which we have little personal experience. This is why, for instance, dogwhistling in politics is an actual thing: a bigoted speaker need only reference the myth of “welfare queens,” for instance, and even though the majority of welfare recipients in the US are white, many of them seniors, using the system out of genuine need, the image we’re meant to picture is that of a young, unmarried black mother, deliberately bearing children just to sponge more from the state.

One of the most pernicious such myths is that of the angry black woman. This myth has been deeply embedded in the cultural and political narratives of Western nations, and particularly the US, for a long goddamn time; long enough and deeply enough to have wormed its way into the subconscious of even the most well-meaning white people. The salt in the wound of this myth, of course, is that black women, both presently and historically, have suffered a great deal of mistreatment about which to be legitimately angry – but a failure to smile and a slightly raised voice is enough to see anything they say, whether actually spoken in anger or not, dismissed as unreasonable hostility.

This is why Silverberg’s comments about Jemisin’s speech were seen as racist, and why his decision to counter that accusation by saying, in essence, “but I have black friends!” both misses the point and further cements the verity of the original complaint. (As, for that matter, does his decision to double down by using phrases like “brandishing her new Hugo as a weapon,” as though she did anything with a heavy, unwieldy statue other than hold it.) Racism isn’t exclusively defined as such by intent, but by the pattern to which it contributes and the impact it has on the affected party, just as a wound isn’t only a wound if it was delivered on purpose. If a careless hand-talker flings their arm out in conversation and knocks an unsuspecting passerby into a table, that person is still injured, and the correct response is to apologise for hurting them and figure out how to prevent a recurrence – not to claim that, since you didn’t mean to do it, it didn’t really happen.

Now: in saying all this, I have one tiny sliver of sympathy for Silverberg, and that comes from having his comments in a private forum made public without his knowledge or consent. I am sympathetic, not because I think this makes a meaningful difference to their content, but because nobody likes to be on the wrong side of a breech of digital etiquette, and because there’s a difference between speaking an opinion to a close group of friends and declaring it from a public pulpit. Had his original remarks not been made public, and had he instead been called upon to speak publicly before making them, he might well have spoken less candidly and with greater thought to the impact. But the fact remains that he meant what he said, regardless of the circumstances under which he said it – something he has now confirmed by way of his self-defence essay, which rather negates my feeling sorry for him in this instance.

Do I think that Robert Silverberg is, at the core of his being, in his most deliberate acts and comments, racist and sexist? No. But do his intentions make him immune from taking racist and sexist actions, or saying racist and sexist things, out of ignorance or privilege or sheer unconscious parroting? Not in the slightest. Because – and this is the hardest truth for a lot of people to swallow – no-one is completely morally perfect. While it might behove us at times to be generous with forgiveness, and while there’s certainly many valid criticisms of online callout culture to be made – let he who is without problematic behaviours cast the first stone of discourse, etc –  acknowledging our fallibility shouldn’t stop us from trying to do better.

Silverberg is in the doghouse, not because he’s being viewed as a monster, but because he made an ignorant, hurtful comment and elected to double down on it rather than show some humility and learn from those he impacted.

Here endeth the explanation.

  1. flootzavut says:


  2. Well said. I hadn’t heard about this but yes, Silverberg pretty much said everything as wrong as possible.
    I think his best work (I haven’t read a lot of him) is amazing but based on some of your past posts about what you like, it’s more sexist than you’d want to put up with.
    I haven’t read the Broken Earth books but Inheritance Trilogy was stunning.

  3. Paul Weimer says:

    Thanks for this, Foz.

  4. Kat Goodwin says:

    Well you are being nicer than I am about it. Silverberg is the guy who lied to his author friends to get them to sign a petition to SFWA about a non-existent problem that was entirely about him feeling women authors in the organization had been too uppity towards his pals over the sexist Bulletin mess. He was the guy who brought in someone who wasn’t even a member of SFWA anymore to pen the petition, an anti-feminist screed which included a whine about how maybe it was a mistake to give women the right to vote. It had everything to do with gender and was quite conscious.

    Likewise, Silverberg has been around a long time and he knows perfectly well that complaints that a black, woman author is too angry and not behaving in the way that old white guys find acceptable, as if they are the white male lords of the field, is entirely about race and gender. Especially when the old white guys benefited in their careers from the discrimination against authors like her in the industry. He just felt this one particular record-breaking black female author talking about discrimination should be more respectful of all the white guys there and not make them feel uncomfortable. It’s exactly that attitude — that conscious attitude — that has fueled a lot of the discrimination in the field that Jemisin — and you and others — have had to overcome. That it’s not that often deliberately malicious makes it worse.

    And I can’t muster even a sliver of sympathy for Silverberg saying something in semi-private on-line public that got outed in public. Bigotry does its best work in the shadows in the back room of conversation, where people decide that the marginalized really need to better know their subordinate place and be grateful when they get anything at all. He’s upset because he got caught and because he’s no longer in a decade where him reminding everyone he’s Robert Silverberg makes people stop being pissed at him for that kind of crap, for stereotypically declaring a major black woman author rude, uncontrolled — and inferior to himself.

    And nowhere in there has he done anything near an apology to Jemisin, who he clearly views as beneath him. Robert Silverberg is the one who is rude, who is angry, and who is politically prejudiced. And we don’t have to like him, as he seems to be discovering. Anyway, thanks for doing the breakdown — maybe it will get through some folks’ heads.

  5. Quinn says:

    I can see your point, although – for various reasons – I don’t agree with it.

    However, I also think that the level of response meted out to Siverberg (and others over the past few years) is vastly out of proportion to the offence. It has turned into bullying, the kind of bullying nerds like myself got a LOT at school. Whatever point his detractors had has been lost behind the desire to punish, punish, punish someone for speaking out of turn.

    • Kat Goodwin says:

      Whereas the bullying Jemisin has gotten her whole life from white men like Silverberg, calling her angry, rude, inappropriate, ungrateful and unprofessional because she didn’t act like they think a black woman should act, is totally no big deal, right? His whole complaint was that she was “speaking out of turn” of what he thought she should be allowed for her own award acceptance speech. And she could have excoriated him, with total justification, but she didn’t, for which she won’t get any credit by white people. Instead of apologizing to her, he’s gracelessly further punishing her and sending harassers her way who think he sides with them, in a lame attempt to get out of taking any responsibility for his words. Silverberg is the bully here, and it isn’t the first time he’s publicly bullied women in the SFF field. And to top it off, he went after another woman, Randall, and accused her of essentially being a liar in a screed that basically insisted no one was allowed to criticize his behavior.

      So no, it isn’t out of proportion. It’s the same casual, gate-keeping, prejudiced bullying that white women and authors of color have been getting from well known white male authors and figures in SFFH for decades. And those white men routinely claim that no one should be mad at them for making stereotypical jibes at marginalized authors because “I was bullied in school.” So was Jemisin, so were most of us — and often with a lot more danger of violence to it. It doesn’t give Silverberg, lauded for decades in the field, the right to spout the bigoted stereotype of the angry and inferior black woman without censure from others. If he’s going to insult Jemisin, complain that he got caught at it and not even bother to apologize for his thoughtless and entirely predictable white guy posturing condescension, then he’s lucky angry responses is all he’s getting. People like Silverberg, no matter how famous, aren’t going to get to bully-police nerd spaces any more without objection.

      People are hurt, angry and feel pushed out of SFF by what he said, because they’ve had to face it so many times before. And all he cares about is his reputation and not the harm of what he said. It’s really sad.

      • atsiko says:

        @Kat Nailed it.

      • Quinn says:

        Did Silverberg engage in bullying Jemisin? Did he harm her career in any way? Did he seek to get her blacklisted?

        If the answer to any of those questions is ‘yes,’ please let me know. I will condemn him as much as you could possibly wish. If not … well, your post is an excellent example of what is wrong with so much discourse today. Being bullied does not excuse anything. But, at the same time, it is important to realise that many of us nerds are triggered by what we perceive as bullying, even if others think it is justified and deserved. We have too much experience with being shut down to react calmly. Even when we should.

        Nor am i comfortable with setting such precedents. How long will it be until you or I or Foz is condemned?

        • fozmeadows says:

          The problem here is that you’re failing to distinguish ‘voicing disagreement with/about someone’ and bullying them. People expressing upset at Silverberg’s remarks aren’t bullying him, nor was what he said about Jemisin bullying in the first place: it’s an opinionated reaction to an opinionated statement.

          And if you’re talking about how long it is until I’m condemned, buddy. The same Puppy who posted Silverberg’s comments and hurled racist abuse at Jemisin tried to sue me for linking to a blog post that called him a neo-nazi, and then tried to have me and my husband doxed by his followers.

    • Weirdmage says:

      I was a nerd who was bullied at school.
      I was however not called out for saying sexist and racist things, because that would not be bullying.
      By equating beoig called out on getiing blowback when making objectionable statements to bullying, you are making bullying seem OK.
      If you really have been bullied at some point, I suggest you think about how your comment here supports bullies.

  6. Callan says:

    If no one being morally perfect means anyone can be biased, could there be a bias going on in perceiving this guy is ‘doubling down’?

    It’s very satisfying to go ‘He is wrong!’ and not at all as satisfying to say ‘But I could be wrong on that in some way’ because the caveat takes the passion out of the call. But his real life isn’t there for others to have their righteous fury entertainment – and it is an entertainment if it’s all about getting passionate. It’s not about getting a rage on.

    Is there a way of saying ‘I don’t want speeches, from anyone in this activity, to be political’ that wont be taken poorly? Is it wrong for someone to want that? If the speech had been about wanting the speed limit on a specific road raised by X miles per hour and Silverberg had expressed that he didn’t want speeches to be (local) political, would there be an issue? No.

    Sure you could rip into him for wanting the occasion to be an escapist candy land where only happy times are talked about – but given the amount of escapism involved in fiction consumption that might be the pot calling the kettle black.

    • Kat Goodwin says:

      We don’t enjoy being angry about this — it’s anger from pain and it’s anger that people keep trying to silence speech about these topics so that the status quo inequalities can remain. Silverberg is the guy who infamously way back declared that James Tiptree Jr. couldn’t be a woman because woman weren’t capable of writing like that. He’s not a feminist who said something simply clueless, but a guy who sees women as less than himself, as he’s demonstrated many times in his life. He is a white man who doesn’t want a black woman talking about civil rights issues that are directly related to her prize-winning work and her life in her acceptance speech. Because it makes him uncomfortable to be challenged about the discrimination in society and in the SFF field and because he wants her to shut up about it and that if she does not, she’s inferior to him and should be described in bigoted stereotypes.

      It is NOT a request to be apolitical. It’s a remonstrance that Jemisin abandon her own politics and defer to his politics — to know her place as his supposed inferior who should speak what white people prefer to hear. His statements weren’t apolitical. They were anti-civil rights and used bigoted stereotypes about black people. It was controlling and dismissive. And that is why people are upset. It was a white man denouncing a black woman talking about discrimination against black people and women and wanting her to be silent instead. In her own award acceptance speech.

      A lot of these incidents make me angry but also amused at the defensive attempts to paint marginalized people in bigoted stereotypes. But this one just made me angry. (And my apologies to Meadows for spewing that on her blog.) Because Silverberg knows Samuel Delany. He knew Octavia Butler. And so he knows what saying these sorts of things about black authors in the field means and that it is a political attack on them, an attempt to paint them as inferior in behavior to white authors and to male authors. And the only remorse he seems to feel about it is that he got caught spewing it and a lot of folks no longer find that okay.

      So you can care about his pain because people are angry with him for saying bigoted crap about Jemisin that denounced her and sought to diminish her. You can care about that way more than the pain he caused Jemisin about her own career high, caused other authors who have dealt with similar obstacles and any young black women authors trying to make their way in the SFF field who see Jemisin as an inspiration and sign of hope. You can pretend that pretending we’re in candyland is not just another form of bigotry to uphold the status quo inequalities and make white men feel comfortable about them. But it isn’t going to change the politics of this. Silverberg accused Jemisin of being an uppity black woman, a deliberately political act, and a lot of people are understandably upset and disappointed that this is his position. Especially when, given the opportunity to apologize and agree that he had spoken badly, he did indeed publicly double down and went after even more women.

      Why can’t black women being honored with an award not talk about the discrimination they face because it harshes our mellow is not an innocuous, apolitical statement in our society. And we’re not going to pretend that it is.

      • Callan says:

        There’s a lyric that goes ‘Hurt people hurt people too’. It means just because you’re hurt doesn’t mean you’re somehow now of perfect judgement and will make no error – you can end up hurting others in error that don’t actually deserve it. If you have a source on the comments in regards to James Tiptree Jr., you can link it. Maybe what Silverberg has said is just a symptom of a broader bad behavior. The fact is it’s scientifically provable that people, if they decide someone is bad, will then cherry pick elements of the facts to make them look bad. This is a normal, default way of thinking for humans and we DO like to do this – it takes some effort to resist it. Also it cuts both ways – sometimes someone will decide someone else is good and then cherry pick elements of the facts to make them look good. I don’t know this guys full history, so I don’t know if he’s got a history of bad behavior (at least I can say maybe he has) – but we’re not talking about a full history but instead just one comment.

        Do you have source on ‘not wanting to have political talk is not an innocuous, apolitical statement in our society’, stating it is the case? Because it’s just cultural imperialism to insist it HAS to be your way. If you want to advocate for what you’ve said to be taken as a status quo to follow, it’s fair to advocate for that. But to insist it IS the way and it HAS to be done – it’s just walking over everyone else as if you’ve got the one true behavior for everyone. It’s the same sort of thinking that empowers discrimination to begin with. When fighting monsters be careful not to become one yourself.

        I think it’s fair for someone to not want politics in their celebration – and I think it’s fair if those that vote for political talk to be allowed then outvote them and have their way. That way it’ll be more like an agreement on the matter than anyone trying to insist they are the one who is so morally right(tm) things must be done their way. What he says does sound lame to me, but I think it should be democratically kicked to the curb rather than start labeling the person disagreed with with derogatory terms – after all, that’s what discriminatory people do. And who wants to act like them? It’s okay for him to vote one way – and to be crushed by votes going the other way.

        • Kat Goodwin says:

          You can look up the Tiptree thing on your own. It’s quite famous. Silverberg is a major figure in SFF as was Tiptree (Alice Sheldon.) The two were friends under her pseudonym though they hadn’t met face to face. He was sure she was a man.

          “Do you have source on ‘not wanting to have political talk is not an innocuous, apolitical statement in our society’, stating it is the case? Because it’s just cultural imperialism to insist it HAS to be your way.”

          Cultural imperialism is exactly what Silverberg was doing in his remarks about Jemisin and in his doubling down in his screed. He was insisting, as a white man, that Jemisin, a black woman, should talk in a certain way about her civil rights and her own life, as in not at all, and declared her talking about civil rights unacceptable. That is not apolitical. Saying that a black person should not talk about civil rights issues in a speech is a political position, and it has been a common imperialistic attitude that white people have imposed on black people in America and that men have imposed on women, a political position that they should shut up because it makes the less marginalized unhappy. The bigoted stereotype of black women as angry, rude, uncontrolled and inappropriate in talking about their own civil rights is a time-honored political position that Silverberg employed. Which is why people are so upset about it. It was Jemisin’s celebration, her speech, and Silverberg tried to reduce her to a bigoted stereotype. He employed racism because he didn’t want her talking about racism.

          And no, we don’t have a “democratic” vote on whether black people or women in general can talk about civil rights issues that affect their lives in their own award acceptance speeches. Because you shouldn’t get to vote on whether somebody else has civil rights, especially people who belong in marginalized groups where their civil rights have been dismissed and frequently taken away. Silverberg has every right to say bigoted things about Jemisin, whose work he hasn’t even read, and have a poor opinion of her. And other people have every right to point out that what he said was bigoted and culturally imperialistic and they have a poor opinion of him for it. Free speech doesn’t mean you get to silence everyone else’s criticisms of you and what you said. And what he said was the same sort of crap that has placed discriminatory obstacles in Jemisin’s career and a lot of other authors’ careers in SFF who belong in marginalized groups. And that is very, very political; it’s the politics of suppression. It’s what Silverberg is used to as a long-time white male author, complaining when racism and sexism are brought up. What he said was harmful and discriminatory. It was backwards. And people are calling him out on it.

  7. Weirdmage says:

    You are far more gracious than me Foz, this is what I put as a comment n FB when posting the link to the File 770 post:

    “Top tip: When you get called out on coming off as racist and sexist, don’t double down.

    It’s clear with this and the Truesdale petition thing that Silverberg is racist and sexist by modern standards, or does not give a fuck that he gives that impression.
    He may have been progressive by the standards of 1960s/1970s US convention fandom, but that is so far from what is expected of people these days that it is ridiculous to even mention it.
    If Worldcon has a code of conduct Silverberg needs to be banned until he has actually made an apology + whatever time after that a no-name fan going to their first Worldcon would be banned for by dismissing a Hugo award winning author the way he did..

    It’s time for “good old uncle Bob” to be put in a home.
    -Seriously, if Silverberg is not wanting to come off as a Right-Wing fucknozzle, he is incapable of communicating in writing.
    He is making a good case for nobody wasting time reading his ficition, unless he actually is trying his best to spew Alt-Right dogwhistles. Otherwise he is proving he can’t get anything sensible across in witing.

    To sum up: Fuck Robert Silverberg, and fuck any concom that does not tell him to fuck off.(No con will be welcoming PoCs and women if Silverberg is allowed a membership.)
    SFFH needs less arsewaffles like him. And it certainly needs to stop venerating cockwombles like him just because they have been around for a long time. -Growing old does not mean you get a fucking pass on anything. Experience should teach you to not do shit that offends people – unless that is your intention.”

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