Liberal SJWs Have Killed Genre Fiction!

All the Darkness in the World vampire novel cover artWait. Genre fiction died? And SJWs kill?

It was recently proclaimed to be so by a bizarro/horror author and publisher. I’ll delve into why they think this happened, and what facts there are surrounding the claims, such as political correctness and social media witch hunting being the murder weapons. First, though, let’s examine some books to gauge the genre scene’s health, and judge those liberal SJW authors and editors accused of trying to kill it.

As a publisher I release books by Republicans and Democrats and others, by people of all genders, authors of various ethnicity and nationalities, and whose books cover all subject matter. This is all in spite of being one of a liberal SJW type. I submit to you the following list of books I’ve published which are surely examples of the tepid, safe, conformist, inoffensive SJW approach to killing genre fiction:

The List Of Crimes RDSP Has Committed Against Genre Fiction

  1. All the Darkness in the World  by Andy Deane
    Recently featured by Dirge Magazine as an example of what’s happening in transgressive horror fiction, Deane’s descriptions are sometime so over the top that I can’t help but have a morbid laugh. Especially after seeing him read passages on stage at DogCon4.
  2. Devil Entendre by John Edward Lawson
    One of the stories in this collection earned me a rejection from Fangoria; the reason given by the editor was the level of gruesome carnage…yes, this from the magazine featuring glossy pullout centerfolds of gory horror film stills (can I get a sad trombone?). Another piece in the collection inspired an angry email from a reader stating, “I hope you die and go to hell, you insensitive bastard.”
  3. Everybody Scream! by Jeffrey Thomas
    Were reviewers put off by some of the content? I guess they were shocked by what happened early on in the book. I felt the author was using “extremity” to make a good point. Insert shrug here…
  4. Grave Markings by Michael A. Arnzen
    If you are familiar with Arnzen then you understand how inventive he can be. Now apply that to serial murder and torture. Enjoy your next trip to the tattoo parlor.
  5. Isabel Burning by Donna Lynch
    If you get to the end of this book and can’t see what’s problematic then we probably ought to check your pulse. Beyond the conceptual issues there is much more immediate body horror afoot, with a lot of people having trouble getting past the birth scene.
  6. Meat Puppet Cabaret by Steve Beard
    This is another novel that made reviewers extremely uncomfortable. One of the major industry publications felt they had to comment on Meat Puppet Cabaret, but they couldn’t bring themselves to get past sections they found too disturbing, so the review was buried online as opposed to running in their print publication.
  7. On Quiet Nights by Till Lindemann
    So politically correct that Amazon hides it in search results unless you explicitly state that you want to see results that containing adult and/or offensive material.
  8. Paramourn by John Edward Lawson
    Maybe it is poor form to include multiple works by myself on this list, but I want to put my money where my mouth is. If you believe my so-called liberal SJW attitude is stifling creativity in the scene try reading this one, from beginning to end — it might sucker punch you. Don’t even bother spending money on it, just use Amazon Kindle Unlimited if you want to check it out free of charge.
  9. Sick: An Anthology of Illness
    What happens when a slew of SJWs and those who are not SJWs work together? An anthology. One that lives up to its name.
  10. Spider Pie by Alyssa Sturgill
    Sturgill contacted me to describe someone furiously incredulous at a book event that Spider Pie was published by an actual company and not some self-publishing effort. That made her so happy, and made me laugh so hard. The end. Unless you read the book discover what “extremity” drove the con-goer to believe nobody would publish it.
  11. Unintended Consequences by Larry Fondation
    While this is technically a literary short story collection the intense depiction of society’s underbelly basically ensured only a fringe fiction publisher like us would give it a chance.
  12. Welcome to Oakland By Eric Miles Williamson
    A lot of readers, and reviewers, are unable to make it through the first five pages of this book. Yes, it is “literary,” and yes it can be a more harsh experience than a lot of what people consider horror.
  13. Wraiths of the Broken Land by S. Craig Zahler
    People think this is some kind of huge success for us because it’s being made into a major motion picture by the team who did the adaptation of The Martian. At the same time this is such a brutal, uncomfortable read — with prose that doesn’t match contemporary minimalist fashion — we also lose a portion of our audience when they read it. Does that stop us? Um, no.

Bonus Round: Jessica McHugh

Since we have yet to bring Jessica’s novel to market here are a couple you can read as you wait.

  1. The Green Kangaroos by Jessica McHugh
    train derails in boston SJW genre coverI have been seriously trying to avoid spoilers throughout this list but, come on, graphic depictions of shooting up drugs into your testes. For some reason this troubles people.
  2. The Train Derails in Boston by Jessica McHugh
    The advertisement was banned from Facebook. I repeat, the advertisement alone was was enough to get banned. Take a look inside the novel and you’ll figure out why.

In looking at the above list Raw Dog Screaming Press’ stated intent of publishing risky and difficult-to-sell books becomes clear. It’s not exactly a formula for what a lot of people seem to imagine “liberal social justice warrior” paradise to be like. Following art wherever it leads is often unexpected and difficult and painful, and can turn off readers, reviewers, or stores — which is why those editors who answer to investors don’t publish as we do. We pay a price for saying and doing as we please, and this is the first time in 13 years of business that I’ve mentioned it publicly. No need for a high profile meltdown every time it occurs, because it’s not only ongoing, but it’s understood that people have a right to their opinions and purchasing choices.

With that out of the way, let me say I’d like to see an SJWs Kill Genre Fiction anthology. Who’s with me?

The Boy Who Cried Woof, or: Why Puppies Can’t Run With Wolves

Grave Markings horror novel cover artThat’s all well and good, but why am I posting about social justice warriors and genre fiction to be with? What’s the ruckus?

Last weekend a genre author and publisher posted on their blog that social justice warriors have killed genre fiction, in particular horror and bizarro. How did it come to this?

Well, after the election this author blogged at length about how “glorious” it was to see everyone in social media behaving like him by speaking their mind, calling people out, name-calling, arguing, and generally losing it on each other about politics. The author went on to say that most people cannot speak their minds in their regular lives or at their jobs, so they live vicariously through this author who so bravely speaks his mind all the time. “This is all quite funny to me,” he claimed, “because I’m fucking immune to it.”

Then over the weekend we were hit with this:

“Since Donald Trump won the US election, liberal social justice warriors have doubled down on their hysterics, which makes public life a nightmare for the rest of us. This has been especially apparent in the genre fiction circles I run in.”


“And without the edge and bite of the more extreme stuff, the rest of genre fiction looks bland, tame and boring in comparison. Sales have fallen off and writers are finding it harder and harder to justify the long hours behind their computers without any sort of financial benefit.”

How did we jump from the elation of seeing people politically freak out to the past weekend’s depletion of his “immunity?” There is a blog post between those two, and its subject is the author declaring “buy my book day” during which customers would receive a 35% discount at his online store. It seems like maybe the sale didn’t go so well.

Spider Pie bizarro horror short story collection cover artAnother author happened to look up Bookscan sales figures for our angry blogger’s most recent book, which stands at 22 copies sold. I don’t think it’s fair to judge entirely by Bookscan numbers, because direct sales through the blogger’s online store and offline events aren’t factored in. Either way his sales don’t look too promising.

What is the cause? Something totally arbitrary, obviously, such as random people being “liberal.”

Or: people are unsure about the future, money is tight, and they are spending money on other people during the holidays — which often means purchasing well-known and popular products instead of the obscure things you are personally into yourself (a little patience might reveal that post-Christmas sales spike due to receiving gift cards, for the same reasons). Another factor: sales have been down for our company all year long at live events, and other vendors I have spoken with report a drop in sales compared to the same time last year at the exact same conventions (up to a 50% drop, in fact). We saw this occur in the year leading up to the recession.

But no, the problem is people who are not conservative white males “gloriously” speaking their minds about wanting to see themselves portrayed well in fiction, or hoping to be treated fairly off-line. The “witch hunt” is so bad many creative types are being driven out of business and off social media, according to this guy’s blog.

The author in question points to the time between 2008 and 2012 as “boom years” when money was flowing in genre fiction. Judging from his track record that is just when he was starting to get involved, and did not realize how brutal book publishing is. He didn’t make it through the economic crash of 2007, 2008, 2009 it seems, because during those years publishers from the smallest to the largest folded, cut their scale down to a fraction of what they once were, or were sold and pillaged — not to mention all the retailers who tanked, including the nationwide Borders chain (which stocked indie books like ours). Major publishers who survived slashed their midlist almost down to nothing. Regional governments across the nation froze library budgets so library sales went away for many of us.

The only people who experienced a boom in the years immediately following that were those publishing exclusively in Kindle format, because at the time there was no competition, unlike today (plus now Kindle Unlimited reduces sales, there’s pirating, etc.).

Much of that is anecdotal, and could be ignored or dismissed. Here is something not anecdotal: industry statistics show mystery/thriller revenue is $700 million per year, whereas the horror genre makes $70 million. Contemplate that for second. The $70 million includes all the classics, Stephen King, the year’s hot must-read new releases, plus everything else. It sounds like a lot of money until you divide it by thousands of authors. And bizarro is much, much smaller than horror.

I am, of course, focusing too much on making sense and not enough on persecution. Here is some persecution for you:

“If you have experience with SJWS, the PC left, community censorship in your writing circles, or anything else related to the mass hysteria of politically correct culture, don’t hesitate to contact me or either of these great podcast hosts with your story. We want to hear from you.”

This is taken from his follow-up blog, after a flurry of podcast guest appearances with podcasters eager to hear about horror and bizarro being destroyed. I have not listened to those podcasts, but in his blogs he criticizes social justice warriors for not backing up their claims with evidence, yet so far he has not named any specific incident resulting in harm for him. Note: since posting his first blog I have seen a lot of folks in the genre circles he discusses tearing him apart online, and not just the so-called liberals, but not prior to that.

While calling for an end to public shaming and witch hunting he encourages public shaming and witch hunting. While calling for an end to people criticizing, ridiculing, and name-calling he criticizes, ridicules, and name-calls. While calling for an end to policing of people’s social media activity he calls for policing of social media activity. And as we’ll see while suggesting SJWs are trying to eliminate business competition with false attacks he encourages getting rid of SJW liberals in the scene who just happen to be his business competition.

Does this guy have any credibility left? The natural reaction might be to wonder that, but I believe there is a method to his madness, one which isn’t reliant on credibility.

First, though, here’s a tip: if you go around trying to force change for increased deference to white males, or to encourage safe spaces for declaring opposition to gay marriage, YOU ARE A SOCIAL JUSTICE WARRIOR — just not the kind who is likely to vote for the Democrats or the Green Party.

Devil Entendre SJW horror coverNow: industry persecution. In my career as an author, editor, and publisher I not only dealt with the incidents described in the above list of books I’ve published, but also stalkers, negative reviews, uncooperative retailers, all the run of the mill stuff that happens when you’re in the public eye, but also readers, reviewers, and editors with very strong negative reactions to my political beliefs, and as such want nothing to do with me. That’s what publicly stating your beliefs is about, actually having beliefs that are known and either accepted or rejected.

It’s also the consequence of writing without self-censorship. I’ve been uninvited from being a special guest of groups in the past due to the content of my books. It happens. Does it look like I curled up on the floor and died?

The author in question says in his blog about the election:

“Now, everyone knows, salesmanship 101 states NEVER talk politics or religion on social media. Indeed never take a controversial stand on any subject lest you alienate your audience.”

Paramourn Unfortunate Romances SJWs kill erotic horror bizarro cover artProfessional social media experts say metrics show the exact opposite is true. Take Guy Kawasaki for example, whose mantra is that if you have beliefs you should mention them, because in this day and age people are looking for something real to identify with online. As an adult why would you resent standing by what you do and say, unless, of course, you are doing things you don’t believe in to pander, ingratiate yourself, etc., in which case the only persecution is that of your principles under assault by your avarice.

As a publisher I also repeatedly see our female authors get nit-picked in reviews for things our male authors aren’t called on, and slammed in general while our male authors of equivalent achievement receive high praise. Is it a conspiracy? Is it a declaration of war? Is it time to wear grown-up undergarments and carry on because you believe in what you’re doing? Yes to that last one.

I’ve covered repercussions for writing “extreme” material, and the vocal opposition to my political beliefs, which are just part of being a public figure doing what you want to do. I always said that Simon Cowell was the kindest American Idol judge because he was only one preparing contestants to face the harsh criticism, people always demanding and expecting more of you without acknowledging the good you’ve done, and everything else that comes with public scrutiny. We don’t cease to exist outside work, so let’s look at “persecution” in my personal life.

It’s boring, and repetitive, to go into all that if you are familiar with my many posts about having a multi-ethnic background, and all that. If you are unfamiliar with my discussions on the subject here is a sampling:

Being told you are wrong, that other peoples’ problems in an area you are complaining about are more severe than yours, or somebody name-calling your political candidate, those things are not pleasant but they do not threaten quality of life or hinder careers, i.e. they’re not really persecution. Dude. Try being a biological female expected to take 30% less salary than your male peers as a matter of course.

Sick anthology of illness SJW bizarro horror cover artAbout online bullying, specifically on Facebook: after all the random friends-of-friends piling on to make hurl profanity, accusations, threats, and so forth did I lose my mind? No. I made my Facebook profile private. For my part I don’t go to other people’s Facebook posts to argue with them, although plenty of Facebook users do. Enough people come to my posts to argue that if, indeed, I actually wanted to argue on Facebook I would never have to leave my profile. Should I stop posting about things that matter to me even though a lot of people feel my posts are what’s wrong with the world? I don’t think so.

What is really going on with this other author, then? It all seems to come back to sales. Here we have and excerpt from the third installment of this author’s rants:

“My intent is not to bring attention to myself nor to any particular party. You’ll notice I speak here in generalities. I refuse to participate in the same witch hunting that is ruining our online communities. My intent is to raise awareness of the inherent problems of public shaming so that we ALL may back away from the practice.”


“See, witch hunters are busy people. In addition to trying to weed out evil doers and culling the community herd, these people are, strangely enough, also typically financially dependent on the very same community they serve and protect. They’re writers, editors, publishers, game designers and the like. It’s almost like there’s a real, tangible financial benefit to shrinking the competition. Coincidence?”


“That’s how the thankless job of the weary social media vigilante works. The reluctant crime fighter who just can’t stand the idea that somewhere out there, a white man, who happens to be direct financial competition to him, might not support gay marriage.”

He keeps coming back to financial gain. Although no sales figures are presented, either before or after social media witch hunting “killed” genre fiction, there is an insistence that he and others are under financial duress due to “liberals.” He and others need help, and they need it in the form of you buying their books. Despite stating that he’s not trying to bring attention to himself, he’s blogging like crazy and appearing on all the internet shows he can. Why now? If sales have been in decline due to people not wanting to be lynched, wanting equal access to loans and jobs, wanting to be able to marry, etc., since 2012, why wait four years to step forward?

He answers this question when stating “since the election” SJWs have been going nuts. SJWs all of a sudden sprang into existence as of mid-November, or did a post-election climate favoring white biological males come into being, one that motivated him start yelling the sky is falling?

On Quiet Nights poetry collectionHmm. If it’s the second option we are not dealing with a case of legitimate persecution, but with the opportunism inherent to being an author. It’s tough making money in publishing, and we see authors being opportunists by newsjacking, social climbing, taking out-of-context complements from social gatherings or message boards and using them as blurbs on their books, and so on.

Judge the odds for yourself. Is it more likely the largely conservative horror community happily allowed “liberals” to kill it, or that somebody who has trouble competing decided to ride the wave of similar people using intimidation to get their way after Trump’s victory?

Hence my reference to these folks as the Sad Trombones, because as bad as it was with the Sad Puppies in the science fiction and fantasy — a scene experiencing huge Kindle sales with average prices steadily increasing, even with Harry Potter books excluded (but hey…genre fiction is dead?) — the Sad Puppies at least seemed to have genuine convictions. Furthermore, if your work is really going to rub “liberals” the wrong way it’s unlikely you’d get more than a few random, non-recurring sales from them. They are not your audience. So what sales are you losing? Disingenuous.

In any event, I hope the hysterics have not swayed people to lose faith in genre fiction and its ability to endure. We will see what backlash, if any, there is and who it affects. I’ll close with a quote from the author’s own blog post:

“Cry wolf long enough, and the village will watch it eat you just for the satisfaction of seeing you finally shut the fuck up.”

Rabbit Junk: Locked
Words and Music by JP Anderson

I got my stash up in a box, I keep it locked
When I got my eyes on a fox, I keep ‘em locked
On patrol on my block, I keep it locked
And I’m loyal to a fault, I keep it locked
I keep it locked
We’ve got you nailed to a sign post
Have you seen this man?
Now you know he’s never been lost before
Out the back door
Like a midnight whore
But without the honor
And we don’t why
You decided to lie
But we accept that you felt the need to defy
None the less you have a debt that we need to correct
So we put this plan into effect
I keep it locked
I always told myself I’d stay true to this crew
Look what you sacrificed
Following that fool inside you

I knew it would get back to me
I’d be the one to make you bleed
I always told myself I’d stay true to this crew
Now we on you but we stay close
Cuz we want to know more
Like maybe you cut in a sly partner
Acting like a grifter
But playing it like a shop lifter
But without the honor
And now you want our mercy
It’s locked away there is no key
I always told myself I’d stay true to this crew
Look what you sacrificed
Following that fool inside you
I knew it would get back to me
I’d be the one to make you bleed
I always told myself I’d stay true to this crew

*Disclaimer: this entire post is pure opportunism on my part. I am, after all, an author.