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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Kirkus, converged

Kirkus is supposed to be a serious professional book review site. But, as has been written, SJW convergence always prevents an organization from being able to fulfill its primary purpose:
Around the time when diversity became the cause célèbre for young adult fiction’s most passionate activists, trade reviewer Kirkus implemented some unique rules to establish its bona fides at the forefront of the movement: characters were to be explicitly identified by race, religion, and sexual orientation in every YA book review moving forward; furthermore, the writers of those reviews would be selected according to their race, religion, and sexual orientation as well, critiquing texts for sensitivity in addition to entertainment value. A statement on the Kirkus website reads:

“[Because] there is no substitute for lived experience, as much as possible books with diverse subject matter and protagonists are assigned to ‘own voices’ reviewers, to identify both those books that resonate most with cultural insiders and those books that fall short.”

The implementation of these policies hasn’t been without hiccups, but overall, Kirkus had more or less successfully positioned itself as a reviewer striving to be sensitive to pressing contemporary concerns about diversity and representation in YA — right down to the use of the word problematic to describe books that aren’t adequately woke.

It was with these policies in place that Kirkus published its review last week for American Heart, a YA novel by author Laura Moriarty. American Heart takes place in a dystopian future where the U.S. has rounded up and relocated its Muslim population to internment camps in Nevada. Its protagonist, Sarah Mary, is a 15-year-old from Missouri who doesn’t question the validity of the ban until she meets a Muslim woman on the run, an Iranian immigrant and professor named Sadaf. In a story loosely modeled on Huckleberry Finn, Sarah Mary ends up traveling north with Sadaf in the hopes of helping her escape to Canada.

For some members of the YA community, the premise was objectionable from the get-go (the first Goodreads review, left on September 7, begins with “fuck your white savior narratives”). But after a research and review process including multiple sensitivity reads, Moriarty was prepared to stand by her work, and the notoriously prickly Kirkus gave the book a starred review. Published on October 10, it described American Heart as “terrifying, suspenseful, thought-provoking, and touching” and “a moving portrait of an American girl discovering her society in crisis.”

Only a few days later, the review was pulled amid continued criticism of the book from community members. The review was replaced by a statement from Kirkus’s editor-in-chief Claiborne Smith explaining that the editorial board and the reviewer — described as “an observant Muslim [woman] of color” and “expert in children’s & YA literature [who is] well-versed in the dangers of white savior narratives” — were “evaluating” the review. Shortly thereafter, Kirkus published an amended review that retracted the book’s star and condemned Moriarty’s choice to write the story from the first-person perspective of a white teenage girl.

“Sarah Mary’s ignorance is an effective worldbuilding device,” read the new review, “but it is problematic that Sadaf is seen only through the white protagonist’s filter.”
Add "book review sites that don't review books" to the long list of SJW-converged organizations unable to perform their primary function. And speaking of SJW convergence and YA novels, look at what sort of creature Patrick Nielsen Hayden and Tor Books is now attempting to push on young readers.
Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author and io9 co-founder Charlie Jane Anders mashed up technology and witchcraft in her debut novel All the Birds in the Sky. Now, in her latest project, she’ll be journeying into space and delving into the teenage psyche, in a new young adult science fiction trilogy recently acquired by Tor Teen.

“Now it can be told: I’m a YA author at last!” Anders tweeted. “I’ve always loved YA and I have been toiling in secret on this for ages.”
I expect everyone in science fiction will be tremendously surprised when it gets arrested for something to do with YA readers within 18 months of publication. We may need to lower the time estimated for when Castalia's sales pass Tor's.

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64 Comments:

Blogger Midnight Avenue J October 24, 2017 5:13 AM  

Ffs. If she’s written the book from the muzzies perspective it would have been cultural appropriation.

Why not just tell White people they’re not allowed to write books?

Blogger Ragin' Dave October 24, 2017 5:21 AM  

Riddle me this - if a guy likes girls, but the guy then say's "I'm a girl!" is the guy now a lesbian?




No. He's still a guy. With a mental illness.

Blogger Jeff aka Orville October 24, 2017 5:31 AM  

Google it's picture. Looks a little bit like Buffalo Bill.

Blogger tublecane October 24, 2017 5:34 AM  

I demand my writing only be reviewed by my identical conjoined twin. We have the exact same life experience, not counting the times I went to sleep before him. Plus, I can see farther to the right than him. So he should defer to my experience on things that happen in that direction.

Blogger Sherwood family October 24, 2017 5:34 AM  

Crap. These things practically write themselves now. How is anyone supposed to keep up with contemporary shibboleths? Laura Moriarty is the latest victim of this garbage. Two years ago her book would have been made into an obligatory movie for teens who could come to “understand” the plight of Muslims in the awful racist US. Now...forget it. No amount of ritual kowtowing or abasement will appease the SJWs. Moriarty, sadly, is likely to double down on this nonsense instead of doing what she should do which is rewrite the whole thing with an ending showing the protagonist coming to understand the reason the camps in the book were built in the first place.

Anonymous Anonymous October 24, 2017 5:43 AM  

Midnight Avenue J wrote:Ffs. If she’s written the book from the muzzies perspective it would have been cultural appropriation.

Why not just tell White people they’re not allowed to write books?


You see the insurmountable obstacle for SJW literary review.

Anonymous Post Alley Crackpot October 24, 2017 5:46 AM  

"Sadaf" is a brand name for spices sold by Persian grocers ... but try the Aleppo-style chillies anyway, they're pretty good.

The other problems mentioned are the least of it -- this is essentially like trying to name a Canadian character "Honeybee" or even "Kraft Dinner" ... :-)

Anonymous 5343 Kinds of Deplorable October 24, 2017 5:46 AM  

Or she could rewrite the book to make it Euro-realistic by making Sadaf a muslim man who adds the white pre-teen protagonist to his harem, giving her opportunity after opportunity to enthuse about the glories of Islam.

Blogger #7139 October 24, 2017 5:47 AM  

Tor Books - where the freak show never ends.

Blogger manfred arcane October 24, 2017 6:01 AM  

Have you folks ever thought about creating an alternative to Goodreads? I am asking in connection to this specific incident as it started with a collective autist cry of Goodreads users. Biggest such site on the net is basically 100% far left stronghold, which is beyond sad.

Anonymous Man of the Atom October 24, 2017 6:04 AM  

Apparently Kirkus is in a contest to see if they can auger in faster than Goodreads as a non-review review site that loves Social Justice much more than its ONE JOB.

Another SJW site on the plate for consumption by the Alt-Left.

Blogger tublecane October 24, 2017 6:15 AM  

"the dangers of white savior narratives"

Yes, they are perilous, aren't they?

Not to mention false. As we all know, President Onyx Blackman freed the slaves, not the legendary Abraham Lincoln, who according to woke revisionist historians never existed. (Though Blackman had employed a man named Onestabe Lincorn to empty his bedpan.)

As surely as three black women got us to the moon, the all-black Congress of 1964 passed the famous civil rights act of that year. Where were you, Whitey? Impotently seething in amidst your waning power of oppression? (Which persist to this year, as powerful as ever, because nonwhites have a perpetual need to save themselves.

At least whites can't be blamed anymore for the scrappy lives blacks lived after emancipation and the civil rights movement. Thank you, "problematic" white-savior narratives!)

Blogger Midnight Avenue J October 24, 2017 6:16 AM  

Charlie Jane Anders.

That’s a man, baby. Didn’t know til now.

Ah. Now the excitement over YA makes sense.

Anonymous DeeJay October 24, 2017 6:23 AM  

Whatever. Let this shrieking cult drive away writers and other artistic types with their newly invented words, required checkboxes and ever changing mandates.

All they're doing is planting the seeds of a competing, massively commercially successful 'alt-culture'. Blooming within five years or less, I'd venture.

Blogger VD October 24, 2017 6:26 AM  

Have you folks ever thought about creating an alternative to Goodreads?

In the works. We'll be adding that capability to Infogalactic.

Anonymous Ages October 24, 2017 6:32 AM  

American Heart takes place in a dystopian future where the U.S. has rounded up and relocated its Muslim population to internment camps in Nevada.

Dystopia?

Blogger Felix Bellator October 24, 2017 6:34 AM  

It doesn't look like Buffalo Bill. It looks like Liev Schreiber in drag: https://www.google.com/search?q=liev+schreiber+drag+mixed+nuts&prmd=isnv&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi83dfmhonXAhWFOyYKHRNoDwQQ_AUIEigB&biw=601&bih=962#imgrc=0sAmd8KQLoYZoM:

Blogger The Observer October 24, 2017 6:36 AM  

It's a sad day when actual news is no longer differentiable from satire.

But as Deejay pointed out, it's an opportunity.

Blogger Felix Bellator October 24, 2017 6:38 AM  

I get it. The camps are in Nevada because it reminds the Muslims of home. That is real government compassion right there. They're home but "in" America. The best of both worlds.

Blogger Cataline Sergius October 24, 2017 6:42 AM  

PNH must be feeling bullet proof.

If he got nothing but support from McMillan after both his run in with the Dread Ilk AND losing the HALO cash cow, he's right to think he can become the Marvel Comics of the Science Fiction world.

Let the purse puppy hires commence!

Blogger Ian Miguel Martin October 24, 2017 6:44 AM  

I am living in an insane asylum.

Anonymous Simplytimothy October 24, 2017 6:44 AM  

The article did well as comedy. I give it one thumbs up!

Blogger Cataline Sergius October 24, 2017 6:44 AM  

Scalzi is going to have to announce he's a Transgender...

...Okay not a strech for him...

...Muslim if he's going to keep his place at the dinner table.

Either that or actually write a book.

Blogger Cataline Sergius October 24, 2017 6:45 AM  

Ian Miguel Martin wrote:I am living in an insane asylum.

Here's the really bad news.

The doors are all unlocked.

Anonymous roo_ster October 24, 2017 6:51 AM  

Even days are Sideshow Freak Day in America. Odd days are Narrative Beyond Parody Day.

The Comeuppance can not come soon enough and the idea of decades of slogging through this putrescent culture is a horror.

Anonymous Charlottesvillain October 24, 2017 6:51 AM  

Because "there is no substitute for lived experience", does this mean that I no longer have to see Hollywood movies about White protagonists written by Jews, read articles about White Americans written by non-Whites, and hear about classes on our history, music, etc. taught by non-Whites?

Blogger Jeff aka Orville October 24, 2017 6:52 AM  

Scalzi's next book will be gender queer Muslim space pirates who owe lots of people BJs, while the true fight against the patriarchy is won by a bench pressing teen girl. All categories covered:YA, Gender fluid, Strong woman. A real winner!

Anonymous Laz October 24, 2017 6:54 AM  

@Felix Bellator: Why would you insult Liev like that? Better question, why would you do that to me? I'm never going to see Sabretooth the same ever again...

Blogger Dire Badger October 24, 2017 6:56 AM  

Rod Walker's Books kick ass. I may not be YA, but I am seriously looking forward to the next one.

Anonymous Avalanche October 24, 2017 6:59 AM  

@15 "Have you folks ever thought about creating an alternative to Goodreads?
In the works. We'll be adding that capability to Infogalactic."

All hail our Dark Lord -- clearest crystal ball (and GANTT chart towards the future) -- on the planet!
Vox Day!
Vox Day!
VOX DAY!!

(When DOES he sleep!? Maybe SJW blood and tears are more restorative then we knew?)

Anonymous Avalanche October 24, 2017 7:05 AM  

@26 'Hollywood movies about White protagonists written by Jews, read articles about White Americans written by non-Whites, and hear about classes on our history, music, etc. taught by non-Whites?"

That IS correct, because cultural appropriation is anathema! Also, you are now free to snatch cellphones, flashlights, and books from non-Whites; disconnect electricity from their houses (it's still... er... "problematic" to try to roust them FROM their stick-built wood-and steel-frame houses with furniture: tread carefully here); and confiscate their motorized vehicles.

Cultural appropriation is baaaad, mmm'kay?

Blogger Lazarus October 24, 2017 7:12 AM  

roo_ster wrote:Even days are Sideshow Freak Day in America. Odd days are Narrative Beyond Parody Day.



Truly:



http://all-that-is-interesting.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/freak-show-1924.jpg

Anonymous Charlottesvillain October 24, 2017 7:21 AM  

@32
1924 freak show has nothing on 2017 freak reality.
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DMMWfdKVAAA8fyr.jpg

Blogger Stilicho October 24, 2017 7:32 AM  

Who buys books based on a Kirkus review? A bookstore?

Blogger tublecane October 24, 2017 7:43 AM  

How much you wanna bet it's not actually dystopian? Someone taught the wider culture that word, unfortunately, and they throw it around carelessly. It basically just means "crappy future" now.

Blogger GithYankee October 24, 2017 7:44 AM  

You should time Castalia House releases to the same days as Tor's. Then you can have apples to apples real-time sales data. Of course, their heavy hitters like Orson Scott Card, or L. E. Modesitt might win those battles, but even if one of ours beats one of theirs it would be a nice victory.
For instance, SJWADD released almost same day as Orson Scott Card, and probably outsold it.

Blogger Desdichado October 24, 2017 7:53 AM  

Stilicho wrote:Who buys books based on a Kirkus review? A bookstore?
Public libraries.

Blogger Ken Prescott October 24, 2017 7:55 AM  

No, she should rewrite it to have the protagonist learn how to fly helicopters.

"As God is my witness, I thought that gravity was a social construct."

Blogger dc.sunsets October 24, 2017 7:58 AM  

The history of violent uprising is more related to dashed expectations (forced reframing) than to poverty.

The further into collective insanity sails the Cult's dogma, the more sudden will be the reframe that accompanies its replacement.

Blogger VD October 24, 2017 7:59 AM  

You should time Castalia House releases to the same days as Tor's.

No. We shouldn't. That would be ridiculous.

Blogger Zeke OF Confettii October 24, 2017 8:39 AM  

Internment camps? Sending Back Centers it seems to me.

Anonymous Reenay October 24, 2017 8:52 AM  

The funniest part of this is the realization that these rabbits are just rabbiting, and we get a pretty good look at what they actually would do if we beat them into submission. Is it not interesting that their impression of what the Right wants is to round up Muslims into internment camps? Now, imagine if toeing the Right's party line was the difference between life and death (or at least, social ostracization). How do you think they'll be trying to curry favors with the Right?

I get the impression... we'll be asking them to be a little more compassionate.

Blogger Zaklog the Great October 24, 2017 8:59 AM  

I looked up SJWADD on Goodreads and Amazon the other day. The left appears to have given up on fake reviews for the moment. Any idea why? And what does this mean going forward?

Blogger Jeff aka Orville October 24, 2017 9:03 AM  

Speaking of books I've got one coming out in two weeks and serializing another that I'm writing right now. Your whilte cis-male comments are welcome.

http://redpillwriter.com/2017/10/15/foreign-entanglements-chapters-1-2/

Blogger Mr.MantraMan October 24, 2017 9:24 AM  

For the cuck's sake save the "White savior" theme from destruction, think of all the black babies now going to be put out by the mail box with a return to Africa address written on their forheads.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan October 24, 2017 9:28 AM  

I'll just assume the author Moriarity was ignored by her school's Justin Beiber look alike and hence fell into saving brown people from their existence to get back at mean, mean, mean white people.

Anonymous Kudos The Lexecutioner October 24, 2017 9:29 AM  

@38 Ken Prescott

"As God is my witness, I thought that gravity was a social construct."

Thread winner for gratuitous WKRP in Cincinnati reference.

Anonymous CarpeOro October 24, 2017 9:33 AM  

They do indeed eat their own - those that fail to fit the continually more insane strictures laid down.

I refuse to believe that my "privilege" for being a white-AngloSaxon/German-Protestant, military veteran and tax-serf, means that I:
Have to sitdown
shutup
hand over all I make
hand over all have I saved
can never adequately pay for sins I never committed
am the greatest threat to my nation (country maybe, not nation)
society would be better off by my death

And at the end have to listen to their drivel because while I will never truly benefit from it, my tears of guilt will make them feel better.
Ain't happening. I'll hoist the black flag first and let them deal with it.

Anonymous White Savior Meme October 24, 2017 9:50 AM  

Let us now meme "White Savior" as far as possible.
Do it for your own entertainment.
Do it for Judeo-Christ.

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents October 24, 2017 9:52 AM  

Internment camps in Nevada? Wasn't that what the Weathermen wanted to do to everyone else back in the 70's?

They always project. Always.

Blogger ((( bob kek mando ))) - ( Fine Purveyor of Quality Artisanal Gorm ) October 24, 2017 11:00 AM  

Anders tweeted. “I’ve always loved YA and I have been toiling in secret on this for ages.”


a man who has been publicly dressing up as a woman and who is publicly the 'wife' of a lesbian has ... been concealing his attempts to write Young Adult fiction?

dude's messed up.

i suppose that was redundant. again.


9. #7139 October 24, 2017 5:47 AM
Tor Books - where the freak show never ends.



Charlie Jane Anders and his bull dyke lesbian top, ((( Annalee Newitz ))), both write for Ars Technica as well.

which is funny, because AT was one of the linchpins of GamerGate.


it's strange, what they consider 'tech writing' these days.

Blogger Ariadne Umbrella October 24, 2017 11:07 AM  

oh,good grief! YA was safe! It was mostly built by married women for their younger, more impressionable selves: lots of making out, lots of talking, cutesy meetups, happily ever after, marriages and babies. I could let my daughter roam about the bookstore shelves at will.

Now? There are neurotic jewish fake histories, this disturbing freak, and show-offy gay guys coming out of the closet. It isn't about little girls developing into women anymore. It's awful, narcissistic freaks using little girls as the audience for their performative mental illnesses. It's awful!

Anonymous - TheWesman October 24, 2017 11:33 AM  

The worst part of this post is you left off "Tranywreck" in the label tag(s).

Anonymous Ain October 24, 2017 12:06 PM  

Poor white girls. Now they won't be able to Mary Sue themselves unless they go blackface.

Blogger VFM #7634 October 24, 2017 12:41 PM  

SJWs just get more and more ridiculous by the year. Or month, even.

Blogger L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright October 24, 2017 12:50 PM  

Thanks for covering this Kirkus thing, Vox.

Anonymous Bukulu October 24, 2017 1:12 PM  

Kudos @ 47,

It also lends itself quite nicely to the helicopter meme...

Blogger JRH, esq. October 24, 2017 1:25 PM  

Charlie Jane Anders.

Should not have googled. Can't un-see horrifying parody of unattainable femininity.

Blogger Tatooine Sharpshooters' Club October 24, 2017 3:54 PM  

there is no substitute for lived experience

This would seem very "problematic" when adult men claim to be women (it certainly cheeses off the TERFs), but any sort of consistency is irrelevant to the Social Justice Stoops.

expert in children’s & YA literature [who is] well-versed in the dangers of white savior narratives

Now that's niche reviewing! I assume one of the main "dangers" of "white savior narratives" is they can easily turn people into strident virtue-signaling SWPLS.

Anonymous Mr. Rational October 24, 2017 4:48 PM  

@44 Missing article "a" in paragraph 3, 1st sentence.
Paragraph 4, mis-use of "it's".
Para "It sat upon all the nodes".... mis-use of "it's" again and very hard to parse.
"Inside, the room is at the same atmospheric and temperature" changed to present from past tense.
"while he supported her desire to be an office"
"became it’s sworn enemy."
"and it’s operational status"
"since both links to the designer files"

It would be good if you put the inner dialogue in italics or something.

It's starting off okay but so far the story isn't one I would have to come back to.

Blogger Were-Puppy October 24, 2017 11:41 PM  

I got the cure for Charlie Jane right here :
https://i.imgflip.com/1vd0cl.jpg

Anonymous Bernard October 25, 2017 3:26 AM  

I see the giant flaw in the plot. If Canada is willing to take in America's muslim then why is America interning them instead of shipping them over the border?

@28: Liev is a pussy. Bring back Tyler Mane.

Blogger Tom Terrific October 25, 2017 3:58 AM  

Referencing the "White Savior" Narrative, check out this great youtube video.

Done by "My Oreo Experience". Like good satire it's hard to tell if she's joking or not. But a funny song with a lot of truth.

https://youtu.be/tMs0KNu9Txg

Blogger Meng Greenleaf October 25, 2017 6:59 PM  

..... call me “Apache” and respect my right to kill from above.....

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