Every cliquish group has to have a prat. You know what they are like. They are the ones who go to the extra effort to make sure everybody knows that he is aligned with the “right people” by constantly maligning and disparaging the “wrong people” In this case, the Puppy Kicker’s biggest prat is Damien Walter. Now there has been a lot of competition for Puppy Kicker biggest prat, but through and through Damien has come through in his columns in the Guardian. His latest is no exception.
I’ve been staying out of the Dragon Awards because I haven’t had the funds to buy new books this year and I didn’t want to nominate books that I had not read simply because I was fans or friend of the author. I am glad that Dave Weber, Dave Freer, Larry Corriea, Eric Flint, John Wright and other great people I’ve come to know were nominated. Over all the noms look solid. What makes the Dragon Awards different? Attitude!!! This is the attitude of the Dragon organizers.
Today’s literary science fiction is eerily comparable to the current American political climate – drenched in a dystopian landscape full of dark futures and doomsday scenarios. While our culture is saturated with an apocalyptic fascination for ecological disasters, Kim Stanley Robinson is using his influence to help shape a major science fiction sub-genre. Solarpunk is considered one of the fastest growing sub-genres making headway in modern literature today. It challenges the status quo and encourages mobilization toward environmental solutions and effective change. Robinson uses a more innovation based, scientifically backed, utopian voice, which looks beyond the debate of climate science, to position solarpunk as literature’s parallel to a political revolution.
I’m not sure why I’m going to Fisk this piece of vapidity, but at least it can be used to point out the common ways in which PC and soft thinking has infected science fiction. It doesn’t get more soft than this.
If you pay any attention to this blog for very long you will know that I have been a fan of Jerry Pournelle for a very long time. I’ve posted stuff from him before.
Comparing the Nebula and Hugo noms is a study in contrasts. The Nebulas reflect the membership of the SFWA, which is driven by the fact that the majority of the membership is, well from the crazy cat lady set, driven by feminist politics. The Huffpo lauds this this as “diversity” but it’s not hard to see why.
SF as a genre has been defined by it’s editors. In the beginning there was Hugo Gernsback, who essentially invented SF, followed by John W. Campbell and a bunch of others. I think that the when the dust settles the editor that will be most remembered for carrying SF forward in the last quarter of the 20th Century will be Jim Baen. This great piece has a good portion of the reason why.
Recently Sarah Hoyt published a post of mine:
While I was ecstatic to guest post on Sarah’s blog, File 770 reposted with their usual editorial style and Mike’s commenters behaved in their usually classy, hyper intelligent fashion, flinging their usual monkey poo. Because they didn’t actually read the links I posted they really had no way of knowing what I was talking about. I was directly referencing and being critical of the post that Mr. Robinson wrote, not the novel. But if you didn’t read the posts there’s no way to understand that. Thus the monkey poo. That’s what happens when you don’t understand things.
Apparently when I tried to point out that I was using a professional perspective I was being pompous.
Generation Ships – John Carlton
Kim Stanley Robinson wrote a book recently apparently to show that interstellar travel is impossible. He expresses his point of view in this post.
And this one.
As far as Mr. Robinson is concerned, once the solar system is filled up that’s it, game over. Only one earth, one solar system, that’s all there is. It’s not possible to travel between the stars and even if we could, the missions would all fail. Of course he also believes that utopia is possible as some sort of Socialist paradise. Now that’s a fantasy.
David Brin has some rejoinders here.
As does Stephen Baxter.
And Gregory Benford.
As an engineer, I think that Mr. Robinson is clearly wrong. Or at least, he doesn’t understand the basic rules for setting mission parameters and designing to meet those parameters. Mr. Robison’s vessel failed because…
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The other day Stephanie Sounders posted a blog post asking for moderation from the puppy kickers. I have come to the hard conclusion that moderation is something that the puppy kickers are incapable of.
J.K. Rowling put some stuff on her site, Pottermore and the perpetually offended got offended. They promptly ran to the nearest media outlet to tell us how all offended they were and how serious it all was. They exclaimed that because Rowling wasn’t getting every little detail right about native Americans that somehow she was some terrible racist, (you can add the rest) person in no uncertain terms.