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Thursday, April 11, 2013

The cancer in SF/F, part I

Adam Roberts asks who owns the political soul of science fiction
I make no apologies for writing science fiction. I love the genre with a deep and geeky love. Becoming professor of 19th-century literature at the University of London has done nothing to diminish my capacity for that mode of enthusiasm that fans call "squee".

Being a literature professor means, in effect, the government pays me to read books; and, taking my job seriously, I read a lot, in and out of genre. I think the novel is most alive today as a literature of the fantastic: at their worst, SF, fantasy and magic realist novels can be very bad; while at their best, they're by far the most exciting kinds of writing being published.

But here's the thing: my genre divides politically in a manner unlike others. Writers of historical or crime fiction might be rightwing or leftwing, but few would attempt to define those genres as intrinsically left- or right-leaning. SF is different: the genre defines itself according to two diametrically opposed ideological stances.
Roberts didn't have to tell us which side he is on: his use of the word "squee" was all that was necessary to let us know that he was of the enscalzied left wing of science fiction.  But his question is more interesting than it might first appear, because although the answer is obvious to anyone who has paid even a modicum of attention to the world of professional, published science fiction over the last 20 years, there is more to it than simply looking at who is getting published, who is winning awards, and who has been running SFWA for the last decade.

There is no question who presently owns what would be best termed "the trappings" of science fiction.  It is the scalzied manboobs, the cisgendered queers, the obese cat collectors, the Red Diaper socialists, the female imperativists, and the professional race whiners who presently dominate science fiction, not because they have more talent to offer than those on the right, but due to a) science fiction's longtime affiliation with the secular humanist, sciencistic left and b) the long march through the publishing institutions that has gradually and methodically gone about excluding every editor and author even remotely suspected of harboring views that have been, or may be, deemed ideologically undesirable.

The long march isn't the product of my imagination. I first became aware of it when Pocket Books, to their credit, thought it would be a good idea to assign an editor who had at least a modicum of religious awareness to my Eternal Warriors novels, but couldn't find a single religious individual in house.  They finally had to hire an external editor, a Jewish woman, because the organization's collective theological knowledge amounted to zero.

So much for the heirs of the Western intellectual tradition; the reviewer at Black Gate who reviewed Summa Elvetica genuinely believed that the argument presented therein was a real one written by Thomas Aquinas.  However, having read the Summa Theologica, I can assure everyone that while the Angelic Doctor contemplated many issues, the question of whether elves have souls naturally united to them or not was not one of them.

One need only look at the increasingly mediocre works that have been nominated for, and in some cases even won, science fiction's highest prizes to realize that the genre is dominated by the ideological left and is in severe decline from both the literary and revenue perspectives.  When six of the top 10-selling SF books in 2012 are either ripped off from an Xbox game or were first published more than a decade ago, it shouldn't be difficult to observe that there is a very serious problem with the science fiction that is presently being published.

Now, some will wish to dismiss my observations as the embittered rantings of a fourth-rate fantasy author, even though the sales of one of my books, at around 41,000, would have put me at number three on the 2012 list of bestsellers.  But even if one dismisses me, the problem is that I am far from the only former Asimov and Analog subscriber who no longer bothers to even pirate, let alone buy, The Year's Best Science Fiction collections because so little of it is worth reading anymore. As an SFWA member, I have a vote for the Nebula, but at least in the case of the Best Novel category, there is simply nothing for which one can credibly vote.

It is simply impossible to call any of the novels presently up for this year's Nebula or Hugo the best novel in SF/F with a straight face. And if one of them truly does merit the description, then the genre is in even worse shape than I have observed.  It should not be controversial to suggest that it is highly unlikely that anyone from this year's class will one day be named a Grandmaster of Science Fiction.

CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, HP Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, and Robert Heinlein could not get published in today's SF/F publishing environment, which has ironically turned Harlan Ellison's concept of SF being a place for "dangerous visions" on its head. The fact that the Guardian chose to head the linked article with a picture of Iain M. Banks was particularly apt, as science fiction is today in much the same position as the unfortunate Scottish author, who recently announced that he was terminal with a cancer that had developed unbeknownst to him. (One has to respect his mordant wit; in response to the bad news he asked his longtime girlfriend if she would do him the honor of becoming his widow.) Science fiction is not only terminal, its professional community is still largely ignorant of that readily observable fact.

Science fiction is dying because it has been invaded by a parasitical and hostile ideology that has metastasized and spread throughout the genre. This ideology is opposed to science because science is weakening the assumptions on which it is founded. It is opposed to heroism because heroism is intrinsically anti-egalitarian. It is opposed to masculinity because its adherents are women and feminized gamma males. It is opposed to Western civilization because Western civilization is Christian.  It is opposed to free discourse because free discourse reveals its many incoherencies, contradictions, and complete flights of fantasy.

Roberts's summary of the difference between left and right is accurate, but incomplete: "Heinlein's imagined interstellar future is an environment designed to valorise the skill sets (self-reliance, engineering competence, willpower, bravery and manliness) that Heinlein prized. Left-leaning Iain M Banks's Culture novels posit a high-tech geek utopia in which the particular skill sets, ethics and wit‑discourse of SF nerds turn out to be the gold standard of pan-galactic multi-species civilisation."

But it is more than that. Roberts omits to mention that feminism, equalitarianism, cultural relativism, massive central government, unrestrained sexual adventurism, and ideological strawmen are de rigueur for the science fiction of the left.  And that is when it is more than simple romance novels in space or rewritten Regency romances with a modest sprinkling of magic.

The fact that Roberts considers the genre's greatest writers to be "Ursula K Le Guin, Octavia Butler, James Tiptree Jr, Margaret Atwood, Karen Joy Fowler, Pat Cadigan, Justina Robson" shows that he is speaking only of the genre's left and also suffices to show the inferiority of the works produced by that side of the genre. With the exception of Le Guin and Sheldon, no science fiction fan would trade a single Herbert or Heinlein novel for the complete collected works of all the others... well, perhaps some of the later Heinleins.

The fate that awaits the world of professional published science fiction is that which ultimately befell the art of Socialist Realism. Because it is imposed by a small, centralized group that happened to seize the relevant power, it will collapse and fade away once the group's power ceases to be relevant.  As it so often does, economic and technological changes have eroded the power of the gatekeeper's, which is why we can watch the collapse of Nightshade Books and anticipate the coming closure of other publishers and imprints which are infested with the ideological cancer.

SF/F's left-wing gatekeepers made the same error that the ABCNNBCBS cabal made when instead of simply reporting the nation's news, it attempted to turn itself into the propaganda wing of the Democratic Party. But there will be no singular Fox News prison-raping its competitors in the case of SF/F, instead, there will be Glenn Reynold's army of a thousand Davids, with successful independent authors like Larry Correia and Marko Kloos demonstrating to every other writer deemed politically incorrect and/or unpublishable by the gatekeepers that the gates have been torn down. They no longer exist.

More on why the ongoing collapse of the gatekeepers is not reason for despair, but promises to be very good news for fans of traditional SF/F in part II.

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231 Comments:

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Anonymous EGA/Art April 12, 2013 12:04 AM  

I'm kind of surprised nobody has mentioned Gene Wolfe here. The Wizard Knight actually caused a significant amount of butthurt because of the politics and worldview that gloriously underlie it.

Anonymous James May April 12, 2013 1:43 AM  

That Atlantic article is very interesting. It shows the extent to which art in America, starting in the '60s, was taken over by people who suffered from three mutually supportive qualities: they had nothing to say, no patience to learn a thing as apprentice and they had a fear of being perceived as middle class, ordinary.

They had been taught to believe everyone was special and so the cart preceded the horse in post modern fashion. Special is as special does became as stupid as a Latin mantra of the Inquisition. Art became paint-by-numbers and velvet paintings which at the same time claimed to hate such things.

What better way to survive then, than to disdain mere craftsmanship itself as the middle class enemy and immediacy as shallowness? In fact immediacy as a writer is just fine if you have something to actually say. If you don't, immediacy is the Devil himself since it reveals a person who ran out of ideas even before they set pen to paper and snuck in from the suburb they abhor.

This is how you can gut an art form. It's how fine art photography in America, especially documentary photography, simply became the kid in "The Simpsons" who says "Haw-haw." Being ordinary not only became a great evil it was a case then of the lady doth protest too much since the stupidest, most conformist, supermarket of the mind idiot were themselves the new artist.

In SF&F it is obvious there are many writers who really have nothing to say but a great desire to say it and try and hide behind wordiness and stereotypes to disguise empty art. One can imagine people whose priorities are upside down and the writing an almost irrelevant exercise to obtain things that have nothing to do with writing or art; status perhaps.

Cormac McCarthy's "The Road" may be a stunningly bleak bit of art to the mainstream but to a genre fan it is an unnecessary reinvention of the wheel and an inartful revisiting of a 1930s pulp SF short story where something actually happens. However it is not middle class or entertaining and so that is the main thing for our new artists. "The Road" is what always happens when the mainstream targets art - art disappears. The great evil, entertainment, is a dragon to be slain and in all the kerfluffle it is never noticed a new dragon is the one doing the slaying and it is much worse than the old.

It is one thing to imagine yourself a great adventurer but if you have never taken intellectual or physical risks, the chances that one will create good art through sheer superiority of intellect, morals and niceness of judgment is slim to none. Throw in impatience and cookie cutter writing seminars and one is left with boring art by boring people. The adventures of the gray-haired school marm don't become any more interesting by doing Home Shopping Network-style promotions of such things or citing how many plastic salt shakers in the shape of a dolphin sold.

It is one thing to write about a changeling were-prince and another to write about it, not only in the same boring way time after time, but to so envelope the whole non-event with internal dialogue and mindless descriptions that one must come to accept anger as a new way of being entertained or go read another genre entirely.

And I haven't even gotten to the politics yet, which makes the above look like a shiny 3-ring circus one wants to yell "bravo" at.

People have come to despise being ordinary but by the same token believe they are the only ones who are not. If everyone is an eccentric then no one is and we cannot have writers outnumber readers. One cannot borrow the old trappings of the iconoclast like a suit of clothes. Everyone has a tattoo now. It is a meaningless gesture.

The question we should all ask ourselves is why 1939's "Black Destroyer" by A.E. Van Vogt seems new on the 20th reading and why new short stories seem like we've read them 20 times.

Anonymous tiredofitall April 12, 2013 2:29 AM  

"I'd like to see Scalzi's leftie fans cite his sales numbers against Mr. Correia's... or mine when I pass him up by that metric too. And it will happen eventually, because he's a stunt writer, not a storyteller." - VD

Maybe by that time McRapey will have again picked through the bones of a better writer's works and have another "masterpiece" to foist upon the warren.

Anonymous TheExpat April 12, 2013 2:44 AM  

In SF&F it is obvious there are many writers who really have nothing to say but a great desire to say it and try and hide behind wordiness and stereotypes to disguise empty art.

This is likely a product of the modern school system and increased college attendance. Not only do they really have nothing to say, but they have been taught and praised for padding essays and papers with "big words" all their lives. And because they (think they) can use those big words, they think they have something to say. Very sophomoric, and very symptomatic of new college grads who are all wissen, no erfahrung and think they know better than others.

Anonymous James May April 12, 2013 6:21 AM  

And the other problem is that when all is democratized there is no real artistic or creative competition in the true sense of the word. All becomes a popularity contest based on promotion and even worse than that, one's gender, race and politics.

If a perfect storm of editor, fan and author produced Burroughs and Heinlein, then an imperfect storm is today gutting the genre like a fish.

There is no solution. Once art is divorced from profit, profit wins. That means if the audience wants Dr. Who and Halo made into literature, that is what you'll get.

Once art is interpreted to mean diversity, then you'll get the six novels nominated for this year's Nebula. Art takes a back seat once again. PC liberals are completely smug about the Nebula nominees, as if what's inside the books is irrelevant.

SF&F from 1910 to 1960 was considered a refuge from the mainstream; a place where so little money was involved, art had a chance to flourish. The tastes of a certain type of insulated community of connoisseurs was catered to. A heavy mixture of fine art mixed in with the entertainment value had a chance.

The mainstream take from outside the genre was completely different from the way the genre viewed itself. That explains the Hollywood SF films from 1950-60 - monsters and spaceships.

Hollywood had not the least interest or understanding in "The Witches of Karres" or "The Big Front Yard."

Simply put, what happened in Hollywood SF film 1950-60 has happened to the literature. The mainstream has invaded and brought its peculiar politics with it, just as happened in the fine arts.

Once again you have a slight variation on monsters and spaceships with politics added. So, you have vampires and zombies, diversity and multiculturalism, and spaceships.

It's the difference between "Tom Corbett, Space Cadet" and "The Weapon Shops."

Obviously many people are still trying to write thoughtful science fiction, but when you're up against minds like Heinlein and Van Vogt who would tear a story down to its last sentence, plus have really bright artistic inspirations from who knows where, it's a tough sell and a tough legacy to live up to.

In retrospect, people like C.L. Moore, Clifford Simak, Poul Anderson and so many others seem to have been an amalgam of very pragmatic rationalists shot through with an innate eccentricity that was as natural to them as people today showing off their eccentricity is unnatural.

A politicized version of Ma and Pa Kettle's sewing circle of boring redneck nuns will dominate the field for the foreseeable future.

I wish I felt differently but to me the essence of art is to be able to exert perception through the fog of contemporary culture. Looking at the blogs of SF&F writers today, I see people incapable of having an original thought let alone using reason or standing alone against a crowd. They are the crowd.

This isn't the indictment it sounds; it's simply the middle class having moved into the genre and kicked out the previous occupants. The guy who used to pump gas or be a plumber and the woman who made quilts is now exerting their talents elsewhere.

Anonymous TJIC April 12, 2013 8:07 AM  

@Tom Kratman:

> http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2001/07/a-readers-manifesto/302270/

Love, love, LOVE that essay; I've got the hardcopy version and I've re-read it three or four times. I particularly like his evisceration of Don Delillo. I've tried Delillo several times and there's something about the man and his worldview that I just LOATHE. Even a paragraph of Delillo is enough to make my skin crawl.

Anonymous TJIC April 12, 2013 8:14 AM  

@ EGA/Art:
> I'm kind of surprised nobody has mentioned Gene Wolfe here. The Wizard Knight actually caused a significant amount of butthurt because of the politics and worldview that gloriously underlie it.

Seconded. Wolfe isn't easy to read, but he's a genius.

Wizard Knight is good, but I'd suggest There are Doors and Free Live Free as relatively easy entrances.

I'm also a huge fan of Michael Swanwick. Swanwick is not right wing or conservative, but I met him at a coffee talk once and asked him a passing question about the name of a dragon in one of his books (it was the same as a Lutheran theologian http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philipp_Melanchthon ), and Swanwick went off on a wonderful tirade about how only Catholics and former Catholics could write good fantasy (in defence to Vox, I'm sure he meant to say "and hyperintelligent evangelicals" ;-). His argument was that modernity asserts that there are no rules, and Catholicism asserts that there is a hidden world, and it is chock full of rules, and this worldview permeates a writer's writing, and thus Catholics write epic fantasy as if the magic is REAL.

I'd further say of Swanwick that you can take the writer out of Christianity and conservativism, but you can't take the Christianity and conservativism out of the writer. Read his short story about the Fairie Brothel (that might be the title, or might not), and you'll see a worldview every bit as conservative and moralistic (in a good way!) as Gene Wolfe.

Recommended!

Blogger perlhaqr April 12, 2013 10:09 AM  

I have to admit I'm somewhat confused by your diagnosis of scalzification via use of the word "squee". I use that term all the time, and I'm one of Correia's Alphas. I don't see the ideological binding of the term, I'm afraid.

Anonymous Orion April 12, 2013 11:04 AM  

@Tom Kratman

I didn't mean to imply you were a SH in the least. I gather from the commentary I am reading here that the reviewer in question spun his own interpretation of Caliphate that way. I put my question out simply because what I had seen of the other reviews of your works had me wondering if that was the case. I had a fairly positive initial impression from the book blurbs and other reviews, but as anyone who reads a large number of books can attest, it is easy to be misled by those (a subject that has come up on this blog before, at least tangentially). I respect the opinions of many of the Dread Ilk more than a random reviewer so I'll be making my first purchase of one of your works within the week I am sure (I am determined to slog through the Lord Kalvan Kingmaker book I previously started and put down, first).

Anonymous LL April 12, 2013 2:35 PM  

This is a followup for @Equal Signs. Yes, wild, WILD success for ObamaCare.

Blogger Joseph April 12, 2013 6:36 PM  

A few decades ago, wasn't a belief in a perfect planned society nearly unanimous among SF fans? I think matters have improved since then.

OTOH, part of the improvement is that the least popular segment of collectivists was relabeled as "right wing" so that the Left could still pretend to be the Wave of the Future.

In any case, yesterday's Leftists wanted a society in which their every order was obeyed. Today's Leftists just want a society where they can stop people from saying mean things about them.

Anonymous James May April 12, 2013 6:57 PM  

The problem I have with "Caliphate" is that it depicts Muslims as tacitly sharing views rivaling that of Nazis.

In my experience Muslims have no innate disdain for people with blue eyes and if you mention the word "purdah" to an Egyptian they'll give you a blank stare. There is nothing Arabic about the term.

The indicates to me that disdain is preceding the essence of a thing, and an outside view replacing experience. For example, most people would not know there is a very public debate in Egypt about the separation of church and state this very moment. It is not between so-called "secularists" and Muslims but between academic Muslim clerics and includes the Muslim Brotherhood.

There is little doubt that many Hindus and Muslims of the Indian Mughal era had a marked disdain for the manners and appearances of Englishman. They also married them. The Ottomans professed a similar disdain at times.

The point is that that is not today and one can't extrapolate nothing into the future as something. The idea of a Muslim takeover of Europe strains even SF, since, minus Western tech, the entirety of the Middle East could be sold on Ebay as an antique.

Blogger ray April 12, 2013 7:04 PM  

agree on Swanwick, his companion text to Goya's "Caprichos" gets right under the skin of the western witchocracies

doutless this is why Goya is yet another persona-non-grata in modern academia -- too much truth outta him, esp concerning females, cant have that!

i recall doing a piece on The Sleep of Reason about a decade ago, and things havent gotten less Sleepy, nor more Reasonable, in the interim


http://www.infinitematrix.net/stories/swanwick/sleep_of_reason.html


like Goya, Swanwick is well aware that the subject matter is (unfortunately) quite real, and that despite the (usual) invisibility of the supernatural, it not only exists, but controls, one step removed

just like Scripture asserts

Blogger Tom Kratman April 12, 2013 7:32 PM  

James, don't feel bad but, like quite a few people, I think you missed an important detail in Caliphate. Go back and count how many of the Muslims in Germany, post the Three Cities Attack, are blue eyed. Yes, that's right. They are not Turks, or Bosnians, or Arabs. They're Germans who "reverted." Why? Because Europe is for the most part a spiritual vacumn, and Man seeks the divine.

I wonder if you read it though. There are reasons beyond the ones obvious today (birth rate disparities and "reversion") why Europe becomes Muslim in the book.

Anonymous James May April 12, 2013 9:48 PM  

I was referring specifically to quotes like this: "Bad things, so it was whispered, sometimes happened to blond and blue-eyed children who attracted the notice of the masters."

Also, "nazara" is not an insult, as least not to a Coptic Egyptian Christian.

I wrote an SF novel, unpublished, that addresses Muslim birthrates in a very casual way, stipulating the future presence of the "Marsay Sultanate."

In fact, most the the back story of the novel refers to "The Collapse," and it is posited that this collapse happens because of immigration into the West. The economic distraction results in the end of the Pax Americana. This is turn results in new empires in Africa and Asia, making global matters even worse.

I am not immune to the idea of what crazy wahhabis WOULD do but I also think about what they CAN do. Right now, their main weapons are babies and political correctness. I think it is a mistake to exaggerate how politicized Muslims are. The vast majority of Muslims think salafis are mental cases and even within Egypt right now, the Muslim Brotherhood is not very popular. I doubt if Morsi could be re-elected today. I may be wrong, but it shows a great divide.

I realize your novel is SF, so it is not entirely correct of me to criticize it too much over these issues. One should be allowed to extrapolate as they will without turning it into a pedant fest over the likelihood of this or that. That is for the author and the reader to decide.

The fact my own collapse happens as it does shows that in fact we share many of the same general concerns. My future America, (not shown), is a distracted Tower of ethnic Babel fallen in on itself and the Constitution irrelevant.

I have Ameragains and Britagains.

I put in fake histories that specifically draw on the recent USDA Betances two minute hate if you know what I'm talking about. It have "diversi-glee initiatives" and the like.

You should probably read this: http://www.jamesmaystock.com/essays/Pages/Scalzi.html

Blogger Tom Kratman April 12, 2013 10:38 PM  

AH, you are making the classic error of assuming that what a character says is necessarily what an autrhor believes. Now, while not all the Moslems in Germany are brown eyes, indeed, many are blue eyed, ALL the Nazrani in that area are blue eyed.

Blogger Tom Kratman April 12, 2013 10:39 PM  

Addendum: so you are, as far as I can see, objecting to a character who notices the world she lives in.

Anonymous James May April 13, 2013 1:41 AM  

Yes, the afterword confused me. Good thing that's not real. One might make the mistake of thinking you wouldn't mind 5 a-bombs dropped on the Corniche-Al-Nil. Or was it 4?

Anonymous Anonymous April 13, 2013 2:22 AM  

I'm a Creationist predicting that in our lifetimes we're going to see a preference cascade similar to the end of the Soviet Union. The key question is...will it be violent or Violet? Generations Theory leads me to think violent with a nuclear civil war in America, but there are other angles to consider the future from.

By 2550, Evolution is going to be the answer to a genius edition Trivia Pursuit question.

This is going to change society in a more noble and more scientific direction. Which for SF writers is primarily cool because its an unusual background.

Also, this leads to dealing with genetic entropy aka The Time Machine's Last Man, but far, far sooner. There are a lot of other new ideas out there for the Conservative SF writer.



Eric Ashley

Blogger Tom Kratman April 13, 2013 6:13 AM  

When you warn someone that something is possible "if this goes on"? Yes, you may reasonably assume that the writer does _not_ want that something to happen. Although, that said, I'm not sure where you found _anything_ in the afterword to suggest any bombs being dropped anywhere. Have the liberal minitru-fairies been writing things and attaching my name to them again?

Blogger Gary April 13, 2013 8:12 PM  

James, I read your "John Scalzi: The Lowest Principle There is." article, and just wanted to let you know I think it's an excellent article. The only problem is that the people who need to read it won't, or won't even see themselves if they do. As comedian Ron White said, "You can't fix stupid!" :)

Blogger Mauser April 13, 2013 8:55 PM  

By the way, based on the mention above, I went to Amazon to buy Caliphate, and at the moment, the Kindle edition is free. But I'm sure if I like it there are plenty more titles I can pay for.

Blogger Tom Kratman April 13, 2013 9:08 PM  

It should stay free, actually. Enjoy. (Warning: Harsh book, really harsh.)

Blogger Tom Kratman April 13, 2013 9:19 PM  

This is probably heresy around here, but I've got to say that Scalzi's not entirely wrong. The problem is that his mini-article is only half right hence, like other things that are half right, it's wholly misleading. Yes, it's easier if you're a straight white male, all other things being equal. But the point is that they almost never are equal. Did Paris Hilton have it harder than I have? One begs leave to doubt. Does Herman Cain - even little just beginning proto-Herman Cain - have it tougher thsn Billy Bo Rae Bob Redneck, never out of the trailer court and barely literate, from parents who were no more literate? One begs to doubt. Will it be harder on my kids than Herman's? One suspects so.

Blogger Banshee April 13, 2013 9:45 PM  

Telescopes are in the Bible. It's in Paul. "Now we see as through a glass, darkly...."

(For non-Bible readers, this is a joke!)

Anonymous Thomas Sewell April 17, 2013 7:47 PM  

I've read lots of Science Fiction (and by lots, I mean thousands of books), but after reading up closer to the "present" in the genre, I never considered the field as having been taken over by the progressives, just that there wasn't a lot of actual SF being published anymore, except by Baen.

In the back of my mind the SFWA didn't seem very relevant anymore, either, at least for the last 20 years or so.

After this recent kerfuffle, my eyes are opened. I knew from "Syfy" that somehow Hollywood considered Science Fiction to be horror stories and cheap unrealistic fantasy, but never realized until now that most people actually think the left-wing fantasies that get put out are actually Science Fiction.

I mean, there was always some awesome Science Fiction that was blatantly left-wing (Bug Jack Barron by Norman Spinrad, anyone?), but it was Science Fiction. This other more recent stuff, Science Fiction? Come on? Really?

It does seem an SF reader revolt is in the works. We've got Baen, which seems to be surviving the other publishers, Human Wave SF, Indies, etc... All of this seems to have a strong libertarian/conservative ethos to it, as long as you aren't a lefty academic with your own definition of what that is.

Heck, even I've written Sharper Security, which is about as outrageously anarcho-capitalist as you're going to get, disguised as a nice near-future SF military/mystery novel, just to get folks used to the idea that the government doesn't have to run their lives. (Shhh!)

So perhaps there's hope after all...

Anonymous Anonymous April 22, 2013 9:06 PM  

I can't say I'm overly moved by the prospect of SF today being overrun with lefties.

If in fact this results in odious output, this is a self correcting problem.

My own view is that having 'balance' between ultra left and ultra right (i.e. libertarianism) is no better.

Why is it these are the only 2 choices? H. Beam Piper wrote stuff which was very interesting - especially to naive young men. It is a pity that what he wrote has a very direct bearing to the shortness of his publishing career - i.e. that his libertarian self view could not permit him to survive as a failure of (his then) today, even if it meant destroying any possibility of future success.

I'd personally prefer at least some politics in fiction which pretends toward adult reality as opposed to juvenile extremes.

Blogger Some dude June 02, 2013 6:34 PM  

i was searching the comments looking for a comment where someone came up with a better greek word for "homophobia" , something that effectively translated to "fear of getting ass raped", when I saw this comment

In additon to being a progressive and best selling author, Matt Stover is also a true martial artist. I wonder if you talk your rascism and homophobia to Matt's face? Knowing Matt's skill at fighting, you (Vox) would eat your hateful words, standing up or on the floor.

I have to comment. Anyone who speaks like that is an imbecile. I also train in martial arts, I'm also willing to mix it up. But I will not mix it up for a stupid insult. and if some ego maniac decided he needed to "teach me a lesson", my first inclination would be to get away and/or call the police, my second inclination would be to cause as much damage as necessary to get out of there, and then get away and/or call the police. I've been on the receiving end of a police investigation for putting someone in the hospital, I am not inclined to go through that again. Nor was I very proud of what went down or how it made me feel. I'd rather fight with friends in the gym, thank you very much.

It really says something about the mindset of some of these leftists that their first inclination is not only to do violence, but to fantasize about others doing violence. They aren't just narcissistic little bastards, they are gutless swine as well.

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