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Monday, August 17, 2015

They really hate the classics

When the pinkshirts in science fiction talk about wanting to destroy Campbellian SF, they're not being ironic or kidding. They seriously believe that Pink SF is better and genuinely want to eradicate old school Blue SF/F because it is too outdated, offensive, and problematic.
I read the 100 “best” fantasy and sci-fi novels - and they were shockingly offensive. Why are so many of NPR's list of best science fiction books so misogynistic, and why can't we move past our nostalgia for them?
When it comes to the best of anything, what do you expect? If it’s science fiction and fantasy novels you want epic adventures and getting out of impossible situations. But what you often get is barely disguised sexism and inability to imagine any world where women are involved in the derring-do.
At the end of 2013, after a year of reading very little, I decided to embark on a challenge: read all the books I hadn’t yet read on NPR’s list of 100 best sci-fi and fantasy novels. Nostalgia permeates the list. Of the books I read, there were more books published before 1960 than after 2000. The vast majority were published in the 1970s and 1980s. There were also many sci-fi masterworks or what were groundbreaking novels. However, groundbreaking 30, 40, 50 or 100 years ago can now seem horribly out of date and shockingly offensive....
Recent controversy

I’ve been acutely aware of the ferocious debate in the science fiction and fantasy community about representation (the recent controversy over the Hugo awards is a case in point), so I should have been somewhat prepared for this relentlessly depressing string of disappointing novels. But with the dogged determination of reading through the list, it really grinds you down. How can people actually defend the status quo when it’s so obviously awful? Putting these books on a pedestal, given how problematic the portrayal of women and other minorities, is surely part of the problem?

Frankly, from my vantage in 2015, it was just plain weird to read books where there were hardly any women, no people of colour, no LGBT people. It seemed wholly unbelievable. I know what you could say: it’s science fiction and fantasy, believability isn’t one of the main criteria for such books. But it is relatively absurd that in the future people could discover faster-than-light travel, build massive empires and create artificial intelligences but somehow not crack gender equality or the space-faring glass ceiling.

The consequence of the lack of women and the obvious sexism is that the books became very much like one another. My book reviews contained more profanity and I became a much more harsh critic of the genres I most enjoyed reading. They were all the same story of white guys, going on an adventure....

I can understand how many of the books on the list may have once been groundbreaking but that doesn’t mean that they are now the best examples of the genre. They have been supplanted, hundreds of times over, by other authors that took similar themes but made them better and more inclusive.
They genuinely believe throwing in a few men-with-tits and white men with colored skin - which is as far as their attempts at diversity generally go - somehow magically improves a book. Of course, the general public disagrees, as the continued decline in SF sales demonstrates.

Labels: ,

171 Comments:

OpenID jeffro August 17, 2015 8:47 AM  

It's not the article so much as the cheerleading for it from Black Gate and File770. And of course, it's the NPR listeners' tastes that are irredeemably toxic. (!!) This is insane.

Anonymous Mike M. August 17, 2015 8:52 AM  

About half those books deserve to be there....the rest, not so much. I can name a good three dozen better works off the top of my head.

The real problem is the obsession with identity politics on the part of our opponents. And their eagerness to sacrifice both plot and storytelling to it.

Anonymous SJB August 17, 2015 8:58 AM  

How can people actually defend the status quo when it’s so obviously awful?
.
This is a lie. Progressives make devolution "progress” by misrepresenting the past.

Anonymous Stingray August 17, 2015 8:59 AM  

They truly do wish to destroy beauty, in all of it's forms. It repulses them.

Blogger Nate August 17, 2015 9:02 AM  

it should be noted that 10 years ago... these same psycho feminists were attacking Ringo for writing women in military command as "men with tits".

so...

If you write women who adapt to masculine situations... you're bad for writing "men with tits" and if you write women who act like women... you're bad for perpetuating gender role stereotypes.

In other words... its like trying to have a discussion with a smart 6 year old who is convinced he can be write if he just contradicts you enough.

Anonymous Stingray August 17, 2015 9:04 AM  

A question: in middle school we were given a book to read about overlords ruling earth and children fighting back(?). What I really remember is a boy with some kind of tracking device implanted behind his ear and him having to dig it out with a knife. That book has stuck with me, but I've never been able to remember what it was. Does anyone know if that is Childhood's End?

Blogger Atomic Agent 13 August 17, 2015 9:06 AM  

They genuinely believe throwing in a few men-with-tits

That comment was pretty spot on for Terms of Enlistment. I just recently read that novel and can't understand what all the fuss is about. That shower scene pulled directly from the film version of Starship Troopers was one of the dumbest passages I've read in a long time.

Anonymous ThirdMonkey VFM #337 August 17, 2015 9:14 AM  

It is evident that she, and many of her allies of like mind, have OCD about race and gender to such a degree that it has driven them insane. Can they not look at anything without it being great offense to race and gender? There is no substance to anything they say or do. Their world revolves around their perceived victimhood instead of reality. If they are so concerned about minorities and LGBTQ storylines, write your own damn books. But we don't care, and won't buy their tripe. Given they are so mentally ill, it should make their defeat all the more satisfying, and I will enjoy gnawing on their weak, brittle bones.

Anonymous Thobby (#58) August 17, 2015 9:14 AM  

Stingray, that is definitely not *Childhood's End*. If you're young enough to have been in middle school in 1997, it could have been Garth Nix's *Shade's Children*.

Anonymous Rigel Kent August 17, 2015 9:16 AM  

I have nothing but contempt for people like this, people that don't even have the first clue as to how to judge a creative work. To them it doesn't matter how well it's written, how well thought out the plot or how memorable the characters are. The only thing that matters is their little checklist or Bechdel test.

These people are the reason why I used to almost never pick up new stuff in my favorite field anymore, because the crap that they prize so highly made it hard to find good new stuff. Fortunately (and in no small part due to the whole puppies phenomenon) I've started finding good new stuff again.

As far as I'm concerned, no matter what else the puppies do or don't do, that alone completely justifies their existence.

Anonymous Giuseppe The Kurgan August 17, 2015 9:19 AM  

I think it's time I submit my work to the dread ilk for judgement. These pinkos are making me feel like Blackhawk (the comic book character), that is, a powerful need to punch a commie or a nazi in the face.

Anonymous Nathan August 17, 2015 9:19 AM  

Stingray,

It might have been The White Mountains by John Christopher. If the book had Tripod walkers used by the aliens and a mind-control cap, that is. That book, and its sequels, used to be taught in schools.

Anonymous Thobby (#58) August 17, 2015 9:24 AM  

And if the author of that screed genuinely thought that *Out of the Silent Planet* was "an early attempt at explaining space flight and encountering an alien race," then I must say she rather missed the point of the book.

Not to mention that, if it had been, it would hardly have qualified as "early." E.E. "Doc" Smith beat it by a decade.

But, then, since she thought *Dragonflight* was a fantasy, she obviously wasn't doing anything more than skimming. It's clear from its very first page (though, admittedly, only on its first page) that it's science fiction.

Blogger Nate August 17, 2015 9:24 AM  

Shut up, SJW

Blogger Cataline Sergius August 17, 2015 9:24 AM  

Taking a look at this list gave me plenty of pause as well.

A Handmaid's Tale was on it. As well as The Legend Of Drizzt Series, Contact and Wicked.

And the topper. Old Man's War.

Anonymous BigGaySteve August 17, 2015 9:27 AM  

any world where women are involved in the derring-do.

I wonder if a story had a female protagonist that could shoot golf balls out her vagina at deadly speed/accuracy if leftists would consider it groundbreaking equality.
"If you where shooting golf balls out your vag so forcefully that it broke the ground my love" , the Hugo award winning story of equally powerful women.

I’ve been acutely aware of the ferocious debate in the science fiction and fantasy community about representation

It is possible to have a black astronaut without being fiction. There is a book about the unqualified black guy Kennedy wanted to put on the first moon landing, but NASA realized it would be a bad idea to send a token. Well perphaps this is not the story they are looking for; Yeager: An Autobiography by General Chuck Yeager and Leo Janos.

"“By God, you will have a black pilot in that program – now!” He called me back: “Do what you have to do, Yeager, but get that colored guy in.” I said, “Okay, general, but what I think we ought to do is take at least 15 students in the first class, instead of 11, and make him number 15. Give me a little more money and I can handle this many in the school.”
" but Dwight sure as hell didn’t represent the top of the talent pool....So we brought him in, set up a special tutoring program to get him through the academics because, as I recall, he lacked the engineering academics that all the other students had. "

"He worked hard, and so did his tutors, but he just couldn’t hack it. And he didn’t keep up in flying. I worked with him on that, and so did other instructors; but our students were flying at levels of proficiency "

"He asked me if there was any improvement with Dwight. I said, “No sir. We’re having a lot of trouble just trying to keep him from getting so far behind the others that it will be hopeless. He’s just not hacking it.”

"“You do not have a case of discrimination here. The White House discriminated by forcing us to take an unqualified guy. And we would have discriminated by passing him because he was black.”

"The group had no idea that he had received special tutoring and was shocked to see his poor grades; they were satisfied that prejudice was in no way involved in this case. But that wasn’t quite the end of it."

"I was disgusted. I knew damned well that Dwight had taken a cheap shot at my West Virginia accent to try to save face. Hell, if I had been from Philadelphia or New York, he wouldn’t have even tried. He was prejudiced against me, figuring that anyone from my part of the world was a redneck bigot. Many Southern whites who are honest will admit having problems about race in a general sense, but I didn’t have to be the type who thought of all blacks as niggers to flunk Ed Dwight"

Blogger Zaklog the Great August 17, 2015 9:27 AM  

@6 No, Stingray, that is not Childhood's End. That has alien overlords ruling Earth, but doesn't significantly focus on resistance against them.

Anonymous Steve August 17, 2015 9:29 AM  

Frankly, from my vantage in 2015, it was just plain weird to read books where there were hardly any women, no people of colour, no LGBT people. - Liz Lutgendorff

Yeah! C'mon, you guys! It's 2015! We should be reading about Caitlyn Transjenner... in space!

By the way... because I know you love Steve's glamour girls: It's Pat! Or maybe Liz Lutgendorff!

Blogger Tim_W_Burke August 17, 2015 9:29 AM  

Three thoughts:
This list was compiled through votes from NPR listeners. Does that mean the sterotypically-liberal NPR listener is more nostalgic than expected?
Her "outrage" is click-bait. The number of woman protagonists, women with agency, with guns, in leadership roles are skipped over, or in societies where sexism is addressed is skipped over.
She has a point about the recurrence of rape as a menace, though. Rape-Rape upholds a grand precedent in the genre.

Anonymous Giuseppe The Kurgan August 17, 2015 9:29 AM  

Oh and just in case anyone doubted WHY Liz wants to destroy it:

http://www.hampshireskeptics.org/wp-content/gallery/QEDCon2014/content/DSC_0706_large.html

I'd trigger warn you but I gotta get Steve back for a few of these.

Blogger VD August 17, 2015 9:30 AM  

About half those books deserve to be there....the rest, not so much. I can name a good three dozen better works off the top of my head.

Imagine how much she would have hated a proper top 100 SF/F books list. I mean, it was NPR, what else did you expect?

Anonymous Bz August 17, 2015 9:31 AM  

Liz Lutgendorff invents her own test

"The test had three simple questions:
1: Does it have at least two female characters?
2: Is one of them a main character?
3: Do they have an interesting profession/level of skill like male characters?"

I know a genre where this usually holds: Romance. Though even there, I think having both main characters being women might be too much even for female readers.

Anonymous Stingray August 17, 2015 9:32 AM  

@12,

I do remember there being Tripod walkers in it. That might very well be it. Thank you very much.

Anonymous Bz August 17, 2015 9:33 AM  

The books are "shockingly offensive" so we need to add more degeneracy. Behold the mind of the leftist.

Anonymous Stingray August 17, 2015 9:33 AM  

@21

Imagine how much she would have hated a proper top 100 SF/F books list.

You all should put one together.

Blogger Cataline Sergius August 17, 2015 9:34 AM  

To reiterate Old Man's War is on NPRs list of top 100 science fiction books.

Bad enough that its on anyone's top 100 but NPR? The republic slides further into darkness.


@ Giuseppe The Kurgan
You asked me to do this. So this is your fault, not mine.

Blogger Zaklog the Great August 17, 2015 9:35 AM  

@23 Tripods? Yeah, that's the White Mountains books. Talking about digging out the mind control device threw me off, because as I recall from the main trilogy, once they're on, they're on for good. An prequel had a version which was merely worn, but it was not physically attached.

Blogger Jourdan August 17, 2015 9:36 AM  

This person isn't even reading the books as a human being. She is nothing more than a commissar.

Anonymous BGS August 17, 2015 9:38 AM  

Oh and just in case anyone doubted WHY Liz wants to destroy it:

No wonder she hates men with tits, she is fat but doesn't seem to have any.

Anonymous Stephen J. August 17, 2015 9:42 AM  

"If you write women who adapt to masculine situations... you're bad for writing 'men with tits' and if you write women who act like women... you're bad for perpetuating gender role stereotypes."

Bingo! You have successfully grasped the logic at the heart of "representational justice" critical theory, which is basically: "Heads I Win, Tails You Lose". It's why I've stopped trying to argue these issues. Persistence is a virtue, but obstinacy in the face of futility is not.

Blogger Jourdan August 17, 2015 9:43 AM  

One massive clue one is dealing with a leftist/SJW is when they present any respect for anything created before the 1960s as mere "nostalgia," and thus inherently unworthy, the product of an imagined past that wasn't nearly as good as the nostaligic thinks it was.

This is an old, but very, very effective, tactic of theirs.

Anonymous Anonymous August 17, 2015 9:43 AM  

>But it is relatively absurd that in the future people could discover faster-than-light travel, build massive empires and create artificial intelligences but somehow not crack gender equality or the space-faring glass ceiling.

What she doesn't understand is that there's a negative relationship between the two. By the time you're sweating over gender equality and glass ceilings, you've given up the society energy that leads to faster than light travel.

Anonymous Stephen J. August 17, 2015 9:45 AM  

@7: "That comment was pretty spot on for Terms of Enlistment."

When I first read this I thought you said Terms of Endearment. Spent five very bemused minutes trying desperately to figure out where the heck a mixed communal shower scene could have fit into that story. Much is now explained.

Blogger Doom August 17, 2015 9:46 AM  

Funny, most (if older) "classics" are pink. I'm not sure I consider sci-fi, of any sort, to be classic yet. Not sure that really works, terminology based, for me. As to pink sf? Of course they want to destroy. That is what "pink" is about. Pink is feminism, or really just the feminine, which, left to it's own, is mindless destruction.

Too many men who can't find wives? You get revolt, or if the government can swing it, war. Something to shave the numbers. If you have too many women, or some other imbalance in which men have become feminized, emasculated, or such? You get government based genocide. At this point, pink anything is proving what the feminine does when it is not needed and in excess. Too much estrogen in the water supply, I suspect, for a revolution.

Blogger Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus August 17, 2015 9:46 AM  

Speaking of classics, I'm plowing through Plutarch's Lives right now. Good stuff.

And the SJWs probably hate that, too.

Anonymous Steve August 17, 2015 9:48 AM  

Giuseppe - you monster!

I hope Liz Lutgendorff eats you.

Anonymous NorthernHamlet August 17, 2015 9:50 AM  

Which also reminds me, if someone can help...

When I was younger, I read a sci-fi short story about a civilization who lived in caves but who's lives only spanned like a week. There's a ship in it too that a guy and girl get to and then don't age as rapidly then due to the protection.

I've been trying to find what story this is for years.

Any ideas?

Blogger Owen August 17, 2015 9:51 AM  

I never heard of "American Gods," by Neil Gaiman (for that matter, I never heard of Gaiman). I'm not a Sci-Fi reader, though.

Anonymous basementhomebrewer August 17, 2015 9:52 AM  

Whoops! This casts a very bright light on all those supposedly "honest" reviews of puppy works. They claimed it was about how bad the stories were but now we see what it really was about. It was about a mentally ill world view where all that matters in a story is the race, gender and sexual preference of the characters.

Blogger Elocutioner #0226 August 17, 2015 9:52 AM  

@22 Bz "Liz Lutgendorff invents her own test"

No.
"The Bechdel Test ... is a litmus test for female presence in fictional media. The test is named for Alison Bechdel, creator of the comic strip Dykes To Watch Out For, who made it known to the world with this strip."

What is the considered the best SF involves few actual women characters, even the ones in historical settings? Why, that is outrageously contrary to reality and history! Those NPR bigots!! Next you're going to try to tell me the men in romance novels would fail the equivalent male-oriented test...

Anonymous Krul August 17, 2015 9:52 AM  

"They were all the same story of white guys, going on an adventure...."

That's because a major inspiration for the genre was actual white men going on actual adventures. Men like Roald Amundsen or Sir Edmund Hillary. Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle's The Lost World for example was directly inspired by Col Percy Fawcett's expeditions into the Amazonian rain forest in search of the lost city of Z.

Anonymous Steve August 17, 2015 9:56 AM  

So I think we have a large enough number of data points to establish the following:

Blue SF appeals to:

* Awesome men and women

Pink SF appeals to:

* Fugly fat chicks
* Muff divers
* Trannies
* NAMBLA supporters
* Bitch-titted male feminists
* Skinnyfat manboys who still live with their parents
* Phil Sandifer

Am I missing anybody out?

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 August 17, 2015 9:56 AM  

I was surprised to see The Space Trilogy on that list but not The Chronicles of Narnia.

Also, where's The Neverending Story?

Blogger Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus August 17, 2015 9:57 AM  

They were all the same story of white guys, going on an adventure....

Sort of like...real life?

Anonymous PA August 17, 2015 9:57 AM  

"They truly do wish to destroy beauty, in all of it's forms. It repulses them."

In the context of SJWs complaining about wholesome Mormon families, Lawrence Auster illustrated this hatred of beauty as peering from the outside in, and seeing one's own hideous reflection in the window.

Blogger Cataline Sergius August 17, 2015 10:04 AM  

@7

I haven't read Terms yet.

But the Starship Troopers shower scene actually happened to me in real life. It was in Norway and we were on clean up for Battle Griffin. We are in a shower room sluicing down and in walks four Norwegian girl soliders who say, "god kveld" and start nonchalantly showering next us.

Anonymous Giuseppe The Kurgan August 17, 2015 10:06 AM  

Cataline, thank you for this, so brave. Vox, please let's add Cataline's story for a Hugo nomination next year. Pretty please.

Steve,
You are evil sir. Truly evil. (shakes hand)

Titius,
I thought exactly the same. When has an obese bitch ever done anything or had an adventure beyond the raiding if their fridge?

Anonymous Ecthelion August 17, 2015 10:08 AM  

The author is completely disingenuous when it comes to Final Empire from the Mistborn series. Vin, the character mentioned in the passage she quotes, is female – and the main hero. Sanderson is showing a horrible world in need of saving; wouldn’t women being oppressed fit right into her world view, wouldn’t that be just the world in need of a heroine?

SJW’s lie stupidly.

Blogger Rantor August 17, 2015 10:11 AM  

So among my favorites is Starship Troopers with a Hispanic hero and women Space Navy pilots... what is not to love?

Blogger Dexter August 17, 2015 10:13 AM  

They genuinely believe throwing in a few men-with-tits and white men with colored skin - which is as far as their attempts at diversity generally go - somehow magically improves a book.

It's just like how adding a couple of spoons of dogshit magically improves a gallon of ice cream!

Blogger Dexter August 17, 2015 10:15 AM  

A question: in middle school we were given a book to read about overlords ruling earth and children fighting back(?). What I really remember is a boy with some kind of tracking device implanted behind his ear and him having to dig it out with a knife.

Tripods series by John Christopher. A favorite of mine! I recently read them to my son.

Blogger Josh August 17, 2015 10:19 AM  

"They were all the same story of white guys, going on an adventure...."

Terrible things, make one late for dinner...

Blogger automatthew August 17, 2015 10:22 AM  

John Christopher wrote many other YA books along the same lines. Most are enjoyable, but forgettable. His other major trilogy, Sword of the Spirits, is as good or better than the Tripods. Aimed at an older YA audience, though; some pretty ugly behavior in it.

Blogger Laguna Beach Fogey August 17, 2015 10:22 AM  

Cultural cleansing in action.

Blogger Cail Corishev August 17, 2015 10:30 AM  

That's because a major inspiration for the genre was actual white men going on actual adventures.

That's a good rejoinder for them: "If you don't like it, don't read fiction; read non-fiction stories about real adventurers. Oh wait...."

Anonymous BGS August 17, 2015 10:30 AM  

Pink SF appeals to:* Fugly fat chicks* Muff divers* Trannies* NAMBLA supporters* Bitch-titted male feminists* Skinnyfat manboys who still live with their parents* Phil Sandifer. Am I missing anybody out?

What about bestiality for the were seal porn?

When has an obese bitch ever done anything or had an adventure beyond the raiding if their fridge?

Drove her black boyfriend home.

Blogger JDC August 17, 2015 10:34 AM  

However, groundbreaking 30, 40, 50 or 100 years ago can now seem horribly out of date and shockingly offensive....

I would love for an SJW to opine on the nuances of offensive material.

Blogger David-2 August 17, 2015 10:34 AM  

FYI: For those ilk and others who are looking for partially remembered SF novels/stories - the absolute best place for that kind of help is http://scifi.stackexchange.com/ using the story-identification tag.

Anonymous Wat Tyler August 17, 2015 10:41 AM  

Another SJW attention whore whining that the apst doesn't live up to her modern indentitarian sensibilities. Tantruming for page clicks.

Anonymous Steve August 17, 2015 10:43 AM  

Giuseppe - thank you kindly, Your Malevolence.

Dexter - I loved the Tripod books when I was a boy, raiding the school and municipal libraries for any SF I could get my hands on.

Re: The Bechdel 'test'...

Fuck off, Milhouse.

I'm not homophobic, if boot-faced carpetlickers want to scissor each other in the privacy of their own dingy subterranean caves underneath a bridge, that's their business. But since when did anybody care what manjawed lezzers think about anything?

Here's a list of subjects on which I'm prepared to listen to the opinions of dungarees-wearing, hairy-arsed cockdodgers:

.

Blogger David-2 August 17, 2015 10:44 AM  

I didn't read the linked article - but I do know that the only thing worse than reading the article would be sitting down with her for a face-to-face chat. I clicked on the link to the article and I saw an enormous wall of text. A quick cut/paste and then wc reveals a 3341 word rant ... typical oped in a newspaper, I understand, is around 800 words. Logorrhea like that reveals a disorganized mind ... duh! As if it wasn't obvious!

Anonymous Steve August 17, 2015 10:49 AM  

BGS - I thought I mentioned Phil Sandifer.

Anonymous Viidad August 17, 2015 10:54 AM  

@ Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

Plutarch's Lives is a favorite of mine. The author seems genuinely likable, unlike more prickly chroniclers such as Tacitus.

@Northern Hamlet

I read that story of the week-long lifespans as well... very moving. Can't remember its title either, darn it.

OpenID xsyq August 17, 2015 10:55 AM  

@37
Frost and Fire, by Ray Bradbury.

Anonymous Giuseppe The Kurgan August 17, 2015 10:56 AM  

Steve,
I believe you're in London, we should meet up for a drink and plotting evil. I'm easy to get in touch with.

Anonymous Viidad August 17, 2015 11:04 AM  

@ xsyq

That's IT!

Wow, just wow... I forgot how hateful and heteronormative Bradbury could be.

Anonymous Mike M. August 17, 2015 11:06 AM  

Rigel Kent @10

Me, too. I'd given up on SF except for proven writers like Niven and Pournelle until I ran across Vox's site.

Anonymous 334 August 17, 2015 11:07 AM  

@60

Done and dusted. Brilliant.

Blogger Quadko August 17, 2015 11:19 AM  

Funny thing is I expect a lot of those books contain message fiction, too, given the intentional anti-war stance of classic SF writers. It's just not enough of the right messages to pass the SJW litmus tests...

Of course, the author's whining won't pass next year's SJW tests either, so it'll be erased from history, too.

Blogger Noah B #120 August 17, 2015 11:23 AM  

In space, no one can hear SJWs bitch and moan.

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer August 17, 2015 11:34 AM  

However, groundbreaking 30, 40, 50 or 100 years ago can now seem horribly out of date and shockingly offensive

That utter and complete and profound malevolence of that statement cannot be overstated.

She is calling for the deliberate destruction of our cultural inheritance. Anything that doesn't conform to current PC standards is to be consigned to the memory hole. We are talking 1984 levels of social control.

Anonymous NorthernHamlet August 17, 2015 11:47 AM  

xsyq,

You have saved me from many more hours of searching. I had overlooked it as Bradbury's just a year earlier.

Thanks.

Anonymous paleopaleo August 17, 2015 11:52 AM  

dudes-with-boobs

Blogger rcocean August 17, 2015 11:53 AM  

She's a cultural Marxist or incredibly stupid. Imagine someone reading Orwell, Tolkien, Wells, Verne, and Bradbury and all they get out of it is "Where's the Vaginas?"

Blogger Blume August 17, 2015 11:58 AM  

Scifi/fantasy is always the genre when you are talking about these kind of list, unless it says hard scifi.

Anonymous Jim Milo August 17, 2015 11:59 AM  

National Petroleum Radio and the Petroleum Broadcasting System would have to start to rely on just grants for funding, not begathons if this SJW crap keeps up. Liberals areally getting tired of this shit too.

Anonymous Steve August 17, 2015 12:02 PM  

Giuseppe - I live in the north and spend most of my time between here and Scotland these days, but I'd be glad to have a drink with you and gloat over an atlas next time I'm darn sarf. Unfortunately I've been on the wagon for years, so mine's a diet coke. I had to stop boozing after I realised "Arthur" and, to a lesser extent, "Arthur 2: On The Rocks", were basically the story of my life. And I was shit-scared of waking up one day next to Liza Minelli.

334 - thank you! I really don't mean to be harsh on girls with sideburns, honestly. But I've seen this Bechdel test nonsense mentioned too many times.

What's next? The Jenner test? The Delany test? The Gerrold test, that dictates how many rosy-cheeked boys a story should have?

I don't necessarily think we should be horrible to the freaks of society, unless they're NAMBLA supporters or fat acceptance activists or Phil Sandifer. But neither do I think we should change our culture to suit their particular brand of obsessive weirdoness.

Blogger Sad Puppy August 17, 2015 12:06 PM  

"But it is relatively absurd that in the future people could discover faster-than-light travel, build massive empires and create artificial intelligences but somehow not crack gender equality or the space-faring glass ceiling.:

Or maybe, in the future, the rest of the universe isn't catering to your stupidity.

Blogger James Dixon August 17, 2015 12:07 PM  

> They genuinely believe throwing in a few men-with-tits and white men with colored skin - which is as far as their attempts at diversity generally go - somehow magically improves a book.

Not really. Remember, the first lie an SJW tells is to themselves.

And of course a quick search reveals that not a single Edgar Rice Burroughs novel made the list. No Barsoom for them. The only real surprise is that they left Gor off the list.

Blogger Sad Puppy August 17, 2015 12:10 PM  

@11

Me too.

Anonymous Jim Milo August 17, 2015 12:13 PM  

About five years ago 'skeptics' suddenly started actively defending SJW narrative, damn the facts.

Sounds like how someone who called his fascism National Socialism to attract useful idiots.

Anonymous Jack Amok August 17, 2015 12:13 PM  

Frankly, from my vantage in 2015, it was just plain weird to read books where there were hardly any women, no people of colour, no LGBT people. It seemed wholly unbelievable

Such historical illiteracy, so much linear thinking. We often point out that Leftists are incapable of imagining things being different tomorrow - for example their claims that immigration can't be undone - but this makes it clear they can't even cope with historically documented cases of things being different.



But it is relatively absurd that in the future people could discover faster-than-light travel, build massive empires and create artificial intelligences but somehow not crack gender equality or the space-faring glass ceiling.

As an anynomous already said, it's more absurd to think we could build all that while continuing to obsess over SJW concerns. How the hell are we ever going to invent FTL travel when the engineers have to worry more about wearing the right shirt than solving the right design problems?

Anonymous Beau August 17, 2015 12:15 PM  

OT

Thank you for the Albanian Revival. May they grow strong in the Word and become a strong sending nation, proclaiming your good news to hardened sinners everywhere. Lord Jesus, we stand in awe of your name.

Anonymous DNW August 17, 2015 12:18 PM  

I don't, and have never read fantasy (unless P. J. Farmer was considered as fantasy) as it bores me to the point of wanting to puke. Nor even Sci-Fi in years. Maybe I should give it another try.

But in response to the quoted author's framing, what is it about science fiction as a genre that supposedly should make it "progressive" in the first place? What are sci-fi novels: pop-culture morality plays transposed into outer space?

Yeah I know that Lewis defended science fiction as a genre precisely on the grounds that it remained at the time of his writing the only genre that still treated the "great" ethical themes.

But is that the main point of now doing it? Is it about making updated versions of Norman Lear's 1970s TV productions; this time with a starry backdrop?

If one is going to treat the future as the future, and not simply as an extrapolation of the moral conceits of the present, then it is just as likely that homosexuality will be genetically eradicated, and population groupings as we now know them radically different. That seems at least as likely as it is that a herd of tubby polymorphous perverse transsexuals will free themselves of gravity only in order to practice their orgies and snuffling weight-free.

Anonymous Tacit Ratchet August 17, 2015 12:18 PM  

This is just more of the bilial, fetid waters from the font of our school system, which was poisoned long ago.

It reminds me of a quote from Richard Mitchell:

“These school people hate literature. It stands for everything that they stand against. A work of literature comes from one, solitary mind, not from the consensus of a collective. It is an unequivocal assertion that this is so. It abides, or it dies, but it will not negotiate. It comes before us neither as a supplicant nor a defendant, but as a judge. It cares nothing for our favorite notions or our self-esteem. And it offends in us what most deserves offense--petulant sectarian touchiness, facile social supposition, and especially smug self-righteousness. Thus it is that the educationists' literature is not the real thing. They must abbreviate it, or amend it, or--and this is their usual practice--elucidate it, lest their students fail to appreciate correctly its relevance to "the issues being examined." And should the work at hand have nothing to do with the issues they want to examine, they must concoct an "instructional material" and call it Jack and the Beanstalk.”

http://www.sourcetext.com/grammarian/newslettersv06/6.9.htm

Anonymous Philalethes August 17, 2015 12:18 PM  

@#6, #12: The White Mountains by John Christopher is part of the Tripod series. A quick way to check if they're the books your thinking of is Open Library, where you can check out ebooks for free (listed under his real name, Samuel Youd):
https://openlibrary.org/authors/OL727018A/Samuel_Youd

Blogger Sad Puppy August 17, 2015 12:21 PM  

@37

There was an episode of Farscape kind of like that.

http://farscape.wikia.com/wiki/The_Locket

It's great when Crichton delivers the "I'm too old for this shit" line

Blogger Student in Blue August 17, 2015 12:22 PM  

@Noah B
In space, no one can hear SJWs bitch and moan.
But is this actually true?

Normal hot-air-blowing actually pushes air, so this is obviously not functional in space (where there is no air), but SJW bitching and moaning has no weight to it. They literally have nothing there; their bitching and moaning does not (have any) matter.

So obviously the SJW somehow projects their bitching and moaning to others not via conventional air. This implicates the possibility that SJW bitching (and moaning) can take place in hard vacuum - and that telepathy may possibly be used. (Since the SJW is projecting the moaning and never reading, would that be telephony?)

Truly, the SJW must be a master of projection in order to communicate like this. It must be quite the privilege to be on the receiving end of such a communique...

Wait a minute... is that why they tell us to "check our privilege" constantly? Does the SJW want us to be simply turning our telepathic receivers on!?

Blogger Cail Corishev August 17, 2015 12:23 PM  

I suppose they think there's no connection between the last 50 years of devotion to diversity and the fact that we don't even claim to be able to go to the Moon anymore.

Go to Mars? We can't even go to Detroit.

Anonymous old man in a villa August 17, 2015 12:24 PM  

And I was so looking forward to commenting on that article on the original site, but alas, the thoughts of the hoi polloi are not of interest to the she-whales.

Anonymous Stephen J. August 17, 2015 12:24 PM  

"That utter and complete and profound malevolence of that statement cannot be overstated. She is calling for the deliberate destruction of our cultural inheritance."

And the irony is that if she was reviewing the actions of another culture condemning its own predecessors -- like the Taliban destroying the Bamiyan Buddhas or Itzcoatl's destruction of all pre-Aztec Empire codices -- she would have no problem at all seeing the evil of such actions. But that's one of the hallmark phrases of SJW-ism: "Well, that was different."

Come to think of it, that should be another "always": "SJWs always plead exceptions."

Blogger Sad Puppy August 17, 2015 12:25 PM  

@47

Well, there was that one time the Elf Queen in Monster Hunters left the trailer to yell at her daughter. Uh Oh, do you mean Larry actually put one of these in his novels and made it almost semi useful? :P

Blogger Joshua Sinistar August 17, 2015 12:30 PM  

Those uplifting novels about a bright and happy future are outdated in our dark Cyberpunk World. Let's all give up those mad dreams of a better life and take the bitter pill with the Skinnies who work for the Spiders.
What if instead of Heinlein, Niven or Clarke, we instead read the inspired novella by Envisome Dicks like Do Fembots Dream of Impervious Vaginas? The gripping story of replicants sex toys who fight their built in programming to become womyn warrior lesbians? Or how about Bruce Shakespeare's Gay Boys in Bondage? The hard luck tale of Victorian Youth who buck the system by going to the gay bath-house to fight cisgendered morality and pay with their lives after contracting Syphilis? Oh the humanity!

Anonymous Thobby (#58) August 17, 2015 12:30 PM  

Stingray and Zaphod: Actually, Stingray is remembering correctly about the tracking device used in *The White Mountains*. When Will attracts the attention of one of the Tripods, he is then, being a boy too young to be Capped, tagged with a subcutaneous tracer, which does indeed have to be dug out with a penknife.

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer August 17, 2015 12:32 PM  

She's a cultural Marxist or incredibly stupid.

Or both.

Blogger Jourdan August 17, 2015 12:35 PM  

For the record, bros, Rico is not Latino, he is Filipino....fyi.

Anonymous Discard August 17, 2015 12:38 PM  

Fiction with ass kicking women and brilliant Blacks is too preposterous to allow the reader to suspend disbelief. I can accept any premise an author chooses, except one that flies in the face of my own experience and reason.

Blogger Sad Puppy August 17, 2015 12:39 PM  

Then I can safely assume you weren't buying Heimdall in the recent Thor movies?

Anonymous KBT August 17, 2015 12:40 PM  

"Talking about digging out the mind control device threw me off, because as I recall from the main trilogy, once they're on, they're on for good."

It was a mesh or grid just under the skin on the skull, if I recall. The kids would come back from the procedure with their heads shaved.

I remember the scene where they dug something out of one kids arm. It was a tracking whatsis the aliens were using to find them, not the mind control doohickey.

Blogger Jeremy Stroud August 17, 2015 12:42 PM  

Some engineer will invent the FTL drive in an effort to escape the SJW hoard

Blogger Jeremy Stroud August 17, 2015 12:44 PM  

Doh! meant Horde

Anonymous KBT August 17, 2015 12:44 PM  

Clearly Philip K. Dick was presenting a pro-Nazi stance when he wrote The Man In The High Castle, because that's how fiction works, right? Right? What do you mean, no not really?

Anonymous Giuseppe The Kurgan August 17, 2015 12:50 PM  

Steve,
Not much of a drinker myself. We can always blow SJW minds by doing the gay order. Mineral water.

Anonymous Stingray August 17, 2015 12:53 PM  

I remember the scene where they dug something out of one kids arm.

Yes. That's what I was thinking of. I marveled at this as a kid; the pain he would go through to get the job done. It was some kind of tracking device, I think.

I'll have to get these again. It must have been good if more then 25 years later it is still sticking with me.

Blogger murphaticlaw August 17, 2015 12:53 PM  

It's obvious that the grievance studies whiner never learned to read for entertainment OR edification, and instead reads to become offended.

Which is a plus for us because they can't finish anything, so they attack the books that support their nonsense.

I mean come on, except for a few time traveling 'fossils' like Mandella, The Forever War ended with the human race having evolved into telepathic cloned homosexuals didn't it?

Of course this idiot can't tell the difference between fantasy and science fiction, so it's no wonder it doesn't understand the symbiotic relationship between Dragon riders and Dragons, and how that affects the Dragon Riders sexuality.

That Lessa is a major character, I might even argue the major character given her roll not only in fighting the tyrant that conquered her holding, but her unilateral decision to go back in time to bring the other weyrs forward to renew the fight against Thread, shows where this lack-wit stopped reading.

And I loved the “unrealistic levels of oppression” criticism, not just it's demonstrating it's ignorance of history, but the obliviousness to irony from someone who's entire identity is built around victimization was hilarious.

I never got into Thomas Covenant so I can't comment there, but how fucked up is it that this dumbass doesn't give a shit about Nell being sexually molested as a child? At least she get's to kill some of the men who violated her.

But no, that Nell has the ability to get on with her life instead of spending the rest of it whining about the injustice she encountered at the hands of the evil Yellow Patriarchy is what this gormless nimrod chooses to focus on.

And Yeshu Kristos! Crombie was a minor character, he wasn't held out as a role-model, if anything Anthony was making a point about the problems a simplistic distrustfulness can cause someone seeking a relationship.

And the point was that Bink grew to love ALL of Chameleon, both her ugly/intelligent side AND her pretty/idiot side.

It's interesting that for the writer that the only two choices available to a woman is to be manipulative or compliant, even this sad sack shows a basic disbelief in the idea of equality.

So it goes, the only females it identifies with in A Fire Upon The Deep, are the humans, Woodcarver and the female skrode rider, it can't get past it's humanocentric bigotry.

And no mention whatsoever of the man who sacrifices his life to save the universe from the Blight, that's just what men are meant to do, right?

How in the heck did these pathetic brainless SJW's get anyone to pay attention to them in the first place?

Blogger Cloudswrest August 17, 2015 12:56 PM  

Here is a better link for the article. Some firewalls won't allow you through to archive.is.

http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2015/08/i-read-100-best-fantasy-and-sci-fi-novels-and-they-were-shockingly-offensive

Anonymous Farnswords August 17, 2015 1:15 PM  

Flowers for Algernon, #38, is one of the worst books I have had the misfortune to attempt.

The first section, in which Gordon's writing ability morphs as his intelligence increases, was very creative and well written. However, this made the break in the middle of the book even more devastating a failure, as the entire novel transforms into his story of sexual issues. I could not finish the book after little more than half-way through. This is the inevitable result of the SJW attitude towards fiction. Even with an excellent plot and a capable author, like a hopeless addict the story squanders its potential on disgusting or idiotic social ideas.

LotR and Dune are my favorites in their respective genres, but there sure are some glaring absences and misplacements on the list. Frankenstein in particular is much too low at #20. I have studied and taught from that book, and it is an absolute masterpiece.

I have zero desire to read Rape Rape Martin.

Anonymous Jim Milo August 17, 2015 1:20 PM  

Any Nowegian wood?

*rimshot*

I'll be here at the airport Hilton all week, please tip your server generously!

Blogger Zach August 17, 2015 1:23 PM  

I shouldn't be shocked. But I'm shocked. First, A Fire Upon the Deep is one of my all-time favorites, so it's nice we like the same sorts of things. But could it be more accidental?

Let's see. Her critique of Out of the Silent Planet was the "laughable physics". Hold on now; Vernor Vinge's "zones of thought" aren't scientific in the least, but she had no complaint there (and neither do I; it's the "speculation" that drives this "speculative fiction" story). Lewis's story isn't about the physics (of course). Even laying aside the deeper theology and allegory of the story (if possible), this is as creative a story about encounters between alien species as has ever been written. She doesn't get it. As Lewis's professor in the Narnia books might mutter: "What are they teaching in these schools?"

Same with Pern. Come on now. Lessa is as feminist a character as one could wish for, right down to on-demand abortions by judicious timing of trips "between". And let's not even get into tacit acceptance of homosexual relationships between riders of blue and green (and sometimes brown) dragons. Others have mentioned the nature of the telepathic link between rider and dragon that makes these couplings involuntary anyway. What more does this Liz want?

As for the list itself, meh. Lots of crap on there too. But that's what you get; much that is popular is garbage. But still, some gems were included. And my objections would at the very least be coherent. I also have the good sense to not comment on things I either haven't read or didn't understand.

Maybe we need a new rule: "SJWs can't read."

Blogger Dexter August 17, 2015 1:27 PM  

Fiction with ass kicking women and brilliant Blacks is too preposterous to allow the reader to suspend disbelief.

But Trinity! And Morpheus! And Niobe (a two-fer, a brilliant ass-kicking black woman)!

Blogger buwaya August 17, 2015 1:30 PM  

They could improve the writing of heroines by modelling them on the testimony, acts and feelings of real ones, which have left a usefully documented record. There aren't too many of these, but there are a few, and these do not fit easily in anyone's conventions. Reality, as usual, gives us more unique and interesting characters than fiction, more alien aliens even.
For what its worth, I suggest Yay Panlilio, "The Crucible", her wartime autobiography. Colonel Panlilio was a Phil-American mestiza, an American citizen, an intrepid journalist, a fine, emotional, jornalistic writer, a rare survivor of the first generation of Phil American guerrillas on Luzon (the guerrilla leadership suffered about 90% overall casualties in the savage secret struggle). More complex, more interesting, more flawed, more ambiguous, more everything than a man with tits.
From an SJW point of view, Colonel Yay (yes, she was officially commissioned as an officer in the Philippine Army) also ticks off all the boxes. So many of them its not funny. Divorced single mother of color with leftist/populist/third world nationalist sympathies, mistress (and later wife) of a native peasant warrior (well, a truck driver), who was considerably younger.
I could go on, but its just too good.
The book is fairly rare these days. The currently available edition is from Rutgers University press, and the foreword is written by a predictably idiotic SJW.

Anonymous Dream Weaver August 17, 2015 1:31 PM  

Here's the "sexy beast" who wrote this piece, Liz Lutgendorff:

YouTube

Anonymous VFM 0264 August 17, 2015 1:41 PM  

I don't recall the title, but it was one of the stories in Ray Bradbury's "The Illustrated Man." One of my favorites, too. Left a huge impact.

Blogger Floyd Looney August 17, 2015 2:00 PM  

"They were all the same story of white guys, going on an adventure...."

I bet skin color was never mentioned in any of them.

Blogger Cail Corishev August 17, 2015 2:19 PM  

"Thomas Covenant, the main character, actually rapes a young woman and is astonishingly unrepentant for most of the book."

Okay, she made it clear in that one sentence that she's incredibly stupid, or is working from very short blurbs, or both. Covenant spends the entire first trilogy trying to earn forgiveness for that crime, and the consequences of it never stop haunting him. He never stops beating himself up for it (that's what some people who actually read the books get tired of), even when he's convinced Lena and the Land aren't real, even when everyone in the Land urges him to give himself a break.

And in the second trilogy, there's a main female character who has a sixth sense and healing ability tied into her abusive childhood -- exactly the sort of thing these nitwits claim they want to see in a story. But she'll never read it, because rape -- but really because it's far too much for her.

She says Asimov's female characters are emotionless? So are most of his male characters. His characters are often little more than placeholders in the story. Only a few are developed with a range of emotions: among them Gladia Solaria from the Baley/Robot books and Bayta and Arcady Darrell from the Foundation series -- arguably the protagonists of 2/3 of the Foundation series.

Her comments about Xanth show she can't even tell the difference between a character saying something and the author saying it. I suppose that's to be expected from lovers of message fiction.

How do people this stupid manage to form paragraphs?

I did get a chuckle out of this line about Xanth, though:

"Apparently for Bink, having someone compliant was more valuable than intelligence or independence"

No, dear, he valued her beauty. It's been 30 years, but as I recall, Bink got annoyed by how compliant she was when she was beautiful and stupid, because she couldn't think for herself. (Anthony probably thought he was scoring a point for feminism there.) It was her beauty that Bink didn't want to live without. But don't look too closely at that.

Anonymous BGS August 17, 2015 2:26 PM  

what is it about science fiction as a genre that supposedly should make it "progressive" in the first place? "

It is the only genre where post scarcity economics let everyone eat truffles & have unlimited access to the best teachers. Until then
" So long as there is squalor in the world, those obsessed with social justice feel obliged... also to spread it evenly. Beauty has ever been associated with inequality, ... whereas beauty for all seems an impossible target, ugliness for all is easily within reach."
http://takimag.com/article/the_ugly_truth_theodore_dalrymple#axzz3j65IfJq3

connection between the last 50 years of devotion to diversity and the fact that we don't even claim to be able to go to the Moon anymore.
“In one century we went from teaching Latin and Greek in high school to offering remedial English in college.” – Joseph Sobran
Actually it was more like 50years to remedial Biology in Harvard Med. In 6 decades whitey went from Kitty Hawk to the Moon

Steve,Not much of a drinker myself. We can always blow SJW minds by doing the gay order. Mineral water

Where are these gays that drink water at a bar? In DC & Miami you cant even find one that doesn't do drugs.

Anonymous Stingray August 17, 2015 2:32 PM  

@114

Cail,

What are the chances that she even read the whole of these books? Or that, if she did finish them, that she paid any attention to the rest of the story after she was *GASP* triggered?

Anonymous Jim Milo August 17, 2015 2:54 PM  

Mary Sue, entertain thyself!

Blogger Anthony August 17, 2015 3:20 PM  

Since someone brought up the Bechdel Test, please note that the first two sentences of the song "Baby Got Back" pass the test. (I saw that on Facebook - first thing on the internet that actually made me laugh out loud in months.)

Blogger JCclimber August 17, 2015 3:42 PM  

A question: in middle school we were given a book to read about overlords ruling earth and children fighting back(?). What I really remember is a boy with some kind of tracking device implanted behind his ear and him having to dig it out with a knife. That book has stuck with me, but I've never been able to remember what it was. Does anyone know if that is Childhood's End?

At first I thought you were referencing the book about the young boy scout who comes back from a scouting trip to find civilization has mostly fallen, and is recruited and trained to be a super agent. I believe there was a power structure strongly based on Mormonism because they had the best surviving government structure in Utah.

He dug the listening device out of his own head, and I won't mention what happened to his girlfriend. Excellent series.

Blanking on the author. Author also wrote a book about big lifters, basically blimps being used to overtake trucking.

Blogger JCclimber August 17, 2015 3:45 PM  

Dean Ing, that was his name!

Single Combat was the first book in that series.
Definitely worth a read. Definitely.

Anonymous Koanic August 17, 2015 3:52 PM  

That is offensive. John C. Wright has tits.

Anonymous Joe Doakes August 17, 2015 3:52 PM  

What a bizarre list, what you'd get if you stopped 100 people in the skyway and they spouted whatever SF/F they remember from school plus what was in the end cap at Barnes and Noble.

Anonymous Horsewithnonick August 17, 2015 3:59 PM  

All this reminds me of the Far Side comic that shows a man scolding his dog - but all the dog understands is its name.

This SJW cow comprehends neither plot nor setting, appreciates neither character development nor beautiful prose; it can only regurgitate a Pavlovian response to prepackaged opportunities to become offended yet again - as if it ever stops doing so.

Blogger Elocutioner #0226 August 17, 2015 3:59 PM  

They just released "The Tripods Collection" box set (4 books) last year ... after I acquired them individually. I loved that series in middle school.

Anonymous Farnswords August 17, 2015 4:04 PM  

Flowers for Algernon, #38, is one of the worst books I have had the misfortune to attempt.

The first section, in which Gordon's writing ability morphs as his intelligence increases, was very creative and well written. However, this made the break in the middle of the book even more devastating a failure, as the entire novel transforms into his story of sexual issues. I could not finish the book after little more than half-way through. This is the inevitable result of the SJW attitude towards fiction. Even with an excellent idea and a capable author, like a hopeless addict the story squanders its potential on disgusting or idiotic social ideas.

LotR and Dune are my favorites in their respective genres, but there sure are some glaring absences and misplacements on the list. Frankenstein in particular is much too low at #20. I have studied and taught from that book, and it is an absolute masterpiece.

I have zero desire to read Rape Rape Martin.

Anonymous Amok Time August 17, 2015 4:21 PM  

All i can say is......"What a bunch of pink-shirted, ignorant Trogs!"

Blogger Danby August 17, 2015 4:22 PM  

But it is relatively absurd that in the future people could discover faster-than-light travel, build massive empires and create artificial intelligences but somehow not crack gender equality or the space-faring glass ceiling.

Well, considering that it will be White men, not Blacks and certainly not women, discovering ftl, building empires and creating ai, I don't see the problem.

Blogger Joshua Dyal August 17, 2015 4:24 PM  

While I completely disagree with her reasons for disliking these books... I also disliked many of these books.

Anonymous Amok Time August 17, 2015 4:29 PM  

I am still irritated.

So, if a story has women, sodomites (or any of the other LGBQFKs) and minorities, then it is a Hugo prospect of Epic Proportions?

Seems like you throw all this folks in the first chapter,have them all destroyed killed or whatever and then have the light-colored, masculine hero go onto avenge their deaths in a fun adventurous novel.

Anonymous Sheila August 17, 2015 4:54 PM  

Extremely strange list - I've read about half of it, and while I'm more conversant with fantasy than with sci fi, they've left most of the best off. Gaiman is weird - I read 2 of his books at my older son's urging, and found them okay, but not what I'd included on a top 100 list. And "Sword of Shannara"? I tried that and couldn't get more than a few dozen pages in, the writing was so god awful. Where's Joan Vinge? Where's Guy Gavriel Kay? Patricia McKillip? Tad Williams? Steven Boyett?

Anonymous DNW August 17, 2015 4:58 PM  

"A question: in middle school we were given a book to read about overlords ruling earth and children fighting back(?). What I really remember ..."

I was a kid when I came across an older sci-fi book titled, "A Canticle for Liebowitz". I thought it was the "coolest and neatest" book I had ever read ... what a concept, man.

Years later, it popped back into my head and I got the notion to revisit its brilliance, and enjoy the experience all over again.

Something must have happened to the book in the meantime. It was ok, but nothing like I "remembered".

Well, as I think it was Vonnegut, said, "So it goes" .

Anonymous DNW August 17, 2015 5:00 PM  

I just looked it up, and apparently the spelling is, "A Canticle for Leibowitz".

Blogger AnalogMan August 17, 2015 5:08 PM  

It's odd he should say that, because I recently had the opposite experience. I started to read a book by Michael Crichton called The Lost World. I remember as a child enjoying Arthur Conan Doyle's book with the same title.

It started out pretty well, but in about the second chapter he introduced the genius picannin, OK, I know it's fantasy, but come on! There's a limit to suspension of disbelief. Needless to say, I dumped that book.

This trend in entertainment generally is part of why I don't watch movies any more, other than pre-1970 movies. Modern entertainment is full of gratuitous black and homosexual characters. They add nothing to the show (except, of course, diversity, hardly a plus). They don't belong there. They're counter-intuitive, even counter-reality.They play scientists, engineers, soldiers and administrators that in real life would be White (and in many instances were White - see A Dolphin's Tale), Norse gods (Thor) - even God (yes, He's White). Besides, they're ugly.

I call these characters GNOMEs. That stands for Gratuitous Negro Obtruding to Mimic a European. I always check a movie's cast list to make sure there aren't any, before viewing. I wish that books would also start with a list of characters. They used to, once.

Blogger AnalogMan August 17, 2015 5:14 PM  

Sheila 131: Never heard of any of them. I presume they're fantasy writers? I don't do fantasy. Still have a raft of SF ebooks for you, whenever you're ready.

Blogger Daniel August 17, 2015 5:34 PM  

Gaiman is good. Only good. Always writes 25-40% more words than necessary, and the heroes are fairly hollow gothic avatars. He's clever in the good sense, though, and when he goes florid on something cool, like the House on the Rock or Egyptian mysteries, it is a fun ride. American Gods would have been quite fun at half the length - the wordplay joke was satisfying to me, although I still am somewhat embarrassed it made it past me all the way to the reveal.

The first book of his I ever read was a teen biography of Duran Duran back in the 1980s. He's a very good journalist, and fairly solid with the comics. What the hell he's doing on an all-time list when he's not even the finest novelist among his shallow pool of contemporaries is well beyond me.

Blogger Cataline Sergius August 17, 2015 5:34 PM  

@Giuseppe The Kurgan

Thank you my friend. Once in a while it only takes the sound of one pair of hands clapping to keep you going.

Blogger AnalogMan August 17, 2015 5:36 PM  

It's odd he should say that, because I recently had the opposite experience. I started to read a book by Michael Crichton called The Lost World. I remember as a child enjoying Arthur Conan Doyle's book with the same title.

It started out pretty well, but in about the second chapter he introduced the genius picannin, OK, I know it's fantasy, but come on! There's a limit to suspension of disbelief. Needless to say, I dumped that book.

This trend in entertainment generally is part of why I don't watch movies any more, other than pre-1970 movies. Modern entertainment is full of gratuitous black and homosexual characters. They add nothing to the show (except, of course, diversity, hardly a plus). They don't belong there. They're counter-intuitive, even counter-reality.They play scientists, engineers, soldiers and administrators that in real life would be White (and in many instances were White - see A Dolphin's Tale), Norse gods (Thor) - even God (yes, He's White). Besides, they're ugly.

I call these characters GNOMEs. That stands for Gratuitous Negro Obtruding to Mimic a European. I always check a movie's cast list to make sure there aren't any, before viewing. I wish that books would also start with a list of characters. They used to, once.

Blogger Floyd Looney August 17, 2015 6:13 PM  

They assume every character in a story is white just so they can find things to be offended about.

Anonymous Steve August 17, 2015 6:17 PM  

Giuseppe - Ha! Perrier it is. :)

BGS - Yes. I dunno why, exactly, but in Britain not drinking is traditionally looked down on as being a bit effete. So is putting cola in your whisky, or ordering a lager top, aka "the poof's drink". My father still thinks I'm a big girl's blouse for throwing away my promising career as an alcoholic.

Given how so many gay men drink like an aquatic version of Oliver Reed and party like Charlie Sheen having Christmas in Colombia, it's an odd stereotype.

Cataline Sergius - A++ I especially liked the poo statue.

Anonymous freddie_mac August 17, 2015 6:36 PM  

If the classics have been "supplanted a hundred times over," then how come no one outside of the Pink SFF ghetto has even heard of these new classics? Pre-S/RP, when I was craving books that brought back the old feelings of wonder, I turned to my collection of Andre Norton books (1950s to 1970s). Utterly unconcerned with gender equality, she focused on telling a great story. Those old books, usually averaging 150-175pgs, are packed with adventure and wonder. Whenever I purge my books (removing the deadwood), the old Norton books remain in a place of honor.

Blogger ray August 17, 2015 7:04 PM  

It's not the Classics per se that they hate, it's that the Designated Evil Ones -- white males, and worse Christian white males -- wrote most of those classics. If THEY created those works, then the Classics would be at the center of academic study and enjoyment. It's nothing to do with literature or excellence. It's all about resentment and retribution.

This policy of Hate 'n Resentment has been going full-steam for forty years. I remember when Team Woman took over the English Department at my college, pressuring faculty and students to hire only females as instructors. That was mid-Seventies so indeed, it's been a Long and Cowardly March. With the destruction of fatherhood, masculinity, and merit in their poisoned wake.

The tactics of the feminists and Identity Thugs was similar to Maoist re-education techniques successful in Manchuria and elsewhere as WW2 wound down. In America, however, no military element was needed. A flush Empire brought out all the scum.

Once most of Team Woman was on-board, say mid-Eighties, functioning as a kind of Montrous Regiment, the rest of the coalition (homos, race-scammers, etc.) could be wielded effectively. They isolated us one-by-one, knowing that other men would not object, but become either silent or active Comrades, attempting to keep their jobs, their faculty slots, their comfortable lives, and their wives if not exactly happy, at least not on constant Attack Mode.

Very Stalinist, very Bolshevist. Whatta surprise that New Amerika just welcomed Cuba! Fleas sucking off fleas. A nation of liars, punks, thieves and spoiled-brats, whose only reaction to excellence or achievement by a White Male is to ignore, silence, and despise it. To destroy or mute what they cannot emulate or better.

May God separate out each and every one of them from the species, and give them exactly what they demand: a world all to their own, without the oppressive presence of God, maleness, fatherhood or family. And may all of good heart, acting from mercy, be prevented from crossing over to their Planet Hell to provide aid. Because they would just pull the whole thing again and we'd be right back at the beginning.

Blogger Jim August 17, 2015 7:20 PM  

What she doesn't understand is that there's a negative relationship between the two. By the time you're sweating over gender equality and glass ceilings, you've given up the society energy that leads to faster than light travel.

Not only that, but a society that constantly squawks about colonialism this and imperialism that and cultural appropriation will only exist to complain about empires someone else has built.

Anonymous Sparky August 17, 2015 7:44 PM  

I now have Dean Ing and John Christopher on my list. You guys sure know how to sell a book.

Blogger VD August 17, 2015 7:53 PM  

Flowers for Algernon, #38, is one of the worst books I have had the misfortune to attempt.

It's rated that high based on the excellent novella. He shouldn't have tried to expand it into a novel.

Blogger buwaya August 17, 2015 8:59 PM  

Re Flowers for Algernon - " He shouldn't have tried to expand it into a novel."

True. Don't let the novel put people off the short version. It deserves its high reputation.

Anonymous Sheila August 17, 2015 9:36 PM  

You know, I don't have to agree 100% with the author's political leanings to enjoy his fiction. There are some extraneous (imho) instances of homosexuality in Kratman's books or some statements about humanity in Sarah Hoyt's books that I most definitely do not agree with, but it's not shoved down my throat and doesn't detract from the story. I'm not going to rigidly limit my reading in that way. There's a difference between good scifi/fantasy with a pov as opposed to message fiction that has neither story nor plot nor flowing prose. I can't get my head around these people who read or view or experience everything through a lens of how closely it aligns with their preferred non-reality, and their determination that it must be banned and forbidden to all if it doesn't pass their muster. I guess I'm just not power hungry. Oh well.

AnalogMan - Yes, those are all fantasy writers. I read at a rapid pace, and I always have an extra 2-3 hours a week when my younger son takes his MMA class (he doesn't want me to watch, and I'd rather not sit with all the other parents yakking on their cell phones, so I sit in the car and read). I'm more than ready for whatever you have. I do have all the Covington books, plus a series you might like if you haven't already read it, by Billy Roper.

So folks here - I am so pig-ignorant regarding tech that if it can be screwed up or overthought, I'll screw it up. What do I do to set up a throw-away email account while keeping my original one? Or, if I trust AnalogMan (and I do) can Vox or some other blog we both comment at send him my email so I don't have to publicly post it here? Sorry to be so dense, but I'd appreciate the assistance.

Anonymous The other robot August 17, 2015 9:59 PM  

I cannot understand why people do not like Pavarotti

Has Big Boys Don't Cry been translated to Italian? If Pavarotti were still alive he could sing it!

Anonymous 0007 August 17, 2015 10:15 PM  

slightly off topic:
but last night as I surfed with the channel remote, I hit a movie on the SciFi channel. Something about an asteroid about to hit the earth. And first I got to watch as the black Cpt. ordered his marines around and then he called his white boyfriend to tell him that he loved him. At that point I was about to give up, but before I could, it switched to the scene in a submarine with the black boat commander...

Anonymous zen0 August 17, 2015 11:47 PM  

Rabid Puppies is simply an NGO affirmative action project. One would think that would be the kind of thing that appeals to SJWs.

Anonymous zen0 August 17, 2015 11:50 PM  

Rabid Puppies is simply an NGO affirmative action project. You would think that would be the kind of thing that appeals to SJWs.

Blogger John Wright August 18, 2015 12:02 AM  

"That utter and complete and profound malevolence of that statement cannot be overstated."

Amen.

"She is calling for the deliberate destruction of our cultural inheritance."

And for the destruction of morality, law, logic, honor, decency, sanity. Whatever is clean and beautiful, whatever is right and good, whatever is normal and not disgusting, they hate. Look in a modern art museum. Look. The Morlocks make it utterly, entirely, perfectly clear what they want.

The normal innocence of sane men too often makes us blink, unable to believe that they love everything foul and filthy and abhorrent as much as we love light and life.

My God have mercy on their souls. Even they are not beyond salvation. That fact should shock anyone.

Blogger John Wright August 18, 2015 12:07 AM  

"It was a mesh or grid just under the skin on the skull, if I recall. The kids would come back from the procedure with their heads shaved.

I remember the scene where they dug something out of one kids arm. It was a tracking whatsis the aliens were using to find them, not the mind control doohickey."

As others here have said, this is the tripod trilogy by John Christopher: THE WHITE MOUNTAINS, THE POOL OF FIRE, THE CITY OF GOLD AND LEAD.

http://www.amazon.com/Tripods-Trilogy-White-Mountains-City/dp/0020425716

Anonymous Jack Amok August 18, 2015 12:16 AM  

For the record, bros, Rico is not Latino, he is Filipino....fyi.

I thought his family was from Buenos Aires, but a quick search reveals his mother was just visiting...

Blogger John Wright August 18, 2015 12:17 AM  

"Her critique of Out of the Silent Planet was the "laughable physics"."

There are no physics in OUT FROM THE SILENT PLANET. Like the Cavorite of HG Wells, the scientist brushes off the question of how his space drive works by saying it is 'related to some of the less well known properties of sunlight' a statement that could mean anything.

Lewis does make a schoolboy error on how gravity would work in the artificial ship (he conflates gravity with mass, and, absurdly, has the astronauts wear diver's weight belts to make themselves heavier in zero gee) but this is one line from one chapter before the Mars landing.

Myself, when I reread this book to my children, I was shocked at how insightful, accurate, and all around science fictional it was, particularly when compared to relatively clumsy attempts in HG Wells and Olaf Stapledon to create the same artistic effect.

John W Campbell Jr is said to have once challenged his writers to pen a story where the aliens were as smart as a man, but not human in psychology. CS Lewis did this with surprising adroitness and ease in OUT FROM THE SILENT PLANET not just with one race, but with three, making them odd without being monstrous -- a very difficult dance step to pull off while making it look effortless.

Heinlein never did it. Nor did Asimov. The only other authors I put in Lewis's weight class when it comes to authentic aliens is Larry Niven and his puppeteers, and Doc EE Smith with his Rigelians, Palainians, and Valentians. And even they could not make their aliens seem other than monstrous, even the friendly ones.

Being infatuated with hate is like being infatuated with lust. The boy can see no evils in the girl he dotes upon; the SJW can see no good in anything decreed ungoodthink by Big Brother (pardon me, I meant Big Gender-fluid Sibling).

Blogger John Wright August 18, 2015 12:20 AM  

"Author also wrote a book about big lifters, basically blimps being used to overtake trucking."

Dean Ing

Blogger ScuzzaMan August 18, 2015 12:38 AM  

You dong understand, buwaya.

Any successful woman calls the oppressed victim narrative into question, therefore, Did Not Happen.

Blogger Tom Kratman August 18, 2015 12:39 AM  

Sheila: Off the top of my head I can only think of three instances of homosexuality in all of my books combined. One of these was the Shillery cognate, and that;s just being true to life. One was the Tercio Gorgidas, and that had its own internal logic that I think stands fairly well. The other was the duo in Countdown, Dumisane and Viljoen.

Now think about those two for a minute. I've got poster children for multiculturalism, inclusiveness, interracial harmony, etc., testifying that the ever-so-caring-and-sensitive left turned South Africa into such a hellhole they'd be better off with Apartheid - yes, to include the blacks - than what they have now. Frankly, I can't imagine a better pair of witnesses for forcing their ego- and idiocy-based evil down lefty throats.

Blogger Tom Kratman August 18, 2015 12:40 AM  

Addendum: Yes, that means that even if it doesn't look like I have an anti-left political message in my books, it is STILL there.

Anonymous Jake August 18, 2015 12:51 AM  

How is Scalzi on that list? The world has gone mad.

Blogger Desiderius August 18, 2015 12:53 AM  

"men-with-tits and white men with colored skin"

The heart of the matter.

Forsaking God, they imagine themselves gods and set about creating the other in their image.

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Anonymous Sheila August 18, 2015 10:27 AM  

Tom Kratman -

I should have qualified my comment. Of course, your books most definitely have an overall anti-left message which is unambiguous. I was thinking specifically of the duo in Countdown. Yes, you have them noting the left destroyed South Africa, but you still have a black/white homosexual couple as solid characters and highly-capable soldiers. That's not to say that no homosexuals are, or that there aren't mixed-race homosexual couples. I concede the point that you're using them to demonstrate the left's toxicity, but I was suggesting that otherwise their racial identity and sexual orientation is incidental to the story, at best.

As a counter example, I would suggest that in Sara Hoyt's series, there is at least a plausible claim that the "Good Men" are concerned for the health of the bodies of their clones which is why they are opposed to their homosexuality, although this only counts with the first couple. Then she has a subsequent one and their relationship is presented as totally normal and loving, as well as there being the implication that since the "Good Man" involved used the same mother for both of his clones, there is a definite genetic component. That seemed a bit heavy-handed to me.

Anonymous Farnswords August 18, 2015 1:29 PM  

VD:

"It's rated that high based on the excellent novella. He shouldn't have tried to expand it into a novel."

I will read the novella sometime and try to put my past experiences with Charlie Gordon behind me.

Blogger Tom Kratman August 18, 2015 3:12 PM  

And were they less solid characters or less capable soldiers, would they have been as good "witnesses" against what the International Community Of The Ever So Caring And Sensitive have done in South Africa? Which was two pronged (no pun intended) since getting the equipment the overarching organization needed - in order to do things that ICOTESCAS would not approve of - also required the very corrupt South Africa the left has nurtured into existence..

Try this: If the unambiguously gay duo had been white members of the Afrikaner Brotherhood would they have been as good witnesses or caused as much psychic pain to lefties? If they had been black would they have been as good witnesses, etc? If they had been straight would they have been as good witnesses, etc?

In any case, incidental if we define incidental as anything without which the story survives, yes. But as good without Viljoen and pal? As pointed? As painfully insulting to lefties? As much fun for me?

Blogger AnalogMan August 18, 2015 7:29 PM  

165 Tom Kratman: Almost thou persuadest me to buy the book. But nah, I don't want to read about them in any context whatever. (I'm South African, so I'm sure you'll understand.)

149 0007: That would have been the last straw for me, but I killed my TV years ago. Highly recommended.

Blogger AnalogMan August 18, 2015 7:47 PM  

147 Sheila: It's not difficult, just type "gmail.com" in your browser's address bar, click on open new account, and fill in the form. You don't have to use your real name. They will ask for a phone number to confirm the account. I don't suppose it has to be yours. They also ask for a contact email address, which is useful if you forget your password, but I don't think it's compulsory.

I have no objection to Vox sending you my email address, but I won't post it online. If you do that, you find your friends getting begging letters from your account.

Blogger Tom Kratman August 18, 2015 8:33 PM  

It's a pretty depressing scene, AM, no doubt about it. Don't worry about it, in any case; for literary purposes the ZA of the day (which may already have been overtaken by events) is just a hellhole where the group get some arms they couldn't get otherwise.

Blogger AnalogMan August 19, 2015 5:46 PM  

168 Tom Kratman:

That's pretty funny. The SANDF can't maintain its own armory. I don't think they have any functioning tanks left. Last I heard, they had only one seaworthy submarine left, and no crew to man it. I would be most surprised if that sub is still seaworthy. Yeah, if you wanted to steal some arms, that would be the easiest place to do it, but caveat emptor.

Blogger Tom Kratman August 19, 2015 11:27 PM  

What they steal are a bunch of Noddy Cars, AKA AML-60s and -90s, AKA Elands. Some of them are wrecked, cannibalized, waiting to be sent to a range to rust out as targets. The unambiguously gay duo have been sorta shunting some of the better ones aside, in the hope that they might be able to sell them to somebody, because they know their retirement pensions are going to become totally worthless, and ZA is no place for civilized people anymore (in their time). ZA isn't unique, the entire world is sliding into barbarism in the series.

There's an Israeli company - and, _yes_, there IS an Israeli company, and, yes, I used its name, that - among other things - rebuilds Noddy Cars. They arrange for the rebuild to be done at sea.

A group of ZA vets put me in touch with a couple of former Noddy Car crewmen, and they gave me the technical insight for the inner workings of the vehicles, gun drill, etc.

Blogger Dave August 20, 2015 12:41 PM  

--For the record, bros, Rico is not Latino, he is Filipino....fyi.

Common mistake, even among Latinos -- people come up to my lovely wife and speak Spanish all the time.

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