When The Civil War Turns Hot

Weirdly, this is not a post about national politics.  Yeah, I know, I’m deceptive that way.  It’s on account of being one of them unreliable science fiction authors.  We won’t go into all the other kinds of unreliable I am, either.  That is likely to come out during this post and most assuredly you shall have to deal.

First of all the links on this post are going to be nonexistent, except for the original one, though I don’t object if people supply them in the comments.  I’m not linking them because just revisiting those sites will have me reaching for the blood pressure medicine I don’t got.

For those who are not of my people or who are and have been living under a rock – I was, until someone enlisted me by rubbing my lamp three times.  The rock is called novel writing.  It’s what I happen to do for a living.  It puts groceries on the table – there is a civil war going on in science fiction.

It started when one of the icons of the field, Orson Scott Card wrote something FOR HIS CHURCH MAGAZINE saying that you couldn’t be a practicing homosexual and a member of the church.  That’s where he started.  I don’t know what he said since, when provoked – I had occasion to witness on this very blog rational people who have more in agreement than not going after each other with rapiers once the “your mama too” started, so I think what people say once an argument starts should not be held against them.  (If it were, my 28 and change year marriage would have ended at the one month mark.)  In fact, if it’s someone I’m arguing with, I try to forget the unforgivable things we BOTH said.  I’m pretty good at it.

Anyway, I don’t know if Mr. Card got more vociferous and general as he went on.  One of my gay friends told me he had advocated having all gay people killed which, having read the original article and Mr. Card’s fiction, seems HIGHLY unlikely.  I trust my friend, but I think she got something at a third or fourth remove.

To begin with let me say I disagree with Mr. Card’s premise in his article.  His premise is the idea that if someone belongs to the “homosexual community” one will not be able to belong wholeheartedly to another.  I’m not disputing how he came to that conclusion or that the conclusion was right for his time and circumstances.  Part of it is that he identified the “homosexual community” as one that “gives access to sex.”  While it undoubtedly is that, I can tell from my friends who stay in it when they’re in monogamous relationships, or whose community includes homosexuals of the other sex that this is not it.  It’s “a community that grants you acceptance” and “a community where you don’t have to pretend.”  (Keep those key phrases in mind, they’ll come up later in a different context.  Also, there will be a test on Friday.)  And this is the difference between giving that community all your allegiance and considering it just a part of your life, and not incompatible with your religion.  When any community is excluded, goes underground, it becomes an all consuming milieu, reaching out to confuse your other allegiances.  See, for instance, Catholics in Tudor England.  It doesn’t however make that an inherent characteristic of whatever caused the community to appear.  Presumably, in a world in which homosexuality is universally accepted with a shrug (whether such world is ever possible I leave for the science fiction writers in our midst.  I doubt it) it becomes just one of those things.  “My friend Mike is a nice guy.  He likes cats and he reads science fiction.  He makes cute sculptures of dragons.  His husband is trying to get him to enter a con art show.”

BUT all that is to our purpose nothing, because the point is not whether I agree or disagree with Mr. Card or whether or not homosexuals are unable to participate in other communities because of dual loyalties.

No, the point is that as people talked more and more about what Card said, Mr. Card – who is to the left of me by some miles – became a pariah in science fiction.  No, wait there.  People attempted to make Mr. Card a pariah in science fiction… for saying that he didn’t think homosexuals could be good practitioners of their religion.

This would be like my writing an article for my church newsletter pointing out that you should pray daily and people coming down on me like a ton of bricks saying I wanted to force atheists to pray.

Wait – what?

A magazine devoted to a faith, saying who can or cannot – according to this person – in good conscience practice his faith while being true to his orientation has made a storm in science fiction as people posted defending and attacking him.  HOW does that even happen?  WHO CARES what the man thinks about who can and cannot practice his faith?  Most of science fiction is atheistic, with some form of Wiccan running a close second… so far as I know.  (That too will come up for discussion later.)  For years I assumed being devout in one and steeped in the lore of another traditional religion I was an odd being and it was best for all if I kept my lip buttoned up in public.  What do they care – truly – if Mr. Card believes that homosexuals can’t be good LDS members?  I’d assume the LDS homosexuals among his readers would roll their eyes and go “place and time, and the man comes from it” – i.e., his opinions belong to a certain place and time, and then wonder when his next book will come out.

If I told you that those among you who have split fingernails cannot now nor ever join the Holy Church of Ritual Martian Flogging, would you go nuts?  Would you engage in ritual cries of “kill the witch”?  No?  Okay, maybe it’s because the church is made up, so let me try this again with something not a church.  How about if Orson Scott Card had said in a Chess Fanciers magazine that unless you knew how to play chess you shouldn’t join the club.  Is that reason for outrage?

I mean, you can disagree with him, and with his analysis of the situation, but would you call him names over that?  No?

Then why has this ignited a civil war, that has caused people like Brad Torgersen to be considered very bad for defending Card?  What has caused the rift splitting the increasingly more irrelevant SFWA?

First of all, this civil war is a sign of a very sick community.  Second, like the spike of fever that kills the virus, it’s a good thing, even though it looks like it might kill the patient.

We’ll start on how science fiction has been sick – onto the death.

Brad Torgersen says that science fiction should be a place to explore ideas, even (particularly) offensive and outrageous ideas, and that recently we’ve become bland.

It’s the particular way we’ve got bland and boring that is weird.  REALLY WEIRD.

Science fiction is a literature of the Odds.  That’s central to who we are.  Most people don’t think about the technology and society they’re steeped in, for the same reason most fish (if they were sentient) wouldn’t think about water.  But we do.  We think about what societal what causes this, and how technology changes that, and then we foretell how it would change things.  Or we say “in a society with magic, how would that affect—”

It’s our job.

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.

This too is human – any excluded community will become more and more extreme – but is it art?

It’s been like this for years.  In a way I’m gratified to know that indeed what we say and do even in other contexts is being tracked.  Those of us on the right (to the extent a libertarian who, in the words of the Professor, believes it’s a good future when married gay couples have closets full of assault weapons and their kids once of legal age can buy pot at the corner store is “right” – which by itself is a mind-blowing idea) have long suspected this.  Now that we see the enforcers of conformity publically turn on an icon in the field, all the stories we heard of silent blackballing at publishers, of whispers campaigns among fans seem starkly plausible.  Likely even.  Which is good.  You’re not paranoid when they really are out to get you.

Again, the fact that to get published we had to go through a funnel of ideologically left editors and publishers (with the obvious exception) didn’t help.

So in a way, the civil war in the field has been going on forever.  It’s only that it was a cold civil war.  The rest of us wanted to get published.  We kept our mouths shut.  If we opened them only Baen would take us, and Baen has a limited number of author slots.  (Plus some of the stuff we wanted – and by that I mean I wanted – to write is not Baen-like.)  And baby had to have shoes.  (In my case baby always wore specialty shoes because… well, at 21 he wears size seventeen.)

At World Fantasy, in 2003, the speaker, apropos nothing, assured us that Howard Dean was our next president.  I can’t speak for my fellow righties in the closet (when a community is excluded it goes underground) but I could literally feel my face freeze at that.  We were a captive audience, and there was no reason on Earth to bring in politics.  Except the speaker could.  And the establishment approved of it.

Think – would this be tolerated at any company dinner?  Unless the company were “ye old factory of Democratic Party Buttons,” probably not, and even then, you know, supporters of other candidates might feel abused.

But in science fiction and fantasy, it was expected.  It garnered applause.  And those of us who were sick to our stomach had to applaud too.  (In North Korea Dear Leader has a hundred percent of the vote and is applauded at every parade.)

So what has changed?

You know we’ve found that revolutions happen not when oppression is at its worse, but when it starts to liberalize.  THEN, when people have options, they show what they always felt.

And so the civil war has gone hot, at least to the extent of heated words.  I should mention here the kerfuffle between the Locus April Fool’s Day article and the ever more stereotypical Wiscon, in which the April Fool’s article having suggested that every con goer should have to wear a burka (which would be available up to size 5x) the feminists of wiscon became determined to prove they are in fact stereotypical feminists (how many feminists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?  That’s not FUNNY!!!)  The last I heard that particular sub-branch of the civil war had devolved into feminist whining (yes, I’m going to get crucified.  One wonders if they ever hear themselves) that this is just bullying and that noooooo one should say anything mean about either Islam or feminism.  (What the h*ll makes THEM out of bounds?) and that besides, it stereotypes every feminist as fat (apparently this is based on a lack of reading comprehension.  They missed where the burka was for BOTH sexes.  Size 5x?  Likely.  Look, guys fandom is hefty.  Maybe ebook readers that require us – yes, I said us.  Could use losing sixty pounds — to run to keep them on would help?)

The beautiful thing?  Despite the “that’s not funny” foot stomping, the “right” of the isle is not stopping.  That Locus article got published, which I don’t think it would have been even five years ago.  And authors are taking to the internet to mock the screams of “bully” by the people who don’t want EVER to be the bout of a joke.  (Dear ladies, and particularly gentlemen, welcome to humanity.  LEARN to laugh at yourself.  It makes other jokes less likely.)

A lot of my colleagues who are engaging the left are DEPENDENT on traditional publishing other than Baen, which makes their stand even more brave.

However, even for those not engaging in it, there is already the awareness indie is there.  Opening your mouth the wrong way doesn’t mean the end of your career.

Which means the war isn’t going to stop unless one of two things happens: one side emerges victorious; an armistice is reached.

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.

However, I URGE you to come to terms as soon as possible.

Up till now given a limited output, already pre-veted, 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.

Do you really want to put what “we don’t all agree on” out of bounds.  Is that what you want to do?  Do you want to have horrible things said about you in the future because your character isn’t religious?  Or heterosexual?

As someone who believes in equality before the law and definite differences between the sexes, someone who is – furthermore – a religious, heterosexual woman, I have found myself writing a super gurrrrl and a gay hero.  Much to my own shock.  Art is like that.  It comes out of nowhere, womps you on the head and, if you’re lucky, the truth you write is bigger than yourself or your times.  (I’m convinced Shakespeare thought he was writing regime propaganda and bawdy jokes.  BUT his subconscious or his muse or G-d or whatever you wish to believe is behind it, had other plans.)

I don’t want to have stones thrown at me by the right OR the left because whatever I wrote doesn’t fit the message.  You want a message?  Use Western Union.  You want art?  You have to allow it to happen.

Which means you have to allow people the right to think freely.  Yes, a lot of them will have stupid ideas.  (What, you think your sh*t don’t stink?)  Yes, a lot of them will offend you.  (Communist ideas offend me, but do I come and shut you down?)

Unless someone actually has the power to send police to your door to enforce their stupid ideas, you can learn to live with it.

You do not in fact have the right to stop people thinking thoughts you don’t like.  No, it’s not unfair and bullying if people laugh at you.  Yes, it hurts like hell but there’s a reason for the old saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones.”   And besides, ladies and gentlemen, you’ve been aiming ridicule at the other side for years, in the firm belief there was no one here but us chickens.  (Some of us are dragons.  We just also happen to lay eggs.)

Now, either shake on it, shrug and go “the other side is a bunch of loons, but heck, some on my side are too” and then go write a novel or continue your fight to the death and make cons a lot more entertaining (I’ll have to attend more!) as you reenact the Hatfields and the McCoys.  I’m fairly sure which side will win.  And in either case, I don’t much care.  As long as no one physically stops me from writing my own odd stuff, I couldn’t care less.  And with the gatekeepers down, who is going to stop me?

The civil war turning hot just means one side is not being iced out.  It’s a sign of freedom, and a sign this field might yet become healthy again.

And I have a novel to write.

UPDATE:  Hey, look, I remembered to press the publish button!  Kudos for me.  I think that novel writing should come with a label “Warning, writing a novel might make the writer unfit to operate heavy (or light, like blenders!) machinery, mind small children, tie his/her own shoes or cross the street unaccompanied.

UPDATE: to subscribers, there will be content up this evening.  This is tax-weekend and I just had “unexpected errands” tm as the tax preparer in the family is in the office dealing with the numbery (totally a word) things.

567 responses to “When The Civil War Turns Hot

  1. The Science Fiction Community is infected with the Hollywood virus. You believe in the liberal conventional wisdom or you are Black listed. (Hey Hollywood tell me again about how you felt about blacklisting in the 50s?)
    The essence of Science Fiction is experimentation. 1984 was a type of Science Fiction, and that went against the (socialist/communist grain). May years ago I read a YA Science Fiction that talked about the Combine ( nee Communism) making an incredible science feat. I don’t remember the title or story but I remember thinking Ewww at the end of the story. So I say forward Heinlein! Lets write our stuff as we see it, damned be him who cries Hold! Enough!

    • Good man. Welcome to Saint Crispin’s Day.

    • those leftoids who ring their hands about the blacklisting in the 50’s ignore what was ably described by Orson Bean (and this is an Orson post, so fitting, no?) is that those maintaining the blacklisting were those on the left.
      Bean was listed and all his leftiod friends turned their backs on him, it was those pesky conservatives who kept contact and later helped him get back on track. That he became conservative caused a second black listing. Again maintained by the leftoids

    • (Hey Hollywood tell me again about how you felt about blacklisting in the 50s?)

      *dryly* Which blacklists? The ones they controlled, or the ones they spent the last half century complaining about?

  2. A test on Friday?

    Dang, that’s one of the few Heinlein novels I’ve not yet gotten around to.

    • Friday grows on you like a fungus. First time I read it, I wondered why he hadn’t bothered including a plot. Now it’s one of my favorites. I still think it could have used an edit for tightening, but eh. I might change my mind in ten years.

      • It came out when my life did not allow savoring books — if I could eke out fifteen minutes of pleasure reading before passing out it was a good night. A new Heinlein was not something I wanted to read under those circumstances.

        I don’t doubt that RAH could have used an editor — that had been apparent for several novels already. One problem success inflicts on an author is that the editors no longer seem able to hold them accountable.

      • Friday took me a while to figure out. It finally looked like a coherent work of art when I realized that the key incident was that a character who had been systematically abused and denigrated her entire life—to the point of being officially denied to be even human—reached a point where her buried self-esteem would not let her conceal herself any more, and she had to speak up no matter the consequences. The external action is decoration; the real action takes place inside Friday.

        I still like the juveniles best, but there’s real substance in Friday.

        • Heinlein actually wrote a bunch of Bildungsromanen. Sadly, most people wouldn’t know one if it bit them.

          • Heck, technically, Starship Troopers is a bildungsroman.

          • Susan Shepherd

            This is one of the reasons I really love Space Cadet. The main character eventually encounters people who are as green as he used to be, and discovers that he himself had become gradually more competent, with a greater ability to lead others, and he hadn’t really taken notice of it before.

            I read it at an age (late in high school, I want to say?) where sometimes I felt I’d never become as competent as I wished myself to be … and this book pointed out that you do that sort of thing over time, often in ways that aren’t at all obvious except in retrospect. It was a wonderful idea to be exposed to, or (more likely) reminded of.

            • Susan, if that is your name, you couldn’t possibly have learned that from Space Cadet because the novel’s main character was a male, which would preclude your being able to identify with him, and without identifying with him you could not take any insight or lesson.

              Unless, of course, you are a traitor to your gender.

              This is widely known among all the best people, so you better get back in line.

              • Susan has commented here more than once. OF COURSE she is a traitor to her gender. Why else would she read anything I write? Including blogs? Of course, I’m a double traitor to my gender and ethnicity, so hey, I WIN! (Stupid idiots trying to shove me in boxes. GRRRRR.)

                • Billy Oblivion

                  I think you may need to get your irony meter recalibrated.

                  • If that’s to me — note that I can’t tell today the way WP is acting… — I got the irony and was piling on. Tongue firmly in cheek. Sorry if it wasn’t obvious. It was late. I was tired.

                    • I believe the start of that particular line was mine, so please allow me to clarify (it that is buttering Sarah up): I don’t do irony, nor windows, and while my tongue is often firmly in cheek I am not at liberty to state whose.

              • *flails at RES with cup of Italian Ice*
                Do you have any idea what a chunk of lemon ice trying to come out when you snort feels like?!?! Oooow…..

                (Seriously, though, I always had an easier time identifying male characters, because they spent less time navel gazing and I tend towards books where they’re not horndogs.)

                • YES! When I first started writing, I couldn’t write women at all. I suspect when the “learned habits of knowing what sells” finally drop off, as my subconscious GETS I can go indie, I’ll end up with mostly guys… (Shrug.) It is what it is.

            • Space Cadet is an underrated Heinlein novel, I think, partly because of the title being a trigger for laughter now. But it has interesting themes. In particular, the theory of the different motivational types that go into Patrolmen, Marines, and merchants is taken straight from Plato’s account of the different classes in his ideal state and the characteristic virtues for each: wisdom for the guardians, courage for the auxiliaries, and temperance for the common people. The motto of the Patrol also points at a Platonic concern with who is to be a fit guardian—and a questioning of Plato’s answer.

              I remember the scene you refer to; I also remember the scenes of Matt going home and discovering that it wasn’t home any more. I rather think of that as the “Heinlein moment”—there’s a worse one at the end of Tunnel in the Sky. When I watched the original film of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, there was one scene in it, with the heroine talking with her old cheerleader friends *after* her initiation into vampire slaying and realizing she no longer has anything in common with them, that struck me as a perfect Heinlein moment scene. . . .

              Heinlein was at his best, I think, in writing Bildungsromane . . . though I suppose he would classify them as a subtype of Man Learns Lesson.

        • > The external action is decoration; the real action takes place inside Friday.

          Huh!

          I read Friday once when I was 18 or so, and didn’t much like it.

          …but that’s quite an interesting assertion.

          I should give it another chance.

          • Thinking exactly the same.

          • Wayne Blackburn

            Yes, it’s very much about Friday coming to terms with what she truly is versus what she has been told she is all her life, and seeking out people who can accept her true nature, rather than having to hide it.

            Rather like the life on many Odds, in some ways.

          • As I said — it took me till my thirties to sort of like it, and to my forties to really like it. (I also read it first at 18.) BTW the opening is THE BEST EVER WRITTEN and that includes Monster Hunter International (a close second.)

  3. I thought the Wiscon Burqa article was not about Islam, feminism, or plus-size people. I thought it was about certain people — including one very prominent author/blogger/SFWA president, not to name names — who have made a crusade out of shaming publishers for covers with slender, underdressed female characters. These people have been going to great lengths to argue how eeeeeevil it is to show these characters for two reasons: no sensibly woman would dress like that in those circumstances, and real women have a much wider range of body sizes. And for what it’s worth, I agree with both arguments; but the people making them have been such humorless moral scolds that I want to disagree with them just because it’s so FUN to disagree with humorless moral scolds!

    So the Wiscon Burqa article, in my opinion, was a direct tweak to the nose for those humorless moral scolds (with an additional minor tweak to Wiscon for their abhorrent treatment of Elizabeth Moon).

    By some odd coincidence, those same humorless moral scolds have been some of the loudest voices denouncing the Wiscon Burqa article…

    • Oh, yeah. It was about a lot of things.

      I’d take the moral scolds MUCH more seriously if they went after the UF covers that have the same nubile semi-clothed females and SOMETIMES males…

      • Some people seem to miss the fact that the purpose of a book’s cover is to induce people to pick up, sample and buy the book covered. This is not a complex ideological issue, it is a practical one.

        I would wager that if, say, Friday were put on the market with a cover modeled on Roseanne Barr rather than the slender woman depicted sales would have been less, even with Heinlein’s name plastered over the title.

        We can argue about what people should want, what ought motivate people to pick up a book, but that would forever deprive us from mocking the “Angels on a pinhead” debaters.

        OTOH, all publishers (except Baen, because Baen admits being in existence to actually sell books, which is why each novel published by Baen comes, at no extra charge, with a plot) should be encouraged to ONLY use “plus-size” females on their covers (and to avoid stigmatizing men, only Michael Moore-type beefcake should be allowed.) Thus will publishers and authors be empowered to make whatever statement they think requires not objectifying women, or men, or “bug-eyed monsters” (now, there is a discriminated against community; where are the advocates of B.E.M. rights?)

        • Wayne Blackburn

          I don’t know – Buzz Lightyear, maybe?

        • Don’t forget skinny, underweight people. Well, I suppose that goes more for men than women, considering what weights seem just great for supermodels, but – plus-sized heroine and thin as a rail hero?

          I do have one character who starts the story near obese and ends still plus-sized but slim enough to be able to do all kinds actiony stuff, like running and dodging, well (she finds that being hunted by scores of bad guys who want to kill her really helps when it comes to sticking to her diet and exercise regimen). But when I paint the cover I’m afraid I’m going to paint somebody who looks a lot more like Christine Hendricks than Roseanne.

          • But when I paint the cover I’m afraid I’m going to paint somebody who looks a lot more like Christine Hendricks than Roseanne.

            Now there’s a lady that makes me see what guys are talking about when they complement her looks…..

          • I am trimming the fat off of an SF novel where the character starts out enormous, and is whittled down to a classically heroic body type as the story progresses. I am also considering cover designs. This one should be up on Amazon in a month or two.

        • Michael Moore? Dude are TRYING to make me puke up the lunch I just ate?

        • “and to avoid stigmatizing men, only Michael Moore-type beefcake should be allowed.”

          Aiieeeee! My Eyes!!!!!!

          My therapist WILL bill you. Once she gets off the Thorazine drip just the repetition of that image required.

        • Of course books with a scantily clad Roseanne Barr on the cover won’t sell well. For the very good reason that blind people can’t read, and anybody who looks at a naked Roseanne Barr runs an abnormally high risk of being blinded. (or scratching their eyes out, which amounts to the same thing)

      • Or the male abdomens with no heads– what kind of message is that one?

        • *waves hand, bounces in seat* I know, I know! It’s so you can imagine the guy of your dreams attached to the rest of the cover hunk. I heard several romance writers discussing it at a writers’ workshop last year. In western romances, you get the bare torso and the guy has his cowboy hat tipped so far forward that you can’t see his face – same reason.

          • Doesn’t work for me– I have to admit that I slobber over good chests and butts– but I do have standards. 😉 A headless man (imho–imagination) means the undead.

            • But it…it is classical, Cyn! The Greek sculptors did a lot of torsos with broken off heads and arms. I remember from Art appreciation 101. It was so popular that the Romans copied it, and perfected it with busts with the noses missing.
              See, I didn’t miss everything by sleeping in class.

          • That’s the reason romance novels usually don’t include a description of the protagonist, too, right? (Came up when someone was trying to rip on Twilight, and someone else pointed out that a lot of their points were just standard Romance Novel junk.)

            • According to what I heard (or overheard), yes. The point is to let the reader imagine that she (in this case) is the protagonist and her spouse/crush/dreamboat is the male lead.

              • Georgette Heyer always described her protagonists. Otherwise, describing their outfits would have made no sense. Indeed, Georgette Heyer taught me to understand color theory as applied to the particular (ie, what colors I should wear).

                • Thank you. I DESCRIBE MY PROTAGONISTS. I never understood this “you imagine yourself in place of x.” They’re their own people, not me or my husband. (Even in Romance.)

                  I do tend to develop tiny crushes on my male protagonists. (Kit — SIGH. And… he plays the violin.) My husband says that’s okay, as they’re ONLY inside my head.

                  • Assuming I got the reference right, “he plays the violin”, is pretty funny. If the musical 1776 wasn’t what you meant, it’s still pretty funny – just in a different way.

                    And I don’t have a crush on my protagonist – she’s 16 and more akin to a daughter. The real daughters think it’s cute….

                  • About the only romance I read are Sherrylin Kenyon’s Dark-hunter books, and I will say she does describe her female protagonists, and they run the gamut from college coed, to plus-sized timid women, to vampire hunting ‘adult’ shop owner, to immortal goddess; short, tall, skinny, fat, blonde, brunette, timid, brave, athletic, to klutz. Her male leads tend to be all cast from the same basic mold however, and if I ever meet her husband and he turns out to be a short, pudgy, bald guy; I’m afraid I may die laughing.

                    • well… I like redheads, but it’s not an exclusive preference. My husband has dark hair, pale skin, heavy-lidded eyes, and his eyes are either hazel or green, depending. Does he resemble my protagonists? I don’t know. Some superficial characteristics, maybe — externally.

                      Internally — I’ve been told I write responsible, protective, admirable men. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is because I’ve lived with one for close to thirty years — a man who will give up a special dish, prepared just for him, for which he’s been waiting for months because his son has finished his portion and is looking wistful. A man who will freeze in shirt sleeves because his idiot wife went out in the night air with no coat. And yes, a man who will interpose himself, without thinking between his family and danger (and for this exercise, the cats, bizarrely, count as family.)

                      How could I not write admirable males. I live with one.

        • Yeah. NO objectification THERE.

          • Heh. But of course. It’s not like all those pictures of hot guys in women’s magazines that are incredibly fashionably dressed and well healed are objectification either.

            /sarcasm off

            Me? I tend to treat ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man” as easily verified observational truth.

            • But it is different when “we” do it – that’s just letting men know how it feels. It’s consciousness raising. It’s educational!

        • That photos with model releases allowing them to use the face cost more, and publishers are too cheap to pay the extra. (just as well given their notorious habit of making sure the person on the cover does NOT match the description of any of the main characters.)

          • Oh. I almost said this, and I’m sure it’s true, just like “Cute shapely chicks sell books” BUT if we’re going to judge one as lookism, then we have to pretend to be total idiots and NOT know what drives the other one too.

        • LMAO

    • What’s even funnier is that if you look at the covers and specific books that Scalzi and Hines were making such dreary fun of, the were pretty much a) written about women, b) by women, and c) marketed towards women.

      But it’s all the eevil mens, you see.

      • Yes. The EEEEEVIL patriarchs of science fiction won’t let women succeed, which is why most writers are wom– wait a minute…

      • Scalzi, like many of these folks on the left, love to score points.

        There’s the old joke that PETA protesters throw red paint on Manhattan socialites in furs instead of outlaw bikers in leathers because it’s safe.

        It’s really really safe to score points against “the patriarchy”.

        …especially when there aren’t any patriarchs around. Strawmen are safe because they don’t punch back.

        • Christopher DiNote

          You just NAILED it!

          Date: Sun, 14 Apr 2013 16:53:34 +0000 To: damobsta@hotmail.com

        • …and “glass ceilings” in board rooms are safer targets than rape-celebrating Islamist mobs that are running whole countries.

          • Or even old men of liberalism who were known to encourage rape (there are stories going around about Ayers that ring completely true to that milieu in the sixties.)

            Feminism discredited itself forever with me when they started finding excuses for President Have At It for what they would have PILLORIED anyone else for saying and doing. Before that I thought they were well meaning fools. (I’d come to the conclusion they were fools in my early twenties. Also that their ideas of history are insane.) After that, I dropped the well-meaning.

            • “The only place for a woman in our organization is on her back”? (Apparently much used in various 60s groups and those that followed– but somehow never ran into it until I started reading blogs, since it doesn’t make those “peoples’ movements” look so good. IIRC, it was mentioned by one of MLK Jr’s female decedents.)

              • “but somehow never ran into it until I started reading blogs”

                You really have lead a sheltered life haven’t you? I had heard that quiet a few times before I ever learned how to log on the internet, but I had also heard a feminazi state, “the proper place for a man is chained to the bedpost.” Both statements show the same level of stupidity and bigotry.

                • Three cheers for public school.

                  Being rural and north-west, it’s not like we had Black Panthers doing recruiting locally, and I can’t picture my uncles mentioning it to me now— half of them are in denial that their little sister’s cute little girl has children the size they remember her as.

                  My mom never got into politics or activism at college, either– too busy working. She thought her roommate had a really impressive tomato plant that she clearly spent a lot of time on, but it didn’t have any tomatoes…until said roommate got busted for growing pot in the dorm.

                • I ran into the second one in various books, but like the “if women were in charge there’d be no war” BS, I thought nobody could possibly be that dumb.

                • “… I had also heard a feminazi state, “the proper place for a man is chained to the bedpost.” ”

                  I heard that costs extra.

              • I think that phrase is more often invoked by its detractors than anyone who promotes it. I seem to recall some lesbian feminist rag that used “On Our Backs” as their title.

                Given the sexual revolution, it seems that the left wants women on their backs just as much, if not more.

                • Oddly, I haven’t seen it claimed that the right side wants this; rather odd, since most everything else the left has done gets thrown as an accusation.

                  • The Right will never ADMIT it, but you know, by opposing all the leftist Feminist crap, CLEARLY all Republicans want women to be Barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.
                    /Sarc
                    That’s the funny thing about secret agendas though, it seems that only your enemies and conspiracy theorists know about them.

                    • Stomps her foot. I WANTED to be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. Instead I kept NOT getting pregnant and the stories wouldn’t leave me alone. Sigh. Probably a good thing. Multiply son #1 and son #2 by five and add one (I wanted eleven!) — the world might not be large enough.

                    • Ha! I’m a house-husband (as well as a documentation editor) and wifey mine knows better than to intrude in the kitchen (barefoot or otherwise). That’s my space! She seldom objects.

                    • Also, you probably would have more trouble getting pregnant than I did (runs.)

                      My sons are now starting to cook. I mean, stuff we care to eat. I’m okay. More time to write.

                    • I wish this were a jokes, but recent news reports aver that Obamacare might cover infertility treatments for him.

                    • Nah. There’d just be a show called “The Hoyts” instead of “19 and counting.”

                    • I made my sister fall down laughing by pointing out, at one point, that I was in her kitchen, barefoot, and six months pregnant.

                      I seem to remember it after making a point about gun rights and how I really like being able to be the physical equal of the hypothetical 6’6″ drugged-up gang member that wanted to do me harm!

                    • “That’s the funny thing about secret agendas though, it seems that only your enemies and conspiracy theorists know about them.”

                      I KNOW, RIGHT?

    • > — including one very prominent author/blogger/SFWA president, not to name names — who have made a crusade out of shaming publishers for covers with slender, underdressed female characters.

      Oh, come on.

      Let’s just call a Scalzi a Scalzi.

  4. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    What’s sad about the Liberals is that they don’t see how “stupid” they can act. Elizabeth Moon got accused of “hate speech” for a comment she made. In spite of her speaking out against those who accused her, she still accepts the “hate speech” meme. She didn’t understand that many on the Right have been wrongly accused of “hate speech” just as she had been. Apparently to her, “hate speech” is real and evil except when she is accused of it. [Sad Smile]

    • “Hate Speech” is much like Franklin described rebellion:

      A rebellion is always legal in the first person, such as “our rebellion.” It is only in the third person – “their rebellion” – that it becomes illegal.

      “Hate Speech” is ever acceptable in the first person, where it is known as “speaking truth to power” and “telling it like it is” — it is always deplorable in the third person, and usually so in the second person: Your hate speech.

    • > Elizabeth Moon got accused of “hate speech” for a comment she made. In spite of her speaking out against those who accused her, she still accepts the “hate speech” meme.

      One is reminded of the Communist true believer who ended up getting sent to the gulag.

      Once there, he was asked “So, what do you think of the revolution NOW?”

      His answer: “It’s great…but there was some mistake…I’m not supposed to be in here with all the class criminals!”

  5. Kitteh-Dragon

    ::cheers wildly:: I’ve been so out of everything, I had no idea that Orson Scott Card writing in an LDS magazine had stirred up any kind of brouhaha. OTOH, a perverse part of me wonders what would happen if I wrote something for ‘Lutheran Digest’? Probably nothing – I’m not a Card. 🙂

    But I’m definitely a plaid sheep. And anxiously awaiting the return of my characters from their post-operative drugged exile.

    But, meanwhile, you are the best. Hallelujah, you cut through the crud. This is even more upsetting to me than the Elizabeth Moon fiasco. I’m on your side. Do we build a barricade, or just snipe at them from no fixed position? Allons-y!

  6. Yeah. It’s getting hotter. My Alpha, on first comments on “Report”, wrote, “Your politics are showing… no point in alienating half your audience.” I replied (in not so many words), “Well, DUH! It *is* Human Wave. And the half of the audience bit is vastly overstated.”

    I may be looking for a new Alpha, sad as that seems. And so it begins.

    M

    • Martin L. Shoemaker

      Explain to your Alpha that the other half of the audience has been alienated for a very long time, and no one seems to care. (In other words, summarize this article.)

      • Maybe “if not actively alienating half of the audience alienates the other half, I guess I’ll provide for the ones where I have a broader range of options.”

        By the way, utterly unrelated, my daughter loves your avatar. (She’s three, so she like to wiggle off my knee with excitement, yelling “lookit! Robot! Robot, mommy!” Usually takes a face-time dog to get that kind of a reaction.)

        • Martin L. Shoemaker

          Thank you! You made my day! It’s not often I get a chance to make a three-year-old happy.

          If she likes that one, I should post some of my other stick-figure art. I’ve got dogs, cats, horses, alligators, dinosaurs, cows, lemmings… A whole menagerie! I’m much more a writer than an artist, but the stick figures amused me.

        • Actually 3/4 of the original audience has been alienated. If they are brought back with good stories, then we won’t even worry about the leftoid 1/4 (or less).

          • Probably more. I know a lot of old-time geeks that won’t touch the new Who with a ten foot poll.

            • Dorothy Grant

              I liked the new Who, at least the David Tennant season. The fact that I saw it when i was trying to stay awake to sober up enough to drive – and couldn’t tell for the first 5?6? episodes that it wasn’t one long running show, but separate episodes, indicates that perhaps my judgement was impaired… Are you saying, like beloved childhood movies and cartoons, it’s one of those things best not watched while adult and sober?

              • Well, the geeks I talk to are so old style they don’t call themselves geeks, but they still enjoy the old Who. The new one just does genuflections to Obligatory PCness too much.

            • I enjoyed the Tenth Doctor. The Eleventh is when a lot of the hipsterism came to the front in the audience and annoyed me. Of course, I must admit, I only know New Who…

              • I like the actors. I even like the writers. It’s just they don’t let the Doctor be the Doctor the way he should be. He’s not wise, he’s not heroic, he’s not the visiting wizard, he brags all the time, and his ethics and morals turn on a dime whenever the writers require. If it were “the quirky British anti-hero show” instead of supposedly being Dr Who, I’d feel better about it. (But instead, there was Torchwood, which was worse.) And I love the show too much to watch it ironically or as a drinking game. So yeah, I can’t watch it. After a while, I couldn’t even watch The Sarah Jane Adventures anymore because it got so infected.

                My personal theory is that really, the Master’s personality got split in a horrible regeneration experiment, and part of him now thinks he’s the Doctor and keeps running around trying to be him. Which is why “the Doctor” is now such a blowhard and drinker of his own Koolaid, just like the Master used to be, and why he can kill people or ruin their lives if he doesn’t like them, just like the Master loved to do. It’s just that this “good half” of the Master’s trying to be good, which is kind of poignant and endearing.

                • I think his personality is supposed to be an effect of what he was forced to do in the Time War.

                • BobtheRegisterredFool

                  The Eleventh Doctor was the first one where I watched several episodes in a row, because it was the first where it was possible, even if barely so, for me. I eventually got tired of it.

                • The old series had horrible FX, ramshackle plots, jokes for stage settings, truly pathetic crowd scenes (they obviously didn’t have the money to hire the extras), and a lot more fun.

                  Also, the companions were a much more diversified bunch, by any sane standard of diversity.

            • I do too– most of them are retired military (and Vietnam War vets)–

    • I do think half is vastly overstated, yes.

      • Martin L. Shoemaker

        My brother, who is significantly more left than me (local Democratic Party activist, and more), has decided he’s completely uninterested in science fiction literature. Every time he tries the exciting new book that Everybody Is Talking About, he finds it’s drab, depressing, and pointless, with no character worth cheering. And since in his NPR/Mother Jones/New York Times world that’s the ONLY science fiction anyone talks about, he thinks that’s what the whole field is. He can’t understand why people would waste so much time writing and reading about the end of the world.

        So these people are turning off even what should be their target audience. Readers want a good story, not a Good Ideology.

        • I know. My brother is somewhere in the region of Eric Flint, and he gave up on SF YEARS ago. He said it’s “boring”

          • The “one-note” ideological syndrome affects much of modern media and shows. Particularly egregious are shows such as “Law and order: SVU” where it’s always a guys fault somewhere, even if (rarely) the person committing the crime is female.

            Recently, when told to “not hate” when referring to SVU as “predictable” (pointing out an observable fact is hate now?) I pointed out that the series would do much better to use the FBI statistics on DV to set its profile for the criminals. That would change things up a bit. Or not treat false accusations as such a straw man. What, women don’t commit DV, or make false accusations?

            Maybe we should file such shows under “Urban Fantasy” or “Alternate History”

            • I was once chided by a blogger on charges of having as good as called someone as liar. I had thought that the person would be happy to know the facts.

        • Martin L. Shoemaker | April 13, 2013 at 12:41 pm
          > So these people are turning off even what should be their target audience. Readers want a good story, not a Good Ideology.

          Unless, of course, the Left *doesn’t want people to read*, because people who Read can also (usually) Think, and that makes it hard to keep the slaves on the plantation.

    • You might address your Alpha about his (or her) hate speech; accusing half your audience of being intolerant!!!

    • You don’t want or need an Alpha who simply agrees with you. The trick is figuring out what, in particular, they’re really distracted by when they make a criticism. Because lots of times people don’t actually know. Maybe your reader really didn’t want any hint of your politics to show, but on the other hand your reader could be reacting to something else in the delivery of those ideas that is actually important.

      • Synova,
        the other side of this is that you don’t want an alpha that just.rubs.you.wrong. There’s such things as saying “But this is not the book I would write” in other ways, which a lot of alphas DO do.
        Fingers crossed Mark finds the right middle-way.

        • Oh, yes. I once got back a crit from an online group 90% of which consisted of directing me to change a perfectly grammatical sentence structure to a different one, given by the critiquer.

          There were a few substantial comments but I didn’t have the stomach to wade through that kind of silliness to find them.

  7. Sci-Fi and genre fiction in general is going through a version of what happened to the punk rock and “alternative” (blaargghhh) music genres in general: we’re free thinkers, so long as you adopt this baseline weird amorphous leftism, with some entry criteria, to become “part of the tribe.” It’s not about free-thinking, it IS about tribalism at all levels. The sci-fi community is just coming to grips with it out in the open. The W years, especially with all the “Rock Against Bush” stuff and the subsequent (almost unnoticed) founding of Conservative Punk, just acknowledged what everyone “knew’ for a long time. Con Punk – I used to post there – was a real eye opener – you had plenty of people all too willing to rant, in fact they were often sent by Punk the Vote, to inform us all that it was impossible to be a conservative and a punk. Little else needs to be said/

  8. Okay – I could write a blog on this!
    I like SF&F because – generally – people are able to express a wide variety of opinions in print, even if they don’t match their privately held beliefs. A 7-day creationist can write from an evolutionary perspective, or an evolutionist can write from a special creationist viewpoint.
    One who is heterosexually monogamous can write characters who practice group, homosexual, lesbian or even bestial relationships. And I’ve found a lot of budding scientific concepts originally expressed as fiction that have been technologically developed (think flip phones re: ST:OG communicators).
    But the point, until the recent intolerance, is that in SF&F you could express different ideas without ostracism. Then it changed; and all of a sudden heros needed to be heroines, or gay (think DC comics) or in some kind of alternate lifestyle. And heterosexually monogamous characters, or fiscally or socially conservative ones, were verbotten.
    Sarah, I’m glad things are beginning to swing back. If you wait long enough, the pendulum will swing your way. But it never stops swinging in the middle.
    I agree that we ODDS should try to be dominant in the field, not to force our opinion on others, but to keep others from forcing us with theirs.
    So long live Indie Press! And long may ODDS exist.

  9. If I told you that those among you who have split fingernails cannot now nor ever join the Holy Church of Ritual Martian Flogging, would you go nuts?

    Orthodox or reformed? 😛

    • Oh. Reformed. They’ll accept anyone. (Runs.)

    • There’s not much difference between them any more, since they’ve run out of Martians to flog with. They’re looking at using Titanians as an alternative, but there are some superfluid dynamics that need to be worked out yet.

      • That is why all the really smart people have joined the sect of The New Revelation, because Nothing makes you smart like a good flogging, and Nothing makes a flogging good. For all your flogging needs, try Nothing!

        Come, join the sect of The New Revelation* and know Nothing!

        *Franchises available, Nothing down, Nothing due at signing and Nothing to pay. Open a branch now and start doing Nothing!

        • Splitter!

          • Please. The Splitters simply walked out on the discussion. We 2nd Illuminated Schismatics understand the true nature of the Meta-narrative, and how necessary dialectic diaspora leads toward the ultimate reunification. The real trouble here is that my fellow Deuce (ex Machina, natch) Schismoids (sorry, in-group term there. as soon as I can popularize it) all disagree with me. And each other. The dialectic is important, but none of those idiots will agree with me on the degree.

        • Sorry, RES, but it’s all a commie front, and I’d rather be a militant centrist… 8^)

          • Mike, as you should well know, you get Nothing for Nothing, and when it comes to delivering Nothing there’s nobody half so good at it as the communists. Under communist leadership you will get Nothing and like it.

        • I’m down, Nothing sounds appealing.

  10. Clark E Myers

    Friday done as a Reader’s Digest Condensed book would be a reasonable thriller. As written it’s almost Utopian in showing a future in which free people survive here and there from time to time. A remnant in the sense of Isaiah’s Job (Nock on the remnant). This may account for the book’s appeal to some people.

    Speaking of Card’s selection of a one group and the mainline Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints it’s perhaps amusing to notice that it’s written that no 12 Step group will ever meet in a Stake Center. Mormons who want whatever benefits accrue from AA say just have to visit a meeting at likely enough a Methodist Church.

    Mormon membership in a 12 Step group is discouraged though there are no plans to kill folks in Over Eaters Anonymous – . just as Elder if you will Card would be at odds with his own LDS Church in calling for death for any group (there is blood atonement but that’s atonement not punishment) – as a mystery religion the Mormons are a jealous master. Just the same the LDS church, however polytheistic (and you’d think some of the same folks condemning would applaud a role for God the Mother) is as universalist as the U-U.

    • Perhaps I’m misunderstanding, as your comment seems a bit incoherent at times, but you seem to be implying that there is some conflict between 12 step programs and LDS folks. A quick google for “LDS 12 step group” turns up lots of information, including an official web site, http://addictionrecovery.lds.org/?lang=eng, a meeting locator that will show lots of “Stake Centers” hosting things, http://addictionrecovery.lds.org/find-a-meeting?lang=eng, even audio http://www.mormonchannel.org/addiction-recovery-program/service-step-12 from a meeting.

      But for the record, Card was simply pointing out the obvious fact that someone whose primary allegiance is to a group that believes the opposite of another group can’t also have a primary allegiance to that opposite group. This is basic logic, long encapsulated in the statement “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.”

      I suppose that ties into your comments about Mormons being a jealous master, but some of your other comments make it seem like your view of them is out of some 70s anti-Mormon book sold in a “Christian” book store.

  11. Sarah Hoyt, I do admire you, and your writing and your frank approach to blogging. ‘nough said. For the rest, I can only agree; you (generically speaking) live your life any old was you see fit, just as long as you don’t interfere with my right to live my life as I deem right and proper for me. If you do interfere with me you become a tyrant, and the gloves come off.

    I have self-published four reasonably successful novels in the last five years, and am working on my fifth. Writers are a very weird and wonderful and diverse bunch; many of them I respect and admire. Some of them I refuse to associate with and a few I avoid like the plague. But I wish each and every one of them well. I truly do.

    I don’t care about an individual’s political slant, nor do I much concern myself with his or her lifestyle. I do my best to avoid criticizing any individual on these and many other issues. Ad hominem attacks just are not my style.

    Should I encounter someone I do not like or trust I avoid them whenever possible. If that is not possible I will treat them with respect just as long as the situation allows.

    The rest I leave in the quite capable hands of Life – and Karma.

  12. Wayne Blackburn

    Dear ladies, and particularly gentlemen, welcome to humanity. LEARN to laugh at yourself. It makes other jokes less likely.

    Oh, LORD, yes! Had I learned that several years sooner, I would have had a FAR easier childhood. Had I NOT learned it, I would not be able to survive in the job I currently have, because one of my coworkers is big on picking at mistakes and poor word choices (kind of like RES, but not as polite. And less eloquent.).

  13. A couple of somewhat tangential notes:

    A few years ago I read a column by Card (don’t have the link, sorry) in which he wrote that no legitimate government could define marriage as including same-sex couples, and that any government that proposed to do so should face armed resistance from its citizens. I thought that was a bit off the deep end. It reminded me of Francis Bacon’s assertion that any country where women governed, rather than men, was hopelessly barbaric, and it was the right and duty of Christian princes to invade and subjugate it. I would not say that Card should be boycotted on that account—capable writers have held horrible views in all sorts of directions—but his position does not seem to be just about what should be done within his own particular faith.

    Your comments on the sf community make me think of the famous piece on the Five Geek Social Fallacies (http://www.plausiblydeniable.com/opinion/gsf.html). However, my analog of your disturbing convention experience went in quite a different direction: at the last Mythopoeic Conference I attended, at the banquet, the founder’s ex-wife got up and pleaded with all those in attended to resist the malignant influence of atheists such as Daniel Dennett and Richard Dawkins. As a lifelong atheist who was there because he loves Tolkien’s fiction, I found the assumption that of course everyone there must be a theist a bit disturbing, in exactly the way you describe.

    The Libertarian Futurist Society regularly gets amazed comments from people about “why did you nominate that for a libertarian award?” We got them about Tolkien (because he portrayed a monarchy—never mind that his story was all about the dangerously addicting quality of power); we got them about Walton; I imagine we must have gotten them about Orwell. Now, we’ve been saying for years and years that we give the award to the novel, because it has themes that are relevant to our concerns, and not to the author, because we have no intention of keeping a list of Approved Libertarians or setting rules that libertarian sf authors have to conform to—but it seems not to make sense to a lot of people in the sf community, or maybe to be so weird that it doesn’t get repeated.

    And while I’m on the subject, you may not have seen the press release yet, but it went out last Sunday: this year’s finalists are

    * Arctic Rising, by Tobias Buckell (TOR Books)
    * The Unincorporated Future, by Dani and Eytan Kollin (TOR Books)
    * Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow (TOR Books)
    * Darkship Renegades, by Sarah Hoyt (Baen Books)
    * Kill Decision, by Daniel Suarez (Dutton – Penguin)

    Thought you’d like to know. Congratulations!

    • I saw it — announced it. Thank you.

      Yes, if he said that he was over the top, but for the love of G-d, even that is not as bad as supporting Communism.

      Of course if people can write whatever they want some will write repulsive stuff. To my friends I’ll say “ew” but I won’t even stop buying an author because of a single stupid opinion. It takes a lot more.

      As for your experience at Mythopoeic, I’m flabbergasted. When I knew it, most of the members were rather left leaning. (Of course, that doesn’t prevent their being Christian or militant.)

    • I would encourage you to resist the malignant influence of atheists such as Daniel Dennett and Richard Dawkins, not because they are atheists but because they are malignant. Their openly expressed contempt for and animosity toward theists is toxic, a demonstration of zealotry that few but the most malignant theists would emulate. Their election to ignore that atheism is as much a dogma as any theism (claimed secret knowledge, in their case, that there can be no God) renders them the worst sort of hypocrites.

      Whether you believe in one god, twelve gods, a thousand or none, there is no need to be a tedious boor.

      • AMEN!!

      • My atheism is not a dogma but a conclusion from more fundamental premises.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          No offence intended, but plenty of dogmatic atheists would say the same. [Sad Smile]

        • Which is fine. My beliefs about your beliefs (and vice versa) only become an issue when we try to push those beliefs on each other. Which you don’t seem to be doing. Dogmatists irritate me for the simple reason that they claim to experience no doubt. Certainty is generally less than helpful. More so when two people argue about something about which they have none. If you ask me to explain my faith, that’s one thing. If I come up to you and suggest that burning hellfire awaits your apostacy and I find your lack of faith disturbing, you have every right to tell me to shove off. The exchange says far more about me than it does about my beliefs.

          • Thank-you for expressing it so well, KD.

            To make my initial point crystalline, my objection to the douchebags named is completely irrelevant to their religions beliefs or lack thereof, and is wholly predicated on their being arrogant pretentious sanctimonious annoying public scolds.

          • It wouldn’t be polite to our esteemed host to take up her bandwidth with a debate over such an issue; nor, in my experience, are blog posts a suitable medium for this kind of discussion to accomplish anything productive. I’m perfectly willing to discuss theism vs. atheism, or for that matter the nuances of Christian theology (a really elegant conceptual structure), given an appropriate venue—but actually, I can’t recall having attempted to do so with any of my Christian friends in years. I have other things to talk about with them.

        • Billy Oblivion

          It’s not now you came to atheism, it’s how you intend to bring others.

  14. next thing you know, Card will say something equally silly in an LDS mag like if you are a supporter of ritual sacrifice of animals and even the occasional human you cannot be a dedicated follower of the LDS church.
    This reminds me of the stupid hoopla of the left asking the heavily religious founders of Chick-Fil-A about gay marriage and being shocked, shocked I tell you, that they were not supporters of this item that goes against their religious teachings. I’d think it is also a safe bet they are against adultery and theft as well … the outrage!

    Also note, the left never asks these things of muslims … that’d be raaaaacist!

    • Oh, no, we can’t ask anything of Muslims because that’s racist, except Islam is not a race, “but that’s still racist,” “no it isn’t,” ad infinitum, “Hater!”

      • and even a nut like Cat Stevens can convert to it, claim a fatwa to kill someone is justified and still be acclaimed a peaceful man, standing for peace … just do him a favor and kill that Rushdie guy

      • The correct response to a charge of racism about Muslims is “Now, there‘s a racist comment.”

        • The first time that was thrown at me I was utterly baffled. Your average person of Middle Eastern extraction probably looks like me (actually, judging by the number of “people from a country who think I belong to them” the list would go Russian (the accent,) Polish (the accent again,) Turkish, Egyptian, Israeli (weirdly, I’m given to understand that’s ALSO the accent), Greek, Italian… I think that’s it. Weirdly the only Portuguese to claim me were the local Cape Verdian community, possibly because they’re only two blocks from us.) What’s race got to do with it?

  15. How DARE you say fish aren’t sentient!!??! Ichthyphobe!

  16. I read the article, and the addendum to it. I find nothing but what I would expect a member of the LDS to say about the subject (NOTE: I have several friends that are Mormons), especially in a Church-sponsored publication. It’s pretty much word for word what I would also expect to see in something printed in a Catholic-sponsored publication, or a Baptist-sponsored publication. In fact, it’s what I would expect to hear from any Christian-focused group. Which is why it’s causing a civil war in the SciFi community. We’re just seeing the current left-led war against religion being carried over into the SF writing community. Anyone who even attempts to stand for what Christianity believes will be condemned. The Left cannot tolerate any beliefs contrary to their own “enlightened wisdom”. Gaaaackk!

    • So much for ‘tolerance’. Makes me wish for the good old days of the Star Trek IDIC movement.

    • The bible is pretty plain in stating that practicing homosexuality is a sin, therefore a nonrepentant PRACTICING (this word is important) homosexual cannot be in good standing with any church that follows the bible. Those that argue that this isn’t so, remind me of the people that claim the 2nd amendment doesn’t REALLY say that people should be able to own and carry guns.

      • therefore a nonrepentant PRACTICING (this word is important) homosexual

        Part of the issue is the waffling on what “being homosexual” means.
        As best I can tell from reading old books (such as “everything you ever wanted to know about sex, but were afraid to ask”– and yes, at 16 my BS flag was waving on a lot of the questionable stuff in that), the previous use means “has homosexual sexual activity.”
        The activists seem to mostly use it to mean Same Sex Attracted, unless it’s more useful to use it for actively homosexual.

        This means it can be very, very difficult to figure out what someone in a modern context is specifically speaking about….

  17. Wayne Blackburn

    What I don’t understand is why anyone would have expected anything different from Card. I used to visit his blog occasionally, and this doesn’t really sound at odds with what he wrote there. And many of his fans got incensed at the things he wrote there, too, but in that limited sphere, it didn’t matter much.

    My theory is that it is only because it was something about this one particular, “mistreated” subgroup of people, at this particular time, when emotions are particularly high, that caused it. The fact that the Loony Left got incensed about it just happens to be at the right time to (hopefully) instigate their downfall from their lofty Lord’s perches just ratchets up the irony meter a bit more.

    • Clark E Myers

      What I suppose is now long ago and far away Card did a secular humanist revival with fen as audience and acolytes – I know this was widely misunderstood at the time and by folks who heard the tapes The tapes were once widely circulated and even given public play eventually to be withdrawn as Card stopped the performance and began to rather pretend such things never happened. Just possibly there is an unwarranted feeling of betrayal – that one of us should be one of them leading to extra bitterness.

      • The apostate is always most reviled by the zealots. His example challenges their commitment to the one true faith.

        • his apostasy has been ongoing for a while now. If he was a “true believer” like 0bama or suchlike he could get away with such a stance (like b.0. until just recently “evolving” [translation: I need to make sure I get the votes])

    • I don’t know about the timing of Card’s article, but I would guess it has something to do with the furor over California’s Proposition 8, where the Mormon Church took an active role in support of the bill.

      Please ignore the fact that opposition to Prop 8 was also VERY high amongst the African-American and Latin communities; this is about picking the least threatening group and making an example of them.

      See, also, attacks on the traditional Christian view of the role and rights of women while crickets chirp over the traditional Islamic views of same. The idea is to build group unity, self-confidence and fidelity to marching orders by beating up on “the Jews” as they are currently defined.

      • Wayne Blackburn

        Please ignore the fact that opposition to Prop 8 was also VERY high amongst the African-American and Latin communities…

        Opposition? I had heard that Support was high amongst those demographics.

      • While I’m not surpised at the tactic of finding the weakest group to beat up to build in-group unity, since it is now appears to be SOP for , I find it surprising that it would be tried with a group as traditionally beat up on as science fiction readers and writers. I would think that a highly read, rather smart group would take a look at the systematic singling out of “differents” and think, “hey, now. I’ve seen this before and it turned out badly for me.” Or worse, “You mean, I’ve become one of Them, now?”

        • One would think so, yes — but such members groups are often the most eager to put the shoe on the other foot and pay back some of what they have received. The frisson of being the bullier rather than the bullied, can be heady.

        • I would think that a highly read, rather smart group would take a look at the systematic singling out of “differents” and think, “hey, now. I’ve seen this before and it turned out badly for me.” Or worse, “You mean, I’ve become one of Them, now?”

          Only works if their conscience has been properly formed; I’ve recently come to realize that a horrifying number of folks think that discrimination is wrong because they empathize with whoever is being treated differently. Not because of unjust differentiation.

          I’m afraid sci fi actually makes that worse, since a large chunk is “creating empathy with someone who is targeted” and that means that if you feel empathy for a character, that character is usually right.
          A lot of authors go no further, too, and even more readers wouldn’t notice if they did.

          Fantasy does the same, incidentally, but at least it is openly moralistic.

          • Yes. I’ve noticed any number of people think being a victim = good. In terms of writing technique I mean. No, being victimized doesn’t mean you’re good. Good people can be victimized, as can evil doers and scoundrels.

            • Oh yeah. There’s a library web-comic called “Unshelved” that has book reviews on Fridays. I swear, over half the YA books are “member of victim group is victimized and finds way to help other victims. Recommended for victims, potential victims, and people who want to know what its like to be a victim, because it will help them to know that other victims are victims too.” Blargh.

            • SM Sterling said it well in “Conquistador” (paraphrasing) “Just because someone gets the S***ty end of the stick doesn’t mean they’re nice people.”

            • A “good person” being victimized is even cliche. “If you don’t give me the deed to your ranch, I’m going to tie you to the railroad tracks!”

              • Actually, Sanford, “Along Came Jones” was a parody of John Wayne movies. It was popular because many of John Wayne’s movies were fairly consistent to the theme of good triumphing over evil at the very last second. Of course, it also SOLD, which is why they were made.

                • ” Of course, it also SOLD, which is why they were made.”

                  Unfortunately that has become an increasingly rare consideration when making movies.

                  • and yet the leftoid makers cannot figure out why they are not selling the numbers they used to. Sure the $ amounts are high, inflation does that … claiming record numbers is akin to bragging you spent trillions on lunch … in Zim-Bob’s-Way

                  • No, it’s still considered; they’ve just realized that there’s an overseas market that has no problem with Anti-Americanism on screen, allowing them to cater to their prejudices.

                • Not just John Wayne, all westerns. There was even one, the title one, Along Came Jones, starring Gary Cooper. I realize the song was a spoof. I was truing to imply that the good person being victimized was cliche, so cliche they made a parody song about it

            • Well, while you are being victimized, you probably aren’t doing much evil at the time. But I’ve noticed it in cartoons. If it’s all relentless abuse directed at one character, that character tends to draw sympathy. The better cartoons juggle the abuse back and forth — when Jerry outwits Tom into a trap, next thing you know the trap is rolling onward and catching Jerry, too — or by having the character act the jerk between the abuse, so it’s merited — Daffy Duck being egotistical and self-absorbed. The Road-Runner is not particularly personalized, and so eventually you want Wile E. Coyote to have him, roasted, for lunch.

              After all, feeling sympathy for suffering, remembering past deeds, and judging the deeds justly — doing all three at once requires some juggling.

          • I would say that it is a common human impulse to be biased towards those we feel empathy for. It is a real trick and a half to keep natural human feeling from overcoming knowledge.

            • It is a human thing, but</i. reading a lot of scifi/fantasy means that you're pounded over the head with it— and a lot of the lower quality stuff aims for the cheap seats by not going any further than emotion to establish who's right.
              That makes geeks very vulnerable to the "every group I think has been done wrong is equally victimized," thus the crazy equating of all distinctions they disagree with.

        • Martin L. Shoemaker

          Martin Niemoller would understand them all too well. Sadly, I doubt they’d understand Niemoller. “First they came for the Socialists…”

        • There’s a very good short story, in The World Turned Upside Down, that has a very similar theme. “The Only Thing We Learn” by C.M. Kornbluth. That kind of willful denial seems to be human nature.

          • Clark E Myers

            Fond though I be of Kornbluth’s writing I think Mr. Costello, Hero is more on point for scapegoating in the interest of consolidating in-group power. Interesting to remember that while Joe McCarthy had at last no shame still Helene Bertha Amalie Riefenstahl was excluded for picking the wrong cause while supporters of an equal evil were applauded. On the general topic see Being Red by Howard Fast(ov) “Come on Howard you only hate him because he’s their sonofabitch. If he were our sonofabitch you’d cover him with roses.” p.28 paperback edition

        • While I’m not surpised at the tactic of finding the weakest group to beat up to build in-group unity, since it is now appears to be SOP for , I find it surprising that it would be tried with a group as traditionally beat up on as science fiction readers and writers.

          Why?

          • There’s two ways to react to being victimized: accept it as SOP of a sorts, or identify why the way you were victimized was wrong, and work against that.

            One is emotionally satisfying and creates new bullies; the other is a path to lots and lots of frustration, may involve painful self-evaluation, and means you end up defending weak victims that might not even defend themselves. (As a bonus, the second way you can still be wrong; with the first, there is no wrong, just strong.)

          • I suppose I see the world as a reflection of myself, and know my own reaction to mobs and individuals being singled out for group-cohesion hazings. I admit that I can’t conform to any exacting standard with any group I have yet found, so maybe I am hoping there is a group that is like me instead.
            To misquote someone else: Hope, as an alternative to fact is useless. Hope as an alternative to despair is wonderful.
            Further, acting with hope is slightly better than acting without hope, which is better than not acting at all.
            (otherwise, what Foxfier said, she says it better than I could)

      • I don’t know about the timing of Card’s article, but I would guess it has something to do with the furor over California’s Proposition 8, where the Mormon Church took an active role in support of the bill.

        And got a lot of very vicious attacks for it, some of them physical rather than just lies.

        I’m very much not Mormon, but when “experts” are making claims that I can recognize are full of it….

      • What amazes me the most is how no one seems to be able to think of any reason at all that Mormons (in particular as opposed to other religions) might not be sympathetic to the argument that marriage is a constitutional right.

        • Yes, but since Gay Marriage will Obviously Lead to Polygamy, you’d think they’d be all for it. *bland expression*

          • I really need to corner my neighbor sometime when his kids aren’t around and ask him about the polygamy thing… as I understand it currently, it was largely a function of not having enough surviving men to take care of the women. Nothing to do with the psycho spinter-groups that marry girls off at 12, usually to middle-aged “leadership” men, shuffle kids around between families at will depending on who is in favor right now, and abandon their teenage boys in cities at the slightest excuse.
            (Alright, “psycho” may be a little strong for demonstrating a human tendency to abuse power that’s as old as history… *considers humans* Nah, not too strong. Psycho.)

            • Yes. Polygamy is VERY MUCH OUT in the mainstream Mormon church now. (Our best friends, the people who are like family and live nearby and who were “uncle and aunt” to our kids growing up — their youngest son and my younger son were “the twins” and list each other as brothers on FB are LDS)

              • Is my theology summary roughly right, or did it ever come up? I know a lot of folks don’t talk theology for fun….

                • Well… I read a lot on the history of the Mormon church, and that was either right, OR it was what was used to dress it up afterwards, depending on whom you talk to.

              • Billy Oblivion

                I guarantee you that will change about 2 years after the SCOTUS rules that that polygamy is a constitutional right.

              • It’s worth noting that polygamy in its various forms has a very long history that crosses over numerous cultures and eras, while gay marriage, in terms of fully legally sanctioned unions, is a genuinely recent phenomenon — as near as I can tell, anyhow. There’s probably reasons for that.

                • One of the main ones being that historically men led more dangerous lives than they do today, so due to natural attrition there was more women of child-bearing age than men.

                  • It was also much harder for a woman to go it alone, especially if the situation involved a lot of other people.

                    • Don’t forget that many women and children died in childbirth too–

                    • There were a lot of reasons, including the most obvious one that a rich, powerful, virile man felt entitled to having more than one wife, and that women in harems of rich men tended to have things much easier than the common herd.

                      But the point I was making is that, for the most part, polygamy remains illegal, despite its numerous historical precedents in so many cultures, yet we are moving full steam ahead on gay marriage — whose supporters are incensed if you try to equate the two lifestyle choices.

                      This, despite the fact that I have been unable to find reference to a single nation/culture/period where gay marriage was viewed as a legitimate social institution. Prior to the modern era, that is.

            • Foxfier– that is the official Mormon church line (I grew up in the church) however, when Eternal Marriage was first introduced into the church, Joseph Smith married some of his follower’s wives and at least one fourteen year old girl. (Needless to say, his wife Emma was not happy when she found out.)

              Before the Manifesto (stopping polygamy in this life) many of my great (many great) grandfathers were sent to prison for polygamy. One of my ggg (many g) grandmothers was a midwife and she didn’t keep records of births because the authorities might send the men to prison if found they were having sexual relations with several women under marriage. There were also divorces too. My gggrandmother divorced her polygamist husband (Brigham Young’s medical doctor) because there was no children in that marriage. She married my gggrandfather (a Meservy).

              The Manifesto only stopped polygamy in this lifetime. If the law is changed, it may start all over again. I say may– Women in the church when I was there (til 1988) were taught that women would live in polygamy in the Celestial Kingdom. It is considered a celestial law.

              The Journal of Discourses has a lot of the teachings, revelations, etc. of the church in its early years. It is an eye-opener. Funny– I learned from my brothers who are all still members that the Journal of Discourses is not allowed reading now. In my early years, my father had a copy in his library–

              I come from the old Mormon stock– that knew both Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.

              • Clark E Myers

                I’d be curious about not allowed tout court – not encouraged sure frex: http://www.lds.org/topics/journal-of-discourses?lang=eng but not allowed strikes me as a little strong? The LDS Church is more than a little bit defensive and tries hard to be a folk set apart. FREX at one time the Madison County high school in Rexburg (home of then Ricks now BYU-I) used national debating topics but barred Time and Newsweek as sources allowing U.S. News and World Report as reliable. Didn’t hurt reading of the more popular magazines much. As noted elsewhere If This Goes On.. to the contrary there is no proper place for hoodwinking.

                • Clark– not encouraged is code word for not allowed in Mormon-speak. Has nothing to do with legal speak. I do know where BYU-II (Ricks) is since it was next to where my grandmother used to live (before she died) and I was accepted there many many years ago. There was a time (around the mid-80s) that the women were told NOT to read romance books anymore because they expected more–more– (whatever more is) from their men. At least where we lived it was a very closed-society with their own codewords.

                  Plus what I know of what is going on now in the Church is from my brothers who are active members. Since I am the “black sheep” I get talked to about the Church a lot. lol

                • LDS sources are suspect imho– because in 2005 several of their historians were excommunicated from the church when they started to use outside sources coupled with the Journal of Discourses to write academic papers about the early church. (check the SLC Journal during 2005 thereabouts). These historians were active believers and were astounded when they were excommunicated (I can’t remember how many– I was on high pred at the time– but I think 8 of them). They couldn’t believe that they had “denied the Holy Spirit”– which was one of the accusations against them for their excommunications.

                  My opinion only– I can’t get away from the Mormon church because I am related to most of the older families (including the Bensons).

                  • Plus at one point (Idk if it is true now) the Mormons were trying to fund a secondary internet for Mormon information and “encouraged” information only. lol

                  • I have tons of Mormon friends. I treat it like other religions not my own. It fascinates me, but also makes me giggle. “One man’s religion is another man’s belly laugh.” — let it be. It works for my friends, they’re good people, and G-d knows that.

                    • There are many good people in the LDS church. Very hard for me to let it go after several experiences. 😉 Plus my family are praying that I will come back and be a good little girl. Dang– I won’t– it doesn’t matter because they sick the missionaries on us (hubby and I) every few years or so. *sigh

                    • Of course– my hubby is the one who talks to the Jehovah Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, and the Mormon missionaries. He has so much fun. He grew up in the Church of Christ. lol

                    • I usually keep my Mormon affiliations quiet. *sigh– sorry– I had this woman in a grocery store near my home corner me and ask if I was from an “original” Mormon family. I lied to her but she kept cornering me– because they had just had a woman move into their ward (small congregation) who was bragging about her Mormon roots and she looked a lot like me. The woman following me around thought that if she touched me that she would get closer to G-d. I quit shopping at that store… It was a mortifying experience and sad too.

                    • My best friend is a Mormon (his wife’s a Mennonite), but he’s never tried to ‘convert’ me. He knows I am a Christian, and have my own strong beliefs. Theirs are different from what I grew up with, but I can’t condone much of what the Southern Baptists believe any more, either. I leave it with “I believe the Bible is the Word of God, that my God is the One True God, and that I have salvation through His Son. Your mileage may vary.” Since I’m here to write this, and since it’s more than a handful of miracles that I am, I have a strong reason to Believe. I do like to torment the Jehovah’s Witnesses, though. I’m such a BAD man… 8^)

                    • In my experience most religions are kinda like Math: if you accept their fundamental a priori assumptions (e.g., Jesus was G-d incarnate, an angel dictated “TRUTH” to Mo or Joe, or the Commutative Property is valid) everything follows fairly consistently.

                      Math has the advantage of being a) demonstrable and b) variable; i.e., we can postulate an alternate reality where parallel lines do 3-martini lunches.

                    • Are you trying to postulate that the lines can stay parallel after three martinis?

                    • Yes. in the horizontal.

                  • Clark E Myers

                    I won’t be pursuing LDS issues in this forum – nor do I possess any competence to do so – but as a parting shot and with IMHO some relevance to the general subject when killing an admiral it’s important to pay attention to the intended lesson and unintended consequences (I’m pretty sure there has been more self censorship than the General Authorities intended and less) Similar results can come from opposite causes FREX this from Wikipedia With a lack of participation from moderate and conservative voices, Sunstone experienced an unbalancing of many presentations toward liberal causes and points of view It hasn’t been just Sunstone in this world to be unbalanced that way and each side has driven discourse astray.

                    • No reason to get upset Clark– I am just explaining why I have a problem with what I have seen in the Church for the last few years (or actually my lifetime). Also the things I learned as a child now looks differently when I look at it from a half a century.

                      You can think of it as my opinion if it makes you feel better. Peace.

                    • I wasn’t disparaging LDS. Clearly I don’t believe, or I’d have converted — but it is as respectable a religion as any other. (and sometimes my own religious confusion if belly-laugh worthy. — Oh who am I kidding? It always is)

                • Clark– some people like to be told what to do in every aspect of their lives. I do not. It was this major contention that I had (made me an Odd in the Mormon church) to leave. It can be good for some people. Or as a male it is really really really good. As an intelligent, independent woman (I was NOT a feminist) it was a very bad fit. When I joined the Navy and went to NSGA as a CTM (acronyms everyone– deal with it) I finally found people who were more like me. I found my hubby there. I am just saying that there is a lot said in Mormonism that is lost by someone who was not born and raised in that Church.

                  • I have friends and family that are Mormon, generally it is well known at things like family get togethers that religion is not discussed, because the non-Mormons and Mormons do not get along well in regards to religion. But in regards to the church being really good as a male, I would say that depends on which male you are, and how well your Bishop regards you. From a conversation with my uncle (who is a Bishop) the church hierarchy decides what you are good for, and what you will be doing with your life, whether you are going to college or going to work, etc. I for one would not do well in such a micromanaging church. (Well, I might, but SOMEBODY wouldn’t be doing well 😉 )

                    • Bearcat– Thanks. I don’t do well with micro-managing (myself or others) either. Plus my role was decided before I even discovered boys. I rebelled. My brothers are beginning to learn not to talk about the religion to me or to the hubby. I still love them very much. Besides I was very into the religion until I reached 24– I won’t go into the experience that changed my view of religion, but it was a turning point in my life.

                    • Just a note– there are very few leadership positions for women in the church (except for Relief Society –woman’s organization and Primary – children’s organization). When I was in the church, a woman was supposed to get her counsel from the nearest priesthood holder even if the closest one was 16. 😉

                    • “the church hierarchy decides what you are good for, and what you will be doing with your life, whether you are going to college or going to work, etc.” Wow….. that’s totally unbelievable. Where was this? In SLC back in the 1880s?

                    • Er… this one escaped me. No, it’s not like that for my friends, at least.

                      It is like that in communist countries, though — not for LDS… 😛

                    • When you get closer to SLC, stranger things happen. It is much looser the farther away from the headquarters you get– but as I said before there have been a few changes since the late 1980s.

                    • there have been a few changes since the late 1980s.

                      I actually got to meet one of my aunt’s relatives a few years ago at my cousin’s graduation; when they were living in Utah, it was a no-go. That would’ve been… mid-90s?
                      (She left the religion to marry my crazy former-Catholic uncle; they are quite well suited. Make me feel like I have social grace by comparison and drive pretty much EVERYONE up the wall, but they’re a very good fit.)
                      Then again, I think aunt’s some-sort-of-relative also had a glass of wine or two, so maybe some kind of rebel. (Or simply has a human weakness; she’d been there all week!)

                    • It was happening in the 1980s when I lived in Utah– if it is happening now I don’t know–

              • ” many of my great (many great) grandfathers were sent to prison for polygamy.”

                Join the crowd, my grandfather was sent to prison for polygamy, too. He wasn’t Mormon, and in his case he simply didn’t bother to divorce his first wife before marrying my grandmother. My grandmother was unaware of this until one morning this strange woman knocked on her door claiming to be her husbands wife. To this day she denies punching the woman out, but all the kids that are old enough to remember claim she did. 🙂

                • Not surprised. My great-grandmother was very upset with my great-grandfather when he brought a woman home to be his second wife (this was later than 1914 and after the fourth child was born). My great-grandmother threw them both out of the house, packed up the kids, and drove the wagon from CA to ID. They were both Mormons– active, etc. and my great-grandfather was not part of some of the secondary Mormon religions.

              • Was it your ancestress who kicked Husband and Wife 2 to the curb before loading up and heading off with the kids?

                I know SOMEONE mentioned it….

                • It was my great-grandma and I knew her. She died in the early 80s.

                  • We have such narrow stereotypes about how women had to act before “feminism” that I get a huge kick out of stories that show that these “un-liberated” women knew how to liberate themselves just fine.

                    (Not disrespecting that I’m sure she had her trials thereafter …)

                    • 🙂 Well she was homesteading with the help of her family (mainly her brothers) and they did have some real problems during the Depression, but she was a strong lady. Her mother (divorced Brigham Young’s doctor) was even stronger. 😉 We forget sometimes that living in the West, carving out homes, was not for the faint of heart or the civilized woman. She had to be capable, strong, and no-nonsense type person to survive and thrive in such place.

                    • I know.

                      Having read boatloads of Louis L’Amour, who grew up with enough of the old west to rustle cattle with “cowboy era” cowboys, I’d observe that his women were hardly feminists. And hardly pushovers. As in they’d kick the living crap out of most feminists, male or female.

                      But he’s from that age and mindset where women were subservient and had no say or gumption, dontcha know.

                    • “But he’s from that age and mindset where women were subservient and had no say or gumption, dontcha know.”

                      I would make sure I was out of reach and behind a wall that would stop a bullet before I said that to Echo Sackett.

                    • Oh yea– those women who couldn’t thrive, went back East.

                    • And the men, too. The frontier wasn’t for submissive folks.

              • Doctrine and Covenants has a section directly aimed at Emma Smith warning her not to cause trouble or separate from her husband, or she will be destroyed.

                How handy.

                • When I was an active member that section in the Doctrine and Covenants bothered me.

                  • That reminds me of the book in the Koran where M’s first wife is warned not to make trouble because M married some little girl that first wife didn’t like.

                    • I think I read that– just before 9/11– I was interested if religious books from different faiths were similar. 😉 I was reading some Hindu (all translated in English so I am sure I missed a lot of the nuances).

  18. Clark E Myers

    Elaborating and expanding frex this from a big name fan:”…… Card (a Mormon) led an old-fashioned revival-style meeting, not for fundamentalism, but for secular humanism……” a report from Confederation 1986

    or from another fan: ….Besides that, [omitted] once loaned me an audio tape of Card imitating a preacher in the very funny and poignant presentation, “Secular Humanist Revival.” He praised the value of secularism in American culture, and warned against takeover by rampant fundamentalism…..”

    Mr. Card himself wrote:….For several years I put on a one-man show at various SF conventions called “The Secular Humanist Revival Meeting.” While I opened it with the standard religion-bashing pose, making fun of revival-style preaching, by the end it was quite clear I was speaking about religion as a believer in a particularly demanding faith….. Future On Ice

    Particularly post 2002 I do believer Mr. Card is being viewed as an apostate from the one true faith and so any stick will do to beat him with.

    For this among other reasons I am, as I usually am, much less optimistic than our good hostess that this is a revolution of rising expectations and more inclined to believe this is making a piñata of a perceived revisionist.

    • Martin L. Shoemaker

      I think there’s another factor as well. In 2012, the Democrat Party found anti-Mormon bigotry to be a very powerful electoral to to reelect their candidate despite his economic, diplomatic, and military incompetence. So they drummed up a lot of it. And bigotry once drummed up does not settle back down just because the election is over.

      • Wayne Blackburn

        That’s a good point, and there is a tendency to believe that more is better, when it comes to demonizing the other side.

  19. Just to add fuel to the civil war, Vox Day went after the SFWA-EIEIO and Larry Correia picked up the link. Then a troll appeared at Correia’s place. Next Col. Kratman arrived and . . . yeah. Behold: http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2013/04/11/a-great-article-about-the-politics-of-sci-fifantasy/

    • And I had the interesting experience of seeing Col. Kratman, MadMike, and Sarah over at Vox as well…

      • I read the Day column and skimmed through the Correia comments until they got too tedious. The troll was so trivial as to be more properly termed a trollette or even a trollkin.

        The pathetic thing seemed incapable of distinguishing between its prejudices and objective standards, so of course it was wholly outclassed.

        • Agreed, it was not up to some of the finer threads that have appeared in the past two months, but it does re-enforce Sarah’s points.

      • And the person who sent me to Vox was my agnostic friend, Kate Paulk.

  20. Boycott Card for discussing the tenets of his religion that they don’t even want to belong to?

    Brilliant

    Gimme some more of that “tolerance”….

    • I’m not sure they even understand how to deal with a religion that teaches that people are going to hate you for following it. Boycotting isn’t it.

      • Depends on the result you want.

        If the result you want is that no-one is allowed to say something you disagree with, a boycott that attacks their ability to make a living, based on them holding Unapproved Thoughts, is the way.

        If the result you want is to persuade them to change their mind… no, really not the right way.

        • If the result you want is “encouragement of the others” the boycotting, ostracizing and rhetorical beatdown works swell.

          Note that they have managed to equate homosexuality with the (undeniable) discrimination against African-Americans. Trouble with that analogy is, as The Black Avenger was wont to point out, “when the Nazis burst into the bar and demand the ‘queers, kikes and schwartzas’, the gays can act butch, the Jews can eat bacon and the Blacks can act White.”

      • It certainly shows an utter ignorance of the history of the LDS, does it not?

    • A fellow I have some rather big disagreements with hit the “tolerance” thing on the head: “Tolerance is not enough! You. MUST. Approve.”

    • For every boycott, there will be someone else willing to spend money to buy his books. Someone (I don’t remember who) mentioned at a convention I was at a month ago that Card was irrelevant in this day and age. I reminded them that he still sells well enough, and that publishers still give him advances big enough to make me sigh with mild envy.

      • He writes stories– some of them have what I think is a Mormon mythology theme, but that just makes them “feel” exotic and solid. Contrast with Buffy/Supernatural level research into the Monster of the Week, where they throw out half the stuff to make it fit the plotline the already wanted.

        In spite of years of effort to tell us we shouldn’t, folks still like stories….

      • I have never read any of his books, but he has two currently on the Amazon top twenty bestselling in science fiction list, so yeah I would say he is still doing all right.
        And I didn’t notice any of the authors listed as the leading science fiction authors of today by the original article Vox was blogging about, being on that list.

  21. When any community is excluded, goes underground, it becomes an all consuming milieu, reaching out to confuse your other allegiances.

    It’s worth remembering that this is pretty explicitly the history of the LDS church.

  22. Honestly? I never understood the hullaballoo over Card. my response to it all was along the lines of…Okay he said something you don’t like. So. Frelling. What. You don’t like it, that’s your problem not his. He has a right to his opinion whether I or you, agree with it or not. I don’t agree with most of the blatantly ignorant and back asswords shit that comes out of your gaping oral orifice either. Now shut the fuck up and leave me the hell alone about it.

    • *This message of love and tolerance brought to you by Wolfpak Inc. rest assured while they may find the body they won’t be able to identify what’s left without dental records.

  23. A very wise fellow from the BDSM community named Harry Ugol once said (And this is applicable to the Wiscon Parody) that “If you can’t laugh at yourself, somebody else is going to do the job for you, and you’re not going to enjoy it nearly as much.”

    I only mention the BDSM angle because what went on there, starting in the 80’s and 90’s is exactly what’s going on in SF. In fact, I’d wager it’s going on in most small, outsider societies (Yeah, even the Furries). The Meme (and I used that term in the original sens of it being a mental VIRUS) is that in any excluded sub-group, “It’s the uptight conservative CHRISTIANS who are the source of all our Pain, and therefore in our fellow victimhood, they must be denigrated and excised from our little “Safe” space where we can be us.”

    One of Liberalism’s unfortunate strengths is its ability to build coalitions of the small disenfranchised groups. The original, non-ironic use of Political Correctness was a means of enforcing conformity to this coalition building. I just noticed that Homosexuality seems to be one of the most universal wedge issues. With the kinky folk, it was a no-brainer that they were allied because they were actually more open about it. The Furries took active intervention by one of the larger figures in conventions to turn a sub-branch of Comics and Animation fandom into what it is today. SF fandom got invaded as well, (Do they still run Gaylaxicon?) and now I don’t even recognize it with all the Drum-circles and other crap you might find at any random Occupy event. In fact, typical lefty poses are the topic of debate in most of these groups (Leather is now frowned upon by the people who used to call themselves the Leather Community, and heaven help the Furry fan whose costume involved any real fur.)

    Funny how I don’t find myself involved in ANY of these communities any more. As a Conservative, I’ve felt unwelcome in all of them. This counts as a confession, please don’t takes notes and hold it against me when the conservative versions of these groups finally get around to forming, if they ever do.

    But THAT is also the point. Conservatives don’t typically band together and form their own clubs after the liberals have invaded and take over them. We’re too independent, and can stand up for ourselves, which often means that we stand up BY ourselves. Even though we’ve been excluded and victimized, we don’t feel like victims (much). We don’t define ourselves as victims, we just recognize the true victimizers. But we do tend to stand around, pushed to the outside fringes of the things we love, rather than finding each other and forming a new core.

    If the barbarians have taken over the village, then stop standing around the smoking ruins of the village, go to the next valley, and build a new damned village.

    Of course, if we did try that, say, formed a Conservative SF con, the lefty fans would denounce it, and plan to ghost in and disrupt the thing. Much like they do our online forums and so on. They are, after all, barbarians, they can only destroy.

    • “Of course, if we did try that, say, formed a Conservative SF con, the lefty fans would denounce it, and plan to ghost in and disrupt the thing. Much like they do our online forums and so on. They are, after all, barbarians, they can only destroy.”

      Oh, if they only would. You have seen what happens to the occasional lefty that wanders into these parts, right? Hell, the organizers could save their entertainment budget just by ensuring a few Liberals show up.

    • Of course, if we did try that, say, formed a Conservative SF con, the lefty fans would denounce it, and plan to ghost in and disrupt the thing. Much like they do our online forums and so on.

      One small difference is that they would have to come out from behind their keyboards and within reach. Not to mention hand out their contact information. After that plus the disruption got them exposed a few times to well-deserved opprobrium, they’d stop doing that.

      • They might just get the support and encouragement of the left side of the fandom.

        And the mention of “Ghosting” is a term for people who go to a convention and don’t register. They usually do this simply to go to room parties. It’s a parasitic behavior common to Lefties and broke 20-somethings, but I repeat myself.

        • It’s getting obvious up here in Seattle that they’re totally OK with physically assaulting those who disagree with them on the wrong issues– and doing really dangerous junk, too.

          Hard to schedule a con when any place that accepts you starts getting SWATted, having fires set or getting bomb threats. Or someone leaves a bucket full of bleach with a tube of comet in a bathroom. Or worse.

          • Stuff like this worries me. It damages my hope that the more general cold civil war won’t turn hot.

            • I almost hope that it does get hot– before the body count gets too high.

              The folks who do this junk are mostly cowards, with a portion of the misinformed idealist.
              The longer it goes on, the more folks are misinformed and not cowards. Or have loyalty to the side that finds it OK to assault those they disagree with.

              When they actually, openly move against targets that aren’t as safe as a very Christian group demonstrating in support of marriage, they get smashed, hard. Kind of like that girl who shoved a cop, because she thought it was safe– and got decked. (She apologized, sincerely from what I heard. He just wasn’t a “real” person until assaulting him actually resulted in a human response.)

              I live in fear that some idiots will do a “street theater” where they stage a mock terrorist attack on my church, or another conservative area, and I shoot some idealistic moron who is threatening my girls with a plastic gun.
              My uncle nearly killed a couple of sociology students who staged a kidnapping to prove nobody would do anything, shortly after Vietnam, so it’s not baseless.

              • It is going to get hot. At least after a fashion. Luckily for us they don’t have much in the way of power projection. They are also handicapped by their ignorance of history, particularly that of western civilization. The last time we were pushed we very nearly destroyed three cultures. We will do almost anything to avoid that situation. Almost anything.

            • partly it is due to the anarchists preferring to infiltrate the leftiod systems. leftoids being what they are, they are easily steered to the anarchist methods. Plus they already tend to lean to the violence end of the spectrum (even the peaceniks are damned violent people far too often) so the anarchists have been finding easy going getting these dolts to do the majority of their dirty work.
              I’ve always said I would prefer to give anarchists what they want … shoot them out of hand when you find them … I may not like anarchy, but that doesn’t mean I am not good at it. Imagine the whinging and whining if that was to occur. But, those pesky laws they hate stop me from giving them what they wish. oh the ironing board.

            • Sarah, if history shows a tyranny that really got rolled back without going hot I can’t find it.

    • Interesting food for thought in that post.

    • Gaylaxicon? Sorry but gay and laxative shouldn’t even be in the same conversation, much less the same word.

      • Okay, that’s wasn’t so much a “Straight” line, but the joke that it leads to isn’t fit even for the denizens of this blog…. 🙂

        • I admit that my primary response was that Gaylax, Virginia was able to host a con. I mean, Bluegrass Festivals, sure, but a SF con?

          • Actually, It was a combination of Gay and Relaxicon, (And Relaxicon is a combination of Relax and Convention). Basically a Con with little to no programming, but a focus on catering to Gay Fen and parties.

            I pity the housekeeping staff.

            • For the record, in spite of the common pronunciation, the Virginia town’s name is spelled without a “y” — Galax.

              I merely sought to avoid the obvious crappy joke.

        • You might overestimate us, but I thank you. (My jokes used to make my closest gay male friend blench until he figured out I have a low mind. Now he’s on a quest to shock me. He’s managed to gross me out a couple of times, but is still not managing to shock me.)

        • If your referring to the ‘salad shooter’ joke… I’ve already heard it.

  24. I’m going to go to the bookstore and buy every one of your books. I am also going to share this article far and wide. This needs a LOT of discussion!

  25. Are those number-y things, as in things having to do with numbers, or are they numb-er-y things, as in things pertaining to that which blocks sensation? Or is it both?

    • Ehgads, blocking sensation would be nice. I THINK anesthesia SHOULD be part of writing a check to the IRS, don’t you?

      • I can’t be the only one who considers several stiff drinks a requirement for preparing taxes. Right?

        • No, I’m right there with you. At least this year I’m not writing a check. First time in too long, IMHO. *looks at flower arrangement on table* Not that I have anything against paying the government it’s “fair share.”

          • Its fair share is ZERO. I’d be willing to contribute towards defense, voluntarily, but until they are actually burning the midnight oil writing my books, they didn’t build this.

          • Yes, I’m doing the happy dance, because we over-estimated–then I look at the total an whimper. But it beats last year when we underestimated to the point of getting penalized.

        • sigh

          The excitement of mailing them off on Saturday and so being done was kinda cramped by a splitting headache.

        • Billy Oblivion

          I pay a professional. It’s not exactly cheap but it it saves so much frustration and anger that I’ll spend it. Plus my taxes aren’t straightforward all the time, and the “if we screw up we pay up” bit is nice.

      • You know it’s called “alcohol”, right?

  26. the march to the blacklist started off relatively small, iirc; back in the 70’s Harlan Ellison complained that Sam Delaney was a ‘disappointment’ because he ripped apart a couple of Ursula le Guin’s novels, and the feminists in the indutry went nuts when ultra-left Phil dick said he was pro-life in every way, whether with murders, war, executions or abortions

    • always found it quite hypocritical many (okay, most) of the same people who will not kill a mass murderer by execution (and declare executions as barbaric and inhumane) will kill someone who has no ability to murder anyone, via abortion … and pass laws “for the children” … that they support killing off.

      • It’s not hypocritical, they just don’t define a fetus as a child. That’s one reason why the abortion debate is so acrimonious. Both sides are talking past one another, and the extreme partisans refuse to acknowledge that the other side has a point, if you grant their postulates.

        • Which is why there will be a post on what is human tomorrow.

          • You mean actually addressing the fundamental issue rather than mindlessly screaming at those who oppose your assumptions? What kind of intellectual do you think you are?

            • you will find they are more than happy to define a fetus as a child when someone kills a pregnant woman. They are more than happy to make it a double murder in that case. Although those laws mostly came from the conservative end of the spectrum, leftoid prosecutors will gladly fight to keep them on the books.

              • Some will, I’ve seen quite a few oppose the laws on the grounds that it defines a fetus as a person and so threatens abortion rights.

                • oh, it’s fought before implementation, but the fights to remove are usually led by those not using it. I think prosecutors always figure if used against a fellow traveler they can blunt the effects. It’s not like laws affect everyone equally, or something silly like that.

                  • The thing to remember is that prosecutors are an unholy combination of lawyer and politician. I’m surprised they don’t give off the odor of brimstone. They’ll seek power however they can get it. No matter what tortures they must subject Lady Logic to.

              • Err, no. they will scream and rant at the very notion that killing a pregnant woman, or even attacking a pregnant woman with the intent and effect of killing the baby, is anything worse than the crime would have been had she not been pregnant.

      • And now that they’ve killed their own babies, they’re starting to claim “collective” ownership of the remaining children.

        • Why not? They’ve already collectivized the lifetime earnings of those kids.

          • my folks half jokingly say they will likely be dead before the SHTF on this, but the worry about the grandkids.

            • I worry for my KIDS — and I intend to see the other side of this. Born fighting. (Well, born severely premature, given odds of not living till morning. Still here.) Don’t want to go away in middle of fight. On the good side, it’s inspiring me to get in shape.

              • me and the sisters are now all over or pushing 40. The folks think it will be not so bad for us, but I’m not as confident. My sisters are not paying that close of attention to the matter so are currently of no help. My step-neice pays a bit more attention, being a teacher (as is her hubby, mostly conservative kids thankfully) and now a mom, and both my older nephews are quite conservative as well, which freaks some as the one has a big inserts in his ears and both are tattooed, but the oldest has a kid now too and worries about the path we are on.

                • I’m now 63, and somewhat less optimistic than you are.

                  • that would have to be damned pessimistic. I tend to grumpy curmudgeon by nature, and lately cynicism seems to be my constant companion.

                    • Mine too. (And cynicism is my new name for single malt!) But seriously — I have great faith in my two boys’ ability to survive and thrive (they’re descended from the BEST kind of sons of mothers. Or the worst, as you prefer.) Without that I’d REALLY be panicked.

                • Billy Oblivion

                  Thing is medical advances in the pipeline might very well keep us 40 somethings around AND FUNCTIONAL for another 30 to 40 years. And we don’t have a *global* collapse that 30 to 40 years might not be all.

                  Unless you want it to be.

            • That’s my position in a nutshell although I don’t see it hitting as hard in Japan as it will in the States. At least not the same way (we have other things to worry about on this side of the pond).

              I admit to being a bit alarmed about what I am reading in these posts. I had no idea that leftist thought control had made such inroads on Sci-Fi, even though I have noted a lot of authors making somewhat obligatory obeisance to things like gay marriage (Juian May) female priests (Dan Simmons), etc.

              Of course, I am at the far end of the book pipeline, as it were, and seldom get any books that are less than five or 10 years old, so it’s probably not surprising that I am behind the times. I’ll keep reading this thread. Right now it’s 0700 and I need coffee.

              • well Y’all have been suffering a slightly different version of stuff for a bit longer than us, in part trying to make money off of us causing some of the issue. Been meaning to chat with my brother in law about his thoughts on it (born in Tokyo raised as a teen in Atlanta)

        • they always did, but were more careful with their language.

      • not sure he was defining the fetus as a person, he just didn’t like any kind of death. Animals too, i think. I’ll have to dig out the statement if i still have it.

        • I’m close to where he is though my exception is ONLY for animals who in the words of Heinlein “have been encouraged to consider themselves human.”

          • suspect it was the afterwards note he wrote to one of his short stories, and I can’t find any of his collections atm. Joanna Russ was mentioned as offering to beat him, i believe, and some hate mail from various people. lost all f them inthat wonderful spring flood in northern Colorado fifteen years ago, and never really replaced the short stories the way I did the novels.

            • whether he did or not, he wasn’t like the hypocritical, vegan nuts, no dead things, Every life is precious, [except the unborn human] group, about his stance. .

  27. “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.”

    Which story is this? It describes EVERY FUCKING STORY I HAVE EVER HAD TO READ IN A SCHOOL ENGLISH-LIT CLASS!

    As to the Wiscon parody: I didn’t find it funny because, well, it wasn’t that funny. Now, if Mr. Person had written something about how “due to the norovirus outbrak a few years back, plus the generally poor hygiene standards of fandom, Wiscon will be offering courses in Cooking and Doing Laundry”, *THAT* would have been funny….

    • I was curious about the identity of this story as well. Can someone more knowledgeable enlighten us please?

      • I think it was the one a year or two ago about origami animals, angst, magic, and a missing mother, but I could be wrong. If its the one I’m thinking of, it’s OK, but not what I’d consider epoch making, ground-breaking, spectacularly-written sci-fi.

        • Yes, that was it. I just can’t remember the name of the author. I want to say Liu, but I’m probably wrong, as that’s the name I say when someone says “Asian.”

          • No, you’ve got the right last name. The first name is Ken.

            Somewhere, Anne Frank’s relatives are writing a story about how lucky she was to die in a concentration camp, rather than ever be faced with the horror of shopping malls and neighbors who mow the lawn at 5 AM.

            • No, no. Mowing lawn at 5 am is okay, but I once lived next to a Baptist preacher who mowed the lawn at five am in dress, full makeup and high hells. (Aeration as you mow. Who knew?) I found her odd, but considering my friend and I plotted with the windows open, G-d only knows what she thought of ME.

              • I’m glad you mentioned she was a woman, because until then I was picturing a crossdressing Baptist preacher, and THAT I would find odd.

            • sigh

              I actually read some pretty good stories by him when we were in the same online writers’ group.

  28. Talking about how cities are described, I recently bought a couple of mysteries which both happen in the Phoenix area (mystery reading phase, and I’ve been trying to find ones which happen in less used locations). Correct me if I’m wrong, but hasn’t that area been among those which have been relatively healthy economically during the last decade or so? At least it has been growing, and I think both novels happen well before the latest crisis, sometime during the Bush presidency.

    Well, both of the mysteries are noir, and both lament the growth, and how that is destroying the desert, and displacing poor people from their farms, and coyotes are getting run over by SUVs, and tourists trade is so tacky and everything is pretty terrible anyway and the whole place is being so totally ruined! Their versions of noir seem to be more or less ‘too many rich people around, bad, bad, bad’. Not even too many rich people involved in criminal activities, just too many rich people (who are always snobbish, uncultured show offs who think the laws won’t apply to them and totally phony anyway, unlike the so authentic poor Hispanics or Indians or whatever and so on, and yes, dysfunctional families… except perhaps the occasional victim who may be a vulnerable and emotionally wounded, but always pretty, daughter who was trying to get away from her terrible family).

    Okay, noir needs to have dark in it, but really 😀 (besides one of them is going somewhat overboard when it comes to the diversity of the hero’s friends, well, there hasn’t been a single black person so far but pretty much every other group you could think of seems to be presented, Indians, gays, etc, and especially since they seem to be present mostly so that the protagonist can show how enlightened she is).

    Okay, could anyone suggest something in which the protagonist PI or police or accidental sleuth is also able to see the good points of the country/city/economy if they happen to live somewhere that really is not that badly off (and who might even encounter a rich person or two who are actually just people, not walking disaster zones?). I think I could use something like that right now. 😉

    • probable correction to what you understood, too many Californians, not just rich people but Californians, that has been a phoenix complaint for at least 20 years

      • Well, they don’t have the sense to leave behind their love for the policies that drove them out of California, so they are indeed a problem.

    • If you haven’t already, try Amanda Green’s Nocturnal books, they are Urban Fantasy meets police procedural, and the police procedural is well done, unlike so many such books.

    • If you don’t mind non-fantasy mysteries, try Donna Andrews bird series (all the titles have birds in them ie: We’ll Always Have Parrots, Owls Well that Ends Well)

      • Thanks.

        I’m right now writing fantasy, and it seems I find reading in another genre than what I’m currently writing more relaxing, so right now I’d prefer non-fantasy whatever.

      • Her work is definitely not noir. I lump her in with the fluffy mysteries like Daring Finds.

  29. There’s a lot in here to argue with, but to pick three

    ” science fiction conventions allow me to be my own weird self without people shying away from me.”

    and this is not necessarily a good thing. Normal is normal for a reason. You stay in weird too long, you lose your bearings. Which is what has happened.

    ” A stunning number of us were bullied as children”

    I guarantee you that 90% of what gets called bullying is no such thing, it’s the kid’s peers trying to poke and prod them back to normalcy, and they’d be well-advised to respond. I was a weird and antisocial and semi-bullied kid, and I put a lot of time and effort into figuring out how to NOT be such, and it was simply astounding how much nicer and friendlier people became once I knew how to actually act like a sane human being. But the change came from ME, from inside, it was not imposed on others – likeability is, like attraction, not an arbitrary choice. People don’t like weird. That’s a good thing. A driving force behind SF fandom has become the desire to become anti-normal. You’re trying to defend that. That’s a bad thing.

    ” I GUARANTEE you’re a tiny minority in the population. ”

    Don’t you get it? THEY DON’T BELIEVE THAT.

    They know, on a gut level, that statement can not possibly be true. They don’t know anybody who voted for Nixon; therefore clearly nobody did. The only way that knowledge is going to be shaken is by repeated real-world events forcing them to admit they have been wrong about large numbers of things to which they are very emotionally attached. Which, for many, is going to equate to “getting shoved back in the closet”. Everything about how they think is opposed to the very concept.

    Don’t you understand, you can’t TALK with these people? You can talk AT them – you can lecture them, which you’ve done here. Nobody likes being lectured, and if the lecturer isn’t a RESPECTED parent (which they often don’t have) lectures get endured and forgotten ASAP. You can play at talking with them, avoiding contentious issues and essentially treating them like children who mustn’t be sparked into tantrums. That’s a way of continuing to pretend that the personal isn’t political, a delusion too many on the right are attached to. Or you can just let them be.

    People have to make their own mistakes. Even fatal ones. You can’t save them from the consequences. Science fiction in its present form doesn’t DESERVE to be saved, and science fiction fans in their present form don’t particularly deserve it either.

    • I guarantee you that 90% of what gets called bullying is no such thing, it’s the kid’s peers trying to poke and prod them back to normalcy, and they’d be well-advised to respond.

      And I guaran-damn-tee you it isn’t their place to do that. Peers don’t have to like the kid (or adult); they don’t have to associate with them outside of the public square. But to say that physical violence, theft, or any of the other traditional bullying behaviors should be excused by their peers not liking their face (and that’s exactly what you said in that quote) is to endorse brownshirt tactics.

      • Demanding others, under pain of verbal, physical and moral assault, comport with your arbitrary standards of behaviour is all too normal.

        • “Moral assault”? Sounds suspiciously like the right not to be offended. Assault, by definition, has to involve the physical somewhere, and when you move it to any other definition, you get exactly the kinds of thought policing the Left loves so much, because the word becomes meaningless.

          Does someone have the right to follow you down the street screaming insults? Good question. And where do you draw the line? Since there’s a large group of people who won’t be restrained by good manners or anything that doesn’t involvelegal force, one has to be drawn somewhere.

      • I think there’s some cross-talk– currently, teasing or even just lack of sufficient-to-the-“victim” approval gets called “bullying.”

        I considered responding as well, but from the rest of it I’d guess Rollory’s been recently exposed to the modern form of bullying, which is just adults deciding what bullying is going to be considered acceptable. We know that Sarah was talking about the real bullying among us, but a lot of the folks joining in the Group Shaming had the “they didn’t invite me to their birthday party, just because I treat them like crud” type bullying.

        Oh… dear…

        Yesterday, I sent a text to my mom about a singer called “Johnny Paycheck,” who did a standard issue whiny “you are all hypocrites” song in the 70s about how it was wrong to treat him differently just because he was an “outlaw country” performer who deliberately styled his entire look around offending/disrespecting societal norms, and felt he shouldn’t have to do more than roll out of bed to go into the nicest church service he could find on a whim. (Among the sins of the respectful-to-God church? Some of the ladies had gone to his show.)
        The short version of her response was that she found him to be a whiny, entitled pretender as well.
        A lot of stuff from the 60 on had that kind of theme; I really hate the song “Signs” because the idiot can’t recognize that his big “I’ll show you” to the guy who offers to hire him just proves the guy right about not wanting long haired hippy-types to apply, because they do childish junk to make themselves feel virtuous.

        Guess it’s geekdom’s turn to be infected with the “whiny, short-sighted, entitled brat” syndrome.

        • Wayne Blackburn

          Oh, THANK YOU for showing me that there’s someone else who hates that damn song, “Signs”. Agh! It makes me want to break things every time I hear it.

          • I really dislike it too–

            • There are not words in my vocabulary to express the depths of antipathy I have toward that song. It is musically banal and lyrically jejune, exploring depths of imbecilic annoyance previously unplumbed outside Disneyland.

              • ooooooh. You DO talk purty!

              • Funny you should mention Disneyland and songs, I was with my cousin the other day looking at a car he was thinking about buying, when he started it up this music came blaring out of the speakers. He looked at me and said, “What the H#@$ is that, Disney music?” I started laughing when I hit the eject button and pretty pink CD with the words ‘Fairytale Songs’ popped out.

        • For those who don’t know the song Foxfier is talking about, here;

          Now I like Johnny Paycheck, but that song (and some of his others) has a distinct whine to it. Outlaw Prayer can be taken two ways, one that disparages the church and religious people for being hypocrites, or as song telling people that you don’t need to wear fine clothes or drive a nice car, god will accept you the way you are. Whichever way it was intended, it came across whiny.

          • telling people that you don’t need to wear fine clothes or drive a nice car, god will accept you the way you are

            Which would be fine… if he didn’t have an option about it.
            There’s a big difference between, say, Jesus healing the blind on the Sabbath, and Jesus looking for ways to violate the Sabbath.

            I will admit to getting the giggles about a guy waiting for a chartered flight to his gig in another city being nasty about the nice cars in the parking lot, because lots of people walked to listen to Jesus. Or his biggest hit against the ladies in the church choir– which, in the song, he never saw, since the usher stopped him at the door and said he couldn’t let him in there looking like he’d rolled out of bed after a hard night and gone wandering around with his long hair down– being that they were at his show.

            Yes, I spent way too much time paying attention to his lyrics, and only heard it once. I probably wouldn’ve skipped it, but I wanted to see if it would actually pull off some kind of hint of a smidge of humility on his part, realizing that styling yourself an “outlaw” and aiming to offend MIGHT ACTUALLY HAVE SOME SORT OF AN EFFECT ON HOW PEOPLE TREAT YOU!!!!

      • Yep. And btw while they couldn’t beat me, and they couldn’t scare me, and therefore never really “bullied me” I was consigned to Coventry for three years, and anyone who talked to me got pounded. (Notwithstanding which, I had a flock of small and weak clinging to me, because to pound them they needed to go past me.)

    • Normal is normal for a reason.

      That don’t make it good, nor a good reason. “Normal” don’t read books, nor use a vocabulary exceeding a few hundred words.

      I guarantee you that 90% of what gets called bullying is no such thing,

      Which does not rebut the assertion — I da’st say most of us have a fairly good grasp on our own childhoods, certainly better than you do, and know if we were bullied. And why.

      As for the statement to the SF gatekeepers, that was a rhetorical device, speaking on behalf of the readers of this blog. Readers who, if they include any of the gatekeepers addressed, implicitly are interested in what the blogger, as someone they respect enough to read, says.

    • I’m not going to touch your comments on bullying because, as you said, there are just some folks you can’t talk to — only at. And I’m afraid that is the case where you’re concerned re: this particular topic.

      However, I will take strong issue with your comments about science fiction “in its present form” and science fiction fans “in their present form”. First of all, you are lumping all of sf into one pile and it is far from it, especially when you consider what Baen publishes as opposed to other publishers and when you consider how much good SF is coming out indie/small press. I agree with you about the SF (and fantasy and romance and mystery, etc) where publishers are trying to “teach us how to think”. But that isn’t all of SF, thankfully.

      As for Sf fans, OMG. The fact that there are so many of us who are tired of the pap most traditional publishers have been offering ought to put the lie to your comment. Just because publishers have been putting out a certain “flavor” of books and they’ve been the ones to make the best sellers list doesn’t mean folks are actually reading them in large numbers. It just means there were massive pre-orders of the books. That doesn’t take into account returns or long term buying patterns.

      But then, I guess I’m just a run of the mill SF fan who doesn’t particularly deserve to be saved.

    • Wayne Blackburn

      Wow. So missing the mark in so many places. I see others have addressed their own portions, so I’ll take on this one:

      ” science fiction conventions allow me to be my own weird self without people shying away from me.”

      and this is not necessarily a good thing. Normal is normal for a reason. You stay in weird too long, you lose your bearings. Which is what has happened.

      You didn’t understand the statement. Nor can you construct a sentence properly, because the way it was written, it was a direct statement that Sarah has lost her bearings, and it doesn’t really sound like you know that one way or the other.

      Leaving that aside, however, and back to my original assertion: You didn’t understand the statement. It wasn’t about wanting to be as weird as possible, and letting everyone deal with it. It was about having a venue where she could let slip the mask of normality somewhat, which gets very tiring to hold up all the time for some of us, and take a break. You talk about changing yourself when you were in school. Some of us aren’t able to do that. The best we can do is to hold up a mask, as a public face, so that we don’t get treated like someone to be ostracized or ridiculed.

      I can talk about cars, or sports, or babies, or working in a factory, or farming or many other “normal” subjects. But when I start talking with “normal” people about the chemical reactions involved in combustion, or how the compression/decompression cycle of the air conditioner actually functions, or the aerodynamics of the flight of various sports balls, or speculating on ways to improve fuel efficiency in cars via the “electronic wind” principle, they look at me like I have 3 heads. And that’s when keeping to THEIR normal subjects. If I start talking to one of the VERY FEW people I know personally in proximity to me who are not normal, about “other” subjects, they look like they’re wondering if they’ve been invaded by aliens. Keeping up the mask is TIRING, and having a place to pull it down is a great relief.

      • Yes. You got it exactly.

        As an example, when Robert was small, a friend’s kid refused to play with him because he was “scary”. I thought “Uh. okay then.” Robert is massive, so I questioned him “have you been threatening, etc.” Nothing. Friend questioned her son. He was UTTERLY convinced Robert was making up words so he wouldn’t understand Robert and be scared. (Robert wasn’t making up words. He was in his home, using his vocabulary, which at the time wasn’t even that scary.) Also, Robert was snooty because he talked about space and stuff.

        I’ve run into this again and again, even when I’m deliberately toning down and trying to be “normal” — people think I’m “strange” and “trying to show off.”

        At cons, I don’t need to. (I actually dress more “normal” or at least more upscale at cons than at home, where I’m likely to bum around in jeans and old sweatshirts. (Mostly because I’m also housekeeper and general repairman, which means that my clothes are likely to get splatted with unspeakable gunk when the call goes up “mom, mom, the sink is clogged.”)

        • My first years in the army were infantry. A philosophical choice made around age 3. I have a normal vocabulary for this group, meaning excessive. When I joined the army at age 18 I routinely used all of it and never understood what the problem was, It took nearly years of constant fighting (winning when the odds were less than 3-1) to earn that my $5.00 words were insulting to nearly everyone. I now have a normal speaking vocabulary, and the world is a much drabber place for beeing unable to describe it precisely. OTOH it does help some of my associates to understand me

          • Because I come from a Latin language, it’s difficult to tone down. OTOH most people think I’m just being furriner and that the words I use don’t actually exist 😛

            I like letting it out, though, now and then.

          • I tend to go the other direction, possibly because I have a redneck accent. I find it hilarious (admittedly I have a somewhat odd sense of humor) when someone is acting snooty to interject into a discussion on mass, energy, and velocity, with something like, “wahl, I reckon it’s kinda like how a 3/4 ton truck with a 200 gallon diesel tank, a couple buckets of hydraulic earl, and a load a drill steel, gets better gas mileage with a 460 in it than with a 351 Windsor, ’cause the 460 has enough power ta get outta its own way, while with the 351 you gotta cut a hole in the floorboards so you can shove the gas pedal down further.” As they back up and look at me like, ‘is this guy for real?’ I’ll add, “besides, the 460 is a lot more fun to drive.”

            • Bearcat– you’d fit into my circle of friends. lol

            • Dorothy Grant

              Tell me you’re coming to Libertycon?

            • Billy Oblivion

              Um.

              No.

              The 351 windsor is a gasoline engine. So is the 460. You put diesel in them you ain’t going anywhere.

              Now generally diesels get better economy (when measured as distance/volume) because the diesel engine is 20 percent more efficient, and diesel fuel has ~20 percent more energy per gallon.

              The reason a 460 will get better mileage than a 351 on heavy loads is that you can spin the engine at a more efficient speed.

              I just drove a normally aspirated mid-80s diesel from Long Beach to Denver. Did fine until about 5k feet. I’m looking at an LP injection system to prevent smoking and get a little more ooomph out of it.

          • You should have joined the Air Force. 😉

            • Or the Navy. I had a lot of trouble interacting with my age group in high school because science fiction fans were so few and far between, but both the Navy and Air Force attract people who like cool tech, want to fly, like ships, etc.

              • As said, a pphilosophical decision made about age 3. The other services were never an option for me. I was determined upon the army long before the time of enistment. Something that shocked my hillbilly family no end. Military service was not something my family did unless drafted. Not liberals, isolationists

                • It takes all kinds to make armed forces. (And thank all y’all for your service.) Eh, but the Army has a lot of smarties and techies too, don’t forget. They’re just spread out a bit more. My dad was an army linguist, back in the day, so he pretty much hung out with language geeks all day and night at DLI; and then they assigned him to a listening post type place, so he was surrounded by linguist geeks again.

                  • My hubby started out in the Army and did some radio work in Vietnam (operator/maintenance) so his unit were geeks too. Then he taught electronics in the Army schools before going Navy–

                  • Clark E Myers

                    See e.g. David Drake’s 2 Kelly books based in part on fireside stories – ample vocabulary in multiple languages. Some very bright folks on the listening post side of the division sized Berlin Brigade once alerted the Secretary of Defense in early morning his time to complain inter alia that treating them like regular soldiers with lots of PT and all was bad for efficiency at their real job. When I knew something about it Army policy was a preference to avoid more than a 20 point IQ spread among folks expected to work closely together.

        • I once was in line at registration behind a couple and their son I had seen around the con, and a girl the son’s age. About the third time her jaw dropped when someone in a steampunk get-up walked by, she told me it was her first con. The son explained that she was his friend from school. I observed that he had told her how to dress properly, he observed that she dressed like that normally, and I observed she would fit right in. She pondered for quite some time the notion of a place where a tie-dyed Star Trek t-shirt meant you looked normal.

      • I too have learned to act “normal” – and hanging out with swim team parents or at a neighbors house still feels, a little bit, like lopping off a huge chunk of my personality and interests to not get looked at like a freak.

        So I settle for enjoying the “normal” topics that DO come up – and have made good friends that way who are pilots, lawyers, musicians, etc., but then need to retreat and indulge myself in a good game, book, or forum/friends who “get” the rest of that stuff.

        • If everybody is “acting normal” do we have any evidence that anybody actually is “normal”? How would we be able to tell?

          • Billy Oblivion

            Normal is most usefully defined within the first standard deviation. This is what the leftists are trying to do–trying to shift the center.

            This is a useful schelling point as it allows more people to reach it.

        • The big problem with acting normal is that a lot of the occasions where I am expected to are occasions where I don’t go anyway. Why in blue blazes would I do something I don’t enjoy in order to act unnaturally?

          • FWIW – a number of reasons.

            I’m in business for myself. Meeting people in my community (and my larger community) – many of whom own businesses and are clients/potential clients/know my clients – and being able to interact without coming across as an ass/arrogant/talking over their head, is a life skill.

            Along the way, especially because many of hte people I hang out with are fairly successful in their fields, I get to meet a number of interseting people with interests ranging from golf (meh) to photography and sports cars, and hear interesting stories about interesting characters, even if they don’t have “big ideas”

            So by spending a little time learning to shut up and LISTEN, I learn more, and strengthen my ties to the community. And while I won’t be playing Twilight Imperium, Powergrid, or Pathfinder with them, or discussing the latest Michael Flynn book, there’s still a lot to learn and be said.

            That said, I also cultivate a set of nerd friends.

            • Listening isn’t hard– even “active listening,” where you ask questions about something they mentioned when they slow down or get on a really uncomfortable topic.

              Getting people to stop telling you their life story, just because you’re there, that’s a trick I’d like to learn.

              • Oh. It happens to you too? Good heavens. Planes can become places of torture. One of the reasons I HATE traveling alone.

              • Asking “Why are you telling me this?” has been known to be effective.

                • MIGHT be hereditary. Older son spent last plane trip — two seats away from us — with some woman next to him explaining her marital trouble. (Head>desk.)

                  • Poor kid– are you sure she wasn’t trying to pick him up and make him her next husband? Some women believe that if they make the other guy sympathetic, he’ll take them away from it all. lol

                  • I have found it an effective solution to appear to take the discussion seriously and proffer advice on how to address and resolve the issue, in however much detail and depth required to shut the person up. It is particularly helpful if you can suss enough of the person’s social and political views to provide advise as completely antithetical as possible, such as advising a California Liberal on the benefits of turning her life over to Jaysus or a Southern redneck on the advantages of adopting Kosher dietary rules.

                    No hable Inglis not working as well as it used to.

                • From the Great Muppet Caper:

                  It’s plot exposition. It has to go somewhere.

                  On Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 1:22 PM, According To Hoyt wrote:

                  > ** > Mary commented: “Asking “Why are you telling me this?” has been known > to be effective.” >

                • Too nasty; so many of them seem to really need to tell SOMEONE….

            • This is what I do too. I don’t actually like mixing the two, which is why my neighbor who is a fan didn’t know I was THAT Sarah Hoyt. Hence “cons is where I let my weird self out.” 😉

    • So peer pressure causes normalcy– BS– *sneeze
      Or as my mother would have said (and her mother, and her mother– it was a family saying) “if your friends want to jump over a cliff, then you’ll do it too?” Peer pressure imho has its good points when it is to keep a civilization civilized, but that is NOT what we are seeing today. Peer pressure is used to get everyone in the controlled organizations to walk in lock step (I saw someone said brownshirts).

      We need Odds for innovation, for outside the box thinking, and for the shamanistic tendencies that revitalize a group. If we lose the Odds or turn them into everyone else, we lose that spark of creativity. Lucky for us, we have had a lot of Odds in the US. Unlucky for us, some people want us to conform– (right now with Europe) and will use coercion and peer pressure to make us like everyone else– because “we want it to be fair.” So little boys are turned into little girls and little girls are taught myths that the males and females are exactly alike even though any girl who has grown up around boys realizes that boys become stronger when they hit puberty.

      Okay– I see others are showing you the error of your ways–

      • For instance, in comments, under pseudonym, there was just a comment saying “Anyone who endorses Vox is a Scum Bag” I trashed it and spammed it because — someone please tell me what the heck that adds to the discussion, except “you should never ever ever even read that man because he’s evil.”

        I’ll admit I’ve read only two of Vox’s posts and that recently. If he’s advocated beating up all the leftists within in an inch of their life, he’s wrong on that — has he? And has he advocated stealing, murdering or communism (A nifty combination of the two?)? If he has he’s wrong in that too. BUT for the two posts I read I saw no hint of that. I saw rather too much erudition, aggrieved sarcasm and — in the comments — a willingness to conform to the publishers idea of “good” and endorse a bunch of leftists as good writers. I’m not that willing. I’ve adopted my dad’s proud motto which he came to at 80 “I have too little time left to spend it reading communists.” (I MIGHT have read Vox WAY back when I read a lot more blogs. I have a vague idea, but it might also have been someone else.)

        I saw nothing that justifies “scum” and this helpful commenter doesn’t tell us what he’s done to justify that epithet. If it’s his war with Scalzi, there’s enough stupidity on both sides to go around. And Vox is fighting from beneath, which is no place for Gentleman’s Rules.

        I did note his commenters are overwhelmingly inclined to distrust females and non religious people which is why I found it hilarious that I was sent there by an agnostic female. I suspect half or more of his commenters would hate my books. The other half might like them despite Athena and Lucius. And that’s normal, right?

        Anyway, that type of comment is designed to bully and make me fall into line and distance myself. I spammed and trashed it and this comment serves to inform the lovely lady/gentleman/rat that I have two middle fingers and they’re in working order.

        • Really like that one.

        • LOL– nope not me– 😉

        • Dorothy Grant

          I had an acquaintance, good man, who was walking across a bridge in Fairbanks one early summer day. He saw people jumping off the bridge into the middle of the Tanana River, and thought “If everyone was jumping off a bridge… why not?”

          He forgot to consider one little fact: glacial-fed rivers are COLD until you’re much further from their source than he was.

          • Yeah, I’ve swam (for certain values of swimming, jump in and then get to shore as fast as possible) waded, and bathed in glacier-fed rivers. I think the popular description is; brisk.

          • Well, odds are if everyone is jumping off the bridge, there’s a fire or some such thing making the bridge dangerous. But then, odds are that it would be visible to you, too.

    • There was a blog article somewhere by a recent college graduate that – probably never having read John Gatto, but echoing him – equated the relatively unsupervised high school environment of (effectively imprisoned) peers to Lord of the Flies. And pointed out that this environment made bullying and petty power games much more prevalent and important, and did not prepare them for dealing with adults or the outside world.

    • I think your 90% figure is definitely in the realm of ‘90% of all statistics are made up’. There is a lot of bullying going on now, even more so than when i was in high school. When I was in high school in the late 80s, the schools barely did anything about bullying, and the bullies would get away with it because if you actually engaged in a physical confrontation, you were both punished. And, somehow, people wonder where the anti-self-defense attitude comes from….

      And I think this is the wrong place to suggest that bullying that forces conformity is a good thing to follow.

      Further comments withheld for other post.

  30. Look up what he says about rape.

    • Do you have a link?

    • I have never read Vox before yesterday, but heard this comment repeatedly on Corriea’s blog yesterday. I have been unable to find anything Vox wrote on rape, and since the commenter on Corriea’s blog that kept bringing it up was a raving imbecile was unwilling to waste my day sifting through google* to try and find it. I suspect most of the other commenters here also haven’t read Vox, so if you want to discuss it I suggest providing a link to wherever he stated that he was pro-rape.

      *another word that spellcheck doesn’t recognize.

      • Unless there is some other Vox, I’ve read his blog many years ago and eventually decided that it was a bit harsh for me (and I can take a lot). BUT, like I said, IF it’s the same Vox. OTOH, if it’s the same Vox, my assumption is that what he probably said about rape was empirically and biologically based and sure to offend those who refuse to look at issues from an other-than-emotional mindset. Thus, the interpretation would be “approval” where approval very likely does not exist at all.

        IF it was the same Vox, my interpretation of what is said or implied about any issue is “I’ve got no time nor inclination to put up with the lies you tell yourself.” So, not just not PC but anti-PC, which is sometimes interpreted as “approval” when it’s not.

        And, unfortunately perhaps, that refusal to give fig-leaf cover to personal lies about society, humans and biology, can also attract people who are looking for excuses for their own set of personal lies, which is part of the reason I didn’t stick around, even though I tend to like conversation that is fundamentally honest and empirical.

        • And yes, Synova, that’s my impression too. I thought he was a little harsh for me too, and this back when I hung out at LGF a lot. HOWEVER compared to the current nuttiness in SF/F…

          • *snif* I remember when LGF was good, and Bill was posting to Eject ^3 (What a sad Spambox that site has turned into out of neglect. Tell Bill to clean out the comments.). I forget the order of the blogs I got into post 9/11, but between those two and Cox & Forkum, it felt really good for the future, and they’re now all dead to me.

            • Yeah. Before C.J. went off the deep end, so to speak, he did a lot of good. Spawned a lot of other good blogs, too (Jawa Report, JihadWatch, Zombie’s blog, a couple others.).

          • This is a form of Argumentum ad Hitlerum whereby a single objectionable statement by a person is employed to devalue all positions advocated by that person. “Vox Day said something once that can be tortured into a defense of rape, so everything Vox Day is horrible, even if all he said was “i like a late lunch.”

            Ye gods, because Hitler advocated for sound fiscal policy does that mean I must support rampant inflation??? If so, I know a lot of vegetarians who are in for a world of trouble.

            • This takes a broader form in typical Liberal Manufactured Outrage. If you say a black man is articulate, well spoken, and intelligent, then OBVIOUSLY you’re a racist who thinks all other blacks are mumblemouthed idiots. And don’t try to apply logic to defend yourself, because this is OUTRAGE, it’s emotional. Saying “That’s not what I said” is no defense at all. And don’t try to explain the difference between Imply and Infer, because… Shut up, racist!

      • As far as I can tell, Vox made fun of Scalzi’s attempted parody of “not real rape.” This is part of their ongoing war.

        BUT like the comments from Card becoming “he wants gay people to be executed” I think it has gone around fandom like a crazy postoffice game and the usual suspects are using it with “keep away from him, he’s a nut case, do you know what he said about rape?” though they themselves don’t know.

        It will be fun to see how much of a pariah I become after tomorrow’s post…

    • IIRC it was nothing about rape being “good” – but that in the end, his conclusion was that feminism as practiced, and driving women en masse into the workplace, was objectively more destructve for society than rape.

      His crime is likely being very blunt about it. Take a look at Eric Raymond, a programmer who’s code is likely inside anything you use that gets online, and an anarcho-libertarian atheist wiccan. He’s come to some similar conclusions that he finds very disturbing.

      From: http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=3768

      The question becomes: what are we going to give up? Family formation? Sexual equality? Sexual liberty? (By sexual equality I mean the presumption that women should be legally, economically, and educationally equal to men. By sexual liberty I mean both an absence of formal legal sanctions and an absence of guilt and psychological repression.) It looks very much as through we can’t have all three of those sustainably, and (this is the thought that really disturbs me) we may not even get to have more than one.

      If we give up family formation it’s game over; we’ll be outbred by cultures that don’t. So that’s off the table. Following out the logic, the demographic future will belong to cultures that give up either sexual liberty or sexual equality, or both.

      But those options aren’t symmetrical. Because, remember, the problem with today’s sexual economics is not symmetrical. It’s not women who are bailing out of the marriage market in droves, it’s men. Accordingly (as the author of the NY Post recognizes) the odds of rolling back sexual liberty are close to nil. Men don’t have to play on those terms for fundamental bioenergetic reasons (release of semen is cheap), and women post-Pill are demonstrating an unwillingness to try to make them. Because, you know, more sex (see “miswiring”, above).

      I am led to a conclusion I don’t like. That is: Sexual equality is unstable. If women can’t buy marriage with sex, they’ll have to bid submission instead. This tactic also combines well with hypergamic desire – if the mean social power of men is automatically higher than that of women, more potential pairings constitute marrying up.

      I don’t have a submissive wife and never wanted one. I like strong and independent women. It therefore horrifies me to reach the conclusion that sexually repressive patriarchies may after all be a better deal for most womens’ reproductive success than the relative equality they have now is. But that’s where the logic leads.

      Also related: “What if it really was like that?” http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=4893

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  32. Sarah, while I’m not any sort of accomodationist with regards to the Left, I will defend the literary qualities of China Mieville, Umberto Eco, and to a lesser extent, Charles Stross and Terry Pratchett.

    With regards to rape, this is what the lefties are complaining about. This WND column and this post in which I referenced David Sloan Wilson demolishing PZ Myers.

    I neither condone rape nor criminal assault on women, I merely think it is laughable to claim that no logical or scientific case can be made for things that the average Westerner finds unthinkable.

    • I’ll agree with you on Terry Pratchett and SOME Eco. Pratchett is the best author working in our field today. China Mieville hits my issue with “pretty words” — I do that naturally, so its’ easy and I devalue it. (Yes, I know, but download the sample of Ill Met By Moonlight. That’s the natural Sarah. I work hard to be transparent.) I could never get into Stross. In a separate note, Mieville is a nice guy, as some leftists are.

  33. By the way, Sarah, Alauda is the same troll known as Clamps at Larry’s place and Luscinia Hafez, Will le Fey, Dan, and Yama the Spacefish at mine.

    IF it was the same Vox, my interpretation of what is said or implied about any issue is “I’ve got no time nor inclination to put up with the lies you tell yourself.” So, not just not PC but anti-PC, which is sometimes interpreted as “approval” when it’s not.

    Yes, that’s pretty much it. The fact that I can make a convincing case for something in no way indicates that I subscribe to that case.

    • Oh, he’s been a troll lots of other places too. What a maroon.

      • A Common enough trait in Leftists who don’t believe in the persuasiveness of their own words to have a bunch of sock-puppet accounts so they can agree with themselves.

        I for example, use the same name everywhere, unless it’s been taken (with the exception of blogs that now allow a Twitter login, where it’s similar, but not the same.).

        • Yes, and even though I have never seen anyone else posting as bearcat, there are an amazing number of places where it is taken, in which case I simply add a 2 to the end of it.

          • Having been bitten by auto-numbering suffix schemes, I jump way in advance, so I’m either Mauser, Mauser712 (on DeviantArt) or Dr_Mauser (Twitter and PJTV/Media)
            /StalkerData

            Steam had so many of my possibilities already covered it wasn’t funny, I had to do something totally different there.

            • Mauser 712? Art link?

              • http://mauser712.deviantart.com/

                Be warned, MOST of the stuff is under Adult Content protection (requiring a free DeviantArt account). But it’s also where I’ve been putting up preview versions of my book chapters and the shorts I’ve been re-writing into that book. (Dr. Mauser is a kinky Mad Scientist, forced into the role by an odd system of legalized Good and Evil, but he actually enjoys the role.) If you check out the Prologue, that’s the last story I sent to Asimov’s for rejection, giving me the license to go indie on Amazon if I can get through this stubborn Chapter 3.

                Also some photography, coloration of friends’ art, and stuff out of my workshop.

                I think I gave you the link a while ago for the Virtual Blog Tour. Sorry I haven’t gotten to writing up my questions yet.

    • Oh dear freaking lord, not that flaming lunatic. He’d be funny, if he weren’t such a malicious, obsessive creep.

      • Or if he was coherent, I like a good argument, but it is hard to argue with someone who has less coherency than a three year old.

        • Nah, the whole stalking-and-harassing-girls thing makes him more “one of those people who makes you glad you sleep by a pistol” than anything else.

    • Well, I’m glad to know I wasn’t misrepresenting you. I don’t like to do that.

  34. Pingback: Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Tidbits for 4/16/13 | Interesting Reads