Science Fiction Fandom and SJW warfare

Amazon Warrior

Amazon Warrior

The culture war continues between Social Justice Warriors (who want to elevate politics over story in science fiction) and everyone else (writers and fans who come from all political perspectives but see true diversity as a product of merit, not correctness.)

I came into this battle late and I lack the scars of many of the writers who’ve manned the barricades, but it’s obvious where my sympathies lie: freedom of speech, freedom to write a good story wherever it leads, freedom to have characters of any and all cultures and colors, including white and privileged, so long as the story is compelling and the writing is good. Applying a political correctness screen to fiction gets us bad fiction and bad politics. And just as certain elitists tend to see any business that is profitable as suspect and in need of more government supervision, science fiction elitists would try to screen out science fiction that is “too entertaining” or too accessible to the less refined. Joy, you see, is to be found only in the tiniest of nuances, the finest of emotions that can only be expressed by a truly literary author. It is the joy of feeling yourself superior to all those unwashed who cannot see what you see. And if it doesn’t confirm the latest and most advanced progressive ideology, it’s dangerous and only perpetuates racism and sexism…

Many have written good pieces on the topic, so I’ll just point out a few:

James May: “The Death of Science Fiction”

Larry Correia: “Why I Don’t Like Social Justice Warriors”

Sarah Hoyt: “In the World of the Red Queen” (has she read my book?? 🙂 )

“Dave of Cydonia”: “Why Social Justice Warriors Suck, Part 2”

Peter Darbyshire: “War is Coming to Sci-Fi and Fantasy Fandom” (a good overview of recent controversies)

Jeb Kinnison (me!):
#Gamergate Explained
Social Justice Warriors, Jihadists, and Neo-Nazis: Constructed Identities
YA Dystopias vs Heinlein et al: Social Justice Warriors Strike Again

On the latest skirmish, “Sad Puppies 3” by Brad Torgerson — another effort to leaven the Hugo Award nominations with non-PC candidates, I wrote elsewhere:

Controversy! I’m on the side of good story-telling and mind-expanding entertainment no matter what the political perspective or level of accessibility. I guess I have to start paying attention… to quote Brad:

“I’ll say it again: the Hugos (and the Nebulas too) have lost cachet, because at the same time SF/F has exploded popularly — with larger-than-life, exciting, entertaining franchises and products — the voting body of ‘fandom’ have tended to go in the opposite direction: niche, academic, overtly to the Left in ideology and flavor, and ultimately lacking what might best be called visceral, gut-level, swashbuckling fun. The kind of child-like enjoyment that comes easily and naturally when you don’t have to crawl so far into your brain (or your navel) that you lose sight of the forest for the trees.”

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