SJWs & Censorship in SF

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by Boreas, Jan 22, 2016.

  1. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

  2. kenubrion

    kenubrion Well-Known Member

    I find it curious that people like Scalzi have been happily pushing the awards leftwards with little discussion of that, and when writers on the right respond, suddenly it's news. Typical really as the media is admittedly liberal.
     
  3. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I know, right? While I think its perfectly the right of private book owners to choose not to sell books/authors for whatever personal reason, this move to purposefully misinform booksellers about certain authors seems out of order. If true, it's just another bullying tactic, a charge they hypocritically and consistently seem to impute to everyone else.

    In a similar vein, the latest I heard was Nick Cole being unfairly dropped by his publishers for a scene that the editors took "offence" to. Nick Cole has proven himself as a saleable author with this particular publisher, so dropping him (with excuses) seemed contrived. I've had his Soda Pop Soldier for a while now on @ofer's recommendation, and I'm now feeling it's time to bump it further up on my reading que.

    Here's the post by Cole on the matter: http://www.nickcolebooks.com/2016/02/09/banned-by-the-publisher/
     
  4. kenubrion

    kenubrion Well-Known Member

    OK, thanks for the Cole post. Amazing. What's really scary is that SJW's realize they are using Gestapo-like tactics and suppression of ideas like Cole's, and they don't care. Well, not Gestapo, yet, but mind wipes and 1984 tactics. I like to say that the left consider 1984 a template, not a warning. A how-to treatise instead of a why-you-shouldn't-do-this.

    I wasn't even aware of Nick Cole so I thank you for the rec. Might read something but his Old Man series uses the premise I despise, which is that all books about post-nuclear armageddon assume primitive conditions, when in my opinion the survivors will work ceaselessly to restore power supplies and not being content with burning tires for heat.
     
  5. Derk of Derkholm

    Derk of Derkholm Full Member

    Kenubrion, are you aware what tactics the Gestapo used?

    I can only say that a publishing house deciding not to publish a novel by an author out of the fear that readers would not like it, IMO, not the same as "They tried to ban my book!!!!" as the author puts it in his blog.

    The only author I - unfortunately - know among those mentioned was Larry Correia, and while I certainly do not like his blatant right-wing propaganda, it is by far not as much a detractor as his abysmally bad writing.

    Other than that, It's an article from Breitbart, so what do you expect?
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016
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  6. ofer

    ofer Regular Member

    @Boreas I have no idea why Cole was dumped by HC and I loath political discussions, but I read his new book and found it dreadful. If you want more details check my review in the 2016 published books in the BFB fantasy forum. I was utterly disappointed by it - something akin to your reaction to Cline's Armada.

    Still reccomending reading Soda Pop Soldier for sheer fun value - especially if you are or were a gamer. Some really cool gaming scenes there. Just ignore the sequel (or prequel, whatever).
     
  7. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

    Criminy, the rightwing are such babies.
    And this part of the article is just so overwrought and silly... "There’s something ISIS-like to it: the purging of historical icons and works of art because they represent something that falls outside a rigid, intolerant ideology". Really, a chubby bookstore owner taking books off a shelf or a writer being expelled from Goodreads falls quite a bit short of, "ISIS-like".
    Personally, I don't like polemic writing from the right, or left. Scalzi is becoming unreadable, as is Ben Bova.
     
  8. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I can deal with some polemic writing up to a certain point, whether right or left. It's when the message is battered into your head in a very blunt manner that it starts to become tiring. I can usually appreciate the author (whether I disagree or agree with the views) when it's imparted skilfully, when it's a subtle incorporation into the narrative. Still haven't read any Ben Bova, but I didn't realise he was a polemic author.
     
  9. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

    Ben Bova is among the worse... the bad guys are nearly always the intolerant Religious Right in America. Imagine the Roman Catholic Church and the strangle hold they had over much of Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire, that's what some of his books are like... except replace the Catholic Church with the Christian Right.
    I respect someone like Frank Herbert and the way he approached the Dune books... Herbert was a conservative writing in the 1960s, a decidedly non-conservative period for SF literature. Yet he isn't polemic, in fact as the books progress he begins to deconstruct some of his beliefs through the characters and events in Dune, and finds his beliefs wanting, and in their own way to be too extreme and filled with unintended consequences. So at least in the case of Frank Herbert, he does impart his beliefs skillfully and with some balance.
     
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  10. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Definitely agree about Herbert. And the same can be said about Banks, who's staunchly Left-leaning, but imbues his writing with such beautiful nuance and explores all the contradictions of his own political beliefs. I had no idea about Ben Bova, but I'm still going to read him, I think. I told you before that I picked up the first volume of his Orion space opera series, which will probably not contain so much overt religious criticism or commentary than his hard sf, politically-tinged works set in the solar system (some of which I've actually been led to believe are excellent). As for Herbert, I'm itching to re-read all the Dune novels. There's just never enough time.
     
  11. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

    Iain Banks is a perfect example of taking a more intellectual route, and in the case of his Culture books, keeping things so foggy for the reader that it allows us to determine for ourself if it's ultimately a good thing that the Culture has its fingers in everyone's pie. Why I like Banks over Herbert, is where Herbert maintains a rather humorless tenor throughout Dune... Iain Banks has a sense of humor, almost fatalistically so. Sometimes his characters know, or at least suspect what they're doing in the name of the Culture, is probably distasteful at best, and the lesser of evils at worst.o_O
     
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  12. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Couldn't have said this better myself! But I will disagree with the implication that Herbert doesn't take as much of an intellectual route. I think he does, and he's even more rigorous than Banks in the very specific and concrete themes he explores. His greatest intellectual achievement are the Pandora books starting with Destination: Void and the trilogy sequel that follows. Dune plays with a lot of themes and uses a plethora of some fantastic gimmicks to great effect (though the most rigorous and ambitious of the Dune novels is God Emperor of Dune), but the depth and astuteness he shows in Destination: Void and its sequels is pretty impressive, and even a seed for some of the themes that Banks tackles obliquely some decades down. BUT, I also love Banks more exactly for the reason you stated: the almost fatalistic sense of humour! And, he's just a fantastic prose stylist all around - it's not often you come across genre writers who dazzle with their prose.

    Edit: Also, I remember Herbert's Whipping Star and Dosadi Experiment as precursors to exactly the kind of themes that Banks likes to deal with in his Culture via SC.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2016
  13. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

    Oh I didn't mean to imply that Herbert wasn't as rigorous about tackling intellectual themes, just that he did so without much humor.
    The protagonists in Banks' work, are sort of treated like rag dolls by the Culture, but somehow maintain their sense of humor.

    And I also think Herbert's (written with Bill Ransom) Pandora books are his best work. The Lazarus Effect is an all time favorite of mine.
     
  14. ecgordon

    ecgordon Well-Known Member

    I just read what I like, doesn't matter who writes it, although a lot of the crap I had to read last year for Hugo consideration does not make me receptive to the tactics from people like Theodore Beale and John C. Wright. I'm sure from their perspective the left is just as bad, but I don't see it. There has not been a concerted effort on anyone's part to promote a "social justice" agenda, it just happens that many more people of color, and gays of both genders, are not only writing but also reading SF/F now. Everyone wants to see stories from their perspective, and if they enjoy it they will promote it and nominate it for awards. Everyone is free to pay for the privilege of nominating and voting, and it appears those more left-leaning groups were doing so in recent years. It wasn't a conspiracy.
     
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  15. Jack Brewhouse

    Jack Brewhouse Well-Known Member

    My latest book is very anti-SJW and borders on being quite offensive. One of the main characters is openly sexist and I did, at one point consider toning him down. However, the other characters don't take it seriously, so I figured there was balance. However, why should I have to consider censoring my work out of fear of offending anyone? I decided that it was best to write it how I wanted to write it and leave it a that. Literature should be free to express itself. It's important to not censor free speech and to remember that you do not have any right to go through life without being offended. Taking offense is good for you, it makes you consider your own standing, question if you've done something wrong. A mature person will take an insult and then consider if it's valid and wonder if they need to change. A child will have a tantrum.
    The power of the SJW movement is not felt so much outside of america, but it's grinding its muddy footprint into Europe. I currently live in Asia where such things never took hold. Like the Middle East, and Eastern Europe it's refreshingly open, people say what they actually think without fear of upsetting your delicate sensibilities.
    So, at the end of the day, I'm not really writing for you. I'm writing for myself. I write books I would want to read. 'Serves' is offensive but has a message behind it, it's filled with metaphors and symbols. It's also set in a world where people let others tell them how to think and I hope, it shows how dangerous I think that is.
     
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  16. ecgordon

    ecgordon Well-Known Member

    There is a difference between freedom of speech and freedom from consequences. You have the right to say what you think, I have the right to agree or disagree, and if I disagree I have the right to rebut your position, or even stop listening to what you say if I don't think you are willing to listen to my viewpoint. On Facebook or Twitter, and even on some other forums I participated in the past, there is the option of blocking or hiding comments from others if I so choose. I have done that with many on my FB list, even though they are mostly family, because I grew tired of the endless bigotry and misogyny.

    I probably shouldn't say this, but sometimes it gets to a point I can't keep quiet. Depending on whether anyone responds to this, or the nature of the response, will determine if I continue to visit this forum. Anyone who uses the term SJW or the full words social justice warrior in a pejorative sense is automatically putting themselves on the opposite side of the debate from me. If you think of social justice as a negative thing, or that justice should only be for those who agree with you, you are not someone I care to correspond with. Let the chips fall where they may.
     
  17. Jack Brewhouse

    Jack Brewhouse Well-Known Member

    From my perspective, this is the part of the problem with the SJW movement. I would support your right to your opinion, SJW think that if you don't agree with them then you're wrong. I had a feminist in my class and I told her that I support equality but not feminism. She spouted some incredibly naive rhetoric that contradicted itself. I said she had a lot to learn and she replied that I had a lot to learn too. And this pretty much sums it up for me. I said that that's why feminism fails. When a child who has read no further than the Wikipedia page on a subject thinks she know more than a mature adult who has been studying psychology and sociology since before she was even born, who has travelled to dozens of countries and see how people live all round the world, who has a grasp of global politics and how social engineering is used to control the masses then we have a big problem. As Isaac Asimov said, 'we have a problem of you thinking your ignorance is as good as my knowledge.'
    The Western world is decaying fast and social engineering is a huge part. These social movements are designed to divide and control the masses and it's being quite deliberately done. I recommend researching the matter quite thoroughly, you might be surprised what you find if you open your mind.
    I respect people's opinion if it is their opinion. If they're quoting Wikipedia or the latest trend, I lose interest.
     
  18. ecgordon

    ecgordon Well-Known Member

    Thank you for letting me know that you think I am close-minded. I might not be as well-traveled as you, but I believe I am well-read on a wide range of subjects. Feminism is Equality. Black Lives Matter is not saying All Lives Don't Matter. Social justice is something we all should strive for, but it is difficult when most of the white dudes think they can tell marginalized people what's wrong with their lives and their way of thinking.
     
  19. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

    So you believe social engineering is a Liberal conspiracy?
    Typical words from another rightwing-straight-white-male whose being dispossessed of his top dog status, and doesn't much like it.
    Tough luck.
    A good teacher never stops learning. A good teacher doesn't tamp down the opinions of his students, he considers them and offers an opposing view. You don't dismiss a young person for the crime of being young.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2016
  20. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    Before this gets out of hand please keep this civil. It's entirely possible to have a difference of opinion with someone without insulting that person or belittling their opinion. Thanks.
     

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