ALL BLOG POSTS AND COMMENTS COPYRIGHT (C) 2003-2016 VOX DAY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The self-lobotomizing of SF/F

Jeffro Johnson brings his epic series on Chapter N to a close with a sobering conclusion on the mental barriers being erected to separate entire generations of science fiction and fantasy readers from the genre's history:
This estrangement between the generations… it isn’t normal. And it’s not just that people in the seventies would have read many of the same science fiction and fantasy authors that their parents and even grandparents did. The scope of things that fall within the black hole of the generation gap seems to be expanding almost exponentially now. Even things like Bugs Bunny and Tom & Jerry– I would have watched the same stuff that my big brother watched when I was a kid… and we were familiar with the same classic cartoons that out parents and grandparents would have watched. But that’s changed now. And it goes beyond these things just sort of quitely dropping off the radar for the moment. Millennials that will admit to never seeing them still “know” somehow that these things were racist or something and deserve to be erased. It might seem silly, maybe, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

When it was announced that the World Fantasy Award was replacing its iconic Lovecraft bust, Joyce Carol Oates declared that the literary canon is “saturated with racism, sexism, anti-semitism, anti-democracy… and lunacy.” Graciously she allows that “tossing it all out is no solution.” But why wouldn’t you toss it out…? If it really was as bad as people say, you probably would do just that. I mean really, why would people read the works of such terrible people…? They don’t. And if by some chance they do, the reaction can be almost physical sometimes, as this woman describes it:

    I read a lot of Bradbury as a teen and thought his stories were wonderful. Rereading his stories now is actively painful to me. I’m a lot more able to pick up on those subtle cues, and less able to make excuses for them, that the author doesn’t really see his female characters as important, or real, or three dimensional, or people.

Are we really so advanced a civilization now that The Martian Chronicles necessarily should make us ill?

Older people steeped in the classics will dismiss that as an outlier, but it really is a sign of the times. This attitude certainly shows up in a great many of the reviews of old works of fantasy and science fiction that pepper the internet. It’s almost as if there is a barrier in these peoples’ minds. As soon as they get to something they been trained to think of as being “problematic”, they shut down. Very little in the way of any kind of analysis of the material can even be done, because calling out and reviling everything from Madonna/Whore complexes to “black and white morality” is the sort of thing that passes for deep or sophisticated thinking.

The retiring of Lovecraft’s bust from the World Fantasy Awards is therefore not so much reminiscent of statues of Stalin being pulled down in post-Soviet Russia. It’s more a reflection of the Berlin wall… going up.
Social justice convergence destroys everything it touches and erases history because it can neither tolerate nor survive truth.

Labels: ,

118 Comments:

Blogger Steve, the Dark Ninja of Mockery December 15, 2015 8:08 AM  

Joyce Carol Oates declared that the literary canon is “saturated with racism, sexism, anti-semitism, anti-democracy… and lunacy.”

Paging Dr. Shipman...

Anonymous VFM #0189 December 15, 2015 8:12 AM  

It is always Year Zero.

Our countrrattack will have to be brutal. Start warming up now.

Blogger FALPhil December 15, 2015 8:13 AM  

I got physically ill reading that. SJWs have to be sick and twisted to see rascism/sexism/you-name-it-ism behind every rock and tree.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan December 15, 2015 8:26 AM  

Sounds like opportunity to me.

Blogger James Dixon December 15, 2015 8:28 AM  

> Social justice convergence destroys everything it touches and erases history because it can neither tolerate nor survive truth.

And those that don't know history...

A generation which cuts itself from the hard won knowledge of preceding generations will be poorly equipped to deal with the realities it will face. But if that's their choice, let them live and die with it.

Blogger White Knight Leo #0368 December 15, 2015 8:28 AM  

What really bugs me is that reading older fiction would give them all a better historical perspective.

A lot of the Left likes to demonize Heinlein now, but he was considered avant-garde liberal in his time for his insistence on using minority and female main characters, including a Hispanic lead for Starship Troopers.

It's like... they want to see "progress", but they can't stand looking at anything that came before "Year 0". I'm starting to think that, like fans of the Clean Air Act and OSHA, they don't want to consider that maybe "progress" was being made before they came around.

Anonymous 0007 December 15, 2015 8:32 AM  

Four(five?) generations being indoctrinated by communists/socialits. Stupid/ignorant is what happens. Now the next gen is being told they don't have to know how to write cursive - which means they won't be able to read it either. Which means nothing written in the deep dark past can be carried forward by them. It is to weep; or else the killin' time is getting very close.

Blogger Student in Blue December 15, 2015 8:35 AM  

Jeffro is probably my favorite writer on the Castalia House blog. Consistently entertaining, yet thoughtful stuff.

Anonymous Takin' a Look December 15, 2015 8:35 AM  

that's too early in the morning Steve.....

Anonymous Anonymous December 15, 2015 8:38 AM  

Bradbury (Ray) is one of the most beautiful writers in the English language! It may just be a peculiarity of mine, but I get the the same visceral feeling as I do when reading some of the best Shakespeare. Bradbury was no goose-stepper: he had an FBI file as long as your arm for not being sufficiently Nixonian. What an utter and complete git that woman is - to say that you HATE Ray Bradbury is to immediately disqualify oneself from S/F fandom. Perhaps bestiality is more to her liking than lyrical prose and Martian sunsets.

"VFM ??"

Blogger Student in Blue December 15, 2015 8:41 AM  

@FALPhil
I got physically ill reading that. SJWs have to be sick and twisted to see rascism/sexism/you-name-it-ism behind every rock and tree.

It's also because SJW's entire worldview is so out of touch with reality that they're forced to do illuminati-tier conspiracies in order for their concept of reality to be halfway functional.

Anonymous Quartermaster December 15, 2015 8:47 AM  

@1
You should be banned for trolling us with that pic.

Blogger White Knight Leo #0368 December 15, 2015 8:54 AM  

@12

That's actually her, I think. Which doesn't make it better, I supposed.

Blogger Steve, the Dark Ninja of Mockery December 15, 2015 8:58 AM  

I read a lot of Bradbury as a teen and thought his stories were wonderful. Rereading his stories now is actively painful to me. I’m a lot more able to pick up on those subtle cues, and less able to make excuses for them, that the author doesn’t really see his female characters as important, or real, or three dimensional, or people.

...says the generic Seattle lesbian.

Blogger White Knight Leo #0368 December 15, 2015 8:59 AM  

Oh, and speaking of SJWs and their insane ideas...

Forbes is reporting today on Chipotle, and the fact that they have become sort of a corporate-sourced disease epidemic.

But here's what amazed me: if I read the article correctly, they said that Chipotle buys produce from "organic" farmers who use straight manure as fertilizer.

Now I've read David the Good's books, but I've also read a number of other homesteading and home-growing books before. Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't all of them say you shouldn't use straight manure for exactly this reason? That you need to compost it for at least a year, if not two years, to kill off the food-borne diseases? And that you need to not allow any part of the plant you intend to eat to actually touch the "organic" fertilizer?

These people are insane. Really, really insane. At least with immigration you can come of with fuzzy logic reasons why people from the 3rd World should be let in, but when it comes to food-borne diseases, what's the SJW-mindset? Don't prioritize human lives over E. coli?

Blogger White Knight Leo #0368 December 15, 2015 9:00 AM  

@14

That's a man, baby.

Blogger Cataline Sergius December 15, 2015 9:01 AM  

I think this is the last year we should bother with the Hugos.

We need to concentrate our resources on creating our own awards, with cash prizes attached. Talent goes where the money is.

Blogger Daniel December 15, 2015 9:06 AM  

SJWs get "physically ill" over the slightest things. They are H.G. Wells' Martians.

Blogger OneWingedShark December 15, 2015 9:15 AM  

@11 "It's also because SJW's entire worldview is so out of touch with reality that they're forced to do illuminati-tier conspiracies in order for their concept of reality to be halfway functional."

Let's be honest: SJWs make some Illuminati theories look positively sane.

@6 "I'm starting to think that, like fans of the Clean Air Act and OSHA, they don't want to consider that maybe "progress" was being made before they came around."

I think this is an offshoot of the idea that government is the only way to handle a problem being adopted by the culture... it's like people are programmed to reject non-governmental solutions.

@5 "A generation which cuts itself from the hard won knowledge of preceding generations will be poorly equipped to deal with the realities it will face."

Agreed, and this is one thing that is plainly evident in American churches... fortunately one of the Holy Spirit's roles is 'teacher'.

Social justice convergence destroys everything it touches and erases history because it can neither tolerate nor survive truth.

This is why SJWs are so titillated by infiltrating the church: Jesus is the Truth. But be of good cheer, they will not survive Him: they will either fall on the Rock and be broken, or the Rock will fall on them and they will be destroyed. (Mt 21:44)

Blogger Cataline Sergius December 15, 2015 9:18 AM  

@18

More like H.G. Wells, Eloi.

Blogger Steve, the Dark Ninja of Mockery December 15, 2015 9:21 AM  

Quartermaster - she was good in Dawn of the Dead

Leo - Jane Patterson... chubby, middle-aged, lezzerrific. A man with the brightest of futures. A man with the darkest of pasts. From Africa's deepest recesses, to the rarefied peaks of Tibet, heir to his father's legacy and the world's darkest mysteries. Jane Patterson, master of the secrets that divide man from animal, animal from man... Manimal!

Blogger Ron December 15, 2015 9:26 AM  

@Cataline Sergius

And what happens when that gets infiltrated as well?

As soon as they get to something they been trained to think of as being “problematic”, they shut down.

That is a double edged sword. Yes, it makes them vicious, it also means they'll run when confronted. Look at the total meltdown they had when Vox and Co. basically did the horror of putting out lists of what books they liked.

Do you understand? That's all they did. No one died, no one was shot, no one was forced to read anything. It's not like "the evil dark lord" was standing over these clowns with a shotgun while force feeding the pages of these verboten books up their rectums.

Yet a man like Mr Martin, who is worth ridiculous sums of money and has as much fame as an author is capable of having while alive, had a meltdown over what was at worst a prank. They are so freaked out over what you did, that the miserable cowards actually want to shut down their own awards.

Why run from these people?

Anonymous Napoleon 12pdr December 15, 2015 9:35 AM  

I've been mulling over the question of how to start a new reader on Classic SF. Sure, people like John Wright have come up with 100-book lists, but those are too long. What I came up with as Essential Reading is as follows:

First Five

1. "Galactic Patrol", by E.E. Smith. This was a hard pick, "The Skylark of Space" was a close runner-up. But "Galactic Patrol" is more tightly written. Classic space opera, and Act I of the greatest of the genre.

2. "Citizen of the Galaxy", by Robert Heinlein. This was another hard choice, the alternative being "Starship Troopers". But "Citizen of the Galaxy" is pure novel, not a political tract. I considered this to make it a better example for the First Five.

3. "Dune", by Frank Herbert. This book tosses most of the classic science fiction tropes aside for a very different approach to universe-making. It's Renaissance Italy in space, with a definite Middle-Eastern cultural flavoring. And Herbert asks some penetrating questions about the value of being able to fortell the future.

4. "The Mote in God's Eye", by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. THE First Contact story. Niven and Pournelle complement each other perfectly, and this is their masterpiece. A great read, with twists in both setting and plot.

5. Short stories. Specifically:
5a: "Nightfall" by Isaac Asimov. I'm not a big Asimov fan, but it's a decent yard.
5b: "The Last of the Romany", by Norman Spinrad. A story that I find very moving...and a story that any SF reader will relate to.
5c: "Neutron Star", by Larry Niven. A magnificent "What happened" mystery.
5d: "The Lion Game", by James Schmitz. Schmitz was a vastly undervalued author, who could create a plausible heroine and make her work. And this introduces his best character, Telzey Amberdon. Young, cute...and telepathic.

I figure that with the break in SF cultural continuity, we need to have a place for newcomers to start.

Blogger Ron December 15, 2015 9:36 AM  

@Steve, the Dark ninja of mockery

One look at that photo and it's clear that woman has hatred in her soul.

That's not an image I am happy I saw.

Blogger S1AL December 15, 2015 9:36 AM  

@14 - That cannot possibly be a woman.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan December 15, 2015 9:41 AM  

I'm in for another year's worth of Hugo fun. I am hoping though that 100,000 Chinese take it over and they are the jack booted racialists I think they are

Blogger BunE22 December 15, 2015 9:48 AM  

I see them all as Anthony Fremont. If you have badthink or they have badfeelz then you must be a bad man. A very bad man, and you need to be wished into the cornfield.

Anonymous WillBest December 15, 2015 9:52 AM  

Part of the problem with the lack of continuity from previous generations is that there has been exponential content creation. Unless you are more than a casual fan you are going to have to employ some sort of filter.

A person reads a couple books, wants to claim to be a fan. Now ordinarily that would mean you should read the great works, but that is time consuming. Millennials aren't big on that level of commitment. So this disqualifying allows them to justify not reading large swaths of the great works, while sill allowing them to call themselves fans. And as a bonus they get to status signal their enlightenment to others.

Anonymous WillBest December 15, 2015 9:57 AM  

@27 None of these authors had badthink or badfeelz. Well they don't unless you project today's liberal dogma back onto them, which apparently is the case. For some reason moral relativism doesn't apply temporally to white males.

Blogger Kaijubushi December 15, 2015 10:06 AM  

SJWs can't handle Bradbury now? Bradbury??

Blogger Steve, the Dark Ninja of Mockery December 15, 2015 10:11 AM  

Napoleon Gelignite - not sure how to define "classic", but I think these are essential:

Brave New World
Fahrenheit 451
Ringworld
The Forever War
Foundation
The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy

Ron - which one?

S1AL - probably what xer doctor said.

Anonymous Mr. Rational December 15, 2015 10:24 AM  

This is an avenue ripe for exploitation.  We can keep SJWs out of fandom by requiring them to read or listen to readings of classic SF!  Trigger them enough times and they'll go back to reading Twilight.

Blogger dc.sunsets December 15, 2015 10:25 AM  

Cause a SF/F SJW to experience spontaneous cranial implosion! Force them to read Heinlein's "Farnham's Freehold."

You can't find something more the polar opposite of today's SJW Narrative.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan December 15, 2015 10:31 AM  

Could a reading of 451 be scheduled for the Hugos?

Blogger dc.sunsets December 15, 2015 10:32 AM  

I must be missing something. Part of the fun of reading fiction is to vicariously live in a different time, place, etc. to experience something you find interesting (but can't or never would choose to try in reality.)

I'm a white guy. I enjoyed Heinlein space opera. I even enjoyed Friday, more as a hot chick to romance, not to live that character vicariously, though. Alan Cole & Chris Bunch's Sten series was imaginative, stuffed with memorable characters and featured a protagonist who grew and changed as high literature requires.

All of these featured white guys. People bothered by this can...keep it to themselves, please.

They don't want Diversity (tm), they want their version of HOMOgeneity.

Anonymous Ilk#10,191 December 15, 2015 10:34 AM  

@34
Why read a SJW "how-to" manual at the Hugos?

Blogger White Knight Leo #0368 December 15, 2015 10:38 AM  

@35

Starship Troopers's Juan Rico was an Argentinean native. So he wasn't even white. And I'm pretty sure that Podkayne's family was at least half-Maori, and she and her little brother were the main characters of that book.

Blogger Red Jack December 15, 2015 10:41 AM  

I have stated at Mr Wright's blog that we are living in a dark age. Whole areas of study (the Classics anyone?) are being destroyed because of someone being hurt. Entire ideas of structure that have existed for over a thousand years are pushed away in the name of gender neutral bathrooms and trigger warnings.

We are at a collapse point. When studying Rome, I often wondered how it fell. A few authors I read stated (at risk to their career) that Rome feel because the Romans' stopped wanting the civilization. They wanted to be pampered, entertained, and fed. The mob won, and the fall happened. The germanic tribes were the only ones left to pick up the parts in the West, and it took them a while to get the idea that civilization means something more than playing whack your neighbor.

Anonymous Mr. Rational December 15, 2015 10:45 AM  

@33 Probably not the best candidate, as IIUC Heinlein himself said the book was stinko.  But definitely "The Flying Sorcerers".  I'll have to look up the exact passage, but "we went home and beat our wives" will send many of them into screaming fits.

Blogger CM December 15, 2015 10:47 AM  

It’s more a reflection of the Berlin wall… going up.

This was such a great line in there.

Forbes is reporting today on Chipotle, and the fact that they have become sort of a corporate-sourced disease epidemic.

We like Chipotle but haven't eaten there since their switch to all organic and antibiotic free meat.

I don't know much about farming but did know about the manure... i am also of the opinion that antibiotic free in mass produced meat is probably not a great idea, but have no justification for that view.

Blogger Steve, the Dark Ninja of Mockery December 15, 2015 10:53 AM  

Leo - Juan Rico was Filipino.

Blogger dc.sunsets December 15, 2015 10:53 AM  

i am also of the opinion that antibiotic free in mass produced meat is probably not a great idea

WTF? Did you flunk basic biology? Giving low doses of medically-important antibiotics to animals to increase their growth is perhaps the single most stupid thing ever imagined. What's worse? Use the manure from animals fed low doses of antibiotics as fertilizer.

Maybe Chipotle is getting their fertilizer on the cheap....

Blogger White Knight Leo #0368 December 15, 2015 10:55 AM  

@41

Sorry, you're correct. I was thinking of the film, for some reason.

Blogger White Knight Leo #0368 December 15, 2015 10:56 AM  

@41

Not that Casper van Dien is anything but white.

Blogger Noah B #120 December 15, 2015 10:58 AM  

The sad thing is that these are the people we've been losing to until quite recently.

Blogger Steve, the Dark Ninja of Mockery December 15, 2015 11:00 AM  

Leo - is there a whiter name than "Casper"?

Maybe... Blanche.

Or Snowball. But that's a cat's name.

Blogger CM December 15, 2015 11:04 AM  

Did you flunk basic biology? Giving low doses of medically-important antibiotics to animals to increase their growth is perhaps the single most stupid thing ever imagined.

I did say it wasn't justified. Perhaps i was trolling for an actual response that would illuminate.

And hs and college bio 101 do not cover this stuff. This subject is also politically charged. Getting accurate scientific information is like researching GMOs, global warming, and evolution. Its difficult to find unbiased information without being highly knowledgeable. And quite frankly, science is my biggest weakness. I don't run away from learning it, but it is difficult for me to get through for various reasons.

However, e-coli is a bacteria... and hormones increase growth. So anti-biotics would prevent e-coli while hormone-free would stop the insane growth increase.

And I'm only going with mass produced.

Blogger Nate December 15, 2015 11:09 AM  

Funny... I get to find this post... on a day when all my kids are piled up watching Tom and Jerry.

Boomerang.

FTW.

Blogger S1AL December 15, 2015 11:13 AM  

@Steve/Napoleon - for Asimov, "I, Robot". Has a relatively unique structure to it for the time period, and also very philosophical. And, of course, Lewis' space trilogy is good if the reader can handle the depth.

Blogger Were-Puppy December 15, 2015 11:21 AM  

@12 Quartermaster

You should be banned for trolling us with that pic.
---

He is toughening us up with these hideous visuals of our enemies

Blogger Steve, the Dark Ninja of Mockery December 15, 2015 11:21 AM  

Nate - me and my 2 year old watched Home Alone together the other day.

He was all wide eyed at the bits with the scary furnace, but cackling with glee at the painful lessons young Kevin taught the Wet Bandits.

I fear it may have given him ideas.

S1AL - Excellent choices.

Blogger Dorsal Spine December 15, 2015 11:23 AM  

@47
Since you asked. The problem with low dose antibiotics is that over the long haul you are breeding antibiotic resistant bacteria right along with your live stock.

I'm familiar with a confined pig operation. You raise them from birth until they are big enough to be sold to other farmers to be raised for slaughter.

They don't use antibiotics. They don't want the expense or the risk of an antibiotic resistant strain getting a foothold. You wear special shoes and coveralls that are kept in each building. You change clothes to enter each building, you change clothes to leave each building. Okay, they are pigs but the place is as clean as they can make it. Waste is washed into floor drains regularly to be processed for sale. The building is temperature and humidity controlled.

Blogger Were-Puppy December 15, 2015 11:24 AM  

@14 Steve, the Dark Ninja of Mockery

...says the generic Seattle lesbian.
---

Yes! I have known a half dozen of them looks just like that.

One of them was at a previous job. My group went without a manager for a while, and we were reporting to the level above. So an exact replica of this lesbo decided to move in and start bossing us around. Xhe was probably a couple levels below us in the org chart, so I found it quite humorous at the time.

At one point, the manager we were reporting to was in our area and Xhe jumped in and started whining about me taking too long to do something, which wasn't even in my list of things to do, of course.

I told her if she wanted that done faster, to grab a keyboard, start typing and STFU. Everyone got a chuckle as Xhe turned red and went away, not to be seen again for a few weeks .

OpenID Jack Amok December 15, 2015 11:28 AM  

Joyce Carol Oates declared that the literary canon is “saturated with racism, sexism, anti-semitism, anti-democracy… and lunacy.” Graciously she allows that “tossing it all out is no solution.” But why wouldn’t you toss it out…?

One of the problems any new aspiring SF/F author has is the fact that the great books outlive their authors. How are mediocre writers like Puppinette and Scalzi supposed to compete with Lovecraft, Heinlein, et al? Much easier to just declare the old masters badthink verboten (especially for someone like Scalzi who rips them off - better for him if none of his audience is familiar with his source material).

I mean, look at Joyce Carol Oates herself. She's won three Bram Stoker awards, but Stoker still outsells her (Dracula is #8,335 in Books and #194 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Contemporary, while Oates best known novel Them is #88,692 in Books and #2613 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Contemporary).

Blogger Timmy3 December 15, 2015 11:28 AM  

"the author doesn’t really see his female characters as important, or real, or three dimensional, or people."

That's really funny. Men largely see themselves as one dimensional and that is also reflected in females too. The thing is people are complex and we don't need to dwell on our weaknesses. Women seem to love to focus on themselves as weak people. Sci-fi and fantasy is about thinking logically, while also acknowledging fantasies. It is about imagining yourself as physically imposing as a fantasy, while also having superhuman skills that doesn't always require brute strength. It is all these things and none of these things. So a woman feels ill reading the genre. Maybe its time for women to go back to reading women's literature.

Blogger Steve, the Dark Ninja of Mockery December 15, 2015 11:31 AM  

Were-Puppy - I think that when they join the Order of Sappho, they're given a free man's haircut, problem glasses, a book called "How To Lose Friends and Alienate People With Your Shititude", some of Dom DeLuise's cast off clothes, and a bin bag full of pies.

Either that, or they're Lesbian Pod People.

Blogger OneWingedShark December 15, 2015 11:32 AM  

@42 "Giving low doses of medically-important antibiotics to animals to increase their growth is perhaps the single most stupid thing ever imagined."

If you've bought the lie of overpopulation, then setting things up for antibiotic-resistant diseases to run rampant across the Earth is essentially "a step in correcting the problem".

Blogger The Kurgan December 15, 2015 11:33 AM  

Dammit Steve. And yet I am proud of you. Proud.

Blogger The Kurgan December 15, 2015 11:36 AM  

Double dammit Steve. Thank you for that though.

Blogger Red Jack December 15, 2015 11:36 AM  

There are differing methods of using antibiotics in meat production. We used it when there was a problem. The pig, calf, or chicken was sick with something we were sure was a bug, and would give their units some shots. However, some beef producers put antibiotics in the feed to increase weight gain. That leads to all sorts of bugs that the regular drugs can't touch.

However, there is push to ban antibiotics all together. So a cow that gets an infected cut would be put down instead of getting a dose and sent back out to play. That is nuts.

And Dave is right about using "hot" manure. Don't. Don't buy it, don't use it, don't accept it as a gift.

Anonymous Bz December 15, 2015 11:37 AM  

For some reason I'm nourishing the hope that they can be triggered into burning Farenheit 451.

Anonymous Napoleon 12pdr December 15, 2015 11:39 AM  

@31 Steve:

I went with my picks as an absolute minimum. If someone completely new to SF asked me, those are the works I'd start with.

Blogger Geir Balderson December 15, 2015 11:42 AM  

@#1

You can dress Jar Jar up but he still looks annoying!

Anonymous IP Dude December 15, 2015 11:56 AM  

Screw 'rm. Thank God they are no longer blighting Lovecraft's memory with their juvenile masturbatory tales.

Take Lovecraft back. Is the award statuette covered by copyright? Does anyone even remember who created it? Was it a "work for hire"? Or did the World Fantasy folks merely copy it without permission?

Rescue Lovecraft!

Blogger SouthRon December 15, 2015 11:59 AM  

And I thought those were Muppets.

Anonymous Napoleon 12 pdr December 15, 2015 12:05 PM  

Now, for the Second Five Essentials:

6. "Gray Lensman", by E.E. Smith. This is the book that made Smith's reputation as a master of space opera, and is the book that all the film space operas are but faint echoes of. Heroic protagonists, formidable villains, and grand scale. Planetary destruction 101, and Smith makes the reader really grasp the scale of just how big a deal it is.

7. "The Demolished Man", by Alfred Bester. This is a classic detective novel of the "I know you did it, but can't prove it" sort. With a twist...the detective in question is telepathic, working in a society that won't admit telepathic evidence in court.

8. "Starship Troopers", by Robert Heinlein. Yes, it's primarily a political epistle on patriotism and the nature of duty, but it's also a superb story of military science fiction, and easily Heinlein's most influential work.

9. "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea", by Jules Verne. This is the book that started the whole SF business, and still is one of the best. Who IS Captain Nemo? And is he villain, hero, or both?

10. "Foundation", by Isaac Asimov. Hard call here, as it's not a personal favorite. But it's an excellent story, and sets up some fascinating ideas about the power of crowd dynamics. Makes for interesting debates with adherents of the Great Man school of historical thinking.

Blogger John Wright December 15, 2015 12:05 PM  

Ray BRADBURY?!! Ray Bradbury, the most progressive of all progressive authors, the author of I SING THE BODY ELECTRIC, is dismissed as being insufficiently Leftist? Not only is his portrayal of women particularly heartbreakingly beautiful (as is his portrayal of everything) but he is as Left and Left can be.

It is a mental disease. These people are sick. They eat their own. Who would sign up for this Stalinist cult where your promised reward for a lifetime of faithful service is to the falsely accused as a Trotskyite, slung against a concrete wall naked, then shot, then dumped in an unmarked, mass grave?

Blogger John Wright December 15, 2015 12:11 PM  

@10

Amen! Preach it Brother! Bradbury is the Mozart of SF. Anyone who hates him has excommunicated himself from the culture of SF.

If there was a culture of SF remaining, that is. We have been invaded by Yahoos, and they covered everything with the Yahoo crap they fling. So now instead of the Illustrated Man or Dandelion Wine, we get stories like 'Water that Falls on Gay Were-Seals from Nowhere, My Love.' and 'Ancillary Gender Neutrality' presented as if they were imaginative, instead of the same old boring sermon we have heard told the same old boring way.

Anonymous Napoleon 12pdr December 15, 2015 12:12 PM  

@54 Jack Amok

Good points. It's worth pointing out, though, that a good author will read someone else's work and pick up plot ideas. The key is to not simply copy, but to change. Many times, the plot element you're working with was something the first author just tossed out.

Example: Doc Smith used the Ancient Races Using Us as Pawns in a War plot-line in the Lensman Series. Years later, Babylon 5 used the same idea...but with the Ancient Races BOTH acting as "parents", but having a dispute that forces the younger races to go over their heads.

Blogger dc.sunsets December 15, 2015 12:14 PM  

@47 For 16 years I sold the last major broad spectrum antibiotic developed and had more background in the relevant science than anyone else doing it (not a boast, a fact.) Trust me when I say that using any anti-infective on a chronic basis is unconscionable, and when you see some "expert" doing it (I witnessed it) then you know you're dealing with someone who fundamentally does not understand microbial selection and the consequences, long term, for populations of critters with whom we always have a tenuous coexistence.

Anonymous ? December 15, 2015 12:20 PM  

Ray Bradbury, the most progressive of all progressive authors, the author of I SING THE BODY ELECTRIC

Was that a biography of the Rosenbergs?

Anonymous KoranBurningFaggot December 15, 2015 12:22 PM  

@14That's a man, baby. My money says dike.

Part of the fun of reading fiction is to vicariously live in a different time, place, etc. to experience something you find interesting (but can't or never would choose to try in reality.)

Well it certainly would be different for white and east Asians not to be the best. In fact a world where blacks could get into Ivy league schools based on merit would be interesting.

Maybe Chipotle is getting their fertilizer on the cheap....

Organic is an issue of trust, you have to trust they are not only doing it right but not lying for more money.

I think that when they join the Order of Sappho, they're given a free man's haircut, problem glasses, a book called "How To Whore Yourself as a Soros Cheerleader"

Actually its just a baby dike, no tattoos yet.

portrayal of women particularly heartbreakingly beautiful (as is his portrayal of everything) but he is as Left and Left can be

But he portrayed STR8 women, if only a Lena Dunham had licked them when they where 3yo, they would be free.

Who would sign up for this Stalinist cult where your promised reward for a lifetime of faithful service is to the falsely accused as a Trotskyite, slung against a concrete wall naked, then shot, then dumped in an unmarked, mass grave?

They always think they will be the next commissars not the body in the ditch.

OpenID Jack Amok December 15, 2015 12:23 PM  

Example: Doc Smith used the Ancient Races Using Us as Pawns in a War plot-line in the Lensman Series. Years later, Babylon 5 used the same idea...

Yeah, but that's not what Scalzi is doing.

Blogger dc.sunsets December 15, 2015 12:23 PM  

@57 If you've bought the lie of overpopulation, then setting things up for antibiotic-resistant diseases to run rampant across the Earth is essentially "a step in correcting the problem".

This is a new gene that is transmissible inter-genus. Longevity of humans may have just begun to take a great leap backwards, given how often old people end up with gram negative bacteria in places they don't belong.

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099%2815%2900424-7/abstract

Anonymous BGS December 15, 2015 12:24 PM  

then you know you're dealing with someone who fundamentally does not understand microbial selection and the consequences, long term, for populations of critters with whom we always have a tenuous coexistence.

What if they do understand and want population reduction of people smart enough to see thru their scams?

Anonymous Ha December 15, 2015 12:25 PM  

We like Chipotle but haven't eaten there since their switch to all organic and antibiotic free meat.

Wait, there's meat at Chipotle now? I thought all they served were tortillas full of beans and rice.

Selling high salt, high carb as "organic and healthy" is SHEER GENIUS if you ask me!

Anonymous BGS December 15, 2015 12:26 PM  

Longevity of humans may have just begun to take a great leap backwards, given how often old people end up with gram negative bacteria in places they don't belong.

Longevity was an Asian/white thing. Maybe this is just one more benefit of die verse city.

Anonymous Susan December 15, 2015 12:27 PM  

@14 Stevil,

What is really scary is imagining the rest of the land whale that is attached to that single arm on the right side of that photo.

Blogger John Wright December 15, 2015 12:33 PM  

@43
You are both right. Juan Rico is a Filipino but his family lives in Argentina, and his mother is killed when Buenos Aries is wiped out by the Bugs. Or so I recall.

Anonymous Supernaut December 15, 2015 12:44 PM  

However, some beef producers put antibiotics in the feed to increase weight gain.

That is partially correct.

Cows were meant to eat grass. In feedlots, they are fed GMO grains - mostly corn and soy.

When cows are eating grass on an open pasture, they do not need antibiotics because they are healthiest eating what they were designed/evolved too, and their immune systems are functioning normally.

Put them in feedlots and feed them grains, they quickly get fat (just like humans eating all the GMO grain-based processed feed!), and their immune systems get compromised. Now throw in the fact that they are in concentrated feeding operations that have them standing hoof deep in their own shit 24-7 and you have all the vectors for rampant disease contamination.

So all CAFO meat puts antibiotics in the grain feed. What they do is keep the animals alive long enough to achieve maximum weight gain right before slaughter.

When the industry first started making CAFO's the standard operational procedure, they found the animals often got sick and died before they could make it to maximum, fat-marbled meat stage...but with antibiotics they could largely keep the unnaturally fattened and sickly herd alive until max slaughter weight was achieved.

So basically, unless you're buying 100% grass fed beef, you are getting CAFO meat that had antibiotics in it's unnatural and unwholesome feed.

Blogger Were-Puppy December 15, 2015 12:54 PM  

@20 Cataline Sergius

More like H.G. Wells, Eloi.
---

I just remembered another SJW infiltration.

There was a show called Warehouse 13, and in it H.G. Wells was a female. She said her brother was a ghost writer for her or some hogwash reasons.

Basically, let's replace a white dude with a girl, that'll show those dastardly reality lovin' losers !

OpenID crash December 15, 2015 12:54 PM  

But why wouldn’t you toss it out…?

For the love of G-D Montressor

Blogger Were-Puppy December 15, 2015 1:10 PM  

Anyone else ever read C.L. Moore's "No Woman Born"? It's about a lovely actress who gets killed, and they find a way to keep her alive in a metal body.

So we have maybe the first trans-human, as well as someone going bonkers as they lose their grip on reality. It's not Chambleaux, but its a fun pulp.

Blogger Cataline Sergius December 15, 2015 1:17 PM  

@22 Ron

I agree within limits.

Any organization that is not explicitly SJW will eventually turn SJW. It's why libertarian media always goes SJW with time.

However there are models of successful resistance to SJW entryism. The NRA comes to mind.

The big thing is to watch for it as you would a subject who is at high risk for cancer. It can be done. But you have to be ruthless in your resistance.

Blogger Were-Puppy December 15, 2015 1:19 PM  

@56 Steve, the Dark Ninja of Mockery

Somehow I've always thought that particular type was modeled from this guy.

In fact, has anyone ever seen xer and one of these
in the same place, at the same time?

Maybe they are pod people identifying as SJWs!

Blogger Steve, the Dark Ninja of Mockery December 15, 2015 1:21 PM  

Oh sweet innocent Susan...

Would Stevil leave such a thing up to your imagination?

Amber Clark
A belly dancing, burlesque performing, award winning photographer. Parent, producer, coder, makeup artist. And proud geek.


She was on the panel about "Polyamorous Parenting" at Norwescon.

Because, when you think of science fiction, you think of a polyfugly food hound with a forehead you could project movies on.

Pray to whichever deities you believe in that I do not reveal the other panelist.

Blogger Were-Puppy December 15, 2015 1:27 PM  

@78 Susan
@14 Stevil,

What is really scary is imagining the rest of the land whale that is attached to that single arm on the right side of that photo.
---

Yipe, you're right! I was so taken with nostalgia battling this things dopleganger I didn't notice the rest of the crowd!

Blogger Were-Puppy December 15, 2015 1:32 PM  

These scary characters bring to mind the true horror of being gobbled up by a D&D gelatinous cube.

Blogger Steve, the Dark Ninja of Mockery December 15, 2015 1:33 PM  

John Wright - well noted, sir.

Were-Puppy - Somehow I've always thought that particular type was modeled from this guy.

Incorrect. That guy is:

a) Not obese
b) Not wearing problem glasses
c) Smiling

I was so taken with nostalgia battling this things dopleganger I didn't notice the rest of the crowd!

Well, don't say Stevil never warned you.

Blogger Dexter December 15, 2015 1:45 PM  

when you think of science fiction, you think of a polyfugly food hound with a forehead you could project movies on.

I picture her trundling along the ocean floor, keening "Tekili-li, Tekili-li!"

Blogger Were-Puppy December 15, 2015 1:49 PM  

AAAIIIIEEEEEEE!!

Blogger John Wright December 15, 2015 1:56 PM  

Jeffro Johnson mentions reading Tarzn for the first time:

"But when I went and looked it up anyway, nearly every chapter had something in it that could surprise me. The savagery of it! The action! The oft omitted details that actually make sense of this character and which are absent from so many derivative works. The nuance that the many smear campaigns against the pulps have convinced me would not be there…! I was blown away. Repeatedly even."

I had the same reaction reading THE MOON POOL by A Merrit, RED NAILS by Robert E Howard, and certainly A PRINCESS OF MARS by Burroughs.

The fact of the matter is that these men were craftsmen, and put a lot of work, including good old fashioned scientific speculation, into their works, and they are remembered and loved for a reason (or were until the Morlocks burned he seedcorn of the next generation).

So Edgar Rice Burroughs should be on the short list of must-read authors, and Robert E Howard as well. I would also add Poul Anderson, whose body of work reaches from the golden age to HARVEST OF STARS in the 1990's.

Blogger Cataline Sergius December 15, 2015 2:41 PM  

I remember my first time reading Tarzan. It was post grad I was stuck in a library.

Tarzan was one of the rare books that I intended to flip through for five minutes and found myself closing the last page hours later.

Blogger Cataline Sergius December 15, 2015 2:46 PM  

I think the only reason Tarzan is allowed to still be published is that no lefty has read it for the past fifty years.

Blogger Dave December 15, 2015 2:53 PM  

Stevil, you're making me physically ill.

Blogger Were-Puppy December 15, 2015 3:22 PM  

@92 John Wright

So Edgar Rice Burroughs should be on the short list of must-read authors, and Robert E Howard as well. I would also add Poul Anderson, whose body of work reaches from the golden age to HARVEST OF STARS in the 1990's.
---

Can you imagine if ERB was alive today, trying to write of Barsoom? A Confederate officer as the main character? He's be fun at a Hugo ceremony.

Or perhaps a modern day Solomon Kane story where he goes to the middle east slaughtering heathens and rescuing white girls from slavery?

I'm not as familiar with Anderson, but I've got a couple of his works I plan on reading.

Blogger Cataline Sergius December 15, 2015 3:31 PM  

That was a big problem the John Carter movie had.

Sterotypes change with time. When ERB wrote those books, a confederate cavalry captain had a much different image, than they do today.

Thanks to Alex Haley's plagiaristic pen it would be assumed by a modern audience that John Carter spent all day whipping field hands and all night raping their daughters.

The story had to go way out its way to address that.

That and Michael Chabon was light years out of his depth in writing that screen play. You may as well as had Neil Gaiman writing a Conan script.

Anonymous Napoleon 12pdr December 15, 2015 4:22 PM  

@92 John Wright:

No question about ERB or Howard, but I consider them to be fantasy authors, not SF.

As for Poul Anderson, good point...though the work of his I remember most vividly is "Hoka". Which might not be a bad addition.

Anonymous zapbrannigan1 December 15, 2015 4:40 PM  

(Re-posting. Sorry if this appears twice.)

On this topic, I was Christmas shopping for one of my nephews. My sister-in-law mentioned that he loved mythology and wanted start this new series of graphic novels called The Olympians. I checked them out and, at first glance, they seemed legit to a guy with more than a passing knowledge of the classics.

However, when I previewed the author's foreword to the issue detailing the Judgement of Paris, I found a section where he confessed his annoyance at the legend. He wrote that he couldn't understand how three such powerful goddesses as Athena, Hera, and Aphrodite, whom even Zeus feared (puke), would allow themselves to get caught up in such a lowly dispute over who was fairest, nor why they would care about a single golden apple. He then proceeded to label the whole story "sexist" and explained that he had decided to make a few changes that would present the goddesses in a better light.

This infuriated me; and it's part of the generational divide described in the original post. The author, a relative young guy, simply could NOT present the material as it had been for 3,000 years because his programming refused to accept a story that presented some ugly truths about the female nature. How could he accept a story intended to highlight the fickleness, jealousy, and backstabbing that have plagued feminine relationships throughout human history, after a lifetime of indoctrination into the cult of the strong, independent woman archetype, with a glowing profile of a female trailblazer in every possible walk of life?

Never mind the fact that Eris, the goddess of STRIFE (Gasp! Is that another badthink?), was the one who cast the apple into their midst, thus establishing the moral of the legend that even petty disputes can have enormous consequences, in this case the Trojan War. And as for that golden apple, I wanted to grab this numbskull by the lapels and yell in his face that it's not about the apple, but about what was written on it: For The Fairest. For a woman, that is a challenge every bit as irresistible as a golden apple declaring its owner to be the strongest or the bravest would be for a man. Women, even goddesses, are no more pure, nor more moral, than ordinary men. And their sins, while less flashy, can still wreck civilizations.

The author's discomfort with the story lies in the fact that he literally knows less about women than a Homeric chanter that died over three millennia ago. I'm going to have a heart-to-heart with my nephew about this sometime; I can't let him accept this bullshit and leave him unprepared for the world.

Anonymous That Would Be Telling December 15, 2015 4:49 PM  

@74: dc.sunsets:

This is a new gene that is transmissible inter-genus.

Isn't this common enough for plasmids? I only briefly touched on this field back in the '70s, but Wikipedia supports this, mentioning in bacterial conjugation (which I did use back then for rough E. Coli genetic mapping) that it even happens "from bacteria to yeast, plants, mammalian cells and isolated mammalian mitochondria." And another mention that implied they can transfer beyond inter-genus, which I don't have any difficultly believing.

In general, one of the post-Asilomar revelations that resulted in a relaxation of its strict rules was a realization that genes jump around a lot, and that our recombinations weren't particularly novel.

Blogger Ron December 15, 2015 4:51 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous That Would Be Telling December 15, 2015 4:54 PM  

However there are models of successful resistance to SJW entryism. The NRA comes to mind.

I'm not sure it matters when it's been so populated with cuckservatives, going back to for example the Cincinnati Revolt in the '70s. And as others have been noting in some of the recent gun threads, the NRA has historically been the most effective gun control organization in the US.

As I note, no Federal gun control measure was passed without NRA blessing prior to the "assault weapons" ban, and there was more than a bit of waffling about it back then. It's only very lately it's gotten really hard core, in part thanks to Obama I'm sure, with whom there's no compromising.

Blogger Philip Morris December 15, 2015 5:03 PM  

@79
You are both right. Juan Rico is a Filipino but his family lives in Argentina, and his mother is killed when Buenos Aries is wiped out by the Bugs. Or so I recall.

Juan Rico is certainly Filipino (he tells another officer candidate that his family speak Tagalog at home). However, my recollection is that his mother was visiting BA when it was destroyed. There is a passage where Rico speaks of feeling great sympathy for the one Porteno in the group of trainees.

PM

Blogger Desiderius December 15, 2015 6:24 PM  

Cataline,

"The story had to go way out its way to address that."

No, actually that's the worst thing it could do, as it gave credence to the bullshit.

Never apologize, never explain (when it comes to SJW bullshit).

Anonymous Bukulu December 15, 2015 6:59 PM  

Napoleon @ 23,

The Mote in God's Eye? Really? What about Lucifer's Hammer? I think the latter is more approachable for readers new to SF precisely because it's not set in some long-distant future with unbelievable tech, etc.


And for this crowd, I'd insist on A Canticle for Leibowitz being on the short list, but I guess for generic Americans maybe not...


Blogger Were-Puppy December 15, 2015 7:22 PM  

Mote in Gods Eye and Lucifer's Hammer were both really good. I liked Footfall too.

Blogger Cataline Sergius December 15, 2015 7:46 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Cataline Sergius December 15, 2015 7:50 PM  

SJWs are always trouble, granted.

However in this case the real problem is a stereotype that changed with time.

I quote from John C. Wrights Blog:

This, by the way, is why writers use stereotypes. Far from being the evil thing all the rest of the world regards them as being, writers cannot write without stereotypes of people, places and things, and this is because our entire art consists of creating the illusion of a complete picture or a complete world out of a splinter or fragment of description, with the reader’s imagination filling in the majority of the details. One cannot do this without knowing what pictures the reader is likely to have in his imagination beforehand.

What the writer wants not to do is to be asked by the writer to use the stereotype in his head in a tired, trite, shopworn, or expected way, because then the reader notices, and is rightly put off, by the trick being pulled on him.

The defining characteristic of stereotypes is that they are unadmitted, unthinking, unconscious and unselfconscious, and using a stereotype in an expected way brings to the reader’s attention that he has these stereotypical sets of assumptions floating around in the back of his mind — and many a reader (especially readers who think of themselves as thoughtful) is a little miffed to discover that these unthinking assumptions are there, or are being played upon.

A reader whose stereotype assumptions differ from your own is even more aware. I recall reading a short story where, for example, nothing was described of the character aside from that he was a CIA agent. The writer expected me to fill in the details, so I (who come from a military background) filled in the details of a stalwart and patriotic member of the intelligence community. The writer (who must have come from a different background) told the story as if the character’s sinister and malign nature had been established — because, to him, the stereotype of the CIA agents is sinister and malign. And for me the spell was broken.


The real issue they had with John Carter, aside from a director that was out of his depth with live actors and a script doctor who had no business being anywhere near that script.

IS that they stayed too close to the original story. Lets say we move Carter up to WWI. The Sterotype is negated, he can still be an Impoverished Southron. But give him command of a 9th Cavalry Company. And the problem is addressed without wrecking the entire movie by having to dwell on it endlessly for a half freaking hour (which was what they did).

If you want to read more of about this buy TRANSHUMAN AND SUBHUMAN by John C. Wright. Its good stuff.

Blogger OneWingedShark December 15, 2015 8:00 PM  

@101 "It is so hard to talk to God directly in a genuine way. I think we want to put God in a box, to have some "control" over Him. Because it is so terrifying to really open up to really let go. [...] I must sound completely insane."

No, this is the sanest thing I've read or heard today.
God is God, and what is sinful man before Him?

"So what am I going to go through then? When I can really understand what I did, when I really know, when there is no illusion, no distraction, no bullshit, and I am face to face with God?"

At that moment, you realize the enormity of your own offensive sins -- and your response is either to declare that God is Just, knowing that you are completely deserving of Hell, or to worship the great mercy of God in Jesus Christ.

Blogger Ron December 15, 2015 8:31 PM  

@One Winged Shark

I didn't realize anyone was going to reply to my comment. If I had known you were going to reply I wouldn't have deleted it.

I want you to know I deleted what I wrote because I felt very embarrassed having put something up like that. Like talking about something too personal. Do you know what I mean?

Blogger Feather Blade December 15, 2015 8:42 PM  

@89: Well, don't say Stevil never warned you.

"Lilith von Fraumench"? What is she, the feminist counterpart to Snidely Whiplash?

Anonymous Malwyn's apprentice December 15, 2015 9:11 PM  

I've been reading ERB's John Carter series, and (like REH's Conan), I find myself reading very slowly because so much has been packed into each sentence/paragraph. Carter is unapologetic about his values and beliefs, but also demonstrates a willingness to change his mind when he encounters contrary evidence (cf. the savavgery of green/white/black Martian races). He's willing to count exceptional Martians as friends/allies, but never loses sight of the fact that these Martians ARE exceptions.

Classic SF? Gotta include Bradbury's Farenheit 451 -- one of the best dystopic tales.

Blogger OneWingedShark December 16, 2015 12:11 AM  

@110
Yes, I know what you mean.

Anonymous Alsos December 16, 2015 12:22 AM  

@111: I met Lilith once, maybe ten years ago. He's male.

Blogger Feather Blade December 16, 2015 1:02 AM  

@114

....well. That certainly explains the name then.

OpenID Jack Amok December 16, 2015 3:10 AM  

Paging Dr. Shipman...

Lovecraftian horror indeed.

Blogger Desiderius December 16, 2015 3:31 AM  

"No, this is the sanest thing I've read or heard today.
God is God, and what is sinful man before Him?"

Well, that's why He became Man.

"If ye love me, keep my commandments.

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYtxiuOw2Vc

Blogger Eric December 16, 2015 4:20 AM  

This generation reminds me of Pol Pot's young minions. Their heads are so full of that critical theory garbage they're completely unable to relate to, and have no empathy for, normal people.

Post a Comment

Rules of the blog
Please do not comment as "Anonymous". Comments by "Anonymous" will be spammed.

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts