A Sad and Terrible Truth

25 Jul
A Sad and Terrible Truth

When I first read last summer about the stomach-turning sexual crimes committed by two famous authors — and how fans and fellow writers excused those crimes and silenced the victims — I was repulsed beyond words. (Read more in The Guardian, and at a SFF writer’s blog.)

Now, Marion Zimmer Bradley and Walter Breen‘s daughter, Moira Greyland, has told her story in her own words. (Read it here.) She is forthright, does not excuse her parents’ behavior, and makes no apologies– nor should she. I applaud Moira’s strength and honesty.

I attempted reading MZB’s books, because other writers kept recommending it, but I could never get past the beginning paragraphs, or — at the most — a page or two. So I was never a fan. However, since she was a respected writer, and since she helped found the Society for Creative Anachronism, I was rocked back on my heels by those initial articles.

The recent kerfuffle over the Hugo Awards stands in stark contrast: In the past, Bradley and Breem were enabled and, even if temporarily shunned, remained esteemed despite their crimes; however, some modern writers who are of a particular political, social, or religious bent have appeared to be shunted aside because they’re “incorrect” in their views.

No, I am neither making a statement about the Hugos nor inviting debate. I’m simply making a connection / contrast between incidents, decades apart, that have occurred within the literary community.

Despite its difficult revelations about child molestation and the far-reaching and often tragic effects on victims, Moira Greyland’s post is well worth the reading, and reminds us that talent does not excuse crime or abuse.


SCA event – Beltane (c2013, KB)


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2 responses to “A Sad and Terrible Truth

  1. Keanan

    July 29, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    Someone responded to this post with an ill-informed comment meant to denigrate Moira and the blogger who invited her. I contemplated allowing the comment — in the interest of dialogue and openness — but
    1) I don’t bully victims of crimes, especially ones as personal as this;
    2) I want to keep the conversation here clean and respectful;
    3) by allowing the comment, I would be legitimizing the content as worthy of debate;
    4) the blogger hosting Moira’s post has titled her blog ironically (as one can easily see by reading the available information, “asktheBigot” is not one, thus the irony); and
    5) as a friend pointed out, one’s mind is like one’s house: None of us leave the doors wide open at all times and allow strangers to take up residence or the neighbor’s trash to pile up in the living room. We need to be as discerning with words and ideas as we are with our living space.

    • Keanan

      July 30, 2015 at 1:37 pm

      Warning: The blog post linked below discusses sex between children and adults — specially between boys and men — and readers may find its subject matter disturbing.

      That said, it is included here because it contains a few comments regarding Moira Greyland’s experiences and family.

      I do not endorse or condone the matters discussed in this post, but include it here for readers seeking further information:


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