As John Scalzi has pointed out, such accusations particularly hurt when the perpetrator is someone you know and like. And a lot of people in the SF community know and like Alan. Including me.
So what should we, as interested and concerned outside observers, do about it? A lot of events scheduled at Borderlands have been canceled, starting with Jo Walton's last night which disappeared that morning - that's how sudden this has been - and a lot of people have declared that, much as it will hurt both the independent bookstore community and their own purchase of SF, they won't do business with Borderlands any more so long as Alan is associated with it.
But here's something that nobody I've read has commented on. Brian Keene, the podcaster who broke the story to widespread attention also said this:
Both women, I think it's important to note here, both of these women have told me, on the record, they don't want to "cancel" Alan. I'm using the popular term. His daughter told us, quote: "He did a lot of good in my life. He made it possible for me to move to San Francisco, he did his best to provide me support while I was growing up, and for the majority of my life he was my best friend. I don't want me speaking out about what happened to come across as me trying to destroy his life or to get revenge on him. This absolutely sucks and I wish it wasn't the case. ..." Alan's ex-girlfriend echoed this, stating that they just want the public to be informed and they want him to get treatment and help.But then Keene immediately went on to say that, despite his long-standing connection with Alan and Borderlands, he will not be doing any more signings there.
Is that not "canceling" Alan? If it isn't, what would be? When these women say they don't want to "cancel" him, do they mean that they're not asking us to cease patronizing Borderlands? If not, what are they preferring that we do?
I've never been in a position to visit Borderlands often, and I'm not planning on going up to San Francisco for any purpose so long as the virus reigns, but someday it will happen and I'd like a little guidance here. I'm not eager to be more outraged and indignant than the actual victims of the actual crime. It is a puzzlement.