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Deirdre Saoirse Moen

Deirdre Saoirse Moen is a software engineer, photographer, and writer who is active in the progressive genre fiction community. She first came to meme’s attention in mid-2014 for helping to spread the word about famous author Marion Zimmer Bradley’s sexual abuse of her children. However, her subsequent support of infamous troll Winterfox, specifically her attacks on a report which detailed the horrific abuse Winterfox had been meting out for over a decade, lowered her reputation in the eyes of many.

(Note: “Saoirse” is part of her last name, not her middle name. Similarly, “Zimmer” should be treated as part of Marion Zimmer Bradley’s last name. For purposes of brevity on this page, they will be respectively referred to as “DSM” and “MZB”.)

Marion Zimmer Bradley

Marion Zimmer Bradley was a prolific and popular fantasy author whose most famous work is her Darkover series. Due to her vast influence on the genre, she had and still has many fans and supporters. Her husband Walter Breen was a known child molester who had been convicted multiple times for sexual crimes against children. MZB divorced Breen in 1990 after he was arrested (again) on charges of child molestation and took a plea bargain. In 1998, she testified at his trial that she knew full well Breen was raping children while she was married to him. She did not, however, report him to the authorities or do anything about it, and in fact stated that she had objected to a science fiction convention expelling Breen for having sexually abused children.

None of this was a secret. Author Stephen Goldin, whose stepson was one of Breen’s victims, has for years devoted a section of his website to Breen’s crimes and MZB’s complicity therein. However, it was not until the “Breendoggle” wiki went up in 2014 that their monstrous behavior began to receive more-widespread attention.

In June 2014, Leah Schnelbach wrote a glowing post about MZB for, describing how she advanced feminist perspectives through her fiction and helped make the fantasy genre a better place for women. DSM, incensed, posted excerpts from MZB’s deposition in which MZB admitted to having known what her husband was doing. Condemning Schnelbach’s article, DSM stated that MZB shouldn’t be given any more of a pass than Ed Kramer, co-founder of Dragon*Con and convicted child rapist, and that MZB’s enablement of Breen is much more important than her fiction.

DSM also reached out to Moira Greyland, MZB’s daughter, for more information. Greyland wrote back and revealed that Zimmer Bradley had not only enabled Breen’s sexual abuse of children but had committed such abuse herself, including against Moira starting from when Moira was three years old. DSM posted Moira’s responses and said that MZB’s depravity was worse than anyone had known.

Meme discussed Tor’s screw-up in posting Schnelbach’s article. DSM’s articles were cited on meme in the course of this discussion.


In November 2014, Laura Mixon compiled a huge report detailing the abusive behavior of Benjanun Sriduangkaew, better known online as Winterfox. Sriduangkaew’s public persona was that of a sweet, friendly up-and-coming author who was critically acclaimed and even nominated for a prestigious Campbell Award. As Winterfox, however, she was a vitriolic and hateful reviewer who frequently advocated for the rape, mutilation, and death of various authors (mostly women of color, despite her pretense of being a social-justice advocate). Her bile was so extreme that it triggered one author into a suicide attempt.

When the Mixon Report came out, DSM initially took the side of Winterfox’s victims. However, Winterfox and her network began to target the report, the victims listed in the report, and its advocates, calling them racist and sexist because Winterfox is a Thai woman. One of Winterfox’s friends, K. Tempest Bradford, wrote an anti-callout post in which she argued that too much calling out and “collecting receipts” (i.e., recording screenshots and archives of hateful content so as to substantiate claims of misbehavior) are bad things.

DSM took this message to heart and began walking back her support of Winterfox’s victims, going so far as to postulate that there should be some kind of “statute of limitations” for Internet misbehavior after which it’s considered unsportsmanlike for others to bring it up. After stating (incorrectly) that Winterfox’s misbehavior was all at least three years in the past, she noted that in the U.S. one can be sentenced to less than a year in prison for killing someone; she added that surely Winterfox’s behavior wasn't as bad as murder, and that therefore she should be entitled to forgiveness after 10 months or so. Meme was thoroughly contemptuous of her about-face.

Hugo Award “Snub”

Shortly before flip-flopping from supporting Winterfox’s victims to supporting Winterfox, DSM posted a long complaint that the Bay Area Science Fiction Association, of which she was a member, hadn’t included her on a list of recommendations for the 2015 Hugo ballot in the Fan Writer category. She said that her story was hugely important and strongly implied that she deserved a nomination. Meme noticed this and wondered if she were trying to suck up to Winterfox and her clique, which included prominent members of the SF/F community such as editor Nick Mamatas, in order to secure a Hugo nomination. This theory was supported when meme discovered a Twitter thread in which Mamatas indeed called for DSM to be nominated. Winterfox stan Adrienne Leigh disagreed on the basis of DSM’s support of the Mixon Report, whereupon DSM jumped in to insist that she had changed her mind. It was also supported when meme noticed her pushing to get more clicks and attention on her blog as Hugo nomination season neared its end, including an attempt to inject herself into a controversy surrounding the collapse of the publisher Elllora's Cave.

Whether or not this would have worked in a normal Hugo year may never be known. But 2015 was anything but a normal Hugo year. In April, a large group of conservative fans known as the “Sad Puppies” and “Rabid Puppies” agreed to vote on a single unified nomination slate in order to force as many of their nominees onto the ballot as possible. The other voters spread their nominations over a much wider pool than the conservative block, and the Puppies virtually swept the ballot in an event that meme called the Hugopocalypse. Of the five slots on the ballot for Fan Writer nominees, four went to the logroll nominations, Laura Mixon took the fifth and final slot, and DSM did not make the ballot.

This pleased most nonnies, who felt she had sold out Winterfox’s victims for the chance at a Hugo nod. Nonnies also noted that the Mixon Report was both more immediately relevant than DSM’s reportage (since MZB and Breen were both long-dead but Winterfox was still abusing people and sabotaging careers), and held the risk of greater retaliation (since, again, MZB and Breen were both dead but Winterfox, who had repeatedly advocated for the murder of her targets, was not), and so it was perhaps understandable that Mixon got the nomination instead of DSM.

One nonnie sagely pointed out that DSM and Winterfox’s other defenders seem incapable of understanding just how bad Winterfox really was.

“With Moen, [Kate] Nepveu, and [Abigail] Nussbaum, I'm really getting the impression that these people just can’t accept how toxic WF is. They don't want to believe. They don’t bother to really read the report, they don’t bother to check out any of the other sources and discussion, they just flat out deny that she can really be is as terrible a person as she is and cling to every excuse to believe that the WF problem should be swept under a rug.

To even bring up the idea of a statute of limitation for harassment that began over a decade ago and is still ongoing is absurd. This is flat out denial in action. And I suspect (but have no proof) it's denial because a WOC abuser is inconvenient to their worldview.”

DSMn soon declared that she would be voting for “No Award” to win instead of Mixon (or any of the slate nominees). Stating again that she was also eligible for Best Fan Writer (as is literally any person who writes something that is in some way related to genre fiction and doesn’t get paid for it), she declared that Winterfox’s actions had happened too long ago, and also that Mixon was being nominated for one report instead of a larger body of work, and so DSM didn’t think Mixon should win. Meme was scornful, noting how DSM was outright lying about Winterfox having stopped her abuse years ago.

Her next mention on meme was after she said that the problem with the 2015 Hugos was not, in fact, the Puppy slate pushing out legitimate nominees in favor of terrible books, but that many of those nominees were connected to Writers of the Future, a Scientology-affiliated competition. DSM used to work for the Church of Scientology and claims to be the first ex-Scientologist to be harassed online by members of the church. She has opposed the WotF contest in the past, and she now claims affiliation with Project Chanology, 4Chan’s anti-Scientology group. Meme largely took her side with respect to WotF being problematic, but still mocked her for insisting that everyone should just accept Winterfox’s (transparently insincere) apologies.

After Winterfox broke a promise to Kari Sperring (who attempted suicide after being on the receiving end of one of Winterfox’s attacks) by attacking her again, meme discussed her abusive behavior as well as those of her followers, including DSM. Liz Williams and Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, also Winterfox victims, told DSM she was wrong. Williams left the following comment on FFA:

I've emailed Deirdre Moen. She won’t like the email. When she started weaselling about Lauras report, Rochita and I emailed her, politely, about her having let WFs targets down and were told basically that she was on holiday in Hawaii and didnt have the spoons (I quote) to deal with us.

My personal view is that her report on MZB was her ace in the hole, her one chance for a Hugo, and it didnt happen, so she is now throwing her toys out of her pram.

DSM also reported that Kari Sperring had joked at Eastercon about an alleged fanfic written by meme in which Winterfox was raped; eventually this led to attempts to have Sperring banned from Eastercon. This was a flat-out lie; while Sperring had mentioned a Vox Day/Winterfox slashfic written on meme, there was no sex in the story and Sperring never said there was. Meme was boggled by how DSM had fallen from being a reporter of abuse to being someone who would make up total nonsense in an attempt to support another abuser. Writer Anna Feruglio Dal Dan would later verify that Sperring never mentioned Winterfox being raped, and she also reported that DSM had tried to lie her way onto the Sad Puppies panel at Eastercon after her request to join it was turned down.

In a later thread which also included Liz Williams summarizing events to date, a nonnie noted that DSM was now blaming Kari Sperring for not apologizing to Winterfox after Winterfox ostensibly apologized to her. This, she claimed, meant that Sperring was the one keeping the feud between them going. She also blamed Sperring for her own “mistake” in thinking that Sperring had joked about Winterfox being raped by Vox Day. Meme discussed how this was in no way Sperring’s fault, and how forgiveness was not obligatory after someone torments you with extreme abuse. When DSM said a few weeks later that “being toxic on the side of what one perceives as good is still being toxic,” meme noted her hypocrisy.

Months later, DSM accused Mixon of using Creepalicious, a stalker of Winterfox who had recently outed her real-life identity, as her source for her report. This was also a lie; Mixon’s report includes copious citations, none of whom are Creepalicious. Meme commented on this.

DSM would later forward a private email from Liz Williams to Winterfox. Meme criticized the act of sending a notorious abuser a private communication from one of her victims.

As the Hugo voting deadline drew near, DSM once again reiterated that she would be voting “No Award” above Mixon in the Fan Writer category. Her reasoning was threefold: Mixon said that nominating her would send a clear message that abuse was not tolerated in the community, which DSM felt was “emotional blackmail”; Mixon is a pro and not a fan writer; and DSM held Mixon to blame, at least in part, for Winterfox being doxxed. Meme tore this apart, stating that Mixon was not paid for the report (so it was fan writing), Mixon had nothing to do with the doxxing, and DSM had all but said that her report on MZB merited a Hugo nomination so she had no grounds on which to criticize Mixon for using similar language.

Ultimately, her efforts were in vain, and Mixon won the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer.

Rick Moen

Deirdre’s husband Rick has also been discussed on meme a few times, usually for being a pretentious wanker. Nonnies noted his support for doxxer and über-wanker W!ll Sh3tt3rly (including following his lead in linking one of his detractors, CoffeeandInk, to her real name), as well as his general obnoxiousness. They later excoriated his repeated defenses of notorious bigot Vox Day. Specifically, they tore apart Rick’s support of Day’s arguments that acid attacks on women are “rational” in a utilitarian sense, as well as his comment that Day wasn’t really being anti-semitic when he argued that Jews have no right to live anywhere except for Israel. Deirdre, of course, leapt to Rick's defense, which nonnies discussed.


deirdre-saoirse-moen.txt · Last modified: 2021/08/30 02:09 by nonnymousely