29 Aug 2019

I Guess I’m Just Too Damned Racist Myself to Buy Her Book

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Frank Kelly Freas portrait of John W. Campbell.

Students of History chuckle when the read of the famous “Cadaver Synod” of 897, when a vindictive successor Pope had the corpse of his predecessor, Formosus, disinterred from his tomb and set up in a chair in full Papal robes to be tried for perjury and illegal assumption of the Papacy. The late Formosus was, of course, convicted and signally punished.

Today, long-deceased American statesmen and soldiers whose positions and views are looked upon unfavorably by snowflakes and SJWs are having their monuments taken down and their memorials renamed right and left.

The most recent victim of the Historical Wrong-Think Purge is the famed editor of Astounding Magazine, John W. Campbell (died 1971) who fostered the careers of such Sci Fi Golden Age giants as Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, and Isaac Asimov.

Apparently, the latest winner of the book award named for the late Mr. Campbell was happy enough to receive the award but bears an animus toward its namesake.

Inkstone News:

A leading American literary magazine has dropped the name of the late sci-fi writer John W. Campbell from a major award after a Hong Kong author slammed him as a “fascist” while receiving the honor.

“John W. Campbell, for whom this award was named, was a f**king fascist,” Hong Kong-born writer Jeannette Ng said in her acceptance speech in Dublin last Sunday.

Through his control of the influential sci-fi magazine Astounding Science Fiction as editor, Ng said, Campbell was “responsible for setting a tone for science fiction that haunts the genre to this day. Stale. Sterile. Male. White,” 33-year-old Ng said.

Campbell launched the careers of some of the most notable names in sci-fi writing, including Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke and Robert A. Heinlein.

But he was also known as a white supremacist who published essays supporting slavery and segregation. He died in 1971 at the age of 61.

In Sixth Column, written by Heinlein and commissioned by Campbell, the United States is invaded by Pan Asians, and the story ends with the invention of a race-selective weapon that kills the “slanty” and “flat face.”

“Jeannette Ng is one of the people Campbell’s fantasy world would have murdered,” one online comment bluntly puts it.
Astounding Science Fiction was later called Analog Science Fiction and Fact.

Analog, whose publisher sponsors the writing award, said Tuesday that it will drop Campbell’s name from the honor, originally the John W. Campbell Award for the Best New Writer.

The new award will be called the Astounding Award for Best New Writer, the magazine’s editor said in a statement.


3 Feedbacks on "I Guess I’m Just Too Damned Racist Myself to Buy Her Book"


I would agree that language can be insulting and not just insulting but intentionally racist. Mark Twain used racist language but was famously not a racist. I don’t mean to imply that he was as clean as the driven snow but in an era when disdain for blacks was the norm he was not onboard that stern wheeler. So simply writing something in a fiction that can later be viewed as racist ignores the culture and mores of that time. Clearly to me Ms. Ng is both sexist and racist. By her own statements and words she has used this is true. BUT the cultural norm today is that you CAN be racist against white people and you CAN be sexist against males. Perhaps someday 50 years from now she will be removed from the roles of that award when our culture returns to their senses and recognizes that hating someone because they are white or male is abhorrent. In the meantime someone should slap her upside the head.


Clearly the commenter has never read the book “Sixth Column” by Heinlein.


The world is full of fiction action stories where the antagonist is the Nazis. Some 70 plus years later if you don’t want to be called a racist you write your fiction with Nazis as the bad guy. But the Nazis were pikers compared to Japan, Russia and China. But don’t you dare use truth in your fiction that offends me!!!

The Death Wish movies used white guys as antagonists. Seriously in New York City! We know who commits 80% of the violent senseless crime in the big cities and it ain’t the white guys. But don’t you dare tell the truth.

So what did Heinlein do wrong? Simple; he choose a likely antagonist instead of choosing Nazis.


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