The continued deafening silence from Tor and Macmillan over the conduct of certain individuals at the first-named firm continues to puzzle me (and many others who've complained to both companies). I'm beginning to suspect that they have no idea what to do about the situation.
It may be, of course, that they see themselves as being between a rock and a hard place. If they follow Tom Doherty's example and reprimand those who've overstepped the mark at Tor, they risk outraging all the SJW's who've followed their lead and attacked the 'Puppies' and their Hugo slates for months - in some cases, years. (Mr. Doherty did just that - see the comments below his statement.) On the other hand, if they don't take any action, they're going to outrage all those who've complained; who've finally had enough of being insulted, denigrated and scorned by a publishing house whose employees should unquestionably have known better. That may be the real reason for the silence - they think they'll be damned if they do, and damned if they don't. (I shall certainly do my part to ensure the latter outcome, if they are so short-sighted, misguided and foolish as to make it necessary.)
Meanwhile, L. Jagi Lamplighter has been asking for and publishing photographs of fans' collections of Tor books, hardbound and paperback. If you feel so inclined, please e-mail a picture to her so she can add it to the article. It'll hopefully give Tor and Macmillan some idea of the business they risk losing from just the few fans who submit pictures like that. When you multiply them by the hundreds who've actively complained, and the thousands of fellow-travelers who are watching, reading and listening . . . I think they can't help but realize how seriously a boycott may affect them.
In my first open letter to Tom Doherty at Tor, I warned:
There is very little time left to address these issues before this situation gets out of control.
I can only repeat that warning, with greater emphasis. I've already seen a number of commenters declare that as far as they're concerned, the boycott is already in effect. I've seen e-mails sent to Tor and Macmillan that say the same thing.
I'm also saddened that instead of an intelligent dialog about this mess, both sides seem to be descending into greater vituperation and mutual abusiveness. I hoped that David Gerrold's peace overture would meet a better response, but I'm afraid it didn't - from either side. Even some of the towering figures of SF/F are lowering themselves into the gutter when attacking those they see as their opponents. We are all poorer for such conduct. However, in a very real sense, this is war - a cultural conflict rather than the shooting variety, but war nevertheless. In war, common decency is one of the first casualties. I'll do my best not to stoop to name-calling, with the exception of referring to the other side as 'social justice warriors' or SJW's. I do so only because I have no other name in my vocabulary to adequately or accurately describe them. If anyone can suggest a better, more acceptable alternative, I'll be grateful.
There are less than three days left until noon on Friday. I truly hope Tor and Macmillan do the right thing before then. The alternative is not pleasant . . . but it will happen, unless they forestall it. The ball's in their court until then.