I’ve nothing against James Long, author of Speculative Horizons–one of the good SF/F blogs out there. His blog has been in my Google Reader for almost a year now and I’ve enjoyed many of his thoughtful posts. But it appears he’s decided to close things down. Why? Partly because he’s going to be an editorial assistant at Orbit Books (congrats!), and partly because of this:
Of course, this means I can’t continue with my blogging here. I’ve always tried to blog with honesty and integrity, and there’s just no way I could continue blogging while working for a major genre publisher – it would bring my personal and professional credibility into question.
Wait, what? Stopping because of new responsibilities makes perfect sense. Working in publishing
is a rough business, particularly if you’re in a lower position at a relatively major press (Orbit is pretty big in the SF/F world, after all). But instead of a perfectly reasonable reason, he offers one that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. How exactly is working in publishing and blogging at the same time a threat to one’s personal and professional credibility? Did someone bother telling Lou Anders about this, who is the editorial director of Pyr and blogs at the same time? What about the dozens of agents, assistants, marketing people, and so forth (and that link doesn’t include the dozens of others that are out there) who routinely blog about the things they love, whether it be about what they do or their personal lives (which might very well be about what they do too)? Is their credibility (personal or professional) shot to shit because they do both? Of course not.
So what’s the real reason, James? Are you contractually obligated to no longer blog at SH? Does the new time commitment make it difficult for you to do both at the same time? Do you just not want to continue because you’ve moved on to bigger and better things (to which I would say “well, we love you too” in a very sarcastic voice, followed by “we appreciate your honesty”)? Because from where I’m standing, the rational sounds suspiciously like a slaughterhouse worker saying he doesn’t want to eat meat anymore because it might make people question his character, instead of saying he can’t stand the sight of meat because he sees it all day.
The big question, of course is this: since when does being a blogger with “honesty and integrity” damage one’s credibility? Seems to me that the only time blogging kills your credibility as a critic (or anything) is when you intentionally lie or manipulate the truth–sort like what this douchebag did.
Then again, maybe I’m just being a downer about this whole thing. Maybe I’m missing something. If so, someone can correct me…