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Sunday, April 14, 2013

The ideology war in science fiction

Sarah Hoyt tries to convince science fiction's left wing mainstream to come to grips with the new publishing reality before the ability of the right wing to bypass the gatekeepers does to them what Fox News has done to the ABCNNBCBS media cabal.
At its inception science fiction gave free rein to all thoughts of weird thoughts.  To this day science fiction allows a great leeway to personal behavior.  If there is a place on Earth you can show up wearing a live duck and have people ask you about the technical details of the costume, it’s science fiction.  To that extent, fans and other authors are “my people” and it’s a place I can decompress.  Like gays in the bad closet days finding a place they could be themselves, science fiction conventions allow me to be my own weird self without people shying away from me.  As a friend of mine puts it “we are the plaid sheep of our families.”  And the best place to hide is the flock.

The problem is that any community – ANY community – but particularly an excluded community (see what I did there?) will tend to try to form cohesion along the lines of common thought and common belief.  You might think that Odds would not try to enforce a rigid conformity, but you would be wrong.

It happened gradually.  Part of it is that most of us are used to be looked at askance and treated like abnormal.  A stunning number of us were bullied as children.  This means we tend to have an over developed empathy with any group identified as “victims.”  That, plus the fact that the publishing gatekeepers are the result of the long march and are – no, this is not under dispute – varying shades of red going from slightly to the right of Lenin to slightly to the left of Stalin. (Why is this not under dispute?  Because of the number of authors who identify themselves as communist.  Because there is in Science Fiction a young communist authors group.  People OPENLY identify as communist, and there’s no repercussion in their careers.  People don’t openly identify as conservative UNLESS they came in at a different time and their careers are secure.  If you think that’s because only leftists are creative or that this means the community is becoming more enlightened, you are part of the problem.  Go to the corner and meditate how identifying with a regime responsible for the death of a hundred million is “enlightened.  Or how any community EVER has achieved uniformity of opinion, unless it is EXTERNAL and enforced by authorities.  Good Lord, even today we have flat Earthers.  BUT you think that everyone who writes science fiction just is magically “left”?  I hope you are a fantasy author.)

I swear the eighties was a long slog of abused women in science fiction and fantasy books.  They were always abused by their fathers, too, who were tyrannical evil sobs.  The idea that mothers can be horrible parents too, never seemed to occur to these female writers. There was always a sisterhood of women.  As someone who has known any number of ‘orrible mothers, and who went to an all girls’ school the whole “sisterhood of those who possess vaginas” made me want to shred kittens.  (Shuddup.  I didn’t do it.  I’m just saying how mad it made me.  You know how I feel about cats.)  Even when the books were somewhat acceptable otherwise, it annoyed me to the point a lot of them went unread.

Then came the every woman a hero every man a wimp movement.  (Yes, Athena is more than normal.  Yes, she is strong. She is also hotheaded and foolish and, btw, Kit is far more than a match for her.)  And then…

Well, every fad of the left falls into science fiction and fantasy books, even the patently, absurdly ridiculous.  Like, oh, for instance, the idea that all male sexuality is dangerous, the idea that a society of women would be peaceful forever, the idea–  Too much to go on.  Suffice it to say the most awarded short story in our history – receiving every award in the field – posits that life in an American Suburb is more exclusionary and worse than life during China’s cultural revolution.

HOWEVER commentary by someone otherwise respected in the field, in a CHURCH magazine to the extent that homosexuals might have conflicts with being good LDS members occasions cries of “kill the witch.”

Oh, my people!  Not only are you trying to enforce conformity, but you’re trying to enforce a conformity so out of touch with the rest of society that what you think is right and worthy to publish strikes most people as “OMG, kill.”  Which probably explains the spiraling down print runs.  Those of us already fans and writers yawn, the rest of the world backs away screaming....

News for my colleagues on the left: For years we’ve put up with whatever you dished out.  We had to.  We didn’t scream, we didn’t complain.  We are even tolerant enough to like your books and admire your artistry, EVEN when we think what you’re proposing is wrong and perhaps evil (a world of all women.  Communitarian worldwide societies.)  We understand the difference between ideas and those who have them.

It’s harder for you.  Politics is your religion.

Up till now given a limited output, already pre-vetted, it was easy for you to freeze out anyone who outraged you.  But indie has opened the sluice gates.  You might (for all I know.  Again, when a community is excluded, it goes underground) be a majority in sf writers now for all I know.  I GUARANTEE you’re a tiny minority in the population.  Now that the gates have opened and anyone can write SF and sell well and be admired, it probably won’t be long before you’re a minority in sf/f writing.

However, I URGE you to come to terms as soon as possible.
I have to say that I don't think Sarah's warning is going to make any difference at all.  As a result of my campaign for SFWA president, I have spent the last two months in the bowels of the SFWA forums. What I have seen is that the writers who make up the SF/F community are, to an almost unbelievable extent, delusional.  They genuinely believe they are faster when they have been winning races because a vast quantity of other runners have been barred from even lining up in the blocks to run against them.  They genuinely believe that they are special beings with a superior morality, and at the same time, assert that their ideological views are shared by all the decent members of civil society. And they are very nasty pieces of work, bitter from their long experience of social exclusion and their lowly positions on the socio-sexual totem pole.  They are full of hatred themselves, which is why they see hate in even the most genuine and harmless differences of opinion. 

Most of all, they have no ability to conceive of the mere possibility of separating the personal from the political. They attempt to destroy those who disagree with them or cause them to suffer embarrassment; recall that McRapey's charity campaign wasn't an attempt to stop me from trolling his blog or to advance any racist, sexist, or homophobic causes, it was to try to stop me from simply mentioning him because I dared to directly quote him and taunt him for his eminently tauntable words. I did nothing more than do to him what he prides himself on doing to others; you all know what resulted from that.

Nearly two decades ago, a member of the SFWA told me that the battles within science fiction were so bitter because the stakes were so small. But I think he was wrong. It's more than that. The battles are so bitter because SF/F is largely comprised of gamma males and unattractive women who are very bitter people.  They are openly bitter about their lots in life. They are deeply angry with the world as they have experienced it. The books they write, for the most part, are their wish fulfillment fantasies, places where they finally have the chance to say what they didn't have the wit to say when it mattered and be the people they couldn't manage to become in real life. This is why, despite being technically more proficient in some ways, their work is so observably inferior to the science fiction and fantasy of earlier ages that concerned itself with ideas of more grandeur and societal import than the retro-adolescent daydreams of socio-sexually unsuccessful former junior high school students.

I commend Sarah for her graciousness in attempting to warn those who have repeatedly done their best to professionally shun her and undermine her career. But I can tell her that it will not work; I attempted to do something similar in my current campaign for SFWA President. But my warnings about the coming collapse of the traditional professional publishing business of SF/F - which you will note preceded the failure of Night Shade Books - was met with little more than the usual sneers and rabbits shrieking "not-rabbit, not-rabbit"!

So leave them to their fate.  Let the rabbits panic as books prices continue to decline, their royalties continue to fall and their publishers stop paying advances before finally going the way of Borders and Night Shade Books. Let them learn if they are able to compete on a playing field that is not heavily tilted in their favor by like-minded ideologues. Let the obese, unhealthy moral degenerates struggle to pay for the increased costs of their health care under the Obamacare regime for which they clamored.

It's not our fault. It's not our concern. And it's not our problem. The gatekeepers are failing, the gates are swinging open, and the right-wing horde is rapidly approaching the citadel. It won't be long before the sneering writers of SF/F cease their endless snarking and start crying out for mercy.

At that point, it will fall to us, we established writers of the right who have somehow managed to surmount every obstacle and survive every stone and missile hurled our way throughout what passes for our literary careers, to remind them that it was their decision to declare "no quarter". We didn't make the rules, we are merely playing by the ones they established.  I won't take any pleasure in their suffering, but neither will I shed any tears.

I've put a list of standout authors on the right sidebar.  Authors like Sarah and Orson Scott Card, genre writers who have been willing, in some manner of speaking, to stand up against the fascists of science fiction and tell them, no, you don't own science fiction, you don't own fantasy, you are interlopers and intellectual parasites, and you have polluted the very literature you claimed to love.  I encourage those fans of the genre who are of the right themselves to support those writers who don't insult you, who don't despise you, who don't hate you for your religious faith or your political beliefs.

Give their books a shot. You won't like all of them.  I don't myself.  I will still read China Mieville although he is a Communist lunatic and adore Umberto Eco's work despite the incoherence of his left-leaning humanism.  But to the extent that I can utilize whatever influence has been granted to me by those who choose to read this blog and support my writing, I will use it to assist those who stand up for Western civilization and human liberty, rather than those who, intentionally or unintentionally, are seeking to destroy it.

Make no mistake.  The John Scalzis of the science fiction world desperately want to see Western civilization destroyed. They despise it and the conceptual aspects of their work largely consists of their dreams of its demise. But what they fail to realize is that the end of all the things they hate, the end of racism, sexism, morality, religion, and inequality, requires nothing less than the end of humanity itself, and that the end of Western civilization will not be the sexy secular scientopia of their dreams, but a two thousand-year relapse into depravity and pagan darkness.

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179 Comments:

Anonymous Idle Spectator April 14, 2013 4:50 AM  

"And they are very nasty pieces of work, bitter from their years of social exclusion and lowly positions on the socio-sexual totem pole."

Well, dude, it is science fiction.

That's like hanging out at the Homebrew Computer Club.

Anonymous Koanic April 14, 2013 5:07 AM  

Oh Lord, kill.

Slowly, by chronic disease, poverty and grinding hopelessness, Amen.

Anonymous Krul April 14, 2013 5:25 AM  

The battles are so bitter because SF/F is largely comprised of gamma males and unattractive women who are very bitter about their lots in life. The books they write, for the most part, are their wish fulfillment fantasies, a place where they finally have the chance to say what they didn't have the wit to say at the time, and be the people they couldn't manage to be in real life.

I don't think this would make them tend toward leftism, by itself. Wish fulfillment fantasy has been a part of SF/F almost since the beginning. There's an element of that in almost all popular fiction.

I'm guessing that leftists would gravitate to SF because it has always been focused on the future. The originators of the genre saw the amazing scientific advances of their time and speculated about the possibilities - Jules Verne with awestruck wonder, HG Wells with grim foreboding. Meanwhile leftists since Karl Marx have also been preoccupied with the future, speculating about inevitable advances to bring about the Workers' Paradise. Creative leftists, I imagine, have gravitated toward SF as a way to speculate about future societies and, like HG Wells, criticize contemporary society.

Blogger Tom Kratman April 14, 2013 5:29 AM  

Well...they're not _entirely_ useless you know, Vox. They can always be herded together and stampeded across minefields. ;)

Anonymous scoobius dubious April 14, 2013 5:34 AM  

I'm extremely confused. If people want to write about serious topics in politics, morality, sexuality, race, society, that sort of thing... then they ought to be writing serious fiction, not science fiction.

When Joyce says, "History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awaken," I get it because the character saying it actually lives in Ireland, which I know about, not on the Planet Flurbflob, of which I know nothing. When Faulkner has a character shout, "I **don't** hate the South!" while meaning the opposite with every fiber of his being, I get what's happening, because as an American, the South is a real thing to me, it's not the Galactic Federation of Zibblezobble. I know what he means; I might agree or disagree, but my response is human, because what he wrote was recognizably human. When Frank O'Hara writes, "Oh, Lana Turner, we love you, / Get up." -- well, you get the idea.

Science fiction seems to me to have two basic purposes: 1) certain crazy stories just seem more entertaining if you put them way out in space, and 2) there are some serious scientific ideas, or maybe para-scientific ideas, that are worth testing and examining in a speculative context.

To me, 1) is fun but not really sci-fi, not that I care; and 2) is only interesting if the writer and his questions are interesting. When Frank Herbert asks, "What if space travel actually worked very differently from the way you thought it might work?" that to me is very interesting; when he starts talking about the internal politics of dynastic squabbles, the type of which I could read pretty much anywhere and in fact did, then I get bored. I don't give a shit who will be the new heir of House Harkonnen; I am very interested in the idea that the Spacing Guild is really f*cking weird.

Take this model and apply to race, sex, religion, etc. Unless there is a concrete speculative basis to it.

Anonymous Krul April 14, 2013 5:46 AM  

scoobius, historical fiction requires research, which is hard.

Even so, you're missing the forest for the trees. Sci-fi is valuable specifically BECAUSE it puts recognizably human characters in totally alien contexts. It can be a means of exploring the mind and the soul without all the baggage accumulated by familiar settings.

Furthermore the alien setting can open up the story's potential reach. If you set a great story of the human spirit in a real setting, only people who already understand that setting will get it. Stories with alien settings are accessible to anyone from anywhere. (Although admittedly the former has a lot more depth and emotional weight when done well.)

Anonymous VD April 14, 2013 5:50 AM  

I'm extremely confused. If people want to write about serious topics in politics, morality, sexuality, race, society, that sort of thing... then they ought to be writing serious fiction, not science fiction.

I totally disagree. First, serious fiction vs science fiction is a false dichotomy. Second, many serious topics can be examined more dispassionately when taken outside the settings and characteristics which immediately trigger the sensitivity flags of those limited to the rhetorical.

For example, even the most hapless Whatever rabbit is more likely to be able to consider the just grievances of the American South if presented outside the context of the American Civil War, which is a signifier immediately shutting down all thought and sparking a Pavlovian reaction of "bad raciss bad!"

Anonymous Krul April 14, 2013 5:51 AM  

Also, I doubt many SF writers feel sufficiently connected to any real setting or culture to write compellingly about it.

Anonymous kh123 April 14, 2013 5:51 AM  

But therein you lose the recognizable if it's all about describing the folding of space, or how the ecology of the sietch works - all of which is in there. But if that were it, then it'd be just one long technical jerk-off, not much different than Luscinia's wardrobe breakdowns every paragraph.

Anonymous kh123 April 14, 2013 5:52 AM  

(...@ Scoob.)

Anonymous Anonymous April 14, 2013 5:55 AM  

How much money do people spend on sci-fi books? Call it X.

Okay, how much money do people spend on computer games? Call it Y.

My hunch is that Y>X.

Print sci-fi culture is probably going to fade away. For the next five decades, I don't think ebook authors are going to be as well-paid as print authors were in the 1980s.

The leftists can keep print sci-fi. I've got access to text files of fiction dating back to the 19th century. I'm probably not going to find the time to read all the classics before I die, even if I stop spending precious time on anime.

I don't have time to catch up with Katniss and Bella and the other modern heroes of print. I still have Varney the Vampire in my to-read list.

Anonymous VD April 14, 2013 6:02 AM  

I doubt many SF writers feel sufficiently connected to any real setting or culture to write compellingly about it.

They certainly don't have a sufficient grasp of intersexual relations to write convincingly of them.

Male author: Woman impales herself on surprised man for no apparent reason.

Female author: Two alpha males are inexplicably hung up on the protagonist/author stand-in, who cannot choose between them. Neither alpha male kills the other or walks away, instead they choose to share her because she is such a special and desirable snowflake.

As I said, it's junior high school wish fulfillment.

Anonymous Crude April 14, 2013 6:08 AM  

Thank you for the most inspiring post of the day, relating this. I hope you're right.

Anonymous Krul April 14, 2013 6:12 AM  

Female author: Two alpha males are inexplicably hung up on the protagonist/author stand-in, who cannot choose between them. Neither alpha male kills the other or walks away, instead they choose to share her because she is such a special and desirable snowflake.

Ah, the Strong Independent Woman who gets passed around among the studs like a prize brood mare. To me this is the most irritating thing about Ayn Rand's novels.

And believe me, that is saying something.

Blogger Dr. Faust April 14, 2013 6:19 AM  

Publishing is not the only entertainment industry suffering. The gaming market is on the brink of collapse after years of mediocrity and "the death of a thousand cuts" by way of microtransactions. These things need to happen. It's part of the ebb and flow of the world. The old must die so that the young may takes its place. The indie gaming circuit will rise with young, creative, ambitious developers supplanting their stagnate brethren at the top. I can only surmise the same for publishing as the full effects of digital fiction begin to erode the old guard ever further.

Anonymous Pat Hannagan April 14, 2013 6:41 AM  

Hi Vox, looking forward to your series on National Libertarianism.

Also looking forward to you explaining your understanding of fascism. You seem to equate the term with totalitarian faux democratic communism, but, as I said, looking forward to your series.

Anonymous VD April 14, 2013 6:42 AM  

Yeah, it's depressing to think what EA has done to companies like Origin and Maxxis, to say nothing of what Activision did to Dynamix and Sierra On-Line.

Anonymous scoobius dubious April 14, 2013 7:04 AM  

VD: "I totally disagree. First, serious fiction vs science fiction is a false dichotomy."

Ah c'mon. Well we can argue all day long about what "serious" means, and also about what "science fiction" is, and so forth; but generically speaking, I mean "that badly-written crap they sell in paperbacks, that's about silly wars in either the future or in space, or both". Look, there's also a tremendous amount of "art" fiction that's masquerading as "serious" fiction when it's really just baloney, I know that; history will have to sort it out, not me.

From what I can gather, there's a small amount of "serious" science fiction, I'll grant you. Arthur Clarke's "Childhood's End" is written in unreadable, painful prose, but the ideas in it are very serious indeed, so I'll put that one on the scoreboard. Heinlein is a dreadful writer of prose, but I take his thinking seriously, as it should be. Same for P.K. Dick. I'm not very well-read in science fiction, it must be granted; but then again, I quit the genre early for a reason. I highly doubt that there are many sci-fi works that have as many interesting ideas in them as even a gaggle of minor Kafka shorts or a few paragraphs of Beckett does, but I'd be interested to hear of them if they exist. I'm under-read in sci-fi because I think the prose is usually so bad it's unbearable, but often the ideas are beautiful, if one can only hang on long enough to get to them. But often I can't hang on long enough, quelle dommage.

"Second, many serious topics can be examined more dispassionately when taken outside the settings and characteristics which immediately trigger the sensitivity flags of those limited to the rhetorical."

But people with such high sensitivity settings (and unmindful prejudices, it should be added) don't really deserve to be catered to in the first place, because they're never going to be serious and dispassionate no matter what you do. Artistically speaking (and I'm sort of a fan of Artaud on this score) maybe they need to be slapped into awareness, rather than buttered up. Furthermore, the world consists of details, and so details matter. If I tried to describe to you what a spider does, by comparing it to a gazelle, would that make any sense?

Anonymous VD April 14, 2013 7:10 AM  

I'm not very well-read in science fiction, it must be granted; but then again, I quit the genre early for a reason.

Then you should probably stop expressing any opinion about it except why you stopped reading it. Do you not realize how ridiculous you look when you express an admittedly uninformed opinion? And do you really think that non-science fiction literature of the sort written by Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace is any more serious than science fiction?

Is Homer unserious due to the fantasy elements in his work? Is Dante? Is Tolkien?

There are many real flaws in modern SF/F; one need not concoct imaginary ones.

Blogger Nate April 14, 2013 7:30 AM  

Aren't there actual Jedi Temples in the world?

Doesn't that suffice to prove that secular humanism leads to bizarre paganism?

Really cheesy paganism too.

Blogger Bogey April 14, 2013 7:30 AM  

First, serious fiction vs science fiction is a false dichotomy.

In my opinion there's only one or two real genres and they were invented by the Greeks a long time ago, the rest is just stuff with certain elements ramped up.

I collect old pulp science fiction magazines, such as Analog and Galaxy and I would love to see a return to that period of ingenuity and creativity. I hope Sarah A. Hoyt is right and the flood gates do open someday.

...and thanks for the writer suggestions, I'm adding a few books from each writer to my Amazon wishlist.

Blogger Nate April 14, 2013 7:37 AM  

Scoob...

You keep using the word unreadable. I don't think it means what you think it means.

Blogger Nate April 14, 2013 7:38 AM  

"For example, even the most hapless Whatever rabbit is more likely to be able to consider the just grievances of the American South if presented outside the context of the American Civil War"

This. A thousand times THIS. This is what SF and Fantasy are all about. The notion that the setting the author chooses somehow detracts from the story is ludicrous. The setting is a tool like so many others.

Anonymous FUBAR Nation Ben April 14, 2013 7:44 AM  

EA has indeed killed gaming due to their crappy Origins gaming platform plus their absolutely horrible customer service.

These types of people are delusional. When I was in a college literature class, the Italian leftist professor was gleeful that whites are going to be the minority in the US by 2050. The white self-hatred in these people is amazing. Is it marxist ideology?

Blogger Nate April 14, 2013 7:53 AM  

Sarah said it best. Politics is their religion. Brown people share their politics. Or... they think the brown people share their politics. Thus they view the brown people as their people.

Anonymous TheExpat April 14, 2013 7:57 AM  

I'm extremely confused. If people want to write about serious topics in politics, morality, sexuality, race, society, that sort of thing... then they ought to be writing serious fiction, not science fiction.

Some ideas and principles are best understood by way of (e.g., biblical) parables or (e.g., Aesop's) fables.

SF/F is just one of the current mediums.

Anonymous Salt April 14, 2013 7:59 AM  

Sarah said it best. Politics is their religion. Brown people share their politics. Or... they think the brown people share their politics. Thus they view the brown people as their people.

Thus we have the popularity of the tanning bed.

Anonymous Anonymous April 14, 2013 8:03 AM  

"Or... they think the brown people share their politics."

It's true brown people don't really share their politics because they cannot adhere to one of the core tenents of leftism ie... dissolution of the family structure. Tribe/family will always be very important to them.

Anonymous MrGreenMan April 14, 2013 8:08 AM  

@scoobius

In other places than America, a future context or a past context has often been the only way to attempt to cloak a criticism of the current regime or society. Then again, perhaps SF/F is a category mistake for the great line of books from We to Anthem to The Player Piano. I don't think SF/F serves this purpose anymore as its gatekeepers are the defenders of government now.

Anonymous DaveP. April 14, 2013 8:14 AM  

Krul: And here I thought he was talking about Laurel K. Hamilton.

Blogger Nate April 14, 2013 8:14 AM  

"I'm not very well-read in science fiction, it must be granted; but then again, I quit the genre early for a reason."

How exactly did you manage to quit the genre without stumbling upon Roger Zelazny?

Or will you assert that his silky smooth prose is also... "unreadable"?

Blogger GF Dad April 14, 2013 8:20 AM  

It's been years since I read the bulk of Clarke's work and didn't feel like it was unreadable. Asimov was a different story though. There were things in the Foundation books that were right out of the junior high locker room.
But by far the worst thing I've ever tried to read was The Davinci Code. All of these people at work and church wanted to know what I thought of the whole Merovingian blood line thing. I barely could read four chapters. To say Dan Brown writes at a third grade level insults third graders. P*ss poor writing is not exclusive to scifi.

Anonymous Vidad April 14, 2013 8:22 AM  

Really good thoughts. Perhaps the O.C. should get a link as well.

This post is yet another reminder that I need to finish up a few things and get them published.

Anonymous jack April 14, 2013 8:23 AM  

Tom Kratman April 14, 2013 5:29 AM

Well...they're not _entirely_ useless you know, Vox. They can always be herded together and stampeded across minefields. ;)

If you are the real Tom Kratman I wish your latest in the 'Peace' series could come out sooner than Nov. I just discovered you [if you are YOU] about two weeks ago. Have already read the first three of Peace and am trying hard [without much success so far] to get into the Amazon Legion. Somehow, the A. Legion seems, so far, like a digression of some sort. It comes across, for me at least, as a distraction of the themes and flow of Peace. I will finish it but probably won't like it as well as the first three. Am looking forward to that earlier book written in 2003, State of Disobedience, It's always interesting to follow an author's growth. Vox is a good example of interesting development. Enough rambling for now.

Anonymous Ioweenie April 14, 2013 8:23 AM  

@ Krul: Ah, the Strong Independent Woman who gets passed around among the studs like a prize brood mare. To me this is the most irritating thing about Ayn Rand's novels. And believe me, that is saying something.

Agreed.

Another incredibly well-written essay, btw. Was contemplating SF yesterday. It occurred to me, my avoidance of the genre is probably about my own limited imagination and inability to remember new words. After reading these many posts on SF/F, I'm intrigued to give it a go (your incredibly well-written description of the football match hooked me into thinking I might gain some understanding of battle via TOB). I appreciate the warnings/guidance about what might be worth a read, what to avoid.

Anonymous Brendan April 14, 2013 8:27 AM  

Fiction is fiction. It's one big bucket. There are sub-genres of fiction (SF, F, romance, historical, biographical, chick-lit (which is much of what is often sneeringly referred to today as "contemporary fiction") and so on). The essence of fiction remains the same, despite the genre. The pretense of so-called "literary fiction" is just that -- pretense. It needs to be judged based on how well it works as fiction, and there are some things that work well in one sub-genre and not in others, and vice versa.

As for self-styled "serious" or "literary" fiction, there is not that much of lasting value coming out of this sub-genre currently. It has also beein infected with the cultural virus of leftist intellectual dictatorship, and reflects no greater diversity of perspective than one sees in most print published contemporary SF or F. That, and it is utterly dominated today by the feminine/feminist perspective, because women are now the major consumer market of that sub-genre. This is even the case for male authors in the genre. I'll agree that some of the "literary" fiction writers are capable of writing nice prose (Jonathan Franzen comes to mind when he is writing well, although he is also inconsistent in prose quality), but they write more or less in a cultural and intellectual lock-step. They challenge nothing about the received orthodoxies of the publishing class (which are generally the same received orthodoxies as the cultural elite class as a whole) and merely sneer, snidely, at the behavior and attitudes of the proles, dissenters and occasionally elite hypocrites (i.e., the cultural orthodox who privately behave in heterodox ways, thus committing post-modernism's ultimate crime against humanity -- "incongruence", or, rather more plainly, hypocrisy).

Someone like Neal Stephenson, who writes mostly speculative fiction (I'd consider even the Baroque Trilogy to be more speculative fiction than historical fiction, although it's a hybrid), has much more interesting ideas than someone like Franzen and his ilk do, even if Stephenson could really use a better editor.

Anonymous Stilicho April 14, 2013 8:50 AM  

But what they fail to realize is that the end of all the things they hate, the end of racism, sexism, morality, religion, and inequality, requires nothing less than the end of humanity itself, and that the end of Western civilization will not be the sexy secular scientopia of their dreams, but a two thousand-year relapse into depravity and pagan darkness.

They really do appear to think that the collapse of Western civilization will result in the world resembling a science fiction convention.

Anonymous Jeigh Di April 14, 2013 8:52 AM  

"Ah, the Strong Independent Woman who gets passed around among the studs like a prize brood mare. To me this is the most irritating thing about Ayn Rand's novels.

And believe me, that is saying something."

Ah, but she wasn't being passed around, she was doing the choosing. I assume you're referring to Dagny Taggart in Atlas Shrugged. Every male she beds is a little higher than the previous, until she meets John Galt, the Perfect Man. And every previous paramour says, "Go ahead, I can see why you've chosen him."

In her own life, Rand did the same thing, or tried to, then got pissed off when Nathanial Brandon found another girl friend.

But John Galt was a virgin who had worshipped Dagny from afar, but hadn't approached her. I wonder how long he would have remained her Perfect Man had the story continued.

Anonymous 15er April 14, 2013 9:11 AM  

Well, there will likely be some sort of ritualistic bodyart and costumes.

And lots of buggery.

So, in some senses...

Anonymous bob k. mando April 14, 2013 9:11 AM  

Vox
I've put a list of standout authors on the right sidebar.




Pournelle doesn't seem to publish anymore so i understand his omission.

but why isn't Niven up there?

Anonymous Anonymous April 14, 2013 9:12 AM  

Jerry Pournelle, Larry Niven- good writers, not leftists.

Anonymous bob k. mando April 14, 2013 9:16 AM  

Jeigh Di April 14, 2013 8:52 AM
I assume you're referring to Dagny Taggart in Atlas Shrugged.




no.

well, yes and no.

yes, in that the trope applies to Dagny.

no, in that the trope recurs in EVERY SINGLE ONE of Rand's fiction works that i've read. that's at least five different books, almost her entire fiction oeuvre.

Anonymous Krul April 14, 2013 9:22 AM  

Ah, but she wasn't being passed around, she was doing the choosing. I assume you're referring to Dagny Taggart in Atlas Shrugged. Every male she beds is a little higher than the previous, until she meets John Galt, the Perfect Man. And every previous paramour says, "Go ahead, I can see why you've chosen him."

Dagny from AS, and Dominique Kohl from The Fountainhead. It's sometimes more obvious with Dom, especially when Gail Wynand literally buys her from Peter Keating "Indecent Proposal" style.

And she was getting passed around, from the previous top dog to the newcomer each time. You might say "she was doing the choosing", or more accurately "her loins were doing the choosing", but really each character was all about being dominated by the highest value male specimen in the vicinity.

Anonymous lll April 14, 2013 9:23 AM  

The war is far, far from over. You are discounting the Left has the State and MSM withing it's claws. This gives them weapons still more powerful than ebooks and social media. For examples, forced unionization of the industry, mass shaming of people like Vox by accusations in mass-media of racism/homophobia, targeting of Amazon for boycotts & legistlation, SWATTING of authors and other intimidation (swatting is already happening to anti-left bloggers), and eventually, outright censorship. You watch, these are coming. The War will get blood. As Bill Beck says, "ALL politics in this country are a dress rehersal for a civil war..." this includes even SFF...

Anonymous VD April 14, 2013 9:30 AM  

Pournelle doesn't seem to publish anymore so i understand his omission. but why isn't Niven up there?

It isn't a complete list. And I quite like Mr. Pournelle. But I haven't seen either of them standing up to the SF/F left and openly criticizing it. The older generation, for the most part, has accommodated it, however begrudgingly.

Anonymous Krul April 14, 2013 9:37 AM  

DaveP - Krul: And here I thought he was talking about Laurel K. Hamilton.

He most likely was. This is my own limitation, really. When he described the trope my mind went straight to the only example in memory. See, I literally can't remember ever reading an SF novel by a woman author. Thinking back on it now, I realize I started to avoid books with female authors back in highschool (not by intention, you understand, just general annoyance) and the habit stuck.

Huh. I really should rectify that... see if I can find some quality female SF authors. Could do me some good.

Anonymous LL April 14, 2013 9:41 AM  

@jack, yeah, that's Tom Kratman (I can tell by the sparseness of words but very pointed disdain. Ha!). And you will love State of Disobedience if you are following the current political climate and Texas in any way, shape, or form. Vox's recent video he posted of his interview where he adroitly advocates withdrawing from a union and puts that reporter in a quandry over whether that is ok or not because the reporter couldn't come up with a counterargument...well, imagine it in book form. The logical progression of boot-on-neck to secession. Easy peasy. One of my faves from Tom!

Anonymous bob k. mando April 14, 2013 9:54 AM  

VD April 14, 2013 9:30 AM
But I haven't seen either of them standing up to the SF/F left and openly criticizing it.




[ eyebrow ]
Pournelle, even today, maintains a blog which is devoted almost exclusively to commentary on the politics of the day.
http://www.jerrypournelle.com/chaosmanor/
and Pournelle has been doing things like this ever since the publication of his Axes in 1963.

Pournelle and Niven are both involved, even today, in governmental advisory groups.
[ /eyebrow ]

you know perfectly well that simply giving non-leftwing-boilerplate opinion is enough to get you strung up by the cultural enforcers of the warren. IF they pay attention to you.

my opinion is that Niven and Pournelle are ignored by the leftoids because they are considered to be dinosaurs. it's not that they don't regularly say things which would / should drive the warren into a frenzy.

it's that the leftoids have already out-grouped them and are probably just waiting for them to die.


Niven certainly is NOT as ideological as Pournelle. but then, who is?

Blogger Arrgh April 14, 2013 10:02 AM  

Why no shout out to John C Wright? He's also fighting the good fight.

Anonymous VD April 14, 2013 10:04 AM  

Good points on both Pournelle and Wright. I will add them.

Anonymous Anonymous April 14, 2013 10:07 AM  

What is Samizdata?
Who is Sarah Conner?
What does "intellectual" actually mean?
Is there a case to be made that "utopian revenge fiction" writers simply usurp the name "science" genra tool to justify the "value" of their fiction, much as (ahem SOME)neo-"economists", psycologists,humanities, "feminists", "diversity", and pseudoanthroclimatoligiconomiphoboneorainment (one word)folk do?

CaptDMO

Anonymous The other skeptic April 14, 2013 10:08 AM  

"In the long war against terrorism, the US Government had taken on extraordinary powers. And now that the war was won, powerful forces in the government had no intention of relinquishing those powers. As in 1860, the country was on the verge of civil war. And as in 1860, a leader arose to save the country-but it was not the President this time. Instead, the Governor of Texas was the woman of destiny. . . "

Oh shit. Not another strong, empowered woman!

Women do not know how to lead men. It is not in their genes!

Anonymous rycamor April 14, 2013 10:14 AM  

Krul April 14, 2013 9:22 AM

Ah, but she wasn't being passed around, she was doing the choosing. I assume you're referring to Dagny Taggart in Atlas Shrugged. Every male she beds is a little higher than the previous, until she meets John Galt, the Perfect Man. And every previous paramour says, "Go ahead, I can see why you've chosen him."

Dagny from AS, and Dominique Kohl from The Fountainhead. It's sometimes more obvious with Dom, especially when Gail Wynand literally buys her from Peter Keating "Indecent Proposal" style.

And she was getting passed around, from the previous top dog to the newcomer each time. You might say "she was doing the choosing", or more accurately "her loins were doing the choosing", but really each character was all about being dominated by the highest value male specimen in the vicinity.


It was not the same as the scenario Vox presented, where the woman carelessly vacillates between lovers with no consequences (obviously, written by a female author who has never actually lived such a life). Dagny simply hypergamy amplified. Notice, she never goes back to a previous man. She wants the top guy, and when she finds the next one up, she discards the previous, although each time offering him a morsel of respect. Her problem was that she saw no moral qualms with such a thing.

Blogger James Dixon April 14, 2013 10:22 AM  

> Most of all, they have no ability to conceive of the mere possibility of separating the personal from the political.

That seems to be the mark of leftists overall nowadays, not just in SF&F. When even dh does it on occasion,

> ...even if Stephenson could really use a better editor.

Modern publishers seem to regard a hit author as untouchable and refuse to edit them. Or perhaps they're just not editing anyone. The latter Harry Potter books badly needed a good editor.

> The war is far, far from over. You are discounting the Left has the State and MSM withing it's claws.

Of course. But the MSM has largely succeeded in alienating over half their potential audience, and is dying on the vine. The only effect force they have left is the state, and given its inability to live within its means, its failure is inevitable.

Blogger Some dude April 14, 2013 10:28 AM  

@Jeigh Di

Ah, but she wasn't being passed around, she was doing the choosing. I assume you're referring to Dagny Taggart in Atlas Shrugged. Every male she beds is a little higher than the previous, until she meets John Galt, the Perfect Man. And every previous paramour says, "Go ahead, I can see why you've chosen him."

In her own life, Rand did the same thing, or tried to, then got pissed off when Nathanial Brandon found another girl friend.


Sounds like hypergamy

Blogger Tom Kratman April 14, 2013 10:28 AM  

If you are the real Tom Kratman I wish your latest in the 'Peace' series could come out sooner than Nov. I just discovered you [if you are YOU] about two weeks ago. Have already read the first three of Peace and am trying hard [without much success so far] to get into the Amazon Legion. Somehow, the A. Legion seems, so far, like a digression of some sort. It comes across, for me at least, as a distraction of the themes and flow of Peace. I will finish it but probably won't like it as well as the first three. Am looking forward to that earlier book written in 2003, State of Disobedience, It's always interesting to follow an author's growth. Vox is a good example of interesting development. Enough rambling for now.

I'm the only Tom Kratman I am aware of, Jack.

ASOD is all right, but that's all it is. It was me, essentially hired by Jim Baen, to write up his idea. I don't play well with others nor do I play well with their ideas and it shows. OTOH, ten years later it is _still_ pissing off liberals so I must have done something right.

Think of Amazon Legion as a how-to manual. It is, in substantial part. Both it and Lotus Eaters were drafted. I could finish one in the time available. Why did I choose TAL? Because it was freaking obvious that DoD, led by morally cowardly flag officers (Lord, forgive us our redundancies), was going top knuckle under to the National Organization for (Upper Middle Class White) Women and the gay avengers and I was morally obligated to say, "No, you cretinous, corwardly shits; do it _this_ way and no other."

That said, no, it is not a digression. It is an operationally critical series of events without which Carrera cannot win the war, even as it is Lesson IV in my fictive version of How to Train For and Conduct Warre.

Lastly, if you're unfamiliar with how Baen operates, it is possible to buy an e-version, an eARC, from Baen.com webscriptions, about 3 months early. But what you buy is unedited, costs almost as much as a hardcover, and is replete with typos.

Anonymous Krul April 14, 2013 10:33 AM  

Re: rycamor

I concede the point. Vox's description doesn't PERFECTLY apply to Rand's stories because her female prots are decisive. However, the general point about misrepresenting human socio-sexual interactions by having multiple dominant men who definitely have options all hung up on the same (author stand-in) woman and not fighting over it still applies.

Anonymous The other skeptic April 14, 2013 10:34 AM  

Shock, horror, White Supremacists not the murders the MSM likes to make them out as.

What is the world coming to?

Blogger SarahsDaughter April 14, 2013 10:34 AM  

Off topic:
As I was walking through the stands at our daughters' swim meet, a woman holding a copy of TIA walked by with her husband.

Made my day that I might be in the company of one of the ilk here.

Anonymous LL April 14, 2013 10:35 AM  

@The other skeptic, I hear what you are saying, and the President in this book is also female, but of the loathesome liberal variety. There are rare, rare exceptions of women who can dispassionately cut off the free milk in school for the children (yes, I'm referring to Thatcher) and who can also take the advice of strong men around her to HELP her lead. I am not sure any leader works in a total vacuum, although the current President seems to think his word alone is sufficient to rule this country. Most leaders have advisors and military leaders to help guide them to the best overall decision. I have the book here in front of me and I am going to reread it (it's been a couple of years and probably 100 books between having read that and now, so I am not sure of the overall tenor anymore). I will read it with your declaration in the front of my mind and whether it is plausible to have the GOV of Texas do what she does in the book as a woman and not a man.

Anonymous Godfrey April 14, 2013 10:38 AM  

"... they are very nasty pieces of work, bitter from their long experience of social exclusion and their lowly positions on the socio-sexual totem pole. They are full of hatred themselves...

...The battles are so bitter because SF/F is largely comprised of gamma males and unattractive women who are very bitter people."


I’ve made similar observations. There are narcissistic people who hate reality because reality doesn’t stroke their vanity to the degree they believe they rightly deserve. Usually they're effeminate males or unattractive females unhappy with their lot in a perceived unfair world. They possess a strange combination of strong feelings of inferiority and conceited self-importance.

They’re the type of people who resented and hated the star athlete or the members of the cheerleading squad in high school. I suspect that most were an only child of a doting mother.

Oh, and I expect most were fans of “Wicked”.

Blogger Tom Kratman April 14, 2013 10:42 AM  

Skeptic:

On the contrary, women are designed for two things, bearing children and manipulating males. Or didn't you listen to your mother? Or haven't you heard of The Trung Sisters? Teuta? Joan of Arc? Elizabeth I? Golda Meir? They don't even have to work at it; they want protection and labor and we willingly provide. Note, however, a couple of important caveats. Tactically and operationally, women do not usually lead effectively; see, eg, the Trungs and Teuta. Where they are effective at that level, it's because sex, love, lust, romance, favoritism, and de facto prostitution are out. See, eg, Joan - aka the MAID of Orleans - and a certain Russki KV-1 crew that held up the advance of 11 German divisions for three days, circa November, 1941. Where there is a considerable gap between leader and led, ER I and Golda, they are superb at tapping into the "listen to your mother" circuit most men carry.

In any case, you and Jack should perhaps google "The Amazon's Right Breast."

Anonymous karsten April 14, 2013 10:47 AM  

I have to agree with others who have pointed out that using the term "fascist," pejoratively, to describe the gatekeepers of SF is a complete misuse of the term.

The fascists -- or at least the national socialists in Germany -- were against everything that the Cultural Marxists (the best current term for modern leftism) support. The NSDAP were for tradition and beauty.

They were against feminism, against Marxism, against what we now call postcolonialism (i.e., the triumph of black over white), against every ism that has destroyed Western civilization. And to the degree that they were totalitarians, well, much of that was a product of the war. All the western "democracies" became quasi-totalitarian during WWII.

Since the aristocracy was gone and hadn't the power to come back, national socialism was the last hope of stopping the rising tide of Cultural Marxism -- a force that the NSDAP identified as the true threat to the West, long before anyone else did.

Anonymous Ioweenie April 14, 2013 10:49 AM  

Rand's writing on women seems an attempt to legitimize hypergamy. Dagny never birthed a child by any male (nor did Rand), let alone Galt, so what was Rand's point, really - on women? The same old/new old: to be considered of worth, a woman must emulate masculine rather than feminine characteristics.

To her credit, Rand/Dagny greatly admired and desired men and manhood, yet her "upgrading" of lovers comes off as a less "common" way to indulge one's hypergamonous impulses than do something of value. Birthing Galt's babies would have been a better use of Dagny - or did she? I might have fallen asleep and missed it.

Anonymous Godfrey April 14, 2013 10:54 AM  

Karsten

The Nazi's were neo-pagan social Darwinists. They were a combination of nationalism and socialism. Thus the name National Socialist German Labor Party.

Anonymous VD April 14, 2013 10:57 AM  

I have to agree with others who have pointed out that using the term "fascist," pejoratively, to describe the gatekeepers of SF is a complete misuse of the term. The fascists -- or at least the national socialists in Germany -- were against everything that the Cultural Marxists (the best current term for modern leftism) support. The NSDAP were for tradition and beauty.

First, the NSDAP were not Fascists. Second, the Fascists were very much left-wingers. Third, I personally translated The Manifesto of the Fascist Struggle from the original Italian and if you have a look at it, I think you will see that small-f fascist is a perfectly appropriate term for the left-wingers in SF/F that are not outright communists.

And fourth, don't make the mistake of attempting to communicate at the dialectical level with rabbits. Rhetoric is all they can speak.

Anonymous The other skeptic April 14, 2013 11:11 AM  

On the contrary, women are designed for two things, bearing children and manipulating males. Or didn't you listen to your mother?

She died when I was young and I don't like being manipulated, especially not crudely with sex.

I have read the Amazon's Right Breast and I think authors are often required to do things because editors/publishers require it, but when you think about them they make no sense. Eg, in the Posleen series, Ringo uses a female sniper who has to both carry that damn Barrett M82A1 and has her climb a pole-like tree and shoot from up that pole.

That thing weighs something like 30lbs empty (well, Wikipedia says 29.x).

Sure, women know how to manipulate, but I believe they do not know, in their bones, in their genes, how to unite men.

Anonymous Krul April 14, 2013 11:13 AM  

Right wingers who defend the Nazis are just weird and wrong on so many levels.

The Nazis were grade-A ASSHOLES led by hysterical, deluded morons. Oh and by the way, THEY WERE SOCIALISTS. They're the National SOCIALIST party, how hard is this to understand? The fact that the current left also hates them doesn't make them okay.

Blogger Tom Kratman April 14, 2013 11:25 AM  

That, Skeptic, is a different observation. It is also absolute, hence absolutely false. Why do I say this. Colonel Kat Miller, LT Miller when I knew her. Since I wrote The Amazon Legion about 5 years before I had a publisher, and a dozen or so years before it was published, what things do you suspect _I_, not Ringo, but _I_, was forced to put in there and where do you get the idea that _I_ can be forced into much of anything where a principle is concerned? Oh, and you're dead wrong about Ringo, too.

Anonymous Josh April 14, 2013 11:41 AM  

Right wingers who defend the Nazis are just weird and wrong on so many levels.

I wouldn't consider anyone who is a fan of the nazis to be a right winger.

Anonymous The Scolds' Bridle April 14, 2013 11:48 AM  

It is the decline of the Christian West that has done more to sideline them than the existence of Christian western Civilization.

For these people, the perfect is always the enemy of the good.

Western Civ's apparent inability to deliver an utter utopia enrages them, producing demands that it be dismantled. They will like the barbaric replacement even less than they like the current society.

A strong patriarchy and a moral society would have given them the greatest chance for happiness, success, and inclusion.

It makes me think of all the delta and gamma males who also are fully on-board with sexual liberation, not at all realizing that they are unwittingly cheering for a paradigm that will leave them out in the cold. Same with the useful idiots of communism. Or the arab spring.

Fools always assume that once the 'system' is torn down, they will be the beneficiaries of the new order. No, they will simply be enslaved to a new tyrant.

Anonymous Krul April 14, 2013 11:49 AM  

Call them Deeply-Hilariously-Confused-Modern-Leftist-Haters if you prefer.

Anonymous Mike M. April 14, 2013 11:56 AM  

Sounds like the laws of economics will win again.

And we might see some good epic SF, for a change.

Anonymous Godfrey April 14, 2013 11:57 AM  

The Scolds' Bride


You speak truth.

Anonymous The Scolds' Bridle April 14, 2013 11:58 AM  

It also makes me think it is a version of Sailer's Law of Female Journalism:

"The most heartfelt articles by female journalists tend to be demands that social values be overturned in order that, Come the Revolution, the journalist herself will be considered hotter-looking."

In the end, most fights are either directly or indirectly correlated to real or perceived opportunities for reproductive success.


Anonymous bob k. mando April 14, 2013 12:25 PM  

Krul April 14, 2013 11:13 AM
Right wingers who defend the Nazis are just weird and wrong on so many levels.




hanh? what 'right wingers' who defend the NAZIs are you talking about?

i've never seen anyone who wasn't PRIMARILY a racist 'defend' NAZI actions.

and it was the DEMOCRATS of the slaver south who are/were the pre-eminent racists in this country. all the way up into the early 70s and even today.




VD April 14, 2013 10:57 AM
First, the NSDAP were not Fascists.



hanh?

i've considered NAZIs to be "Fascist + racism" ever since reading a college text book on the philosophy.

you're exempting them from the "Fascist" category altogether? on what basis?

Anonymous Rex Little April 14, 2013 12:28 PM  

recall that McRapey's charity campaign . . . was to try to stop me from simply mentioning him

No, he specifically said, more than once, that he didn't expect you to stop. By tying your mentions to donations to causes you oppose, he wanted to make it so you'd cause yourself pain. Delusional of him, of course.

Anonymous VD April 14, 2013 12:33 PM  

No, he specifically said, more than once, that he didn't expect you to stop.

Yes. He also said that he is a rapist. And then he said that he isn't a rapist. McRapey is not someone whose words can be taken at face value. He could have tied it to anything, but he tied it to simply mentioning him.

That's why he doesn't mention me. He desperately wants it all to stop. He probably thinks he understands that I won't, but he doesn't truly grasp that yet.

Anonymous VD April 14, 2013 12:37 PM  

i've considered NAZIs to be "Fascist + racism" ever since reading a college text book on the philosophy. you're exempting them from the "Fascist" category altogether? on what basis?

You don't know what you're talking about. On the basis of the ideologies as expressed by their respective leading intellectuals. National Socialism is a nationalist ideology, Fascism is a statist one. A means to an end in the former case, the actual end in the latter one.

Anonymous cheddarman April 14, 2013 12:44 PM  

Vox,

My space Viking brigade is ever at your disposal, for pillaging and putting the gamma rabbit warrens to the sword.

As a special service to the genre of SF/F, we will also carry off the fat maidens. They will have to redeem themselves through manual labor and the shedding of much body fat.

sincerely

cheddarman

Anonymous Matthew April 14, 2013 12:44 PM  

Vox, I think Michael Flynn also belongs on your list. His blog: http://tofspot.blogspot.com

Anonymous Josh April 14, 2013 12:46 PM  

since reading a college text book on the philosophy.

Well, that was your first problem...

Anonymous VD April 14, 2013 12:56 PM  

Vox, I think Michael Flynn also belongs on your list.

After reading his Ash Wednesday post, I concur. He was added.

Anonymous bob k. mando April 14, 2013 12:57 PM  

afraid i'm not really parsing you.



understanding the weakness inherent in quoting wikipedia, 'Nationalism' partially defined:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationalism
"Fascism is a form of authoritarian nationalism which stresses absolute loyalty and obedience to the state, whose purpose is to serve the interests of its nation alone."



from Dictionary.com
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fascism?s=t
"1. any ideology or movement inspired by Italian Fascism, such as German National Socialism;"

part of the problem with fascist/nazi ideologies being that they are OVERTLY and proudly irrational, they are often internally contradictory to themselves as well as contradictory with intellectual cohorts in other countries on various points.


it's been ... 15 years? since i read the textbook so i'm a bit vague on a lot of the specifics but i seem to remember that Mussolini didn't lack much in the 'nationlism' department?

and don't make the mistake that i read the textbook uncritically. the author kept asserting that fascist ideologies were 'right wing' but i noted that every time he quoted historical facts ... all of the fascist / national socialist ideas were LEFT wing.

i believe the specific text that i read was this one:
http://www.amazon.com/Fascism-Alan-Cassels/dp/088295718X/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1365958331&sr=1-2&keywords=fascism+alan

Anonymous DonReynolds April 14, 2013 1:00 PM  

OK. I will be the first one to say it. Men and women are not interchangeable. They are not the same. They have different physical and mental traits and abilities. And they are by no means EQUAL. (Peaches, oranges, apples and grapes are all different, and different does not mean wrong.) For all of the egalitarians, who sometimes like to call themselves equalitarian, I reserve my strongest contempt. Does that mean there are not capable men and women? Not in the least. Does that mean that only men can be idiots as the popular culture keeps saying? No. To say otherwise would be delusional.

I agree with Vox. There are writers who are convinced that Western Civilization is doomed to failure (just like Marx said). They can hardly wait, because (just like Marx said) it must fail in order for the workers' paradise to arise out of the mist. What awaits the true believers is not utopia but barbarism and if they think for a moment that Western Society is cruel, savage, unfair, discriminatory, vicious, and prone to bullying; just you wait. Give up on the rule of law and the discipline of militarism and you get bandits, thugs, gangbangers, and local warlords. We will see how well the women fare when they go back to being chattel. What will the weak have left when there is no more private property? Live by the sword and you shall surely die by the sword.

I am reminded of Robert Owen's (1771-1858) suggestion to cure unemployment .... abolish the plow. Then everyone will have a job. (Owen was one of the founders of utopian socialism.)

Anonymous Tadlet April 14, 2013 1:03 PM  

Tom Kratman is an wingnut who supports Nazis. He and John Ringo wrote a book praising right-wing facism and the SS. Look it up, Watch on the Rhine it was called.

Deep down all conservatives and libertairans are nazis, you would kill all blacks and gays if you could, either by gas chambers or denying health care. Look at your fetish with abortion ...the nazis were also obsessed with birth rate and against reasonalbe birth control. I look forward to the day like in progrssive nations, hate speech and pro-nazi tracts like the Watch on the Rhine is controlled and the authors prosecuted.

Anonymous Anynonymous April 14, 2013 1:05 PM  

Michael Flynn is published by Tor...

Blogger Tom Kratman April 14, 2013 1:12 PM  

Tadlet, you're hilarious. You're an illiterate, lying fool, but still hilarious.

Key question: what's the religion of the guy on the cover, and why?

Anonymous VD April 14, 2013 1:13 PM  

afraid i'm not really parsing you.

Bob, first of all, you have two completely different political ideologies and parties which developed in different countries. They aren't the same; they weren't even on the same side as World War II was developing until 1936, when Britain betrayed Italy and the Stresa Front with the e Anglo-German Naval Agreement.

For example, the National Socialists were pagan and attempted to coopt the Church. The Fascists were utterly secular and rabidly anti-Church. The National Socialists wanted women out of the workforce and focused on Kinder and Kuche. The Fascists were more radically pro-sexual equality than most modern feminists.

Keep in mind, I live in Europe and speak both German and Italian. To assert a Germanic ideology and an Italian one are identical because they both involve centralized government is so absurd, I don't even know what would be the appropriate analogy. Confusing Paul Revere and Speedy Gonzalez because they both travel quickly, perhaps?

Michael Flynn is published by Tor...

Some manage to slip past the gatekeepers. I don't believe in guilt by association.

Blogger Tom Kratman April 14, 2013 1:13 PM  

Vox, have you got a leftard magnet on this site? You know, the kind that brings the more moronic of the lib-progs to it, all lemming-like?

Anonymous Anynonymous April 14, 2013 1:15 PM  

Some manage to slip past the gatekeepers.

Or its simply not as bad as you are making out. Your limited success is probably due to mediocrity rather than any sort of ideological conspiracy.

Anonymous Nathan April 14, 2013 1:23 PM  

Tadlet, and it sounds like you worship aristocracy and mass-murder yourself. Freedom for you, and chains for anyone who disagrees with you.

Progressive? You mean like the eugenicists that wanted to obliterate races? Who ushered in birth control to eliminate the blacks? Who conspired with the communists who killed one hundred million of their own people? Who starve nations today for their own profits?

History knows only one progress. In the long run, we're all dead. That is the end state of history, not any sort of man-made utopia where the Good Men rule.

And to usher that pretend utopia in, you dehumanize all who disagree with you. Useful idiot.

You don't even rate as a public scold, just a whiny brat tattling to teacher. Take your hate speech elsewhere.

Blogger Tom Kratman April 14, 2013 1:26 PM  

Hmmm...took me a sec to figure out what was so funny about Tadie-boy's post. When you translate it, it works out to, "you badwickedevilnaughtybadbadbad people are nazis, and as soon as we nazis have the power, we're going to toss you in concentration camps."

Blogger IM2L844 April 14, 2013 1:26 PM  

I remember you bringing it up before, Vox, somewhere, but Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising Sequence seems oddly ucharacteristic for you. I guess it's because I don't know too much about it other than it is categorized as young adult/teenage fantasy fiction. Maybe I should pick it up. After all, I'm just a big kid at heart.

Blogger IM2L844 April 14, 2013 1:34 PM  

When you translate it, it works out to, "you badwickedevilnaughtybadbadbad people are nazis, and as soon as we nazis have the power, we're going to toss you in concentration camps."

If progressives ever figure out that they are internally confilcted, they'll wonder why they were ever so pissed off in the first place.


Blogger Tom Kratman April 14, 2013 1:41 PM  

Now watch. Tadpole came on and mentioned an 8 year old book that hasn't, AFAIK, been mentioned here before. Within the next few hours, that book will sell several copies on Amazon, over and above what it would have, and quite possibly a couple more via BN or other brick and mortar stores. Of that number that buy, some will become life long fans and buy many more books. And all because taddie-boy thought he could somehow damage me by mentioning it. And he will still congratulate himself on the fine job he did, trying to damage me, because, you see, to the left reality matters not a bit.

Ya know, I'm not a Nazi - couldn't be, being a quarter Jew and some gypsy - but the more I see of the left the more convinced I become that there are subhumans, walking among us.

Anonymous Anonymous April 14, 2013 1:51 PM  

Tom; given how obviously POEish "Tadlet's" post is, I'm wondering if you are just engaging in some clever marketing.

Blogger Tom Kratman April 14, 2013 1:52 PM  

Nah; I'm not that subtle. And I'm brutally honest. Really.

Anonymous VD April 14, 2013 1:53 PM  

Or its simply not as bad as you are making out. Your limited success is probably due to mediocrity rather than any sort of ideological conspiracy.

That is unlikely, considering that my first solo novel sold enough copies to make me a top 10 bestseller in Science Fiction in 2012. No, the main reason for my limited success is because I haven't submitted a single fiction proposal to anyone since The Wrath of Angels was published. I was more interested in writing non-fiction for several years, hence TIA and RGD.

I don't blame ideological conspiracy for my relative lack of success. I can't blame publishers for rejecting proposals I never submitted to them. That's all on me. But I do blame it for the conspicuous lack of right-wing authors.

I don't think people understand that I publish with Marcher Lord because I choose to do so. They approached me and said: "give us a book that no one else would ever publish." I value my near-total freedom to write whatever I want and arrange for my own cover designs with the artists I choose more than I value getting my books on lots of bookstore shelves; I've been published by a major publisher and I really didn't like it very much. I didn't like it at all.

Blogger Tom Kratman April 14, 2013 1:54 PM  

Besides, there's not need so long as there are libleprs (liberal-leftist-progressive-reds) to do it for me...and there _always_ are.

Here's a good site for Watch...and idjit libleprs, too: http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?442741-necro-Tell-Me-of-Tom-Kratman

Anonymous VD April 14, 2013 1:55 PM  

Maybe I should pick it up.

Not maybe, just do it. Read in this order: Dark is Rising, Grey King, Silver on the Tree, Over Sea Under Stone, Greenwitch. First three are great. Last two are filler.

Also, Anonymous, please pick a name under Name/URL.

Anonymous Josh April 14, 2013 1:58 PM  

Vox, have you read any of Stephen Lawhead's work?

Anonymous VD April 14, 2013 1:59 PM  

Vox, have you got a leftard magnet on this site? You know, the kind that brings the more moronic of the lib-progs to it, all lemming-like?

The smarter lefties are afraid of me. They've learned that they don't even dare to mention my name on their own blogs for fear someone will bring it to my attention and I'll devote a post to them. That leaves only those who are dumb enough to bravely rush in and stick their head into the woodchipper.

Anonymous VD April 14, 2013 2:02 PM  

Vox, have you read any of Stephen Lawhead's work?

One book, a long time ago. I barely even remember it.

Blogger Tom Kratman April 14, 2013 2:03 PM  

Personally, I think it's worth the effort to capture them alive, so they can be fed to the woodchipepr feet first.

Blogger Chris April 14, 2013 2:12 PM  

L. Jagi Lamplighter is John C. Wright' wife. She is an excellent Fantasy author who recived the tender ministration of the leftist collective forbeing ever so slightly un pc.

Anonymous 123Goodbye April 14, 2013 2:21 PM  

Vox ***But I do blame it for the conspicuous lack of right-wing authors.***

Tom ***...so long as there are libleprs (liberal-leftist-progressive-reds) to do it for me......and idjit libleprs***

Probably, at least in Tom's case, with his writing.

Blogger Tom Kratman April 14, 2013 2:26 PM  

Huh?

Anonymous Nah April 14, 2013 2:30 PM  

Pournelle doesn't seem to publish anymore

Yes he does.
The Burning City (2000) (with Larry Niven)
Go Tell The Spartans (2002) (with S. M. Stirling)
Burning Tower (2005) (sequel to The Burning City, with Larry Niven)
Escape from Hell (2009) (with Larry Niven)

Plus there is the small matter of dealing with a brain tumor he's had since 2008.

Anonymous scoobius dubious April 14, 2013 2:38 PM  

"Then you should probably stop expressing any opinion about it except why you stopped reading it."

Untrue. When you have the keys to the city, you go wherever you feel like. But you try not to intrude upon people's bedrooms, and that sort of thing, out of pure courtesy. I'm not deeply read in sci-fi, but I've read enough of it that I have a right to an opinion of its comings and goings on the face of the earth. People here, who know much more about it than I, have various complaints about the state of it. I'm just adding a bit of provocation, and criticism from the perspective of a guy who's deeply read elsewhere; maybe this will engender constructive thoughts in some other people's minds, or maybe it won't. In any event, I can guarantee you that my paltry blog comments will not cause the destruction of Buenos Aires tomorrow morning. Sometimes one brings the Apple of Discord to a bowling alley, just to see what will happen next.

"Do you not realize how ridiculous you look when you express an admittedly uninformed opinion?"

But the thing is, I don't look ridiculous. You know what I look like? A guy who knows a thing or two, with a couple of harsh opinions here and there, bantering in a friendly way with other opinionated smart people on the internet, in a kind of conversational, coffee-house atmosphere. I'm perfectly aware that I'm not giving a formal lecture to the Fellows of the Royal Society. If that were the case, I reckon I'd style things a jot differently.

"And do you really think that non-science fiction literature of the sort written by Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace is any more serious than science fiction?"

It depends on what sort of science fiction you mean. In the case of "Childhood's End", that is a work of stunning conceptual importance, and even though it's terribly written, you can put it on the shelf next to "In the Penal Colony" and it won't be embarrassing. In the case of "Jamaal and Akimba Versus the Straightman-White Corporation", it isn't. I'm not a fan of Eggers, I think he's a well-meaning fool, and I only like DFW's essays, not his fiction, but I do consider them to be at least "serious" in the sense that they're willing to get in the ring and talk about what they actually say they'll be talking about, in a context where it can be genuinely compared to reality by a thinking adult. That's not so with a lot of speculative fiction; it can only live within the terrarium of its author's preferences. It's not an iron rule of course; but it is why I say, when Joyce makes an Irishman say something about how he's bitter about history, it has weight and valence and can be examined, whereas if Octavia Butler or whoever writes the exact same remark but coming from a native of the Moons of Zargoth, it has... um, less weight. And also, different weight.

"Is Homer unserious due to the fantasy elements in his work? Is Dante? Is Tolkien?"

That one's so far out of the strike zone, it was caught by some guy in Morrocco who doesn't even know what a baseball is, while the catcher is still looking around going "Whaaaat?"


Anonymous DonReynolds April 14, 2013 2:41 PM  

Tadlet..."Deep down all conservatives and libertairans are nazis, you would kill all blacks and gays if you could, either by gas chambers or denying health care."

None of the conservatives or libertairans (sic) I have ever known were Nazis, nor did they pretend to be, nor did they aspire to be in the future. I never heard any advocate the killing of blacks or sissies. There are no gas chambers but there is a shit load of free health care in this country, and blacks consume a disproportionate share of it. Stingy, I don't think so.

Tadlet...."Look at your fetish with abortion ...the nazis were also obsessed with birth rate and against reasonalbe birth control."

Conservatives and libertarians are by no means of one mind on the subject of abortion. Those who see it as murder may have a Christian reason for opposing it. Others see it as a matter of individual freedom and have no problem with being pro-choice. (Racists have no problem with abortion since a disproportionate number of abortions are performed on black women. They consider it an effective means of "pest control". Why would you prefer abortion clinics to gas chambers?)

Tadlet..."I look forward to the day like in progrssive nations, hate speech and pro-nazi tracts like the Watch on the Rhine is controlled and the authors prosecuted."

Conservatives and libertarians defend the First Amendment (you know, free speech) so that ALL people are free to express their views, no matter how unpopular they may be to the likes of you, or me, or anyone else. If you do not appreciate a free society, might I suggest someplace more progressive, where you can realize your hopes today.....maybe North Korea or Saudi Arabia. They definitely control and prosecute what they consider to be hate speech and the penalty, you will be happy to know, is often death. Or are you opposed to the death penalty outside the abortion clinic? (Just think, your happiness is just a day away, traveling by airliner.)

Blogger Tom Kratman April 14, 2013 2:44 PM  

Or, DR, some conservatives _could_ think abortion is just fine because so many aborted babies would have grown up to vote liblepr.

Tadpole's really not worth the effort. There are libleprs. Then there are stupid libleprs. And then there are people like him.

Blogger Tom Kratman April 14, 2013 2:46 PM  

I _think_ you just admitted to trolling, Scoobs.

Blogger Matthew April 14, 2013 2:46 PM  

Lesser Tad,

Did you read Watch on the Rhine, or just read about it? Further, are you aware that, in fiction, not every idea expressed by a character, even the protagonist, is actually held by the author?

Anonymous JartStar April 14, 2013 2:53 PM  

I abandoned sci-fi and fiction outside of a few Warhammer novels (the nihilism is refreshing compared to progressivism) and the march to the left made me a cynic about both genres. I wouldn't even give a sci-fi or fantasy book a chance anymore, but now that I know that there are some good authors out there who aren't pure ideologues I'll start to pick some up.

Anonymous Jack Amok April 14, 2013 2:54 PM  

I don't think this would make them tend toward leftism, by itself. Wish fulfillment fantasy has been a part of SF/F almost since the beginning. There's an element of that in almost all popular fiction.

Yes, but the wishes of the earlier generation were vastly different than those of the scalzied bitter gammas of today. I read Jerry Pournell's View From Chaos Manor now and then, and while his writing often carries a resigned sadness abou what is passing away, there's no bitterness in it. Heinlein, Asimov and Clarke certainly had their oddities, but none were what I would call bitter.

They wrote books that were wish fulfillment fantasies too, but they wished for a world big and bold enough to have room in it for big and bold men. The Scalzies wish for a world small enough that small creatures such as themselves can be important.

Anonymous JartStar April 14, 2013 2:59 PM  

Speaking of EA I'm not surprised to see that SWTOR ended up being a flop in less than a year. I read about the concept behind the game play, laughed, and then forgot about it until I saw an article about it yesterday.

What is that make people line up like sheep behind the "Next Big MMO"? I've never seen the benefit to being one of the first people on the server and if you wait just 6 months you'll know if it sucks or not and save the $60.

Anonymous Jack Amok April 14, 2013 3:05 PM  

Yeah, it's depressing to think what EA has done to companies like Origin and Maxxis, to say nothing of what Activision did to Dynamix and Sierra On-Line.

And EA was able to do that because they gain control of shelf space in the brick-n-mortar sales world, just like the publishing houses did with print books.

Amazon blew the book world apart, first with infinite shelf space, then with epublishing. Facebook - for all the legitimate complaints about it's, ahem, "privacy" issues, and the marginal gaming quality of Zynga farming games - has shown one path to the same think in games. Steam has shown another. Both have flaws, but both demonstrate the potential. Shelf Space has already been disrupted for games, the industry just hasn't yet settled on a replacement.

Anonymous Jill April 14, 2013 3:05 PM  

This post reminds me of the theme in Gentlemen Broncos. We have a young man, Benjamin, whose life is consumed by the feminine (no father, home-schooled by his eccentric mother). He writes his own sci fi tome, which is stolen by a famous sci fi writer who feminizes his story. And then it's feminized yet again by the "film studio" that can't even manage to pay him (their check bounces), at which point he's forced by his mom to sell country balls in exchange for a little extra money. But in the end, Benjamin is vindicated. Benjamin's success brings me hope. May all Benjamins be vindicated.

Anonymous scoobius dubious April 14, 2013 3:06 PM  

@JA: "the wishes of the earlier generation were vastly different than those of the scalzied bitter gammas of today."

That is a really interesting remark. That's very insightful. I could say a lot more about that idea, and what it has to do with history, and the ways that sci-fi relates in a serious fashion to history; but maybe later, I don't want to blather on too long.

Anonymous Red Comet April 14, 2013 3:12 PM  

The publisher gates are being knocked out for the gaming side too thanks primarily to Kickstarter and alternate distribution models like Steam. Richard Garriott himself got $2 million donated to (presumably along with a chunk of his own fortune) create a new Ultima By Another Name.

Lot of the usually economically ignorant were pissed about a rich guy going to Kickstarter. I don't think they understand that it's one of the best ways to gauge interest before diving into a project. Giving money is much greater indicator of interest than saying you like it in a focus group.

However, it's worth noting that the thing holding gaming back is less ideological (financial stakes too high to allow "WHITE MAN BAD!!" stuff) than it is a move toward scripted and simplified gameplay, basically playing a movie instead of interacting.

Anonymous Jack Amok April 14, 2013 3:17 PM  

National Socialism is a nationalist ideology, Fascism is a statist one. A means to an end in the former case, the actual end in the latter one.

An important point. Any group trying to create a statist society has to have criteria for who gets to be in the ruling elite. National Socialists picked national/racial lines. Bolshevik socialists went with "whatever thugs can grab power." Which is probably why, as much innocent blood as the Nazis had on their hands, Boshies were even worse.

A second important distinction to make is that they were National Socialists. It's the socialism that made them bad, not the nationalism. But because the nationalism is what distinguished them from the Bolshies, and the Bolshies and their spawn act as gatekeepers to Proper Thought, lefties of all sorts today emphasize the nationalism.

The biggest impediment to the break-up of the EU is probably lingering indoctrination about the evils of Nationalism stemming from Commie propaganda misrepresenting what made the Nazis so evil in the first place.


Anonymous Rex Little April 14, 2013 3:21 PM  

He also said that he is a rapist. And then he said that he isn't a rapist. McRapey is not someone whose words can be taken at face value.

He never said he's a rapist in any way that was intended to be taken seriously. Even if he really is a rapist, as you claimed*, the author of his "open letter" was clearly meant to be fictional.

So, when he says something that isn't clearly ironic or satirical, why shouldn't we take him at face value?

* - Your claim was itself either satirical or an admission that you yourself are a rapist.

Blogger Nate April 14, 2013 3:28 PM  

"Personally, I think it's worth the effort to capture them alive, so they can be fed to the woodchipepr feet first."

Tom... you're a welcome addition indeed.

Anonymous VD April 14, 2013 3:38 PM  

He never said he's a rapist in any way that was intended to be taken seriously. Even if he really is a rapist, as you claimed*, the author of his "open letter" was clearly meant to be fictional.

We've covered this, Rex. As we were informed by McRapey himself, he got so perfectly into the mind of a rapist that it should be obvious not even a novelist of his astonishing literary gifts could possibly have been writing fiction.

Don't forget, he clearly stated "John Scalzi is a rapist" on the air. The Pink Rabbit Posse sampled it for the song.

He wrote it. He said it. He can't deny it.

Anonymous scoobius dubious April 14, 2013 3:43 PM  

"Commie propaganda misrepresenting what made the Nazis so evil in the first place."

It's a peculiar thing. When we look at, say, the American Civil War, we are able to put the idea of "evil" in brackets for the moment while we analyze what actually went on. Yes, a lot of people thought that slavery was wicked, but there were all these other issues that had to do with regionalism, culture, miscommunication, constitutional law, economics, notions of national pride, to say nothing of the geopolitical disposition of a whole continent. We're willing to say (at least sane people are willing to say) Well, it was all rather complicated.

Same thing with say the Tai-p'ing Rebellion, one of the greatest bloodbaths in human history. You look at it and you say, Well there are all these issues in play: the Empire is crumbling, the people are being oppressed by foreign ghosts and devils, there are all these weird outside influences that create unpredictable spin, and then the next thing you know, you have this monstrosity. But, keep in mind, it's all rather complicated.

But when the Nazis show up, suddenly nobody can bring themselves to say, Well, you know, the whole thing is complicated. Suddenly we are viewing a specimen of Pure Evil Which Has No Root Causes And No Further Explanation. Mysteriously the Bolsheviks, who gallon-for-gallon are far more soaked in blood, get the "Well it's complicated" treatment, not to mention the "Don't Go There" treatment. Mysteriously the hyper-racist Japanese imperial ultra-nationalists, who waded in blood every bit as deep as the Nazis but not as deeply as the Communists, are not viewed as the personal embodiment of ultimate evil. You Have To Understand. And also, American GIs were racisss. And plus internment camps, which all the internees, as it happened, survived. But not the Bataan death march. Joe McCarthy is the Worst Man Who Ever Lived, but the people he ranted about, who had actively conspired to betray the nation and deliver it into the clutches of the greatest murderers in history, are put-upon saints and martyrs.

Huh. Guess where this is heading.



Anonymous Outlaw X April 14, 2013 3:54 PM  

Vox, If I ever even tried to engage in this discussion, this would be me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNWZo0UjLNQ

Even though I like to read what you have to say.

Anonymous DaveP. April 14, 2013 4:00 PM  

krul: "...see if I can find some quality female SF authors..."

I know this is kind of obvious, but have you tried Bujold? I'm a big fan of both the Miles Vorkosigan SF and the Chalion fantasy novels.

Blogger stareatgoatsies April 14, 2013 4:01 PM  

So "Watch On The Rhine" seems pretty WTF to me.

Mr. Kratman, since I very rarely get to ask authors about their books - what's the back-story?

Blogger stareatgoatsies April 14, 2013 4:03 PM  

Huh. Guess where this is heading.

lemmee see... was it the Jews?

Blogger Tom Kratman April 14, 2013 4:12 PM  

Find the link I posted to RPG.net and read that. It will probably answer your questions.

Blogger Nate April 14, 2013 4:26 PM  

"Don't forget, he clearly stated "John Scalzi is a rapist" on the air. The Pink Rabbit Posse sampled it for the song.

He wrote it. He said it. He can't deny it."

This brings to mind a black knight tactic. Given the ever expanding liberal definition of rape... couldn't one box Scalzi into a corner by challenging his non-rapist status? If he denies he's ever raped someone... he's clearly showing how insensitive he is. How can he know he never raped some poor princess? Is he sure some girl didn't go along with his actions after being manipulated? or buzzed? he's never had sex with a drunk girl?

Did he get written permission to have sex with every girl he ever slept with? And will they all testify that he stopped the instant they said they were done?

its virtually impossible to not be a rapist according to the feminists that Scalzi aspires to impress.

One may as well employ that to abuse him.

Anonymous VD April 14, 2013 4:27 PM  

I know this is kind of obvious, but have you tried Bujold? I'm a big fan of both the Miles Vorkosigan SF and the Chalion fantasy novels.

I like the Barrayer novels much better than Chalion. For female authors, I recommend Susan Cooper, Tanith Lee, (her Secret Books of Paradys), and Theresa Edgerton.

Blogger IM2L844 April 14, 2013 5:02 PM  

Huh. Guess where this is heading.

I'm still trying to figure out if you're in the "It's all rather complicated" camp or the "No further explanation required" camp.

Which is it?

Anonymous Inane Rambler April 14, 2013 5:48 PM  

Umm, Tadlet is obviously a parody of Tad. Try reading what he posted again, it will be pretty obvious.

Blogger tz April 14, 2013 5:56 PM  

@Nate: One can assume that even Scalzi and his spouse consummated the marriage, which is defacto rape by the feminist definition.

Perhaps the thing I will miss most about Google Reader is its ability to cache, especially Google properties. In a disappeared article was the most excellent link:

http://www.jamesmaystock.com/essays/Pages/Scalzi.html

My only observation is that my grandparents, who were of Polish descent lived in a Polish neighborhood with polish businesses, and the local Catholic church with School, so my Parents attended that.

Fast forward, and Gays were a community in much the same way. Or people who enjoy guns, or anything else. Communities form along different lines and that is a good thing, and we should learn tolerance.

When America was federal - practiced subsidiarity, we could have diversity. Real diversity. Most people will feel uncomfortable outside their own circle, so they just formed groups. Mens' clubs (Kiwanis, FOoEagles, Lions) to do good or just smoke and drink. With the civil rights act going beyond government (which itself was going beyond managing national or interstate issues), everything became fair game. I don't think the left will like it when the pendulum swings back and the "bigots" force them to accept people THEY don't like into their institutions, and they either have to vote the way the heckler wants or face devastating legal bills or federal fines.

Tolerance to have any meaning must be for something you not merely reject, but despise, yet allow them rights and access because either a greater principle is involved like free speech if the forum is public, or that to exclude them would be on an issue the private club has not and should not worry about (an example is someone who wrote free software but banned "military" use whatever that meant).

Tolerance is a great virtue, yet it is almost absent on the left, but the right too. That is the evil of polarization. That is the Devil (Diabolos - the divider), and he is winning when he can split humanity into two groups that will kill each other over something inconsequential.

Anonymous realmatt April 14, 2013 5:57 PM  

Why 2000 years?

Anonymous Anonymous April 14, 2013 6:04 PM  

As far as SF authors who wear their politics on their sleeve and use their stories as lectures, there's plenty of so-called liberatarian SF i've attempted to read that's caused to roll my eyes, usually because of clunky prose and stilted dialogue but it's the big name Red Diaper babies and open Communists who I find tend to be the most boring authors, like Ken MacLeod, who it would seem, believes that what makes a cracking good yarn is the expansion of mind-crushingly dull Communist tracts into stories involving technology, whether from AI, aliens or the collective information society of bloggers, that finally allows the People's Revolution. In any given three hundred page story, two hundred pages will be given over to the detailing of the world's socioeconomic political stage, which invariably involves a United Europe, nominally Communist - and old-fashioned, disappointingly Five-Year-Plannish Communist at that - that is overthrown by The People, Bolshie as all get out, equipped with a killer computer virus / lightspeed drive / EMP generator that takes everything apart, man, just rips it to pieces, and blah blah yawn blah blah blah.

Anonymous rycamor April 14, 2013 7:14 PM  

Jack Amok April 14, 2013 2:54 PM

I don't think this would make them tend toward leftism, by itself. Wish fulfillment fantasy has been a part of SF/F almost since the beginning. There's an element of that in almost all popular fiction.

Yes, but the wishes of the earlier generation were vastly different than those of the scalzied bitter gammas of today. I read Jerry Pournell's View From Chaos Manor now and then, and while his writing often carries a resigned sadness abou what is passing away, there's no bitterness in it. Heinlein, Asimov and Clarke certainly had their oddities, but none were what I would call bitter.

They wrote books that were wish fulfillment fantasies too, but they wished for a world big and bold enough to have room in it for big and bold men. The Scalzies wish for a world small enough that small creatures such as themselves can be important.


Jack, sometimes you really hit the nail on the head, and this is one of them. Give me "The Stars, Like Dust" and "Farmer in the Sky" any day over stories by couch potato nerds who focus on the few little aspects of life that constitute their grievance (mainly sexual attraction and masculine leadership), and create a universe where both of those come without any of the hard work, self-discipline or fearlessness required in the normal world.

Once science fiction got out of its innocent years (around the late 50s) and discovered it could write about sex, it was all downhill from there. In one sense you could say that science fiction became the male version of feminist "journalism", in which the writer demands that the world rewire itself so they are considered attractive. Of course, in both cases without putting in the least amount of effort or strategy to those ends.

Anonymous Anonymous April 14, 2013 7:20 PM  


Thanks for the article and the link, Vox. It explains much. There was a time in the 1960's and 70's when I bought copies of "Galaxy", "Worlds of IF", "F&SF", and "Analog" as soon as they hit the news stand. I read omnivorously. During the 1980's, work and education left me less and less time to read for pleasure, and so by 1990 or so I was picking up a copy of "Analog" once every 6 months or so and still not having time to read much more than the editorial, and a Science Fact article. In the mid 90's, when I had more time, I found it more and more difficult to read all the way through an entire issue.

Somewhere in there, Stan Schmidt got into a dialog with readers over the quality of SF. His thesis was that SF was as good as it ever was, but that older readers were unconsciously comparing a new story on a theme that they had seen before, with the first time they saw it.

I didn't quite buy it. Now I really don't. Partly because of this article, but also because I was buying 'zines when "Galaxy" was going down the tubes. The last few issues of "Galaxy" were a desperate attempt to make some money by pulling stuff out of the slush pile and publishing it. This failed, of course.

But here's the point: I recall those slush pile stores and for the most part they were real clunkers filled with bad science and/or dialog and/or characterization. And then I turn to 1990's and more recent "Analog" fiction, and way too much of what is being published is only marginally better than what the editor of "Galaxy" was pulling out of the slush pile.

No, it's not just me. It's not just that the wiring in my brain is more complex in some areas than 40 years ago when my frontal lobe was not at all wired up. It's that the standards Stan Schmidt has to work within, now, are not the same standards that John Campbell had to work within in the 1950's, 60's and into the 70's.

One of the great errors of the western world is the assumption that men and women are interchangeable, they are the same except women can have babies. This can be seen in varying degrees throughout some even some Golden Age sf, such as E.E. Doc Smith. But it didn't really show up until the New Wave of the 70's. Some of that which was interesting, much of which was drek and can't even be read today without some degree of laughter.

(Parenthetically, it is my opinion that the current ideological lockstep state of F & SF is exactly what Harlan Ellison desired for many years. The stunt with the RV in Arizona during the debate over the ERA, his greedy demands made over the script to "Terminator", and so forth all support my opinion.)

So to return to the top; thanks for posting this. It clears up a lot of odd thoughts and musings I've had off and on for over 20 years.

It's not me that changed. It is SF and F writing and editing.

Rhetorical question: what are the chances of any rabbit-writer producing a work that is even vaguely close to Bester's "The Stars My Destination"? Or any of James Gunn's works? Or Jack Williamson (who wrote a lot more than the robot series)? Scope and scale, character development, descriptive narrative, etc.

I'm the kind of reader who sees movies when I read. Modern SF rarely shows me a movie. It's words on a page, like a newspaper. And again, it's not age - I read "Last of the Mohicans" when I was 40, and saw one heck of a movie.

I return to Bester:

How many people have made a point to go to the Spanish Steps in Rome, not because of some dead weenie English poet, but because of the "burning man"?

Le Grognarde

Blogger Nate April 14, 2013 7:58 PM  

TZ

Pollack jokes just don't seem funny anymore.

Blogger James Dixon April 14, 2013 8:53 PM  

> For female authors, I recommend Susan Cooper, Tanith Lee, (her Secret Books of Paradys), and Theresa Edgerton.

Le Guin, Cherryh, and Hodgell. And there's always Andre Norton.

Anonymous Gen. Kong April 14, 2013 9:13 PM  

scoobius doobious:
.....Huh. Guess where this is heading.

You don't understand. Some folks are just a teeny bit more equal than others. Those nazis were just the mostest evilest evil evaaahh! You can't compare the culling of a few million head of cattle in some primitive peasant-place like the Ukraine to what the nazis did. Comparing all those abortions likewise minimizes the sacred memory of the holy victims of the mostest evilest evil evaahhh, you see. Doing this can even get you a jail term in a fair number of "free" countries.

The funniest thing of all is not who promotes and propagandizes the above narrative endlessly, but the large number of sheep who accept it as a gospel more important than the one set forth by Jesus, the apostles and the church itself for many centuries. Guess it will be time for a big cattle drive and roundup here in Amurika soon. Like the Rev. Jones' faithful flock, most of the cattle can't wait to walk up that long ramp.

Anonymous DonReynolds April 14, 2013 9:17 PM  

tz..."Tolerance is a great virtue, yet it is almost absent on the left, but the right too. That is the evil of polarization. That is the Devil (Diabolos - the divider), and he is winning when he can split humanity into two groups that will kill each other over something inconsequential."

Now that you have thought about it, tz, maybe you can help us all to understand something. (I could not agree more that tolerance is a great virtue, especially in our Republic.) But where is the line...and there must be a bright line somewhere between tolerance and suicide.

We can all understand the bumperstickers that say, "I brake for animals" but at what point do the animals constitute a threat to survival....either for the individual or the community?

People probably pride themselves on being welcoming to foreign citizens who come to this country to live....yes, that is tolerant....but should we be just as tolerant with those who are here illegally? Does that include those who come here with the intention of carving a few states away to create a hispanic homeland or to reunite with Mexico? Lemmie see....at what point does our tolerance become an act of suicide? Should we only resist armed invaders or those who hope to conquer part of the USA or should we resist at all? I am jumping to the conclusion that resistance to invasion would not be tolerant.

Anonymous The other skeptic April 14, 2013 9:33 PM  

Personally, I think it's worth the effort to capture them alive, so they can be fed to the woodchipepr feet first.

While I am all for public executions, I think a firing squad is sufficient.

Executions should demonstrate that justice was done, not that we are a savage, bloodthirsty people.

Feeding them to a woodchipper, in my mind, puts us in the same class as the savages who stomped on the intestines of the drummer boys at Islandlwanna.

Blogger Nate April 14, 2013 9:35 PM  

"Feeding them to a woodchipper, in my mind, puts us in the same class as the savages who stomped on the intestines of the drummer boys at Islandlwanna."

Savages only respect savagery.

Anonymous The other skeptic April 14, 2013 9:45 PM  

How about the scene where the surviving remnants of the IDF join the SS and form the Judas Maccabeus Division, putting on SS uniforms and pinning on SS regalia? Or the scene where it's revealed the the sympathetic viewpoint character, who was once part of the SS, deserts the French Foreign Legion after Dien Bien Phu, joins the IDF as an act of repentance, marries a nice Jewish girl, and converts to Judaism?

Wow. What a plot device. Did he happen to explain why the French didn't secure the hills around Dien Bien Phu?

Blogger Tom Kratman April 14, 2013 9:55 PM  

Didn't read the book, did you?

Anonymous Azimus April 14, 2013 10:11 PM  

Vox you wrote this in your WND column voice. I suppose they would't have signed off on such a nitchy topic. Either way it has a nice polish to it. Like it was intended for a larger audience - SFWA concession speech?

Blogger Tom Kratman April 14, 2013 10:26 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous Jack Amok April 14, 2013 10:38 PM  

But Scoob, neither the Nazis nor the Bolshies were complicated. Group of Wannabe thugs want to run things. They find themselves in a situation where the previous power structure has collapsed due to poor choices and there was no government considered entirely legitmate by the people. Thugs organize, end up with some amount of governmental power, leverage their power to kill/imprison/exile their opponents, commence unrestrained thuggery.

It's 1 - 2 - 3 - 4. Nothing complicated about it. Just evil people taking advantage of circumstances and stupidity.

Blogger rcocean April 14, 2013 10:43 PM  

"But the thing is, I don't look ridiculous. You know what I look like? A guy who knows a thing or two, "

No, you do look ridiculous. And your opining on things you know nothing about is boring and absurd. But keep thinking you're some fascinating genius - if it helps get you through the night.

Blogger Tom Kratman April 14, 2013 10:51 PM  

Edited:

Oh, and just in case the question was serious rather than snarky, skeptic, how do you propose that the French could have logistically supported the size force needed for the perimeter if they had gone for the hills _around_ DBPh? Conversely, had they gone into the hills anyway, with the size force they could support, how do you propose they could have secured the airfields on which everyone's supplies depended? You can say they shouldn't have done it at all, but complaining about the way they did it is fairly silly.

It sounds like those criticisms of the German effort in the USSR that hinge on failure to designate a main effort, presumptively Moscow, and throw everything into that. The silly part comes in in not understanding that when you already have more troops on an axis of advance than you can support, logistically, adding troops doesn't add combat power. Rather, it detracts.

Blogger ray April 14, 2013 10:57 PM  

"Politics is your religion."


the heart of it all right, like jezreels queen

those were both fine essays, twenty yrs ago woulda been better but hey evil gets its floortime, changey hopey widdle wabbits

all commie invasions, like the prog version, are based on Proud Mediocrities full of vitriol at their betters. . . ussr, pol pot etc . . . anti-excellence (bc they aint) and anti-God (bc as Scripture states, the truth isnt in them)

this SFWA matter is just another facet of the Team Woman/Identity/Homo coalition the elites and others even worse employ, i'm glad to see Sarah (with an h!) helping out

their works of 40 years convict themselves, may Father overturn their iniquity, restore your inheritances, and bring them to their proper stations

Anonymous A. Man April 14, 2013 11:03 PM  

"At that point, it will fall to us, we established writers of the right who have somehow managed to surmount every obstacle and survive every stone and missile hurled our way throughout what passes for our literary careers, to remind them that it was their decision to declare "no quarter"."

You don't often see a Martyr Complex so diligently pursued.

Blogger Nate April 14, 2013 11:07 PM  

"The silly part comes in in not understanding that when you already have more troops on an axis of advance than you can support, logistically, adding troops doesn't add combat power. Rather, it detracts."

We have a winner.

Logistics may be boring... but logistics win wars.

Blogger Tom Kratman April 14, 2013 11:22 PM  

Or loses them. The problem, though, with basing everything on a very restrictive idea of logistics is that it makes you predictable as hell. Domestic politics ("Oh, no! Oh, nooooo! One of our soldier was caught on CNN with a torn pair of trou! We're all DOOMED!") can exacerbate that. I'm not a huge fan of Tommy Franks (Gulf II, not the one legged tanker from Gulf I), but he was the first American general in a damned long time to demonstrate willingness to take a logistic risk.

Anonymous The other skeptic April 14, 2013 11:31 PM  

Didn't read the book, did you?

No, I must admit to not having done so. I found the three books in the Posleen wars to to be an excellent read and I only found a few small problems. However, I started reading Cally's War and simply could not read it. I looked at Watch On The Rhine but there were many other things to do.

I assumed that quote was someone's tongue-in-cheek jab at the original poster.

I rode my bike to the local second-hand book shop and there was only one Kratman there. Of course, I neglected to look under Ringo. There were no Kratman titles at the real bookshop next door, but they tend to have mostly shit like Scalzi's stuff. They did have Larry Niven's Man Kzin War XIII, but I am finding them less and less interesting as well.

I guess I will just have to order State of Disobedience from Amazon.

Anonymous bob k. mando April 14, 2013 11:35 PM  

Tom Kratman April 14, 2013 1:13 PM
Vox, have you got a leftard magnet on this site? You know, the kind that brings the more moronic of the lib-progs to it, all lemming-like?



didn't take you long at all to catch on.

"Tad" was a libtard, queer troll that was gadding about here a month or two ago.

"Tadlet" is a reference to that poster, whether Tad v2 or a new poster ... who cares?




VD April 14, 2013 1:13 PM
To assert a Germanic ideology and an Italian one are identical because they both involve centralized government is so absurd



to assert that nationalists OF DIFFERENT NATIONALITIES might not always act as natural allies is ... absurd?

ah. i get it. you're even mimicking James May.

is it can be troll bob time?

Blogger Tom Kratman April 14, 2013 11:35 PM  

Okay, well the short version is that I left that as a baited trap. You'll have to look on rpg for the post, I am sick to death of right wing science fiction, or something to that effect, to see where the trap was spring. How was it a baited trap? I certainly gave the impression to the ignorati that the Jews (brigade, not division) joined the SS. They didn't. Like the Division Azul, they got administered by the SS (sort of SS) because the SS had more experience in raising and dealing with foreign formations.

Anonymous The other skeptic April 14, 2013 11:38 PM  


Oh, and just in case the question was serious rather than snarky, skeptic, how do you propose that the French could have logistically supported the size force needed for the perimeter if they had gone for the hills _around_ DBPh? Conversely, had they gone into the hills anyway, with the size force they could support, how do you propose they could have secured the airfields on which everyone's supplies depended? You can say they shouldn't have done it at all, but complaining about the way they did it is fairly silly.


Thank you. It wasn't snarky, it was a genuine question and it elicited a good answer. I have never understood why they failed to secure the hills because they seemed pivotal to their defeat. The only thing I could come up with was the French simply assumed that the Vietminh would never be able to take advantage of the hills.

Anonymous bob k. mando April 14, 2013 11:44 PM  

bob k. mando April 14, 2013 9:11 AM
Pournelle doesn't seem to publish anymore so i understand his omission.



Nah April 14, 2013 2:30 PM
Yes he does.
...
Burning Tower (2005) (sequel to The Burning City, with Larry Niven)
Escape from Hell (2009) (with Larry Niven)



Escape is also a sequel. and four years is a pretty long layoff for Pournelle, he used to be far more active than that.





Nah April 14, 2013 2:30 PM
Plus there is the small matter of dealing with a brain tumor he's had since 2008.



ah, i didn't know that. then there is hope that he'll publish again.

Anonymous scoobius dubious April 14, 2013 11:47 PM  

"No, you do look ridiculous. And your opining on things you know nothing about is boring and absurd."

Oh, no. What will I do? I've been insulted by some guy on the internet who didn't engage the original argument. A fate worse than... than... than...

I'll think of something it's worse than, eventually. Maybe it's like, a fate worse than being given a Uriah Heep record for your birthday from a person you don't know very well, something like that.

Don't have to explain myself to you,
I don't give two fucks about your review.
This is the modern world
That I've heard about...

Blogger Tom Kratman April 14, 2013 11:48 PM  

Not that, exactly. They didn't know how large an artillery train Giap had, thought it would be small, and couldn't imagine a significant one being supplied all the way from China. They were wrong on all counts. Absent Giap's 105s and 75s, it's unlikely that the Viet Minh could have reduced then captured the outposts, or cut off supply from the airfields.

There is another possiblity I've toyed with. There's a flat area to the northeast of DBPh, that didn't have an airfield, but did have water and was in a bowl of sorts no larger than the French could have secured. If it were possible, and I'm not sure it was, for the French to have started at DBPh, moved to that bowl, and hacked out a strip, then dug in on the hlls around that, the battle might have turned out differently. They'd also have had plenty of something they didn't have nearly enough of, and which lack cost them heavily, solid wood logs to fortify with.

Another thing that ought to be said. We like to dump on the frogs. But at DBPh, they were magnificent. (Though some of the colonials weren't, even most of them were.) So were the Viet Minh. Nobody could have asked or gotten more from any soldiers than both sides gave there.

Anonymous The other skeptic April 14, 2013 11:50 PM  

Oh, yeah. One other problem with the Posleen Wars series.

A terrawatt laser. Even at 99.9999% efficiency, that is still around 1 megawatt that has to be dissipated in the weapon.

Blogger Tom Kratman April 15, 2013 12:02 AM  

I didn't really putz with that sort of thing. The Tiger was fairly carefully staffed / designed on Baen's Bar, but I didn't care overmuch about lasers and such. I had a moral point of three I wanted to beat people with, and a lot of libleprs to infuriate, and that's what I concentrated on.

Personal suspicion, by the way, in re some of the posts above. I don't think the modern liblepr gives a rat's ass about how many Jews the Nazis killed. No, what they hate about the Nazis is that the Nazis attacked the communists. Every other objection to nazism is pretense, obfuscation, and outright lies. Check of proof, was Rachel Corrie, AKA St. Rachel of IHOP, left wing? How did she feel about Jews? How do other modern libleprs feel about Jews? About Israel? How does the not too terribly Reverend Jesse Jackson feel about Jews?

Blogger tz April 15, 2013 12:07 AM  

Now that you have thought about it, tz, maybe you can help us all to understand something. (I could not agree more that tolerance is a great virtue, especially in our Republic.) But where is the line...and there must be a bright line somewhere between tolerance and suicide.

We can all understand the bumperstickers that say, "I brake for animals" but at what point do the animals constitute a threat to survival....either for the individual or the community?


The line is where thought or word turns into deed, though remembering Matthew 5 on the two cardinal sins added to the thought-as-sin (Coveting is the original), I would add incitements which I will address below.

Someone advocating for a change to immigration policy or anything else can be judged on the merits of his arguments, rational or rhetorical. We ARE called to pull people up to where pure rhetoric won't be effective, not to suppress the rhetoricians, and rational arguers can usually fight on their field and thoroughly destroy them, but the reverse is not true (note how carefully the talking heads on both sides control the airtime and use ambush).

A second problem is misidentifying the problem. Let us say "illegal immigrants" consisted of mufti-millionaire entrepreneurs who were coming here to start businesses and spend money? Would you insist they go back and take their money with them? Even if they barely spoke English?

And do not many of the existing citizens wish to do things as destructive if not worse than the specific illegal immigrants you cite? Abortion murders a million per year, it is not illegals doing these murders.

Am I unjust for wishing evil people who wish to damage or destroy this country would leave this country or finding another way to ameliorate or prevent the evil or find retribution or compensation, but being less particular about their current citizenship status?

You would direct your ire at a poor man or woman working for less than minimum wage in a horrible job to send money to their family and generally minding their own business and laying low and not to your next door neighbor who is campaigning to bring Mao's cultural revolution here - and succeeding? I am a man of peace, but if I wasn't at least I would direct the violence toward those with real blood on their hands.

Put differently but simply, do you consider George Tiller's (the noted abortionist) assassin a hero or vigilante (terrorist, but both words have become distorted)?

(That said, I believe in the rule of law, so would AFTER the restoration insist the line for citizenship is at the US Embassy or counselate in their home country. For those who have been here for a long time, I would think sponsorship - an existing citizenship who would be LEGALLY responsible, or some other program).

Blogger tz April 15, 2013 12:07 AM  


I would also suggest arming the citizens of Mexico and forming an army that could march and take Mexico City and impose the US Constitution. If they desire liberty, aid them to turn their homeland into a land of liberty, and hope it marches to the tip of Argentina and Chile. If their governments are so (objectively) tyrannical and repressive, why not overthrow them instead of exile if you have the numbers?

Germany put one Lenin on the train to Moscow, we can put 10 Million Contras on buses.

Tolerance comes first with the Castle doctrine. If you aren't harming someone in your charge (you are their legal guardian, e.g. a child), there is no reason to look beyond the property line. Either your home, but also your business or club or church.

It also comes with the 1st Amendment where I would wish to question neither beliefs nor words used in discussion, though subject to consent and some reason (e.g. human sacrifice is beyond the line, peyote if they don't operate machinery or possess weapons isn't).

With speech, it is not as subjective as "I know it when I see it", it is the target. If it is a reasonable argument presented as logic, and even most rhetoric, it cannot be banned. If it is to create fear, anger, or lust (remember my Matt 5 reference), which covers shouting "Fire", or pornography (v.s. Erotic Art), it is an incitement, not an argument. Do people argue back, or end up acting out of blind emotion in reaction? There is the line where you stop tolerance. Yet even if there is something we must take care with HOW and which agency suppresses it.

We tolerate evil when it requires a greater evil to suppress it. Government is a great evil in the beginning. Culture and society less so. If either make mistakes, what is the worst case harm?

There is no question chemical contraceptives have done more destruction to this country and to the western world and civilization that heroin, cocaine (including crack), methamphetamine, and the rest combined. Yet I am for ending the war on drugs, not expanding it to include the birth control pill (and I would be for this as much as Anthony Comstock was otherwise).

We all ought to prefer to suffer evil than to become evil. To suffer torture rather than to become torturers (Peter Kreeft in a video asks this question - if you had the choice to be a victim or perpetrator). Be a guard at Auschwitz or one of the victims?

The uncertainty created by the fall means we ought to tolerate a great deal of evil as we are all are evil, and I don't even have to use the word "potentially". We all go about sinning, or as the Bible says "The just man falls seven times a day". If you want your sins forgiven (Pater Noster, Qui est in coelis...), you must forgive. We don't want someone worrying about how we are using our land, or creating the lemonade for the stand, but then do we return the favor by allowing them garish colors or exotic (but not dangerous) pets? We have planks in our eyes, but complain about the specks in the eyes of others.

So to answer it yet again in a different way, if I think something evil, but it isn't objectively, directly, and immediately harming anyone, ought I not fulfill my evangelical responsibility to argue against it and admonish the sinner in the most merciful way or discover there is no sin instead of trying to first use violence to stop it and in the process rejecting their (and by extension my own) human dignity?

Blogger tz April 15, 2013 12:18 AM  

I've already gone on too long, but the issue about how to handle evil goes a bit further.

We are called in scripture to try to resurrect the consciences of Pagans. Paul explains how spouses sanctify each other (and that is needed in this age), and how the greatest service a slave (literally) can do for his master is to save his soul - and obedience does so more than rebellion.

I've noted and analyzed (though I think on AGP) (quoting Scalzi) "Gamma Rabbit, the icon of friendly tolerance" was with such a stream of insults that no bridge could be built as the far end is kept burning to prevent it.

From the Debut:
Gamma Rabbit knows that those people are kooky, silly, wacky racist sexist homophobic dipshits, and aside from looking forward to the day when they might pull their heads out and join the rest of the human race, lets them alone to do their own thing. Because Gamma Rabbit has other, better people and things to think about.


The alternative:
Peace turtle dove knows there are people who disagree, and maybe are unenlightened or worse. They are part of the human race too. All we can do is to pray and encourage them on the path of peace. Although we can enjoy the company of saints, our job is to go into to the depths to save sinners, or at least try to stop them from doing their own thing when it is destroying them. Jesus died for them too so we must think about them and their souls

Aesop anyone?

Blogger tz April 15, 2013 12:21 AM  

(postscript: I have not completed the Xanth series, but my picture of "turtledove" is something more like Darwin might have discovered on the Galapagos, hey, maybe Archeopteryx!, complete with shell, or if quetzi-coatyl was a winged other reptile).

Anonymous scoobius dubious April 15, 2013 12:23 AM  

"arming the citizens of Mexico and forming an army that could march and take Mexico City and impose the US Constitution. If they desire liberty, aid them to turn their homeland into a land of liberty"

They don't desire liberty; they want nice stuff, for free if possible, and since they don't know how to make nice stuff themselves, or somehow find it too hard to do so, they feel it's easier to come here and try to mooch our stuff.

Immigration, whether legal or illegal, is not about liberty or other high-flown abstract concepts. It's about the fact that white people somehow always manage to have nice stuff, and non-whites want to have it. And it's aided and abetted by other people who for reasons of their own, simply hate white people and wish to see them weakened or destroyed; and non-white immigration is a perfectly useful way to achieve this.

The bottom line on immigration is: harm white people and take their stuff. Liberty has nothing to do with it.





Blogger tz April 15, 2013 12:47 AM  

For evil, there are some who you cannot convince. In most cases it is the holy spirit anyway, but you might personally be unable so leave it to someone else who God can call.

There are some where you can weaken the defenses. Either rationally or rhetorically show them that their view is evil and causing damage. Most don't know what abortion actually is. Be strong but charitable, and just show them.

Remember that these days we are dealing with people who are less developed in the area of moral-intellect than the average 5 year old a century ago. They don't know right from wrong beyond a feeling either way, no more than someone who cannot make change without a calculator or cash register can handle calculus.

With the current quarrel, I doubt Vox thinks much about Scalzi. He has to be reminded to add McRapey to a post, or even to make one. Scalzi, can neither bring himself to mention him by name, nor avoid insulting him with "RHSD!" in any paragraph. Is someone who cannot even create a mascot without gratuitous insults someone who has any wisdom, peace, or even self-control?

But that should be obvious to even Scalzi, if he could pause even a second before deleting the comment from his blog. What he claims is the ideal is something he is farther away from than Vox. He wishes peace and love, but in one post he can't even manage indifference to the words (as opposed to the person).

The reason we tolerate evil is because it can only be healed if it is tolerated. The arm with the infection can be amputated, or just the infection can be removed, but the latter might be more painful. Suppressing all speech is easier than having the discussion. We should tolerate evil to pull it into the light where it will evaporate like a vampire. So its pomps and lies can be exposed. Where its contradictions are visible. The Pharisees were a brood of vipers but obeyed the laws. Tolerating evil allows the fall to complete so people will look up. Or that those who are evil can see that some do not repay evil with evil.

Anonymous Jack Amok April 15, 2013 2:51 AM  

The problem, though, with basing everything on a very restrictive idea of logistics is that it makes you predictable as hell

Grant ended up pretty damn predictable, once he knew he had the numbers advantage and all he needed to do was hammer away at Lee. So he predictably whittled away Lee's army while simultaneously keeping it engaged and unable to respond to the fire gospel Sherman was preaching to the Southern Aristocracy in the heat of Dixie. Predictably winning is not a problem.

Sherman of course was the one who defied conventional logistics, realizing that by staying on the move he could live off the land and cut himself loose from his baggage train. But he still had a logistics plan, he didn't just wing it.

Rommel on the other was a moron. Simple calculations showed that well short of any Egyptian ports his supply trucks would hit their 100% self-supply point - where the gas needed just to run the supply trucks would consume all the available capacity, with no room left to carry supplies for the panzers or the men in the Arika Korps. OKW told him. He ignored them. Had no plan. Moron.

Japanese at Guadalcanal, or "Starvation Island" as their troops came to call it. Kept landing more and more troops, even after they could no longer adequately feed the ones already there. Bushido code and all that, I suppose, thinking that the "Warrior Spirit" can sustain an army for several weeks on a 1000 cal/day diet.

You don't have to do logistics the way everyone expects, but you do have to do logistics.

Blogger Phoenician April 15, 2013 4:10 AM  

What I have seen is that the writers who make up the SF/F community are, to an almost unbelievable extent, delusional. They genuinely believe they are faster when they have been winning races because a vast quantity of other runners have been barred from even lining up in the blocks to run against them. They genuinely believe that they are special beings with a superior morality, and at the same time, assert that their ideological views are shared by all the decent members of civil society. And they are very nasty pieces of work, bitter from their long experience of social exclusion and their lowly positions on the socio-sexual totem pole. They are full of hatred themselves, which is why they see hate in even the most genuine and harmless differences of opinion.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection

Dipshit.

Blogger Tom Kratman April 15, 2013 5:41 AM  

There was one way in which Grant was unpredictable, and it had very little to do with Grant. In the person of Lewis Parsons he had what was possibly the premier transportation genius of human history. Parsons could do things - oh, move a corps a thousand miles in ten days or so - that, after the event, seemed obvious enough, but that few or none could credit beforehand.

Anonymous LL April 15, 2013 7:52 AM  

@The other skeptic,
I am about halfway through State of Disobedience again, reading with your jaded eye of women cannot lead. The Governor, the one you highlighted in your quote of the book synopsis, again, as I barely recalled, she is more led by the male advisors around her than leads. There are points where she cannot even make a decision, she can only weep. But women react violently when it comes to children, and gathering strength and action from that is also very womanly. I think Tom accurately grasps a female reaction, at least in the first half, so far. He and I were chatting last night in email so he won't be shocked to see this here, but there is a lot of the liberal/conservative rhetoric at the beginning, which is somewhat over the top, but it smooths out as the actions accelerate. Less backfill of thinking thoughts and more action to illustrate those moral positions.

This being his first published book, and it being done in 2003, it is amazingly prescient for the current political and social climate. I still love it. I love the big story and I'm more of an entertainment reader versus a deep analysis of every tiny point reader, so take what I say with a grain of salt. Plus, I'm a girl so you're going to take what I say with a grain of salt anyway. ;-)

Anonymous Anonymous April 15, 2013 12:34 PM  

tz
I would also suggest arming the citizens of Mexico and forming an army that could march and take Mexico City and impose the US Constitution.

Read some of the history of Mexico. It is a nation with a different legal and cultural system than the US. I suggest the survey book by historian Enrique Kraus, "Mexico: Biography of Power" as a good starting point.

You also need to understand South America through the lens of its revolutionary history, starting with Simon Bolivar. Then maybe this notion can be discussed, if you still believe it to be viable.

Borderline Anonymous

Anonymous duckman April 15, 2013 5:47 PM  

Nearly two decades ago, a member of the SFWA told me that the battles within science fiction were so bitter because the stakes were so small.

SF sounds a lot like academia.

Blogger ray April 16, 2013 12:44 AM  

May all Benjamins be vindicated.


i know some that will be, a proposal i'm happy to pray for

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