It isn’t difficult to parse through Vox Day’s writing to find something that many would (rightly) find offensive. The conservative columnist/blogger and speculative fiction writer once argued that because Hitler was able to round up and gas six million Jews, then we should easily be able to round up and deport millions of “illegal” Mexicans. For years he’s been the subject of derision from many within the speculative fiction community and he was even kicked out Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, an industry writer’s association.
But now Day has been nominated for a Hugo, arguably the most prestigious award in the speculative fiction field, and this has led to a good bit of introspection within the field over whether we should separate the author from the work and whether a vote should be cast in favor of someone whose politics you find abhorrent.
The blog Fangs for Fantasy argues that the two issues, at least in this case, are inseparable:
By urging us to focus on the quality of his work, you are asking us to discard his bigotry. You are telling us that his bigotry is less important than his work. You are telling us to ignore the fact he has deeply dehumanised marginalised people – adding to a society of dehumanisation that continues to cost us in every way.
You are telling us the stories he writes are more important than our status as full people. You are not only ignoring the loud message that we are not welcome in the SFF community, you are adding to it. You add your voice to the chorus saying “we are indifferent to the awful treatment of marginalised people” and that this genre is not a place where we belong and that it is a place where abusing us is acceptable.
Stories are important, but we are worth more than stories.
And this applies regardless of the quality of Vox Day’s work.