I wrote to Tom Doherty and two executives at Macmillan yesterday. I haven't had a reply from any of them, so I hope the e-mail reached them. The silence is deafening. I didn't make this an open (i.e. public) letter, but it said basically the same thing as my earlier missive. If this issue gets to the boycott stage next week, I'll publish it here for those who may be interested.
It would appear that there may now be more Macmillan involvement with Tor's day-to-day management than before this crisis erupted. Another observer reports that Irene Gallo's profile on Twitter now looks like this:
She lists her job titles at Tor, but then asserts "Opinions are my own, not Macmillan's." Is this a sign that Tor's parent company in the USA is now calling more of the shots? Perhaps. If so, the situation is certainly serious enough to justify that, to my mind at least. We'll see.
There's also been a comment on Reddit that may (or may not) be from an employee at Tor. I personally discount it, as I don't believe there's any way an official comment could have been issued and remained unretracted for this long if there'd been an internal error. Still, it's out there. Make of it what you will.
Sarah Hoyt, a friend for whom I have real respect, published an excellent article this morning that in part addresses the current situation at Tor and elsewhere. I urge you to read the whole thing - it's worth your time. In it she made this point:
People are talking of boycotting Tor. That’s silly. This is not Tor. This is “all traditional publishing except for Baen” and a few authors at other houses. I will continue reading authors from Tor ... whose politics are of little concern to me because their worlds breathe and live.
There's much more at the link.
I'm afraid that, despite my respect for Sarah, this is where she and I differ in our approach. As I commented on her blog:
The only place I disagree with you is concerning a boycott of Tor. Sure, other traditional publishers are as bad; sure, it’s a widespread problem. However, we can’t handle all of them at once. I’m from the African school of life. “How do you eat an elephant? Mouthful by mouthful.” I’m more than willing to make Tor the first mouthful.
I really mean that.
I wonder whether Tor's and Macmillan's lack of response to my letters, both public and private, is because they think I don't mean it? Do they think I'm just 'small fry', not worth bothering about? Do they think my words are 'a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing'? Do they think I'm making an idle threat, or don't have any support? Time will tell. I know what other authors and individuals in the SF/F community have said to me. Let's see whether they back up their words with action. Whether they do or they don't, I know what I'm going to do if the situation doesn't change. (See edited addition below.)
Honor is a terribly old-fashioned notion these days . . . but I was raised to live by it. Sometimes honor demands that one act, irrespective of any other consideration. If Tor and/or Macmillan have not acted by Monday, I shall.
EDITED TO ADD: It seems that some commenters at another site, where the second-last paragraph above was reproduced, think I've got an inflated sense of my own importance to expect a reply from Tor or Macmillan. No, far from it. What I'm talking about is basic customer service and common decency (yes, I know the latter is un-common these days - more's the pity). If a customer writes to any company to complain, particularly over something that is false and libelous, it's the very least that company can do to acknowledge receipt of the complaint. AFAIK, hundreds of e-mails have been sent to Tor and Macmillan over this issue; and of those sent by individuals I know, not one has been acknowledged, let alone received even the most cursory reply. Customer service FAIL, right there.
As for my requests for action: if it's 'an inflated sense of one's own importance' to expect an apology for libelous and false accusations, and look for steps to be taken to ensure it doesn't happen again . . . well, I guess that makes me guilty. Too bad. So sorry. That's not about to change. I happen to make a point of apologizing if I unjustly or unfairly insult or offend anyone. So do most people I know. Clearly, we're out of line with current thinking and social mores by doing so.