When you decide whether to destroy what you love or reach for peace

Lou Antonelli stopped me. In the genre tracks, so to speak. 

For those who don't know, here's the story.  Condensed version is Lou, upset over words spoken around the Puppy Hugo Award drama, wrote to the Spokane Police Department and urged them to keep an eye on Worldcon guest of honor David Gerrold.

Because he thought David might be "dangerous" simply because David vocally disagreed with what the Pups have done. As have many of people in the genre, including myself.

Lou has apologized and David has accepted said apology. That settles the matter as far as I'm concerned. (Note: I should have clarified that the apology settled the matter between David and Lou. The rest of the SF/F genre is still deciding what to do after Lou's admission.)

But this incident has also brought into focus how much bad blood there is in the science fiction and fantasy genre. The letter Lou wrote wasn't merely an attack on David — it was an attack on Worldcon and the entire genre.

Which I'm certain isn't what Lou intended. I have no doubt he loves the genre. I'm certain he wants the genre to thrive and grow.

We have reached the point in the SF/F genre where people must decide what they want. Because there are now two simple choices: To destroy the genre or reach for peace.

Reaching for peace doesn't mean silencing your views or beliefs. Our genre has long been a big tent where all viewpoints and people can co-exist. Yes, the genre has often not lived up to this ideal. And that doesn't mean there won't be disagreements and arguments and people who hate each other.

But at the end of the day a shared love of science fiction and fantasy joins us together. We must never forget this.

Does that mean there will be genre stories and works we don't like? Yes. Does that mean there will be authors and fans and readers and illustrators we despise? Quite likely. Will there still be trends in the genre we not only don't like but don't understand? Absolutely.

But none of that should erase our love for the genre.

When you meet someone in the genre you disagree with and can't stand, ask them this simple question: "Do you love the science fiction and fantasy genre?"

If the answer is yes, then remember their response. You can still disagree and argue and debate the directions our genre should take. But even when you're arguing, remember how they answered that question. Because that's what truly matters.

The time has come to end this fight. Which doesn't mean ending or silencing the debates, or giving in to another side's arguments. 

No, ending this fight means you refuse to let this fight destroy our genre.

If you love the SF/F genre, now is the time to declare that love. And remember this love even when you're debating with people and challenging ideas you believe have no place in the genre.

Because if we forget our love of SF/F, the genre will be destroyed. None of us want that.