Welcome to the Guild!

Welcome to the Guild! It’s a new thing we are creating here, and frankly, it will need input from all of us.

Some have stated that the reason we are starting this is a reaction to a current organization that we dislike.

Well, no. I will admit that if other organizations similar to this one had kept their vigor, there would be little reason to begin anew.

I liken it to that first, freshly-brewed cup of coffee right after you wake up. (If you aren’t a coffee drinker, you won’t have this experience, so go back to sleep.)

A newly brewed cup of coffee is loaded with essential oils that evaporate fairly quickly. Worse, they can turn rancid and taste bitter if left too long on the burner.
But the first cup?

Ah! You sit at the table, leaning on your arms as they encircle the steaming cup. The aroma fills your senses, and your brain synapses start opening up and connecting even before the first sip.
That sip is the payoff for getting up.

The first taste gently floods your being, and you can feel life spreading through your limbs. Further, your intelligence seems to quicken by leaps and bounds. That’s the goal of the first cup.

But coffee has a bad side, and that is stale bitterness. Let it sit in the pot too long and the brew becomes a caustic, cleaning agent – if you want to clean by eroding the surface of the object. It needs tossing.

Organizations in general share this trait, no matter what they are, and no matter what their purpose.

You refresh a pot of coffee by starting over; clean the pot, get fresh, cool water, fresh grounds, and brew it again. And enjoy that first cup experience anew.
Any organization needs the same treatment; sometimes it just needs to start over.

Our goal is to develop a new vehicle to enable the creators of science fiction and fantasy to work their unique magic. We truly have no other goal that that.

We aren’t a reaction against past organizations. If anything, we are the unfolding of their core impetus. And we embrace all creators of SF&F – whether writers, gamers, cartoonists, or other expressions of creativity that may not even have a name yet. And we aren’t bound by arbitrary lines on a map.

Instead, regardless of your origin (and we hope in the future those origins will be far away indeed!), we invite you to join with us. Create with us, and tell us your story, by whatever means you have.

And we promise to be supportive. We may not like what you’ve done, but we’ll give it a fair shake. We just expect the same.

Our desire is to create Story. If that’s your desire, Welcome Home!

The Goals of the SFFC Guild

I have been asked by several what the SFFC Guild’s goals are and what the membership money will go toward. So I thought I would share a little of this here to give everyone a little more information to work with until we are ready to accept applications for membership.

(1) The first is to bring our official website and members-only forum (The Helicon) fully online and eventually provide a stipend for our officers, committee members and IT people.

(2) We will be filing for not-for-profit status (501(c)3) with the IRS. This is a legal process that does cost money along with taking a lot of time and effort to complete.

(3) We will establish a regularly produced newsletter, The Hippocrene, to help update members with Guild news, releases and other matters connected to science fiction and fantasy as well as feature articles on creators and industry news. One such article I’d like to see would address the Goodreads website, owned by Amazon, that allows trolls to post 1-star ratings and reviews that have nothing to do with the book but rather is a personal attack upon the author.

(4) Establish a weekly radio show on LA Talk Radio where Guild members will be on as guests to discuss their works and also to discuss issues directly related to sci-fi/fantasy and promote news and new releases related to Guild members. This network has dozens of daily shows that draw hundreds of thousands of listeners and is a proven vehicle to drive sales for creators.

(5) Promote science fiction and fantasy and the artists that create within these genres across multiple media outlets. Promote an environment where Guild members can collaborate with one another to create new projects.

(6) Establish a relationship with an IP attorney to help members with basic legal questions.

(7) Help serve as a large, unified organization to tackle industry-related issues with a strong and loud voice, that will benefit all of its member creators.

(8) Offer workshops, webinars, mentoring and other services to aid creators new and old in their chosen craft.

(9) Establish an annual adjudicated award.

(10) Establish an annual convention.

(11) Establish an official Hall of Fame to honor past creators for their contributions to science fiction and fantasy. This will not be a physical building but will be an online entity.

(12) Establish a fund to assist members in times of dire need/emergency.

 

As we continue forward, this list will be added to as we identify new areas of need. And regular reports will be made by the Treasurer accounting for every dollar taken in and paid out.

If you see something you think the Guild should look at adding, drop us a line and let us know. If we have the funding available and it is something that would be of great benefit to our membership we will definitely want to do it.

Welcome to the Science Fiction & Fantasy Creators Guild

Image of Richard PaolinelliIn the 2010 movie, Clash of the Titans, Perseus’s human step-father, Spyros, utters this line in response to the gods abandoning humanity:

“One day, somebody’s gonna have to make a stand. One day, somebody’s gonna have to say enough.”

So here we are in 2018 and I find myself thinking the same thing when it comes to the state of science fiction and fantasy and those who have claimed the title of gatekeepers and leaders. For some time now they have led the two genres along a dark path. Science fiction/fantasy used to be about escaping the real world and enjoying well-produced stories of great adventure on the written page as well as the big and small screens and game boards.

Over the past decade or so a certain mind set has insinuated itself into the leadership of science fiction/fantasy – the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association and World Science Fiction Society along with a few other institutions – have steered their organizations toward a more political/social activism bent.

These organizations were originally formed to help promote science fiction/fantasy and the talented artists who create a wide variety of worlds that we enjoy exploring. Today’s leadership seems to have forgotten that – to the point of blackballing authors for the sole reason that these writers don’t share the same political or social viewpoints as they do.

They are no longer promoting science fiction/fantasy.

I have recently begun to believe that, one day, somebody was going to have to make a stand. One day, somebody was going to have to say enough.

Today is that day. I am standing up and saying: Enough is enough.

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