Author: Jaym Gates

A Bright and Painful Future

A Bright and Painful Future

Dear SF: The hate in the #HugoAwards hashtag is the bitter flailing of a species fighting extinction. Let them rage. We’ve got this future. That future is gorgeous, painful, diverse, socially-conscious, challenging, revolutionary. Don’t let the hate win. You got this. #HugoAwards Last night, the 

Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout

Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout

I’ve just finished reading “Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout”, by Philip Connors, and highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in the American West and/or wilderness. At times it’s a little maudlin, but overall, a great look at the pivotal role 

Gen Con 2015 Schedule

Gen Con 2015 Schedule

So, my Gen Con schedule, packed full of panels and meetings. And a 9am panel. 9am. For the anti-morning person. Argle.

Anyways, if you’re trying to find me, your best option is after one of the panels below, all of which take place in the Writers Symposium. Saturday and Sunday are, so far, my lightest days. Times are subject to change, as usual. The Symposium schedule can be found here.


1:00 Panel: Networking, Room 244 (George Strayton, Jaym Gates, Peter Orullian, Kameron Hurley)

3:00 Panel: Writer’s Organizations, Room 244 (Liza Trombi, Jaym Gates, Donald Bingle, Wesley Chu, Richard Lee Byers)

4:00 Panel: Recovering from Controversy, Room 244 (Kerrie L. Hughes, Chuck Wendig, Jaym Gates, James Minz, James Sutter)

5:30-8:00: SFWA Dinner

8:00-??: Firefly RPG game


9:00 Panel: Business of Writing, Room 245 (9am? OH GOD WHY) (John Helfers, Dylan Birtolo, Anton Strout, Jerry Gordon, Jaym Gates)

12:00-2:00: Lunch Meeting

3:00-4:00: Meeting

5:00 Panel: Beyond Books (Moderating), Room 244 (Jaym Gates, Jason Schmetzer, George Strayton, Jeff Grubb, James Lowder)

7:00 Panel: Promoting Yourself as a Brand (Moderating), Room 245 (Jaym Gates, Melanie Meadors, Jennifer McGowan, Michael J. Sullivan, Sam Sykes)

8:00-9:00: Meeting

9:00-??: True Dungeon


11:00: Interview Margaret Weis, Booth 1613

1:00-3:00: Meeting

3:00-4:00 Panel, Room 242: Writing Comics: Write Til it Hurts (Bill Willingham, Gene Ha, Chris Roberson, Jim Zub, Daryl Gregory, Jaym Gates)

4:00-5:00: Meeting

7:00-9:00: Dinner Meeting


11:00: Read and Critique

1:00-3:00: Meeting

5:00-7:00: Dinner Meeting

State of the Jaym

State of the Jaym

About a year ago, Charles Tan and Christie Yant pulled me aside (okay, so it was a Twitter conversation, but Very Stern) and pointed out that I needed an agent. The anthologies are taking off, and my career is wonderfully, hellishly diverse. I kind of 

Changing of the Guard

Changing of the Guard

Effective July 1, 2015, I will no longer be SFWA’s Communications Director. It’s been a long, interesting, and educational time with the organization, and one that has been immensely beneficial to both sides. I have been considering my options for a while now. While I 

New Books!

New Books!

Picked up a few books I’m really excited about from the Nebula book bag, and a bunch of other things:

“Persona”, by Genevieve Valentine
“Sorcerer to the Crown”, by Zen Cho (I bought one of Zen’s early stories for Crossed Genres, and the writing is wonderful.)
“Little Dystopias”, a collection from Kyle Aisteach.
“The House of Shattered Wings”, by Aliette de Bodard
“Beasts of Tabat”, by Cat Rambo
“Sing Me Your Scars”, by Damien Angelica Walters
“The Sea is Ours”, an anthology by Jaymee Goh (another author from Crossed Genres days!) and Joyce Chng
“Stories for Chip”, an anthology from Nisi Shawl and Bill Campbell

Wow, that’s a beautiful, diverse list up there.

Not from the bookbag:
“Firesoul”, Gary Kloster’s Pathfinder Tales novel
The Big Jones cookbook from where Scott, Eden, Lee, and I had brunch.

Author copies of Heroes! and Space, from the Origins Library/Silence in the Library
Author copy of the Nebula Cookbook

All this joins recent review copies:

“Luna: New Moon”, from Ian McDonald

“Dragon Coast”, by Greg van Eekhout

“The Causal Angel”, by Hannu Rajaniemi

“Dinosaur Lords”, by Victor Milan


Plus, you know, all the things I have to read for work, or have on my to-read list already, or want to acquire ASAP. I need a full-time reading assistant!

Origins and Nebula Schedule

Origins and Nebula Schedule

Origins (Note: I leave very early Saturday morning, so if you want to see me, find me before then!) Thursday Networking: 11am, C223, with Bryan Young, Gregory A. Wilson, Lucy Snyder, and Aaron Rosenberg Friday Is This a Kissing Book?: 11am, C223, with Sheryl Nantus, Tracy Chowdhury, Janine 

Protected: Convention Schedule: Gen Con

Protected: Convention Schedule: Gen Con

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

Post ID: 399

Since the topic just came up with someone…here’s how to be a good ally and support to someone who is being harassed or abused within the industry, and a little backstory on something that I’ve been dealing with.

This is intensely personal, and something that will likely lead to backlash, and yes, I am nervous about posting it, but I think some of these things need very badly to be said again.

(No, I will not name names at this time. The people who need to know, do, and if you are a local who does not know, you may contact me privately.)


Some of you are aware that I have been dealing with a local-ish stalker (who, sadly, started out as someone I considered a friend) pretty much my entire professional career.

There were ups and downs, and I eventually gave him a second chance because it was awkward for mutual friends. He promptly blew that chance, and I sent him an email explaining why I was no longer willing to deal with him. Long form short: “Whether or not you have changed as much as you think you have–and your actions scream that you have not–*I* am paying the price for your ‘social awkwardness’ and ‘depression’, and will continue to do so for, potentially, the rest of my life.”

The exchange that followed included thinly-veiled threats to keep the situation private, to not discuss it with anyone else, and a whole hell of a lot of victim-blaming, on top of years of harassment and slut-shaming. (Including the memorable experience of being chased through Dragon Con, trying to answer “Why did you sleep with that asshole who treats you so horribly?! I’d have treated you right!” For the record, said ‘asshole’ is one of my closest friends…)

It was an exchange that left me so angry and frustrated I was shaking and afraid to go back to Dragon Con. There was a moment when I thought I saw him at Gen Con that left me in a shaking panic. (I’m not easily triggered, and I’m no coward, but this has been a reality literally nearly my entire adult life, exacerbated by the aggressive and violent stalker in Santa Clara. This shit builds up.)

I would have kept dealing with it–by removing myself from local literary events and disappearing from the Southeast SF scene–if I hadn’t learned that multiple other women had also been subjected to this. I saw a similar fear on someone else’s face just last month when he showed up to something.

And this is the gist of this lengthy post: You are *highly* unlikely to be the only one who is suffering from someone. I was able to express quiet concerns to close friends, and found out the extent of the problem. I then went to known allies and explained to them what was going on, and made it known that I had reached a breaking point: he went, or I did. They were supportive.


This is the other point: It is still extremely unsafe for a woman to speak up about abuse or harassment. I occupy a position of a great deal of quiet power and overt safety. I have been at the front of the anti-harassment fight for my entire career, and I know the tools and processes inside and out. I know the safe people and the unsafe people. I know how to gather support and make a safe place for myself if necessary. I am not afraid to stand my ground and fight. I deal with harassment at every event I go to, and in life in general so much that I don’t even register a lot of it. I talk about it a lot, and push for awareness of the issue. I’ve put vastly personal things out for public consumption.

And I was still on the verge of throwing up when I told the male allies, and ready, emotionally, for them to shrug and say “Fine, you’re out”. For many women, that fear is justified, and the results are far more severe and far-reaching than simply being ostracized.

We’ve made great strides in this industry in making a safer place for women. We still have *so far* to go. So be gentle, be considerate, listen. Ask if your female friend is okay. If someone stops showing up at events, ask if they need to talk about it. Be willing to take no for an answer, but also understand that you may be placed in a position of seeing someone close to you in a new, unpleasant light. Understand that it is seldom the obvious choice who is causing problems.

Understand that you may be asked to make a hard choice, but that many of us make this hard choice every time we go to an event. Understand that we may have been great friends with someone, once upon a time, but that things may have changed or soured so that we no longer feel safe with them.

Understand that it’s okay to be unsure and afraid. Ask how you can help. Be up front if you feel that you can’t help, or are unsure what to believe. Understand if someone doesn’t feel safe telling you–someone told my stalker that I had talked about him, and I had told very few people at that point–and be ready to back away and say “I don’t need to know the details, I am still your friend and will do whatever I can to help you feel safer.”

Don’t try to fix the problem, unless specifically asked. Don’t confront the person, or tell them that there’s a problem, unless specifically asked. Many abusers will express remorse or swear that they’ve changed, and then go double-down on their victim. Only approach them if specifically asked by the victim to act as an intermediary.

Be prepared for a violent fracturing of the community if the issue becomes public, or if actions are taken to remove the abuser from a space.

I’m pretty sure that the person referenced in this post will see this message. I am prepared for him to make good on his threats to expose me and my ‘enabling’ and ‘misleading’ ways. I am prepared for friends to defend him, if it becomes public.

And here’s the last point of this post: You do not deserve to be harassed. You do not need to subjugate your own happiness and comfort to allow someone else to continue abusing you. You deserve to be safe, and happy, and to participate in the things you love without fear.

As long as I am part of this community, and have any power whatsoever, I will continue pushing for this to be a reality, and for the community to become safe enough that abusers are not protected, and victims do not have to leave simply to find some safety.

Conventions and Travel: Version 2015

Conventions and Travel: Version 2015

Whoops, so, it’s been a busy couple of months and I haven’t updated much. So a couple of quick notes.   Genius Loci is doing well. We’re sorting out payments, getting rewards and art sorted and underway, and I’ve done all but the copy-edit. I’ll be