For those that don’t know me, I am an award-winning, bestselling author in numerous genres. I have been a speaker at the U.S. Naval Academy, the National Archives, and the Smithsonian on the subjects I write about.
I started my writing career in science fiction for a series called BattleTech. BattleTech has been made into a cartoon series, video games, board games, and novels about giant robotic war machines called BattleMechs. Catalyst Game Labs is the current license holder for BattleTech, which is licensed by Topps and Fanatics.
After 37 years of writing for the series, I found myself canceled for voicing my conservative beliefs.
In January 2021, two people complained to my publisher, asking that books I wrote be pulled from publication because they allegedly contained “hidden Confederate messages.” Catalyst Game Labs responded that my political beliefs didn’t matter as long as they were not in their novels. After a lengthy review of the books and my social media accounts, the company found no political messages, hidden or otherwise.
They offered one of the protesters an opportunity to publish a short story in hopes of appeasing him. I warned the company that the man was an online stalker who had been harassing me for nearly two years. Later, law enforcement would discover that this man was using a false online persona; that of a self-proclaimed lesbian nurse who was adopting two children. Catalyst Game Labs ignored my warnings.
In March 2021, my first conservative political thriller Blue Dawn was announced with a different publisher, Defiance Press. Outraged, my stalker contacted a fellow writer with the following directed at me: “I want to fucking shoot him in the fucking crotch for this shit.” And: “I want him to die in a fire.”
The police got involved and, after an investigation, a judge put a protective order in place because of multiple threats. In reality, my harasser was a 39-year-old man living with his parents. He had been fired by his previous employer for issuing terroristic threats. He was charged and pleaded guilty. The man was a convicted criminal.
I moved on. To coincide with the release of Blue Dawn, I wrote articles for conservative websites such as American Thinker, PJ Media, Townhall, American Greatness, and others. I made it clear to Catalyst executives that I would mention my stalker in some of these articles as an example of woke extremism. Catalyst’s president replied, “I would do the same thing if I were you.”
When my last BattleTech novel, No Substitute for Victory, was released by Catalyst in February, my stalker and a small handful of people once again complained to Catalyst, Topps, and Fanatics. They took numerous statements from my social media out of context to paint me as an “insurrectionist, a seditionist,” and other outright lies.
The smear campaign was led by the man who had threatened my life. I was told that Fanatics asked my publisher to “make this go away.”
My publisher’s solution was to inform me he would no longer publish my work.
I asked if he had verified that the protest was not a handful of people using sock accounts to make their cause appear larger. He told me he had not checked and that it didn’t matter anyway. It also didn’t matter that the quotes in question had been taken out of context or fabricated.
I noted how other Catalyst contract authors and artists voiced radical progressive opinions far more offensive than anything I had ever posted. My publisher indicated he would talk to some of them. Conservatives tend not to complain, while the Left sees offenses everywhere.
He informed me that my beliefs were alienating half of his customers. I pointed out that sales and ratings for my latest novel were on par with previous works. He then told me that sales didn’t matter.
I offered to write under a pseudonym like several of his other authors. He refused. Then I pointed out the most egregious aspect: “You are literally siding with a person that threatened the life of one of your most productive and popular authors.” Ignoring that, he had assured me that he would communicate his decision to release me to the fans. He never did.
To be clear, my views are not especially radical. They are the same opinions held by tens of millions of other Americans.
While I was getting the Gina Carano treatment from Catalyst, I was proud that I didn’t cave to these woke warriors. Such corporate knee-jerking to a minority of leftwing woke whiners does alienate fans—conservative fans. This is simply censorship. It can happen to any conservative who dares voice his opinions. As a result, my many fans will no longer see my work in BattleTech, simply because the publisher feared online backlash. Meanwhile, his extreme left-wing authors can spew their venom without fear of retribution because conservatives don’t whine or threaten or complain on Twitter.
Conservatives need to speak with their money by supporting conservative publishers or those companies that opt to ignore the politics of their creative staff altogether.
Publishers that throw conservatives under the bus out of fear seem to have forgotten their core business. They should focus on producing good content and not let the woke mob decide who works for them.
Caving puts the mob in charge of what content you produce. It’s a lesson that both Disney and Fanatics/Catalyst would do well to learn.