I’ve been in shock for the past 24 hours. Now and then I can manage to talk like a normal person, but then I go right back into shock.
I first learned about the MZB revelations yesterday, about this same time. Of all places, I first heard of it on Goodreads. The Mists of Avalon was being discussed in a book group I belong to, and I hadn’t cared for the book. I’ve tried more than once to read it and I just…can’t. For many reasons. I thought listening to the group’s thoughts might help give me a reason to try again.
Actually, that’s a bit of an understatement. I would say more, but a lot has already been said, most of it better than I could manage.
The following links include basic information about the controversy, including one post that shows how it applies to modern fandom.
- Silence is complicity – Natalie Luhrs
- Marion Zimmer Bradley Gave Us New Perspectives, All Right – Deidre Moen
- Breendoggle Wiki (TRIGGER WARNING: CHILD ABUSE)
I want to point out that this is not a witch hunt. This is not someone who did something awful, felt miserable, and did his best to try to undo the damage as best he knew how. Same goes for MZB. And the fans supported them in their delusion. They enabled them. That’s why this is still relevant. Fans still do this.
I think I’ll stop trying to read her books. I will also no longer recommend her books as “something I heard was good but that I couldn’t get into myself.”
I’ve also decided that my kids will not go to cons without either me or my husband present. The issues in fandom run too deep.
Beyond giving my public support for the victims, I can’t think of anything else to do. I’m sorry. I wish I could do more right now.
One thought on “Marion Zimmer Bradley and fandom’s failing”
I really enjoyed her early Darkover stories and still do. The anthologies were good. The Mists of Avalon was too obvious a push for feminist lesbian sex fantasy so was not interested, so I never read that.. MZB was a good editor . However I got the idea that she created a writers commune at her home and that it had lesbian tinge and probably was pretty wild, yet with MZB controlling the younger writers. So the revelation of Breen and MZB abuse does not surprise. That environment is not a good one for children. The nothing is wrong in sexuality is pretty prevalent in fantasy circles and so I can see why they did not see anything wrong.
I do not idolize my favorite authors. So I know they are human with human flaws. So I do not have a problem with their product if I like it . I do separate it from their personal lives.
Was MZB a horrible mother and self centered. Did she think her sexual life more important than her children? YES!!! It has been obvious that the liberal left in California has been pushing to accept any alternative sexual lifestyle for a long time. I did not know Breen was founder of NAMBLA. I am not surprised either NAMBLA has been pushing for acceptance of Man and boy sex for a long time.
What is surprising is this shock among writers and the abhorrence of the child abuse and sex. It has been obvious in Hollywood and California that it was promoted and accepted in SF circles for a while.
It is nice to see that there are limits what SF &F fans and writers will accept.