Marion Zimmer Bradley: Because This Sort of Thing Can’t Be Talked About Enough

Cancer-lapsed correspondence ALMOST caught up on.  Thank you so much for your continued patience, everyone.

Now, on to something I missed —

I’m linking well after everything broke, so a lot of you may have heard about all this already.  But just in case there’s anyone who hasn’t . . . I can’t not link.  Because heck, a portion of these atrocities was well-known decades ago, but they’ve been swept under the rug enough or just not talked about enough that I had no idea at all until it all came up again this month.

The short version: Marion Zimmer Bradley, very influential SFF writer, trailblazer for women, not only facilitated her husband’s sexual molestation of children but horrifically abused her own children herself.  And portions of the SFF community enabled and defended them.


The two things I’m personally determined to do in response to this: 1) stand with her/their victims by making an effort to continue awareness that these things happened (by linking, by informing, by helping make sure ugly truths aren’t buried because we want to put a shiny veneer on history), and 2) renew my commitment to speak up when I see something in the SFF community that I think is a problem.  I love fandom — I love our willingness, often, to accept and embrace people who have always been outsiders — but it is a real and dangerous problem when that push to accept without judgment snowballs into enforced blindness to abuse.

It is not counter to fandom’s acceptance of “quirkiness” to call out unacceptable behavior.  It is not a betrayal of our found SFF family to turn our backs on a member of that family who hurts others.  It is not making fandom a hostile place when we talk — or shout — loudly and freely and vigorously about the types of behaviors we think are not okay.

In fact, if there’s one thing I’m grateful for after learning all of this, it’s that there are so many people in SFF fandom right now who are unapologetically loud.  Who will speak up and won’t shut up.  Who will get angry.  Who will shout from the rooftops when things happen that they consider unacceptable in their community.

Keep it up, my friends.