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In January 2020 Clarkesworld Magazine published a story by Isabel Fall (a new writer, writing under a pseudonym) named I Sexually Identify as an Attack Helicopter.

In my eyes it's a clever and well-executed piece of near-future fiction, set in a oddly broken US, where the military have shaped and used sexual identity to forge a closer bond between the weapon and its pilot - so much in the vein of a Peter Watts story that some people assumed it was actually written by him (no, it was not).

But it clearly also takes up the anti-trans meme in the title, and re-claims it for the trans community (Isabel Fall herself is trans). But somewhere between the unknown, anonymous author, the provocative title, and the modern-day tendency to be outraged just in case and on behalf this led to a shitstorm of abuse that ended in Fall asking Clarkesworld to take down the story, and check herself into a clinic due to suicidal ideation given the attacks on her.

So far so good (the story) and so bad (the unwarranted over-reaction to it). The story was, under the shortened moniker Helicopter Story, nominated for a Hugo Award in 2021 (it didn't win it), but is still only available on the Archive (the Wayback Machine has purges it's copy) and on private uploads. The space it took up on the Clarkesworld page is taken up by a statement by Neil Clarke, the editor. This is worth a read, too.

If you haven't read it then I would, now you know the above, invite you to read it yourself, links are below. And, both in this case as well as in general - please be respectful with other human beings, even if you disagree with them. Things are frequently more complex than they seem at first glance.

Link: Clarkesworld - Statement Neil Clarke - Story on Archive - Story on LinkedIn Upload



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