I love to write, always have and I hope I always will do so. I’ve been fortunate to have people from teachers to other writers encourage me, and to help me grow. One of the more interesting ways this has happened is through my having been a science writer/writing guest at a variety of science fiction conventions.
At one such event, I met the late Marion Zimmer Bradley. I will confess that I had not and have not read much of her work, and that was a point I danced around very diplomatically when we were both guests at a MOC (Magnum Opus Con) many years ago. She was not just polite to me, she was warm, engaging, encouraging, and even offered to buy a fiction story. Sadly, her assistant refused to do so because I lacked the right body plumbing, and the refusal to honor MZB’s wishes was disappointing (if not surprising). While MZB was welcoming, her staff was not and I was left with no real desire to explore her works further given the response.
I was well aware she had handlers and staff, and that they jealously guarded her and access to her. Had we not met in person as guests, I doubt that anything I would have ever sent her would have been seen by her. I know the messages sent to her after the convention sure weren’t… What I did not realize was that people protected her in more ways than I realized.
Over the last few weeks, a great deal has come out about Marion Zimmer Bradley and her second husband, Walter Breen. So much so, that some writers are doing the right thing in regards payments and royalties from her estate. What is truly sickening is that so much of this was hidden, and actively covered and enabled, and apparently by more than just those close to her/them.
To expand on what I wrote on Facebook, I find it sad that so many covered for them both, and were prepared to ignore the real harm being done to minors by both. This is not hurt, it is real and lasting harm and the latest revelations disgust me. One can argue many things about age-of-consent laws and application, but there are things that are clearly right and clearly wrong, and far too many were not just willing to turn a blind eye to wrong, but apparently to actively cover for it.
In an era where baseless charges of racism, sexism, and more have been leveled at writers, editors, and fans over mere politics, it seems more than passing strange that some have been given a pass for real and harmful actions against minors. It seems to me that paedophilia should be treated far more severely than simply holding a political opinion. I eagerly await the outrage from those foaming at the mouth over political incorrectness at this real and gross violation and sexual exploitation of children. (yes, that last sentence is sarcastic)