To those whom I’ve offended

I’m sorry. Truly. Not a PR move or an excuse; I feel awful.

I took the blog post down because I hated the idea of offending anyone else.

225 responses to “To those whom I’ve offended”

  1. Just chiming in as another potential reader whose interest you’ve entirely lost. This “apology” reads as a complete PR move, given your initial amusement at the critical response to your post. You’ve been forced to apologize by the volume of the reaction.

    I guess I’m just another PC police bitch/cunt/whore, though. (was a joke!)

    1. Hey Hugh,

      can’t believe you are coming to Auckland. When, where, what time … open to the public?

      I live on the north shore … come for a barbeque if you have time!

      Gary NZmobile 021 253 0577

  2. […] (Edited to add this apology. Leaving the post up and intact as a lesson on not being a dick on the internet.) […]

  3. Imho, Hugh, you didn’t need to apologise at all! Some people are just way too sensitive nowadays and are more inclined to make mountains out of a teeny tiny mole hills. I think we’ve entered a (very sad) time where it’s hip to be offended (or to be outraged over just words)… any excuse for people to feel “special” or to play the slighted victim.

    1. I’m a guy, so I don’t really understand how I’m “playing the victim.” All I’m saying is that if someone said to me in real life what Hugh, I’d think he was at the very least a boorish asshole. For a supposedly internet-savvy author to think this kind of anecdote is appropriate for his professional website really surprises me.

      His fans are doing him no favors by encouraging his obvious idiocy.

      1. You may not be portraying the victim but you’re definitely making a mountain out of a mole hill.

        I also find it interesting that you allow yourself to use the word asshole but shit on a stick if the word bitch is used! Double-standards; you can’t have it both ways.

      2. Lighten up Francis. Geez.

    2. I’m a guy, so I don’t really understand how I’m “playing the victim.” All I’m saying is that if someone said to me in real life what Hugh said, I’d think he was at the very least a boorish asshole. For a supposedly internet-savvy author to think this kind of anecdote is appropriate for his professional website really surprises me.

      His fans are doing him no favors by encouraging his obvious idiocy.

  4. Yep. Your books were on my TBR list, but not any more.

    1. Dean Jameson (@JustDeanJameson) Avatar
      Dean Jameson (@JustDeanJameson)

      That is truly your loss. Hugh is an outstanding writer.

      1. I agree. What a loss. I’ve read everything Hugh Howey has wrote except for two that I need to get my paws on. He is a brilliant writer and one of my favorite authors.

  5. Kara Dickinson Avatar


    Wow, some people are way thin skinned. This will all blow over as they find some new thing to get worked up over

    LOVED Wool and Shift. Really enjoy this blog too. Can’t wait for your new books and posts. I feel like such a mom when I say, it will all work out.


  6. Rachel Swirsky Avatar

    Cheers, that’s a really well-written apology. The offense was (IMO) proportionally minor as these things go (which is not to say non-existent, and I understand why it chafed some people more than it did me), and mitigated with grace. Have a cookie (offered with sincerity).

  7. It is big of you to apologize, and I believe you are sincere. (As a general rule I feel it’s unfair to assume the offense is sincerely intended but the apology is not.) Everyone makes mistakes, and everyone needs to forgive and be forgiven from time to time. I accept your apology and wish you luck in your career.

  8. Jesus, people. If some of you are actually offended at the use of the word “bitch,” I would caution you to never visit my blog or Facebook page. You might die of Acute Isaywhateverthehelliwantitis.

    1. Are you a published author with a big movie deal in the works? I’m guessing no. I don’t think anyone cares what you write on Facebook, Dave.

      1. So using the word bitch only matters if you’re famous?

        Or is it that getting in an uproar about the use of the word bitch only matters if a famous person says it? I’m curious.

  9. I’m not quite sure why you had to apologize either. it sounds to me like the woman was way out of line and crossing boundaries. On the other hand, a twitter comment about your apology is what brought me to your website, and I’m now very intrigued about your work, so I guess I’m glad you apologized!

  10. ” I also made the mistake of assuming the readers of my blog have the context of my life and my actions that my friends and family have. I forget that strangers read my blatherings. When I post something, I have in mind the small group who know me well enough to know when my tongue is planted firmly in my cheek or when I’m joking.”

    In other words, my friends and family are also misogynist assholes. Good to know.

    You’re not a dickhead, however. I have a feeling you’re far too proud of yours to ever consider that to be a pejorative.

    Nice try, thanks for playing, but you fail at apologies – or even understanding WHY you need to apologize . It’s obvious this is just a half-hearted attempt you felt guilted into writing because your original post finally got its deserved reaction on Twitter today.

    1. (pssst…..we’re all proud of ours. doesn’t mean we don’t like yours too!)

    2. Jane Morris Coons Avatar
      Jane Morris Coons

      Wow, what a load of tripe. I read the original blog post, and had no idea I was supposed to get all butt hurt about it. And this coming from a woman who came of age during the early days of Women’s Liberation, when we actually had to fight for equal pay & equal rights. The woman he was referring to DID act like a bitch – a stuck up bitch who put her nose in other people’s business. He was offended, and wrote about it, tongue in cheek, in his blog. ALERT THE MEDIA!!

      This whole politically correct BS makes me ill. It seems like grammar school – who can “tell on” someone who violates the code of PCness.

      Hugh does not need to white knight for him.

      1. Jane Morris Coons Avatar
        Jane Morris Coons

        Sorry, I meant: This woman does not need you to white knight for her.

      2. You know what I find sad/ funny/ ironic. By making something this small such a big deal, and not taking the time to consider the intent and context (meaning, the person who has said it, the body of his work, past actions and the actual situation at hand,) it actually detracts from the valuable conversation and work still left to be done for gender equality.

        We have legitimate issues in this country when our politicians can refer to thing such as “legitimate rape,” girls get slut shamed into committing suicide, and women are still fighting for the right to be equally paid for equal work (having it as a law is one thing, putting into practice another.) I think feminism is a worthy and just cause. Heck, I AM a feminist and proud to consider myself one.

        However, by completely missing the big picture, and focusing on something as mundane as the use of the word bitch (when that’s what this person was clearly being) squanders the cachet and energy we could be using in much more important ways.


    3. You’re so easily offended I’m shocked that you can even get out of bed in the morning, let alone use a computer (yes I have had the unfortunate experience of reading ALL of your posts). You must be an absolutely miserable person, and I am sorry for that. However I do still need to demolish your insane ramblings.

      First, your conclusion that Hugh’s friends and family are “also misogynist assholes” is quite possibly the single most ignorant thing I have read this year. Hugh is clearly making the point that the people who know him, and know what a good person he is, understand that he is being funny. This is where a sense of humor comes in to play, I know it’s getting complicated for you but I’ll get to that next.

      Second, and I know that this is very hard for you to understand, but there are many of us who enjoy humor, and even better, enjoy laughing! The only people hurt by his post were those looking for a reason to be. This may sound insensitive, but anyone offended by his post should not be on the internet in the first place. Sorry.

      Finally, anyone who uses “the reaction on Twitter” as a basis for proving a point is unquestionably a complete and utter lunatic who’s thoughts do not deserve to be heard.

    4. You are offended by a single word that was not even meant for you but still don’t seem to have a problem calling all of Hugh’s family and friends “misogynist assholes”. As I’m sure most of Hugh’s fans feel like his friends, the way he always goes out of his way to help with everyone’s request, I say you should be careful of your own “language” before criticizing other people.

      Hugh leave all of this nonsense behind and keep writing your wonderful books. Some people only seek opportunities to biker.

  11. Hugh,

    I’m a fan. I’ve sung the praises of Wool to my friends, and gotten a fair number to read them. I’ve read about half your books since discovering Wool.

    I read your ‘bitch’ story and…it made me uncomfortable. Not enough to make me renounce my fandom, or stop reading. It did change my opinion of you, not for the better. It seemed unprofessional and worse, generally insensitive.

    I hope you can understand that. I’ll keep reading. I’ll still recommend Wool. I was just…disappointed.

    1. This is pretty close to my reaction. I’m disappointed (and a little confused as to why Hugh took down the longer apology, which was quite nice), but it doesn’t change the fact that I love the books. I do believe he’s sorry.

    2. Dean Jameson (@JustDeanJameson) Avatar
      Dean Jameson (@JustDeanJameson)

      This is basically how I felt. In fact, I had more of a problem with the word “broad” than the word “bitch.” To me, a “bitch” can be either a man or a woman, and that woman was acting like one. “Broad” just struck me as a VERY poor choice of words.

  12. Zero (@ZAWotA) Avatar

    I agree the word “broad” is a bit old-fashioned and casually referring to any or all females as broads is no-doubt offensive, since it probably originally meant “whore” or “prostitute” or “slut”, but when used for a person that is actively distasteful? Maybe the description of this woman as being distasteful before the use of the descriptive noun would have been more apt.

    But I’m pretty surprised that people get upset over “bitch” actively referring to one that displays the characteristics of a bitch (as by this time it’s been established).

    The only thing I found offensive was the physical description of the bitch-character as though that was somehow relevant. One is left wondering if the bitch had resembled Penny or Bernadette instead of Amy if the negative feelings and bitch-label would have been applied. Although I suppose referring to Amy as Sheldon’s girlfriend instead of Amy is also mildly offensive.

    1. The word “broad” is merely a slang word for woman, it is not derogatory. The term “classy broad” was often seen in older detective stories, usually referring to the woman who was hiring the detective, or to some other superior woman.

    2. Read your middle paragraph over, but mentally substitute for “bitch” a racial slur that conveys a behavioral stereotype. Does it still seem okay? A derogatory term that conveys a stereotype about a group of people isn’t a good thing to use even IF describing a member of the group that is behaving in accordance with the stereotype.

    3. Uh, by no means has the targeted woman’s behavior been “established.” All we have is the report of an admittedly biased and VERY obviously unreliable narrator.

      He screwed up massively and no amount of fanboy groveling is going to shield him from the fallout.

  13. I think it’s a good apology. Thank you for stepping up.

  14. Johannes Punkt Avatar


    I am glad you apologized, it is the right thing to do. It is hard to phrase these things right, even as a famous author. I believe you’re actually sorry, for what it’s worth.

  15. No apology was required, Hugh. I don’t believe very many of the people who protested were sincere about their outrage. Unless they live on a different planet. Recreational outrage is common in the social media, from message boards to FB etc. Don’t sweat it.

    1. “Recreational” outrage IS REAL OUTRAGE. You are clearly a heterosexual white upper-middle-class literate able-bodied cisgender male and have seriously and genuinely NO CONCEPT of living with oppression.

      Social media gives a voice and a space for outrage, not a playground.

      1. John in Hollywood Avatar
        John in Hollywood

        mmhmm – and I’m a gay man, born and raised in San Francisco, I’m the living embodiment of centuries of brutal oppression. Please do not assume you speak for every group that has been oppressed over the ages because you do not. The word “bitch” was reclaimed by women decades ago. It’s not our problem if you missed the memo on that sometime back in the 70’s.

      2. Glancing at the name of the original poster, I see that it is a person named “Margaret” that’s being called male (among other things.)

        Annieonymous, not only are you making HUGE, massive stereotypical judgments in your outraged response (about race, class, economics, etc.) but you’re also not so great at reading comprehension.

  16. I don’t think you had to apologize either, but it’s classy of you to do it anyway.

    I told my wife (a big Molly Fyde fan and a woman who was abused by her former boyfriend) the crap you were being accused of and she couldn’t believe it (she is a lurker at Kboards and says you are absolutely adorable).

    Unfortunately we live in a society with oversensitive people and too much time in their hands who seem to love being offended. I bet someone who doesn’t know you at all and didn’t even know you were a writer accidentaly found your blog from 2 weeks ago and decided to make a big fuss about it. Tomorrow they’ll find something else to complain about.

  17. Melinda VanLone Avatar
    Melinda VanLone

    For what it’s worth, I hadn’t ever seen your website until today. I’d heard about the book but hadn’t bought it. And now? I bought the book. I’m subscribing to the website. Please don’t stop being yourself. But yeah, next time listen to your wife ;-)

    I read the original post. I took it as humorous, as though you were talking it up with a group of friends. I’m sorry you caught the attention of the PC police but hey, you got a new reader out of it, so it’s not all bad.

    The next scandal will be along any second now…1…2…

    1. There’s no “PC Police,” there’s only “decent people,” and as a woman, you have a lot to thank them for.

      1. John in Hollywood Avatar
        John in Hollywood

        Give it a rest already – so I’m assuming it’s equally oppressive to call a guy a dick? Is asshole a better choice because it’s gender neutral?

    2. One of the things that always strikes me as odd are the women who are SO LOUDLY FEMINIST who assume that all women would or should feel the same about a given situation.

      Yes, I’m a feminist. No, I was not offended by Hugh’s post. Does that mean I should feel thankful that you have come up on your feminine white horse to save me from my ignorance and I should be thanking you for defending your definition of “decent people” as all woman-kind?

      No. And you want to know why? Because, part of being a feminist is understanding that women come in many variations and are all different. Part of being a feminist is knowing that you can’t put us all in a little box and label it “woman.”

      Part of being a feminist is recognizing that being a feminist is simply demanding to start with the assumption that we be treated equally and fairly…and letting our OWN ACTIONS dictate where we go from there. This lady at Worldcon did not get called a bitch because she was a woman. She acted like a bitch, and therefore earned her title fairly.


  18. I don’t think you had to apologize either, but it’s classy of you to do it anyway.

    I told my wife (a big Molly Fyde fan and a woman who was abused by her former boyfriend) the crap you were being accused of and she couldn’t believe it (she is a lurker at Kboards and says you are absolutely adorable).

    Unfortunately in the Internet there are oversensitive people with too much time in their hands who seem to love being offended. I bet someone who doesn’t know you at all and didn’t even know you were a writer accidentaly found your blog from 2 weeks ago and decided to make a big fuss about it. Tomorrow they’ll find something else to complain about.

  19. Hey Hugh,

    I was one of the many people who first heard about you through the “Bitch at Worldcon” post, and I found it an unpleasant read. It seemed mean rather than funny, and I pretty much wrote you off. This second apology seems so much more sincere; I’m really glad you posted it, because now I can feel better about my fellow nerds.

  20. You are awesome, but not perfect. Who is? Maybe you are still a regular guy, apt to say what’s on your mind. You are new to the famous author thing, after all. It will be alright.

  21. Your apology was refreshingly honest and genuine, and the world would be a better place if more people could react that candidly. Clearly it’s a lesson not just for you but for your readers as well.

    Part of what I enjoy in your story is that you tend to think out loud, the way somebody might if we were actually sitting together, and one of the consequences of that is the learning experiences that sometimes ensue. We can all be more deliberate and considerate in our communications (and I’m sure we all will be).

    Good on you. I at least remain a fan.

  22. Having met Hugh, the apology is sincere, albeit unnecessary. Let his work speak to you or not. And Hugh…don’t worry about it. Walk away, walk away. Dust, dust.

  23. I have no idea who you are. In fact this is the first thing of yours that I have read and I’m glad I did. I wish you wouldn’t have taken this down. I liked the post. You spoke about the events happening exactly how you felt and saw them happening. Don’t pander to the holier-than-thou or more rightly named more-tolerant-than-thou crowd. Oh, no. He said bitch, how derogatory to women everywhere….riiiiiighttt.

    So lets go. All you whiners should start crying, wailing your fists onto the keyboarding making sure the whole internet knows you’re the beacon righteousness , the shining example of the perfect; liberal, white, teen.

    1. Jane Morris Coons Avatar
      Jane Morris Coons

      Well said!

  24. Hey man. We all learn. We all make mistakes. Sometimes it takes a moment to realize we’ve made a mistake, or even what that mistake it is. Some realizations come as a slow dawn and hopefully you’ll make a conscience effort to Be Better.

    People are upset because you should know. You should know what we all already know, either because we were brought up a certain way, we were taught, we found out, or we learned the hard way. I was explicitly taught. Guess which one you got? You should know because you have a gazillion reviews on Amazon and a guy like that just knows. But you know… you didn’t. It’s like that XKCD comic about being one of the 10,000. And today my friend, you are one of the 10,000 -for something less exciting than Coke and Mentos, but far more important. Six years after my (future) wife explicitly told never, ever call another woman a “bitch” for any reason whatsoever, I’m still learning about what what this whole “privilege” thing is. It’s hard because *everything* in society is slanted that way. See John Scalzi’s blog post from last year for more on that.

    I see reading the comments that you may have assumed at first that commentators were over-reacting or being too PC. They weren’t. The problem with the word “bitch” is that no matter how awful a person may act, a “bitch’s” worst problem is that she’s a woman. I know that’s not what you meant, but words are not always our own. And that word is loaded.

    And it’s not an easy fix. At first, I was going to say, “Yeah! Easy Fix! Just nix that word!” But it’s not as simple as that, because stuff like this crops up All. The. Time. From Obama commenting on a California Attorney Generals’s looks last week, to the Penny Arcade “dick-wolves” fiasco years ago which still infuriates me (and I refuse to read their site or support their charity because they acted unbelievably insensitive afterwards.) Somethings IMO *are* over-reactions (such as this month’s “dongle” controversy at a Python conference). Most of time it’s the really small stuff that we don’t think much about.

    Anyway, it saddens me to see men and women coming to support you saying it’s No Big Deal. Because it is, and that’s OK. You’ve apologized. I support you in that and you will continue to be a force for Good. Awareness is good.

    Anyway, I feel like an idiot on here as a guy sharing his thoughts on something I know so little about.

    1. Dean Jameson (@JustDeanJameson) Avatar
      Dean Jameson (@JustDeanJameson)

      No, a “bitch’s” first problem is that he or she is, in fact, a “bitch.”

    2. This is the thing…I don’t think bitch is gender specific, and I know I’m not alone in that thought. To me, bitch as a verb means being mean, whiny, disagreeable, despicable, etc. Someone who does those things is a bitch.

      Men can be bitches just as easily (and as often) as women. Calling someone a bitch doesn’t make a person sexist.

      1. John in Hollywood Avatar
        John in Hollywood

        No, it’s absolutely NOT gender specific. As a gay man, it’s a word we use to refer to bitchy queens all the time. I live in LA and I hear straight men call other straight men bitch all the time “bitch please” is part of our cultural lexicon.

        1. ‘Bitch’ is applied to a woman or an effeminate man (for the most part) who is seen to be unpleasant or confrontational. If they snub you or make comments about other people, they’re a “bitch”.

          It *is* a gendered insult.

          1. I would say its gender neutral. I’m 26 and have called many people (mainly guys) a bitch for being whiny, annoying bitches b:). I think it could be generationally

          2. I think your definition may be a bit dated.

          3. John in Hollywood Avatar
            John in Hollywood

            Wrong – it’s gender neutral and has been for years. It’s why we say things like “that dude got bitch slapped” or “what’s he bitching about” or “I’m sorry you had such a crappy day, that’s a real bitch”. or “hola puta!” Something tells me you’re the kind of person who goes through life being offended by a lot of things. That says a heck of a lot more about you as a person than the millions of people throughout the world who use the word bitch.

      2. Totally agree with you Janyya!!

  25. I read the original post days ago, and I got the tongue in cheek thing. I wasn’t offended, but I can see how some might have been. Thanks for stepping up and apologizing to those that were, because it takes a big person to do so, as it does for people to forgive other people’s transgressions.

  26. Have not read your books yet, but I had a similar experience with a lady from a publishing company. I am still working on my first novel (write what I know: superheroes in dire and goofy situations). At the San Diego Comic Con, a panel had several book publishers discussing the novel market. I came up after to say hi, I enjoyed the panel, I am writing a novel and am looking at publishing via ebook.

    Her facial lines deepened, her eyes narrowed. “Vanity publishing! Just vanity!” She tremblingly spat out a few other choice words as her face seemed to grow lizard scales. I’s say she was morphing into a dinosaur, except dinosaurs turned into petroleum which is useful, and this woman was worse than useless.

    I wonder if this is the same woman, not understanding the changing market and not wanting to and spitting bile on anyone who thinks otherwise. Yuck. I can understand why Hugh was upset.

  27. You aren’t the first man to piss off the self-important crusader feminists from Tumblr/Twitter, nor will you be the last.

  28. Brandon Carbaugh Avatar
    Brandon Carbaugh

    I think context is important. The same words don’t mean the same thing to everybody, and I don’t think the responsibility falls upon an individual to be conscious of all possible interpretations of word by all people. I watched a video on Youtube recently where an American called somebody in the video a pansy. He meant it the way I’ve always heard the word: wuss. Weakling. Coward. But the comments section exploded into a vitriolic debate. Apparently pansy is a gay slur. I’ve never heard it used that way by anyone I’ve ever spoken with in my entire life. Apparently the fellow in the video hadn’t either. And since he wasn’t aware of it, and since THAT meaning of it it wasn’t his intention, does it really fall on him to then revise his language because other people use the word differently?

    It’s a sensitive issue, and there is no blanket answer. There may be some impetus on public figures to be aware of the effects of their language — but there’s also an imperative upon the listener to give a moment’s thought to the context in which a word appears / is used. Not everyone shares the same preconceptions about every word. The speaker’s intent (or lack thereof) DOES matter.

    You didn’t call that woman a bitch in the context of “dis bitch ovah here”. You called her a bitch where you might similarly have written “asshole” or “jackass” or “idiot”. If you had written “So I’m at worldcon and this bloated fat-ass cunt comes up to me…” then yeah, that would be a different matter.

    Sorry you got picked for the Internet Outrage Lotto today, Hugh. Better luck next time.

  29. Read the original post.
    Apparently I am one of the minority who took it for what it was, an amusing anecdote regarding his encounter with an obnoxious person who claims to know everything regarding getting published, and claiming HH didn’t know anything.
    Read it and laughed out loud, we all know, or have met, someone like this.

    To be offended or incensed, and call HH a misogynist is ludicrous.
    Having met HH, and his WIFE, I can tell you he is a gentleman.
    He treated MY wife with kindness and respect, and was THE nicest author we have ever met. And we’ve met quite a few.

    Back off people, there are more important, and legitimate, things to be outraged about.

    And Hugh, when you get back stateside I would like to order a bunch of your books to give as gifts.

  30. Dean Jameson (@JustDeanJameson) Avatar
    Dean Jameson (@JustDeanJameson)

    The first (and longer) apology was unnecessary, as is this. While the word “broad” can have some distinctively negative connotations how you used it, the word “bitch” actually DOES describe PERFECTLY how that woman was acting.

  31. It’s appreciated that you apologized. I hope in the future you won’t post sexist, ableist and overall hurtful comments. It’s definitely not professional and it makes me not root against you or your success but, alas, not want to read your work ever either.

  32. Welcome to Fame Hugh.

    Judging only by your previous posts and the few interviews I’ve read, I’d say you’ve been playing the fame game rather well. I also think you’re smart enough to know that there is absolutely zero chance of ever NOT offending someone at some point. It’s going to happen again, all you can really do is choose how to handle it when it does.

    I have a friend in the fame club. Top level actually. One thing he never does is apologize. He advised me that once you do that everyone who finds offence with something you said will expect one, and it better be served up on a silver platter or you’ll be labeled “insincere”.

    He tells me it’s better to just own your opinion and move on. Otherwise you’ll be apologizing to everyone with an opinion for the rest of your days. And you know what they say about opinions.

    People who get offended and then spout off are just trying to change YOUR way of thinking into THEIR way of thinking.

    As a fellow nerd I’ll offer this quote, from a Jedi Master no less;

    “Offended you are? A shit I give not.”

  33. Jack Joan Brooke Avatar
    Jack Joan Brooke

    It’s really intresting to read all these reactions y’know. It gives a great view on how different meanings in a society work, appear and exist. And also, it gave this writer a lot of publicity. I didn’t know him before but I’ll surely check his books and website now. I’m really wondering if he wrote that blog post with that intention…

  34. I am absolutely dismayed that you are apologizing for your post (but I understand why you feel you need to). It is disgusting what has happened to your blog due to the arrival of throngs of immature, hypocritical, self-righteous BITCHES. Women and Men, yes the term applies to all of you self-centered lunatics. This place has turned into a discussion board, in which people read a headline and spout flaming shit from their mouths condemning everyone and everything that they do not understand. Get a sense of humor or go home crazies. At the very least stay off the blog of an author who has proved time and time again what an great guy he is and what an amazing friend he is to his fans.

  35. Oh Hugh… you had nothing to apologize for. Intent and context should count for something, imo. I think people have magnified this whole situation so out of proportion.

    I don’t think calling bitchy behavior bitchy is a mistake. Using the word bitch does not make you a misogynist, sexist or a potential rapist or any of the other absurd things I’ve seen in response to that post.

    The fact is, if so many people have that much time on their hands, then they ought to be doing something better with themselves. Maybe they could go crusade against female genital mutilation, volunteer at a womans’ shelter or other just cause. Hounding a poor indie author from the comfort of their couch and keyboard is hardly going to do or achieve what they obviously feel SO passionately about.

    I hope this doesn’t color your interactions going forward, Hugh. You are well-loved and admired by your many fans because of what a genuinely nice and authentic guy you are…not just for your extremely talented writing.

    This whole kerfuffle seems like such a sad waste of energy.


    1. Perfectly stated Janyaa! Our current culture of “Internet Outrage” is sickening. My only solace is that the ignorant sheep will be herded to their next target within a day or two.

    2. The voice of reason. Thanks, Janyaa

    3. Very well said, Janyaa. I agree completely. Here’s a cynical observation – if the title of the post had not contained the word bitch, the post would have gone unnoticed by all those offended people. They never would have read it.

      1. John in Hollywood Avatar
        John in Hollywood

        Or, if this had been a guy he’d been talking about, and he called him a dick, there would be no issue.

  36. Holy shit. Look at these comments. “someone was being a bitch, so I called them a bitch in a blog” Oh my god I’ll never read your books! how dare you call a bitch a bitch!

    I don’t understand people. Literally the only people offended are the ones with skewed views of equality. Call a man a bitch/asshole? Cool, love you books man. Call a woman a bitch, OMG how dare you, you’re whole family is sexist. Jesus, these comments. It’s painful to watch people be THIS retarded.

    Spoiler alert people. There ARE bitches and assholes in the world, and it’s OK to talk about them when they are bitches or assholes to you, regardless of their gender, and it’s NOT sexist. Ironically, the reaction to the blog post has been rather sexist :D

    Something tells me Hugh will be OK without the few butthurt people who’s interest he lost. Those weren’t fans. Those were just weird people who lead very sheltered lives.

    But just so I don’ catch any flack **disclaimer** I am only talking to men. All women are perfect and never ever bitchy.

    1. Hehe, great .gif Derek!

  37. Yeah, there was no reason to apologize. When I read your post, it was pretty obvious it was a joke. I mean, 1, guys can be bitches, too, so the word bitch isn’t exclusive to women, and 2, the crotch grab was like a sorta Michael Jackson thing. Again, really, really obvious that you were joking, so I don’t think you need to feel all that bad.

    Goddamn. People are way too fuckin sensitive nowadays. I mean, what the fuck? I’d say more, but then I’d probably be accused of being sexist or some other stupid bullshit. However, I will say one thing, though. This one’s for any man who was actually offended by Hugh’s post. Bro, you better go grow some fuckin balls. No joke, and if anyone’s got a problem with my post…

    SUCK IT! lol.

  38. John in Hollywood Avatar
    John in Hollywood

    Oh Hugh! I’m so sorry this happened to you! You had absolutely nothing to apologize for. I agree with many of your fans that people have become way too sensitive. I’ve been a big fan of yours for several months and have seen your posts both here and on FB. you’re a REALLY nice guy Hugh, a seriously nice guy. You’re so open with all of your fans with what’s going on in your life, and in your head, it’s pretty obvious to those of us without a chip on our shoulders that you wouldn’t hurt a fly. If people were offended, and are seriously “no longer fans” because you called someone a bitch, then clearly they were never very good fans in the first place. If they still, after your heartfelt apology cannot forgive you, then good riddance.

    Seriously people, if I had a dollar for every time someone called me a bitch I’d be a wealthy man.

    1. John, I couldn’t have said it any better. Totally in agreement with you. Hugh didn’t need to apologize, but he did. If people cant forgive him, then it begs the question, “Who is the intolerant one now?”

    2. Bitch.

      (Too soon? Yes? Shit. My bad, and apologies.)

      1. John in Hollywood Avatar
        John in Hollywood

        hee hee :-)

    3. Couldn’t agree with you more, John!

  39. Hugs to you, Hugh. You are one of the fairest, most sincere, and most decent human beings I’ve ever had the pleasure to know (also one of the smartest!), and my opinion on that matter has not changed one bit since the first time I met you (so long before the days of fame and fortune!), and I actually feel sort of bad for those who haven’t had the chance to spend some time with you, chat with you, and see how you treat your friends and loved ones.

    However, I’ll to stay on the positive side: It’s such an honor to know you, Hugh Howey! Hope you are having fun Down Under!

    1. What she said.

  40. Sounds like a bunch of folks have their panties in a bunch. Call me a bitch for not buying every one of your books (yet). You’re entitled to your free speech, author or not. This is your blog, have at it. I like your writing. I don’t care if you have quirks. Keep it up. Keep it real.

  41. A wise man once said, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

  42. Wow. Just wow. I had no idea there was such an uproar about that post. I enjoyed the post and even read parts of it out loud to a friend.

    You’re in a new world now, I suppose. A public figure exposed to far more personalities and opinions than ever before.

    Hang tough, Hugh. Illegitimis non carborundum.

  43. Hugh, You are awesome. I love you as a friend, author and human being. You know you are one of my favorite authors and I’m dying to sink my teeth into more from that brilliant mind of yours. Keep writing, my dear friend and I will definitely keep reading. Oh, and I look forward to pictures from Down Under.

  44. Caroline McIntosh Avatar
    Caroline McIntosh

    What I fail to understand is this tirade against Hugh.. he spoke his truth on a Blog owned by himself, for the purposes and intent to convey the damage done by a mean hearted arrogant indivdual who was in complete opposition to what he stands for.. This trade is against a man who has put his heart and soul into caring about his fans, spent countless hours being accessible to people who were thrilled to meet him, or talk to him on Facebook and other social media, who wrote about strong compelling women with a sensitivity that has to be admired and who told a story (in a Blog) about someone who was a complete puppet to the Establishment. Descriptive words came into play here.. so what.. Come on people! How many times have those of you who are naysayers used the term in every day life… Those people who are complaining because they have nothing better to do but sit with their fingers up their asses, who have NO idea what or who HH is.. well I say, ignore it all, let the rabble have their five minutes of complaint,, it is your fans and admirers who will be on here LONG after the rabble have pulled their fingers out and started typing about someone else who “offends” them… An apology was posted for ALL the right reasons.. Keep going Hugh! It would not matter what you posted, someone would have found something to complain about.. You are a brilliant author and you are a brilliant person…

  45. Lets face it, we live in a super-sensitive hypocritical society. We want our politicians to be perfect, they are not. If politicians show an ounce of infidelity in the public forum we burn them at the stake. But what is the divorce rate in th U.S.? Yeah that’s close to 50%. So we place leaders, and anyone in the public eye on some obscure pedestal. Someone speaks their mind on an open forum and you burn them at the stake, even though you may say these things in your own private lives? These are just a few reasons I cannot stand Facebook, twitter, etc. there is no real dialogue, you cannot speak directly with the person and “hear” their words. It’s amazing what can be taken out of context. Have you met hugh? Have you spoken to him or with him? I have and I appreciate his candor. If you like the man read his books, if you enjoy the books – read another. If you don’t like the words he writes then don’t read his books – that is your choice. We all need to learn to do a better job communicating – the more simplistic, and increased electronic variety we have at our fingertips – the worse we seem to get. I took his rant for what it was, the same I might hear at dinner with my friends (both men and women). Thank you for being open and sharing your life with your fans – I appreciate your words.

  46. I got the tongue-in-cheek thing. But I also understand the undertones and the power of using slurs like “bitch” to talk about a woman in whatever context.

    I’m sorry that you deleted the earlier apology, as I would have liked to read your longer response. I hope that once you have time to consider what happened, you’ll write a post in depth about what you think about this, what you learned if anything.

    I know you’ve been under the crosshairs on several fronts recently. I think you are a good guy. Hang in there. You can learn from this, and move on.

  47. Hugh Howey,

    I have also reconsidered whether I want to read your books now, but I think it’s a huge step for you to apologize.

    Please do not listen to the people who say it’s no big deal because people are oversensitive, too “PC”. Saying things about autistic people, or using negative, widely gendered terms, is just part of a bigger issue – communicating in a way that does not alienate people, and being clear that you’re also in a position of power now. The above poster says that they see the post as being similar to one of their friends at dinner. Well, I subscribe to the “geek fallacies” philosophy, and its reminder that we all tend to put up too often with bad behavior because of affinity; something you might say to your best friend in private is not a classy move for your professional blog. Just because you’re a “geek” and we’re all “geeks” here … no. It doesn’t work like that.

    Last year I had my own con experience, with a young writer who was condescending to me about her career, not realizing that I had more experience than she did. I didn’t go home and write a blog post or tweet it to my followers. The main thing I took away from it was how unprofessional and insecure she came across. I’ve seen this at writers groups and at writers’ forums, but I vent to my spouse and then move on.

    Likewise, the young woman who slighted you was insecure and certainly, childish, but you had an opportunity to rise above her behavior, learn something from it, and turn it into something positive.

    I truly hope you will read these blog posts, which focus on that issue of professionalism and power – one is Tobias Bucknell’s piece, – the other is

  48. Hugh, it took me a few seconds to figure out which post you were referring to. Once I did, my initial thought was, “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

    I got your sarcastic humor and tongue in cheek thing when I read it. Those that were offended enough to be “outraged” are hypersensitive folks looking for offense. While I understand the apology from a business perspective, I think it just shows that a lot of people need to lighten up. Sheesh.

    Just keep writing and know that your true fans will keep reading.

  49. I want to add that you shouldn’t have removed the post. It should be available for anyone that didn’t read it so they can form their own opinions. And if Hugh is apologizing, he means it. Although I haven’t met him, he seems like one if the nicest, most humble people on the planet.

  50. Of all the things to go viral. This will probably benefit you in the long run. Most of the wingers have arrived late to the party presumably because of some link. Regardless of what they’d like you to believe, they were probably not going to buy your books anyway. The fact is, now more people have heard of Hugh Howey and are talking about Wool.

  51. Trying to gauge sincerity over the net is harder than picking up on irony or sarcasm. For my part, though, I like giving people the benefit of the doubt.

    There are women who don’t care if you call them a bitch. But then, there are those who are deeply offended by it. It doesn’t matter which opinion is right, it only matters that both opinions exist, and that we need to be considerate of our fellow human beings. Full stop.

    Matching spite with spite makes both parties ugly, and I don’t think you’re ugly, I think you’ve been persuaded that the behavior in question is normal and socially acceptable.
    It’s really not, in most places, but those who are persuading you WANT it to be. So, you can back off and try to temper your idea of how you should treat your brothers and sisters, or you can crusade for devianarchy with the persuasives.

    I think you’re better than that. I think you have some inkling of a gentleman in you, who would have an uncouth young woman removed from his establishment, but wouldnt get down in the mud pit with her. Not for fighting purposes, anyway.

    Thank you for the apology, which I am going to assume was heartfelt. Your actions from here on out will prove whether it was, and I wish you the best of luck.

    1. You are being watched, you have been warned. Jeeesus!

      1. Thanks for getting to the key issue, Paul – I have just read Hugh’s post right now because I was so perturbed by the Kindly Nurse Ratchet tone of the forgivers, like this one you’ve commented on. “You are being watched, you have been warned” is their motto and their threat.

    2. Dave the Brave Avatar

      With the exception of RMH’s comment here and scant few others throughout the rest of this, all the comment threads on this article have me with less faith in humanity, by a lot, than just reading the article Howey took down. What a bunch of shitty fans Howey has. I feel bad for him, really.

  52. Rhonda Lea Kirk Fries Avatar
    Rhonda Lea Kirk Fries

    I have restarted this comment five times.

    All I want to say is that some people live to whine. They have now descended on your blog, in force, and they will not move on until they find the next good option for venting their collective spleen.

    You would do well to ignore those who think they have a right to dictate how you think and what you say. No good can come of bending to their will. To paraphrase the old saw, every thought you express has the potential to offend someone somewhere. To accommodate everyone, your only option is to stop writing entirely. Please don’t go down that road.

    You have the storyteller’s gift, and even in the now-deleted post, it was apparent. Please do not deprive us, your loyal fans, of good work for the sake of a few crybabies.

    1. Second that!

      1. Katelyn Allen-Grant Avatar
        Katelyn Allen-Grant

        well said!

      2. And thirded! You rock Hugh!

        1. aWriterNotaRobot Avatar

          Agree as well.

          Please be yourself. Don’t let others bully you into being someone you’re not… if that makes sense.

          You’re human. You have a right to act like one.

          Be proud of everything you’ve achieved as a writer, which is a hell of a lot. :-)

          And you may want to stay the hell away from GR. There’s a lot of bullies on there.

          1. Fourthed!!

    2. And remember above all else you have a responsibility to tell the truth. Sometimes the truth isn’t pretty or something that everyone wants to hear, it just is what it is. Thank the gods for the few voices in the wilderness that tell the truth without fear or regret.

    3. Rhonda Lea, thank you for this — and must stop apologizing and retracting words I said in good faith. Yes, “every thought you express has the potential to offend someone somewhere. To accommodate everyone, your only option is to stop writing entirely.” I was ready to retreat and speak no more forever, until I saw this. Good timing! Serendipity.

    4. As a loyal Hugh Howey fan, I disagree with the statement that people who live to whine have descended on Hugh’s blog. Women’s rights is a very dear and important cause to me, and I do respect people’s feeling offended by what he wrote. I find it sad that many who have commented were regarded as over-sensitive, hysterical women who were PMSing. Had this blog post been about a homosexual, or a person of colour, there would have been an outrage. But since it was “only” about a woman, people who took offense were being belittled, attacked, ridiculed. I think that is a sad thing to see. And I think Hugh shows a lot of backbone owning up to the fact that his choice of words did offend people.

      Again, this is coming from a loyal fan. but loyal doesn’t mean I have to agree with everything Hugh says or does.

      Thanks for the apology, Hugh. I really appreciate it.

      1. “Women’s rights is a very dear and important cause to me”

        The issue is that there apart from a minority of internet warriors, most people don’t see ‘naughty words’ as a womens rights issue.

        Mainly because it isn’t.

        1. nigger wasn’t considered a bad word not too long ago, because, you know, a lot of people used it. Does that mean that only because a lot of people use a word and don’t see its offensive nature the word itself isn’t offensive? I think not.

          1. I think there is a difference between using “naughty words” to describe someone’s behavior, which people are responsible for (to a certain degree), and using words to purposefully belittle people for simply being what they are, be it black, homosexual, or whatever, something they were born with and have no control over. Sure, I can understand someone being offended by the term Hugh used, but he was describing a specific woman’s outrageous behavior, not generalizing to all women, or even implying any kind of generalization.

          2. Way to go appropriating other peoples genuine oppression to make your own group out to be victims.


          3. Plus, there is no such thing as offensive words, you yourself just said nigger in a non-offensive way. There is only offensive intent in the use of words.

            The trick that activist types such as yourself have managed to pull off is to convince others that words themselves can be offensive. By achieving this you increase the perception of sexism beyond that which actually exists (which it does but to a much lesser extent than you like to make out). This suits various political aims.

          4. this has nothing to do with victimizing, simply stating examples of how one word used to be used and how it has changed throughout the years, and to show that only because we consider something to be normal doesn’t mean it is.

          5. Meanings of words change, but that doesn’t mean that ‘anything goes’ and you can just decide one day that a word is offensive for some made-up reason. The meaning of words is determined through common usage.

            The thing is, I don’t believe that your post has nothing to do with victimizing. The question is “why ‘nigger’?” Out of all the words in the English language you choose that word to demonstrate what is a rather banal point which practically everyone knows. It seems to me that the genuine reason for your comment was to draw a connection between ‘nigger’ and ‘bitch’ in the mind of the reader, to create the illusion that the situations are the same and to appropriate the connotations of the first and apply it to the second. Ergo, you were appropriating other peoples’ genuine oppression to make your own group out to be victims.

      2. Oh please! If it had been a man he was writing about and he had called him an “asshole” or a “dick” (the male equivalents of “bitch”), no one would have so much as batted an eye. Even if the man in question had been gay or black.

        True equality means recognizing that women are the equal of men, not worse… nor better. Individual women can still be awful human beings, and when they are, they may be called by certain pejorative terms that, even when gender-specific, describe their personality, not their gender. By protecting such individuals from critics, you are not defending women’s rights, you are hurting them because you imply that women have to be protected from criticism.

      3. “Had this blog post been about a homosexual, or a person of colour, there would have been an outrage.”

        That’s a little crazy. Maybe she is homosexual. Maybe she was black. How do you know? If all the gender words were reversed (i.e. bitch->asshole, Sheldon’s girlfriend->Sheldon), would you consider it a misandric rant?

    5. missmoneypenny Avatar

      Agree completely!

  53. I’ve dropped authors in the past for a simple blog post by them that offended me. Big ones too. Scalzi is dead to me after one comment he made and this is even after he credited me by name in a prologue on a previous novel. As a reader I feel it is my one and only true recourse is to stop supporting an author financially.

    My point is this. If an author wants to maximize your positive exposure you had better keep your internet presence focused on your work only and keep the editorializing and opinions away or you risk offending possible buyers. You will trade sales by losing some followers. You might gain loyalty of some though but the net will be smaller then the maximum.

    For the self publisher and self promoter this is a risky balance. How to gain exposure without alienating those you are exposed to. I would recommend that once you gain a foothold you run all public interaction though a filter of a third party moderator or moderator group. These people can act as a firewall for anything the author might say that could possibly offend or be misconstrued. Businesses hire PR firms… successful writing is a business too.

    The more you keep things mysterious and obscure the fewer people will realize that something about you offends them.

    1. I understand the point you’re trying to make but I think there’s an element you’re failing to consider. Hugh Howey has a HUGE fan base precisely because he’s been so authentic and genuine. I read Wool. I thought it was amazing and searched on the internet to see if he had an author’s page. I ran across his blog and forums and facebook page and realized what a great guy he is. I WANTED to support him more. I have since bought and read five other books and plan on eventually reading them all.

      I’m not an exception or in the minority. The traditional media and publishers have only heard of him AFTER he accumulated the huge following he has through independent means. His formula is obviously working. To suggest he’d “better keep his internet presence focused on his work” is telling him to do exactly OPPOSITE of what has led him to success in the first place.

      Yes, he’s an amazing writer…but he’s so much more than that. And the people who have been and will continue to follow him understand that. You’d be surprised how many of us there are.

      1. *raises hand

      2. John in Hollywood Avatar
        John in Hollywood

        Well said! Frankly I’m shocked at the (admittedly very small minority) of people who are giving Hugh grief over this. He has written what is arguably the best Sci-fi book of the last decade who’s main character is a strong and powerful WOMAN. Nevermind Molly Fyde. Hugh is a champion on women. To accuse him otherwise is not to know the man or his body of work. Even the word bitch itself can be used to empower a woman.

        From Day Dunaway playing Joan Crawford

        to Stephen King in Dolores Clairborne

        “Sometimes Dolores, being a bitch is all a woman has to hold on to”

        1. Shannon Moore Avatar

          Hear, hear!

      3. From your response I think my point was unclear.

        I will try and simplify.

        Hugh can act and speak to cause people to choose sides… You have chosen “his” side in this. Or… he can act in a way that does not cause people to chose for or against him. In a finite market the latter would most likely lead to more sales.

        This assumes that no scandal driven marketing is being used to inflate his awareness… intentional or accidental.

        1. John in Hollywood Avatar
          John in Hollywood

          So basically you think Hugh should self censor. Thanks, but no thanks. I, as well as the vast majority of the people who have commented on this issue would rather have an authentic author than one who feels the need to pussy foot around what he says, or to check with the Word Police on whether or not a word is inoffensive. By your logic, the Dixie Chicks should have kept their mouths shut about the Iraq War because their fan-base wouldn’t like it. At the end of the day, they stood up for what they believe in – that’s something we need more of in this country, not less.

          Have you heard some of the things Stephen King or Clive Custer have said in the past?

          1. Yes, we all should self censor, especially public figures. I’d never pull Hugh from my to-be-read list and I can forgive “bitch at WebCon” rhetoric even though “Male Equivalent” at WebCon likely wouldn’t have been said. Fox News deleted Ann Coulter’s blog post on gun control after Ann made a thoughtless, knee-jerk remark about Meghan McCain. Freedom of speech is at risk, because the risk of offending is held to be more important these days. Don’t like it? Change the culture.

      4. I absolutely agree with this! I wouldn’t have gone to his meet and greet in Seattle if he hadn’t been so consistently authentic.

        1. Here, here! *raises hand*

      5. Yes! If any writer wrote to please everyone, he/she wouldn’t be writing anything! Get over it people.

    2. Rhonda Lea Kirk Fries Avatar
      Rhonda Lea Kirk Fries

      Really? You stop reading good work because the author’s opinion differed from your own?

      I can think of any number of authors whose politics or personal views are offensive to me, but short of a wholesale boycott (unlikely to be effective), I can’t see that taking away a few sales will do them too much harm. I, on the other hand, will be harmed for my failure to see perspectives I may not have considered.

      With one specific writer in mind…oh, he’s annoying. Exasperating. Obnoxious. Sexist (although probably not racist). Full of himself. I honestly think he has a core of evil or he could not write the stories he has produced. I hate him, and I love him too, because he is a brilliant writer. Over the years, he has made himself totally obnoxious in interviews and other print media, but when I consider what I would have missed by not reading his books, I’m content to allow him his choice to be *the* consummate asshole. I don’t have to live with him, and his opinions have no impact on my day-to-day life. His stories, however, have enlightened me, frightened me, amused me, made me think.

      Deprive myself of his work because I don’t agree with him? How foolish that would be.

      1. Again, you come across as the voice of reason. I’m in the same quandary. Why do the most talented writers and artists so often end up being the most obnoxious, pompous people as well? Who gets a free pass for profanity and rude insults, and who has to self censor or risk public condemnation for daring to speak his or her thoughts? We love “authentic,” we hate being offended. What a confusing world.

      2. You’re referring to John Updike, right?

        1. Rhonda Lea Kirk Fries Avatar
          Rhonda Lea Kirk Fries

          I never got much pleasure from John Updike.

          Of the person I wrote, his own good friend once said that “while other people take infinite pains, [he] gives them.”

          I’d like to add that having read some of the other posts, I’m appalled at the references to rape and “rape culture.” Been there, done that, do not appreciate the hysteria even a little bit.

          If those who have descended into the ridiculous want to show some respect for those of us who have met the experience head-on, please go elsewhere and address the real issue. Venting your spleen here (and making a mountain of a molehill) doesn’t help me or any woman who has walked in the same shoes.

      3. Sounds like my kind of guy…particularly the ‘core of evil’ part. Who is he?

        1. Rhonda Lea Kirk Fries Avatar
          Rhonda Lea Kirk Fries

          I’m surprised that no one guessed. He’s infamous.

          Harlan Ellison.

    3. You may find you run out of authors that are “alive” to you at some point. Censorship is rubbish and you are a snob.

      Think as I think said a man, or you are abominably wicked, you are a toad.

      And after I had thought of it I said, I will then be a toad.

      -Stephen Crane

  54. I just want everyone to know that the Hugh who took down the post and left an apology is the real Hugh – and it wasn’t a PR move or anything else like that. I’ve been following him for about a year now, and after reading his works, which are always very positive in their portrayal of women, and reading what he posts every day on Facebook, on his blog, and on his message board, I can tell you that the WorldCon post was an abberation, and not a proper representation of who he is at all. It was an unfortunate use of wording that didn’t come across in the spirit he intended, and sparked off something negative. Being the nice person he truly is, he took it down and apologized. That’s the real Hugh.

  55. Katherine Turner Avatar
    Katherine Turner

    so hugh, apparently you have finally crossed the threshold into fame :) for a primer on how to keep writing hilarious posts, but not have readers set your blog on fire, hopefully, you’ve checked out scott adams’ blog ( he now includes the most fantastic “disclosures” whenever he posts something that might cause combustion through a reader’s malfunctioning humor radar. party on, hugh!

  56. annienonymous2 Avatar

    I’m not going to defend the original post. It was… awkward writing that didn’t really hit the right tone for its supposedly intended purpose (funny? ironic imitation of moral outrage? flagrant f-you digital finger?).

    But Good Christ. I hope I never cross the Internet feminist police. I can’t tolerate militant, fundamentalist thinking in ANY form. And just like religious fundamentalists, they’re convinced that they’re hear to “save” women and if you don’t agree with them, well, you must be going straight to misogynist hell.

    I’m a woman. And you don’t speak for me.

    1. I’m sure you’ll never read this, but please don’t call them the feminist police. There is a such thing as rape culture (google it for more info), and a famous man talking about slapping a woman and grabbing his crotch and telling her to suck it is sexual violence. That same rape culture will tell people like you that it’s no big deal, just like using a gendered word like “bitch” is no big deal. But they are. And that’s what these so-called “feminist police” are trying to point out.

      I’m honestly much more interested in whether Hugh will see this post, because he does seem like a decent guy, but he’s got some self-examination to do. We’ve all been raised in the same cultural soup with the same cultural narrative, and now that Hugh’s been made aware of how this narrative shapes his worldview, hopefully he’ll work to change it.

      1. Oh for gods sake! Are you serious? You are bitch slapping women in the face by saying that the words used were sexually violent. I am not a woman but I have women in my life and one very close to me that has been raped and sexually abused. You are minimizing the real violence and abuse she suffered by claiming that words are as sexually violent as the actual violence.

        Alas you have the privilege of free speech, but so does everyone else, don’t usurp others privileges lest you would also like to lose your own.

      2. WelshChameleon Avatar

        Agree with MessageforHugh 100%.

        Paul, you are clueless. Men, generally, tend to be when it comes to sexual violence against women. They don’t understand that some words are more than simple put-downs; they are words meant to instill real fear. Fantasizing about grabbing one’s crotch and telling a woman to “suck it, b*tch” is a very aggressive thing for any man to say to any woman. There is an implication of rape. It’s extremely disturbing that more people don’t understand this. This was not Howey being “refreshingly un-PC” or whatever BS fans have been saying in his defense; this was just Howey being a jacka$$.

        No doubt Howey wrote his blog post without really thinking all of this through–ironic for a writer, who should know just how powerful words can be–but that does not excuse him. Not at all. When in doubt, you vent to a trusted confidante, allowing your words to be lost on the wind. A professional writer with big dreams doesn’t GO ONLINE and vent to the world. *facepalm* The screen shots of Howey’s rant have been saved and continue to circulate–but it could have been prevented with a cooling-off period for Howey and NO COMPUTER nearby.

        This apology is too little WAY too late. Howey, you waited to issue it for DAYS, meanwhile leaving up your disgusting blog post. I could believe this apology is genuine had you removed your blog post after the first criticism; doing so might have proven that you realized what’s so screwed up with your thinking. By waiting this long, your apology appears to be nothing more than damage control since the blog post recently blew up on Twitter and elsewhere. I don’t buy for a single second that this isn’t a PR move. You’re getting a big pass from lots of people only because they like your writing and they like you from past blog posts. If you were Joe Shmoe, I can guarantee people wouldn’t be so quick to defend you. In short, the people who saw your blog post for what it really was–crude sexist garbage–are not moved by this “apology,” and the ones who accept it were already on your side.

        1. “Paul, you are clueless. Men, generally, tend to be when it comes to sexual violence against women.” [emphasis added]

          Thank you! Now we finally have a crystal clear example of what “making a generalization about an entire gender” truly looks like.

          1. [Well, emphasis tried to be added! stupid HTML]

        2. ‘“suck it, b*tch” is a very aggressive thing for any man to say to any woman. There is an implication of rape.’

          That is not rape culture. Yes it is aggressive. He didn’t do both at the same time if you read the article. He fantasized about grabbing his crotch (possibly, and that was weird I agree) while accepting a Hugo, and as part of the post he pointed out that he finally won an award and after that said “Suck it, b*tch!”. That saying is no more about rape than “Kiss my grits!”

        3. Shannon Moore Avatar

          Here’s what the bandwagon jumpers, the Pavlovians–for whom this blog tolled like church bells on a cold winter night, and the deliberately obtuse are missing: Up until, oh, a few months ago, I’d say, Hugh WAS Joe Schmo! At most, his blog posts would garner 5, 8, maybe 10 comments. Just over a year ago, if you sought to follow him on Twitter, (which doesn’t require any approval or authorization on his part, mind you), he would reach out to you almost immediately to offer thanks and ask what compelled you to do so. His Facebook, a mere, say, six, seven months ago, much like his blog, seemed to feature the same couple or dozen so of us, including Hugh, engaging, responding, commenting, etc. And obviously, now, that HAS changed since he’s garnered the celebrity for, well, Wool, of course, but more so the self-publishing revolution he spear-headed with it; it, his second complete series, with numerous other short stories, sagas, novellas, and books also self-published and “out there” for consumption. So, again: SELF-publishing. On his own, no agent, no publisher, editor, publicist–just him. Feedback came in the form of Amazon reviews, of which he reads every one, responding, at times, and sharing on Facebook at others, and taking personally those early detractors who accused him of rigging his ratings with phony, contrived reviews from multiple accounts, or what have you–concerning back when he had 200 reviews, but then came 500, 700, 1500, Ridley Scott, and, still, though, anonymous success, for the most part. Those in the know, those of us there early, well, we knew! We read more of his stuff, guaranteed success for him, despite his inability to grasp what was about to happen….then it happened. To Joe Schmo. It happened. So, please, spare us, spare him, your grand fantasies of his Machiavellian ministrations, your admonishments, and the horrid perpetuation of yourself as someone to whom he is beholden for approval or forgiveness, or that you are somehow possessed of the authority to take the measure of his intent or sincerity; then, heinously presuming to find it wonting by your scale, and proceeding to confer yourself with the (hubris) obligation to, not only inform him of such, but, again, do it in a manner that lends itself to this ongoing delusion, wherein you truly believe it your place–no…your duty, to do so. Unbelievable. Any of the validity in your more salient, less myopic, arguments are being done a great disservice when coupled with this odd and extremely off putting display.

          1. Shannon Moore Avatar

            Sorry for any confusion–the above response is in reply to, well, the only other person slinging around the term Joe Schmo in this thread.

    2. Well said– the offending blog post wasn’t Hugh at his best, and self-censoring is also known as tact and discretion; but who needs the word police condemning a guy, and readers boycotting his books, all for one outburst? We can say “That was a bit much, dear” without slamming doors shut on all future communications.

  57. annienonymous2 Avatar

    Aaaand I have a typo in my rant. Nice one, doofus.

  58. All I have to say is, “Different strokes for different folks.” And you know just how to stroke me. 3:) — Now there are only two people that I care about offending with this statement. You and your wife. If either of you are offended, call me, you have my number.

    1. *snicker*

      I <3 you, Charla!

  59. I can’t go anywhere on the web and not run into thin-skinned crybabies. I don’t know what you said that offended some people, but screw them. People need to learn to not take everything so seriously.

  60. Katelyn Allen-Grant Avatar
    Katelyn Allen-Grant

    This makes me sad. People are going to be offended no matter what you do. Taking risks and being truthful makes great writing. Be yourself, so many of us truly appreciate it!

  61. I don’t understand all this bitching. I thought the original post was bitchin’.

  62. George Takei, moments ago, after taking flak for his “AA battery” joke:

    “Some people will see this as funny, and others will say, “Not cool,” George, or “not funny” George. People aren’t in charge of how they feel, and if it’s not funny, it’s not funny. But if it is, it is, too. Some people elect to use humor as a way for us to laugh at ourselves and not take life too seriously, which is why there are internment jokes in my show, Allegiance. Like, “Why are Japanese American kids so good at math?” “Because they spend all year in concentration camp.” This is one, but not the only, way to deal with difficult subject matters. I don’t think it’s helpful to tell others to “Grow Up,” but it’s also important for others to see that there is no malice intended here, just a funny way of looking at a set of batteries.”

  63. it’s not worth much, but Mr. Howey, I think you did the right thing.

    1. by that i mean, what i say isn’t worth much. but i think you’ve done the right thing.

  64. Bitch really just isn’t an acceptable term; there’s no reason to make the fact that you didn’t like the woman gender-based when you would have felt the same about a man making similar comments. There wouldn’t have been an uproar if you’d call her an asshole.

    Thank you for your apology.

  65. This is staggering. Your original post was not offensive in the least to me. Having followed your blog since before you announced the original WOOL on it, I feel safe in vouching for your kindness and humor. People complain that you called a bitch a bitch by calling you an asshole? Welcome to the internet. Hypocrites. And if they don’t read your work, their loss. Hopefully soon they wont be BITCHING on your site either.

  66. Your entry was not disrespectful. You felt strongly about this woman misguiding new writers seeking a direction and were bold enough to say how you felt on your blog. Sadly, some found it offensive. Others like me appreciated your guts to post unedited.

    I can’t stand that Trump guy. That doesn’t mean I won’t try staying at his hotels. You are not beholden to the over-sensitive types. They can choose to continue reading your work or go. The world is full of people.

    Do not feel bad about your post. You apologized to keep some people happy. But don’t feel bad about it.

  67. How can you feel awful? If you truly felt awful then you would have been bothered by the content in the first place and not posted it. Instead you probably actually feel guilty, and not over the actual post but over responses from others about it. I’m not judging you on anything you had in that blog post, but don’t compound the situation by coming on afterwards and saying you’re sorry and feel awful because that is a pure PR stunt and completely implausible.

    1. Now you’re going to presume to know how a complete stranger is feeling? And tell him that what he’s saying he’s feeling isn’t real/authentic/true?

      You, sir, are an unmitigated ass.

      1. Here here! Two cheers for Ruby!

    2. That’s unfair, Robert. It assumes the worst about Hugh Howey at every step. Sometimes people really are sorry about things they did. Extremely often, in fact. Feeling sorry is hardly “implausible”.

  68. Sandra Patterson Avatar
    Sandra Patterson

    Damn, I wish I’d read it, sounds hilarious. Any chance you could email me a copy?
    The sad fact is many people have no sense of humour and spend their time online looking for reasons to be offended. And then of course there are those who have murkier motives. You’re really better off ignoring them.

  69. period.

  70. My question is a simple one. How many of you would be laughing your asses off and slapping Hugh heartily on the back if he was talking about a man. Let’s say he calls this well meaning fellow a slovenly fat hairy dick head son of a bitch. That’s better right? Much funnier don’t you think? Make sure all the pronouns are he instead of she! My god isn’t that piece he wrote hilarious! All of you militant assholes would be applauding Hugh for his brilliant humor.

    I believe that Hugh did himself and everyone else a huge disservice by removing the original post. He was bullied, plain and simple. Might us right after all, is it not?

    For all of you that will drop an author, not for his works, but for his off the wall comments or because you disagree with his beliefs or for the love of the gods, what he posts on his own blog, then by all means remember P.A. Hosler and delete me from your reading list, because as sure I breathe, one day I will have my work published and if I haven’t offended someone then I probably haven’t told the truth and because I will you are not ready for it and can not handle it.

    1. But Paul, I would guess that most of the people claiming they will never read him again, weren’t real fans to begin with – just bullies trying to censor and shame him.

  71. I didn’t take offense with what you wrote, Hugh. It was a good story. You’ve always been a generous and funny guy and I saw the whole scene just the way you narrated it. And I hope you’re having a grand old time down under with D. Adams ;D.

  72. You may know this, but the original post was reprinted–it’s still up at

    Have you asked him to take it down?

    I liked your book, and I thought your main point in your post was well-taken. Your success has encouraged a lot of us to try the self-publishing route, and she was wrong.

    But I have to admit that I didn’t like the use of the b-word, and the references to her as ugly and sexless.

    1. There are also cached versions. I’ve emailed the original to people as well. I’m happy for those who want to seek it out to find it, but my wife explained that keeping it up was like keeping up a symbol that others found hateful, which was an argument I’ve used in other cases. So I took it down.

      I also have to “accept” all the comments on my blog, so I see and approve all of them. I’m not running away from this; I just don’t want to cause any harm. I never did.

      1. John in Hollywood Avatar
        John in Hollywood

        We know you didn’t Hugh – and I’m glad you’re reading all of these comments. As you can tell you have a heck of a lot of supporters who know you pretty well.

        Also . . . you’re now on :-/ I hope you’re not losing sleep over this, this incident has brought up a larger topic that many of us think needed to be addressed. The discussion here about it has been outstanding!

        1. Wow, that Salon article wasn’t slanted at all…*rollseyes.*

          You’re right, John. I think this incident has touched upon a larger topic.

          In fact, I was spurred to write my own blog post about it.

          Hugh, I hope you don’t mind, but if you do, you can send me a message through FB.

          1. John in Hollywood Avatar
            John in Hollywood

            Well said Janyaa!

  73. Richard Dawkens says it so much better than I could.

  74. I’m late to this debate as I had to scrounge around looking for what it was all about. When I finally found it, my eyebrows almost hit the roof. ‘Hugh Howey is being raked over the coals for /this/?’

    The only thing I found shocking about this post was the disgusting behaviour of the woman involved. Whatever Hugh Howey may have thought of her at the time, he behaved like an absolute gentleman… towards someone who was anything but a lady.

    As a 60 year old WOMAN, I do not find the word ‘bitch’ offensive. There are far worse, and we all know them. What I do find extremely offensive is the self-righteous bleating of the thought police.

    @ Hugh Howey. Your apology was gracious, as I would expect from a gentleman, but completely unnecessary.

  75. Still a huge fan. I know your not a hater.

  76. “You’re”

    Anyway, growth is good.

  77. Katherine Turner Avatar
    Katherine Turner

    i just found one of scott adams “disclosures”, this one listed as a “warning” before a funny/thoughtful rip on the qualities it takes to be a ceo. here’s a cut and paste:

    Warning: This blog is written for a rational audience that likes to have fun wrestling with unique or controversial points of view. It is written in a style that can easily be confused as advocacy or opinion. It is not intended to change anyone’s beliefs or actions. If you quote from this post or link to it, which you are welcome to do, please take responsibility for whatever happens if you mismatch the audience and the content.

  78. I’ve just discovered the Wool series and love it. So much so that I am now reading your blog and recommending Wool to my friends. I dug around and found the post that’s causing all the hoopla and, really?! I don’t find it offensive in the least, apparently some do. That’s their right. And it’s your right to take down the post as you see fit. I would have left it up…

  79. Thanks for not offering a fauxpology or asking people to “lighten up.”

  80. Some people LIVE to be offended. This guy was trying to build up his readership by attacking you. Get used to it. The Lilliputians always shoot at giants out of envy and to toot their own horns.

    You can’t go through life without “offending” someone, if they’re looking for something to bitch about. By giving this idiot a “win”, you encourage him and nitwits like him to come forward. The best reaction is no reaction. Your fans will take care of the gnats, allowing you to do your jobs of promotion and writing more good stuff.

    The best people to respond to are those who are thoughtful in their praise or criticism. Not the snipers. You can thank the helpful people for their input; and destroy the vermin by silence.

    By two cents.

  81. I come really late to this, and I was wondering what could have you written that could create this commotion.
    Trying to find the source I followed the link to Janyaa blog post, and found out that it was that funny post about the young girl who knew everything there’s to know about publishing.
    And I can’t really believe it.
    I’m nobody, but I’ve taken my own beating at my blog with crude insults about my opinions. However, people still manage to surprise me with their righteous and all-knowing attitude.
    I’m sure these people have NOT read your books. The greatest characters in your books are all woman: Strong and clever, but loving and caring.

    It would be nice if everybody understood that there’re as many truths, as many right approaches to any subject as there’re different persons.
    It would be nice if everybody had a sense of humor, if everybody could laugh at themselves and feel how great it is.
    It would be nice if everybody got the change to travel abroad to as many places as possible, to discover whole new ways of living life, tastes, colors, people.
    It would be nice if people remembered that judging others is so a serious issue, that you have to really think at least twice before doing so.

    Throwing stones is easy, and with the protection of the anonymity that the Internet gives us, without looking at the face of the people you are insulting, it’s really too easy.

    Keep the good work, Hugh.

    1. >>It would be nice if everybody had a sense of humor, if everybody could laugh at themselves and feel how great it is.<<

      It would, wouldn't it? Like how Howey laughed at himself for letting this woman get under his skin and make him so upset that he had to write a blog post to call her names so he could feel superior to her? And tell her to S*** I*? Which would be on her knees with him standing up, to demonstrate that he has the ability to degrade her?

      You mean like that?

      1. John in Hollywood Avatar
        John in Hollywood

        From the many many comments in defense of Hugh.

        “There was no threat, “suck it!” is a well-known expression to mock other people you have beaten, it’s like the raised fist, the finger or the two-finger salute in the UK. It is not a threat of violence nor of sexual violation but a merely mocking gesture.

        But anyway, thanks for providing a clear example of “professional outrage-seeking”

        Seriously, what next? Are we going to charge everyone who ever said “fuck you!” of throwing around rape threats?”

        1. >>But anyway, thanks for providing a clear example of “professional outrage-seeking” <<

          So I'm guessing you're not that comfortable with people who disagree with you.

          I've never heard of a "professional outrage seeker." Does it pay well? What is the job description? Can I do it from the comfort of my own home? Sounds like a cool gig. Where do I apply?

          1. Considering you are one of those who have attacked violently Hugh for his choice of words, I find it highly hypocritical of you to take the mantle of a poor innocent victim/martyr because people take exception to YOUR comments. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean “I have the right to give my opinion on you and what you say, but you don’t have the right to give your opinion on me and what I say.”. Freedom of speech is a double-edged sword.

          2. Sit down troll

      2. Are “suck” and “it” banned words now?

        I don’t suppose you could add me to the newsletter so I can get the latest on what words I’m not allowed to use?

        1. Sure I’ll add you to the newsletter. Send me your name and email addy, along with a blank check made out to “Anna Karenina.”

          You’ll get your first copy posthaste. Please begin immediately not using the words listed in the newsletter. You have no idea how challenging and exciting your life is about to become.

          1. Ooh, I’m so excited!

            I don’t suppose we can submit suggestions for which words to ban next?

            I propose “flange” and “Coventry”.

          2. Adiabat — Good suggestions. I, for one, refer to “flange” and “Coventry” as “the f-word” and “the c-word”, respectively.

      3. Please, grow up.

        Do I know you?
        Do you know me?

        Do you even realize how *hard* it is for women in too many countries?
        The things they have to endure?

        Fortunately for you and for me, we live in countries where women are equal to men (at least in most places).
        Is there work to do? Yes, of course.

        But if you wanna fight for women who really need it, there’s unfortunately a whole bunch of places on Earth where they could use your help.

        Don’t waste your time and ours: Inquisition times should be long forgotten.

        When I read the original post, I simply took it as a joke, as something one would say with a couple of friends having a beer. It was unfortunate that the target was a woman, and he called her bitch, because it could have been a guy and call him motherfucker.
        It was just an expression, for God sake!

        Would you be so outraged if were a guy instead of a girl?
        I guess not, but if you’re now maybe you should, because we’re equals. Aren’t we?

        Sorry for the rant, but I can’t stand those who think they can tell others how and what to think.

        1. >>Sorry for the rant, but I can’t stand those who think they can tell others how and what to think.<<

          And yet you seem to be enjoying telling everyone who didn't like Howey's humor how wrong they are.

          Double standard much?

        2. it is a weak argument saying that one should go help women who really need help when at the same time you state that even though women are equal in some countries there is work that needs to be done. well, there are women doing exactly this work, and what happens? they are being attacked for their speaking up.

          you know some of the comments I have read are a light version of what happened in the Steubenville media coverage.

          Here, people write: Hugh is a fine person. I didn’t take offense in what he said. He is a good person who was just really angry and posted something mean.

          Steubenville went as far as: those were two good kids and their lives are now ruined by the justice system because they are being punished for raping a girl. they are fine kids really, they were just a little bit drunk when they did stupid things.

          see the similarities there?

          And discrimination against women? I deal with that every day. I have been working in IT and tech support for almost 15 years now, and just today, AGAIN, I had to fix a software problem on a client’s computer who had Skype open and one of his contacts there he was talking to said something about how I should probably go and fight with one of their secretaries, biting and clawing because that’s what women do best.

          And why did he say it? I have no idea. This person hasn’t spoken to me once. The other one has. It’s a person I’ve known work wise for almost 15 years. So you think it’s great to hear that I should go into a bitch fight with someone’s secretary only because we’re both women? Btw. the only time I had contact with the secretary was when she answered my call and handed over the receiver to her “boss”.

          And that’s just one example of many.

          And if you are wondering why women seem to speaking up a lot more lately, I recommend you check out John Scalzi’s blog where he posted not too long ago about women and geekdom, and I agree with everything he said there: frankly, we’ve just had it with misogynistic comments and having to defend ourselves every time we say something.

      4. Oh! By the way, I guess “Anna Karenina” is not your real name.
        If it is, then it’s a shame that your parent’s sense of humor did not pass onto you.
        If it’s not, then I’ll say it again: Coward.

        And as a disclaimer, please take into account that English is not my first language, and thus some expressions might seem out of place or rough when they’re not ment to do.

        1. >>If it’s not, then I’ll say it again: Coward.<<

          I'm a little puzzled. You call me coward, because of your assumption that my name isn't Anna Karenina.

          I'm guessing you think only people who use their real names are brave like you. 'Cause you left your real name, "Narciso." Not getting the bravery, since your name seems to be lacking a last name. Or is it a first name.

          And I'm not seeing your address and phone number. You know, so people can get in touch with you if they disagree with something you said, since you're so brave and all. Not like cowardly little me, who has been stalked to her work place by an irate author who didn't like what I said about their writing abilities.

          1. There you go.
            My first comments here included my surname, but the comment system changed and I didn’t realize that the surname was now missing.
            The photo is also a real one, from some time ago, taken from one of my on-line profiles by the blog automatically.

            I’m not brave, I’m simply not afraid of showing my opinion. Maybe I’m an idiot and should be.

            And I’m not pretending to tell anyone how to think.
            I’m just expressing my opinion.
            You can disagree, it’s your right. So it’s mine.
            That’s the good thing about freedom.

            However, IMO a blog is part of the “house” of the owner. This is not a newspaper or any other public media. IMO, Mr. Howey is showing extreme respect for the freedom of speech by allowing al the opinions to go public here, even the ones that show no respect or even insult.
            Would you allow someone to insult you in your house?

            Opinions can be expressed with respect, no matter how different they are.

            If Mr. Howey words sounded offensive in your ears, which is your prerogative, you can say it like:
            “Dear Mr. Howey, I find your expressions offensive. I believe there’re other ways to tell the story without that words”.
            Or you can say it like:
            “Hugh, you’re a sexist bastard that likes to call women bitch”
            Again IMO, the first one is the right one. And I would NEVER do that publicly through the blog comments, but privately through an email.
            Mr. Howey has demonstrated that he is a very accesible person.

            I’m REALLY sorry if some author stalked you to your work place for showing your opinion. It doesn’t matter if he’s an author or the President, that should be reported to the police. I hope you did so.
            A man that uses fear, force or any other kind of agressive behavior against a woman is not a man. That behavior has to be banned from our society.
            I understand that you felt rage against Mr. Howey’s words, but I don’t share your opinion. I still think his words where not meant to denigrate that woman.
            Probably, the error was that he was so comfortable with his perceived audience that he failed to see that his blog, despite being part of his “house”, is open to the public and not everyone would understand his words the way he was intending.
            I understood them as a joke amongst friends around some beers.
            You understood them as a sexist denigrating a woman. No pun intended.

            I like Mr. Howey’s writing style and stories, and I also like the way he interacts with his readers.
            I’m afraid this might change it, because what I would probably do (where I in his shoes) is to restrict my posts to things related directly with my work, without opinions. That’s the safe play, but it would loose part of the essence that make him a different kind of author.

            You can reach me at if you want.
            I’m probably more than 5,000 miles away from you, and I’m a peaceful, happily married guy who does not tolerate men that abuse women.


          2. Narciso Cerezo Avatar

            Sorry, I had to reload the page and the surname was missing again.

  82. Hugh,
    I read the original post and really feel that you have nothing to apologize for. And I am a woman. It is so easy today for people to sit back and say – boo hoo he hurt my feelings – when you weren’t even talking about women in general. You were speaking of one woman who I believe by the tone of your post, was acting in the manner that you ended up calling her. Nothing wrong with the pot calling the kettle black. Your fans are fans because of what you write in stories, no necessarily because of how you behave. If that was the case, there would be plenty of authors and famous people who wouldn’t have a fan base anymore. I believe what really happened to you is that your original post was attacked by the people most of us know as the ones who go around thinking they are holier than thou and take pleasure in attempting to ridicule authors. They do it every day and theres websites devoted to them. You are a fine writer, and a fine person. keep on keepin on!

    1. People pointed out the offensive nature of what Hugh wrote, which is exactly what he did with that woman at WorldCon. This has nothing to do with ridiculing a writer but everything with what he wrote in that blog. Besides, only because you are a woman who doesn’t see the issue here, doesn’t mean all women who do are batshit crazies with no life.

  83. I would just like to clarify that at no point does Hugh say “Suck it bitch” in the blog. He refers to an obnoxious woman as a bitch and later mentions grabbing his crotch (in fantasy land). At no time does he “grab his crotch and say suck it bitch”.

    1. he said “suck it, bitch” at the end of his blog after the big award picture.

  84. I’d never heard of you until I came across this latest moral panic caused by a bunch of madame’s on the internet. Your books look interesting; I may have to pick up a copy and see how it goes.

    1. Give Wool a try. They are wonderful!! Love Huge.

    2. You might be surprised to read that a lot of MEN actually looked critically on Hugh’s blog post as well. so it’s not just “madames”

      You might enjoy the book though. It’s a good read

  85. Virginia Llorca Avatar
    Virginia Llorca

    My blogs are all over the place. I guess I run the risk that people will associate what I say there with my fiction which is also all over the place. I don’t even care as long as they read my words. I will not hesitate to jump in on any forum if I have something I want to say about it. I’ve been accused of using “hateful rhetoric” which someone gleaned from a six word statement. Well, I may be whiny, but I am not hateful. Y’know there are extremes at both ends of the spectrum. doncha?

  86. You’re such a pussy Hugh. Put the blog back up.

  87. Yeah! Thank you for listening, Hugh!

  88. I’d like to address both the initial blow-up response regarding Hugh’s so-called “Sexism & Misogyny” and the notion that we must censor art based on the personal life of the artist.

    For one, albeit perhaps somewhat immature (i.e. the grabbing of his crotch and the ‘suck it!’) in its expression of author-indignation, the original post by Hugh Howey did not warrant the backlash it has received. From reading the vehement comments, there seems to be a fundamental confusion between object and subject, and an outright dismissal of context and its misunderstood friend — subtext.

    In each of the so-called offensive statements, Hugh does not insult the general population of any group. I will cite each ‘crime:’

    1) “The Bitch from WorldCon.”

    Was he calling all women a bitch? No. It says so in the actual title of the article, and then goes on to clearly illustrate why he might be justified in calling this particular woman such a name. Is this word exclusively a gendered insult, singling out women? No, not any more. Is it mature? Of course not. It’s a rant, with the accoutrements of willful ad hominem. But that is the general tone of the article.

    2) “Now, I have nothing against crazy people. They are my people.”

    Does he mean all bitches are crazy? Or just this one? Is he insulting or dismissing crazy people in general? I’m crazy, and I’m not offended. Nor do I feel he’s talking about me through her.

    3) “And I don’t have anything against socially awkward people with high functioning autism.”

    Is he really insulting people with autism here? Or dismissing them? Or making a comparison that denigrates the gravity of the subject of autism? Is it not a valid opinion to suggest that some of the odd participants at WorldCon, or any other areas of misfitland (sorry if misfitland offends), fall into this category? That these individuals (I was once myself an awkward young lad standing at the back of the room in convention halls) do represent the rainbow of the socially maladjusted? He didn’t say they were retarded; that would have shut his entire blog down. “You didn’t say retarded, did you Hugh? Whew!!”

    4) “Now, picture Sheldon’s girlfriend from BIG BANG THEORY.” “Big-toothed and nodding…” “Crazy girl…” “…she-devil…” “…that demon’s whispers…”

    Is it not true that the character of Amy Farrah Fowler is an extreme comic portrayal of a female geek, who shares the same basic traits as her boyfriend Sheldon (both of whom cross the line when it comes to socially acceptable behavior), and is portrayed in an exaggerated and somewhat grotesque manner by an extremely talented and attractive actress who doesn’t hold anything back for the sake of comedy? Is he saying, “Now, picture the actress, Mayim Bialik, that played Blossom. You know, the ugly one.” No, the reference was to place the “Bitch from WorldCon” in context with an exaggerated illustration of a socially awkward female variety of geekdom, using a fictional character to support it.

    5) As for the “Suck it, bitch.” This comes after the logo of the “Readers’ Choice Award” that Hugh won. Of all the people to be offended, it should be Big Al’s Books and Pals for putting up with Hugh’s mean slight.

    Now, the wonderful thing about art, and in this case writing, is that it has two distinct lives: the first, in the act of creation itself; and the second, a life beyond its creator. For this very reason, I believe we should differentiate between the two.

    1. As a writer, writing is a deeply personal process, a strange mixture of subjective and objective states of mind that, after passing through the sieve of multiple drafts and edits, culminates into an object of art that is greater than its constituent parts. In its inception, a story is a volatile stew of psychic forces. You often hear writers speaking about their process as if they were in a perpetual state of discovery, mining their way through a story. It doesn’t even matter if the writer is a ‘planner’ or ‘pantser,’ the act of writing itself owes a good deal of its enchantment to the operations of the unconscious. If done with purpose and patience, it will eventually find an audience.

    2. The work, once it is abandoned to the reader, has the potential to help us transcend our own small worlds and experience empathy, placing ourselves within the context of other people’s thoughts and perspectives. But even so, it also presents the world-as-mirror, one that reflects as much the reader’s perspective (and psyche) as it does the author’s. If we did not have the capacity to project our own personal experience onto the story, storytelling in general would never have become so essential to our lives.

    In summary, most of what makes a particular work successful (in terms of ‘connection’) remains mysterious and very subjective. I don’t believe the writer has any more control over this relationship than the reader, as each creates the work in his own head. In some ways, I’d suggest we hold the writer (artist) “responsible” for a work’s vision, but not hold him “accountable;” meaning, a writer should stand behind his work but not have to explain or justify it–that is for readers to resolve, whether they laud the effort or hold it in contempt.

    1. Very well done. Unfortunately this will go way over the heads of the majority of the PC Police. Trust me, you lost them at “context”.

      1. Thanks. After reading the article, I just got sick of the bizarre character assassination and the compulsive need to propagate it. And for some reason, their system wouldn’t allow me to submit a comment there.

  89. Disappointed.

  90. I think, Hugh, that you are being quite hard on yourself. I proudly consider myself a feminist (the new F word of today) and found nothing offensive about your blog. You are a writer and it is impossible to write anything interesting without offending someone. It is your duty as a writer to honestly express yourself. It’s clear from your writing that you respect and value women. Juliette is one of the most awesome badasses in fiction! So give yourself a break and keep on telling us how you feel! You know we love you.

  91. Seriously, get over it people. People get so easily offended. There are REAL problems in the world like the Boston boming, or starving kids in Africa, or natural disaster. Some people get bent out of shape because someone spoke their truth of what happened. She probably was a bitch. So what? Everyone can be sometime. To pretend that you can dictate what someone says something as if your holier than though is ridiculous. Hugh is a storyteller, that’s what he does. He’s not here to be your moral compass. If you want to be offended about something, be offended about real problems not because some said someone was a bitch, I mean really. Get over it.

    That’s like Grammar whores and grammar cops that will toss the validity of someone’s message just because they’re missing a semi-colon in their post God-forbid. Or people that will dedicate a whole blog post because someone got a Facebook comment they didn’t like. Get a life people, really. Choose your battles.

    And if you’re another writer dedicated to such activites, shame on you. You should be spending your time writing not wasting time on bullshit like that.

    That said, keepin’ it positive. :)

  92. Fairly funny. If I felt so inclined, I could give Hugh grief for being too politically correct, and then he’d really be cornered. But I guess us reactionary mossbacks are just tolerant folks.

  93. I know this won’t make much of a difference but I’m about as liberal as you can get and I really had no problem with what you wrote. I’m really getting tired of seeing people get flamed to a crisp online for writing in common vernacular as opposed to the hyper cleansed mode of communication given introverted communities use. Utter “assault weapon” and you’re a mindless Obama-bot, dare to write ‘bitch” and you’re an irredeemable troglodyte. Enough already. Tiny segments of the web are not language police for the masses.

    Here you have an author write a bit of fantasy where he is rude to someone who was inconsiderate and mean to him in real life. The story is tinged with anger from personal experience and contains some pretty harsh descriptions. I want to read how people actually feel, not what some posse of self appointed censors have decided is ok for me to read.

    The story is fine, it’s the mob’s conduct that is honestly offensive imho.

  94. Shannon Moore Avatar

    I’ve held off on commenting on this issue for a while because, well, it was kind of a non-issue for me. Then, the more I thought about it, and, especially, the more comments I read pertaining to it, compelled me to say a little something.
    I will admit to being a bit taken aback by the tone and title of the original blog post. The cognitive dissonance I was left to reconcile after reading had nothing to do with my proud feminist beliefs–and we’re talking dyed in the wool*, Rush Limbaugh loves to hate me type of feminist (minus the hatred of men he assigns us!)–but more so with how to reconcile that piece with EVERYTHING ELSE Hugh’s ever written.
    ~before I go any further, it is neither my intent nor my place to excuse or justify anyone else’s behavior but my own sooo, if that’s what you’re taking away, you’re doing it wrong~
    Many who rushed to attack, vilify, and judge Hugh’s blog post, attacked vilified and judged Hugh instead. Most likely, it was the only thing of his they’d read; driven to do so by a well-honed Pavlovian response to the bells of righteousness that rang out across the interwebs. Or not. Maybe they’d also read Wool…felt confident in assessing the content of his character from what they could see of the back of his head, looking, as they were, from the rear of the bandwagon. Who knows?! But here’s the thing: Anyone relying on one, the other, or both of those Howey authored pieces to inform their opinion of the content of Hugh’s character, and/or leverage the right to disparage him personally, is myopic, at best, deliberately obtuse, at worst.
    Which brings me back to my issue of reconciling a cognitive dissonance issue. You see, to me, yes, Hugh’s essay came across, as others have said, as”harsh” or “aggressive”, however, (listen up, Pavlovians), rather than drool my feminist saliva all over myself in response, I was able to stop, reflect, and realize there was something *else* going on there, which he felt compelled to express, doing so with tongue planted firmly in cheek, as an obvious catharsis of something he felt passionately about. Now, how, you may ask, am I any different from the myriad others who have sized up the scenario from nothing other than what was written, but, conversely, found him to be a misogynist, deserving, not of respect, but ceaseless admonishment, lectures, and professional failure? Why, you may wonder, am I right, but they’re wrong? Huh? Huh? Well….I’ve said all of that up there to say this: Read the MOLLY FYDE SAGA!! Step away from the indignation and hubris and READ ALL OF ‘EM! Read Halfway Home! Reread Wool and pay the damn attention to Jules!! Geez o’Pete!
    Then, and only then, can you think you get the gist of what he was “really” insinuating about his thoughts, views, and opinions of women. In fact, I challenge you to find a male author who is a stauncher advocate or more committed to advancing and expanding the scope of female characters in the overwhelmingly patriarchal dichotomy of sci-fi. Only other one on par is probably Scalzi–oops…someone in an early post took offensive to a blog posts of his, as well, so screw all of those strides he’s made to shatter female stereotypes in his science FICTION writing–that’ll teach him to tape bacon to a cat!
    But I digress….
    Granted, this may be all for naught, as the op has been removed, but, for any lurkers out there, itchin’ to put perceived Howey apologists in their place, you got some homework to do first–started with my post, ideally, because I’m certain you’ve already forgotten all those spots where I made sure to pat heads, hold hands, and make sure everyone knew what I WASN’T saying, doing, endorsing, justifying or excusing, as well as the bit about my feminism and whatnot.

    * “dyed in the wool” – pun totally intended.

  95. Howey is a crybaby. He spends so much time whining on his Twitter and Facebook feeds over ANYONE who thinks his story isn’t up to snuff (he is a good writer IMO). He just reeks of spoiled kid…and is in many ways disingenuous…i doubt his apology was sincere

  96. […] as Mr. Howey has done so in the past (and later apologized for), he has done it […]

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