Some time this month I’m going to be scraping together my membership dues once again for the SFWA. There was a lot of heat publicly, and agents and editors have a very down perspective sometimes on the role SFWA plays in genre. But, here’s the thing: an unbiased 3rd party is exactly what everyone needs. The SFWA role in the Skyhorse/Start thing was one of being that unbiased 3rd party, facilitating a difficult situation to make it better.
No organization is perfect, but between Writer Beware, the Emergency Medical Fund, and the tireless work of volunteers like Mary Robinette-Kowal, I can think of few organizations I’d rather support more than this one.
Every volunteer organization will have a few bumps and hiccups along the way. Honestly, I’ve been tossing a few of the last few issues of the bulletin into the trash with tongs because of the cover art, alone, and I have found little of value inside its pages even when the art wasn’t an embarrassment.
Still, some times a lot of good can come from a lot of people getting together and at trying to do good. If you want the group to do better, volunteer your time, as you are able, to make it so.
And, don’t get caught up in all that silly drama. It’s true of the blog-o-sphere, as well. For a group of fans that proposes to come together based on a shared sense of wonder and the fantastic, we can be quick to replicate the tribal boundaries that demarcate all the jr. high school cafeterias. Be open, and accept all comers and prove that we are doing this better, building a future better. If you have time for drama, remember what your mama taught you, when you had time for drama as a young person, and she would find things for you to do.
Like write books.
Thanks SFWA, and I’ll be scraping together some dues soon-ish.