Tag Archives: publishing

Harper Collins bans a sci-fi book because it isn’t sufficiently liberal

Fascists: A science fiction author had his book removed from the publication schedule, effectively banning it, because his editor didn’t like the conservative leanings of one chapter.

[A]pparently advancing the thought that a brand new life form might see us, humanity, as dangerous because we terminate our young, apparently… that’s a ThoughtCrime most heinous over at Harper Collins. Even for one tiny little chapter.

Here’s what happened next. I was not given notes as writers are typically given during the editorial process. I was told by my agent that my editor was upset and “deeply offended” that I had even dared advanced this idea. As though I had no right to have such a thought or even game the idea within a science fiction universe. I was immediately removed from the publication schedule which as far as I know is odd and unprecedented, especially for an author who has had both critical and commercial success. This, being removed from the production schedule, happened before my agent had even communicated the editor’s demand that I immediately change the offending chapter to something more “socially” (read “progressive”) acceptable. That seemed odd. How could they possibly have known that I would or would not change it? It seems reasonable to ask first. … They merely demanded that I rewrite that chapter not because it was poorly written, or, not supportive of the arc of the novel. No, they demanded it be struck from the record because they hate the idea I’d advanced. They demanded it be deleted without discussion. They felt it was for… the “greater good.” That is censorship, and a violation of everyone’s right to free speech. They demanded it be so or else… I wouldn’t be published. That’s how they threatened a writer with a signed contract.

He refused, and has made his book available by publishing it himself as an ebook. Go and buy it!

I should note that his experience matches exactly with my own experience as a nonfiction writer as well as with other authors I have known in the past two decades. Book editors have become exceedingly oppressive, and now routinely demand that your work conform to their political beliefs (always liberal) or they will make your life hell, or get the book squelched.

It is this reason I now focus my writing on BtB, as I grew really really tired in the past five years having book proposal after book proposal blacklisted because editors were offended I did not kowtow to their left wing orthodoxies.