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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Denying SF, dissing Baen

He also claims that "science fiction is not a genre". Which goes to show how much confidence you should place in the opinions of a man who hasn't published a single novel and has more than a few prose deficiencies himself:
Today space opera is a battlefield for competing fantasies of the future. As America plunged in to renewed militarism after 9/11, sci-fi books again began to mirror real-world wars. Baen books specialises in works of "military SF" that, behind their appalling prose styles and laughable retro cover designs, speak to a right-wing readership who can recognise the enemies of America even when they are disguised as cannibal lizard aliens. Baen's chief editor Toni Weisskopf went so far as to issue a diatribe against any and all sci-fi that did not pander to this conservative agenda.
Hugo-nominated Baen Books author Larry Correia is unimpressed: "Damien Walter of the Guardian is a liar. Provide a cite where Toni Weisskopf ever said that or apologize and retract."  Equally unimpressed is the Hugo-nominated Baen Books author Brad Torgersen:
I won’t feed this particularly empty ego any more than is necessary, suffice to say that the individual who wrote this obviously does not read very many (if any?) actual Baen books by actual Baen authors, nor do I think this person has actually read any such “diatribe” by my editor at Baen. In fact, I can state with certainty that the words “Toni Weisskopf” and “diatribe” do not belong in the same ZIP code. You will seldom find a less offensive, even-tempered, non-confrontational, fair-minded editor and publisher in the field today. And it’s not just an insult to her when shit like this (above) gets written, it’s an insult to all the many talented and varied authors who ply their trade beneath the Baen label. Myself included.

Unfortunately, ignorant snobbery of this sort is nothing new in the genre. You find out very quickly (once you begin publishing) which writers, editors, publishers, and artists enjoy the favor of the “society” people, and which writers, editors, publishers, and artists do not. My from-the-hip observation is that the “society” people want to see SF/F turned into a lightly speculative and fantastical carbon copy of the “prestigious literary” world. Replete with ambiguous covers that don’t really tell you anything about the story, but follow the general pattern of all things deemed “prestigious” and “literary.” If this year’s talked-about lit work features a somewhat fuzzy, off-focus photo of a pair of muddy Converse sneakers sitting on somebody’s front stoop, then by golly SF/F needs to follow suit with similar photos of similarly mundane, slightly off-focus objects which may or may not have anything to do with actual science fiction; as practiced traditionally by the greats.
And so the battle between anti-canon Pink SF and pro-classic Blue SF continues to heat up. There is, however, one point with which I find myself in agreement with Our Friend Damien is that this battle will be good for real science fiction and those who love to read it, because it is exposing the pretenders and the frauds who have been selling not-science fiction under a false label of science fiction for two decades now.

While he is not a Baen Books author, the inimitable Tor Books and Castalia House author John C. Wright has also weighed in on the matter as only he can. I daresay his criticism of Walter is considerably more entertaining, and more artfully crafted, than the sum total of Walter's ouevre:
Allow me to translate from the airy emptiness of Newspeak to the Vulgate: he is saying a novel whose only gimmick is the lack of the use of male and female pronouns in order to aid the attempt of social engineers not to entertain science fiction readers as patrons of our craft but to indoctrination and Pavlovitize them toward a false-to-facts neurosis about human sexuality is healthy on the grounds that science fiction should be used not to tell entertaining stories about the future, but as a propaganda adjust to the political program of socialist progressivism, which means pervert-loving, man-hating, white-hating, Christian-hating, liberty-hating, life-hating nihilism.

I note to any Martians reading these words that humans come only in two sexes, male and female, and that the Brahmins of political correctness have decreed that fairness to sexual perverts requires that sexual reality to be changed. Naturally, reality cannot be changed, but what people say in public can.

Therefore the gentleman writing this article rejoices in the idea that science fiction be made into a department of the Ministry of Truth, so that anyone speaking frank and plain truth about human sexuality, if he is weak minded, will come to fear that his opinion is in the minority and unpleasing to the society at large. Once the truth is unpalatable, unspeakable, outlawed as a hate crime, everyone is a liar. When everyone is a liar, everyone is a cynic, and cynics never embrace the ideals necessary to join a rebellion.

In short, the gentleman penning this piece is glorying in the prospect of perverting science fiction from its intended purpose and making it into an instrument to spread and glorify sexual perversion.
It's also rather amusing to see a British individual who regularly claims that he hates British class issues to take what is the literary equivalent of a middle-class posture dismissing those dreadful working class Baen writers and their awful unwashed prose.

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67 Comments:

Blogger Manach August 30, 2014 5:58 AM  

Awaiting Mr. Damien Walter's book to show us the error of our way ... still waiting ...

Anonymous Shutup, Tad August 30, 2014 6:47 AM  

Sexual perversion was mentioned in a negative light.......just thought I would get a head start.

Anonymous hardscrabble farmer August 30, 2014 6:56 AM  

"When everyone is a liar, everyone is a cynic, and cynics never embrace the ideals necessary to join a rebellion."

Well I just flat out disagree with that. Cynicism isn't bred in deception, quite the opposite. One becomes cynical when the rest of the world engages in perfidious delusions and most of the cynics I know live in a state of rebellion against the status quo, AKA the Cathedral.

Cynicism has always meant in a belief system based on virtue and dignity, only recently has it been redefined to mean something akin to a cur biting at ankles. Another loss of a great word.

Anonymous Steve August 30, 2014 7:56 AM  

Damian's novel: http://youtu.be/2INEVQ4jvUs

Blogger Rantor August 30, 2014 8:18 AM  

I like the SJW who attacked Damien for calling Steam Punk "half witted". Can't have an icon of goodthink insulting a minority sub genre.

Anonymous newsfladh August 30, 2014 8:47 AM  

queer guy writing gossip in Brit tabloid?

Blogger Cataline Sergius August 30, 2014 8:50 AM  

It should be noted that Scalzi have never to my knowledge been on the anti-Baen bandwagon. I have seen him make limp wristed defenses of Toni and Baen.

Why would he do that, you ask?

Baen's formula for success is reasonably simple. Service the the unserviced men's adventure and hard science fiction market. Develop good new talent at cheap prices. And buy up the back catalog of writers that aren't selling anymore but still have marquee value.

Scalzi is keeping an eye on his retirement home.

Manboob Face, knows in his deepest heart he will never have to bother with any of that. He will never publish anything.

Blogger Nate August 30, 2014 8:53 AM  

Damien is the most unfortunate of hermaphroditical types... with neither the strength and courage of a man, nor the wit and charm of a woman.

Anonymous damaged justice August 30, 2014 9:14 AM  

"Do you deny Baen and all its works?"

"I do, I do, I do!"

"ONE OF US, ONE OF US, GIBBLE GABBLE, ONE OF US!"

Anonymous jack August 30, 2014 9:24 AM  

Might it be time for Baen and Castalia House, and, maybe others, to pony up and establish a new award. Call it what you will; The Galaxy's, or some such.
Cash money for winners [do the Hugo's offer cash for winning?]
Contributions for the cash awards from interested publishing houses, readers and, maybe, 5 cents on the dollar for each sold book? The authors could be, thus, adding to the kiddy and the best of them could have more incentive to turn out decent work.
Perhaps the Galaxy's [or whichever] could have their own 'Con' show each year to do the awards. No pinkies allowed, unless, and its a big unless, that pinkie novel is so very good even the blue readers are into it and waiting for the sequels.

I would like to see something like this happen.

Anonymous Jeigh Di August 30, 2014 9:29 AM  

What do you expect of a Brit? Those who created the empire 'on which the sun never set' are a rare breed nowadays, and the last glimmerings of twilight are rapidly fading.
Kipling's poem quoted in Wright's blog also reminded me of another western leader, possibly residing in Washington, DC when he isn't on the golf course.

Anonymous Fantastist August 30, 2014 9:31 AM  

Vox, you and Damien are of a kind. While Larry and Brad are more reasoned in their critiques, you and Damien see this as a zero sum game with no room for the other side. That is not reality.

Anonymous damaged justice August 30, 2014 9:41 AM  

Fantastist: I know which side first decided the other side had to be completely and utterly destroyed because their existence could not be tolerated, and it wasn't the blues.

Anonymous Dan in Tx August 30, 2014 9:53 AM  

Nate: "Damien is the most unfortunate of hermaphroditical types... with neither the strength and courage of a man, nor the wit and charm of a woman."

Man, there is nothing I can add to that. Perfect.

Anonymous Fantastist August 30, 2014 9:58 AM  

Damaged; if you know that, please tell us what the opening salvo was in the great Pink/Blue war of words

Anonymous jack August 30, 2014 10:14 AM  

Further thoughts on the above mentioned idea of a 'blue' SF/F show. I would like to see it called Southcon and have it based in Birmingham, AL. Thats Birmingham in the USA not Britain.
I live about 50 miles from Birmingham and would like to see and experience at least one SF/F show before I pass into the sunset. If I win the lottery I will start it. Now, that would be a hoot.

Anonymous dh August 30, 2014 10:15 AM  

Anytime anyone uses "Guardians of the galaxy" to justify a trend, and that trend is not the 'Marvel Name Is Gold', is stupid.

Disney bought Marvel and completed it's transformation into a new blockbuster-only studio. That it's purpose. It's only goal. It's a cash machine - script goes in, cash comes out. The trend is not "space operas are making a come back", it's "Marvel has found and captured a huge slice of the white, middle-aged, high-disposable income, movie-watcher market, and delivered exactly what they want to see - explosions, superheros, girls in hot costumes, upbeat stories that are uncomplicated, fun, and fantastic". Basically, Blue movies. Calling Guardians' a "space opera" and using it to suggest a trend is stupid. Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, Nick Fury, Shield, Guardians, et all are evidence that not of a revival of space operas, but of giving men what they want to see.

Daimen is the Dick Morris of spotting media trends, without the early success to explain away his fetish and perversion.

Anonymous dh August 30, 2014 10:17 AM  

jack, a cash award is the best of all ideas. There is no way the Pink SF authors would not resent missing out on a $5k or even $50k award. They want to make it seem like they are massively successful, but they are not. Many of them work day jobs because their writing is not enough to make them fulltime. Even big winner like this years award sweeping winner don't crack the NYT or other best seller lists.

Anonymous Salt August 30, 2014 10:18 AM  

you and Damien see this as a zero sum game with no room for the other side

Damien and the SJWs, yes. How so for Vox?

Anonymous 1632 August 30, 2014 10:20 AM  

If Baen is so "right wing" explain Eric Flint.

1632

Blogger IM2L844 August 30, 2014 10:27 AM  

jack, a cash award is the best of all ideas.

Hmmm...I was thinking a crown, scepter, cape and free lawn care for a year.

Blogger Nate August 30, 2014 10:30 AM  

"you and Damien see this as a zero sum game with no room for the other side"

Larry pounds Story over Message. Damian is here pounding Message over Story. How exactly is Larry leaving room on the other side?

Anonymous jack August 30, 2014 10:30 AM  

@dh:


With respect, I believe that John C. Wright works a day job. He may be greedy [are not we all?] more likely, with his large family, its needed. Or, he just loves the news paper business. Probably, the second and the last.

I would love to see a 50K award for best novel. And, see JCW, Correia, Torgerson, or even Vox win it.

Anonymous Saul Alinsky August 30, 2014 10:57 AM  

to the leftist pillowbiter, cash is evil... but a desirable evil

Blogger JDC August 30, 2014 11:10 AM  

In short, the gentleman penning this piece is glorying in the prospect of perverting science fiction from its intended purpose and making it into an instrument to spread and glorify sexual perversion.

Sci-fi glory-holing. I hope they enjoy their debauched perspective on their knees in a dirty rest stop.

Anonymous Fantastist August 30, 2014 11:12 AM  

salt; per your dear leader
"Because it is exposing the pretenders and the frauds who have been selling not-science fiction under a false label of science fiction for two decades now."

"These women are in sci-fi the same way a cancer cell is in the human body. The only victory they will find is self-extinction. They can hand themselves hundreds of awards, thousands, but they will never receive the respect they so desperately crave.

OpenID thetroll August 30, 2014 11:21 AM  

> Anytime anyone uses "Guardians of the galaxy" to justify a trend, ... is stupid.

Look closer, dh.

The trend Guardians is justifying is that Dan Abnett continues to single-handedly shift the goalposts of the pinkiest spots of popular culture in a blue direction more effectively than all the ilk and sad puppies and worshipers of John C Wright (do they have a name?) put together.

Anonymous VD August 30, 2014 11:40 AM  

It should be noted that Scalzi have never to my knowledge been on the anti-Baen bandwagon. I have seen him make limp wristed defenses of Toni and Baen.

It should be noted that you're wrong. Those limp-wristed defenses were his attempt to walk back his attack on Toni Weisskopf and Baen, which apparently you missed.

Vox, you and Damien are of a kind. While Larry and Brad are more reasoned in their critiques, you and Damien see this as a zero sum game with no room for the other side. That is not reality.

You have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. I think there is plenty of room for badly written books full of progressive ideas and devoid of actual science fiction or fantasy. If that's what the sort of people who give awards for dinoporn revenge fantasies want to read, fine by me. I just want to make sure people have an alternative to it.

Anonymous jack August 30, 2014 11:47 AM  

@VD

I just want to make sure people have an alternative to it.

Hear, hear! Even if you didn't want to offer an alternative, it's because FUN, to tweak tail feathers now and again. Especially of the crowd that gets too full of themselves.

Anonymous bob k. mando August 30, 2014 11:57 AM  

Fantastist August 30, 2014 9:31 AM
Vox, you and Damien are of a kind. While Larry and Brad are more reasoned in their critiques, you and Damien see this as a zero sum game with no room for the other side. That is not reality.



for all the noobs; this is concern trolling.



Fantastist August 30, 2014 9:58 AM
please tell us what the opening salvo was in the great Pink/Blue war of words



:facepalm:

because Cultural Marxism doesn't exist.

Anonymous John C. Wrong August 30, 2014 12:02 PM  

when Damien hangs himself eventually. .. will you guys feel bad for your words?

Anonymous John C. Wrong August 30, 2014 12:07 PM  

What are your fac Baen authors/series? my list...

1. John Ringo/Ghost
2. Larry /MHI
3. David Weber/Starfire
4. Eric Flint/1632

Blogger kurt9 August 30, 2014 12:20 PM  

I'm not a big fan of this recent wave of "military SF". However, Baen Books has published a lot of good books since the late 80's and is probably the best of the traditional SF publishers. The guy who wrote the Guardian article has his head up his ass, plain and simple. Do consider the sources as its the Guardian, which is the most left-wing of the UK tabloids (all UK newspapers are tabloids aside from the Financial Times).

Anonymous VD August 30, 2014 12:23 PM  

when Damien hangs himself eventually. .. will you guys feel bad for your words?

Not even a little bit. He was depressed and suicidal long before encountering any of us. He should know better than to intentionally put himself in hostile and negative situations, or to pursue a career in a field where the vast majority fail.

The right to experience the consequences of ones actions is intrinsic to both Christianity and libertarianism.

Anonymous Rex Little August 30, 2014 12:29 PM  

selling not-science fiction under a false label of science fiction

Off topic, but this phrase brings to mind Dean Koontz, who for years has been doing the opposite: writing best-sellers which are science fiction by any reasonable definition of the term, but are never labelled that way.

Anonymous Giuseppe August 30, 2014 12:37 PM  

@Nate,
"Damien is the most unfortunate of hermaphroditical types... with neither the strength and courage of a man, nor the wit and charm of a woman."

Thank you sir. I laughed a solid half-minute on reading that. Plus, you also like wheel-guns. Good taste all-round really!

Anonymous FP August 30, 2014 12:42 PM  

"and laughable retro cover designs"

Wait, so retro isn't in this season? I thought it was hip to be retro? Why am I always the last to know these things?

Anonymous Giuseppe August 30, 2014 1:40 PM  

On reading the comment threads after "most unfortunate hermaphroditical type" Damien's "article", on the guardian's website, I am becoming fast convinced that good old DW has had some or all of the following happen:

1) he has realised he will NEVER write a SF book. Pink, Blue, or yellow with green stars for that matter.

2) 1) above may have come about as a result of his pallid, anorexic attempts at actually writing such a book (if any exist) having been critically reviewed by...well, I dread to think. One of his flatmates, a homeless person on the corner that did it for cash, or bread, or possibly even another journalist.

3) Or, 1) above may simply have come about as a result of his finally partially accepting his own laziness, inconsistency etc. means he will NEVER write a book. On anything. And if he did it would never be published. By anyone. Meaning it would have to be...(gasp) self-published and then he still wouldn't be Hugo nominated...and oh it's just too much, where are the pills..

in ANY case, what I detect here is the soul-eroding envy typical of his kind. Those who are unwilling to self-criticise when it's so much easier to hate and blame the world for your bad choices, bad thinking, and fantasies concerning reality. He is basically trying to vomit acid on the whole SF genre so that if HE can't be the darling new Heinlein, (or rather, to be more apt, the new Marion Zimmer Bradley) then he will burn down the whole edifice. Hopefully with Vox still in the building.

It's the temper tantrum of a spoilt little bitch who is beginning to realise he will never amount to anything. And he HATES, truly HATES anyone enjoying or having fun at, or god-forbid, being successful at writing science fiction. In which, in his drug-addled, fevered imagination, he fancied he would make a mark.

That's what I see anyway.
I have become more familiar with this response from many self-delusional individuals. Invariably the focus of their vituperance are any who embody the very life they aspired to in the first place.

Anonymous Amadan August 30, 2014 2:00 PM  

Once again, it's the outright lies that get my goat. That Damien Walter is an unironic failure with no capacity for self-examination is unfortunate, but I wouldn't hate him for that. I also wouldn't hate him for having silly opinions I disagree with. But outright lying makes me despise him.

"Baen's chief editor Toni Weisskopf went so far as to issue a diatribe against any and all sci-fi that did not pander to this conservative agenda" is a flat-out lie. Toni Weisskopf's "diatribe" said nothing remotely like that. And his shot at her was clearly nothing more than a deliberate middle finger raised at his "enemies." Very few of the Guardian's readers - no one who's not pretty deeply involved in SF fandom - would have any idea who Toni Weisskopf is or what he's referring to.

Also, doesn't every column he's written say exactly the same thing? He has no new themes or observations or anything interesting to say at all. Why is the Guardian paying him to say the same inane things over and over? How did he become a newspaper's SF columnist anyway? Aren't there any SF authors who have actually published something that would take the gig?

Anonymous SkinDeep August 30, 2014 2:17 PM  

So the only people saying Walter is wrong are uber-conservatives who either a) associate freely with Vox or b) were part of the failed sad puppies campaign?

Seems like Walter's on to something.

Anonymous SkinDeeper August 30, 2014 2:32 PM  

Uber-nazis more like. You go girl. Wow just wow. Racist.

Anonymous monkey boy August 30, 2014 2:38 PM  

OT.. Started watching soccer post World Cup.
Get MLS and EPL via standard cable package.

Do I upgrade to GolTV for German Bundesliga?
OR
Upgrade to beIN for Italian Series A & Spanish Primera division??

Blogger rcocean August 30, 2014 2:43 PM  

"Why is the Guardian paying him to say the same inane things over and over? "

I dunno. Maybe its because the Guardian is a left-wing newspaper run by SJW'ers who agree with him.

Blogger rcocean August 30, 2014 2:44 PM  

And of course he repeats himself. That's all his got. He's the self-appointed PC Commissar of SF, the Guardian readers need to know who to hate.

Anonymous Amadan August 30, 2014 2:45 PM  

So the only people saying Walter is wrong are uber-conservatives who either a) associate freely with Vox or b) were part of the failed sad puppies campaign?

I'm none of those things, SkinDeeper.

Blogger rcocean August 30, 2014 2:45 PM  

OT: Reading Nigel Hamilton's book on FDR, "The Mantle of Command". Bottom line: Don't bother reading it. Just FDR worship and liberal fairy tales.

Blogger MidKnight August 30, 2014 3:02 PM  

@Rex Little
Off topic, but this phrase brings to mind Dean Koontz, who for years has been doing the opposite: writing best-sellers which are science fiction by any reasonable definition of the term, but are never labelled that way.

Despite his tendency to put women on a pedastal, I like his books. He understands the need for beauty. And the Watchers/Fear Nothing set of books are indeed, Science Fiction in all but marketing.


@SkinDeep
So the only people saying Walter is wrong are uber-conservatives who either a) associate freely with Vox or b) were part of the failed sad puppies campaign?

Seems like Walter's on to something.


You can go back and read Toni's posting for yourself if you wish, and if you had sufficient reading comprehension, see for yourself that what Damnien claims she wrote, and what she wrote, are not at all alike.

But since you're the nasty sort who'll proclaim the fallacy of "look who they're associated with" - I doubt you will. And truth remains no matter what fantasy you live in.



Blogger rcocean August 30, 2014 3:06 PM  

John Wright labels Damien Walter a "Dickless weasel" - a fitting label.

Anonymous Bobo August 30, 2014 3:07 PM  

"Why is the Guardian paying him to say the same inane things over and over? "

I'll bet my underwear that they're not paying him very much.

Blogger John Wright August 30, 2014 3:35 PM  

"John Wright labels Damien Walter a "Dickless weasel" - a fitting label. "

In the interests of historical accuracy, that was not actually my label. It does not even sound like the way normally I speak. It is the label of a dear friend who is too shy to call Mr Walter a dickless weasel in public, and so, unasked, I decided to do it for him.

Blogger Cataline Sergius August 30, 2014 3:39 PM  

@VD

My bad, I did miss that one.

Anonymous The 21s Century August 30, 2014 4:02 PM  

do you reichwingers ever get sick of LOSING?
you failed to taint the Hugos, now you whine about Damien's column? hello free speech? Wow just wow you bitter homophobic clingers. Go suck on your guns and bibles.

Anonymous Feelings, Nothing More Than Feelings August 30, 2014 4:39 PM  

"Why is the Guardian paying him to say the same inane things over and over? "

I'll bet my underwear that they're not paying him very much.

Rentboys generally don't go for all that much, one way or another.

Blogger Pseudotsuga August 30, 2014 4:47 PM  

Hey "21s Century" Troll:

1) "You failed to taint the Hugos..." -- In point of fact, the Hugos were already tainted by left-wingery, message-based fiction. The people whom you call (in your confusion between National Socialists and other people you dislike) "reichwingers" didn't do it. Swirsky, Scalzi, and a cast of many self-important Social Justice Warriors did it.

2) "Hello free speech?" -- Walters is a British citizen. The American Constitution may not apply to him. Pedantry aside, I have seen no calls here for censorship of Walters, unlike his promotion of censored sci-fi. Unlike what you may have learned in your grievance studies programs, ridicule of ideas is not a free speech violation. I for one (and I am certain I speak for many here) are willing to let Walters publish whatever he wants. It is a sign that he is on the wrong side of this debate (which, of course, doesn't apply in the UK anyway) that he does not deign to return the favor.

3) "you bitter homophobic clingers" --ad hominem and also Correia's "THE LEFT WING INTERNET ARGUING CHECKLIST" #8. -- Way to go, sport! We're going to go sit in a corner now, drowning in our hateful, bitter tears, or perhaps laughing at you.

4) "Go suck on your guns and bibles" ditto to #3. And why do you hate people so much? Perhaps you should go talk to your therapist about these anger issues.

Anonymous The other skeptic August 30, 2014 5:28 PM  

And then there is this polished turd at BlackGate.

Anonymous 1632 August 30, 2014 5:52 PM  

"John C. Wrong August 30, 2014 12:07 PM
What are your fac Baen authors/series?"

Favorite Baen authors/series:
1. Eric "Right Wing" Flint/1632 (duh)
2. David Drake & Eric "Right Wing" Flint/ Belisaurius
3. Various (created by Larry Niven)/The Man-Kzin Wars

1632

Anonymous LL August 30, 2014 6:43 PM  

I thought he publicly declared to have quit sci fi. He can't even hold to his own self-satisfied vows.

Honestly, the child needs to find a hobby, one which does not include writing because his inane ramblings are sad to read.

Anonymous dh August 30, 2014 7:04 PM  

jack I have no problem with authors who work day jobs. I have a problem when they want to try to make it seem like they are massively important, titans of the industry.

Blogger rcocean August 30, 2014 9:16 PM  

As our left-wing trolls are deploying the standard tactic:

Left-wing: - attack attack
Left-wing No. 2 - attack, attack
Conservative - Defend
Left-wing No. 3 - How rude. Why are you so full of hate?

Anonymous Northern Troll Alliance August 30, 2014 9:41 PM  

rcocean; when did that happen? Specifics please.

Blogger Pseudotsuga August 30, 2014 10:18 PM  

I think that Damien Walters is not aware of the juggernaut which is Lois McMaster Bujold, the award winning author published by Baen books. She is a good example of story and character taking precedence over message. There are enough social justicey subtexts going on in much of the Vorkosigan-verse to thaw out the cold cockles of Walter's little heart. Perhaps Walters thinks that those are all mil-sci-fi (which would be an easy mistake to make if you just skim the surface and look at the retro-appearing covers.)

Anonymous Alexander August 30, 2014 11:12 PM  

Slightly OT but...

Was at Dragoncon today. We're waiting in line for the alternate history panel w/ Harry Turtledove and S.M. Sterling and mashed into that line is the line for Jim Butcher. And yet despite that, the conversation in my part of the line was about Larry Correia, about a 2/3 split between his actual work, and 1/3 on how it was great that he 'did something about the Hugos'. Now granted there was a Baen book seminar in the area immediately afterward so it wasn't completely out of left field, but that Larry was the topic in a queue explicitly existing to meet three SFF heavyweights - none of which are the man in question - was pretty awesome.

And is one more piece of proof in the pudding that Damien and his ilk are full of little more than shit and hot air.

Blogger Markku August 30, 2014 11:21 PM  

The 21s Century

...Wow just wow...


You almost trolled competently, but then you did that.

Anonymous Whiskey August 31, 2014 3:00 AM  

Science fiction (I barely recognize stuff that laughably passes for that now, like Dino porn and other idiot stuff) was always written for boys and young men, featuring adventure and thought, with an eye to:

1. Entertaining the HECK out of the Reader.
2. MAKING MONEY CHEAP AND FAST.
3. Being weird and provocative and strange.
4. Saying stuff no other genre could or would while being filled with ADVENTURE and ENTERTAINMENT.

So look at Jules Verne and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Is that Science Fiction? Certainly? Is it just chock-a-block with adventure, excitement, and manly behavior wherever you look? Absolutely! Is it beloved still to this day? Yes.

And at heart it is a tragedy. An otherwise admirable man (Nemo) is obsessed with revenge and desires the return of his throne in India. To do so he is waging war on the Imperial Powers of the Age: Britain and France. By using advanced technology, to wit what amounts to an electric submarine. The tragedy is his use of technology makes him far more akin to the technology embracing European colonialists than his putative subjects. Here is a brilliant master writer at work. Imaginative, filled with adventure, courage, death, defeat, and triumph. And understanding that technology and knowledge is a one way street. Once entering upon it, one becomes for better or worse, Western fundamentally in outlook. No returning to dusty Indian streets and worship of Hindu Deities and the certainty of old India. Knowledge HAS A PRICE.

Now compare that to any Pink SF stuff. Is there much of a market for that Pink stuff? Not really. It does not sell at all to men, and its work as a masturbation aid to ugly/fat women (pretty women have no need -- they have hot Dominant Alpha men no need for Dino Porn fantasies when you have the REAL Don Draper being a sexy ahole at your side) is marginal compared to purpose built Twilight/Fifty Shades of Bondage Porn stuff.

Yeah female porn sells well. (Which is what Pink SF really is, if you think about it). But it has to be again purpose built. Not wereseals in space.

The whole IDEA of SF is to be wondrous, fast, cheap, weird, entertaining, adventurous, and saying something respectable, high-toned literature can't and won't. Needless to say this nuanced critique of Western Imperialism was not well received in that part at least during Verne's lifetime. Nor has his message about Westernizing effect of technology been happily received by the Third World either (to be Nemo is to cut one's self off from his Third World nation).

But that's the difference between politically correct female porn and Sci-Fi. One is basically a pc masturbation aid and the other is fast and fun entertainment with a meaning or two sometimes.

Blogger Tim August 31, 2014 8:54 PM  

The Guardian is in Britian right? Don't they have some ...interesting... libel laws and a lot less protection for the press and free speech...........

Perhaps Toni should contact a barrister........

Blogger automatthew August 31, 2014 11:15 PM  

Shouldn't you be whacking off to Allysin Hannogyn gifs, Whiskey?

Anonymous Another Bob September 04, 2014 10:20 AM  

You guy keep writing the good stuff. To hell with the Pinks!

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