A Transgender Author’s Book Was Pulled From Publication After She Was Attacked For Not Being ‘Woke’ Enough

A transgender author, who writes trans-themed science fiction, is “canceled” and her book pulled from publication after she received a torrent of online abuse for not being “woke” enough.
Reason Magazine’s Robby Soave discovered the sad tale of Isabel Falls, whose story, “I Identify as an Attack Helicopter” — a play on a meme meant to poke fun at trans activists who insist that gender can be self-selected and that the “gender binary” has no place in modern society — was published in “Clarkesworld” and then unpublished after Falls’ critics hounded the author and her publisher over her birthdate.
The story is unabashedly progressive, Soave notes, as is the author: “[i]t’s a surreal, mind-bending war story that turns the [attack helicopter] meme on its head. It was read and approved by sensitivity reviewers—some of them trans. Its author, Fall, is herself trans.”
The world of young adult (or “YA” literature) is particularly hostile to the un-woke. YA lit Twitter — and the corresponding YA audience on the book-centric social media platform, Goodreads — are brutal to authors who are insufficiently left-leaning and whose work doesn’t overtly reflect all the (sometimes inherently conflicting) values of social justice warriors.
In one particularly shocking incident, young adult author Amélie Wen Zhao was forced to pull her own debut novel, “Blood Heir” from publication after social media fans of YA literature branded Zhao a racist for daring to cast a woman of color as her heroine. Zhao’s book was labled “anti-black” and ‘bigoted,” according to an account in The Guardian, because it failed to incorporate an accurate depiction of slavery, and Zhao’s lead character was multi-racial, and described as “tawny” skinned.
It turns out, though, that Zhao wasn’t describing the American slave trade. She was trying to “represent a specific critique of the epidemic of indentured labor and human trafficking prevalent in many industries across Asia,” including in her home country, China. Her character was pan-Asian, not pan-African. And Zhao’s book, she admitted, was explicitly meant as a public criticism of the Trump administration’s immigration policies.
“I write fantasy, but my story draws inspiration from themes I see in the real world today. As a foreigner in Trump’s America, I’ve been called names and faced unpleasant remarks – and as a non-citizen, I’ve felt like I have no voice – which is why I’ve channeled my anger, my frustration, and my need for action into the most powerful weapon I have: my words,” Zhao said.
Isabel Fall’s situation is, somehow, even worse. There is nothing wrong with her story, reviewers admitted. But Fall herself was clearly a closet white supremacist, they said, because she listed her birth year as 1988. And while Fall is clearly transgender, she is not sufficiently transgender, nor the particular type of transgender individual who should have written this particular story.
If this sounds vague, it’s because the complaints were, indeed, vague, aside from one: “Fall’s stated birth year—1988—was an alt-right dog whistle, since the double eights could be seen as referencing H.H. (being the eighth letter of the alphabet), or ‘heil Hitler,'” Soave writes.
For that, Clarkesworld’s publisher pulled the story and wrote a lengthy apologia, even though the reason readers were offended was, in a word, insane. The letter even began with the words, “This is not censorship,” even though a group of people clearly advocated for censorship of Fall’s work for an absolutely bizarre reason.

“[W]e didn’t understand enough about trans politics to properly advise a new author who was wading into the deep end,” the publisher said. “I’m not suggesting that we tell an author what they can and can’t say, but had the previous two items be done correctly, we would have been in a better place to prepare her. Because of those failures, our knowledge gap contributed to the problem.”
“In the meantime,” he continued, “I offer my sincere apologies to those who were hurt by the story or the ensuing storms.”
The publisher never, in a rambling statement, goes into detail about what was wrong with Fall’s story, Soave points out, because it’s not clear there was anything wrong with Fall’s story. The problem lies with the critics, for whom no one will ever be woke enough.
A Transgender Author’s Book Was Pulled From Publication After She Was Attacked For Not Being ‘Woke’ Enough A Transgender Author’s Book Was Pulled From Publication After She Was Attacked For Not Being ‘Woke’ Enough Reviewed by CUZZ BLUE on January 21, 2020 Rating: 5

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