Yoon Ha Lee gets a taste of Helix editor Sanders’s professionalism:
Sanders flounced off in a huff, stating that the story “never did make any sense” and that he only accepted it to “please those who admire your work”–what altruism!–”and also because (notorious bigot that I am) I was trying to get more work by non-Caucasian writers.” If I were a writer currently submitting to Helix, I would kind of worry about that bit–all things considered, if a story really does suck, I’d rather have it rejected so I can fix it.
He then played psychic and claimed that I only asked for the story to be withdrawn “because, let’s get real here, you feel the need to distance yourself from someone who is in disfavor with the kind of babbling PC waterheads whose good opinion is so important to you, and whom you seem to be trying to impress with this little grandstand play.”
He closed with: “There was a suggestion I was going to make, but it is probably not physically practicable.”
After that he pulled the story and replaced it with these professional words:
Story deleted at author’s pantiwadulous request.
In case that was deleted, Nick Mamatas has a screencap of the tantrum.
And yes, if you click on the link now it’s just a 404 error.
And in the comments here one of the Helix writers was banned from ever submitting again for raising an objection (again, unprofessional).
When this started I was disappointed to see the behavior and thought it uncool. Now it’s crossed into sad.
update: I’ve been emailed a link that Sanders is saying he’ll take down any story, but you have to do it quickly (his rules):
Certain people, in response or sympathy to the things being said about me, have requested that their stories be deleted from the Helix archives.
Wait, wait; this was originally MY suggestion. One person, whose excellent work had graced the pages of Helix on two occasions, had voiced such strong sentiments that I wrote to her and, among other things, offered to delete her stories from the archives if she felt that way about it. She replied at first in the negative, but later changed her mind; but anyway, I want to make it clear that this began as an offer that I made.
I made it to only that one person, and I confess it did not occur to me that anyone else would make a similar request; but a couple more did.** Their requests have been honored as well.
But I have been informed that there are other Helix authors who are also participating in the slagfest, in private venues; and perhaps there are others as well who while not openly falling in with the lynch mob, still share the basic sentiment.
So I would like to publicly announce that if there is ANYBODY who wants his/her/etc. story removed from the Helix archives as well, a written (emailed) request to me – not Lawrence, not Melanie – will be honored.
(That is speaking strictly of archived stories. Anything in the current issue will stay there, as per contract, for the duration of the quarter.)
But it’s not fair for Melanie to have to keep fucking with this; she’s already had a hell of a lot of extra work handed her because of it. So this offer is not going to remain open indefinitely. Speak up within a reasonable time – such time to be determined entirely by my caprice; tough shit if you don’t like it – or forever shut your pie-hole.
I should add that if anyone feels strongly enough to want to return the money they were paid, we will not accept it; I suggest donating it to Obama’s campaign instead. However, so far nobody has made any such offer, and I don’t seriously expect it.
PLEASE SPREAD THIS AROUND. For this one occasion, everyone – that includes the lurkers too – has my formal permission to quote the entire text of this message, starting with the 5th paragraph above. (Preceding text being of no relevancy or interest outside this ng.) In fact I’d appreciate it. I want the word out.
What I don’t want is some damn fool coming around a month from now with “I didn’t know! Nobody told me!”
So if you agree with the Sanders Whiners, you’ll be doing your cause a service by getting this out. And if you don’t, then you’ll be doing US a service by helping speed the process so Melanie can put all this extra work behind her.
The question is, will he call anyone pantiwadulous? Or will he have another “suggestion I was going to make, but it is probably not physically practicable.””
Notice that he claims people who objected to what he did as a lynch mob.
Because calling you out on a slur is like stringing you up by the neck with a rope. They’re exactly alike.