The War Between the Lords of Evil and the Rabbit People

SF and the damaging effects of literary status envy

The Rabbits have a sort of herd-instinct sense that these new channels doom them to irrelevance, which is why so many of them line up to defend a system that ruthlessly exploits and cheats them. Contemplate SFWA’s stance in the Hachette-vs.-Amazon dispute. for example; it’s plain nuts if SFWA claims to be representing authors.

But it will be a faster, better, cleaner victory if the Evil League of Evil gets shut of political particularism (and I mean that, even about my politics) and recognizes the real problem. The real problem is that the SF genre’s traditional norms exist for very good reasons, and it’s time we all learned to give the flying heave-ho to people who fail to understand and appreciate that.

The right (counter)revolutionary slogan is therefore not “Drive out the social-justice warriors!”, it’s “Peddle your angsty crap elsewhere, lit-fic wannabes! Let’s get SF back in the gutter where it belongs!”

And I was just fine with Eric’s analysis right up until that last paragraph.  SF doesn’t belong “in the gutter.”  It has traditionally (those deep norms Eric references) been a literature of hope, of the possibilities of science and an inherent and implicit assumption that thanks to science, tomorrow will see a better world than today’s.  Oh, sure, dystopian SF has been around, but it has always been a minor thread, and more often than not, offered in the vein of “Don’t do this!  You won’t like how it turns out.”

Nostalgie de la boue, an approach that much more readily delivers gutters full of angst, is  more the province of the Rabbits Eric talks about.  Real SF has always had its eyes on the stars of tomorrow, not the lapidary neuroses of today.


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About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.


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