As I mentioned earlier, I was contacted by an individual who works at Tor, and through him was put in touch with a second. I've received a fair amount of information today, but I can't use it 'as is', for three reasons.
- The individuals concerned are afraid of the consequences if their identities are revealed. They believe they'd be fired at once. I've agreed to do everything I can to conceal their names. In some cases, this means I can't directly quote what they told me.
- The information they provided has to be verified. I explained to them that I couldn't simply take their word for something; it had to be confirmed by external evidence. They agreed that this was reasonable.
- Some of the information they provided may relate to matters other than the present scandal. For example, one reported that a well-known individual at Tor was no longer employed there. I was able to confirm this; but in the process, it emerged that she'd left before the current situation arose. Her departure is therefore an unrelated matter. I want to make sure that if I say something about what's going on at Tor right now, it's definitely related to the current problem.
For all these reasons, I can't say too much right now. However, I've shared some of the information with others who can confirm it for themselves, and may be able to make good use of it. We'll see.
It appears that there's immense anger and bitterness among some senior personnel at Tor. They reportedly believe the current backlash against that company is basically 'manufactured outrage', deliberately stirred up by Vox Day (whose name is allegedly an expletive there now). Some have even asserted that the thousands of e-mails complaining about Irene Gallo's statement aren't genuine, but the product of a bot-net, a manufactured wave of pseudo-indignation that has no foundation in reality. Apparently Macmillan and others involved aren't so sure about that, but it's a defense the SJW's are using with might and main. It's also apparently why almost none of us have had any acknowledgment of our complaints, not even a notification that our e-mails have been received. (Some correspondents who requested confirmation when their e-mails were opened have received it; others have not.)
A major cause of the bitterness among the senior SJW's at Tor is that Macmillan is allegedly taking a much greater role in formulating Tor's policies and enforcing adherence to them. The company is said to have a new social media policy that's been described as 'Draconian', and individuals have allegedly been warned that any further violations will be a terminally bad idea, career-wise.
Presumably as a result of this policy, I note that some very recent posts by some of the individuals concerned have already disappeared from public view on Facebook or other online venues. Moshe Feder has gone so far as to state:
Although I've issued numerous disclaimers over the last few weeks to remind you all that I'm speaking here SOLELY FOR MYSELF and _not_ for Tor Books, Tom Doherty Associates, or Macmillan, I've decided that in the present circumstances, it would be prudent to provide a constant visual reminder of that at the top of this page.
Therefore, you will now find my employment listed at the top of the left column as being first of all with the newly minted Federal Books.
It'll be interesting to see whether Mr. Feder works as an independent in future. I also noted last night that Irene Gallo is now listing her positions at Tor, but claiming that her opinions are "her own, not Macmillan's". Both developments appear to me to be indirect confirmation of the above information.
The 'Tor two' also claimed that there's a divide between the upper-echelon SJW's there and what they call 'the lower levels' (where they work). They assert that not everyone at Tor shares the SJW's opinions or outlook, but daren't say so publicly because they'd attract immediate retaliation. They say there's more than a little schadenfreude at lower levels to see certain individuals taken down a peg or two. They quoted a couple of comments that were side-splittingly funny, but which I can't repeat for fear of their being used to identify individuals who'd be harmed by that. Perhaps one day . . .
They're worried about their own futures. They say that any serious boycott of Tor will have very damaging effects, very quickly, because the company's margins are not good. It's said to have bet its shirt on a recent contract with John Scalzi, and allegedly doesn't have that much liquid capital left to play with. They're also afraid that if Tor is driven into the ground by a boycott, anyone who's worked there may have a 'toxic' label attached to them when they look for another job. Apparently other publishers are taking note of the reaction stirred up by injudicious use of social media, and are tightening up on their own policies and procedures. Anyone associated at high level with this crisis may receive sympathy from fellow travelers at other companies, but may find it difficult to actually get a position there, for fear of provoking a backlash from already-offended readers.
There's also said to be real anger and disdain directed against pro-Puppies authors who are making their voices heard over this crisis. They're allegedly being called 'traitors', 'cowards' and 'opportunists'. Apparently my name is mud, too. I've been told a few of the things supposedly being said about me, and I've taken due note of dates, times and individuals. I guess I should be glad - after all, any publicity is good publicity, right? I don't think they're going to buy my books, though . . . perhaps I should donate a set?
I'm trying to obtain independent confirmation of a few other things said by the two people with whom I spoke. If I do, I'll post more about them here. I've also shared a few things with those who may be in a better position to make good use of them. We'll see what happens. Meanwhile, I've been advised that giving Tor and Macmillan only until Monday to respond is simply expecting too much. There's apparently a great deal going on at present, and more time may be needed for them to work out how to handle this mess. I'll accordingly delay any decision on what to do next until Friday, June 19th, and will so inform the individuals with whom I've been in correspondence.