Fuck You, Weird Tales

Dear Jackass Weird Tales,

I know you got a lot of criticism when you got sold to Marvin Kaye, and let go of Ann VanderMeer as editor, but it didn’t come from me. I was open to the idea that you were going to steer the fiction content of your magazine in a direction that harkened back to the older days of weird. More pulp, new pulp, and old pulp – less new weird interstitial strangeness.

Well, okay, I happen to love interstitial strangeness but I am an old-school pulp girl too. Bring on Cthulhu! I thought. I’m the woman that publishes Cthulhurotica after all. I have a subscription to Weird Tales and planned to renew it.

And then you had to defend Saving The Pearls: Revealing Eden as some sort of ironic anti-racist literary monument, when in fact it’s poorly-written fetishization of the black man that reads – seriously – as if it were scifi written by a white plantation owner’s wife in the 1800s, back when you were still warned not to get too close to the black bucks lest they be overcome by your white beauty and ravage you. (Here’s a good review of it)

It’s not just racist, it’s astoundingly, shockingly, absurdly racist. It’s cruel to defend such a book as simply being too complex for detractors to understand. It’s horrid to suggest that we should all read it more carefully, as if the fault lay in ourselves for just not “getting it”.

It’s insulting to people of color, who are portrayed as vile, evil, angry sex objects who all secretly want to love/fuck the pure white woman (except, of course, for the “black bitch” who’s jealous). It’s insulting to white people who date people of color because they happen to be wonderful people, not just an acquisition based on their skin tone. It’s insulting to women who choose their partners for anything other than social standing.

And it’s more than insulting to the teen girls it’s marketed toward. How dare the author try to teach children and young adults that they should want to be any version of any character from this disgusting tale?

Plus it’s bad writing. And, no matter how you analyze it, it’s not weird fiction, that thing you’re supposed to be getting back to.

I hope that she paid you, Weird Tales. I hope she paid you very well, enough to make up for my subscription (which you’ll never get again) and all of the other lost income from readers and advertisers. That’s the beautiful thing about living in a capitalist society, WT: you’re free to say whatever you like, and we’re free to disagree with you by choosing not to give you our money any more.

In closing, fuck you Weird Tales. I’m done.

- Carrie Cuinn

PS. For more, read NK Jemisin’s better post on the subject

6 comments

  1. Someday I’ll be able to pick my jaw up off the floor after reading this and the linked review (Holy carp! You mean it’s NOT a joke?), but it won’t be today. Bye-bye, Weird Tales.

  2. I was going to ask if you had seen the retraction from the publisher – http://weirdtalesmagazine.com/2012/08/20/a-message-from-the-publisher/
    - but I see you in the comments. I’m 2 days behind.

    This is my favorite part –
    “Marvin says if you read the whole book, she explains her use of this imagery, and it ends up as a plea for tolerance. I say, so what.”
    It reminded me of this (heavily sarcastic) post from a couple years ago – http://genderbitch.wordpress.com/2010/01/23/intent-its-fucking-magic/

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