Ms. Kate Baker
Dear Ms. Baker,
I’m canceling my SFWA membership.
While it was encouraging to see SFWA edging toward acceptance of the indie publishing model, it’s too little and too late, and offset by an appalling reason behind the change of SFWAs incorporating state.
SFWA moved from Massachusetts to California for the purpose of allowing SFWA to claim tax dollars to offer grants. I’m aware that there were other—good—reasons for the organization’s move, but this particular poison pill in the changes made to SFWA requires me to walk away and never look back.
The only money that can ever be honestly given comes voluntarily from the person who earned it—and taxes are not voluntary. Try not paying them if you doubt this.
Grants donated by SFWA members would have been honest and decent. But that’s not what SFWA wants to do. SFWA (and the members who voted in favor of the change of incorporation—I did not) wants to come out looking heroic for giving money that it did not earn (or receive voluntarily from members) to people who didn’t earn it either.
“Giving” grants taken from tax dollars is nothing less than theft of taxpayer money. This action forces people who have no interest in the careers of writers receiving grants to support those writers’ work, no matter how distasteful, badly written, or objectionable they might find it.
It is institutionalized thuggery, and were I to remain a member, I would brand myself complicit with the thugs.
Anyone who remains in SFWA, knowing what this organization has chosen to do, will be doing the same.
CC: My weblog as Open Letter to SFWA Upon My Resignation