Homophobia in Publishing
Note: I’ve not seen an official statement from The Library Of The Living Dead Press. They locked the discussion forum on this issue. If they do have an explanation, I’d very much like to see it.
Update: LLD Press has posted a statement here. “…with all the things that are going on in my life right now I didn’t think it all the way through. I became afraid I would upset people by publishing the book. That’s the reason in a nutshell … If any of you don’t know, I’m a huge supporter of the GLBT community. They are my brothers and sisters.” He’s offered to pay those who wrote stories.
I’m afraid there’s nothing here that makes me change my initial reaction. How do you claim to be a “huge supporter” of the GLBT community while simultaneously cancelling your GLBT-themed project because it might upset people?
Thanks, kirizal, for the update.
So last month, Library of the Living Dead Press put out a call for an LGBT zombie anthology (which sounds like a very cool project, actually). Yesterday, the publisher pulled the plug on the anthology. From the editor:
“It is with deep regret that I must inform you that the publisher has pulled the plug on this anthology. It seems that homophobia had reared its ugly head..NOT from the publisher, but with some authors that are contributers to the publisher.”
In other words, it sounds like some of the authors who publish with LLD found out that their publisher was doing an anthology that had teh gay in it, and complained.
I hope there’s more to the story. I hope there’s another reason this project fell through, some explanation other than the fact that the person or persons running this publisher are a bunch of miserable, cowardly, unprofessional twits.
As for the authors who allegedly complained? You’re writing for a horror micropress. It’s okay to write about gore and blood and violence and horror, but homosexuality is right out? What the hell is wrong with you?
If anyone reading this is associated with LLD press, please pass this link along to the powers that be. I really, really want to hear how they justify backing out of this project, and whether they have an excuse that doesn’t involve wedging their heads quite so far up their own asses. I hope so, and I’ll happily post a follow-up with their side of this story, if they’d care to share it.
I know not everyone feels the same as me about LGBT issues. Some people don’t support gay marriage; some don’t want to repeal don’t ask, don’t tell; and so on. I disagree, but I recognize those opinions are out there. But it’s one thing to disagree. It’s another to announce a project, then turn around and cancel it for no other reason than the homophobia of authors who (presumably) weren’t even submitting to the anthology.
I debated whether a horror micropress was worth the attention of a blog post. But I’m a SF/F author, and this publisher is a part of my circle, even if they’re a tiny part, and I didn’t feel right letting this pass without condemnation.
I hope there’s a better explanation. But if not, I hope all those involved with this decision will please feel free to go to hell.
(Thanks to Christian Young for the link.)
February 11, 2010 @ 11:12 am
Wells said, sir. I’ll be tweeting the link immediately.
February 11, 2010 @ 11:30 am
I couldn’t agree more, thank you for taking the time to write this.
February 11, 2010 @ 11:34 am
I had this one back-assward. Thought it was one story in an otherwise straight antho causing the uproar, someone peeing pink in the straight kids’ pool. This is even worse. Since when do authors dictate to editors on the contents of an anthology? Especially one they’re not even in?
February 11, 2010 @ 11:54 am
I guess the publisher feels there are no big name gay authors who would submit.
February 11, 2010 @ 12:06 pm
I suppose that is always the odd thing about the United States in general. We will allow violence of all sorts into our media, but talking about sex, or sexual identity, are still taboo topics. Oddly Puritan in so many ways.
Jim C. Hines
February 11, 2010 @ 12:26 pm
I’m trying to imagine what would happen if I went to DAW and demanded they cancel Zombie Raccoons and Killer Bunnies after they’d announced it and authors were already writing for the project just because I’m offended by undead fluffy animals. The whole thing baffles me.
Jim C. Hines
February 11, 2010 @ 12:27 pm
I wish I had a clue *what* the publisher was feeling or thinking, but so far I’ve seen nothing from them directly.
Jim C. Hines
February 11, 2010 @ 12:29 pm
Tom Smith summed it up nicely over on my LJ post:
“Thanks, Our Goddamn Puritan Heritage … You repressed wankers.”
February 11, 2010 @ 12:35 pm
The only other thing I can think of, if what they’re saying isn’t true, is that they ran out of money or time or interest in the project, and decided to flat-out lie to get out of having to carry through with the project. Which makes it just as loathsome and reprehensible an act as if what they say is true – only then our outrage would be fully directed at the publisher, instead of both them and the yet-unnamed writers who supposedly complained.
Jim C. Hines
February 11, 2010 @ 12:38 pm
If so, I think it was an insanely bad move. Cancelling a project for funding reasons? Frustrating, but it happens, especially with smaller publishers. I can’t imagine it would have stirred up anywhere near the negative reaction that this did.
February 11, 2010 @ 12:52 pm
“Twas ever so . . .
Rambo/Saw/Name your slasher film Blood Porn: Good family entertainment!
Two same-sex zombies holding hands while picnicking on watercress and brain sandwiches against a post-apocalyptic sunset: Get the pitchforks, May Belle!
What we need is an LGBT Puritan Zombie Antho. The Scarlet Letter could be a “Z”, worn by Hector Prynne.
February 11, 2010 @ 1:20 pm
But it’s sadly typical of many horror publishers and presses, who seem to equate homophobic, misogynist, and threatening behavior with “keeping it real” and somehow being “true” to their idea of what horror fiction should represent. There’s also this pig-headed belief that even the worst kind of publicity is great publicity – the fact that everyone is now talking about this press may seem as a “win” in their eyes, even if all our comments and conversations are about how repulsive their actions are. The more reprehensible we find them, the more “real” their horror stories must be! It’s ridiculous, but there it is.
February 11, 2010 @ 4:51 pm
Firstly–omg Lynn I would be all over The Scarlet Letter Zombie book…LGBT or otherwise XD Hester Prynne and her daughter Pearl made my 10th grade life a miserable mass of misery. The least she could do is turn into a Zombie for me.
Secondly–I would read a LGBT Zombie antho, I’ll read anything Zombie point in fact. I believe in same sex marriage (well as much as I believe in marriage at all at least) as well as repealing the don’t ask/don’t tell policy. Both have to be handled carefully, but I think that this is a time when we should be more open-minded, not less. Its getting to the point where this country is beginning to look two-faced–we espouse Freedom for All no matter race, religion or creed…but at the same time please don’t tell us and if you do we’ll have to punish you for it.
Opening my own colony on the Moon is starting to look mighty fine to me…
February 11, 2010 @ 5:03 pm
Now that I see your update, I am, quite frankly, even more puzzled than I was before. Was there a complaint for other authors that the publisher is responding to in this unfortunate manner? Or did he just become arbitrarily afraid? Somehow, that second choice offends me more. I don’t get to stop being queer just because someone might be offended (or worse, decide to take out their feelings of offense on me).
Allies who can’t take the heat, I can, perhaps, sympathize with, especially when the heat gets really bad. Allies who can’t even take the possibility of heat they make up in their own heads? Need to re-think the word allies.
February 11, 2010 @ 5:56 pm
Weirdly, my first assumption was that the editor became suddenly concerned that the anthology–about zombies, mind, possibly the last group in modern storytelling that can be boldly and safely treated as the Other–might insult or upset GLBT people.
Jim C. Hines
February 11, 2010 @ 9:15 pm
“I don’t get to stop being queer just because someone might be offended.”
I don’t know what’s going on. It sounds like there might be some personal issues/crises involved as well, I’m not sure. If so, then I do feel bad for the man, but I still don’t understand the decision to cancel this one anthology to avoid the heat, either real or imagined.
links for 2010-02-12 « AntiTerra
February 19, 2010 @ 1:20 pm
[…] Jim C. Hines » Homophobia in Publishing So last month, Library of the Living Dead Press put out a call for an LGBT zombie anthology (which sounds like a very cool project, actually). Yesterday, the publisher pulled the plug on the anthology. (tags: horror zombies anthology homophobia lgbt queer) […]
thehorrorstore.info » Blog Archive » Of Zombies and Homophobia
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