Marion Zimmer Bradley - Silence is Complicity (TRIGGERS)

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BenPanced

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http://radishreviews.com/2014/06/16/silence-is-complicity/

tl;dr: Marion Zimmer Bradley not only aided and abetted her husband's abuse of boys, she also abused and molested her own daughter.

When I was hanging out in sf/f fandom, I'd heard about a few things that were summarily dismissed because "Oh, it's FILL IN THE BLANK! And we love FILL IN THE BLANK!" This, however, is reaching a scale of dark secrecy that I'd never known to exist.
 

clintl

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I read about this first a number of years ago (after she died, I think, but I'm not sure how long after). A horrible human being.
 

rugcat

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I read about this first a number of years ago (after she died, I think, but I'm not sure how long after). A horrible human being.
Yes, this is old news and fairly well known. However she still has her defenders who either refuse to accept any of it or excuse what she did. I've met several of them.
 

Zoombie

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The age old question: How do you deal with the fact that the producer of something you love is a terrible, terrible, terrible fucking human being?

I have no clue what the right answer is.

But I know the WRONG answer is to ignore the facts and stick your head in the sand.
 

Night_Writer

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I knew nothing about this at all. And it made my head spin around to read it. I've never read anything by MZB, and now I'm glad. I don't think I could even touch one of her books now unless I was wearing latex gloves. Oh, wait, latex. She might have found that kinky. Let's say I don't pick it up at all.

It's so shocking to find out that someone so successful and so well regarded in the SFF community could be capable of this. It's sickening.
 

Forsooth

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She and her husband are such awful human beings. Her and her husbands defenders well if your moral compass points you to defend two paedophiles there is something wrong, the way they berate the victims is disgusting.

And it was right that Tor scrapped that MZB tribute.
 
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regdog

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I have so many of her Mists of Avalon books. I never knew what she had done and not done until now.

So many are guilty of this. How many at Penn State said nothing about Sandusky and said nothing, in the Catholic Church, in private homes?
 

Perks

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I had no idea. I'm stunned. What a horrible pair of human beings.

I have one of her books on the shelf right now. Just great.
 

Marian Perera

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I'm trying to imagine how I would have felt if I'd been told to barricade myself into my room when my parents had their friends over. "We like Mr. Hill and he's a great person, but while he's here, do not come out of your room and keep it locked. Okay, that's taken care of, put the music on and the beer out!"
 

KateSmash

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I had no idea either. Ugh, Mists of Avalon was such a major influence on hippie-dippy fluffy bunny teen me.

It seems I'm going to have some real estate freed up on my shelves ...
 

Alessandra Kelley

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I've known about her for some time and been nauseated at some of the fannish responses.

Her books are full of creepster stuff and apologism. Even before I found out about her and her husband I had drifted away from her books as too full of WTFery.

I have to say, there were aspects of SF fandom in the '70s that were creepy as hell to a little girl, but somehow the adults around didn't see it.

It explains so much about the dirty old man feel of the Society for Creative Anachronism and conventions of the time.

It is unsettling and sobering to read nonfiction accounts of what was going on in the science fiction world at that time.

After I grew up I stayed away from SF fandom until my husband's book was nominated for a Campbell Award.
 

Alessandra Kelley

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Marion Zimmer Bradley was not the only big famous SF author who engaged in scummy predatory sexual practices, not by a long shot.

The SF world needs to face up to its foundational figures' sins.
 

RedRajah

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Marion Zimmer Bradley was not the only big famous SF author who engaged in scummy predatory sexual practices, not by a long shot.

The SF world needs to face up to its foundational figures' sins.

Piers Anthony immediately comes to mind on that front.
 

Ari Meermans

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I'm too sick over this to think straight right now. I have her Mists of Avalon books and have (had) always loved them. Now, every SF/F author on my shelves is suspect and that's a damned shame.

Knowing this puts the current SFWA turmoil in a new context for me. The breadth and scope of the resistance to those things any thinking person with a heart knows to be right and just was inexplicable before. Now I know too many have too much to lose--whether they, too, were/are predators or whether they were silently complicit.
 

Cranky

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I started hearing about this earlier this year, and I was pretty shocked. I'd read some of the Mists of Avalon books when I was a young teen, and I had no idea any of this was going on. I've never really been part of the fandom, so maybe that's why. It's fucking horrible.
 

amergina

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Her books were seminal in my growing up and part of the reason I became a writer. :(

I can't separate the art from the artist in this case. The books I have are getting tossed. I can't even donate them.

And I am very tired of people saying things like "Oh, well it was the 60s. I can't judge people because it was the culture."

Yeah, no.
 

RedRajah

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What did Piers Anthony do?

http://www.avclub.com/article/revisiting-the-sad-misogynistic-fantasy-of-xanth-104382

In a 2002 Slashdot Q&A, a longtime fan asks Anthony about the traces of pedophilia in his books, among them 1983’s On A Pale Horse, the first installment of Incarnations Of Immortality. His answer denies nothing, and it makes things more muddy than clear:
On A Pale Horse deals explicitely [sic] with underage sex? You’ll have to cite pages, as I don’t remember this. Firefly has explicit underage sex; could that be the one you mean? That’s not in this series.
He then protests way too much:
The fact is, as I explore in my GEODYSSEY series, men are attracted to women, and to the shapely ones more than the others, and to the young ones more than the older ones. I don’t mean to children, but to girls after they develop breasts and pubic hair, signals of sexual maturity. This relates to the apparent breedability of women; the strategy of the man is to capture a woman at the beginning of her reproductive life and have as many children by her as possible. So young women tend to be the most appealing; it’s pretty much hard-wired in our species, and this is reflected in our society’s glorification of youth in TV, movies, magazine, advertising—everywhere, as if it is a crime to ever get old.
Anthony has clearly put a lot of energy into his definition of sexual maturity in girls—right down to the troubling idea that, in his eyes, the development of breasts and pubic hair in a girl means she is no longer a child. He ends his rambling response by saying, “But about membership in an anti-pedophelia [sic] organization—I do oppose pedophilia, but don’t belong to any such outfit. In fact I correspond with some pedophiles in prison.” It’s a good thing Anthony never had cause to testify in his own defense.
 

vsrenard

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Huh. Thanks, RedRajah. I haven't read Anthony since I was a teenager, and I didn't get a pedo vibe off his books then. Not worth a re-read now though.

Didn't know about MZB either but I was never able to get through The Mists of Avalon, so she's not a favorite of mine.
 

shakeysix

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I never read the MZB books. My science fiction stage fizzled in my late teens when my beloved Heinlein began to creep me out. I guess that is when I became an adult with adult sensibilities. --s6
 

BethS

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This is the first I've heard of any of this. There are no words to describe how shocking and sickening it all is. That poem by her daughter was the most horrifying thing I've ever read.

The only book I've read by MZB was Mists of Avalon. Knew nothing about her at the time except that she was a popular writer, but I really, really didn't like the book -- just gave me a generally bad vibe. Never cared to pick up another by her and I'm glad now I didn't.
 
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