Jo Fletcher Books, Rod Rees, SFF, Sexism, and Systemic Failure. Part I.

On June 25, 2013, Jo Fletcher Books (the SFF/H imprint of Quercus Books) published an article by Rod Rees on their blog, “Can Male Authors Successfully Write Female Characters.” The article struck me as egregiously offensive, and I contacted the publisher for comment for an article on it soon after it had been brought to my attention. (By Niall Harrison, who said – and I quote – “I feel kind of mean doing this.”)

On June 29, 2013, Jo Fletcher Books published a response by the imprint’s managing editor, Jo Fletcher, to criticism and conversation arising from the Rod Rees article, “On the Right To Freedom of Speech.”

At some point before late on June 30, 2013, both of these articles disappeared from the website, as reported by Natalie of Radish Reviews and reacted to by Foz Meadows. (“A Note on Post Deletions.”)

At this point in time (July 02, 2013) it seems both posts are again available to the wider web, as I’m able to click through to them from the JFB blog. (Rod Rees’ article now comes complete with a disclaimer that opinions aren’t those of the publishing house, which was originally lacking.) But if they should happen to disappear once more, Radish Reviews has been kind enough to host the screenshots in the linked post.

That’s the basic timeline of events. You may be asking yourself why they’re important.

I’m writing a piece on the subject of how well (or badly) male writers create/describe/cope with/handle female characters
Rod Rees, June 25, 2013.

…[M]y entire brain explode[d] in a symphony of What The Actual Fuck in D Minor.
Foz Meadows, June 26, 2013

Since I’m traveling about today, I’m writing this in bite-sized pieces. Now that I’ve outlined the events as they took place, let’s dig a little bit into why they’re worth talking about.

In Part II.