PodCastle has won, and is declining, the Parsec Award

PodCastle has had an extraordinary year. We’ve published some amazing stories. We ran our fourth Artemis Rising. We were nominated for a World Fantasy Award. And just this week, we learned that we won our first Parsec Award — Best Speculative Fiction Story: Small Cast (Short Form) for our story “Six Jobs” by Tim Pratt, narrated by Stephanie Malia Morris.

Unfortunately, shortly after we received news of the win, we learned that another of the winners has a problematic history of abuse. The Parsec committee launched an investigation into the matter, and their findings were swift and clear and disappointing. They chose to take no action, saying:

“It is the goal of The Parsecs to judge solely on the merit of the content and not on gender, heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation, politics, or other factors not in the podcast as presented to the audience. To do more would be to fail at our core purpose.”

PodCastle has never made a secret of our feminist ideals or our dedication to inclusivity, and we aim to act with integrity and credibility in a way that emulates those ideals. We find it unconscionable to celebrate an award that was also offered to a well-known abuser, one that has been awarded by an organization that has chosen to ignore these abuses in favor of remaining apolitical. In the current climate, we cannot support an award that ignores the complaints of victims while boosting the platforms of their abusers; for us, an appeal to high-minded ideals is not reason enough considering the harm that was done and that may be done in the future. For this reason, PodCastle has decided to decline our 2018 Parsec Award.

Being non-partisan is not an excuse to shirk the responsibility to stand for justice. If the Parsec committee won’t, PodCastle certainly will.