Did They Really Cite Me as an Authority?

So I stopped in yesterday to publish a post (Killing a Story Through Revisions), and I decided to gander at my visitation stats.  My eyes nearly popped out of my head when I saw a huge spike in my site-traffic for Tuesday and Wednesday.  At first I thought it an error, but then I noticed a similar spike in referrals from the Daily Dot and Salon.com.

After a quick investigation, I found that my post on Diversity in Science Fiction had been linked to in a Daily Dot article about Orson Scott Card, and that article had been picked up by Salon (the article isn’t a flattering piece, but then Mr. Card is known as much for his politically incorrect views as he is for his writing).  I don’t mind them linking to my post; they didn’t grossly misrepresent its content or make too much of it.  They did, however, treat it like a “reputable” source.

As a scientist for my day job, I have a narrow view on how to treat citations.  I’m not an authority on diversity in science fiction; I’m a middle-aged white guy with an opinion and not much to back it up.  When I get cited like an authority on diversity in science fiction, that makes me a little uncomfortable, to be honest.  If they wanted to show that science fiction is a genre dominated by middle-aged white guys, the article’s author should have cited something more compelling and factual than a blog post, perhaps the ethnic/age makeup of the Science Fiction Writers of America or the winners of the Nebula or Hugo awards.

I don’t think anything in my post is incorrect—I’m actually quite pleased with that post—and I’m glad people are reading it because I think diversity, and the lack thereof in the speculative fiction genre, is an important topic.  While I think in-roads are being made, I believe the genre still has a ways to go and must continue to diversify and grow in order to remain relevant.

About D. Thomas Minton

Writer of speculative fiction
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2 Responses to Did They Really Cite Me as an Authority?

  1. ericjbaker says:

    Maybe we should do a joint article called, “Two Middle-aged White Dudes Discuss the Black Experience in Speculative Fiction.” You know, on account of our credibility on the subject. We could find a guy named Sven from Sweden or Norway to interview.

    If I were the kind of person to go for political humor, I’d compare that to a bunch of old, white, male Senators forming a committee to discuss women’s reproductive rights. But I’m not that kind of person.


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