Fisking the Guardian again, this time for HP Lovecraft.

Fisking the Guardian:

Somebody sent this to me on Twitter this morning and asked my opinion on it. My quick response was that it was more Social Justice Warrior nonsense and their never ending search for perpetual victimhood, but then I decided that because the ideas in it are so poisonous to the very people it is supposedly is trying to help, it deserves an actual fisking.

Basically I’m taking the time to write this because if you have to stamp out another artist’s existence in order to justify your own art, you are not helping art.

If you don’t feel like giving the Guardian any clicks, I’ve reproduced the entire article here. However in the interest of fairness, here is the original:

As usual the original article is in italics and my responding comments are in bold.

Move over HP Lovecraft, fantasy writers of colour are coming through.

A stupid title. If you are so desperate to prove racism in sci-fi you’ve got to dig up somebody who has been dead for 77 years, your argument might be a little weak. 

By Daniel Jose Older.

Normally when the Guardian tries to prove how horrible racist/sexist/misogynist/homophobic sci-fi or fantasy is they trot out village idiot Damien Walter. This time they’re using somebody who has actually published something. Good for you, Guardian. Way to step up your game.

Non-white readers and writers are falling in love with speculative fiction in increasing numbers –


which is why we need to remove its racist figurehead

You’ll note that almost all SJW articles start like this. Here is a good thing, but here is why you are actually racist because of it.

Last month I walked through the crowded corridors of Javits Center with tears in my eyes.

Maybe it is just because I’m a manly cismale gendernormative fascist who is required by the patriarchy to keep my feelings bottled up, but the only thing that made me cry at the Javits Center was the line at the food court.

It was New York Comic Con and around me flourished a sea of black and brown faces, many partially concealed beneath goggles, prosthetic zombie wounds or masks.

I was also at this very same convention. I gave out a couple thousand free paperbacks and talked to people for three straight days. But since I’m not a SJW I didn’t feel the need to keep a tally of what color, religion, or sexual orientation every single person I talked to seemed to be.

The people I talked to were people who liked to read books. If you are an author and you feel the need to subcategorize much beyond that, you are setting yourself up to fail.

For one of the first times since I started writing speculative fiction five years ago, I felt at home in my own genre.

I started seriously writing speculative fiction seven years ago so I’m assuming we’re about the same age and we’re dealing with the same industry. This statement is either horseshit or Older hasn’t been to very many sci-fi conventions.

I’ve been to dozens of them all over America. I attended thirteen in 2014 alone. Cons and fandom are usually about the most inclusive bunch you’ll find anywhere. Hell, they accept Furries… FURRIES. Your argument is invalid.

But SJWs love to look for invisible micro aggressions at cons. Here is one where I fisked a SJW who tried to make GenCon sound racist (short version, it isn’t).

Earlier this summer, the old guard of fantasy got very uncomfortable over a petition I started asking for the World Fantasy Award to remove the bust of HP Lovecraft as its statuette and replace it with Octavia Butler.

Uncomfortable? I don’t think that is a synonym for WTF.

A few things for those not in the loop. HP Lovecraft is one of the most famous authors in history, who basically created a whole genre. Authors commonly use the word Lovecraftian today to describe themes and elements that he popularized. Among the creators who list Lovecraft as a major influence are Stephen King, Ramsey Campbell, Joe Lansdale, Alan Moore, F. Paul Wilson, Brian Lumley, Clive Barker, Guillermo Del Toro, H.R. Geiger, John Carpenter, Mike Mignola, and Neil Gaiman. Plus thousands of other authors, artists, and film makers.

Have you heard of Cthulhu? Yeah. That guy.

Lovecraft has influenced video games, movies, comics, and more heavy metal bands than you can count. Almost eight decades after his death every nerd in the world knows who HP Lovecraft is. There have been thousands (not an exaggeration) of stories set in Lovecraftian worlds.

And hell, Lovecraftian is actually a word!

Octavia Butler was also an author. She passed away in 2006. I think I read a couple of her books as a kid but don’t remember anything about them. I’m certain she’s had some influence, but Lovecraft influenced orders of magnitude more.

Butlerian isn’t a word.    

EDIT: It turns out Butlerian is a word, just not on Earth. And I’ve not read a Dune novel in a decade. 

Lovecraft was an uneven craftsman at best – his stories clunk along, overburdened with adjectives and stale characters.

Wow, bold words there dude who has written a couple of books.

It’s his world-building and imagination that helped solidify his legacy, but even that is tainted by a failure of craft and humanity.

Yet, the atmosphere he set scared the shit out of millions of us, to the point that when we grew up and tried to write something scary, we used him as a template. Nothing is more human than fear. Pulling that off takes craft.

Really, most Lovecraft tales only consist of well-spoken New Englanders telling each other scary stories in the dark, but the man practically invented creeping dread in literature. But to be fair, Lovecraft said his influence was Poe, so we all learn from somebody.  

He detailed his rabid, paranoid racism in many letters, and it permeates his mythos. Lovecraft peopled his fiction with hordes of swarthy, child-killing and abjectly stupid black and brown people, while women are almost non-existent.

Lovecraft was a product of his time.  

I’ve written three books of alternative history set in the 1930s. I’m fascinated by this time period. I’ve done tons of research into those years. Racism was common, ugly, and rampant. And I’m not talking invisible micro-aggressions or college students lecturing people about privilege, I’m talking systematic, legal, subjugation of groups of people based upon their ancestors.

Yes, Lovecraft was a racist. He was a 1930s Democrat. It is actually kind of hard to find 1930s democrats who weren’t racists. Eugenics then was the “scientific” equivalent to Global Warming today. The “science was settled”. Proper good thinking folks didn’t question it and the world’s governments used Eugenics as an excuse for all sorts of programs that seem insane to us today.

In actuality Lovecraft’s racism veered a bit from the typical democrat’s “scientific” racism, and he was more into looking down on other cultures. Keep in mind that he was a snooty New Englander. If I recall correctly he believed that anybody could move up in the world, provided they learned to act like a proper snooty New Englander. He didn’t have nice things to say about southerners either, and as far as Europeans went, the only culture he liked was the Anglo Saxon one that spawned New England. He married a Jewish woman because she’d become “cultured”.

How Anglo was Lovecraft? He thought the American Revolution was uppity.

Yet despite being someone descended from those swarthy hordes on one side and degenerate backwoods hill folk on the other, I’m not personally offended. Dude could still atmosphere the shit out of a scary story.

As for black and brown people being dumb savages… It was the 1930s. Now I know this is really hard for somebody in 2014 to wrap their brain around, but to the average American most of the world was a mysterious, scary, alien place. Africa was a distant land of adventure. People were still expecting to find Shangri La. Hell, Lovecraft was a New Englander, by his standards Florida was a distant, scary, mysterious, alien land.

Read any periodical from this time, listen to the radio programs, you’ll find that this attitude of foreign lands being cloaked in forbidden mystery wasn’t just common, it was the absolute norm. You can pull up old news reels on Youtube and watch them to see what I mean. I watched a ton before writing Grimnoir. “Here is beautiful Japan! Mysterious! Look at the crazy shoes! They eat with sticks! How do these crazy yellow people do it? Scientists say the Asian can’t see well through their squinty eyes.” You think I’m exaggerating. I’m not. 

As for women being non-existent, first off, not true. Second, don’t matter, because they’d just die a horrible death or be driven insane anyway.

Supporters of the Lovecraft statue point out his influence on the fantasy genre, and they’re right: today, we’re still struggling to unravel the legacy of racism and erasure with which he and other early speculative fiction writers permeated their work.

What does that even mean? Diagram that sentence. Yes, he was super influential, but all with racism, so we need to ERASE what came before? That doesn’t make sense. So I think maybe Older is trying to say that Lovecraft and other early writers erased non-whites? But didn’t you just say that he had non-whites, you just didn’t like how they were portrayed?

So he was influential, but racist, so those of us he influenced learned racism by osmosis?  Sorry, Dad, I can’t love you anymore.

Mainstream science fiction and fantasy narratives continue to center on white saviour narratives, as we saw recently on Game of Thrones

Now hold on a minute, George R.R. Martin isn’t a racist. White savior narratives? Hell, any savior narrative is popular and powerful for the same reason that black vs. white/light vs. dark as a stand in for good vs. evil remains a constant in storytelling, and it has nothing to do with racism. Some themes are so deeply ingrained into humans that artists use them all the time. I can also think of popular “savior narratives” involving women, children, computers, aliens, and a Terminator.

Villainous, sexualised or helpless, rarely are non-white characters presented with the same humanity and depth as white ones.

How the hell does Older quantify that? Based upon the highly scientific study of pulling facts out of his ass? He might feel that way, but I disagree. But what do I know? I’ve only written a bunch of popular books where the main PoV characters aren’t white.

As Imran Siddiquee points out at the Atlantic, teen dystopias tend to have a glaring blindspot when it comes to talking about more complex issues of power and privilege: “While recent dystopias warn youth about over-reliance on computers, totalitarian rule, class warfare, pandemic panics and global warming, very few ask audiences to think deeply about sexism and racism …The results feel false, and undercut the films’ attempts to comment on the present day.”

All that paragraph says is that some movies are bad because they didn’t cater to some reviewer’s particular pet peeve topic. That would be like me saying that I really hated Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants because it didn’t have enough gun fights. Not everything in the world needs to be about whatever the hell it is you are personally hung up on. If you really want to have a story about Topic X maybe you should go write it and quit sniping at whoever wrote about Topic Y instead.

And while “urban” has become publishing industry code for books by and for black people, throw the word fantasy on the end and suddenly the characters and authors are very white.

Sigh… Again… This bizarre hang up on genres. Genres are just so book sellers know where to shelve stuff. I’m usually considered an urban fantasy author, but I think “contemporary fantasy” is more accurate, but hey, I don’t put things in the catalog for Simon & Schuster, so it isn’t my problem.

In this literary gentrification, the American city becomes either a goofy whitewashed playground, Girls with werewolves and vampires, or an abysmal urban nightmare. And like most dystopias, neither fictionalized versions of this city have much to say about the real-world conflicts threatening urban communities of color like police violence and gentrification.

What the hell did I just read? I’m not sure what any of this has to do with somebody winning a trophy that looks vaguely like HP Lovecraft, but because the marketing term “urban fantasy” stuck for books with magic and monsters set in the contemporary world, and some white people write books like that it equals Ferguson.


I had to look up Gentrification… Which for those of us who don’t live in democrat controlled cities means when they redevelop their inner-cities to increase the property values… And this is controversial because, hell, I don’t know… Stuff. Things like that are why I choose to live in a county with more cows than people.

Honestly, these Social Justice Warrior articles are like meaningless word salad.  They throw out a bunch of buzz words about racism and injustice on top of some half-baked argument about equality. When you try to question it, they say you’re a racist and declare victory.

That’s why I skip right to mockery.   

Unfortunately, this shouldn’t surprise us. According to a recent survey, Latinos and Asians make up 3% of the publishing industry each,

Hey, that’s me! Hi, guys!

while blacks come in at 1%.

This isn’t a conspiracy. It is actually very simple. Where do writers come from? Readers. Communities that have more readers are going to create more writers. Like I talked about in the linked article above about where gamers come from, same principle. Communities with more education, higher incomes, and leisure time produce more readers. Parents who read produce children who read.  

Let me give you a personal example. I grew up in a very poor, immigrant, farming community. Of my 8th grade class half of us could speak English. Of those, half could read.  Of my friends, I was the only reader. Where I’m from reading was for dorks, and what kind of sissy reads books about dragons and elves and shit? Most of your time was spent doing back breaking manual labor, and free time spent reading could better be spent “partying” (drinking yourself stupid and screwing around). Tough guys didn’t read (though having a nose in a book was a great way to get into fist fights, which explains a lot about how I turned out the way I did).  Reading fiction was seen as lazy, effeminate, fluff.

That’s how my Dad grew up. I don’t think he’s ever read an actual book. I’d guess he’s got about a 4th grade reading level. He didn’t like the fact that I read books as a kid. I can’t fault him for feeling that way, because that was the culture he was raised in. Luckily for me, my mom liked to read. She was an Air Force kid, and had grown up all over the place. Also, very luckily, my little town had a tiny old library.

When I discovered books, I didn’t care that the characters didn’t look like me. I didn’t care that they weren’t from my culture. In fact it was awesome that they weren’t like me. I didn’t need a fictionalized version of what I already knew, I wanted new experiences. I wanted gunslingers, rocket ships, and monsters. 

My high school was a junior gladiatorial academy. My senior year we had the 2nd highest teenage pregnancy rate in America (curse you, Dade County, Florida!). We were well divided between Mexicans, blacks, Hmong, Laotian, poor farm kids of various ethnicities, and white suburbanites. Guess who I talked to about books or played RPGs with in high school? Yep, the white suburbanites. There was a single exception to this, and that was the Pena family. The mother and father had immigrated from Mexico, opened a restaurant, and worked their butts off. They pushed all of their kids to be educated as possible and to read like crazy. Their kids appreciated GI Joe, nunchuks, dirt bikes, and other things that made the 80s awesome so I loved going to their house. Those kids got into nerdy stuff, and if I recall correctly they were the first kids I ever played D&D with.

But overall, not a ton of readers from the poorer groups. I was an anomaly. Of the people I grew up with, I’m not aware of anyone else who because a writer. 

Now compare that to where I am now. I moved to Utah. Utah has a culture of readers. Everybody reads here. Education levels are extremely high. Disposable incomes are relatively high. Leisure time is common. So how many writers does Utah produce? Tons. For a state with less than three million people we’ve produced an absurd number of authors, many of them extremely successful, way out of proportion to our population.

If you want to increase the readership in any given community, give them the opportunity and introduce them to books that they’ll find fun. That’s really what it is all about, and as a particular community gains more leisure time, you’re competing against entertainment with lower barriers to entry, like TV or videogames.

Of course, the way our education system does this is totally ass backwards, by shoving dense, impenetrable “classics” onto kids and then discussing what the author “really meant”  until you’ve beaten all of the love of reading right out of them. You’ll note that SJWs never talk about entertaining or fun books, but rather socially conscious or enlightening (i.e. boring).

On the other hand, we’ve got the SJW answer:

As Publishers Weekly puts it: “the world of speculative fiction faces the same challenge as the rest of publishing: overcoming a long history of books being primarily created by, for, and about straight white men.”

So the reason there are fewer minority readers is the fault of existing white writers for writing to their existing audience. Naw, I’m going to stick with my answer gleaned from (un-privileged) personal experience rather than some gender studies professor’s bullshit hypothesis.

The racial makeup of the industry matters.

Nobody is stopping anybody from any particular group from reading or writing. In fact, we’re all encouraging as many people as possible to read and write. The more people buying books, the better! If you’d like to write toward a particular audience, fantastic. DO IT. Just don’t demand that other artists create art only in your approved manner.

For writers who aren’t straight, cis, white men, the already steep uphill road to publication is complicated by issues of cultural translation, representation, passive and microaggressions, rage, and assimilation, among others.

That is all total bullshit, and I’m not just talking difference of opinion, but I’m talking a flat out lie.

First off, for everybody the path to publication is extremely difficult. I think traditional publishing has something like a 99.99% rejection rate. I got rejected a ton of times. However, in none of my query letters did I ever specify my ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, political affiliation, or shoe size.

Over the last few years changes in technology have caused a revolution in publishing. There are now far more opportunities for authors to publish independently, and because of the eBook revolution, even the tiniest niche market can be targeted, and often in an economically viable fashion.  

So there is literally nothing stopping you from submitting to publishers and agents. There is nothing stopping you from going independent and producing your own books. If you’d like to very specifically write a book about trans-whatever-queer-cis-binary-polar bears in the space future-past, knock yourself out. There is probably an audience for that.

Next, the bit about being shunned for that big old word salad list of gender studies terms, flat out wrong. Be some type of minority and show up to an agent with a sellable, readable manuscript, and the first thing they’re going to think about is going to be how much money they can make by marketing you as special, distinct, or whatever else separates you from thousands of other competing authors. Anything that can help market you to a specific audience is wonderful, because the agent wants to GET PAID.

In the time I’ve been doing this, I’m only aware of a single incidence where a publishing house discriminated against an author because of their sexual orientation. And it was a tiny publishing house. Immediately the entire author community condemned them. In fact, even the ultra-evil right wing International Lord of Hate (that would be me) reached out and put them in contact with his publicist because that sort of attention is marketing gold.  With all of the added attention, in short order they found a new, far bigger publisher, and got a much better contract.

Come to think of it, the only authors I know of who’ve actually been sabotaged in major publishing houses because of their political beliefs have been conservatives, and the mainstream Manhattan publishing industry is overwhelmingly liberal. Strange…

Maybe these ragey assimilators think they’re being held back from being nominated for prestigious awards… Nope. Not in recent years. They’ve been tripping over themselves to show just how Social Justice they are. And again, the group that gets attacked, sabotaged, maligned, and slandered when it shows up are conservative authors.

Well, he listed Rage… Because… Shit… I don’t know. I got an accounting degree. I can’t wrap my brain around this gender studies tripe.  

It’s impossible to know which of our truths will unsettle the privileged sensibilities of one of the many gatekeepers we face along the way.

Frankly, that is just narcissism right there.

Speaking of gatekeepers, anybody want to make any bets as to who has pissed off more of publishing’s traditional gatekeepers, me or this Daniel Jose Older?

“Why Butler?” people asked me when the petition went up, and I remembered how entrenched we all get in our own corners within the genre. Butler’s prose soars where Lovecraft’s stumbles. Her characters live and breathe, confront complexities of power and privilege amid fantastical, terrifying dreamscapes steeped in history and nuance.

Good for her. Get back to me when her nuance gets its own beer.

Lovecraft Beer

My SFF community is mostly black and brown, and Butler inspired many of us to start writing in the first place.

I’m all in favor of anything that gets anybody writing, so good.

These folks congregate more often than not in online communities like the Nerds of Color,Black Girl Nerds and the Fan Bros, because outside of ComicCon, SFF cons have historically not been safe spaces for women and people of color.

That simply isn’t true.

They always throw this victim stuff out there, because to SJWs being a victim grants them super powers. You can find a handful of anecdotes of bad things happening to a handful of people at various cons over the years, but considering that these are events that happen constantly, all over the country, the number of incidents is absolutely tiny. You are way more likely to get harassed at a pee wee football game or a Bar Mitzvah.

Fandom is cool. Many of them are the ones who grew up being picked on. The way SJWs keep maligning good innocent people really offends me.

Again. Furries… Holy shit. Fandom accepts FURRIES.

These are the online communities that signed the petition in the thousands, which is what transformed it from being just another attempt at dethroning Lovecraft as the face of one of fantasy’s highest awards (there have been several) to a global conversation with coverage in Salon, the GuardianNPR and countless blogs.

The Salon, Guardian, and NPR? Well then. That is settled! I know when I think of unbiased, critical, hard hitting journalism I think of SALON!

Ultimately, the Lovecraft statue must go. He may be replaced by Butler, or Carrie Cuinn’s sea serpent wrapped around the world idea or any of the many other options,

Or how about a grey, formless, blob? That would be sure not to offend anyone.

But the thing is, the trophy is actually irrelevant. If it wasn’t this trophy, it would be something else for SJWs to get all outrage sputtery over. Any disagreements will be met with allegations of racism or sexism, so that you can be dismissed. Since most people are nice and don’t like being attacked as vile things that they aren’t, they give in. Keep in mind that whenever you are dealing with these people, they simply want you to be wrong somehow so they can browbeat you until you apologize, because then they own you. From then on your opinions can always be safely dismissed.

but the fantasy community cannot embrace its growing fanbase of color with one hand while deifying a writer who happily advocated for our extermination with the other.

Hey, doesn’t Salon, the Guardian, and NPR also think winning the Margaret Sanger Award is awesome. BWA HA HA HA HA HAAAAAAAA snort.

Read Lovecraft, be inspired by his wild imagination, repelled by his heinous worldview, learn from his mistakes – I certainly have. But the lionizing, sugarcoating and kneejerk flurry to defend and silence uncomfortable histories has to stop if we are to move forward.

Yeah, I’m not seeing a lot of sugarcoating from anybody other than the SJW crowd, who like totally wants equality (as long as you aren’t one of those evil privileged white cis-males) and diversity (as long as you are diverse in exactly the approved manner).  

Lovecraft was a racist. He held racist beliefs. So did many icons of that and earlier eras. You can try to erase them, or you can be an adult that realizes that throughout all of human history people have believed things that were wrong or different, including those who accomplished great things.

While we’re on the topic of sugar coating, have you SJWs quit showering Marion Zimmer Bradley and Sam Delaney with praise yet?  

People of color have been fantasy creators and fans for a long time; we’re not going anywhere. The We Need Diverse Books campaign took the internet by storm this year and is still going strong.

Good. You should go write some.  

A recent digital renaissance in online speculative fiction magazines like Tor.comCrossed Genres and Strange Horizons, has helped give rise to a new, flourishing generation of writers of color.

Writers of Color? I’m sorry, but this whole People of Color thing is absurdly racist. I’m technically a Person of Color, but fuck that noise. It was racist back when it was Colored People. You can’t just flip Colored People around backwards and it suddenly be cool.

And honestly, you’ve got way more in common culturally with a white American suburbanite than you do with a Mongolian shepherd or a West African villager, and I’ve got more in common with you than I do with an Azorean dairy farmer, so can we just knock this stupid shit off and get back to writing stories and entertaining people?   

 Networks executives have started to take notice.

He must have missed that NPR story I fisked where the only ethnic group underrepresented on TV was Latinos, and that was only when we forgot to wear sombreros for easy identification.

More importantly though, we’ve stopped asking permission and begun finding ways of making our voices heard.

Again, the only people you had to ask permission from before were Manhattan liberals. Now you’ve got indy publishing. Playing the victim card is getting kind of silly when the people running your industry have been on your side.  

Social media revolutionized fandom in ways few saw coming, and content creators of color find ourselves with unprecedented access to audiences. We’re entering a new time – one not so enraptured by the same tired hierarchies – and the genre itself will be stronger for leaving its oppressive tropes behind.

Help! Help! I’m being oppressed.

Out of curiosity when I was writing the paragraph about this author having more in common culturally with an American suburbanite, I googled Daniel Jose Older to see if he had a Wikipedia page that said where he was from:

Heh… Check out the Google images of him. He was walking around ComicCon in tears because there were people who looked like him? If they made a movie they’d cast Morgan from Criminal Minds to play him. Meanwhile, I look like the giant swarthy love child of James Gandolfini and Khalid Sheik Mohammed and they’re lecturing me about being profiled, privilege, and micro aggressions? 😀  

In the interest of full disclosure, my writing has been influenced by HP Lovecraft, because if you don’t like giant sky squids, there is something fundamentally wrong with you. I also share a birthday with Lovecraft and Ron Paul (yes, I know, this explains a lot). In actuality I’m more of a Robert E. Howard fan than a Lovecraft fan. I once got a negative review that said “though Correia uses some Lovecraftian themes, he is more of a modern Robert E. Howard” and he meant it as an insult. Personally, I wanted to use that as a cover blurb.

SJWs go after METAL? Yeah, this will end well.
Great deal on a story bundle.

507 thoughts on “Fisking the Guardian again, this time for HP Lovecraft.”

  1. I had to rush to the comments so that I might just possibly be first.
    Butlerian is indeed a word. Butlerian Jihad, from Dune. But I guess that would offend the SJWs, too.

    Now, back to reading the rest of the fisk

      1. A shameless plug: I used the word Butlerian as a total ripoff from DUNE in one of my own novels, JUDGE OF AGES. Or maybe it was a totally respectful homage and fair use, but hey, who can tell?

        And I also made it a jihad, but my was genetically altered witches, not drug-addicted Fremen, so there is that.

        So, that it two votes for it being a word. But it still has nothing to do with Octavia Butler, because I read maybe one book by her. It was not bad, but it did not stick with me.

        Now, Linda Nagata, her stuff I remember, and everything she writes kicks ass. I don’t know if she counts for the SJWs as a minority or not, because she has talent.

        Were I Octavia Butler, and someone wanted to reward me for my skin color and not my writing talent, that would be the deepest, cruelest and most lasting insult I could imagine being delivered to a writer. Imagine being told you are utterly worthless except for one shallow surface feature over which you have no control.

        In any case, the muses are Greek goddesses. Does that count as a minority for the SJWs? What does the color of the poet through whom they speak matter?

      2. One thing I do hate about Larry’s fisks is that I usually end up with another stack of books to read, either from Larry, or the rest of the ELEd. Now I have to go look into Linda Nagata.

      3. re: John C. Wright

        Technically the Butlerian Jihadists are not Freman, those guys come in later. The anti-Machine revolutionaries are forerunners to the witches of Dune Universe, the Bene Gesserit.

    1. There’s the other Butlerian Jihad: Judith Butler and the wonders of gender-fluid oil changes who is the icon of many of these gender feminist pollen-challenged bumblebees. Her famous book is called Gender Trouble but I would’ve called it Up is Down.

      1. “Gender-fluid oil changes”?
        Why am I left with the image of Billy the mechanic earnestly explaining to some customer that the reason his car wasn’t running correctly was that Toyotas self-identified as cismale, and the previous oil change had mistakenly used SAE Fem-30 oil?

      2. Dave, I’m glad I put my tea down before I read that. I so do not need to have to dry out my laptop again. 🙂

    2. Curse you and your demon-fueled keyboard for making this comment before me. ::shakes fist::

      Actually, I would have been surprised if that was the first thought every reader of this site had upon seeing “Butlerian isn’t a word.”

    3. The hidden satire here is that what SFF has been experiencing and we call political correctness actually is a Butlerian Jihad – Judith Butler. Gay feminist Alex MacFarlane’s “binary” post at and also her review of Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice there are ripped straight from the pages of Butler’s most important book about about radical feminist queer theory, Gender Trouble in 1990. Butler is the source of usage like “normative” as in “cis normative,” or as Leckie herself puts it, the “white, straight, cis dude.” The added element of race via intersectionalism came a year earlier from elsewhere, although the idea dates back to the ’70s via a black gay radical feminist icon named Audre Lorde, a name you will unsurprisingly find on John Scalzi’s blog.

      Though she is a gay feminist, there is no rage in Butler’s book; it is an academic discourse, but it describes the theoretical underpinnings of that rage and how one comes to a thing like “rape culture,” the oppression of heterosexuality and Anita Sarkeesian Tweeting against video games “Masculinity is a socially constructed and performed gender identity.” “Performed” is a term extremely specific to Butler and Sarkeesian is Butlerian in every sense of that term. Fused with racial feminism, you now understand the Hugos and Nebulas this year. WisCon’s Tiptree Award is Butlerian and now so too is the Hugo and Nebula.

      Butler uses a variation of the word incest about 70 times in explaining radical feminist desire to end the incest taboo, marriage and the nuclear family itself, because the taboo was used by men in arranged marriages to control women.

      From there it’s a short hop to “No Gender December” X-mas toys because of “the damaging influence of gender stereotypes.”

      The entire thing is a very nutty fruit cake and explains the jihad by way of 77 really angry blog posts against Barry Malzberg and Michael Resnick over describing a “lady” editor’s looks, which is gender taboo in Ladyland.

      “White straight, cis dude” is not a term that came out of nowhere. In this ideology he is the very Devil himself, and according to awards-sweeping SF authors, one prone to metaphorically punching out gays, women and non-whites when he isn’t restraining himself from dragging bi-sexual Hugo-winning SFF authors behind a pickup truck.

      Sun Tzu says know your enemy, so go ahead and do that.

      1. Synchronicity definition: renaming an influential white male author’s award for a more obscure black female author whose name was made popular by one of the most influential white male SF authors ever.

      2. Not only was a dead white guy, but he had libertarian leanings! And he culturally-appropriated the hell out of everybody.

      3. ^Knighton, worse yet, he had a pseudo-Arabic desert nomad culture in his books, which these days would be “cultural appropriation” or some such bovine fecal matter.

      4. Hey, you know the funny thing? If they rename it the “Butler” award, all but a few precious snowflakes will think they’re talking about Frank Herbert’s Duniverse? Why? Because Frank Herbert’s Dune series is mega-popular, and has been steadily so for some 40 years. Octavia Butler will be forgotten 40 years from now — she wrote very little of merit.

    1. Artificial, perhaps. Intelligent? Did you read the article that just got dissected? I think my cat could barf up a more intelligent and cogent argument than Mr. Older presented.

  2. Me encantaron sus comentarios en contra de la “corrección política” de The Guardian. Leo sus novelas y me encantan, en particular Las Crónicas de Grimnoir, que me parecieron excelentes. Un saludo cariñoso y además en español.

  3. Nobody tell that guy about R. E. Howard. If Lovecraft’s cat “n***erman” causes offense Howard’s description of all non-whites as ‘thick lipped savages’ would give the poor guy a heart attack.

      1. Short of totalitarian control over publication they won’t succeed in forcing us to forget Lovecraft and Howard. Do you realize that both of them are very much in print today, almost 80 years since their deaths? And that numerous writers, still write stories in their mythos?

  4. Another comment.
    Larry wrote: “Of course, the way our education system does this is totally ass backwards, by shoving dense, impenetrable “classics” onto kids and then discussing what the author “really meant” until you’ve beaten all of the love of reading right out of them. You’ll note that SJWs never talk about entertaining or fun books, but rather socially conscious or enlightening (i.e. boring).”

    Boy, howdy, is that true!
    I’ve never read any Dickens or Shakespeare since high school. I’ve never re-read “To Kill a Mockingbird” When I got to college, I saw an English course about Science Fiction and I was thrilled … but it almost ruined SF for me. Thankfully, there was enough Heinlein, Asimov, Clark, Anderson, etc, etc. make it enjoyable again. I’ve never read any LeGuin since then. I think I must have run into a proto-SJW.

    1. I actually have read quite a bit of Shakespeare since high school. My senior year English teacher was less concerned with interpreting themes and more interested in expanding our vocabulary of archaic curses and pointing out how deeply ingrained the themes of Shakespeare’s play have become in much of Western culture.

      1. Had the person that stood in front of our class and made us read Romeo & Juliet (a person undeserving of the title ‘teacher’), instead done something like your teacher did, the outcome might have been much different. I’ve heard there’s a very fine Shakespeare company not too far away … I have absolutely zero interest in going to see them.

      2. You too ? Thanks to one teacher, who explained the **words** and not the “hidden deeper meaning,” I became hooked on Shakespeare. And the more I travelled, and learned, the more of a fan I became.

        Now my (now) 17-year-old son had Shakespeare hammered into him like a giant spike through the skull, after suffering through Great Expectations. This has made it very difficult for me to convince him that Shakespeare doesn’t SUCK!!!!!

      3. I had an English teacher in high school who taught a course in Shakespeare’s Comedies, which I attended with zeal. He required us to read the plays aloud in class so he could get us to FEEL the cadence and power of the words. He also loved to argue with us, and I do mean argue, not browbeat.

        He once took the position that THE MERCHANT OF VENICE was a subversive tragedy, with Shylock as the hero.

        The janitors had to throw us out of the classroom almost every day.

        But this was a school that valued actual scholarship, as opposed to repetition of The True Way ™.

      4. Best way to cure anti-shakespeare-itis is to get a hold of “Much Ado About Nothing” starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate. Once you’re done laughing your keister off, you’ll find you don’t hate Shakespeare all that much any more.

        Another good cure for anti-Shakespeare-itis is Kenneth Brannaugh’s (sp?) rendition of “Henry V.”

        If blatant Shakespeare is too much of a trigger due to boring the hell out of you in English class, watch “Ten things I hate about you” as it’s basically a modern rendition of Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew.”

        1. Or, if you want to be truly terrified of Shakespeare you can watch the ’96 remake of Romeo & Juliet, called “Romeo + Juliet, a hip new take on a classic”, which my friend Lois refers to as ” Homeo and his B!t(h” and then vowed she would never watch any movies based on Shakespeare ever again.

          1. That was the DeCaprio & Danes movie by Baz Lerman. I enjoyed it for what it was…a vehicle for Danes to progress and that she did.

      5. I was lucky enough to have a teacher who understood Shakespeare enough to realize the first half of Romeo and Juliet was a comedy. She explained most of the jokes to us (which is usually a bad thing, but in this case it was very useful) and generally made the whole thing fun and interesting. She did Shakespeare like Peter Schickele does classical music.

    2. Every time I have ever found myself stuck in an english class at work fixing the teachers computer while they discuss one of the “classics” I tend to want to slit my wrists right there. It is that bad. No one confronted with that is going to ever want to read. Fortunately I went through grade school and high school with books in my hands reading constantly even in class. 😉 And not approved literature books fun things. Somewhere in one of the yearbooks is a picture of me with a 1st edition paperback of High Deryni in hand reading.

      1. It took me more than ten years to want to watch “Hamlet” after the treatment we got of it in 12th grade English. Thankfully it was me being both a David Tennant and Patrick Stewart fan that got me to see the Royal Shakespearean Society’s Fall 2008 production of “Hamlet” on the screen that cured me of my aversion to that play.

        Good acting really can cure hatred for the stuff.

        Shakespeare was meant to be SEEN by professional actors before being read and analyzed for theme and content.

    3. Oddly enough, I watched a TEDx talk by Orson Scott Card this morning where he briefly mentioned this same thing. Talking about his daughter, he told of how she was a voracious reader, until schools killed the love in her for several years due to how poorly they select and discuss the books taught. if anyone cares to check it out. Slightly over 18 minutes.

    4. Shakespeare I’ll read and “The Tempest” is probably my favorite play, not just Shakespeare’s, but overall. (I do like a BBC performance, I think it was, with Ephraim Zimblest Junior as Prospero–borrowed a tape from the public library when I lived in Akron. Damn, I’d like to find that one again.)

      Other stuff forced on me in school? Not so much.

    5. I like LeGuin. She has some neat ideas that she runs with in some of her books. And she’s the perfect antidote to some of the SJW’s who screech about how original they are when they have minorities or non-standard genders. Much of Earthsea is populated by people with non-Caucasian skin tones, but she doesn’t make a big deal out of it. It’s just there. And it’s easy to miss if you don’t think about it. She also wrote a book about a human civilization on a distant world in which people switched back and forth between genders. And another of her novels is set on a world that follows anarcho-communist principles, but ends up with the conclusion that no matter how idealistic the civilization, the same power-hungry individuals are going to be calling the shots.

    6. I took a sci-fi class in college, too. I didn’t care for any of the books we read and basically decided I prefer sci-fi in movies/TV more than in books. Even now, when I read books classified as sci-fi (as opposed to fantasy, which is much more my thing), I’m usually disappointed. The class was pretty enjoyable anyway, though. I got to write my final paper about the differences between sci-fi in books and movies/TV, which included a scholarly analysis of 3rd Rock From the Sun. (Probably my second-favorite paper, after the Tolkien one comparing the books and movies where my prof liked my use of the phrase “Faramir went all Boromir”.) So I did have at least one cool lit teacher in college.

      Shakespeare, though, I don’t generally care for, probably because of how it’s usually taught. I loathe Romeo and Juliet, mostly because of how people perceive it as the epitome of romantic literature. I do really like Twelfth Night, but then I’m a sucker for people-disguised-as-something-they’re-not stories.

      1. You didn’t have to read The Taming of the Shrew in school? If not, then you might want to take a crack at it now. King Lear is great tragedy, and my favorite of Shakespeare’s plays. And it was remade into a great Japanese movie called Ran by respected filmmaker Akira Korusawa. I could go on, but you get the picture.

        And I’m of the opinion that Romeo and Juliet is an okay play that gets over-emphasized in Jr. High and High School.

      2. I remember watching a theater-film version of Taming of the Shrew. That may have been one we were supposed to read and I kind of skipped over. The entire concept of that one irritates me, though. “Here’s a horrible harpy of a woman. I must tame her!” Because women are like dogs, apparently. I know this is a product of its time, but to me personally, reading in my time, that just irritates me. IMO, it’s like The Odd Couple: the entire basis for its humor is outdated.

        I remember enjoying Julius Caesar when we read that in high school. I thought I liked Macbeth until I went to see a college production of it recently and realized that it’s actually way too bleak and unhappy and full of evil characters for my taste.

        There are a fair number of his plays that I’ve never read and probably should, to see if I like any more of them. I quite enjoy some of the sonnets. I still have memorized the one I had to memorize for my Shakespeare class in college (sonnet 61). 130 is quite good, too. I do think that my prof dug a bit too deeply into the “meaning” of the works, though.

      3. Shrew was used as the basis for a musical called “Kiss Me, Kate!” You might want to look into that instead.

        And really, Shakespeare’s plays aren’t necessarily what they look like on first glance. In a college course, I had to debate one of my classmates on whether The Merchant of Venice was anti-Semitic. We both thought that our opponent had the easier argument. There are levels present that aren’t always immediately obvious – and I’m not talking about the “meaning” that your instructor probably was. I’m talking about stuff that’s more or less in plain sight if the reader/viewer is paying attention to what’s being said.

      4. My sci-fi class in college was *on* sci fi in movies. my two papers were on the evolution of the depiction of aliens and the changing depiction of faster-than-light travel. ITs always fun to be able to use the TNG Tech Manual for footnotes 😀

      5. Throne of Blood, Kurosawa’s b&w version of Macbeth, has the SCARIEST Lady Macbeth ever. There’s also Forbidden Planet, which is the 1950’s sf version of The Tempest. Everybody rips off Shakespeare, because he is so good.

        Anyway, Shakespeare’s basically a lot of fun, as long as the actors and director actually like Shakespeare instead of trying to be pretentious. Several of Ngaio Marsh’s mystery novels are set during Shakespeare productions (because she was a theater lady herself, before being a mystery writer), and it’s very interesting to read her characters’ points of view on the plays.

      6. I’m sure there are many riffs on Shakespeare that I like. I actually love a lot of retellings of older stories. It’s a fun practice that should definitely continue. In many cases, I like the riffs/remakes/spins better than the original. (Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland are prime examples. I absolutely hate the originals, but I love a lot of other people’s takes on the stories.)

      7. Shawna, you might check out CS Friedman, especially her Coldfire Trilogy which is fantasy with magic having a scientific underpinning. She also has sci-fi books, but the ones I’ve read all had a sort of fantasy feel to them, so you might find them more your thing.

      8. C.S. Friedman’s In Conquest Born is a space opera, and a truly extraordinary work of art in terms of the weight of its prose. It is also a wickedly clever plot; her first novel.

        It is very long but there is hardly a sentence that doesn’t act in some way to move whatever’s happening at the time forward. It’s really remarkable. She must’ve been in the zone, cuz she was never able to do that again.

        The weird thing about that is I think it’s the secret behind writers who have a reputation for odd or even bad writing, like Lovecraft, Burroughs and A.E. Van Vogt. I really don’t see how people can be that clever in writing so many words with so much weight, but I guess that’s when writer’s seem like magicians, and when I admire them the most.

        Forget all that stuff about foreshadowing and third person omniscient. If I were teaching a writing workshop I’d tell everyone to go home and pick apart Friedman’s book until it’s coming out your ears. The odd thing about that novel is that superficially the prose seems identical to a thousand other novels, but that the prose of those other novels doing apparently the exact same thing are empty descriptives by someone who either has nothing to say or doesn’t know how to say it.

      9. Achillea, I believe I have her first book in that trilogy, actually. I started it once but didn’t get far. I may need to check it out again.

      10. E. E. “Doc” Smith.. Robert A. Heinlein. Isaac Asimov. Arthur C. Clarke. Poul Anderson. Jerry Pournelle. Larry Niven. Lois McMaster Bujold. Alan Dean Foster. David F. Weber. Stephen Baxter. Gregory Benford. Alistair Reynolds. Read some of those.

        1. Great. JUST great! More money to spend! Every time I mingle with the Evil League of Evil, I end up spending more money!

          Well, at least I’m spending it on the finest. 😀

      11. re: James May on CS Friedman
        She must’ve spend years working on In Conquest Born. It’s almost a throwback in terms of narrative technique. For the first 7-8 chapters, the narrative is driven by supporting characters, all the while painting a very vivid portrait of the two protagonists. It’s just a wee bit too bad that the sequel written much later isn’t as well written.

        Her second novel is an homage to the golden age of sci-fi, both film and literature with space invaders, vampires.

        I think she really hits her peak with Coldfire Trilogy. I tends to think of it as her take on Zelazny’s Lord of Light. Science Fiction cast in fantasy setting.

      12. I thought The Madness Season and The Wilding were empty by the numbers junk. This Alien Shore also lacks any wit or drive. Her Coldfire Trilogy is better but its pacing and plot wander and some of it doesn’t even make any sense. There was some really good stuff alongside stuff that didn’t seem very well thought out. One is supposed to logically exploit the systems one sets up, not mumble at them. If a guy’s locked in a room the four walls are the system. How he gets out is exploiting that. Her planet magic and the city on the other continent just didn’t do that for me.

        Coldfire does have one hell of a short epilogue though. Too bad she couldn’t do that in the rest of the trilogy.

  5. I’ve only gotten a few paragraphs into this and my reaction is. Holey Shit! No. Seriously. This donkey’s shit is so holey it resembles brown swiss cheese and smells like, like…well a big flaming bag of feces. I gotta run so I’ll read the rest of it later.

  6. I find Lovecraft’s prose to be less heavy handed than Henry James’, though I remember struggling with both the first time I read works from either of them.

    As for Lovecraft being racist, as you said he was a product of his times. So were some of the Eugenics textbooks I’ve run across, and very few people think that those textbooks reflect modern scientific attitudes of genetics.

    1. Yet as he complains about Lovecraft’s prose, a bunch of scholarly types just voted for James Joyce as the greatest writer EVAR. :p

      1. Holy crap, really?! I had to study him in college (that’s what I get for taking an Irish Modernism class), and I came to the conclusion that he was almost definitely suffering some severe and ever-worsening form of dementia.

      2. When I feel like spreading terror and unrest amongst the English faculty at my university, I have suggested such things to them as: There should be an audio book of James Joyce’s Ulysses, as read by Fran Drescher.

    2. Not just time, but place: as Larry put it, Lovecraft was your typical “snooty New Englander” who looked down on everybody. (The funniest example of Lovecraft’s “racism:” His line about “the degenerate Dutch.”**)

      A type – snooty New Englanders, not degenerate Dutchmen – which is very much still with us…and they’re every bit as obnoxious now as they were back then. The ranks of the SJWs are chock-full of them.

      I love pointing out to SJWs who think “intellectualism” is the cure-all for racism that HPL was himself an intellectual. So was the fanatical eugenicist Margaret Sanger, who saw abortion as a way to control and cull the black population. That really pisses ’em off. 😛

      (**”The Degenerate Dutch” line comes from a couple of the authors at – Ruthanna Emrys and Anne Pillsworth, no conservatives they – who just love HPL and are doing a re-read of his works. They use that particular line of HPL’s as a catchall phrase to describe Lovecraft’s occasional – OK, frequent – forays into genteel Yankee bigotry. One wonders what they might think of the effort to banish HPL…)

      1. It reminds me of Tolkien’s The Silmarillion being turned down as too Celtic, cuz of the whites and their nods and winks and secret cis-white handshakes that publishes work based on race and sex.

      2. Heh, you want to talk about pissing them off with Margaret Sanger. I recently got into a fight on Facebook over that. I brought up planned parenthood’s racist roots and someone joins in the conversation proclaiming Sanger the best person ever. I pointed out that she published for eugenics magazines in Nazi Germany up to 1937, (I found out after the fact it was 1938, I always manage to lowball that number. ) She came back and demanded that I cite sources, so I googled the subject and posted a couple links. Her first reaction was to try and disqualify my opinion by proclaiming the articles biased. I pointed out that the quotes of Sanger herself were accurate, so she proclaimed them taken out of context. I asked her what was the correct context for speaking at a Klan rally. I didn’t expect a response after that, but apparently, a) the Klan wasn’t bad in those days, the chapter she spoke at only hated immigrants, and b) she didn’t want to eliminate blacks, only the mentally retarded. I didn’t have much else to say after such a rousing defense that managed to make most of my points for me.

  7. Hey! I could totally argue that G.R.R. Martin is a white supremacist. I heard tell that he is a /Democrat/.

    If he is social left, then he is a de facto supporter of LBJ’s genius white supremacist master plan.

    Kids tend to make a lot of poor choices, partly driven by a poverty of life experience.

    Welfare means that a girl can get pregnant, and raise the children living on their own, without whoever raised them being able to force help.

    Which means that it is easier for the second generation to be deprived of access to people with more life experience than their mother.

    Those of us who’ve stayed away from welfare are often raised around people with forty or sixty years more life experience then we have.

    Some of those raised on welfare may have only been around people with twenty or thirty years of life experience.

    1. Just because I’m a big meaney, striving to be an Evilly Evil Member of the Evil League of Evil, I’m going to point out that TWO people made the Butlerian Jihad crack before you.

      Sincerely yours,
      Skydaver, EEMELE

      1. It’s not a word in the sense LC meant it. No one talks about a Butlerian school of fantastic literature like Burroughsian, Howardian, Lovecraftian. Contrary to what Older says, Butler’s books were rather childish and obvious.

      1. IIRC, Dark Horse Comics was planning to reprint the Gor series when the SJWs (they weren’t called that back then, of course) began screaming their heads off. Dark Horse backed down and canceled the line. I don’t even care about Gor but that made me disappointed.

      2. Oh yes- bring up John Norman to the SJW’s. Then lay this on ’em:

        1- He’s had more books published than they do- maybe more than the lot of them ever will (45, between his real name and “John Norman”).
        2 He’s sold more books than the lot of them put together (“estimated 6 to 12 million”).
        3- In his real life, he’s a philosophy PhD.- which means, by their own rules, he’s smarter than them.

      3. Not recommending Gor fandom to folks. (Especially considering the guy in prison for rape and murder who was interviewed on Sixty Minutes about a prison literacy program, admitted he was reading one of the later Gor books, and got a pass from the interviewer who didn’t know the work beyond his explanation that it was “science fiction.” Not everybody who likes sf is a nice person, kids!)

        OTOH, the Tuchux are some peripheral part of that fandom, and they are a thorn in the side of the SCA for their costuming and parties, but I’ve never heard that they actually did anything bad and violent.

        So yeah, don’t like the books (other than the first one, Tarnsman of Gor, which was a book about libertarian freedom and equity for the sexes, and pretty unlike the others – the arc was that the hero got disillusioned in later books and decided that women really do like being slaves), but I do think the SJWs extend tolerance to leftist stuff that’s much more oppressive and sexist, because it’s leftist.

      4. For some inexplicable reason, when the owner of my FLGS heard about the John Carter movie, he couldn’t figure out why Disney was releasing a Gor movie.


    1. When I used to work at Ace DAW books sent us complimentary copies of their monthly releases, including the DAW novels. Then-editors Susan Allison and Terri Windling picked up a GOR novel and took turns reading a paragraph to each other, and at the end of the paragraph they would chorus, “And then he tied her up again!”

    2. Particularly once they realize that the author is actually One of Them…

      Blew my mind when I learned that John Norman is actually one John Frederick Lange, a professor of philosophy teaching at Queens College, City University in New York City.

      He must have some interesting faculty meetings, is all I can speculate.

      1. Interesting thing about Norman is that it is pretty clear he was blacklisted by the big New York publishers. After all how many PROFITABLE authors get dumped by thier publisher and cant get picked up another house?

        And there were concerted efforts to get him kicked from participating in , or even being invited to, cons.

        “That science fiction is to remain tile province of a political backwater, an enclave of uncritical, smug, effusively emoting, self-righteous leftist Bourbons who after a hundred million deaths and the collapse of civilizations have learned nothing and forgotten nothing, that it is to be forever the sanctuary of the “religious left,” the captive of proponents of a historically refuted, bankrupt ideology? She deserves better.
        Monothink is not the salvation of science fiction; it is its death knell as an intellectually stimulating branch of literature. Science fiction could be so much, and it is confined to so little.
        I do not need this genre, but I love it. Indeed, I must love it, to have put up for years with the abusive, predictable crap of the politically blinkered ideological Pavlovians, the psychologically insecure, the emotionally immature, the morally benighted, and the sexually retarded, of which science fiction has more than her share. ” john norman, 2001

  8. I love it when they bitch because there aren’t more writers that match their perception of what the demographics should be. They bitch and yell about how they’re shut out of the publishing industry.

    Um…the publishing industry ain’t run by conservatives or libertarians, so who should they be bitching to?

    1. They just can’t accept the fact that there aren’t more simply because many subcultures don’t have an appetite for speculative fiction or even reading in general. Growing up in South America, I was in a minuscule minority – people who read for pleasure, let alone people who read science fiction or comic books for pleasure (among my English-learning tools were the X-Men comic books – the Claremont/Byrne years). I’d say that maybe three people out of a graduating class of a hundred had read any science fiction at all (unless one counts Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s magical realism as SF – I don’t; I barely count it as reading material).

      And, of course, most of the whiners are Anglos whose only contact with POCs has been through the service industry.

      1. I tried – REALLY tried – after a recommendation, tread Gabriel Garcia’s books. I waded through Diary of a Murder foretold or some such, his non-fid (rumors of a kidnapping?) wasn’t bad, and then tried Melancholy Whores…


        Dripping in class consciousness, condescension, hatred of tradition, and steeped in misery, more misery, and the hateful pointlessness of it all.

      2. I rather love the things Terry Pratchett has to say about magical realism. The quote I can seem to find most readily online is that magical realism is “like a polite way of saying you write fantasy and is more acceptable to certain people – and who, on the whole don’t care that much,” which is great on its own, but I could have sworn I read a more succint “magical realism is what fantasy authors call it when they don’t want to admit they write fantasy” from him somewhere, as well.

      3. Those were the best years of the X-Men. Although I wonder if a side effect of studying them is you tend to use the idiom “No quarter was asked nor given” far more often than is warranted.

      4. Yep. Exactly.

        I’ve got a few geek friends that are listed as some form of minority. My gaming group’s DM is, technically, but he looks white and even has the last name of White (but he’s half Cuban, so…). I have a few other friends who check something on the EEOC forms. Hell, *I* check some stuff on the EEOC forms (theoretically, at least) for Pete’s sake. None of us have any issue with the make up of geek culture because everyone we know who is interested? We invite them. It’s just that simple.

        A while back, during a discussion about this topic, I asked about how many minorities actually read SFF. Were their any hard numbers? I mean, if only 2 percent of the SFF reading population are black, but 5 percent of the publish SFF authors are black, then they’re well represented as a group. If 20 percent of the readers are black, and the published percent is only 5, then maybe there’s something someone might want to look at. Of course, that was immediately dismissed as a topic worth consideration because reasons.

        I’m sorry, but based on my life in a town where my white butt is the minority, I can honestly say how rare it is to see minorities in the science fiction/fantasy section of either the library or the book store. Honestly, I think the reason we don’t have more black or brown science fiction authors is the same reason we don’t have more white rappers. Artists are people who grow up appreciating a certain art form so much, they seek to emulate that. Since not a lot of white kids grow up appreciating rap music to a sufficient degree, you don’t get a lot of white rappers. The same with black and brown people and science fiction.

      5. Tom, if we go with the 20% black readers and 5% black writers, then it makes it pretty clear that the race of the author is relatively unimportant to the black readers. As they might be perfectly fine reading non-black authors.

        Actually, reconsidering, that breakdown can’t actually tell us anything unless all readers are reading all books by all authors. If an average reader can only read the output of 1% of the authors is a year, in theory, those 5% black authors could supply 100% the reading material that all the black readers want (And the way the SJW’s look at it, black readers would ONLY want stuff written by black authors. Hey, we know SJW’s are racist.).

        Lies, damn lies, and Statistics.

        1. No arguments from me. I was trying to illustrate a point, however, and that was that they didn’t have any data from which to tell if there actually WAS a problem with the percentages.

          I’ve always thought that the best place to start getting more minority writers isn’t to just wish them into existence (which seems to be the current plan), or to demand more books about certain types of people either. It’s to simply get them to read the books. Get enough of these groups reading SFF, and some of them are going to start writing it. As others have said, with indie being such a viable alternative today, there’s nothing stopping anyone from publishing.

          Of course, then the SJWs wouldn’t have anything to whine about.

          1. Not just wish them into existence, but to increase their proportions by eliminating EEEVUL White cis-male authors.

            Getting minorities to read more and having those who love reading turn into writers is a good plan. If only the Schools run by the Left would actually, oh, I dunno, teach Minorities to actually READ.

          2. It would help if they didn’t try to make kids read the most boring crap on Earth and then get into the whole “What does it mean?” thing.

            “Why does the old man go fishing?”

            “Uh…to catch fish?”

            “No, why does he REALLY go fishing?”

            “Uh…to REALLY catch fish?”

      6. @T.L. Knighton – mind you they rather conveniently like to ignore oh, I dunno, most of China, South Korea and Japan. Especially Japan. Y’know, the place that has musicals of … Rurouni Kenshin, Sailor Moon, Black Butler… (and those are just the ones I’m aware of.)

        Hell, Deltora Quest, which is written by an Australian author is made into an anime.

        Buuuut they don’t count coz … reasons! And Stuff! or something that is FEEEEELS!!!!!!!!!

        1. They have to ignore Japan in particular, otherwise, they also lose out on things like the American/Western European-centric nature of modern SFF.

          After all, in anime, every single alien invasion or monster attack happens in Japan rather than Brooklyn (where no one would notice them).

          1. The fun thing is the cross-pollenization of genres is really starting to come through outside of video games. The Edge of Tomorrow – based off of a light novel. Samuel L. Jackson is in a more action-focused version of KITE … uhm, and if you don’t already know what the Japanese version of that is, …don’t look it up, because the live action American version is Bleached Underpants version. (I vaguely recall a cut version of the anime existing though but that might have been a European only release…) Those are just off the top of my head.

    2. I think their problem is that they have more writers that match their perception than readers….. Kinda like MSNBC reporting.

  9. This smacks of blaming others for his own lack of success. “It’s not because publishing houses reject the vasty vast majority of everyone who subs to them, they’re deliberately keeping us down!” Uh, no. And if you think that, then go indy and show them what they missed out on by not signing you.

    No one is stopping anyone from writing and publishing anymore. NO ONE. What I’m taking away from this is that I’m somehow holding “writers of color” and “writers of femaleness” back by… daring to exist, and daring to write the stories I want to read of manly men doing manly man things. (Yes, most of my protags are men. Suck it, feminists.) Or something. Well. This is America. If I want something, I go after it.

    So. Can. They.

    1. I really wish these people would take a page out of Ben Aaronovitch’s book. His ‘Rivers of London’ is everything these people constantly screech about in terms of diversity and all the rest, but done *right.* It’s not a Message, it’s an entertaining urban fantasy series.If he’s ever engaged in any Issue agit-prop, he’s successfully kept it out of the story, which is all I ask. I wonder who’s encouraged more people to write similar books – he or the plethora of twitter ‘activists.’

    2. But but… but nobody can possibly publish indie and then have a major publishing house pick up their work! It can’t possibly be done! I mean, nobody has ever done that ever! It’s unheard of! Unpossible, even!

    3. I’m currently unpublished, but… most of my main characters tend to be men. Why? Not because I’ve been conditioned to default to a white male character or because I look down on my own gender. It’s because, as a straight woman, I like men. Not just romantically, but, you know, as men. As people. I like the male mind when it’s at its best, and even when it’s at its worst it can make for interesting characters. Sure, I write women too, but in general, my male characters tend to outnumber my female characters. Same as how my male characters in online MMOs outnumber my females. This whole idea that people should only–or even primarily–write characters who are just like them (which is what the SJWs seem to be saying) is just ridiculous.

      1. One of my WIPs has a male MC… and the rest of his band end up being women. None of the women join him for romantic reasons, but because his job gives them opportunities to benefit in their own quests/jobs/thing they’re actually out in the world to do. There’s another male character who joins them much later on, but that’s long after the initial group of companions have grown to work well together.

        I don’t really have a preference for gender in the characters I write. I write them as ‘characters/people’ and the rest is just part of the profile.

      2. This. So much this. I primarily play/write male characters for that very reason. I also tend to avoid books with female protagonists, largely because men are of interest to me. I’m a woman, I understand that already. I’d rather read about something I don’t know.

      3. “I don’t really have a preference for gender in the characters I write. I write them as ‘characters/people’ and the rest is just part of the profile.”

        Naturally, yes. You’d think that would be the way to go about it, but then you’re not a SJW. (My WIP actually has quite a bit of gender/ethnic diversity, not that any of that would matter to the SJWs, I’m sure. Although it’s funny to try to imagine how they’d react. “Why is one of the villains a black woman?” “Because she’s a former slave.” “So she’s a victim! Why is she a villain?” “Because she didn’t handle it well.” “Why are there so many white males?” “Um, most of those are the other villains.”)

  10. I see Danny-boy goes pretty much straight from “We’re oppressed!” to “We’re mighty and you’d just better run!” See the same thing all the time from the Islamists, whipsawing from whinging to bluster.

  11. Oddly enough, I’m not a Lovecraft fan, nor has he influenced me. Robert E. Howard and Louis L’Amour now, they influenced me.

    As an ex-swordmaker and martial artist, I wanted to see how certain authors cadence their fight scenes and keep them from being boring {its not that hard to write in to much detail}.

    When I wanted to see tempo in action, Howard was the first author I looked to. When I wanted another view, and how to work a martial arts fight, I re-read several L’Amour westerns for his fist fights and boxing matches.

    Thanks for the fisking, Larry. It was nice to see you come out swinging again.

    1. Robert Parker’s Spenser series is another excellent one for body-on-body (i.e. no weapons) fights. I don;t care as much for his gunfight stuff, but Spenser and Hawk fighting bad guys is as good as it gets.

    2. *squeee* Angus Trim of “Atrim” swords?
      Sorry, I’ll slink off now, I just wanted to say thanks, and wish I’d been able to buy something before you stopped making them.

      1. Yeah……

        Don’t tell anyone but I am going to do about another 25 or so over the next two years. They’ll appear at Kult of Athena’s without any warning.

        The toxins of making the swords finally caught up to me. So I’m pretty much done. I have a few to finish, and a few I want to do. But then it’s time to tip hat and walk off.


      2. I wondered if it was you. I fought live steel for 15 years and have handled a few of your blades over the years but didn’t have the pleasure to own one before I retired from the sport.

        You do/did beautiful work sir.

    3. I just finished re-reading The Walking Drum about five minutes before taking my final today. Ever hit that point where you just say, “Nope, I can’t MAKE myself care anymore! I’m doing something that feels good!”? 😀

        1. No, no, no! My bad! Lousy phrasing! I picked up The Walking Drum because all the prep for my spur-of-the-moment final exam was making me foam at the mouth, and I wanted to unwind some. Let it never be said that I wanted a Cliff Notes version of a Louis L’Amour novel! BLASPHEMY! 😉

      1. Correct. You read a a Lois L’Amour book as an antidote to craps life throws at you. It’s a reward for surviving.

      2. I was really pissed off at L’Amour for having the nerve to die before finishing that series. You did know that “Drum” was going to be a new series didn’t you?

        1. I know. And every time I reread it, I glance at L’Amour’s blurb at the end of the book mentioning that he had at least two more books in mind, and I say, “Why, merciful heavens? WHYYYYYYY!”

    1. Oh, so you think it should be a black formless blob?! Man, that is racist! Is thinking of the black man as a monkey just too humanizing for you, you gotta go dehumanize all the way to a black formless blob?


    2. How about the color of The Damned Thing from the story by Ambrose Bierce (who, IIRC, influenced Lovecraft):

      “I am not mad; there are colours that we cannot see.

      And, God help me! the Damned Thing is of such a colour!”

  12. “Supporters of the Lovecraft statue point out his influence on the fantasy genre, and they’re right: today, we’re still struggling to unravel the legacy of racism and erasure with which he and other early speculative fiction writers permeated their work.”

    Unless I am misreading him, I am fairly sure he’s saying that the *only* legacy of the Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror authors is racism. I am not sure why he’s erasing the rest of the evil-doers from his little Zola episode. Down with Faulkner. Burn every Hemingway book you can find. Holy crap – there are still Kipling’s books available to the unwary public!

      1. Likewise, if not even then- they’re going to my godson next, and after that, who knows? Even if it’s gone, I still have at least one of his poems memorized (Copybook Headings)- I’d start reciting it at city council meetings, football games, on random street corners and bars…

  13. I’m drawing my own little line in the sand – if anyone in a discussion with me tries to use a “cis-” term without irony, I’m going to ask them to fuck right off. I realize this will make a hopelessly unenlightened stick to the SJWs of the world, but at the crusty age of 39 years old I’m just too far set in my antiquated ways.

  14. I expect any day now to hear that the SJWs will want “To Kill A Mockingbird” banished from the library shelves. After all, Atticus Finch dared to question a woman’s accusation of rape, which makes him an eeevil rape apologist and everything… 😛

      1. There was a short story I read, where they could recreate the personalities of long dead people. Mark Twain was called up, and offered the choice to stay around. He agreed, only to discover the people who wanted to talk to him wanted to abuse him for his views on race/religion/politics.
        100 years of listening to nothing but your critics? {shudder} Leave me in the grave, thanks!

      2. I hear about once every year or two about a district looking at banning Twain or using a ‘scrubbed’ version of his works because he uses bad words (that accurately reflect speaking of the time). I’ve even seen Huckleberry Finn referred to as a “anti-black racist polemic”; never-mind that the entire point of the book was racism is bad.

        Wes, saw a couple people link comments on twitter a few days ago pushing that angle. They were sufficiently trounced that they deleted their tweets.

        1. Yeah… I mean, in honesty they don’t really ‘mind’ slurs, it’s just the ‘slurs they don’t currently approve of’ that they have problems with. Geez, the stuff they hurl at female #IAmNotYourShield and #GamerGate supporters are illustrative of that. Or say, have a look at Michelle Malkin and Sarah Palin.

      3. “I’m surprised they hadn’t gone after Mark Twain, myself.” Oh, they have, and frequently. How dare he have his characters refer to Jim as a nigger, just because that’s the way whites of the time talked?

        Truly, I find myself pitying the fools, who can’t appreciate a novel that makes a black slave the most intelligent and humane person in the story, and demonstrates relentlessly that slavery was evil.

      4. As much as they hate Twain, they love him even more for the intensity with which he hated the Church, and all religion.

        One ending of “The Mysterious Stranger” goes like this: “‘It is true, that which I have revealed to you; there is no God, no universe, no human race, no earthly life, no heaven, no hell. It is all a dream—a grotesque and foolish dream. Nothing exists but you. And you are but a thought—a vagrant thought, a useless thought, a homeless thought, wandering forlorn among the empty eternities!'”

        That’s orgasmic for your typical Leftist.

        1. The schools have been teaching that to our kids for 40 years, and then they wonder why kids start shooting up schools.

    1. For a minute, I thought you meant Brett Butler. Her portrayal of Jaime Pressly’s mother on My Name is Earl was priceless.

      “Don’t you judge me, Earl.” Bwa ha ha ha haaaa!

  15. Not that I mean to defend this Guardian article (since, really, it doesn’t deserve any defending) but to be fair, I’m pretty sure he’s talking about Game of Thrones, the show, not A Song of Ice and Fire, the series of novels. The show handled Dany’s conquest of Meereen in a very trite and stereotypical manner, so I can’t help but agree with him there.

    …of course, if the rest of the lack of understanding of literary history that he’s demonstrated so far is any indication, he probably thinks the show is all he needs to know.

    1. He was, but that wasn’t the issue. It was in depicting the Dothraki as non-white, same as the book, and attaching it to barbarism. You see, a proper SJW will turn that around and we’ll all be blown away by that because Robert E. Howard never wrote this about Samarcand 83 years ago:

      “The Frank’s wonder grew; the cities of the West were hovels compared to this. Past academies, libraries and pleasure-pavilions they rode, and Ak Boga turned into a wide gateway, guarded by silver lions.”

      Why be surprised – in the cult of the PC, they still have Hammurabi’s edgy new Code in their future.

  16. “…to the average American most of the world was a mysterious, scary, alien place.”

    And that was true as recently as the early 80s. Just look at the original Oriental Adventures handbook.

    1. And the reverse, of course. To much of the world – even to this day – the US is a dangerous, lawless, violent frontier.

      That doesn’t seem to stop them all from wanting to move here, mind you.

      1. Nah. There’s nothing particular unique to the US about those particular parts. They can be found in every country around the world.

  17. Yet, the atmosphere he set scared the shit out of millions of us, to the point that when we grew up and tried to write something scary, we used him as a template. Nothing is more human than fear. Pulling that off takes craft.
    Really, most Lovecraft tales only consist of well-spoken New Englanders telling each other scary stories in the dark, but the man practically invented creeping dread in literature. But to be fair, Lovecraft said his influence was Poe, so we all learn from somebody.

    I actually can only read Lovecraft as comedy – he’s too farcical for me to read as horror. I’m not sure why that is, maybe I just haven’t read the right works (I’ve only read a few – the one that really sticks in my head is “The Colour out of Space”), or if I came to it too late in life… but his style of “well-spoken New Englanders telling each other scary stories in the dark” just doesn’t immerse enough to actually feel any fear.

    That said, I can definitely see & appreciate his influence on genre fiction since then, including horror stories that really do scare me. But back on the humor side… I cracked up *hard* when I first read the opening paragraph of chapter 23 in Lost in a Good Book, the 2nd Thursday Next novel by Jasper Fforde. If anyone enjoys meta-fiction w/ tons of call-outs to classic literature, I highly recommend that series.

    1. To be fair, I found Lovecraft’s Rats in the Wall utterly terrifying. The ultimate in the untrustworthy narrator.

    2. I remember reading my first Lovecraft book as a high school senior. Of course, back then I was running. It was 9:00 at night (and very dark) and I’d just finished the book I’d been reading all day. I went for a 6 mile run. About 3 miles out, I started getting spooked, and then more spooked (I lived in a rural area without many lights). I think I set records for the last mile home.

  18. Older’s as bad as anyone in SFF’s PC clownmobile and that’s saying a lot. The competition for that is far stiffer than who can write the most anti-white, anti-male, non-SF, non-fantasy limerick about the oppressive nature of heterosexuality in order to gain the prestigious Nebula Award for Outstanding Supremacist Cult Literature of the Year.

    Keep in mind that in another anti-Lovecraft piece this guy wrote, he didn’t know what cyclopean architecture was. He thought it was about the cyclops or something, or maybe Lenscrafters.

    As for Lovecraft being a product of his era, what then is Older’s excuse?

    In looking at Amazon to see how many orders of magnitude Older has to break the Top 100 I noticed that once again the Top 100 has not one single Social Justice Manatee on its SFF list.

    That rather startled me because I’d think a racist white supremacy would rather dote on having a kindred spirit diversity division of the KKK to boost membership and so buy lots of their #DiversityIsApartheid books.

    And we should perhaps clarify that though these idiots are picking on HPL, what they really mean is the entire era is racist and sexist:

    “Crossed Genres ‏@crossedgenres Dec 3 The ‘Golden Age’ of SFF contained absurd amounts of racism, sexism, etc. in its most revered works. So no, we wouldn’t publish those books…”

    Once again The Guardian rates a 10 on Prof. Latrine’s Stink-O-Meter.

  19. I must admit, I’d never heard of Mr Older, but I am grateful that he shared with us his disdain for “straight, cis, white men”.

    It saves me from ever wasting my straight, cis, white money on his books.

  20. Why is it that Lovecraft is derided as a racist for wanting non-whites kept far away from him (a common sentiment at the time) while H.G. Wells gets a pass for advocating ethnic cleansing against non-WASPs? Could it be because Lovecraft was an Anglophile monarchist while Wells was an avowed socialist?

    1. Also b/c most people don’t realize it. I didn’t find out till I decided to pick up his Short Fiction in HS. His most popular works don’t really expose you to how racist he was.

  21. ” Butlerian ” is to sci-fi novels what the Mike Tyson Mysteries are to Saturday Morning cartoons, only by accident.

  22. You know, there was this really popular science fiction author who wrote a book where the main characters included a black dude, an Arab Muslim, a couple of girls, and a bit who was the product of a genetic experiment; oh, and the *main* main character came to hate humanity as much as he ever hated his infectious alien enemies… And boy do sjw’s *hate* Orson Scott card. That should tell you everything you need to know.

    1. Actually, the Muslim in question was a black African. It’s a minor plot point in the Shadow novels when it’s noted that his Arab followers are all racists.

      The movie changed that. I can’t imagine why…

  23. After looking at his web page, he’s just another hipster deuche who needs to hear himself talk while belittling others.
    Where can I get one of those natty little hipster deuchebag hats?

        1. I always thought it was an excess of awesomeness in the brain and personality pushing the hair out by the roots…

          On the other hand, Kung Fu Panda isn’t bald.

    1. Female pattern baldness? My mom has that problem too, but she never resorted to one of those natty little deuche bag hats, at 80 yo she really doesn’t need to.

      1. Psst… It’s “douche”. Comes from the French word for shower. And “douchebag” is one word.

        Just thought you’d want to know. Always best to spell your insults correctly.

        1. Thanks for the correction. I keep messing that up since the Vortex add Deutsche vs Douche, now I keep misspelling douche.

  24. I wonder how many of the Guardian’s readers are persons of colour (Note tony UK spelling)? Of course, in the Guardian’s defense, its staff have been SJW’s since before it was cool; in fact, most of them were born that way, with head firmly up ass and convinced the funny smell was white oppression…

  25. Another smile making fisking Larry, thanks.
    You mentioned some confusion on Older’s use of “Gentrification”. Its another of the Liberal Progressive “codewords”. To really see their fuss and bother about it I’ll direct your attention to an article, but first…..

    **ALERT** **ALERT** Correiaken Trigger Warning, Repeat, Correiaken Trigger Warning. Social Justice Warriors are advised to seek immediate shelter.

    Larry. Before looking this up you should take a few precautions. First, you should cover your computer and keyboard with Heavy plastic…that skimpy saran wrap will NOT suffice. You may well consider covering any an all walls, floors, ceilings, furniture within frothing spittle range of your computer (Think of one of Dexter’s killing rooms).
    Next, Arm the lovely Mrs. Correia with an advanced med kit and a tranquilizer dart rifle (not pistol…rifle) and have her load for rhino. Fortunately she is a good shot, but having met you, please make sure she has several reloads.

    Now you should be ready. If you dare, look up “Spike Lee’s opinion on Gentrification”. I’m guessing that before you reach the end of his rant you will understand the Progressives “Outrage!” about whitey taking over the hood, or you will have popped all the veins in your neck and head and maybe have died.

    Good luck!

      1. You’re frakking kidding me, right? A movie that makes a grrrrll power theme out of a scene where a main character nearly destroys the entire country in a fit of “self empowerment”?

        1. In fairness, when she realizes that ‘her moment of self-empowerment’ nearly kills everything and everyone she’s trying to protect, she freaks right the hell out. Elsa’s primary motivation is to protect everyone – especially her sister- from herself and the realization she’s inadvertently hurt people – and keeps doing so – damages her badly. Which I liked. It gets lots better for her and everyone involved when she figures out how to control her powers.

          But hey, Disney movie. =)

          1. I really do like that movie – but then I look at it through a “normal” lens. Ironically, like Whedon’s Firefly and Avengers, it looks like someone was dedicated enough to the craft of story, and letting the characters be characters, that it ended up oddly “red pill” overall.

            Ironically, many of the characters are what feminists claim they want…

            Cool – so the portag is a girl. The misinterpretation of “learn to control it” into “suppress it” requires a bit of “I believe” but sets up the rest of the story nicely.

            Anna is, if anything, a girl. And she ACTS like a girl, and not some rip-roaring “hear me roar” wunderkind. But a strong girl with a sense of purpose. And courage. And even some competence, given how cloistered she was, and how few practical skills she had to really learn.

            There is no “entitled, look at me” outside of the jarring triumph/freedom song as her sister nearly destroys the kingdom – a very scary moment actually watching her personal triumph counterpointed by the consequences of not learning self – discipline and control.

            Actually, if you think about it, the core lesson for Elsa was anti-SJW. Control, self discipline, justice.

            While I’m sure the “nice guy but-really-a-bad-guy-prince charming” has something to do with recent “nice guys suck” (they really do…. and really aren’t THAT nice..) in feminist circles, it’s still a good lesson that people can be false and deceitful without sinking into SVU territory. And while Kristoff is a bit TOO willing to help out for no good reason (but without heroics, there would be no story), is certainly his own man and willing to tell Anna how things are without putting her on a huge pedestal. He even gets to be right. Though I disagree he needs any fixing-up.

            In short – it was a believable story, coherent plot, fun songs, well executed, that didn’t break my “people aren’t like that” detector.

          2. There is no “entitled, look at me” outside of the jarring triumph/freedom song as her sister nearly destroys the kingdom

            Actually, that scene came across to me as having very much a “who is she trying to convince” vibe. She was feeling very lost and alone and all the “look at how free I am” stuff was to try to cover that up.

            That movie was full of heartbreaking moments.

            Loved it.

          3. Utterly agree on the vibe. In context, the song, the beauty, the triumph of breaking free, and the horror of the consequences WORK and I can’t think, outside of a slight shift of tone in the music, how it could be done better. There is a sadness in the delivery of “the cold never bothered me anyway” that fits well.

            Incidentally, the spanish translation is more literally “free myself” which is actually more appropriate to the scene as she IS breaking free, regardless of the collateral damage.

            The movie is a DAMN good study on the difference between being suppressed, and learning self-discipline and control.

            NOTE: my response to “do you want to build a snowman” being sung is NO!

          4. Actually, if you think about it, the core lesson for Elsa was anti-SJW. Control, self discipline, justice.

            Yep, and it was believable too; it made sense that she’s a lot more disciplined than the impulsive Anna, because as the eldest, Elsa was the heir to the throne. Even these days people note the difference between William and Harry. Elsa was being raised to rule – by her parents – even before they passed away. And, since she had nothing to do but fill her hours anyway studying… (In a way, Elsa was the stereotypical Well Bred Lady.)

            I also disagree Kristoff needs ‘fixing up’ in any way. He was fine. And yeah, believable story believable, human characters, and I liked the way they handled the lessons they put in – without the massive bakamallet the SJWs seem to think is necessary with EVERYTHING.

      2. I liked Frozen. I thought it was just the right amount of feminist. It emphasized the sister relationship and warned that not all “princes” are good guys while still having a cute love story (which also showed that not all good guys have to be princes). Though it is funny to me that “Let It Go” is so popular as a sort self-empowerment song, despite the fact that by the end of the movie, Elsa realizes that she really does have responsibilities and that living as if life had no consequences wasn’t really a good idea.

        1. Yeah, I liked Frozen too.

          The fisking I linked was, well, fisking an article with some serious issues.

          One of the things that has been annoying me of late is the criticism “It’s not perfect” – something applied, I’ve noticed, to movies and shows and rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggh there’s ever anything that’s ‘perfect’ made by falliable humans?! It’s a KID’S MOVIE, that adults happen to also enjoy. I don’t expect perfection, I hope to have fun.

          And yeah, Elsa does have responsibilities. The really freeing part is being able to have her magic, her family, her people, and no longer have to run away or hide/fear her magic. Mind, the motivation of trying not to accidentally kill everyone around you makes loads and loads of sense – to me the primary initial motivator for Elsa’s flight from Arendale. My heart broke for her when she pleaded for her parents not to touch her. It’s not until she’s up in the mountain that she realizes … ‘hey, I can’t hurt anyone up here.’ Or so she thinks, the poor gal…

      3. Yeah, good points.

        I think what annoys me most about the critics of the movie are the ones who either go, “Elsa’s not paired with a man, so Disney was trying to say she’s gay! Except they weren’t explicit about it, so she’s not gay enough! The gays have to be more gay!” and those on the other side who say, “They didn’t pair her with a man, and the antagonist was a man! Disney’s saying all men are evil or idiots! Man-haters!” Like, dude, everyone just chill. It’s a kids’ movie.

        1. Yeaaaaaaaaaaah, I banged my head a lot against my desk when I heard those. Or the whole ‘gee, the female love interest, if she were gay, is her sister’ being met with HAAAAAAAAAAATER. My brain had to bury cells for that one. Do they listen to themselves?! But then again, these would probably be the same subset of crazy that is okay with the several years long incestuous abuse that the Dunham sisters did. Guh.

      1. well…damn. It is a link. This one has the audio of Lee’s oratory. Being a left wing rag, they treat the issue with kid gloves and ignore the massive irony of a multimillionaire NOW living in a $15 million dollar Manhattan home lamenting about the vanishing ghetto he, himself GTFO of.

      2. I prefer Will.I.Am’s method of using his money to move his entire extended family out of the ghetto, and then setting up businesses to train people still in the ghetto in skilled trades.

      3. Is being techno-impaired like being colorblind but auditory?

        Y’know – you can hear heavy metal, rock, folk, pop, but somehow EDM just passes over you and you don’t even notice? Can’t dance to it, etc?


  26. Burroughs, Howard, Lovecraft, Asimov, Merritt, Heinlein, Brackett, Smith. All products of their times, but creators of timeless works. Their works are among the foundations of modern SF, Fantasy and Horror.

    SJWs are foolish enough to believe that a house can remain standing after you remove the foundations.

  27. I’m with Beolach in never finding HPL’s work particularly horror-inducing. His writing style was too overwrought and pretentious for me to take seriously, and there wasn’t much in the way of dramatic tension, since all his stories (at least that I read) were basically the same formula. Monster shows up, everybody dies and/or goes mad, the end. Not much point there, and about as exciting as watching flies in a jar. They’re all doomed from the start, so why waste my time.

    That said, there’s no denying he had a profound and defining effect on the genre, however much the SJWs may wish otherwise. When or if Ms. Butler attains commensurate renown and influence, replacing the bust might be considered, but not a moment before.

    I also suspect that were Lovecraft to have been de-canonized prior to this latest bit of silliness, they would currently be screeching that it was an effort to cover up ‘SFF’s disgraceful history of intolerance and racism.’ But maybe that’s just my cynicism talking.

    1. I’m not at all fond of horror so I’ve never bothered to read Lovecraft and am only mildly curious (and have a huge pile of books to read already, so…) but I *know* about Lovecraft because he’s such a significant part of the culture. I know the iconic squid monster, Cthulhu. I know the Elder Gods. I get the cultural references, none of which are ever, in any sense, having to do with race.

      1. Same here. Horror isn’t my general thing. I’ll read an occasional one, but really, my nightmares don’t need inspiring. -_-; I’ve also been told I should try to write the things I have woken up screaming from, but I consider horror – and scaring the everliving hell out of people – to be one of the most difficult forms of writing there is. Fear is a hard emotion to inspire, IMO.

      2. Try “The Shadow Out of Time.” It is a bizarre and unique combination of SF and gradually revealed horror that is big time fun.

  28. This kind of crap just peeves me off.

    A little background: I’m Hispanic (born in NYC of Peruvian parents and grew up mostly in Venezuela. English is my second language and I speak it with a thick, noticeable accent. Looks wise I’m a shorter, more rotund version of Larry.

    I’ve been writing roleplaying games for some twenty-odd years, and been attending gaming and SF conventions for longer than that. I was never made to feel unwelcome or like an outcast, either by my publishers or editors or by any convention staff or attendee (well, once or twice a couple of a-holes made fun of my accent; boo-hoo, woe is me, just writing about that almost triggered me. Ok, maybe not). Maybe I’ve just been lucky so far, or maybe I just don’t walk around with a chip on my shoulder looking for crap to offend me.

    That this pendejo can be brought to tears because there’s more brown and black faces in a con annoys me. That he’s crusading against Lovecraft infuriates me. That he’s living under the delusion that mainstream SF publishing industry has been discriminating against non-whites at any time since, say, 1968 or thereabouts, just astounds me.

    Anyways, great fisking, Larry. I’m getting sick and tired of all the people acting like SF&F is some sort of Apartheid Reich from hell.

  29. Oh boy. I’m teaching a 10th grade makeup Lit class at my school. Wanted to teach “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Yellow Wallpaper,” and “The Rats in the Walls.”
    I got the ok from my department chair provided that we had a lesson on HPL’s racism before we covered his book. I had no problem with this as the majority of my students are minority students (yes, I realize what I said) and the cat’s name is N****rman. I talked with the students about all the authors, including HPL and informed them about the cat. For some reason they were most interested in the book with the weird racist cat name.
    Before we got to HPL there was a school board meeting and a very vocal group upset about the disproportionate % of black teachers to black students. They also went on to say that the district should only hire teachers who live in that city…but that’s another story.
    Well, after that, HPL got pulled by my bosses. Not just “Rats,” either. I was told it was best to skip him all together because a white teacher teaching a white racist author, no matter how you preface it, would stir up more unrest than it is worth. (Translation: If you teach HPL in the current climate, certain members of the community may be calling for your job.)
    I was told there are plenty of canon pieces out there that I could fit into the theme, and if not I could always find another theme. Ugh.

      1. They were actually upset. They said it was stupid to keep it from them at that point since they already knew about it. I actually laughed when they told me their parents would never find out, because I told them there was no way I could be certain of that, to which they responded that they never ever bring up school to their parents. (They ARE in makeup lit so they have at least an F or two under their belts so…yeah, I’m figuring “Guess what I did in school today,” is never heard from them!)
        Of course, I showed them my copy of the book (in case they wanted to see what it looked like) and was strangely occupied at the end of class so if any of them grabbed a copy of the story off my desk before I could remove them I didn’t notice.

        1. Doubtful. I mean, I have a smaller than usual student load this year (113 kids), but I only saw 6 parents at parent/teacher conferences this year. An all time low. 🙁

  30. Older’s a fanatic who cannot be moved. Samuel R. Delany is many times the writer Older is but if Delany had lit up his readers as a pack of racists you never would’ve heard of Delany.

    And there you have Older’s future as an artist – there isn’t one. He’s a crap writer anyway if you’ve ever read his blundering prose. He has a tin ear for it and thinks non-white=plot. The Guardian seems content to use Damien Walter and Older as disposible chum for sharks and ending their careers as writers before they ever started.

  31. Another highly entertaining fisk.

    And like most dystopias, neither fictionalized versions of this city have much to say about the real-world conflicts threatening urban communities of color like police violence and gentrification.

    Maybe that’s because people write urban fantasy because they want to write about vampires/werewolves/zombies/etc. and not “police violence and gentrification”. It’s astonishing that anyone could call himself a fantasy author and not get that.

    Of course, the way our education system does this is totally ass backwards, by shoving dense, impenetrable “classics” onto kids and then discussing what the author “really meant” until you’ve beaten all of the love of reading right out of them.

    Yup. I’ve loved reading for as long as I can remember, but I can remember maybe two books that were assigned reading in any of my English classes that I actually liked. Well, until I got to college and took a Tolkien class. Even while getting my BA in English (with lit emphasis), I skimmed and BS’d my way through so much of my schoolwork because the stuff we studied was just so damn boring. (Howard’s End? Really? I could barely stay awake through the movie. I didn’t dare try to read the book.)

    From what I see on certain agent blogs lately, the publishing industry is actively seeking non-white authors, to the point that a recent agent blog encouraged the query writer to include that information in his query.

    Okay, so about Lovecraft, I really appreciate his influence in certain authors I like, but I tried listening to an audiobook of one of his stories (something about mountains of madness, I think), and I just couldn’t because it was so incredibly boring. Just endless description of exactly what the monster fossils looked like, way past any point of me possibly caring. So I have to ask, can someone recommend one of his stories to me that’s actually exciting and has interesting characters?

    1. Listening to Lovecraft on audible is like chugging fine wine out of a bottle. He needs to be read at night, alone, maybe in an attic bedroom, with no one else in the house. When you can hear every creak of old wood and the beating of your heart, he won’t seem so boring.

      1. I once read Lovecraft in a tiny detached one-room bungalow by lantern light late at night on the shores of Lake Toba. I once read Tarzan and the Ant-Men over two nights alone on top of a massive volcano with an active crater erupting at its base far below. I once read The Moon Pool sailing up the Amazon River. I would bang my head against a wall before listening to Bradbury while running errands.

      2. Duuuuuude. You have just gained five zillion cool points (in my mind) for reading The Moon Pool on the Amazon.

        The HPL fan society audiobook/radio dramas are very good. I never got to listen much to the old Caedmon Record audiobooks of Lovecraft, but the one I heard was very good.

    2. Essential Lovecraft:




      Personally, I’d also add THE SHUNNED HOUSE.

      For best results, follow James May’s spot-on advice.


        — because he is not just a horror writer

      2. The only one of Lovecraft’s that I ever found even mildly interesting was “The Strange Case of Charles Dexter Ward.”

        “I’ve used ‘Do not bring up what you cannot put down’ a number of times since then…

      1. Jack Vance didn’t do it a lot but he did do it, and I’m talking about the law executing people swiftly and with no compunctions. He also never linked any of it to today, but you don’t have to be a genius to figure out Vance’s sympathies when you read the Araminta Station trilogy.

    3. Try THE CASE OF CHARLES DEXTER WARD and THE DREAM-QUEST OF UNKNOWN KADATH. They’re probably his best works.

      Btw, concerning “police violence” as a threat to ‘urban’ communities, I wonder if he ever looked up how many people are killed yearly by the police, vs. the number killed by Criminals of Color?

      But why let fact get in the way of a rant?

    4. The Lovecraft I really enjoy listening to are the adaptations put out by the H.P.Lovecraft Historical Society. They are presented as 1930’s style radioplays from the Dark Adventure Radio Theater. I have them all and I highly recommend them.

      The H.P. Podcraft website has very well done readings of HPL’s stories too.

      1. HPLHS also did the most faithful Lovecraft adaptation in all of cinema — a Twenties-style silent film of THE CALL OF CTHULHU — and made it work.

      2. Agreed! And they did a great job on “The Whisperer In Darkness” even though they varied from the story to make it work better for cinema. If you ever gat a chance to see those movies on the big screen, do it, it makes a real difference.

    5. I always thought The Shadow Over Innsmouth was his most accessible story. It’s actually got scenes that vaguely resemble action sequences and builds to an interesting conclusion that isn’t “narrator goes crazy and starts ranting in italics” (which Lovecraft didn’t do as much as he’s often accused of anyway).

    6. I liked “The Rats in the Walls”. I liked a few others in the collection I read, but I’m not sure where the book is right now.

      And if you want to “read it right” – try reading in the bathtub at night. You don’t have to be alone in the house so long as no one’s comfortably puttering around making homey noises.

    7. You might try to find copies of the movies “Cast a Deadly Spell” and “Reanimator”. Both of them have Lovecraftian undertones.

  32. Ugh,really? You know LoveCraft lived in a different era from ours. The cultural norms & politics of that time period were drastically different from our own.

    Look,I liked Sword Of Truth but “truth” be told,Terry Goodkind is an objectivist and I think he’s a bit of an arrogant tosser. The fact remains I still enjoy some of his stories.

    Perhaps Lovecraft was a bit racist but it was probably the harmless kind of ignorance brought about by the fear of the exotic and the unknown. I mean is there any evidence of Lovecraft going out of his way to physically assault immigrants or blacks? He seemed more like a peaceful recluse who wouldn’t hurt a fly.

    During the years Lovecraft lived I imagine many “normal people” were a bit prejudiced. Civil rights activism had not even kicked off in earnest at that point.

  33. Having been introduced to Lovecraft by a cute Chinese girl, I’ve never tied his writing with racism. Yeah, his characters expressed attitudes that were common at the time, and he was just as bad. But isn’t part of reading being exposed to other cultures and ideas, even if they’re BAD ideas and just an older form of your own culture?

    The SJWs are some of the most parochial people around, and nothing makes it clearer than their constant declarations of being sophisticated, in terms that make it clear how narrow their concept of humanity is.

  34. Lovecraft’s horror never, ever scared me, but his fantasy, particularly his novel length paean to Dunsany DREAM QUEST OF UNKNOWN KADATH formed my idea of what a fantasy book should be: dreamlike, exotic, oriental, mysterious, alluring, repellant, slowly building to a phantasmagoria of words and images …

    I could probably recite the opening four paragraphs from memory.

    Seriously, Lovecraft was my gateway to Milton’s PARADISE LOST and Keat’s HYPERION not to mention my undying fondness for Clark Ashton Smith’s mystic, horrid, gorgeous and ornate THE HASHISH EATER.

    1. I had not previously connected Lovecraft with Milton, but now that you mention it I can see the similarities.

      I always connected Henry James (particularly his TURN OF THE SCREW) with Lovecraft. Especially the way that both authors had dense descriptive prose that hinted at the horror instead of outright description.

  35. I have some degree of sympathy for the notion that maybe they should change the statue for the award if Lovecraft is that racist. Besides, have you seen the statuette? The damn thing IS a Lovecraftian horror.

    So wouldn’t the logical step be to change the statuette to a dragon or something? If the problem is that we named the statue after a guy, who decades after he wrote is now considered problematic, why would one want to pick another real person who might hold some belief that we will consider nutty decades from now.

    No; we can’t do that. Instead we must model the fantasy award statue after an author who isn’t widely considered to be a fantasy author. Counting generously, Octavia published something like one novel and two short stories that are considered fantasy. The rest of her work is generally counted as SF, and wouldn’t be eligible for the award that they want to name after her. It appears to me that Butler was selected for those campaign because she was a black woman. Nope, nothing racist about that; no sir.

    If we really must change the award, shouldn’t we pick an author who casts as large a shadow over the world of fantasy as Lovecraft? The obvious candidates are Robert E. Howard and Tolkien. I’m sure those suggestions will be well-received by the Guardian.

    1. At some point you just have to accept the fact these people and their ideology are no different from the KKK or neo-Nazis and treat them accordingly.

      There’s no doubt a lot of SJWs have been conned by this lot, but when one is shouting slogans under a hood, they all look the same from the outside, just as their slogans look like Stormfront when you change only one word.

  36. “If you’d like to very specifically write a book about trans-whatever-queer-cis-binary-polar bears in the space future-past, knock yourself out. There is probably an audience for that.”

    Considering that someone made darned good money writing dinosaur porn, this is undoubtedly true. And that’s a good thing.

    To be honest it’s upset me some, here in the south west, when in the process of promoting Hispanic authors they seem to be simultaneously put in Hispanic time-out. I think this happens any time that the author’s ethnic category is presented and promoted as the most important aspect of their book. But the thing is that a little story about a girl visiting her grandparents who speak only Spanish and making traditional treats with her grandmother, reminds me forcibly of my Scandinavian grandparents, just as a war blog story about an old man moving an irrigation ditch in the middle of the night in Afghanistan reminded me of my grandfather and old Norwegians, and things about the Philippines were so familiar they made me homesick for my economically depressed home town, because humanity is universal.

    And presenting your special narrative as inaccessible to people without your particular special skin tone or plumbing is… presenting your special narrative as inaccessible. It’s like… putting yourself in the Hispanic time-out corner.

    Yeah, there might be seriously viable niche markets out there, but why would you do that?

    1. Quite a few people have made money writing dinosaur porn by now. It’s basically an entire genre at this point. I’m not sure if you were just trying to make fun of that one “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love” short story that was up for a Hugo, but I would just like to take this opportunity to point out that “A Billionaire Dinosaur Forced Me Gay” is basically God’s gift to literature.

      You’re welcome. :op

      1. Huh. I wasn’t actually trying to display that image, just give a link to Amazon to prove that was a real thing which existed. I suppose that cover just helps prove my point, though…

      2. I knew that dinosaur porn was real and profitable. Hadn’t seen gay dinosaur porn though, so that’s a new one.

        And I’m not going to try to say that this is high literature or something, but I’m absolutely certain that the ladies who started the dinosaur porn thing as a joke made more money on a bad day than “If you were a dinosaur, my love” made in total.

        That said, I wasn’t trying to make fun of anyone but I was serious that it’s possible to reach any strange niche market there could be out there. People should go for it.

  37. I suppose if Daniel Jose Older were in the film industry, he’d be howling about the Oscar statuette being too slender or too White or something like that.
    I suspect that he is a product of the modern University system, which teaches its acolytes (not so much students anymore, it seems) that their job is to find the nails that stick up in the world and hammer them down. Of course, some ideologies find nails in just about everything–and they treat this as a feature and not a bug.

    1. Require Hate’s now shut down blog is the literal embodiment of the mechanism of collusion that has overtaken SFF: a sociopathic non-white radical lesbian feminist who is a racist, sexist supremacist merely uttered the word “oppression” and middle class white heterosexual social justice warriors eager to fight crime wherever they found it transformed her neo-Nazi-like Asian Stormfront web site into a credible voice of wisdom when it came to the most intersectionally oppressed person in regard to all the PC’s most favored checkmarks. Those checkmarks were the homophobia, racism, sexism, colonialism and lack of privilege experienced by the opposite number to the straight white male. It never occurred to the social justice warriors to imagine where the ideological basis for the hideously distorted version of all of those checkmarks came from or that they might not even exist in the real world in anything like the form they were presented in. That’s where we stand today: a bizarre and hysterical sociopathic gay supremacist racist ideology blended with middle class cis-het social justice warrior drama queens bending the knee. The Guardian article is a perfect example of that goofy alliance.

      1. Something like that “Ia! Ia!” cry I’ve come across from various game supplements and around the net?

        “Ia! Ia! Correiakin ftagn-” somethingsomething….

    1. I think they’d be more fun if they’d develop some good, interesting pathologies.
      “Cismales are the enemy! Also, frogs are the evil masters!”

  38. and no one has said anything about the re-writing off Mark Twain, because some people found it offenceive, not sff, but still this is what the sjw would like to do to all books they don’t like

    1. I remember reading once about someone planning to release new versions of The Chronicles of Narnia, with all of the Christian references removed.


      1. Between the alleged racism of the calormenes and the alleged misogyny of “the problem of Susan, ” I suspect the Christian overtones are pretty low on the SJW’s list of issues of the books.

        1. Wow. You’d have to spoon a LOT of stupid into your breakfast cereal to want to “remove the Christian references” from the Narnia books. There ARE no references. It’s all metaphor and allegory. Nobody says the name “Jesus,” or ever quotes the Bible. Not one single time. As far as I know, the only references made to religion are when CS Lewis references Eustace Scrubb’s parents in ways where they’re fairly recognizable as Mormons (wore special underclothes and were teetotalers), and mentions their character in a less-than-flattering light, and I didn’t even catch that reference until I was in my 30’s, read a review that said it was there, and then went back to check. I thought it was rather funny that he’d throw that in there. Still do.

          Now I’m rather curious about this movement, and how the books would look when they’re done with them. “Once upon a time there were four kids in a country that was prosecuting an evil capitalist pigdog war. They found a doorway to another world in which a beautiful enchantress was selflessly promoting social equality…”

      2. Missionary: I didn’t think the Scrubbs were Mormon — just faddish upper-middle-class intellectuals, the kind of people who WOULD have snobbish opinions on why alcohol was repulsive or what kind of underclothes were healthiest, not to mention insist on their son calling them by their first names (personally, I’ve never met a Mormon family that does that).

        1. Touche, didn’t notice that detail. Anyone who lets their minor children call them by their first names has GOT to be abdicating the role of parent.

    2. Did you ever catch the guy who rewrote William Hope Hodgson’s The Nightland because of its bad prose?

      Let’s put Lovecraft through some editing and grammar software and get rid of those weird words. Why the weird words? Why? What’s with the weird words?

      1. His name is James Stoddard, and he a darned good author, in my humble opinion. Hodgson’s NIGHT LAND is the best story ever mauled by bad prose ever written, so Mr Stoddard’s attempt should be applauded by every lover of letters whose tastes run to weird fiction, horror, or SF.

        I recommend his THE HIGH HOUSE and THE FALSE HOUSE. He is the only author writing today solidly in the tradition of the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series.

      2. I think we all understand the issues with the prose in The Night Land. It was a conscious attempt to introduce a type of linguistic verisimilitude into an era millions of years in the future. The question is: what were his other choices and did his choice work? I think it did and does. It conveys a perceptual shift as to how that society views the world in a rather counter instinctive technologically complex and worldly naivete that is startlingly different from out own. Without it, The Night Land is not The Night Land. It’s like reading Joinville or Bernal Diaz but with glimpses of fantastic science and things beyond our ability to understand. It invokes the sense of a heroic chronicle and of vast distance and the dissonance of arcane futuristic antiquity one gets from the SF of C. A. Smith, Lovecraft and sometimes Vance. The horrors we encounter sieved through such bizarre prose make them more horrific and strange, not less.

        I’ve read Stoddard’s hilariously bad version and it unsurprisingly conveys the exact opposite of what it purports to do, which is what I would expect of a fool with the smug arrogance to think he can comb out the prose of Hodgson, Lovecraft, Dunsany, Vance or C. A. Smith and make it nice. Why not just give it to a robot versed in grammar?

        If Stoddard’s such a talent, let him make his own showboat, float it, and see how many come on board to spend their money instead of jumping the claim of his betters. I had plenty of that with R. E. Howard and Lin Carter and L. Sprague de Camp and I thank heaven they never got their mitts on Burroughs so their nicer judgments of their betters could put Beyond Thirty or The Monster Men on Mars or have Carson Napier be the Outlaw of Torn.

  39. Two thoughts:

    First, the article is self-refuting. He begins by noting (as I have) how diverse and young the crowd is at the big conventions nowadays. Why, then, is additional pushing for diversity needed? Diversity has triumphed, end of story. But then his column would be full of blank space, I guess.

    Second, nobody has mentioned the only good reason to remove HPL from the World Fantasy Award: he wasn’t a fantasy writer. Almost everything he wrote was science fiction.

  40. It’s getting to the point now where I almost kind of cringe anytime I see the words “fisking” and “The Guardian” in a Larry article. I mean, how many public floggings can you watch before you just start to feel a little bit of pity for the poor bastard getting fisked?

    Of course, that feeling of pity is rather fleeting, and I go back to watching the proceedings with a smile on my face after that momentary lapse.

    1. Yeah, we’re going to have to stop you, Larry. The 13th Amendment makes it illegal to own motherf___ers like that.

  41. Reblogged this on The Obsession Engine and commented:
    Larry Correia has written some great books. I particularly like his Grimoir Chronicles (As does my wife and partner-in-crime.).

    I’ve also come to enjoy his scathing takedowns of “social justice warriors.” Here’s a dandy example.

  42. You’re old and irrelevant and I’m so happy stultified unselfaware narcissists like yourself are inexorably vanishing to be replaced by more interesting ppl.

      1. You’re kidding there Larry, that sentence used up nobody’s entire lexicon of multi-syllable words(that he no doubt copied off some SJW’s tummy-tattoo.

    1. The SJW definition of “interesting” jibes with that of Apartheid S. Africa, in that you would like to put art bracelets on women, non-whites and women. Art doesn’t work like that. I’ll read E. Hoffman Price and his stories about the orient based on actual knowledge before the racial PhD you attach to an America Asian writer who grew up on Buffy the Vampire Slayer then portrayed as “interesting.”

      The problem with you identity addicts is this: you can’t make simple comparisons based on larger metaphor, analogy or principle. That means it escapes you that if women, non-whites and gays can be declared interesting, they can just as easily be declared uninteresting… or mopish, stupid, vapid, retarded, or 8th class.

      We’re all well aware of what “interesting” and “mind-blowing” means in Newspeak.

    2. The comment would have had more impact had you taken the time to write out the word “people” at the end.
      If one is aiming to fake intelligence via overuse of the thesaurus, don’t end with text speak.

    3. But they’re not, see. You SJW types might come across loud online but that’s because a lot of you have no claim to fame offline so you spend your time type-screaming online, looking smugly at your screen and talking to your cat. You do know that no matter how hard you smash the keys of your little keyboard, it won’t make your diatribe true, right? You’ll only break your keyboard and scare your cat away.

    4. You seem rather intent on making sure Larry knows that. Almost as if you need Larry to believe that for some odd reason…

  43. If you want to increase the readership in any given community, give them the opportunity and introduce them to books that they’ll find fun. That’s really what it is all about, and as a particular community gains more leisure time, you’re competing against entertainment with lower barriers to entry, like TV or videogames.

    Of course, the way our education system does this is totally ass backwards, by shoving dense, impenetrable “classics” onto kids and then discussing what the author “really meant” until you’ve beaten all of the love of reading right out of them. You’ll note that SJWs never talk about entertaining or fun books, but rather socially conscious or enlightening (i.e. boring).

    Amen and amen!

    Larry, there’s a book I’d like you to consider for a spotlight or even a book bomb.

    Mary Leonhardt taught high school English for 37 years–in public, private, and parochial schools across the country. She was dedicated to getting kids to LOVE reading. She wrote a number of books about what works. She knew these things because she practiced and tested them in her classroom.

    The book I want to recommend that you look at is Keeping Kids Reading: How to Raise Avid Readers in the Video Age:

    Here’s just a snippet.

    The Four Laws of Reading:

    This is my modest chapter. I’m going to tell you about my four laws of reading. These aren’t suggestions, or theories, or guesses. No. Laws. These are the laws that will enable you to keep your kids reading. If all schools followed these laws, there would be no reading crisis. But since you shouldn’t bet the farm on schools following these laws, you’ll need to do what you can to follow them.

    Actually, I stole the idea of laws from Isaac Asimov’s book I Robot. In this science fiction classic, he details three laws of robotics. First law: robots can’t harm humans or allow humans to come to harm. Second law: robots have to obey humans unless humans order robots to harm other humans. The third law states that robots must protect themselves unless, in protecting themselves they are disobeying humans, harming humans, or allowing humans to come to harm. In other words, the laws are hierarchical. The first law is absolute. The second law is absolute unless it conflicts with the first law: in that case the first law takes precedence. The third law only holds if it doesn’t conflict with the first or second law.

    It’s the hierarchical nature of these laws that I’m borrowing. My first law of reading is absolute. Nothing must take precedence over it. My second law is absolute unless it conflicts with the first law. And so on.

    The first Law of Reading: Children must love reading.

    This is the absolute law. No one—teachers, parents, librarians, curriculum directors, book reviewers—must do or recommend anything that puts in jeopardy children’s love of reading.

    The implications of this law are enormous. It means that all of the skill exercises that children dislike—but are “good” for them—are not allowed if they cause a child to dislike reading. It means that parents, and teachers, must be very creative and empathetic in teaching kids to read. Anything that children do, that has the “reading” tag affixed to it, must help children to love the subject.

    Actually, reading experts are starting now to give lip service to the concept that children need to love reading. But they act in a schizophrenic way. They say it’s important for children to love reading, but give no guidance and helpful hints on how teachers can accomplish instilling a love of reading. No, the reading experts are too busy telling teachers to use multicultural literature, and “good” children’s literature.

    The other laws she outlines:

    Second Law: Children must form a habit of reading.

    Third Law: Children should learn to read with a critical eye.

    Fourth Law: Children should learn to appreciate classical and multi-cultural literature.

    Again, these are in a hierarchy. So if you try to help the kids build a habit (law 2) and those efforts begin to break the first law in a major way, then you stop. You go back to law 1 and work on it and try the habit thing later.

    Superwife Nellie, who teaches 7th and 8th grade language arts, has found her ideas useful.

    Give it a try, dude. If you like it, please think about turning your large platform spotlight on her.

      1. Some SJW on Twitter was talking about doing a Kickstarter to fund photoshopping outspoken libertarian Adam Baldwin out of every episode of Firefly and replacing him with Jar Jar Binks. No… I’m not making that up. They really are like an inept version of Stalin.

        1. Not surprised. Wouldn’t be at all surprised if that person was a member of certain fan organizations i am aware of…

      2. SJWs have already photoshopped all non-white colonialism and slavery out of history because they hate Winston Smith as an unruly employee.

      3. The reaction to Adam Baldwin makes me laugh. If I threw a hissy-fit about every actor and creator whose politics I didn’t like, I wouldn’t be able to watch *anything*. Grow up and man up.

      4. Well, maybe the swap for jar jar wouldn’t be so bad-
        “Mesa call it Vera!”
        Burn it all down.
        Also, was the irony of picking a character who’s essentially blackface in space lost on these people?

      5. Am i seriously the only one who thought
        “Mesa be in my bunk!”
        with jar jar’s slightly brain dead expression?

        and now i’m starting to insert jar jar into other Hollywood celebs roles that SJW has decried against.

        Clint Eastwood….

        Gary Oldman…

        sigh… why do people gotta ruin my moves….

  44. Claim was that a “person of color” faced “barriers” to publication that “straight white men” did not. Come again? When I was just starting (I’m still just starting, but there was a long gap between that “just starting” and current “just starting”) the way you got published was you wrote something, then you sent it by mail to people who might publish it. They didn’t know you. They didn’t see you. You could be black, white, purple, a highly intelligent shade of the color blue, or a Lovecraftian Horror for all the publisher knew.

    All the publisher knew was the words you put down on paper, oh, and whether you followed basic directions like standard manuscript format. It was on that basis _alone_ that he or she decided “yes” or “no” on a new writer. There was no Facebook where the person could find you. There were no Blogs. There was no Google or Bing. There were just the words you had put on paper.

    So, like Larry, I call bullshit on those “barriers”.

    1. Elsewhere, Older cites actual conversations with editors he’s had about these issues. But I think he willfully confuses marketing with racism. Marketing is a reality and not one proven to be all about bigotry or supremacy. If I wanted to be a rapper or Egyptian pop singer it’s pretty clear there are other hurdles to consider than simply lashing out at an entire industry, ethnic group, or country as racist.

      N. K. Jemisin recently cited an old O. Butler PB cover from the ’70s or ’80s where the character was changed to a white woman. Again, claiming that was done because that PB was marketed into a KKK doesn’t hold much weight. It requires the power of mind-reading millions of people because of what one or two people rightly or wrongly decided to do.

      We all know from their non-fiction writings Jemisin and Older are predisposed to believe these conspiracies. Oddly enough, for people so oppressed and who never shut up about it, they have no stories of their own personal oppression. Jemisin apparently thinks being nominated for 4 Nebulas is a way to strangle her career. Older thinks calling his readers a pack of racists who then don’t read him only confirms he was right. And he never considers he may be a pitiful story-teller, nor does Jemisin. Older saying Butler was a better writer than HPL speaks not only to his own prejudice but his inability to understand fundamental artistry aside from proper grammar and writing workshops.

      Max Brand had 25-30 million words in print over 30 years of writing. Try that on for size and then tell me about privilege. Some of these people are Tweeting the equivalent of 3 novels a year about how no one wants their novels.

      1. > Jemisin apparently thinks being nominated for 4 Nebulas is a way to strangle her career.
        And she’s right! I actively avoid Nebula winners unless I know the writer from other books because the award generally signals a book I will despise.

      2. Why would anyone despise anti-white racial revenge fantasies, gay selkie elopement, Tarzan and the Jewels of Jim Crow, and feminist blubberings about thousands year old Dworkian robots who can’t tell men from women and so calls everyone “Bubba”?

        Then there’s the Hugo-winning essays like “We Have Always Fought Our Way Into the Draft Board Never” also known as “Yes, We Have No Bananas Because Matriarchy.”

      1. He’d probably make a single comment back, asking a question that sounds sincere coming from anyone else. You’ll answer, and then he makes a comment about how you’re not “open minded” and then block you.

        At least, that’s how it shaped up with me. 😀

  45. LC is providing an important clearing house that is making a difference. Although this particular Guardian article is a neutral space where all can comment, the vast majority of such posts appear where we are banned and deleted if we attempt to engage.

    By SJWs doing that, we have done an end around and simply abandoned those spaces. Much has changed in less than a year. Now, every time an article like Older’s appears, we signal boost, mock and quote it. There is no “Do Not Link.” There is no exaggeration or lying or straw man scare quotes required by us, such as SJWs do. We do not engage in racial and sexual defamation. If we did, the filthy SJW quotes from within SFF’s institutions wouldn’t outnumber ours 100 to 1. There is no “everybody says women can’t write SF.” We use quotes.

    Now, essentially every time some SJW moron writes some racist nonsense, they are marginalizing themselves and their careers. The monopoly is over. When 0% of the Top 100 in SFF at Amazon are social justice warriors and I’m seeing names I’ve never even heard of in their place, it’s time to learn the words “shut up.” I am tired of SJW hate speech being passed off as justice.

    Make no mistake about this: these people absolutely detest being quoted from places they think we don’t read. Well, we’re reading them, and their goofy icons like Andrea Dworkin, Audre Lorde, Judith Butler and Simone de Beauvoir too. The irony is how many of the middle-class “allies” don’t even know who those people are even while they parrot their ideology and speech and ask us to “bone up” on perversion and madness. Well, I propose to make them even more iconic, especially when it comes to making direct links between the here and now and their heroes who say outright they wish to destroy the nuclear family and “binary” sex in quote after quote after quote.

    We now know what “rape culture” really means and where it comes from; all men are rapists or accessories. We now know what “white privilege” is and where it came from. It is a noose-like Mark of Cain prepared for us by racists. We now know what “misogyny” means; it means women don’t hate and are never wrong, even when they lie about rape; SEE: rape culture. We now know what “diversity” means; always too many white straight males – never too many of the opposite identity, even when they have purposefully segregated anthologies, symposiums and rooms at conventions we never have and never did. In SJW nut-land “only one award went to a white male” is followed with an Orwellian hashtag of “#diversityinSFF” in the same Tweet.

    You can see how people like LC are making a difference. You can see how this is cross-polinating onto other venues where similar arguments are coalescing. Just a few months ago, the words “intersectional” and “Third Wave” were considered some daffy irrelevance. Now you’re seeing those words at Breitbart, the Washington Post and even among commenters. What is being revealed is a coalition of a vicious supremacist ideology of bigots being mainstreamed by clueless idiots who think they’re fighting racism in ’60s Mississippi.

    Good luck, assholes. You’re taking a dive. Don’t let the selkies hit you in whatever you call an ass on gender-fluid Friday on the way out.

    1. One of the great ironies is that the SJWs are being outranked by people who never went through their precious ‘gatekeepers’.

      1. Leckie’s SJW robot got outvoted by Weir’s The Martian 30,000 to 3,000 on Goodreads. You can’t sell amateurish junk by an author who makes no secret of her opinion of “cis white dudes.” Outside their self-congratulatory KKK diving bells these people can’t stack up in a meritocracy. And they’re still feuding over Requires Hate as to whether you dot the “i” when defaming white men, a distinction of great importance in racistville.

      2. I voted for The Martian, which I haven’t read, because it was the best way I could vote against Scalzi’s book (which I did make a valiant attempt at reading but it was too terrible).

      3. @Shawna: I really do recommend Weir’s The Martian – it’s brilliant. I read it during last year’s Sad Puppies (aka Hugo award) season, and immediately decided it was going to be my 2015 (for the year of 2014) Best Novel nomination. It’s still #1 on my list.

        Excellent near-future hard-SciFi. Sadly I can’t talk about the best reason I like it so much, with out completely spoiling it.

  46. From The Guardian comments. Apologies to the commenter, but this was too good not to share:

    “You can’t artificially manufacture stature for an author. Readers decide who they want to read.”


      1. Not really. They were fair in the last Walter piece and are being fair here. Walter implying anyone who disagrees is a reactionary racist is a little over the top to stay but then he’s a Guardian undernut.

        It’s a typical excuse for a debate from SJWs. He’s essentially saying that to oppose the KKK is to oppose all whites so don’t do it you racist white-haters. Simple comparisons like that are completely unavailable to the metaphor autistic SJW. Try this one on for size from Jeopardy champ and honky-loving Arthur Chu:

        “Arthur Chu @arthur_affect · Nov 27 Do people who change #BlackLivesMatter to #AllLivesMatter run thru a cancer fundraiser going ‘THERE ARE OTHER DISEASES TOO'”

        They are perfectly brainless people. If you can sort the logic out of that you’re smarter than I am. I’m not sure when equal protection under the 14th Amendment became one must address all diseases at once.

      2. @James May

        “Arthur Chu @arthur_affect · Nov 27 Do people who change #BlackLivesMatter to #AllLivesMatter run thru a cancer fundraiser going ‘THERE ARE OTHER DISEASES TOO’”

        Arthur’s an idiot. ‘Black’ is a subset of ‘all.’ ‘Cancer’ is not a subset of ‘other.’

      3. Oh, Arthur Chu is an incredible idiot. When he’s not raving about GamerGate, he’s complaining how hard it is to be Asian in America and telling everybody how his wife is going to be a major SF writer one day.

        1. Arthur, or Arthur.

          First, while there are Asian stereotypes, all but penis size are POSITIVE stereotypes about intelligence and hard work. What’s he whining about? My guess is the “biggest” negative stereotype is the only one he actually lives up to. Just a guess though.

          As for his wife, that’s a topic worth pondering on. Either she’s Asian or some other minority, in which case he has to face the fact that if he’s right, she won’t ever sell a book, and if she does, then it negates a lot of his whining about racism. Of course, there’s also the possibility that she just sucks as a writer and can’t sell anything because, well, she sucks as a writer.

          If she’s NOT a minority, but instead is white, then he’s a hypocrite for obviously preferring a Caucasian over a “person of color”.

          So many juicy possibilities, and most of them confirm that yes, Arthur Chu really is a schmuck.

        2. I went around with Arthur Chu on Twitter once. I was sad. I expected a Jeopardy champion to be quick witted or something. He was a punching bag.

      4. Note to Chu’s wife: if you ever want a chance of cracking Amazon’s Top 100, cure your husband of his anti-white bigotry or close his Twitter account. Cuz here’s the thing, SJWs can use their weird power/privilege idiocy to claim they’re not racists all they want, but I don’t subscribe to that cult, so they just stay racists.

  47. As an example of a 1930s Democrat who was NOT racist, I offer Robert A. Heinlein.

    I laughed at the comment about Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants did not having enough gun fights. In fact that sounds like a writing prompt.

      1. I read Heinlein once (in my college SF class). The only impressions I was left with were 1) dude loved himself some nudity, and 2) he wrote women as if he’d never even met one in his life. Granted, The Puppet Masters had some cool stuff going for it, but if the characters don’t seem like real people, my interest is minimal.

        His lack of ability to write women as actual people (and if anyone has an example of where he did it better than in that book, please tell me) is probably part of the problem that the liberal side has with him. (Y’all will probably think this is some kind of geek blasphemy, but I actually preferred Stephenie Meyer’s The Host, which is the same concept as The Puppet Masters, taken from a totally different and vastly more feminine angle.)

      2. @andrew: Because he did not ‘stay on point.’ The guy who advocates being responsible and self-sufficient (see almost any of his juvenilia) can’t be in their camp, no more!

        @shawna: Podkayne of Mars? Friday? Number of the Beast? Time Enough for Love? Moon is a Harsh Mistress? It’s ok not to like some of his writing, but don’t stop at just one book. Just be aware that there are some (seriously rabid :-D) fans of RAH that frequent these back alleys, and you might need a big stick to fight them off. Once in a while. 🙂

      3. I guess I’m not used to reading authors who have a variety of totally different books. Most multi-book authors I read have one or two series, or they’re like Larry where they have many and my enjoyment varies from “like” to “love like crazy”. Though I try, I have yet to read an author, not like them at all the first time, and then on my second attempt like them well enough to be worth my time. Generally, I either like their style and the things they write about, or I don’t. (But I do often give authors a second or third [or more] chance. It just has yet to pay off for me.)

      4. Shawna – thanks for reminding me of The Puppet Masters. I loved that book!

        One thing about classic Heinlein, before he became a bit too self-indulgent for my liking in his later years (I never could bring myself to care very much for the sexploits of Lazarus Long), is that his work had a very 1950’s America feel to it. I put this down to the Dean being a 1950’s American at the time.

        And what a wonderful breath of fresh air it is to read characters who *act* rather than mope, who aren’t internally conflicted or pessimistic. There is a tremendous sense of optimism and adventure in Heinlein’s best work, which I think reflects the mood of the society he was part of.

        If “Tunnel In The Sky” had been written today, it would be denounced as implausible – not for the science fiction elements, but for the idea of sending a bunch of kids to fend for themselves for a while. Can you imagine our super-cossetted spoilt Millenials putting up with any sort of privation? Or their indulgent parents allowing it?

        I’m not a woman so have no idea if Heinlein’s lady characters were well written or not, though I have met the odd female who resembles Belle Darkin from “The Door Into Summer”.

        When I read a book, I like action and big ideas and strange new worlds and thrilling adventure. If it has too much in the way of characterisation and talk, my attention wanders.

        I like the Dresden Files a whole lot, for example, but when it comes to the sexy time parts I find myself speed-reading to get to the next bit where Harry beats up a monster with his staff or snarls “fuego!”.

      5. Haha… hoo-boy, Steve, we are very different people.

        First off… “Can you imagine our super-cossetted spoilt Millenials putting up with any sort of privation? Or their indulgent parents allowing it?”
        Well, I am a Millennial (on the older end), so it always irks me rather a bit when anyone tries to paint all of us with the same brush (which is the same brush, I think, that Gen X got painted with when they were the latest adult gen, and probably the Boomers before them; older people always think the younger generation are spoiled/lazy).

        Second… I’m not your typical emotional woman (personality type INTP, if that means anything to you), but when it comes to stories, it’s all about the characters for me. Take Larry’s books, for example. I appreciate the fantasy and the world-building and the plotting, and the action, but it’s the characters and their interactions and relationships that really make it stand out for me. Same with Dresden Files. I find that the action scenes are where I usually find my attention drifting. I listen to audiobooks for most of these, so I sort of zone out a little at those parts. “Okay, they’re still fighting… hmm, when is something gonna happen?”

        In my own writing, I focus almost entirely on characters, their internal conflicts, and their relationships. Sure, I can appreciate a story about fighting vampires, but it’s much more interesting to me to read about a person who is a vampire, what that means for them trying to live their life, what that means for their relationships with others. (Think the TV show Being Human.) (Though I feel the need to point out, even though I love vampires, I hate Anne Rice’s work. All the, “Ooh, I’m a sexy vampire. Look how sexy I am. Creep creep creep.” Ugh. Not my style at all.) (I also find “literary fiction” to be pretty much the dullest kind of fiction ever.)

        To try to sum that up, I get bored when a story is nothing but endless, dull navel-gazing, but I also get bored when a story is nothing but fight scenes, chase scenes, and 1-dimensional, unrealistic characters. (I’ve fallen asleep during more than one action movie.) Which is why I don’t usually like hard sci-fi; it’s so much about “Here’s this neat concept for a society/technology I thought of!” whereas I’m more interested in “Here’s this really interesting person and the conflicts they face.” (And as it happens, I do write sex scenes when appropriate. I find it’s a wonderful opportunity to reveal something about the characters and/or their relationship. Sex scenes that are nothing more than a form of action scene are a bit dull to me.)

        It’s funny to me that we both like Larry’s work and Jim Butcher’s, but we are so different about which parts we find interesting and which parts we find less interesting.

      6. @ Shawna
        “and if anyone has an example of where he did it better than in that book, please tell me….”

        Glad to oblige. I suggest Cynthia Randall from ‘The Unpleasant Profession of Johnathan Hoag.’ She is one half of the husband and wife detective team investigating the novella’s weird mystery.

      7. @Shawna. I also read for the characters. Give me characters I can love and root for and I will follow them to hell. I think that’s the main reason I’m not a fan of Asimov. Cool concepts are great but I like to see how the technology changes effect people.

      8. Arwen – Yep, that’s me exactly. I haven’t tried Asimov, but I haven’t ever been drawn to him. So much of hard sci-fi is like, “Look at this crazy/amazing technology/society/species!” “Yep, cool, and?” “And the book’s over now.”

      9. @Shawna @Arwen

        Count me in on characters uber alles. I don’t mind having combat, tech, culture, or whatever else in there, so long as it doesn’t take a lot of time away the characters. Not, to use an example from a book I’m currently reading, spending several pages explaining how one particular component of the starship’s drive works, as a setup for dropping a wrench into it, which was a setup for more pages showing off the ship’s damage control, before finally winding its way back to exposing a minor character as a junkie.

        If you’re looking for someone who works tech into the story and lets the characters run with it, I recommend David Brin.

      10. @Shawna –

        Re: the idea that Heinlein “wrote women as if he’d never even met one in his life,” I remember Sarah Hoyt, who got to meet Mrs. Heinlein (who was, from all accounts, a VERY remarkable woman), saying that Heinlein wrote women as if all of them were like his wife.

        So if she’s right (and I have no reason to think otherwise) it wasn’t that he never met one, it was that the one who formed his idea of women was an exceptional woman.

        1. Spider Robinson wrote his own retrospective of Heinein:

          Sometimes I think this “Heinlein couldn’t write women” or “Heinlein wrote women like he never met one” really means “Heinlein’s women aren’t like me and my friends, therefore he has to be wrong”

          Of course, his male characters weren’t like me and my circle of friends either. I wasn’t like Clifford (Kip) Russel, but dammit, I wanted to be.

      11. “Sometimes I think this “Heinlein couldn’t write women” or “Heinlein wrote women like he never met one” really means “Heinlein’s women aren’t like me and my friends, therefore he has to be wrong””

        Well, I can’t speak for other people who comment on this, but that’s certainly not what I mean. When I say a male author doesn’t write believable women (and I’ve read others), what that usually means is that he writes women as men’s fantasy of women, not as women actually are. As in, not only are they all totally hot (which is fairly minor, considering most protagonists in sci-fi/fantasy are usually good-looking, no matter who writes them), the woman’s focus is entirely on the male main character. If there’s only one woman in the story and she acts as if her every thought is about pleasing/supporting the man, if in the story she views her own sexuality/attractiveness in the way a man would view her sexuality/attractiveness, and other things like that which show that the male author is writing this female character as an “idealized woman” rather than as a person in her own right, that’s what I’m talking about.

        It reminds me of a conversation I had on an online dating forum where a man asked if women experience lust when they look at their own breasts, then complained that I was being prudish when I tried to explain to him why that’s not even an okay question to ask because it displays a fundamental misunderstanding about what women are. There are male authors who give me the same *facepalm* feeling.

      12. I’m not sure what you mean at all. Jack McDevitt’s Chase Colpath and Priscilla Hutchins are different from each other and are different from Niven/Pournelle’s Sandra Bright Fowler is different from the 4 power-women of the Forbidden Borders trilogy are different from Night’s Dawn’s women are different from the women of Dune are different from Stirling’s Drakon is different from Revelation Space are different from Trigger Argee is different from Simmons, Cordwainer Smith, and Varley.

      13. Were you responding to me, James? If so, I really don’t know what your post is trying to say. It’s just a list of characters/titles.

      14. @Shawna –

        So do you find that, say, Wyoming Knott (from The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress) “acts as if her every thought is about pleasing/supporting the man”? Or Podkayne, from Podkayne of Mars?

        I’ll grant you that some of Heinlein’s female characters, especially in his later works, fit your description. Which is why I’ve never really enjoyed late Heinlein books either. But don’t judge all of Heinlein’s work based on just the one book you read. Try his early stuff — Starship Troopers, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Farmer in the Sky, Space Cadet, Citizen of the Galaxy, Podkayne of Mars, The Rolling Stones, Star Beast… There’s plenty to like. You asked earlier “if anyone has an example of where he did it better than in [The Puppet Masters], please tell me.” Well, there’s my recommended Heinlein-reading list. If you read all those and still thinks he writes unrealistic women characters, well, there’s no accounting for taste. But I think you’ll find some good ones in there.

      15. Robin –

        Like I said, I only read that one and it rather put me off wanting to read any more of his stuff. But I do try to be open to giving authors second chances, so I’ll try him again. Hopefully he’ll be more to my taste the second time around.

  48. On one hand, the anti-Lovecraft movement is purely annoying.

    On the other hand, the WFC award is really ugly.

    Maybe they could compromise and change it to Cthulhu.

  49. The irony is, REH was way ahead of his time in many respects. All these calls for more non-Western settings in fantasy make me laugh, because Howard was doing that 70 years ago. Most of his Conan stories take place in analogues of Africa, Asia or the Mideast, and only a few in the pseudo-Europe of the Hyborian kingdoms.

    1. It’s pretty clear from the lack of citations that SJWs mostly haven’t read the stories they hate. If they did they’d realize what morons they are.

      1. One of the major aspects of GamerGate is that the “games press” is made up of SJW journalists, not gamers.

    2. Despite Tolkien, in terms of its popularity, the epic fantasy the PC racialists complain about only dates from around 1980. Sword and Sorcery ruled the half-century before that. As you say, Conan more often than not was in non-Western locales, and so were a lot of Howard’s historic adventure stories. Clark Ashton Smith’s stories were set in a faintly Arabic analogue. Henry Kuttner’s S&S were in ancient Persia and Atlantis. Norvell Page and Clifford Ball were the same. They ignore E. Hoffman Price, Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, Gardiner Fox, Karl Edward Wagner, John Jakes, Lin Carter, and L. Sprague de Camp.

      This is not an argument we can win, nor is it meant we should. To write the above is “cultural appropriation,” racism, and “Orientalism.” Intersectionalism is not a bridge with two ends but more like walking the plank no matter which way you turn.

  50. The fact that these nimrods can ruin Shakespeare for generations of people is a crime against humanity. I was lucky, my mother read the plays to me like bedtime stories. Sure we talked about the meaning behind the words, and the plot. But none of this “critical theory” BS.

    They can suck the joy out of anything, and this is why they can’t leave gamers or fen alone.

  51. These people…


    I’ve read one of Butler’s books. She apparently graduated from my High School, so the school invited her to come talk to the student body while I was attending. We read one of her books in preparation. My recollection is that the book was decent. But her topics of interest weren’t my topics of interest. So I didn’t read anything further by her.

    On the topic of non-white or otherwise non-standard subjects, Le Guin gets mentioned frequently, of course. Earthsea is largely people by non-white races, and the protagonist isn’t white. The Left Hand of Darkness is about a human civilization on a distant world in which everyone switches genders.

    And of course there’s that homophobic bigot Orson Scott Card (/sarcasm) who wrote a fantasy novel, Magic Street, that’s set in a modern-day black middle-class neighborhood.

    I could go on and on. But Older and his ilk likely can’t be bothered to care about any argument that doesn’t fawningly agree with them.

    1. And of course Card must be shunned, for having the exact same view of gay marriage Obama did until 2 years ago.

      1. I’ve heard it’s even worse. Supposedly (I haven’t seen the original text) Card wrote something that was addressed to members of the LDS church that hold some genuinely homophobic attitudes in an attempt to bring them around to a more tolerant viewpoint (though still within church doctrine). What I’ve heard is that critics then took Card’s comments and claimed that the viewpoint that Card was arguing against was Card’s actual view.

  52. I’m fifty years old and I started reading sci-fi, fantasy, and horror at about the age of 9 starting with Heinlein’s juvenile stuff, Tolkien, and various ghost stories from stuff like the old Hitchcock anthologies and the old horror comics.

    I say that up front because I’ve never even once heard of Octavia Butler before Larry’s post. After reading his post, I went out and looked up her books. There’s a reason I haven’t read her and it’s nothing to do with her race and/or sex. What she writes about simply doesn’t interest me. I’ve also checked with about a dozen and a half of my bookworm friends and family and they’ve never heard of her either. Racists the lot of us, I guess. Who knew?

    On the other tentacle, I own the complete works, or as much as I can find in print, of authors like (in no particular order) Lovecraft, Clarke, Bradbury, Heinlein, Asimov, Dick, Niven, Matheson, Bloch, Howard, Burroughs, Tolkien, Machen, Hodgson, Poe, Ringo, Pournelle, and many, many others including, I’m happy to say, Correia. That’s just what I can see from my desk right now and doesn’t even touch on the eight or nine bookcases in our house full of many, many more ranging from an original copy of The Forever War to a fairly new copy of Deeply Odd by Koontz.

    I stopped reading new fantasy and sc-fi sometime back in the mid-80s because much of it was already turning to crap even that far back. The sci-fi turning point for me was Varley’s Gaia trilogy. For fantasy, it was Brooks’ phoning Tolkien in over a Radio Shack walkie talkie with the Shannara series. Larry’s MHI series and Butcher’s Dresden Files are almost single-handledly responsible for me actually getting back into new sci-fi and fantasy reading again. I’ve introduced both authors to at least 10 or 12 people who are now huge fans of both.

    As for Lovecraft, he scared the living shit out of me when I was about 11 with The Outsider and The Dunwich Horror. I was hooked for life after that. HPL did not write for idiots. Both he and Gary Gygax sent me to the dictionary and encyclopedia when I was a kid more than any school assignment ever did.

    Call me when Octavia Butler has God knows how many movies, TV shows, and books either outright or tangentially borrowing her tropes, themes, and plots for the last 50 or 60 years.

    A lot of the criticism about HPL’s writing style and methods fall on deaf ears with me. I’ve read this or that about what he did or didn’t do in a certain story and I think “that’s all you took from that?”.

    1. There’s a reason I haven’t read her and it’s nothing to do with her race and/or sex. What she writes about simply doesn’t interest me.

      I read one Octavia Butler book, Wild Seed about 20-25 years ago. Passages from it were used as examples in a “how to write science fiction” article so I gave it a shot.

      My reaction was “meh” and I’ve not been motivated to try anything else.

      1. I read one book by Octavia Butler – the sf one where aliens changed the human reproductive cycle so we couldn’t have kids without the aliens being in on it. And it did give my nightmares for at least two nights in succession, so I won’t read her anymore.

        But even though she’s horrifying, she’s also kinda boring. I don’t actually remember any characters or events. Or the title of the book. (It might have been Wild Seed?)

        My one friend who likes literary novels likes her mutant sf book, Parable of the Sower. So I guess if you like the lit genre, it might be your thing.

      2. The “aliens change humanity” story was a trilogy – Dawn, Adulthood Rites (which is the book I read), and Imago. The story includes one important bit that Butler stipulated – for the purposes of the story, humans are genetically pre-disposed toward war. It’s something that they can’t get away from because it’s in their genes. So the aliens get human genetics (their species requires constant infusions of new genetics, iirc), and humanity gets to rid itself of the war-causing genes. In the second book, a deal is made with a group of humans to allow them to keep their old genetics and relocate to Mars. That plot point was followed up on in the third book, but I never read it so I don’t know what became of it.

      3. I kinda enjoy Butler as comfort reading–it’s not very thinky but it is biology-heavy skiffy, so I read her.

        But the plot of the third book in her Xenogenesis series is literally “IF THE PROTAGONIST DOESN’T GET LAID HE’LL DIE,” which is pretty fantastic.

  53. Me thinks Older is pissed off that a SJW type wasn’t the first on the block for the genre.
    Have to admit that intellectually and culturally stunted peoples blame others for their own short comings.

  54. Thanks for this, Larry. Usually I get belly laughs from reading your fiskings, but today’s an odd day. I’m running on little sleep, I had a long list of stuff to do until I got an email from one of my professors changing our final exam from Tuesday to today, so I had to walk out of a meeting in which I wanted to rage-stab a Lieutenant Colonel in the face while screaming, “Stop the XO from telling my people how you get warm-fuzzies in your happy little soul because you care about them SOOO much; your actions speak louder than his words!” After leaving the meeting I spent a couple of hours putting papers together to turn in for the end of the semester, then go take the test without having attended class, done any homework or opened the book (I’ll end up with a B on the test, thank goodness), and now I’m putting in extra hours at work to make up for the ones I missed after the meeting.

    Yes, my knob today is set to “openly hostile.” And these loonies get on my LAST nerve. I’ve had my fill already this week of the “RAAAAAAAACIST!” crowd because the idiots won’t stop screaming because Star Wars fans went, “Huh, a Black dude in a Stormtrooper uniform in the Episode VII teaser? Does that fit story continuity?” (Has the media opened up another front in the GamerGate wars with Star Wars fans?)

    At any rate, it felt really good to read you butt-whuppin’ on this academically masturbatory wank-tard, Larry. I’ll re-read you again tomorrow when I can chortle rather than foam at the mouth. 😀

  55. Bravo Zulu, Larry, for your usual master-level fisking. These damned people make me tired.
    “…the American city becomes…an abysmal urban nightmare.”
    Hell, that’s how I see cities even now. I’ve put my boots on 4 continents, but I’m still a hillbilly.
    “Of my friends, I was the only reader. Where I’m from reading was for dorks, and what kind of sissy reads books about dragons and elves and shit?”
    Or books at all, if the teacher wasn’t making you do so. I was a fat kid, too. Some thought I was queer (it was okay to say that in the late 70s). When I became fit & confident, even ballsy, I don’t know what they thought. Didn’t care what anybody thought then, don’t now.
    Dad wasn’t a reader; he quit school his freshman year & became a paratrooper, ’cause it meant more money to send home to support his 5 younger siblings. He hated that, but it was the way it was. He never begrudged my love of reading & learning, thankfully, & Ma had actually graduated high school (1st in her family, & I was the first male on either side to do so).
    “you’ve got way more in common culturally with a white American suburbanite than you do with a Mongolian shepherd or a West African villager”
    That always frosts my stones. In the military, I saw poverty, pain, & true misery. I’ve met libs who’ve been in much the same places, some for extended periods, who come back & complain about their lot in life. My grandfather was a sharecropper. Few nowadays even understand what that really means; it’s akin to indentured servitude (an exaggeration, but not much). I rejoice at how my folks worked their way out of grinding poverty & gave me a chance–not a guarantee, but a chance–and at the opportunities I’ve had, and have seized.
    I just don’t have much time for the “poor me, I’m discriminated against” crowd. I know very well that discrimination exists, & that it’s worse for minorities, but Lovecraft wasn’t the last to think poor white trash were hopeless & should be got rid of. Blame somebody for your misfortune, or get off your ass & do something. That’s essentially what you say, Larry, when you tell these whiny bastards to just stop mewling & write. I cheer when you do so.
    Pardon the long comment, but for some reason this idiot just got on my bad side: could be the toothache I’m (finally) seeing a dentist about tomorrow, or maybe this fool was just the proverbial back-breaking straw. Either way, continue. You’ve a bully pulpit & you put it to excellent use.

    1. Dammit, a million upvotes!
      Men do something about their situation.
      Pajama Boys demand the government do something about it.

  56. I freaked out when I saw this since I’m a Lovecraft fan. I was not disappointed!

    I am SO glad that you called out these annoying people for their pointless nagging. If you really wanna change things up then quite whining and start writing it yourself! Heck, that’s what has me working on my project right now. No one else is filling in that particular niche, so I might as well do it myself and milk that cow for all its worth!

    I’m still envious of you being called the Modern Robert E. Howard. 😉 That guy wrote action the way a fencer wields a blade!

  57. The 1930s were also the era of Socialist Realism, which is the Procrustean bed upon that Mr. Older and the SJW Stalinists want to force all artists to lie down.

    Mr. Older complains of “erasure”: apart from Islamists (like ISIS and the Taliban), no group has been more fanatical about erasing violators of the current Party Line than the 1930s Stalinists and their Marxist heirs up to the present time. And the societies where these folks have taken power are universally characterized by the Serious leaders sucking out all artistic joy and spontaneity to feed their insatiable need to control.

    It’s the world of Big Brother or the hell portrayed in the Screwtape Letters that we’re once again being confronted with in this historically illiterate time.

    Besides, there’s nothing more ephemeral than the labored products of Socialist Realism and its heirs. Today’s heroes become tomorrow’s most recently erased, as Party Line and Correct Thinking change at whim. Art that endures is that which rises above the petty politics and transient fashions of the age, not art that submits to the spirit of the age and/or the dictats of the self-appointed commissars of postmodern public morality.

  58. On topic: Heck yeah. Completely off topic: I’ve never read anything by Correia before and this past week I bought and read the first 4 Monster Hunter books (you’re welcome Larry, and Merry Christmas.) There were a handful of really stupid, nonsensical things in those books so I started to keep a list of all the mistakes Larry made in writing those books.

    I’m not going to post that list of stupid mistakes here. Instead I want to point out that &*#% @$*&, apparently I care so much about a series I started reading a week ago that I’m keeping lists of things the author got wrong.

    Unfortunately all this means I’ll have to join the trolls, since time one of my new best favorite authors spends replying to stupid sycophantic commenters is time he’s not spending writing another book for me to read.

    1. Since I’m assuming you’re new here, it might be a good time to clue you in that the blog stuff – including comments – is what Larry does to relax. He’s much more diligent in his writing than some other authors I could name *cough* me *cough*, so no worries on that front. He is a professional, after all. 😀

      1. We could make it a drinking game, even!

        Now here’s a question for Larry: Being Mormon, I assume you don’t imbibe alcohol, so what do you guys do in those situations where a drinking game would be appropriate?

      2. @ Matthew
        I don’t know about Larry, but when I was in high school and looking for a wild time, we’d fire up Monty Python and the Holy Grail in my buddy’s basement, and stay up until almost midnight eating stuffed-crust pizza and drinking Mountain Dew.

        Yeah, I know, we got WILD. I’m surprised the neighbors never called the cops, or that my family never caught me coming in the door at midnight with caffeine on my breath. 😉

  59. Mental case round-up mit Cora Butthurt Schloss und Kane Retard und fall mit der Weimer Republic und Skiffy und Bullwinkle Oh Dear und he-that-must-not-be-named other than Herr Fiskonaut:

    1. Skiffy and Fanty ‏@SkiffyandFanty Dec 10 Yeah, I’m just going to mark linkbacks by Mr. Fiskonaut as spam. No point engaging with that lot.

    2. Paul Weimer ‏@PrinceJvstin Dec 10 @SkiffyandFanty Fiskonaut?

    3. Cora Buhlert ‏@CoraBuhlert Dec 10 @PrinceJvstin @SkiffyandFanty Do I even want to know?

    4. Paul Weimer ‏@PrinceJvstin Dec 10 @CoraBuhlert @SkiffyandFanty no, you don’t Cora. Better you don’t

    5. Skiffy and Fanty ‏@SkiffyandFanty Dec 10 @PrinceJvstin @CoraBuhlert You can probably guess on your own without me publicly naming this person.

    6. Cora Buhlert ‏@CoraBuhlert Dec 10 @SkiffyandFanty @PrinceJvstin Ah, one of those who’d better remain unnamed. That narrows it down to a handful.

    7. Cecily Kane ‏@Cecily_Kane Dec 10 @CoraBuhlert @SkiffyandFanty @PrinceJvstin Oh dear. Saw it just now in the site stats. ×__× Too many Voldemorts in this genre.

    8. Skiffy and Fanty ‏@SkiffyandFanty Dec 10 @Cecily_Kane @CoraBuhlert @PrinceJvstin Yeah. We’re better off flagging that lot as spam.

    1. Lol…

      I remeber shaun duke of skiffy and fanty spending an hour of a podcast “discussing” kratman and women in combat.

      And by discussing I mean flat out lying and misrepresentation. Weimer (princejvstan) isnt much better, he is a whiny twit who thinks he knows better than the rest of us.

      Groupthink and goosestepping is the only thing acceptable to that lot.

    2. You’ll notice that, apart from Hines and Scalzi, the SJWs don’t fisk Larry. They *insist* he’s wrong and stupid, but they don’t want to try and *prove* it.

      1. They *insist* he’s wrong and stupid, but they don’t want to try and *prove* it.

        Don’t forget the occasional attempt to “crowdsource” how he’s wrong/bad/stupid/racist/misogynist/whatever.

        1. They only think I’m stupid because they’re racist. 😀

          I’m just a poor country novelist, but ironically, every time the party of smart has tried to go head to head with me, I’ve mauled them. Go figure.

      2. I think Larry’s counterfisk of Hines really took him aback. It’s not fair when the enemy returns fire. 🙂

      3. They’ve been sitting on Twitter just like the last time, triumphantly congratulating themselves on how the commenters opposing Older are wrong but somehow unable to lift their fingers and go over to The Guardian and say why.

        That once again speaks to the origins of this ideology which states straight white men are wrong by default and not in any logical particulars. In effect, to be straight white and male is to lose the debate. Older claims others than Lovecraft had racism which permeated their work. You’ll find that claim has more to do with the race of the authors than any actual evidence of racism. Even one of Lovecraft’s biographers says only 5 of Lovecraft’s 60 stories deals with race. How is that permeate?

        Social Justice Warriors are liars from Saturday to Friday. They just got caught out in a rape hoax that is a direct result of feminist hate speech and it hasn’t fazed them a bit. She’s a corrupted lone wolf, like a burglar, not part of a corrupted feminist culture. On the other hand, Lovecraft’s no lone wolf but attached to SF’s Golden Age and that in turn attached to the corrupted culture of America. The whole SJW thing is the most blatant example of institutionalized bigotry in modern American history and they’re just too stupid to understand how closely they are allied in principle with the racialism of the modern American Nazi Party and KKK or how far-reaching the consequences of their hate speech is.

      4. I’m willing to debate anyone on topics that I am familiar with, but strangely enough that never seems to happen with these people.

        They make up quotes, fabricate positions, and form opinions for me. Rarely do they ever link to what I actually said. I quote them exactly, provide links, and respond line by line, responding to every single one of their points.

        Yet, I’m the dumb one. Strange how they figure that.

        EDIT: and to be fair, Hines attempted to fisk me once, but he really, really sucked at it. Most of it was him making up things which were quickly and easily proven to be false about me or my fiction.

        Scalzi and I went around once on Twitter. Our only public exchange is that time he tried to make me sound like a rape apologist, and it worked out so poorly for him that it ended up on Twitchy.

      5. It’s that counter-fire and being quoted that is making them gun shy. They haven’t changed their positions one bit but the quotable quotes have dropped off by quite a bit. Used to be all I had to do was hold out my hand and dozens of overtly racist and bigoted quotes were right there. Some still do that but the bigger names are backing off.

        They bluster but I think it’s starting to get through to a few of them that what they’re doing actually is hate speech. It’s also probably beginning to dawn on them they’ve not only created a new industry but one that will no longer buy their books and is in some cases out-selling them.

        As you’ll see from the next round of Hugo and Nebula nominees, nothing has changed on their end. But they now know every word they say is going to be challenged, pulled apart and held up to ridicule.

        The next step of course is an award. It might be hosted by a blog or blogs, or a convention not infested by idiots might find it good promo. The disinvited can take it on the heels and play their own stupid he-who-must-not-be-nominated meme as we continue to build new institutions that ignore them and leave them to play with the black baseball leagues and Jim Crow they see everywhere that afflict their sensibilities.

        This is a disgusting cult that openly encourages rape hoaxes, hate speech, racial and sexual discrimination, censorship, boycotting SFF authors alive and dead, ethnic profiling, removing video-games from shelves, supremacy, one-sided race/gender harassment policies, presenting false statistics, racial segregation, racial slurs, ethnic demonization theories, smears, innuendoes, outright lies, extorting conventions, review censoring, fake quotes, distorting and lying about history, non-whites-only writing workshops, carfare and grants, and somehow that all comes out as social justice.

      6. A lot has changed in the past year and half. Back then, Bryan Thomas Schmidt got dogpiled by the SJW crowd for calling for civility after the Resnick-Malzberg blow-up (I only learned recently, by chance). One of his attackers was . . . Damien G Walter. None of us were aware at the time of what was happening. Now we’re more aware about their tactics and targets, and we can counter them. They can’t get away with this crap anymore.

      7. What happened to Malzberg and Resnick couldn’t happen today. Sometimes it seems as if the ghost of Andrea Dworkin has inhabited the bodies of the last two SFWA presidents. Maybe the place is haunted. One thing’s for sure, it’s intersectional fem-central now.

        Back then I don’t think people were quite so aware SJW complaints were just a lot of bullshit to hide the fact the real complaint was the mere act of being straight, white and male. Now that I know I and all my male offspring are serving a life sentence for unilaterally enslaving the world they can all go eff off and make their little Tweets about This Week In Slavery and Lynching.

        “If you think reframing an eloquent thing a woman said but selectively editing then posting it is ok, you are neither a friend NOR an ally.” – Fran Wilde

        Guess what, lady – I have no interest in being your ally or in your sacred frickin’ words, cuz frankly, these sacred feminist words day after day sound more like the KKK than anything else I can think of. If you had any respect for words you wouldn’t have turned your area of the genre into a shitty segregated literary ghetto. I can’t think of a single SJW male who doesn’t talk about women with shy downcast eyes like a slave girl in an old Italian Hercules movie. They’re well-trained. If they’re lucky they’ll receive a pair of pink Audre Lorde uni-gender panties for X-mas, one hour of ESPN and the annual largely symbolic day of sex if they’re not suffering from lumbago from doing the ironing.

  60. …and it’s articles that our wonderful Larry is citing that keeps me writing…and BLATANTLY flaunting social justice warrior concerns! By the White Straight Christ I’m tempted to start writing Nazipunk just to make social snowflakes cry!
    ….but then, you know…then only dumbass skinheads would buy my books…which according to SOME critics are the only ones who buy them now…!
    I KNOW! WE SHOULD START A CLUB! We could hold our OWN rallys! We could pass out…idon’tknow…arm bands or something, so we could show our affilia…

    …nevermind. I still hate them though.

  61. “Mary Robinette Kowal ‏@MaryRobinette Dec 8 Study shows ‘racial essentialism can also hamper creativity.’ Seriously. Racism makes you less creative.


  62. Larry

    Your fisk is a healthy tonic. I was reflecting on this offensive concept of privilege. Well here’s a rather sobering article about Catalan writers that i read at . Basically the Association of Catalan authours point out that since the crisis in 2007 only 10% of catalan writers can make a living just with their work. Tranlators have it even worse only 5% can live on their work. These people are then becomeependent on government subsidies which isn’t healthy for either the state, culture, society and the writers themselves.
    Mediocre Anglophone authours make a better living than some of the best catalan writers that the former have the lesiure to sniff haughtily at comicon and cosplay festivals. That’s real privilege because their mediocre novels provide them with a realtivrly comfortable living that their catalan counterparts can only fantasize.

    P.s ironically though, catalan literature has never been better and is becoming more visible internationally.

  63. “…we’re still struggling to unravel the legacy of racism and erasure with which [Lovecraft] and other early speculative fiction writers permeated their work.”

    This is an admitted example of Larry’s Internet Arguing Checklist, so this no doubt reflects worse on me than Mr. Older, but honestly? This is not how you use the verb “permeate”! The subject of that verb is the thing or quality permeating the object, not the person who put it there — one would say either, “the legacy permeating the work of Lovecraft et al,” or “the legacy with which Lovecraft et al infused their work.”

    Maybe English is not Mr. Older’s first language, in which case I concede I am overreacting. But one of my single biggest berserk buttons is to see someone completely unaware of their own incompetence at something blithely criticizing someone else for theirs.

      1. Sorry, but it is, at least the way Older used it. We speak of light or smell permeating a room because the light or smell is what’s doing the permeating; we do not speak of a person “permeating light through a room” because the light and not the person is the subject of the verb “permeate”. That’s just how the word works. At best, what Older should have written is “the legacy with which [these writers’] work is permeated.

        Believe me, I’ve made the “picks up a word’s meaning from context but doesn’t get it exactly right and so misuses it later” mistake often enough to recognize when somebody else does it. And while, again, this is a total Internet Arguing Checklist peccadillo, it just drives me nuts when somebody criticizing somebody else’s writing commits a basic error of word usage in their own writing.

        1. as i said, “the legacy with with they permeated”

          not great construction, but the legacy is what is permeating, not ‘they’

      2. It should be “…we’re still struggling to unravel the legacy of racism and erasure which permeated his work and that of other early speculative fiction writers.”

        I told you Older can’t write. He can’t understand English or his own words either. The implication is they purposely laced their work with shots at blacks by erasing them. Which is true? Who knows in ditzy dipshit-land, where blood-alcohol content for two people above 1.5 during sex means you broke the rape-limit and the male is always the driver.

      3. When I heard the knock I pervaded myself with cologne and then distributed my fingers on the doorknob to let her in. Her eyes were like round slashes of gravel and her lips a rectangle of pink granite with the corners cut away. Her bare feet were like aircraft carriers if aircraft carriers looked like fleshy tetrahedrons with mismatched digits in an ordered hierarchy arrayed on the foredeck.

      4. @ Stephen J

        “it just drives me nuts when somebody criticizing somebody else’s writing commits a basic error of word usage in their own writing.”

        Should read: “it just drives me nuts when somebody criticizing somebody else’s writing commits a basic error of word usage in his own writing.”

        Agreement of number: ‘Somebody’ is singular hence takes a singular pronoun, which, in English, except where the antecedent is or must be feminine, is ‘he’. (

        1. Thank you! The indiscriminate use of the plural, third-person pronoun instead of the masculine singular when sex is not specified is one of my pet peeves. It’s right up there with spelling ‘lose’ with two o’s, or ‘gender’ instead of ‘sex’.

      5. “‘gender’ instead of ‘sex’”

        That is one of my pet peeves as well, not because it is an error, but because it is a deliberate error: using ‘gender’ for ‘sex’ implies sexual roles in society are not based in the biological reality of sex, but instead are based in the arbitrary social expectations which our society just so happens to adopt.

        Words have a gender. Men have a sex.

  64. I don’t understand the guardian article on any level.

    On an emotional level I’m like “%^&* you.” Life is hard. I mean I think I’m doing well in this world, but I’ve still got two little kids who are sick all the time (because they’re young, that’s just life), and a wife who’s tired all the time (because the kids are sick all the time), and a job with a company that’s been laying a lot of people off. If the worst thing you’ve got to worry about is the shape of your trophy, yeah just “@#$% you.”

    On an intellectual level I can get closer. I didn’t vote for Obama, but when he got in I thought, “Well at least it’s a little more credible now if someone tells a African American boy, ‘Hey, you’re an American. Work hard and you could grow up to be the president!'” My problem is, I don’t think we’re telling little African American boys that anymore. I think we’re letting rap music pour poison in their ears and claiming that no matter how hard they work without government help they’re going to fail because of racism. I visited a city church a couple of weeks ago and this African American man and his family sat behind me. Two boys, his wife, some extended family all in classic “going to meeting” cloths. I thought, “Now there’s a man with a hard job.” He’s clearly trying to raise his boys right, but what an up-hill battle with what everyone else is going to tell them! To me this smacks of more of that. Make everything about race and then even when you’ve succeeded enough to win awards you still haven’t succeeded.

    Like a lot of us seem to be I’m a hobbyist writer, and I don’t understand it on that level. I’ve got this novel I’m serializing on the internet. I promoted it a little recently and there was a big (well, for me rounding error for anyone popular) influx of traffic and I was looking at my hit counts just grinning. People are reading it! Hooray! Once upon a time some racist wrote some sci/fi? How does that matter to me? People commented on the most recent installment and they reacted to the actions of a character just like I wanted. Hooray!!! What does history mater to that? If you don’t have that love of writing than why are you putting in the effort? What part does politics have in it?

    And another thing about writing. My character is a lot like me. I wanted to write a story where magic was “a boring technical profession”, and did I ever. I now have a wizard who goes to lots of business meetings. In the latest installment the big action was a client who has some terrible ideas for the advertising illusions he’s buying. The thing is, that’s a terrible idea for a story, and it just highlights how different from me the characters in most of what I read really are. So Gandalf is white; he’s also a #$%^ing Maiar (read angel)! What do I have in common with that? It’s been astoundingly hard to write what I’ve written because it keeps trying to veer towards the dull. I like to think I’ve found exciting things to focus on, but let me tell you there’s never there will *never* be a lot of stories about wizards who when to school and got “magical engineering” degrees. This is suppose to make me sad somehow? There won’t be characters like you either (unless you’re a tough talking PI). Maybe they’re black and you’re black, but at the end of the day they’re having an adventure on a spaceship and you’re quietly reading a book! Take it from someone who knows, you don’t want them to be too much like you because you don’t want to read a book about a guy reading a book.

    1. I wanted to write a story where magic was “a boring technical profession”, and did I ever. I now have a wizard who goes to lots of business meetings.

      I want to read this story. Link? It sounds somewhat similar to Rick Cook’s Wizardry series, which I enjoyed a lot.

      1. I read those as well- great books!

        You’re certainly more than welcome to read my story. I deliberately didn’t link it because I’m not rough and tough like Larry, so I try not to let my politics touch my fiction or vice versa.

        It’s “The Beginners Guide to Magical Site Licensing” at starter serials or wattpad. This time, I’ve dropped it into the link into the website field on so I think it’ll turn my name into a hot link, but if it doesn’t google will point you right at it.

        1. @David Krumm – Thanks, read it over the weekend, enjoyed it a lot. Now I’m frustrated w/ the having to wait for the next serial release… keep up the great work!

  65. Showering MZB with praise? The SJWs I remember were excoriating her for being (gasp!) “pronatalist”. I.e., she thought having children was a good thing, and more specifically intelligent women reproducing themselves was a good thing.

    “Gentrified” seems to mean that one can walk around at night without constantly looking over one’s shoulder.

  66. Clowns like Older and whoever wrote that “Frozen” article are incapable of just letting people enjoy things. They feel the compulsive need to pick apart every story for “racism,” “sexism,” and other “isms.” And if they can’t find evidence of such, they make it up. SJWs like them are what nearly drove me away from sci-fi and fantasy. They helped me drive away from comics, and I only pay attention to older comics and the movies and TV shows now.

    Say what you want about Lovecraft, but he’s influenced far more writers than Octavia Butler has (I’d never even heard of her until reading this). And it’s not his racial views (which were the norm for the time), it’s the scope of his imagination. Everyone who has written about the Old Ones has been influenced by Lovecraft.

    Personally, I read books to be entertained, not be lectured by a social justice warrior about invisible privilege. I don’t pick up a contemporary fantasy series like “The Dresden Files” and “Monster Hunter International” and think, “All right! I get to read about police violence and gentrification.” No, I read both series to be entertained, which is difficult for the SJWs to understand, but it’s the truth.

    1. My theory on that behavior is that it is a kind of hi-jacking or Cr Omnibus spending bill.
      Their socially “challenging”, preachy, OMFG Boring pet peeve doesn’t rate anyones attention, nor gets the frustrated SJW paid. So, they latch their pathetic oh so sensitive and caring issue on whatever IS successful and attempts to suck it dry like a dehydrated vampire let loose in a blood bank. If you try to stand between them, say with logic, morals or God forbid common sense, and their goal, you will be pounded down like an uppity nail.
      However, a brilliant “urban fantasy” SFF author (with a penchant for Tetsubos) once said at a con panel I attended; “Sometimes the nail is a rail road spike, and the hammer is just a squeaky toy”.

    2. Here’s the other thing about clowns like Older: movie tie-in novels have a dismal reputation because they are built on an over reliance on story; they are not built from the ground up as a thing of the specific art form of literature. They tend to be dry, flat and bland.

      When you are obsessed with putting non-whites, women and gays in your stories, you are in essence writing a movie tie-in novel, because your priorities are skewed. You are trying to build the top floor of a building before the one below.

      I mention C. S. Friedman’s In Conquest Born elsewhere. If you make a cartoon of it, it might be fairly interesting as a story and as anime. It will never be quite as interesting on the nuanced level it first existed. The more literate stories are, the more one cannot convey them on film, such as Bradbury or Vance.

      What this all does is force SJWs to basically write cartoonish SFF novels with idiotic writer’s workshop prose smeared over them because the art takes a back seat and becomes a mere conveyance for the message. SJWs don’t get that about why we don’t like their stories. We like messages just fine when Orwell does it in 1984 or Bradbury does it in the race-inspired “The Big Black and White Game.” We don’t like SJW stories because they’re bad.

  67. I would not mind reading a Larry Correia about brutal police violence against communities of COLOUR OUT OF SPACE. That sounds awesome.

    1. Something like this actually happens in the Monster Hunter universe. Benign and non-hostile humans have a tenuous legal status and few protections under the law: they are more than once wrongly killed, enslaved or otherwise abused by agents of the government. (Though I don’t mind at all that the government does this to the malign and hostile ones).

  68. “Earlier this summer, the old guard of fantasy got very uncomfortable over a petition I started asking for the World Fantasy Award to remove the bust of HP Lovecraft as its statuette and replace it with Octavia Butler.”

    What the F@&k, was my exactly what I said when I read that.

  69. Okay so someone may have hit on this already, I don’t know since I currently have skipped the majority of the comments, but anyway.

    Couple things, one, this guy seems bent on comparing Lovecraft to the fantasy genre, in my own opinion, Lovecraft is more science fiction and weird fiction than anything fantasy related.

    Two, he doesn’t seem to grasp the difference in time period, Lovecraft’s writing fits the time period he places it in, not modern day.

    There’s probably more I could say but I will wrap it up by saying that I hope he thought things through at least a little bit and has some home security. As far as I understand it, Lovecraft wrote some pretty crazy stuff, including the Cthulhu mythos, and there are probably some awfully crazy Cthulhu based religions out there somewhere, maybe not, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

    1. When Walter writes of Tolkien “ignoring the brutality and oppression that were part and parcel of a world ruled by men with swords” you have to wonder if Walter’s retarded in some fashion.

      “Tolkien’s myths are profoundly conservative.”

      Compared to what – the drunken prohibition-era boozehounds in Topper? So Tolkien didn’t have any flappers like Conan did. Hahahah. Man, that Walter slays me.

      If only Tolkien had had the foresight to be progressive and include incest, transgender trees, graphic rape scenes, Elvish brothels, bootleggers, speakeasies, a parliament, and the annual Yale-Harvard clash he might notta come off as such a oom-pah-pah stick in the mud who disrespected commie organizer dragons which acted as a Federal Gold Reserve and community fire dept. to put out lakes.

    2. (From the article:)

      “Isn’t it more likely that the orcs, who live in dire poverty, actually support Sauron because he represents the liberal forces of science and industrialisation, in the face of a brutally oppressive conservative social order?”

      I have no words for the stupidity. I’d think this was satire except for its source.

      Then again, by pointing out how liberals are just like Sauron, maybe he’s making our point for us.

      1. It kills me — that’s exactly how Sauron would put it himself.

        I seem to recall reading a fanfiction that was supposed to be the version of Morgoth’s fall and defeat that Sauron told his forces. Everything was turned metaphorically from black to white; all the “good” and “bad” labels were switched; there was nothing in it but Evil trying to justify itself, and bending the truth as far as possible. That’s what this reminds me of.

      2. “I’d think this was satire except for its source.”

        Best summation of Damien and/or The Guardian ever.

      3. Did he get Saruman and Sauron mixed up? I mean, Saruman is the only one who did anything even remotely related to science or industrialization. Even then, he was more an example of what could go horribly wrong with the subjects. I.E. destroying Fanghorn forrest(industrialization) and abusing genetic engineering(the Urukai).

        Plus, “oppressive social order” is like the definition of Sauron. Bah, don’t mind me, just a fan-boy getting upset.

      4. My wife and I got married just after the first LOTR movie came out. We wanted an inscription on our wedding rings, and the jeweler told us he had had many requests for the Ring inscription to be engraved on the rings.

        Seriously? You want the symbol of your relationship to be the closing lines of something that is supposed to enslave everyone else to you?

        He said most of them gave up when he explained that Sauron had certain advantages when it came to engraving that much text in that small an area….

      5. Oh, and Tolkien would have been somewhat sympathetic to the Green arguments against development; he was often quoted as saying that he regretted the industrial overrunning the English countryside.

        These people have no clue nor a dime to buy one with.

      6. @ Ascher Goodrich

        You could be right about Walter mistaking Sauron for Saruman. You’re definitely right in seeing Saruman as a cautionary tale against letting technology outpace ethics. But Tolkien was pretty clear that, for all his evil, Saruman didn’t amount to much more than a two bit imitation of Sauron (just as Sauron was a pale imitation of Morgoth).

        Sauron abused industry and technology too (Tolkien called the Ring the ultimate machine). Saruman’s sins in this regard seem more prominent because:

        A) showing contempt for nature through industry was his major shtick, whereas it formed only one aspect of Sauron’s all-encompassing evil.

        B) Saruman’s technology is easily recognizable to moderns. Sauron seems low-tech by comparison; not because he’s behind Saruman on this front, but because he’s so far ahead. Saruman used gunpowder and eugenics as means to his main end: making his own Ring–something Sauron had down to a science (they don’t call him the Lord of the Ring for nothin’).

        And before anyone dismisses ring lore as magic, the source material doesn’t portray it that way. Sauron learned at the feet of Aule the Smith, whose expertise involved shaping the natural order–which is really all that “magicians” in LOTR do. That’s why Galadriel expressed wry puzzlement over the term “magic”.

      7. @Brian Niemeier

        Touche- You make some excellent points regarding Sauron’s use of science.

        I would still disagree. It seems to me that Gods and high elves of the first age would have such an understanding of magic that it wouldn’t seem magical. That seems like more a matter of perspective to me, and not proof that magic is actually potent science.

        Not to mention that anyone is capable of understanding and using science where as men and hobbits have no magic ability. I should point out that Numenoreans are a seperate race from men, gifted with powers by the Valar. While Hobbits have a certain awareness and resistance to magic, they don’t have the ability to use magic.

        As far as Sauron and industrialization, to the best of my knowledge, Mordor society has none of the normal characteristics of an industrial society.

      8. “You make some excellent points regarding Sauron’s use of science.”

        Thanks. Right back at you.

        “That seems like more a matter of perspective to me, and not proof that magic is actually potent science.”

        I think it’s less a problem of perspective than semantics. What’s needed is an accepted definition of “magic”. As a Catholic theologian, I’m pretty confident in assuming that Tolkien and I are coming form similar places on the subject.

        It’s pretty likely that Tolkien viewed magic as “using preternatural means to achieve natural ends”. Consider that the Valar limited the Istari to skills that normal humans could learn (the wizards’ one major advantage was more time to learn). Saruman’s efforts to reverse-engineer the Ring would thus indicate that ring lore is based on natural principles.

        That’s not to deny the existence of magic in Tolkien’s works. Direct interventions of the Ainur to suspend natural laws certainly count.

    3. And even the comments section of the Guardian (mostly) thinks he’s gone off the rails.
      I am now convinced that Mr. Walter, on occasion, wishes that Stalin overran Western as well as Eastern Europe.

      1. From comments:

        “DamienGWalter Gulonogamma 45m ago

        This is a very one sided picture of the orcs. Really they just want to assert their rights as individuals…even if it is the right to eat people. They’re like Open Carry Libertarians in many ways.”

        1. How about this: Orcs as Feguson rioters.

          Consider: Ordinary people (well, elves) held in captivity and degraded by a tyrant (or omnipresent welfare state) to the point where virtue is gone and all that remains is violence in service to evil.

      2. ln another article, Walter complains that positive futures of expansion into space are really flawed and shouldn’t be written because they assume capitalism survives. No, he doesn’t logically link the two, either, he just assumes it.

      3. The thing I love about gay and black SJW activists is they call for diversity in the work of others and ask where blacks and gays are in the future.

        What’s even funnier is that if the blacks and gays in your future are simply so accepted into the mainstream the SJW’s then complain that this isn’t authentic. The truth is that SJW’s are never happy about what one writes, which is why they need not be taken seriously as critics, but only pointed at and laughed at.

      4. Put all this into SFF as an obsessive, hateful and racist centerpiece and the literature fades into the background to become nothing more than a tin can for radical intersectional racialist feminist sour lemon juice.

        What the gay Older and Walter really want and who they defers to is transparent: a statue of any black lesbian will do, since they are at the other end of the spectrum in Scalzi’s white privilege theory. Once you understand how fundamentally true this is, and how Heinlein wasn’t really Heinlein but instead a straight white man, you’ll understand everything you need to know about this movement in SFF.

    1. Yeah, it came as a complete surprise to me, too. I mean, nobody had mentioned her race or drawn attention to it when promoting her books. Nobody.

  70. The thing I love about gay and black SJW activists is they call for diversity in the work of others and ask where blacks and gays are in the future. Then, when you go to their Twitter feeds, it’s like a black and gay world without whites and heterosexuals. Suddenly there’s symposiums about African writers, lists of African SFF, lesbian anthologies and every narcissistic nugget that reflects their obsession over their identity they can find and “AfroIndigenous and WOC who have organized a social media Blackout” and how they appreciate this as a genderqueer and on and on.

    The fact they always reduce literature to their own identities should be a clue as to how much they care about literature. Their genre isn’t SFF, their genre is themselves.

    Even funnier, if Older opposed his own article, he’d be on Twitter talking about his black tears and why is he blacksplaining our own literature back at us and culturally appropriating our genre and how he needs to attend workshops about properly writing about ethnic Europeans and organizing car fare for needy whites to go to rap concerts and creating spaces welcoming to whites without microaggressions like “white privilege.”

    Do as I say not as I do isn’t all that persuasive, and in fact these folks have probably done more to push themselves out of public shared spaces than their supposed enemies. There is no one daffier than the racist anti-racist SJW.

  71. Okay, late to the party but here’s a thought: make it a statuette of Cthulu. Honours a body of work that built the road we’re all on, keeps the artist’s highly offensive personal opinions at a remove.
    Anyone’s visage on an award is bound to be trouble sooner or later. Being human, Octavia Butler has bound to have said or done something comprehensively arseholish that’ll come to light one day, perhaps something we can’t even perceive as bad in our current era but some wiser future will call her out for (and hopefully see it in its historical context).

    1. I already live in a wise past where Butler’s SF novel Fledgling depicts a 50-something vampiric alien in the body of a 10 yr. old girl having multiple bi-sexual sex partners.

      As a perverted question and you get a perverted answer. At least in terms of his art, Lovecraft asked literary questions and I got literary answers.

    2. Interesting you should say that about Octavia Butler. Here’s my one experience with her writings:

      I had to read Dawn, the first book of her Xenogenesis trilogy, for a class in college. There’s a scene in there where one of the aliens is forcing one of the humans into a sex act. The human repeatedly screams, “No, no, I don’t want this, let me go,” and the alien continues anyway. I’m not sure how you read that except as a rape scene, and I found it highly disturbing; that’s when I decided that the aliens were not as benevolent as they had pretended to be. Didn’t affect my opinion of Butler, of course; plenty of books have disturbing scenes like that in them.

      However, Butler had been visiting the area for another reason, and the professor got her to come in and talk to our class. She discussed the aliens and how they were so much better than humans. One example of how they were better that she specifically cited was the rape scene that had so disturbed me, because the alien was enlightened enough to sense the human’s “real” desire and not stop just because of some silly hangups expressed in his words. That DID affect my opinion of Butler.

      Do we really want to be celebrating someone who’s so obviously pro-rape?

      1. Well there you go: exhibit A. Already the cultural zeitgeist has moved on and would frown at that (if it didn’t already back then). I haven’t read that book but, from what you describe, surely the human knew how they felt, the ‘truth’ of their subconscious be damned. I suppose it could be argued Butler was a victim of her times: Freudianism was mostly considered a watertight case back then. She’d be called out for it now. Seventy years from now, if we extrapolate from the trend of the past seventy, the tendency to find her statement on that scene problematic can only increase.

      2. “Children are fully capable of participating in community, and have every right to live out their own erotic impulses.” – Andrea Dworkin

        Sounds like feminist hero Simone de Beauvoir of the “Front de libération des Pédophiles” gender pedsplaining to me.

  72. And every dollar bill celebrates a Southern slaveholder. Let’s burn all those, too. An Al Sharpton $1 would be a real step forward. Toward something.

  73. Do we have to accept furies? Larry is bragging about how open minded he is by saying ‘look we accept furies. Scalzi was posting about how he is proud to have bdsm dungeon masters has SF friends. Between the two of you… I am afraid of catching things at cons. If I ever go to one I think I will wear white gloves, anti-viral mask, and have lots of soap and wipes with me.

    I don’t care what race you are. I don’t care if your gay transgender, or non-gender. But guys in bunny suits getting horny by looking at other people in bunny suits is a bit too much for me. I think if a ‘fury’ talked to me at a con I would tell him/her to get lost and remind him of the posted harassment rules and if I say to go away you need to or I will complain and get the feminists all over your fury ass.

    1. To put it simply, your image of furries is nowhere near all furries, or probably not even a simple majority of them.

  74. Check out Daniel Jose Older’s publisher. This is their disclaimer. WTF does this mean? Is this here in case some drunken KKK member who is also smoking weed decides to submit his racist fantasy novel to the wrong publisher by accident? In case the KKK guy meant to go to ‘fuck-anyone-who-isn’’

    Crossed Genres supports equal rights and equal treatment regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation or religion. We will never reject submitted work based on the inclusion or exclusion of these. We openly encourage submissions which address the issues surrounding these topics, as we wish to promote open dialogue.

    However, Crossed Genres will not tolerate or support artists or works which promote hatred. Submissions which promote hatred, discrimination and/or bigotry will be rejected without consideration.

    Submissions which contain hateful characters or situations will be considered – such people and situations do exist and we consider their portrayal part of the dialogue. But submissions which intentionally portray hatred, discrimination or bigotry of any kind in a positive light will not be considered.

    1. …”regardless of” should be changed to “depending on,” since they so clearly do support authors who engage in non-fiction racial and gender insults and group defamation.

    2. “This is their disclaimer. WTF does this mean?”

      It’s a form of social display, like baboons displaying their bright blue buttocks and chimpanzees waving their penises.

  75. Actually, Butlerian as an adjective predates Dune by about 75 to 100 years.

    From Wikipedia: Butlerian


    Butlerian (comparative more Butlerian, superlative most Butlerian)

    1. Of or relating to Samuel Butler (1835–1902), iconoclastic Victorian author.
    2. Of or relating to Judith Butler (born 1956), American philosopher involved with feminism, queer theory, and ethics.


    Butlerian (plural Butlerians)

    An advocate of a form of Lamarckism put forward by Samuel Butler and Ewald Hering

    Given that this refers to “Old White Men”, I think that ?Older must be returned to the re-education facility to properly learn to self-judge himself as a Euro-descended (Spain) non-self identifying normative male pseudo-intellectual with severe delusions of identity.

    Archetype 01

  76. I wrote about Octavia Butler for the ‘icon’ of fantasy a couple months back here:

    My key point, which I continue to hold to, and the Guardian Stooge who wrote this article fails to address that was not addressed in the original petition, still stands:

    To wit: Octavia Butler DID NOT WRITE FREAKING FANTASY! She was a social-conscience sci-fi writer. Who never, ever, stepped into the fantasy equation.

    Note, the Lovecraft award is *specifically* stated to be FANTASY only. Not Sci-fi+fantasy, or all of speculative fiction in general. That is why, with respect, I dissent from our gracious host and risk the ire of the International Lord of Hate on this point. When an author is being considered for the *signature* aware of a genre, and the person the award is named for did not even write in the field, the award begins to lose luster, doesn’t it?

  77. I recently listened to the audiobooks for Heinlein’s “Farnham’s Freehold” and “Have Spacesuit, Will Travel”. Minor points that I hadn’t caught when reading these books years ago include:
    In FF, the Farnham cat, Dr Livingston I Presume, is biologically female which is revealed when the human protagonists discover she is pregnant. Barbara is surprised since she had assume the Doc was a male cat based upon her name. Karen’s response is that Doc believes (identifies) that she is a tomcat and Hugh doesn’t see any reason to dispute it.
    Likewise, in HSWT, once Kip and PeeWee reach Vega 5, Kip states that mother-things are not all female and that genitalia are not the determining factor.
    I hadn’t realized that old fascist (cough) Heinlein was such an avid spokesperson for non-binary genderism.

  78. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him use any of his platforms (10k+ Twitter followers) to promote any PoC writers. In fact, I’ve only ever seen him promote his own stuff incessantly as well as his band. Pretty interesting.

  79. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him use any of his platforms (w/10k+ Twitter followers) to promote any PoC writers. In fact, I’ve only ever seen him promote his own stuff as well as his band. It’s pretty interesting.