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Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Pink SF vs Blue SF

A few people have asked me what I mean by differentiating between Pink SF and Blue SF.  Pink SF is the dominant form of science fiction today. Or rather, more properly, the currently dominant form of SyFy. It is necrobestial love triangles. It is using the superficial trappings of science fiction or fantasy or war fiction to tell exactly the same sort of goopy, narcissistic female-oriented story that has already been told in ten thousand Harlequin novels and children's tales and Hollywood comeuppance fantasies.

Pink SF primarily concerns a) choosing between two lovers, b) being true to yourself, or c) enacting ex post facto revenge upon the badthinkers and meanies who made the author feel bad about herself at school. Pink SF is about feelings rather than ideas or actions.

Pink SF is an invasion. Pink SF is a cancer. Pink SF is a parasitical perversion. Pink SF is the little death that kills every literary subgenre. And Pink SF isn't limited to SF; there is a very good reason the Sports Guy's meme "Women Ruin Everything" applies so perfectly to most forms of literature. The one exception is the One True Female Genre, which is the Pillow Book. Read Murasaki Shikibu or Sei Shonagon; women have been writing the same thing over and over for more than 1,000 years now and very, very few do it as well as the Lady Murasaki did. Pink SF is the girls coming to play in the boys' sandbox and then shitting in it like cats.

Consider the way Pink SF has now invaded even that most masculine of subgenres, War Fiction. Books 1, 3, and 5 on Amazon's War Fiction Top 100 free list are not genuine "war fiction" any more than Pink SF is actual science fiction. It's WereSEAL porn. It's 50 Shades of Sexy Soldiers.

So what, in contrast, is Blue SF? Blue SF is a return to the manly adventure fiction of the past. Blue SF says "fuck that" to strong independent female protagonists who ride rainbow-farting unicorns and flex their nonexistent muscles when they aren't being mounted by corpses and canids.  Blue SF says "fuck that" to sexual equality, salutes la difference, and doesn't deign to throw bones to women who might feelbad that their oh-so-tender feelingses isn't being gently massaged. And Blue SF says "fuck off" to every idiot of either sex who whines about it being too this or not enough that.

Blue SF does not apologize for being male, for being insufficiently inclusive, or for refusing to fall in line with the dynamic demand for character quotas concerning sex, race, religion, and sexual preferences. Unlike Pink SF, Blue SF is sufficiently confident to be what it is rather than deceptively market itself as what it manifestly is not. Can you even imagine genuine science fiction trying to sneak into the romance market and pretending that it's all proper romance when actually there is little more than action and technology and ideas under a very thin and superficial veil of romantic intrigue and self-centered drama?

At the Baen Bar, a retired airborne infantry master sergeant left a comment about QUANTUM MORTIS: A Man Disrupted that perhaps is not irrelevant in this regard: "I read it and enjoyed it greatly. Baen might want to talk to the authors because they would fit right in. These guys like guns and prefer big guns. Guns that leave big body counts and lots of wreckage. They like hand-carried particle beams, lasers, slug throwers and vehicle-mounted missiles, cannons and chain guns. MCID would fit right in with Monster Hunters International only with better weapons. But the attitude is there. The simple arrest in the park is an all-time classic. I'll buy the sequels."

That's right. Quantum Mortis actually outgunned Larry Correia. And that, in a nutshell, is what Blue SF is all about. Masculine ideas. Masculine challenges. Masculine action. Masculine energy. And, of course, masculine competition.

Pink SF, on the other hand, is the female equivalent of writing Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and somehow failing to realize that it is a parody.

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139 Comments:

Blogger Crude December 04, 2013 6:11 AM  

Pink SF is girls coming to play in the boys' sandbox and then shitting in it like cats.

Just trying to picture this actually playing out has me laughing out loud. Thank you.

Anonymous Apollo December 04, 2013 6:11 AM  

It outguns Larry? Big claim...

I'm not really that into Sci Fi, but I think I'm going to have to check this book out now...

Anonymous Rokmonster December 04, 2013 6:21 AM  

Good advertisement. I'll note the top paid war fiction looks quite a bit different.

Anonymous Catan December 04, 2013 6:35 AM  

Check out the thrilling description of the #1 War Fiction book, Masters At Arms by the estimable Kallypso Masters:

Not Safe For Work

The excerpt they choose to show off the book doesn't seem to have much to do with War Fiction...

Anonymous VD December 04, 2013 6:47 AM  

The excerpt they choose to show off the book doesn't seem to have much to do with War Fiction...

But you see, the unspoken pain that only she can ease was the result of war. So, OBVIOUSLY it is every bit as much War Fiction as various Hugo and Nebula winners have been Science Fiction.

Anonymous Bob Ramar December 04, 2013 7:01 AM  

Vox; Congratulations on your success as an author. It's like they say, 'It's a tough job but somebody has to do it.'

I quit reading science fiction after being unimpressed with Heinlein's 'Time Enough for Love' and 'The Cat Who Could Walk Through Walls'. Doug Adams' 'Hitchhiker Guide' series finished it. I only read the Bible, technical journals, and archeological journals now.

Anonymous Bob Ramar December 04, 2013 7:04 AM  

Perhaps I should admit that I used to be Heinlein junkie. I own almost everything he ever wrote, including the two books above. Frankly, everything from 'Stranger in a Strange Land' on are not worth buying and I won't let my wife or grandkids near them.

Anonymous Brain Death December 04, 2013 7:09 AM  

I looked up the first book on Amazon, and nearly spewed coffee all over my keyboard after reading this part of the description:

"If you read the series with an open mind, you might just be surprised by what a beautiful thing hot military men with gigantic hearts who enjoy hot, kinky sex (with and without BDSM), and who use love and BDSM to right the wrongs and hurts in their world, then this might just be the series you've been looking for!"

ROFL!

Blogger LP 999/Eliza December 04, 2013 7:27 AM  

The worship of pink SF brigade was something I meant to photograph and email. There were fives set of female emo syfy books. I scanned a few of them, so-so if not sub par book covers and all at...Krogers. Anyways, if wasn't insipid streams of nonsense it was the endless bio's and credits for the women.

Harris Teeters and other grocery stores are still grocery stores minus accident causing endcaps of junk.

Another fun term; feelingses. It reminds me of mommyfuherer, another hilarious yet sobering term found here or at AG.

Anonymous Hunsdon December 04, 2013 7:36 AM  

Oh Johnny Ringo NO!

Anonymous jasmer December 04, 2013 8:08 AM  

I'm always a bit torn when I read the comments here. Sometimes Vox' legitimate issues seem to spill into actual (as opposed to imaginary Gamma-hype) misogyny. There's nothing WRONG with Barbara Cartland books, any more than there's something WRONG with the "men's action" books in Wal-Mart.

Just don't confuse them with literature. They're product.

***************************************************************

Vox - I just downloaded your three freebies, and your marketing belief is obviously true, except that as an Infantry Luddite I'm far more prone to buying hardcovers.

What would you classify Weber's "Honor" series as (particularly earlier, before it turned to politics)? I would think Blue shading Pink as time passed; the female lead is essentially masculine in the earlier books.

Anonymous Stingray December 04, 2013 8:09 AM  

Good grief. One could remove every word, just leave the book covers and just post that and surmise all of what Vox wrote here.

Women are taking over creepy as well.

Blogger LP 999/Eliza December 04, 2013 8:18 AM  

I don't know what nauseates me more, the pro-torture bdsm or the bi/lesbian hero's or whatever they are writing about.

Blogger LP 999/Eliza December 04, 2013 8:20 AM  

Well, we could replace the term misogyny for societal decline.

Anonymous Peter Garstig December 04, 2013 8:22 AM  

There's nothing WRONG with Barbara Cartland books, any more than there's something WRONG with the "men's action" books in Wal-Mart.

Just don't confuse them with literature. They're product.


How could you miss the point?

Anonymous Brain Death December 04, 2013 8:31 AM  

Jasmer, the issue is genre fraud. Its soft porn masquerading as military/sci fi/etc...

Blogger tz December 04, 2013 8:32 AM  

I think the problem is not so much blue v.s. pink, but because the literary atrocities which are PC are lauded and given Hugos.

There have and are good and great female authors. But youndon't get anything like "Pride and Prejudice" or "Little Women", or even "Uncle Tom's Cabin" with the SF/F transposition.

Same with war novels or "westerns", detective/police novels, or other male genre books. I'm not sure about mysteries which Agath Christie is known for.

However, were a woman to write an entertaining Sci-Fi or fantasy novel, but wasn't preachy PC, she wouldn't be accepted.

My concern is if there is no blood or whatever vital fluid of whatever color being shed, the blue side will reject good writing, and laud equally bad writing only because it has lots of shooting, chopping, and crushing. To create a Fox News in response to MSNBC. That the response to hypergamic lust is bloodlust.

Christianity and libertarianism are responses to a left-right continuum, and a call to go beyond in a different direction and dimension.

I seem to remember a criticism of a series where the main character goes through torturing and raping, but for no real reason. Is that not "blue sf/f"?

There's good and bad writing.
There's evil and good views (e.g. Atlas Shrugged selling objectivism and trashing socialism).
There's male and female targeted genres.

Is pink/blue merely the latter? Or is the problem with the majority od SF/F the other two?

Anonymous Jeigh Di December 04, 2013 8:38 AM  

A female friend who was actually into SciFi recommended Honor Harrington to me, so I read one of the novels. I remember nothing about it, including the title, so it must not have impressed my that much.

Anonymous VD December 04, 2013 8:39 AM  

Sometimes Vox' legitimate issues seem to spill into actual (as opposed to imaginary Gamma-hype) misogyny. There's nothing WRONG with Barbara Cartland books, any more than there's something WRONG with the "men's action" books in Wal-Mart.

First, you're confusing the hatred for literary fraud for hatred for women. It is, at most, targeted misobiblosy, not misogyny. I have great respect for some female writers. Unlike most fans of Pink SF, I have read the original pillow books. In fact, I've even read The Tale of Genji twice, which is two times more than most people can say.

You're right. There is nothing wrong per se with a Barbara Cartland novel. There is something wrong with writing a Barbara Cartland novel, putting a laser gun in the heroine's hand, turning the romantic rivals into aliens, and calling it science fiction. And it's even worse when the publishers stop publishing actual science fiction in preference to the Barbara Cartland in alien drag stuff.

I love Agatha Christe. I love Tanith Lee's darker stuff. I love Susan Cooper. I love Katherine Kurtz's Deryni books. And I despise Pink SF, regardless of whether it is written by men or women, as well as everything and everyone who has been pushing it on an unsuspecting public.

Blogger Joshua Dyal December 04, 2013 8:42 AM  

tz, you've created a strawman of what blue sf is, at least according to the parameters of this discussion. Although perhaps it's an interesting point of departure; the notion of ULTRA blue SF that is as much a caricature of SF in its own way as the description of pink sf is here.

Also, you've mischaracterized Fox News. Check out Tim Groseclose's Left Turn for an objective and as-yet unchallenged (because it is unchallengable, in my opinion) analysis of the news. Fox News is not nearly as right-wing as its critics claim. It really is a fairly centrist News outlet. At least in terms of its news and reporting (you could make a different claim, I suppose, if you isolate the pundits and opinion guys like Hannity or O'Reilly, etc. and talk about just them.)

Anonymous VD December 04, 2013 8:45 AM  

What would you classify Weber's "Honor" series as (particularly earlier, before it turned to politics)? I would think Blue shading Pink as time passed; the female lead is essentially masculine in the earlier books.

I think it is Pink SF from the start, but well-rationalized Pink SF. Look, if you WANT to write about a strong woman who is kicking ass, taking names, and leading men into battle, you're going to write Pink SF. You're just going to do so, no matter how effectively you rationalize it.

It's obvious even just from her name. "Honor Harrington"? Women don't do male honor. They don't understand it or respect it. They tend to think it's stupid, immature, and foolish whenever it is not in line with their interests.

Anonymous dh December 04, 2013 8:49 AM  

Fox News is not nearly as right-wing as its critics claim.

This is probably true. The editorial bent of the network is not very right-wing. After all, you still have to exist. The opinion hosts are all right-of-center and some more than others.

What offends leftists most about Fox news is that they can often relentlessly push something which is.. false. Everyday they try to find a story about Sharia. Everyday. Now, it could be that Sharia is the latest fad sweeping America. But, it could also be, that there are Muslims in the US who follow Muslims traditions.

Anonymous dh December 04, 2013 8:50 AM  

Congrats on being the father of Blue SF. It's an interesting idea to really separate yourself.

Anonymous VD December 04, 2013 8:54 AM  

The point that I suspect many people are going to miss is that no one is saying that the girls shouldn't be permitted to play in the sandbox. We're simply saying that if you're going to shit in it, we're going to point that out.

And that goes for the boys too.

Anonymous VD December 04, 2013 8:56 AM  

Congrats on being the father of Blue SF. It's an interesting idea to really separate yourself.

Well, thank you. They may not want anything to do with me, and I can certainly understand that since I never wanted anything to do with them. I went to one SF con once to see what it was all about, left, and never once looked back.

Anonymous dh December 04, 2013 8:59 AM  

Now that's an interesting idea. An SF Con in true blue fashion. I can imagine it would be a mix between CES, AVN Awards, a military contractors fair, and an old school convention.

You could have a BMI test to get in.. if you are a woman.

Anonymous dh December 04, 2013 9:00 AM  

Hey, I would also point out that while you are here promoting sci-fi in it's original form, your former competition is in fact running a holiday gift giving guide.

He is almost as shameless as HuffingtonPost in asking for clicks and links.

Blogger Tom Kratman December 04, 2013 9:04 AM  

Libertycon for a more blue than not SF convention. It also tends to be a baen author relaxicon, go figure.

Anonymous Josh December 04, 2013 9:09 AM  

Regarding McRapey:

the visitorship for November was the lowest it was for two years, and as a result it’s entirely possible 2013′s visitor numbers will be lower than 2012′s

The tone has certainly shifted from the triumphant UP TO 50,000 READERS A DAY.

I'm guessing his numbers are absolutely going to crater.

Anonymous Josh December 04, 2013 9:13 AM  

Now that's an interesting idea. An SF Con in true blue fashion. I can imagine it would be a mix between CES, AVN Awards, a military contractors fair, and an old school convention.

The only downside of that would be that, like an ilk fest, that many smart well armed folk gathered together in one place might decide, depending on the future political environment, to just conquer some poor random town. Just because some loud idiot said it couldn't be done.

Anonymous VD December 04, 2013 9:20 AM  

the visitorship for November was the lowest it was for two years, and as a result it’s entirely possible 2013′s visitor numbers will be lower than 2012′s

Hence this: "He is almost as shameless as HuffingtonPost in asking for clicks and links."

McRapey won't crack eight million this year. Close, but not quite. His numbers haven't cratered, they're just flat. Almost all of his site growth from 2009 was the result of that single post in May 2012. He's done well to hang onto it as long as he did, although the controversies with Random House and my expulsion helped.

But now he's on the decline until he can figure out how to whip the pinkshirts into a froth again. His problem is that I've punctured his carefully self-inflated mythology and no one will ever believe that his site is uber popular again. A good part of his traffic was dependent upon the idea that there was a lot of traffic there. Now everyone knows better.

Anonymous GG December 04, 2013 9:23 AM  

I suspect that the vast majority of women don't even like pink sci/fi. In fact, those of us who read a great deal, don't like much of anything currently being published. The writing is lousy and porn/erotica is substituted for actual content. Unless you're a 16 yr old girl, that kind of stuff is not shocking or new, it's predictable and boring. Also, those women writing the war porn or the vampire stories express a kind of hidden desperation/despair. It's hard to describe, but their victorious endings are depressing and you can feel the author's regret, dissatisfaction. They often write sequel after sequel trying to resolve it, each one worse then the last.

Anonymous Anonymous December 04, 2013 9:28 AM  

What offends leftists most about Fox news is that they can often relentlessly push something which is.. false.

Yeah, leftists are so offended by relentless falsity. Please. Leftists aren't offended by non-leftist-controlled news sources; they fear them.

Anonymous Josh December 04, 2013 9:31 AM  

I suspect that the vast majority of women don't even like pink sci/fi. In fact, those of us who read a great deal, don't like much of anything currently being published.

"those of us who read a great deal" != "the vast majority of women"

Anonymous John Wilson December 04, 2013 9:39 AM  

"In fact, I've even read The Tale of Genji twice, which is two times more than most people can say."

I am compelled to correct your math, Vox. 2 / 0 = read infinitely more times than most people.

Anonymous dh December 04, 2013 9:39 AM  

Yeah, leftists are so offended by relentless falsity. Please. Leftists aren't offended by non-leftist-controlled news sources; they fear them.

Whats to fear from Fox viewers? That they run out of adult diapers and high-end luxury cars? Please. There is very little vitality left on the left. 62% of it is centered directly on Nate's brass balls. The rest is spread out among an army of cotton-tops who can't drive past dark and want to keep government off their Medicare and make sure the darkies don't vote.

The vast majority of energy right now is in labor organizing, immigration amnesty, and the younger end of the Tea Party. Very little to fear. The Tea Party especially, which showed some feisty populist elements, has been nearly completely co-opted into a pro-corporate interest group.

Anonymous Anonymous December 04, 2013 9:40 AM  

The Vorkosigan Saga is an interesting example. The first book wasn't about Miles, but his mother before he was born. I'd say it was fairly Pink, but I don't remember much about it, which is probably a sign that the SF aspects weren't that compelling. I don't think it was just a romance with lasers added, like some of these newer books appear to be, though. Back then you probably still had to make a decent effort at the story to get the mostly-male SF audience to read it.

But once Miles came onto the scene, he pretty much took over the series, and the stories got a lot more interesting. He didn't have to be a tough soldier and at the same time falling in love with some hero/villain, which seems to be the only plot Pink SF authors have in mind.

Anonymous Bobby Trosclair December 04, 2013 9:43 AM  

VD, a post on whom you consider the top 10 (or 20, or whatever) Blue SF authors would be worthwhile. I can't even read the Pink stuff, and there's about 3 or 4 SF authors still active that I still read (like Gene Wolfe, John C. Wright, and Tim Powers). I like your work.

As someone who grew up on early Heinlein, it saddens me to say his later writings took a nose-dive into narcissistic solipsism, and may have been the progenitors of the modern "Pink" SF movement - think "Friday."

Anonymous Anonymous December 04, 2013 9:46 AM  

Whats to fear from Fox viewers?

Nice shifting of the goalposts. I didn't say they fear the viewers; I said they fear the existence of non-leftist-controlled news sources. While Fox News may not be as left-wing as CNN, it's hardly right-wing either; it's neo-con at best. And yes, the liberal government/corporate axis has managed to co-opt or marginalize all attempts to appeal to any sort of right-wing populism. So far. But they still fear the potential for such a thing, and the success of Fox News despite their attempts to kill it, tells them they have reason to fear because their control isn't absolute.

Anonymous GG December 04, 2013 9:53 AM  

As usual Josh, you deliberately misunderstand me. I think there is a misconception that women actually enjoy reading trashy novels, when in fact that may be more about indoctrination and availability of material. We are told by the publishing industry, the media, that this is what women should read/write. Reading is declining in America, for both men and women. I often encounter people who have bought a book simply to say they own a copy, rather then ever intending to read it. I mention this because there are male authors who are deliberately feminizing their writing, in an attempt to appeal to a broader audience, I suppose. I simply wish they wouldn't.

Anonymous VD December 04, 2013 9:55 AM  

Whats to fear from Fox viewers? That they run out of adult diapers and high-end luxury cars? Please.

Have you forgotten... Old Man's War? Hmmm? (nods complacently)

Anonymous VD December 04, 2013 9:58 AM  

I think there is a misconception that women actually enjoy reading trashy novels, when in fact that may be more about indoctrination and availability of material.

GG, when said trashy novels are #1 on the free download lists with no less than 583 reviews averaging 4.6 stars, it's not a misconception. No one forces women to read 50 Shades of Gray, that's what they want to read.

Don't be so solipsistic. You are not the measure of all women. We can see what women do when they are given the freedom to do what they want. And what most women who read want to read is terrible chick porn. That is the readily observable fact.

Anonymous Krul December 04, 2013 9:59 AM  

Catan - Check out the thrilling description of the #1 War Fiction book, Masters At Arms by the estimable Kallypso Masters:

"I think I will. This should be interesting."

*click*

*sips coffee*

*reads first sentence*: "Savannah’s clit throbbed."

*PFFF* *SNRK* *SPLUTTERS* "BWAHAHA" *COUGH* *HACK* "HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"*

*sigh*

"Catan. I'll get you for that."

Anonymous LL December 04, 2013 10:00 AM  

@ Brain Death, the best thing I ever read having to do with military men and sex was a conversation that Lt G recounted on his blog Kaboom (before he was ordered to shut it down) and one of his grunts came back from mid tour leave and was telling his "hetero lifemate" (that term STILL makes me laugh, BFFs for boys) about a girl. It went something along the lines of, "Oh yeah, I banged this chick and she let me choke her out!!" And then they went along with their military mission shit.

It still makes me laugh and it's blue, not pink writing.

Anonymous Heh December 04, 2013 10:01 AM  

GG probably thinks little girls don't actually enjoy playing with pink princess stuff either, but are indoctrinated into it.

Any book showing a man's muscular midriff should never be in the science fiction section - that is a romance novel, period.

Anonymous Samuel Scott December 04, 2013 10:09 AM  

John Wilson December 04, 2013 9:39 AM

I am compelled to correct your math, Vox. 2 / 0 = read infinitely more times than most people.


Nitpick. 2 / 0 = undefined, not zero.

It's an impossible problem. Take the opposite:

2 / 0 = X
X x 0 = 2

No value for X will return an answer. It's undefined.

/ As you were :)

Anonymous VD December 04, 2013 10:09 AM  

Any book showing a man's muscular midriff should never be in the science fiction section - that is a romance novel, period.

Duke Nukem is here to kick your ass and chew gum, and he's all out of gum.

Anonymous Samuel Scott December 04, 2013 10:10 AM  

^ Meant to say "undefined, not infinity"

Anonymous GG December 04, 2013 10:14 AM  

"No one forces women to read 50 Shades of Gray, that's what they want to read."

Yes VD, but do you ever wonder why? I did, so I spent several months all over the internet asking them. They're looking for something that is missing, something that is absent in most popular fiction these days. Without fail, every one reported disappointment with Gray, because he loses in the end. She feminizes him. The masculine dies.

"We can see what women do when they are given the freedom to do what they want."

VD, I don't believe women have the freedom to do what they want. Most of us are led by peer pressure, the media, the publishing industry, political correctness. You have never had to step out of the warren, or off the plantation. Those people are not big on freedom and they reserve their most vicious control methods for those who attempt it.

Anonymous Josh December 04, 2013 10:17 AM  

Yes VD, but do you ever wonder why?

Gina tingles

Blogger Markku December 04, 2013 10:18 AM  

Nitpick. 2 / 0 = undefined, not infinity.

But it tends to infinity when approached from the positive side, and you cannot approach it from the negative side since you cannot have read minus one books. Which is why I would say that the statement is the most accurate way it can be put, even though 2 / 0 is not infinity in all contexts.

Anonymous Maximo Macaroni December 04, 2013 10:19 AM  

I haven't read any science fiction at all for about twenty years. Just doesn't interest me. I used to read a lot of it. But I realized lately I also haven't read any significant amount of fiction written after about 1960 for a very long time. Even the post-1960 works of authors I used to like, such as Agatha Christie and Rex Stout, are degraded. Vince Flynn is about the only post-1960 fiction author I have read. I find his works immensely depressing, though, despite the entertaining action.
Fiction is supposed to excite and inspire, while non-fiction informs. Both are supposed to entertain. Any accurate picture of the post-1960 world can hardly excite or inspire. And I do not find sarcasm, irony and cynicism entertaining. They only depress (Think Inspector Morse and John Updike). I've tried and failed to get into Tom Wolfe. Even he cannot make anything good out of the modern world.

So the problem is not just in science fiction.

Blogger Markku December 04, 2013 10:21 AM  

Any accurate picture of the post-1960 world can hardly excite or inspire.

The original Deus Ex, and Deus Ex: Human Revolution, offered me the option to destroy all the world's technology and bring on New Dark Ages. I found this highly inspiring and exhilarating.

Blogger Markku December 04, 2013 10:24 AM  

Well, ok, DE:HR's option wasn't nearly as dramatic as the original's, but it still had the right idea.

Anonymous Josh December 04, 2013 10:26 AM  

Markku is eschewing "let it burn" in favor of "light it on fire".

Anonymous Stoner Cat December 04, 2013 10:27 AM  

GG - I think there is a misconception that women actually enjoy reading trashy novels...

VD - "No one forces women to read 50 Shades of Gray, that's what they want to read."

GG - Yes VD, but do you ever wonder why?

Sooo... they don't want to read trashy stuff, but then the very next thing, you agree they want to read trashy stuff but it's not their fault?

Turbo Hamster...

Blogger Markku December 04, 2013 10:27 AM  

However, I just realized that since DE:HR is a prequel, I have actually prevented the more dramatic turn of events of the original from happening by a moderate solution too soon.

Now I has a sad.

Anonymous VD December 04, 2013 10:46 AM  

Yes VD, but do you ever wonder why?

I don't give a damn why. I don't give a damn why the cats shit in the sandbox either. I just don't want them to do it. The point is, GG, that you don't know what you're talking about. Again. You said something that was obviously and observably wrong. Women write that crap and read that crap because they like it.

The fact that they tell you afterwards that they didn't like it at all doesn't mean a damn thing. It's not like millions of them went out and bought Summa Theologica. So accept that millions of women are idiots and stop looking to excuse them because the media made them want to read about getting fucked by billionaires and SEALs. That will not fly.

Blogger Tom Kratman December 04, 2013 10:52 AM  

SEALs or wereseals? I thought they were more into the wereseals of late.

Anonymous Josh December 04, 2013 10:58 AM  

Both, Tom.

Wereseals, SEALS, and possibly even wereseals that are SEALS. Which would make them wereseal SEALS. As opposed to other werecreatures that are SEALS (were SEALS).

Btw, I finished ADCP last week and I'm currently reading Carnifex. Both are enjoyable.

Anonymous Heh December 04, 2013 10:58 AM  

Duke Nukem is here to kick your ass and chew gum, and he's all out of gum.

Eh, it's a game, not a book, and all the Duke Nukem art I've ever seen features him wearing a red wifebeater.

Anonymous VD December 04, 2013 11:00 AM  

SEALs or wereseals? I thought they were more into the wereseals of late.

Click on the image and you'll see.

Anonymous Heh December 04, 2013 11:00 AM  

The original Deus Ex, and Deus Ex: Human Revolution, offered me the option to destroy all the world's technology and bring on New Dark Ages. I found this highly inspiring and exhilarating.

Once you get past the "billions killing each other, mass starvation, cannibalism, and disease" part.

Blogger Markku December 04, 2013 11:01 AM  

Once you get past the "billions killing each other, mass starvation, cannibalism, and disease" part.

Yes, but it's obviously worth it.

Blogger Tom Kratman December 04, 2013 11:04 AM  

Ah, but how, without actually risking our health, physical and mental, by reading the book, can we know it's not a wereseal?

Anonymous Catan December 04, 2013 11:04 AM  

Sorry Krul, couldn't resist. That first sentence of the excerpt was absolutely priceless. Since I didn't happen to be drinking my coffee when I read it, I figured I could see if I could find someone who was.

Oh, will those brave, misguided men ever become masters of their fates? With a female's throbbingness to guide them?

Anonymous VD December 04, 2013 11:07 AM  

Ah, but how, without actually risking our health, physical and mental, by reading the book, can we know it's not a wereseal?

You're usually safe if a) there is no lighthouse on the cover, and, b) the back cover text lacks any reference to a "selky".

Anonymous Catan December 04, 2013 11:10 AM  

I think Kallypso Masters and John Scalzi need to team up for a sequel to Redshirts.

Automatic Hugo win. Ms. Masters could provide the realistic male characters that Scalzi seems incapable of.

Anonymous gwood December 04, 2013 11:11 AM  

I'd read a novel about wereSEALs.

Blogger Brad Andrews December 04, 2013 11:12 AM  

I don't think the Duke Nukem covers I have seen were focused on the abs the way the pink SF book was. I would say that is a distinction.

A general question: Why is SF right? I still have SciFi drilled into my brain. It seemed that was the proper way in the late 1970s, but I can't say where I got it for sure.

Blogger Markku December 04, 2013 11:14 AM  

I don't think the Duke Nukem covers I have seen were focused on the abs the way the pink SF book was.

More importantly, the one has strength muscles, the other has gay muscles.

Anonymous Josh December 04, 2013 11:22 AM  

I'd read a novel about wereSEALs

Clouds hid the moonlight as the squad approached the mega yacht. Hopefully the wind would pick up by the time they boarded. While they could kill the estimated forty armed guards without shifting, their claws, teeth, and extra muscle provided a force multiplier. Unlike in Mosul. Now if their newest member, pfc Michael Stone, could remember to stop howling when the transformation started...

Anonymous GreyS December 04, 2013 11:25 AM  

It's funny to think of the ScalziedFWA when they read this stuff-- "What the...? He was supposed to go away!"



Blogger Aquinas Dad December 04, 2013 11:41 AM  

I'm with Josh.

Anonymous GG December 04, 2013 11:44 AM  

"So accept that millions of women are idiots and stop looking to excuse them because the media made them want to read about getting fucked by billionaires and SEALs."

Listen VD, I've already accepted that. Not only are women idiots, the vast majority of men are, too. Why would I attempt to "excuse" them? What's to excuse?

"Women write that crap and read that crap because they like it."

No. They write it as a direct challenge, hoping somebody will come along and prove them wrong.

Anonymous Salt December 04, 2013 11:54 AM  

-"My Lady, you were magnificent on the battlefield today. How many men did you send to me? Death. Such a lovely thing."
-"I was, wasn't I," she says, lowering her eyes to the ground, playing coy to the dark Prince. "To many to count, my Lord."
-"Your ability, so far above that of your rivals. Their jealousy. Twas your parentage."
-"Yes my Lord, it was. My mother, mating with a Fircedian from the Outworld. She a product of my grand-mother and Fircedian herself. Twice fold. I'm blessed, such outlawed now because of me."
-“The Gammales Army of the Warren Majesty,” she hears Him say, his voice from the Lower Realm. “You vanquished it. Slicing through it as I do souls. My most valued prize you are.”
-“Yes, my Lord. Expurgations of pink gas from my arse, ripping unto them as acid does to flesh, then ignited by the Grand Fire which always comes at the end. Their Fem-blasters and purple light photon-swords no match for me.”
-“Most assuredly. What men can only think but fiction lest they go insane. A mortal human woman, of such ability, no men of the Warren Majesty, with all their puffery, can possibly approach. Even His Most High Excellency, he who claims Sovereignty, Lord of the Warren, wets himself, and not out of fear either, but of yearning, at any mention of you. Are there only the women of the Warren with any hope to challenge your sweetness?”
-“Yes, my Lord. Though they are not my enemy, preferring the breast heaving titillation of the imagery they but dream for themselves. As such, I've heard it said, the spectacular view, the Pavlovianess of the Gammales, why they stand there in awe, unmoving, as I'm bent over, my dress raised and panties about my ankles, in preparation to when I unleash. Only rumor to be sure.”
-“Not rumor at all, my Lady. It's true. My favorite moment prior to the feasting you send me. But you really should shave your legs.”

Anonymous bob k. mando December 04, 2013 11:55 AM  

Markku December 04, 2013 10:18 AM
and you cannot approach it from the negative side since you cannot have read minus one books.



i dunno, mang.

i've read some pretty damn awful books.

books that made me feel stupider for having read them. almost as if ... reading the book was WORSE than never having read at all.


speaking of which ( godawful stupid books like "Grunts" ), this inspired me to google Mary Gentle.

you know, i never thought i would ever see the Grinch's grin on a real live person. are we certain that Mary isn't an animatronic? maybe they just took a picture of her while her clit was throbbing.

http://opionator.wordpress.com/2012/03/10/the-black-opera-by-mary-gentle/






Anonymous bob k. mando December 04, 2013 11:59 AM  

GG December 04, 2013 11:44 AM
No. They write it as a direct challenge, hoping somebody will come along and prove them wrong.



*facepalm*

implicitly arguing that women, as a class, are too damn infantile to write and read and purchase those things which they ACTUALLY want to produce and consume.

nope.

chicks actually 'want' to consume highbrow lit produced by men. because there is an historical dearth of such literature.

Anonymous VD December 04, 2013 12:04 PM  

No. They write it as a direct challenge, hoping somebody will come along and prove them wrong.

GG, shut up already. You're not defending your sex. You're only making women look even dumber than millions of them excitedly reading 50 Shades of Gray does... all right, that is hyperbole. But regardless, you're not helping.

Blogger Joshua Dyal December 04, 2013 12:04 PM  

I think GG actually made a pretty cogent point that got lost there. Reading is down. Way down. Sure, among what books are available, and what books are bought, trashy romance/porn is growing. As a share of the pie of total book sales, it's bigger. But IT'S A SMALLER PIE. And one that continues to shrink at alarming rates, if you're a publisher, bookstore, even a librarian.

This is actually rather compelling evidence--although establishing causality without doing a real study complete with multiple regression to isolate for the effect is a bit speculative--that in fact potential readers DON'T like what's being offered and AREN'T interested in it after all. Among women who do overcome those hurdles may highly prefer what's on offer in the pink-themed SF (and other genres as well) but what about all those lost readers? If you don't factor them in, it's a bit like crowing that the unemployment rate improved while record numbers of people pulled themselves from the workforce, went permanently on government assistance, and weren't therefore counted in the unemployment number.

The numbers VD points to are true. The fall in readership in general, and the migration of potential readers to other forms of entertainment (for whatever reason--my speculation above notwithstanding) is also real. Both really need to be explained before anyone reaches any convincing conclusions.

Anonymous GG December 04, 2013 12:14 PM  

"You're not defending your sex. You're only making women look even dumber.."

Are you so freakin clueless you think I'm defending my sex?? For crying out loud VD, I've done nothing of the sort here, ever. This isn't about my sex, it's about the future of literature and by extension, culture.

Anonymous Josh December 04, 2013 12:16 PM  

Someone is looking for a banning

Anonymous bob k. mando December 04, 2013 12:26 PM  

GG December 04, 2013 12:14 PM
it's about the future of literature and by extension, culture.



there is ALREADY more published, quality literature than could ever be read by any one person in their lifetime.

i'm not saying that new books shouldn't be published. only that coming up with something truly valuable and novel to say is, at this point, quite difficult.

if you're truly concerned about 'culture', you'll throw your tv in the trash and start homeschooling.

Anonymous VD December 04, 2013 12:42 PM  

Are you so freakin clueless you think I'm defending my sex??

GG, what part of "shut up" do you not understand? Shut the fuck up. We all know perfectly well what you're trying to do.

Anonymous jasmer December 04, 2013 12:49 PM  

Vox said, "It's obvious even just from her name. "Honor Harrington"? Women don't do male honor. They don't understand it or respect it. They tend to think it's stupid, immature, and foolish whenever it is not in line with their interests."

That's why I asked. When I read the first couple of novels, it was obviously Horatio Hornblower rehash in a dress, which Weber admitted openly IIRC. I suppose it could be dismissed as putting Horatio in a dress and a laser gun in hand, but would putting a heroine in a dress be sufficient to dismiss it as Pink? The protagonist's motivations are masculine through & through.

I would tend to think changing simple story elements wouldn't be enough to declare it "Pink". The whole love triangle garbage doesn't really start until later in his series (and never works particularly well anyways), and the only sex element is the rape attempt on the protagonist which is used to establish good guys/bad guys motivation.



Incidentally, I wasn't saying Vox' posts are misogynist. I'm saying that the thread comments often seem so.

Anonymous LL December 04, 2013 12:52 PM  

@GG

When you say shit like this, "I think there is a misconception that women actually enjoy reading trashy novels, when in fact that may be more about indoctrination and availability of material" you sound like an idiot. Availability of material? Seriously? Almost every city in America has a library that is filled with books dating back to the 60s. Thousands upon thousands and somehow, women only have trashy novels to read because that is all which is available to them and indoctrination?? My local library, there's a whole section of "new books." The majority are just fiction such as Dan Brown and such. But the second largest area is the romance novels. Do you think libraries would spend hundreds of dollars on books that no one WANTS to read?

Yeah, shut up.

Blogger Markku December 04, 2013 12:57 PM  

We should all ponder for a moment the fact that you get to number one by starting your book with "Savannah’s clit throbbed".

Anonymous bob k. mando December 04, 2013 12:58 PM  

LL December 04, 2013 12:52 PM
Do you think libraries would spend hundreds of dollars on books that no one WANTS to read?



cultural indoctrination, yo!

in a way, GG actually is correct. i don't see how one can argue that the pop culture is not becoming ever more low brow and uncurious.

but ...

that's an intentional artifact of pub.ed.

Anonymous bob k. mando December 04, 2013 1:00 PM  

Markku December 04, 2013 12:57 PM
We should all ponder for a moment the fact that you get to number one by starting your book with "Savannah’s clit throbbed".




no, no. that's an EXCERPT. from the *middle* of the book.

there's pages and pages of exposition and character development before you get to the clit throbbing. i estimate at least three.

Blogger Markku December 04, 2013 1:05 PM  

Ah, ok. I did think it would be an excellent way to get the female readership's attention, though.

Anonymous Krul December 04, 2013 1:07 PM  

While we're on the subject of SF literature, Poul Anderson is freakin AWESOME. I picked up The Van Rijn Method last week and I curse myself for taking so long.

Imaginative, fun space adventure that's really damn SMART - and not PC, for a refreshing bonus.

Anonymous VD December 04, 2013 1:08 PM  

Ah, ok. I did think it would be an excellent way to get the female readership's attention, though.

Don't tempt me. Although I'd probably go with "exploded".

Anonymous ArcaneRhino December 04, 2013 1:16 PM  

"No. They write it as a direct challenge, hoping somebody will come along and prove them wrong."

GG.

Your point is either wrong, or you are not expressing it well. My wife is a writer and about 15 of her writing colleagues/friends are Romance writers. Fiction writers write that which pleases them. Romance writers are no different. They may have to make concessions to an editor or publisher but on the whole, it is their work; and, if they self-publish, they make no concessions whatsoever.

If you believe my assertions to be untrue, I suggest you join a writer's group and test it for yourself. In your critiques of their work, rewrite some of the work you consider "base" or culturally enforced. The most civil response you will receive is that you are "changing the their voice".

A writer's work is THEIR work, guarantied.

Anonymous Jack Amok December 04, 2013 1:18 PM  

I'm not sure about mysteries which Agatha Christie is known for

The fact that Agatha Christie technically wrote in the mystery genre is almost irrelevant. Her plots are abysmal, they're just background for the exceptionally compelling characters, interesting settings, and excellent dialog. To the extent her plots intrude into your consciousness, they are generally typical female plots of love triangles and revenge, only with murder as the result. The truth is, she transcends the genre, which is a plus or minus depending on your tastes. A plus for me, like Vox I like Christie.

But interstingly enough, the noir genre came about as a backlash against the feminine cozy murder mysteries like those Christie wrote (she did not create the genre, but was merely the best writer to write in it). Raymond Chandler's famous essay The Simple Art of Murder says Dashiell Hammett "gave murder back to the kind of people that commit it for reasons, not just to provide a corpse."

In fact, the more I re-read that essay, the more I think it could - with a tweak here or there - apply to modern syfy. He goes through a critique of the cozy and how unrealistic and contrived the action is, and then writes:

"There is a very simple statement to be made about all these stories: they do not really come off intellectually as problems, and they do not come off artistically as fiction. They are too contrived, and too little aware of what goes on in the world. They try to be honest, but honesty is an art. The poor writer is dishonest without knowing it, and the fairly good one can be dishonest because he doesn’t know what to be honest about. "

and in discussing Dorothy Sayers (who also wrote such mysteries) saying detective fiction could not "attain the loftiest level of literary achievement", he writes:

"I think what was really gnawing at her mind was the slow realization that her kind of detective story was an arid formula which could not even satisfy its own implications. It was second-grade literature because it was not about the things that could make first-grade literature. If it started out to be about real people (and she could write about them–her minor characters show that), they must very soon do unreal things in order to form the artificial pattern required by the plot."

Pink-Syfy, like the earlier Pink-Mystery, fails because it requires those artificial patterns to make the plot work. It is dishonest, intentionally or unintentionally. The characters have to do unreal things to empower the feminine (male and female) characters with the power to drive the plot, which is what these feminie stories are all about. Girls and Gammas making a difference. Funny thing, Noir turned that on it's head with the femme fatal, uncivilized women creating a realistic mess that an alpha/sigma man has to clean up in a realistic manner.

So, go pick up a novel by Hammett or Chandler or MacDonald and rejoice that other genres have been salvaged from the Pink Ghetto. Sci-Fi has a chance still.

PS: Towards the end, Chanlder writes something that, well, you decide if it's relevant today:

"The realist in murder writes of a world in which gangsters can rule nations and almost rule cities...a world where a judge with a cellar full of bootleg liquor can send a man to jail for having a pint in his pocket, where the mayor of your town may have condoned murder as an instrument of moneymaking, where no man can walk down a dark street in safety because law and order are things we talk about but refrain from practising... the police may not like your testimony..."

Anonymous VD December 04, 2013 1:44 PM  

Her plots are abysmal, they're just background for the exceptionally compelling characters, interesting settings, and excellent dialog.

Curtain was a very good book. A perfect end to Poirot's career. And yet, the foundation of the plot, "the perfect murderer" who could never be found guilty of his crimes, was totally absurd.

Anonymous Anonymous December 04, 2013 2:09 PM  

Pink-Syfy, like the earlier Pink-Mystery, fails because it requires those artificial patterns to make the plot work.

Stephen Donaldson talked about something like that with regard to his lesser-known "The Man Who" books. So many mystery novels are built on the premise that anyone could have done it, so the job of the hero is to hunt for clues and ask questions until finding damning evidence or catching someone in a contradiction. The board game Clue (and the awesome movie) are the perfect representation of that.

Donaldson's premise is that most people aren't really capable of murder, or at least could only do it under certain extreme circumstances. So his protagonist's method isn't really about clues, though he looks for them; mostly he tries to get into people's heads and figure out who could have done it, then press that person. That requires that you have a believable mystery to solve and characters who fit their parts rather than being interchangeable pieces.

Anonymous What Would Lodi Do? December 04, 2013 2:15 PM  

No. They write it as a direct challenge, hoping somebody will come along and prove them wrong.

Chick lit as a gigantic shit test?

Anonymous bob k. mando December 04, 2013 2:17 PM  

VD December 04, 2013 1:08 PM
Don't tempt me. Although I'd probably go with "exploded".



this reminds me;
my father likes to listen to audio books. one day we were rolling down the road and he started listening to one of the Auel books. it immediately opened with a highly detailed, medical description of an animal birth, complete with dilated vagina.

so i asked if my father if he had been listening to this story earlier. he replied in the negative. at which i pointed out that it was hardly likely that the story opened with dilating vaginas. that violates all kinds of basic storytelling elements, to not have any character development or scene setting prior.

upon examination, we found that the people who had previously checked the tapes out from the library hadn't bothered to put them back into the box in order.

i'm sure now, that i've just given Vox a terribad idea for his next novel.

*sigh*

L'Amour always did like to grab the reader with action right from the first page.

Blogger Markku December 04, 2013 2:20 PM  

upon examination, we found that the people who had previously checked the tapes out from the library hadn't bothered to put them back into the box in order.

I think there are two interpretations to this fact. The optimist in me says that at this point, it was just too much for the previous listener and (s)he quit listening.

The pessimist in me says that this is the portion of the book (s)he listened to over and over....

Anonymous WaterBoy December 04, 2013 2:32 PM  

Vox: "In fact, I've even read The Tale of Genji twice, which is two times more than most people can say."

John Wilson: "I am compelled to correct your math, Vox. 2 / 0 = read infinitely more times than most people."

I may be mistaken, but I don't think math is the context in which he meant "times". Replace "times" with "occurrences", and see if that doesn't make more sense.

Anonymous WaterBoy December 04, 2013 2:34 PM  

That is to say, at least the math works out that way, since 0 + 2 = 2.

Anonymous Supernaut December 04, 2013 2:44 PM  

While GG certainly went into hysterical mode here, she does raise a good question for which I think there is a good theory to answer it:

"No one forces women to read 50 Shades of Gray, that's what they want to read."

Yes VD, but do you ever wonder why?


You want to know WHY female lit-porn like 50 shades is so popular?

The answer to that question is exactly the same as to why internet porn so popular with males.

Decades of relentless and ubiquitous social engineering at all levels of society via mass media programming and institutional indoctrination has been working to emasculate males and masculinize females.

We now have a generation of emasculated males unable to attract submissive females in real life for real sex. So they turn to porn on the internet to satisfy their basic biological drive to mate with a variety of submissive, accommodating and enthusiastic females.

Conversely, we also have a generation of masculinized females unable to obtain commitment from the alpha males they desire to submit to, and are surrounded by emasculated males incapable of generating any 'gina tingles...so they turn to literary porn like 50 Shades and wereseal and vampire romance trash to satisfy their base sexual desires for hypergamy.

That is all PinkSyFy is. Female porn presented under the thin veneer of classic literary genres, designed to profit off of the social engineered gender dysfunction of our Brave New World.

The comparison of female lit-porn to quality, classic literature is analogous to comparing porno flicks from PronHub to the best films of cinematographic history.

Only difference is, mainstream society condemns and ridicules the consumption of male porn, while ignoring the ubiquity and availability of female porn.

When someone accesses porn on the local library's computers in plain view of the other patrons, it generates controversy.

When a man hangs calendars or pictures of nude or semi-nude females at work or school, it "creates a hostile work environment."

Yet most people don't give it a second thought at seeing women reading trash porn like 50 Shades or bodice rippers or any other form of female lit-porn openly and unashamedly in public and in professional working environments.

Anonymous Tim December 04, 2013 3:05 PM  

Women like mental rather than visual porn. That is what erotica is all about. A challenge....? No. Women don't read it because it's great literature. They read it because it's porn. They might read great literature, too, but they would do so for different reasons. Shrug. I don't care either way. Nevertheless, I would separate erotica from literature and call it what it is, in the same way that porn films are not classified or analyzed by the same metrics that mainsteam films are. The difference, I would suggest, has everything to do with the way women lie to themselves: they don't necessarily view their reading habits as porn, and their porn favorites are considered mainstream fiction rather than the seedy underbelly of fiction. Can you imagine if men began divorcing their wives because they can't stop reading erotica, as women will do to men who watch porn films? A little honesty goes a long way; we have a double standard about female porn habits.

Regarding pink vs blue sci fi--must sci fi be one color or another? What about sci fi that involves the supporting nature of masculinity and femininity and that is honest about the genders? I would be ludicrous and ask why we can't have a rainbow of colors in sci fi, but I'll restrain. What I do know is that masculine energy really, really likes feminine energy in context.

Anonymous Krul December 04, 2013 3:11 PM  

cailcorishev - Donaldson's premise is that most people aren't really capable of murder, or at least could only do it under certain extreme circumstances. So his protagonist's method isn't really about clues, though he looks for them; mostly he tries to get into people's heads and figure out who could have done it, then press that person.

Reminds me of one of the best TV shows ever: Columbo.

Columbo always knows who dun it from the start of each episode. The entertainment comes from watching the perp sweat and squirm as the detective slowly closes in on them.

Columbo could very well be an AWCA, come to think of it.

Anonymous Krul December 04, 2013 3:20 PM  

Tim - Nevertheless, I would separate erotica from literature and call it what it is, in the same way that porn films are not classified or analyzed by the same metrics that mainsteam films are.

I don't care what you say, Flesh Gordon is high class cinema.

(Don't worry, link is totally, completely, 100% safe for work, so enjoy. Turn up your speakers first though, it's a little quiet.)

Anonymous bob k. mando December 04, 2013 3:25 PM  

yes, i see it now.

the book opens with our heroine, Nastiassia Badanov being interrogated by a rogue seal SEAL named ... Seal ( who is a negro with facial acne scarring, s ... natch ). Seal, being rogue, is using sexual torture ( completely against the Geneva conventions and would NEVER happen IRL ) and has induced vaginal dilation and clitoral throbbing. our poor heroine is almost broken!

however shall we resolve this ... i presume that Nastiassia is broken and reveals all her secrets to the anti-hero. however, Seal, after having partaken of the one, true poonani falls deeply, hopelessly in love with Badanov and returns to the seal SEAL fold after blowing up the enemy base and killing the big bad.

Anonymous I Am Irony, Man December 04, 2013 3:32 PM  

Pink blog comments vs. blue blog comments? Discuss.

Blogger Markku December 04, 2013 3:33 PM  

Pink blog comments vs. blue blog comments? Discuss.

Blue is almost always easier to read. There are very few colors over which pink isn't garish.

...This is what you meant, right?

Anonymous Aufhebend December 04, 2013 4:06 PM  

This is somewhat tangential, but any discussion of Pink v.s. Blue tends to drag in the prejudice issue.

http://paulbernal.wordpress.com/2013/11/28/a-few-words-on-privilege/

The comments are telling of the kind of crowd that slurps up writing like that. And that last portion: "With great privilege should come great humility. Those of us who are privileged – like me, and like Boris – should be able to find that humility. To know that we really don’t know what it’s like to live without our privilege. We can try to imagine – but we’ll never really succeed. And we should know that we’ll never really succeed – and be far, far more willing to listen properly to those who do know it. Most of all, though, we should know when not to talk as though we had all the answers. We should know when to shut up."

Oh, Mr. Bernal, if only you understood irony a little better.

Anonymous Jack Amok December 04, 2013 4:21 PM  

Curtain was a very good book. A perfect end to Poirot's career. And yet, the foundation of the plot, "the perfect murderer" who could never be found guilty of his crimes, was totally absurd.

As was the plot of Murder on the Orient Express, her most famous book. And let's not even mention Ten Little... um...Indians, which was perhaps the most absurd plot of them all.

But she was a great author, and since you mentioned Curtain, it's worth noting what she did with that book to combat the drop off of aging. She wrote Curtain in, I think, her 40's, at the peak of her writing career, and stuck it in a drawer. She saved it - Poirot's last case - until she was 80 and not writing as sharply any longer, then published it. Brilliant move.

Anonymous LL December 04, 2013 4:51 PM  

The answer to that question is exactly the same as to why internet porn so popular with males.

Decades of relentless and ubiquitous social engineering at all levels of society via mass media programming and institutional indoctrination has been working to emasculate males and masculinize females.


No, men are visual, so they like the visual and women are emotional, so they like their emotions twanged with stupid begging like "Please, can I taste you?" (from excerpt linked above). Men don't talk like that. They just go for it and they get their answer with either a palm in the forehead stopping them or the hand wrapped around the back of their heads.

Plain and simple.

Blogger Tom Kratman December 04, 2013 5:01 PM  

Actually, LL, men are sight hunters while women are bloodhounds.

Anonymous LL December 04, 2013 5:08 PM  

Tom, all we need to do is go down a post or two to the pictures of the men's brains vs women's. Men see women, it gets shuttled back and down to the nether regions. Women have to hear/read and have that shit bounce around back and forth between the hemispheres, percolating and if she's emotionally invested enough, THEN it heads south. This is not rocket science, but then again, neither is Pink SyFy.

Anonymous Anonymous December 04, 2013 5:33 PM  

They also destroy computer games:

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-12/03/jane-austen-mmo

Coming soon to a computer near you... in 2016...

Take on your friends in a social battle of wits, with the person who gets invited to the most parties having the most points (ye ol' street cred).

How do we get more women into games? With more of this.

Blogger Tom Kratman December 04, 2013 5:42 PM  

Well...I was half joking but I was somewhat serious, too. I suspect very strongly that women have a little DNA analyzer in with their pituitaries, that tells them whether or not Male X is a good genetic match for _her_ genes. He might be a complete and total loser, but if his and hers improve hers, he'll be a winner in that regard, at least.

Course, I could be wro...wr....wr...wrong, but that theory does help explain a lot of otherwise bizarre and inexplicable female behavior.

Anonymous LL December 04, 2013 5:53 PM  

Already been studied. And I can tell you, certain men just smell good to me. And even as a smoker, I am hypersensitive to smells. But that doesn't have anything to do with the quote of porn for men and romance novels for women being because "Decades of relentless and ubiquitous social engineering at all levels of society via mass media programming and institutional indoctrination has been working to emasculate males and masculinize females."

Anonymous Jeigh Di December 04, 2013 6:05 PM  

"While we're on the subject of SF literature, Poul Anderson is freakin AWESOME. I picked up The Van Rijn Method last week and I curse myself for taking so long. "

Try Operation Chaos. I could see Anderson actually writing a story about wereseals as SEALS that even Vox wouldn't think of as pink.

Anonymous Supernaut December 04, 2013 7:08 PM  

"Decades of relentless and ubiquitous social engineering at all levels of society via mass media programming and institutional indoctrination has been working to emasculate males and masculinize females."

Perhaps I failed to elucidate my main point clearly. It's more of a macro view on how and why both visual porn and emotional lit porn have become so popular.

The social programming has caused a whole lot of men and women to think, behave and act in ways that are unattractive to the other gender. Physically, mentally and spiritually emasculated gammas, deltas and omegas are far more prevalent today than in times past. We also have an exploding population of aggressive, rude, crude, women embracing fat acceptance and careerism over hearth and home.

With the spread of so many socially engineered archetypes throughout society, we now have large segments of the population who find it difficult to find suitable mate(s) and have fulfilling relationships. This deliberately socially engineered dysfunction creates a whole lot of people living with chronically unsatisfied biological imperatives, so they try to fill this need with the consumption of products - i.e. junk food for the sex drive.

THAT is what I meant by tying in social engineering of human sexuality with the growing popularity of visual stimulation for men via porn and emotional stimulation for women via trash-lit.

Anonymous Supernaut December 04, 2013 7:13 PM  

...we now have large segments of the population who find it difficult to find suitable mate(s) and have fulfilling relationships.

To expound further....

In real life, I know more than a few women who enthusiastically recommend 50 Shades to other women. These women are all married/living with men.

One thing I noticed is that all these women I've observed who are fans of the 50 Shades genre of chic-lit, is that they are the "pants-wearers" in their households, and the men are beatdown betas who have to "check with the boss" before they buy anything, or try to plan any activities with their friends etc.

These ladies LOVE their vicarious thrills of masculine dominance portrayed in crap like 50 shades, because they are not getting any positive masculine dominance at home.

And since she wears the pants, and there are no tingles being generated by her dominance bereft husband/boyfriend, their relationships become rather sexless.

So she turns to 50 Shades and her vibrator, while he turns to teh Pr0n and a tube of lotion.

Anonymous LL December 04, 2013 9:04 PM  

Thank you for clarifying, Supernaut. I will say this, I sort of dug the books by Laurell K Hamilton, pure vampire/wereanimal/sex books. Then I got me a super alpha and the sex is mindblowing and I stopped reading the same, repetitive "He ripped her bodice" shit.

My former coworker, who is exactly as you described recommended 50 Shades to me. I read it and she offered up the other 2 in the trilogy. No thank you. The writing sucked, the breathless reaction (more writing) sucked, the whole book just sucked.

Anonymous FP December 04, 2013 9:18 PM  

A Jane Austen MMO... as long as they throw in a clothing/armor paper doll system and a transmog system it will do well.

Like OMG, its the lastest fashions in the new Paris 2.0 patch! We must get the guild together and raid the shops for the new tier3 summer dresses. The raid voice chat would be epic. 50 dkp minus for wearing the wrong shoes to the raid party.

Anonymous LL December 04, 2013 9:27 PM  

"... exploding population of aggressive, rude, crude, women"

I will admit I'm sort of the same way, just no bullshit and blunt, but my guy keeps my shit in check and that's really what it comes down to. Even back when, the bodice rippers were "neglected" banker's wife eyeballing the construction worker fixing her house or the woman lusting after the rough-and-tumble stableman. The only difference now is that they have shifted it to the kill-em-all soldiers. But back in the day, there were fewer bankers/accountants (which equaled soft men for some reason) and now, the deltas and gammas are the norm, because of what you pointed out, the societal feminist movement and forcing men to do feeeeeeeeelings instead of just getting manly man stuff DONE.

Anonymous Joe Author December 04, 2013 9:45 PM  

In the end, who cares about authors writing and their fans reading "Pink SF" or "Blue SF"! People will choose what books they want to view. People will support those writers ideologically and financially. That is what the marketplace is for--consumers deciding what reading materials they want to purchase. Again, who cares!

Anonymous Joe Author December 04, 2013 9:47 PM  

"The social programming has caused a whole lot of men and women to think, behave and act in ways that are unattractive to the other gender. Physically, mentally and spiritually emasculated gammas, deltas and omegas are far more prevalent today than in times past. We also have an exploding population of aggressive, rude, crude, women embracing fat acceptance and careerism over hearth and home."

Welcome to the wonderful world of freedom of association, libertarian style!

Anonymous Anonymous December 04, 2013 10:09 PM  

"Can you even imagine genuine science fiction trying to sneak into the romance market and pretending that it's all proper romance when actually there is little more than action and technology and ideas under a very thin and superficial veil of romantic intrigue and self-centered drama?"

Just as an exercise, do you think you have the chops to pull that off? That would be hilarious if penned under a pseudonym. Later, of course comes the reveal.

Anonymous bob k. mando December 04, 2013 10:09 PM  

Joe Author December 04, 2013 9:45 PM
People will choose what books they want to view. People will support those writers ideologically and financially. That is what the marketplace is for--consumers deciding what reading materials they want to purchase.



you might want to do some research on the very basic concept of "gatekeeper".

Anonymous Joe Author December 04, 2013 10:59 PM  

"very basic concept of "gatekeeper"."--Indeed, as VD stated, "there is something wrong with writing a Barbara Cartland novel, putting a laser gun in the heroine's hand, turning the romantic rivals into aliens, and calling it science fiction".

Mere opinion on his part. Again, buyers of a good will decide whether that good fits their needs and is worthwhile to purchase repeatedly. Who really cares in the long run over Pink SF or Blue SF.

Billy Joel here seems appropriate--"Hot funk, cool punk, even if it's old junk, it's still rock and roll to me"

Anonymous bob k. mando December 05, 2013 12:20 AM  

Joe Author December 04, 2013 10:59 PM
Mere opinion on his part



cratering sales numbers are not anyone's "mere opinion". rather, they are observable fact. as is declining male participation in the market.

now, you can call me a misogynist pig for not buying scads ( my personal library is over 2000 books, most of which are sci-fi ) of the new pink style syfy books. but when males in general are abandoning a genre which has historically been by, for and was created for males ... well.

it's just, like, your opinion man, that men are not being driven out of the genre.

one must wonder if the recent dominance of wereseal porn on the scifi shelves has anything to do with that.




Joe Author December 04, 2013 10:59 PM
Again, buyers of a good will decide whether that good fits their needs and is worthwhile to purchase repeatedly.



yes. that's why the 2012 scifi bestseller list was dominated by books written 20+ years ago and series books ( Star Wars/Trek << both series ALSO more than 30 years old and Halo ). because romfi sells better than scifi. the 'marketplace' has decreed it so.

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bookselling/article/55458-big-names-dominated-bestsellers-in-2012.html

how does reality taste in your mouth, bitch?

Anonymous VD December 05, 2013 6:16 AM  

In the end, who cares about authors writing and their fans reading "Pink SF" or "Blue SF"!

Pretty much everyone. That's why you will see people getting upset over it being identified as such.

Mere opinion on his part. Again, buyers of a good will decide whether that good fits their needs and is worthwhile to purchase repeatedly. Who really cares in the long run over Pink SF or Blue SF.

Yes. And many people come here specifically to learn those opinions. Again, everyone cares greatly about Pink SF vs Blue SF, particularly the authors and publishers. You can ignore it, of course, and end up getting curb-stomped like CNN. That's up to you.

Anonymous Joe Author December 05, 2013 9:09 PM  

“cratering sales numbers are not anyone's "mere opinion".”

I stated that it is merely one’s opinion regarding how they view certain types of literature.


“when males in general are abandoning a genre which has historically been by, for and was created for males ... well.”



Well, the times they are a’changing. I suggest you deal with it. Besides, I did not know there was a mechanism in place by which sci-fi was only to be created and read by an exclusive audience. Again, who cares!


“it's just, like, your opinion man, that men are not being driven out of the genre.”

Actually, I don’t give a William Shatner’s ass whether women are “infiltrating” or men are “bolting” from the genre. People gonna read what they wanna read!



“you can call me a misogynist pig for not buying scads...”

Personal choice on your part. To each their own when READING. Seriously, no one cares.


“how does reality taste in your mouth, bitch?”



Tastes really good, thanks since you confirmed what I said. There is demand for a good, and people will produce that good to meet that demand, no matter how large or small that demand OR the bitching and moaning of authors over what is “true” sci-fi. There’s money to be made.


“Pretty much everyone. That's why you will see people getting upset over it being identified as such.”



No, YOU identified it as such. People gonna read what they wanna read.


“Again, everyone cares greatly about Pink SF vs Blue SF, particularly the authors and publishers.”


Not those who do not read the genre.

Anonymous bob k. mando December 05, 2013 10:53 PM  

ah yes.

the fact, FACT mind you, that books published by the modern gatekeepers of the SF genre are completely incapable of competing with the works of men who have been dead for 20 years indicates that pink syfy is what the market wants.

you win, douchcanoe.

since you're back ... not only is scifi by far the smallest genre broken out it that link ... it's ALSO the genre showing the largest year over year decrease in readership.

gotta love when a leftist tries to make an 'efficient market' argument when they are ideologically committed to not admitting that entry barriers, rent seeking and monopoly are all quite effective at interfering with markets.

Anonymous Joe Author December 05, 2013 11:46 PM  

"gotta love when a leftist..."

You must have been one of Pavlov's dogs in a past life with your frothing at the mouth assertion. Please, nigga, please.


"indicates that pink syfy is what the market wants."

Did not VD state that "Pink SF is the dominant form of science fiction today"??? Would seem to me that publishers are reaching out to groups that demand this "low-brow" literature, regardless if the overall sales of sci-fi have declined noticeably and if past classic works dominate current sales.


"entry barriers, rent seeking and monopoly..."

exactly what the "Pink Shirts" have bitched about regarding past practices of the old guard, n'est-ce pas? It takes two to tango.

Who...really...cares. Writers gonna write. Readers gonna read.


I will say it again, with thanks to Billy Joel--"Hot funk, cool punk, even if it's old junk, it's still rock and roll to me"

Anonymous Ain December 06, 2013 12:54 AM  

Catan: "Check out the thrilling description of the #1 War Fiction book, Masters At Arms by the estimable Kallypso Masters:

Not Safe For Work

The excerpt they choose to show off the book doesn't seem to have much to do with War Fiction..."

Straight out of a porno mag. Anyone that write that shit. Most people just don't stoop to it, and that's not saying much. But I have to wonder how many people downloaded it just for a laugh.

Anonymous Peter December 06, 2013 6:18 AM  

No sure how it counts under Vox's blue/pink division, but one of my pet hates is the inability of many authors and scriptwriters to portray professional people accurately.

Maybe calm competence and attention to duty doesn't seem as exciting as overblown egos and emotional ranting.Maybe it is thought that the ability to make hard decisions without being governed by emotion would make charcters less "sympathetic".

Whatever the reason, I get tired of people who shoud be exceptionally competent, behaving like idiots under the first decent bit of emotional pressure. I get tired of military and law-enforcement tossing away what should have been a lifetime's training in self-control and acrting within the command structure whenever there is a disagreement over strategy..... and I really get tired of the military portrayed either as egotistical thugs, helpless victims or pompous fools. Maybe it is because I have known too many of them and have felt trhem worthy of respect.

Anonymous Michael Maier December 06, 2013 10:48 AM  

Wow, Joe... you really are too short for this ride.

Anonymous Joe Author December 07, 2013 12:38 AM  

Michael Maier, never go full aspie.

Anonymous Balzac December 07, 2013 10:22 AM  

"The Vorkosigan Saga is an interesting example. The first book wasn't about Miles, but his mother before he was born. I'd say it was fairly Pink, ...

But once Miles came onto the scene, he pretty much took over the series, and the stories got a lot more interesting. He didn't have to be a tough soldier and at the same time falling in love with some hero/villain, which seems to be the only plot Pink SF authors have in mind."

I re-read the core of those books earlier this year and found them a bit different. In particular, the Miles books have a series of three or so that are pretty good but gradually descend into the very pink realm. In the next to last, Komarr, much of the time is spent blackening the character of the husband of his intended wife, which after some time felt a bit repetitive and tasteless. In the last book, A Civil Campaign, the wooing continued but also turned into a terribly tedious and condescending rapping of the knuckles featuring a shining band of homosexuals, their sympathizers (who appear all to have gone through thorough polysexual training on planet, ahem, Beta, hence being cosmopolitan as well as ready to fight for the right side), crowned by a preening transsexual, all showing the world how very right they are. It's quite simplistic, I'd say.

But the trends were there from the beginning. Right in the first Miles-book, his oblivious love-object Elena has her father murdered by her mother, because dad raped mom while (as far as I can tell) mentally ill. Nobody even questions this killing, then or later. It's just a blinding light of righteousness striking everyone present, because ... rape! Also, Bujold has a regrettable tendency to describe her female characters as ultra-competent off stage, while they are mostly dullards on it. The first few books are still good examples of "the little tailor that could", and I suppose that's why many enjoy them, still, and all in all, the Miles books grow increasingly rigid to the relentless drumbeat of political correctness, and my initial reading of them in younger years now feels a bit naive.

There are some funny themes running through the stories though. For example that the boys start to fret about never getting married since they're in their late twenties and no girl would ever like to marry an aristocrat in his thirties. This we return to, again and again. For example that Barrayar has a great fear of mutation, and Miles is falsely reviled as a mutant, yet they buzz about in their starships without knowing or caring about genetic testing. For example that Bujold makes a huge point about artificial wombs being used as alternatives to biological child birth, leading among other things to an oversupply of male children. Yet her characters sagely decide to punish the guy who solves the problem of missing females, because ... team woman? (And of course nobody figures out even at the end of the series that it's quite easy to produce multiple heirs without even marrying the mother. Even if their primitive ancestors on Earth did so realize in the 1980:s, without needing any artificial wombs even.)

Anonymous Balzac December 07, 2013 10:23 AM  

(continued, sorry)

As part of this re-read, I also took on the book you mention, Bujold's first "Cordelia" book, Shards of Honor. It is an interplanetary romance, if you will, with some amusing parts if you look for them. Cordelia for instance falls for someone known as the Butcher of Komarr, for unfathomable reasons (well, he's skilled and quite polite). Later it turns out her attraction is based not on looks or money, but when you think about it, quite simply on him being powerful. One can only smile. But I still liked it, because Cordelia, while a military officer of sorts, is not an ultracompetent butt kicker. Those arrive in the Miles books. Yet she's at least brave and loyal, which makes her sympathetic. Also, there was a part that had stayed with me since the first read, Chapter 7 I think. After the initial war has been solved, Cordelia and her Aral are separated, and she goes back to her very blue-state planet Beta, where she is feted and invited to tell all about how horrible the red-state Barrayar is. She is unwilling to do so, feels out of place after her adventure, and is after a short while put in the care of a very nasty psychologist who is about to consign her to the loony-bin for her crimespeak. She instead manages to escape to the wild frontier, Barrayar. I thought this was an excellent part that made an excellent point.

Alas, in the subsequent Miles books, Cordelia has been lobotomized into someone gliding around in the distance, benevolently smiling when the barbarians have not yet reached the Beta level of sophistication and providing the occasional deus ex machine. It is, I'm afraid, alternately boring and creepy.

Anonymous Jfon March 20, 2016 3:01 AM  

Gotta love when the entire 'point' someone is trying to make "who cares man, who caaares??", but they make sure to respond to EVERY single comment they get (after caring enough to post to begin with). Then they accuse others of being autistic.

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