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.
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 â€œfascistâ€ while receiving the honor.
â€œJohn W. Campbell, for whom this award was named, was a f**king fascist,â€ 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 â€œresponsible for setting a tone for science fiction that haunts the genre to this day. Stale. Sterile. Male. White,â€ 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 â€œslantyâ€ and â€œflat face.â€
â€œJeannette Ng is one of the people Campbellâ€™s fantasy world would have murdered,â€ 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 Campbellâ€™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 magazineâ€™s editor said in a statement.
Eric Raymond defends the integrity of the genre in an intelligent and well-reasoned essay. The SJW crowd will not like this one.
In the book reviews Iâ€™ve been writing recently I have been applying some very specific ideas about the nature and scope of science fiction, particularly in contrast to other genres such as fantasy, mystery, and horror. I have not hesitated to describe some works found in SF anthologies as defective SF, as non-SF, or even as anti-SF.
It is not fashionable these days to be so normative about any kind of artistic form, let alone SF. The insistence that we should embrace diversity is constant, even if it means giving up having any standards at all. In a genre like SF where the core traditions include neophilia and openness to possibility, the argument for exclusive definitions and hard boundaries seems especially problematic.
I think it is an argument very much worth making nevertheless. This essay is my stake in the ground, one I intend to refer readers back to when (as sometimes happens) Iâ€™m accused of being stuck on an outmoded and narrow conception of the genre. I will argue three propositions: that artistic genres are functionally important, that genre constraints are an aid to creativity and communication rather than a hindrance, and that science fiction has a particular mission which both justifies and requires its genre constraints.
Scalzi and the publishers of Tor books are both prominent on the Social Justice Warrior side in the current and ongoing political conflicts within the Sci Fi-Fantasy community.
Consequently, Vox Day’s Castalia House released yesterday a parody, titled “The Corroding Empire,” purportedly written by one Johan Kalsi, described by Vox Day as, “Finland’s hottest science fiction author. An accomplished geneticist as well as a 6’3″ ex-Finnish Marine.”
The cover of “The Corroding Empire,” as you can see above, has a recognizable resemblance to the cover of “The Collapsing Empire,” and features the imaginary plug line: “Kalzi rips off Asimov even better than Scalzi rips off Heinlein!”
All this seems rather funny, but Tor Books was not amused and (who knew that such a minor publisher had that kind of power?) promptly prevailed on the great and powerful Amazon to remove the parody.
Tor Books author John Scalzi announced a book, which he turned in late, titled The Collapsing Empire.
Castalia House quickly and effectively put out a parody book titled The Corroding Empire by Johan Kalsi, which beat out Scalziâ€™s actual work in pre-orders for several days.
The parody, The Corroding Empire released today, to much fanfare (Iâ€™ve read a little myself, it is good science fiction work).
Tor sent Amazon an ultimatum telling them to take it down.
Amazon complied and sent Castalia House a notification that they were taking it down because they were pretending to be John Scalzi.
Castalia House had their book removed, and thereâ€™s nothing they can do about it.
Wow! Amazon sucks with a leftwing conformist vacuum about as powerful as that of Mozilla, Target, Starbuck’s, ESPN, &c.
Vox Day apparently foresaw the possibility of censorship, and cleverly had ready an alternative cover, title, and auctorial pseudonym: “Harry Seldon” referencing Hari Seldon, the mathematician hero of Asimov’s “Foundation.” (see below). But… you won’t find “Corrosion” on offer at Amazon this morning either.
Here’s where both titles were pre-release yesterday on Amazon’s bestseller list:
John Scalzi’s first Mil SciFi novel Old Man’s War featured a plot with a natural appeal to aging boomers, and with a helpful plug from Instapundit quickly broke through to become a best-seller in the genre.
Conservative readers with a liking for Scalzi were soon to be dismayed when the formerly seemingly sympatico author came out as an Obama supporter and Gun Control advocate. John Scalzi has since distinguished himself within the Science Fiction Fandom Community as one of the loudest voices on the Social Justice Warrior side.
Naturally, many of us just stopped buying Scalzi’s books, but some remain really bitter. Chateau Heartiste (an Alt-Right blog) yesterday took aim at Scalzi as a representative of the beta male phenomenon, publishing photos and Scalzi’s 2016 Xmas card which portray him as a nerd, shorter, frailer, and more sensitive-looking than his wife. CH has a lot of fun mocking Scalzi, and promises more:
Reading Scalzi is like bathing in a vat of menstrual blood and having pure estrogen injected straight into the scrotum. One must exit Scalziâ€™s world through a decontamination chamber of red meat and range shooting. His sickness canâ€™t be allowed to spread to vulnerable men. His dildology worldview is a disfigured anti-reality that will yield like buttery goodness to the shiv every time, because nothing substantial underlies it. And the Chateau will flay him, over and over, until his ugliness of mind and spirit perishes from the earth.
MessyNessy has been reading “the world’s first Science Fiction periodical.”
Frank Reade dime-novels had helicopters and airships before Jules Verne , but while the famous French adventure novelist is still considered a major literary author around the world today, whoâ€™s ever heard of Frank Reade?
Published under the anonymous pseudonym, â€œNo Nameâ€, during the 19th century boom of boysâ€™ cheap fiction, the series followed the adventures of the Reade family: Frank Reade; his son, Frank Reade Jr., and grandson Frank Reade III. While the first five stories starred Frank Reade, Sr, adventurer and inventor of steam-robots, most of the 184 stories featured the second generation of the Reade clan, a teenage hero-inventor who travelled the globe in his electric machines.
Frank Reade Jr. was a busy guy, usually off fighting sea monsters with his machines, discovering lost gold or killing an astonishing amount of Native Americans. Yep, Frank Reade Jr., was not just a brilliant â€œsuperheroâ€ inventor, he was also an unashamed imperialist. And while the adventures and the inventions themselves are the most important parts of the stories, there are strong undertones of imperialism and white supremacy throughout the series. Reade behaves a bit like a bull in a colonial china shop; crash-landing in foreign territories, using his machines to bulldoze through native tribes and then claim their treasure.
While the stories are credited to â€œNo Nameâ€, the author was in fact Luis Senarens, a Brooklynite of Cuban descent who began writing for the series at the age of just sixteen. When he was seventeen, he received a letter of praise from Jules Verne himself. The two would spend the rest of their careers stealing ideas from each other. It was only Verne, however, who would become a titan of science fiction. Of course, it didnâ€™t help that Senarensâ€™ stories were only published in dime-novels, a form of popular fiction typically blamed for the criminal behaviour of young men in the same way that video games are blamed today.
Frank Reade, Sr. stories started appearing in Boys of New York, February 28 through April 24, 1876. The Frank Reade series ran roughly contemporaneously with the post-1870 (Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea) height of Jules Verne’s career. Verne began writing, though, in 1851, so describing the Frank Reade series as “before Jules Verne” generally would not be accurate.
The struggle over Science Fiction’s Hugo Awards waged between “sad puppies” (joined this year by the even more enthusiastic “rabid puppies” associated with writer Vox Day) and the Social Justice Warriors continued through the voting for this year’s awards.
Stung by the the puppies’ successes last year, the SJW faction was better organized and implemented a new strategy.
[T]he opposition to the Sad & Rabid Puppies slates took the form of encouraging voters to choose â€œno awardâ€ for an award category unless a work with appropriate politics was available. Taking it a step farther, many SJW zealots proved their commitment to tolerance, openness and variety by vowing not to read a work found on a Puppies slate under any circumstances.
Like the Death Starâ€™s visit to Alderaan, the results of Hugo Awards voting were ugly and unprecedented. 5 major categories including best novella and best short story went with â€œno award.â€ To put that in perspective, in the previous 60 years of Hugo Awards, a total of 5 â€œno awardsâ€ have been given previously.
If we were to erect a monument to the spirit of our age, it wouldnâ€™t be something sublime like the Eiffel Tower, St. Peterâ€™s Basilica or the Empire State Building. No grandiose frescos would decorate it. No wondrous ostentations in gold leaf and lapis lazuli would adorn it. No clean-limbed marble statuary would guard it.
No, itâ€™d be a squat, ugly thing, like a paleolithic fertility fetish or a Morlock or typical WorldCon polyamory enthusiast. It would be sexless, androgynous and gendernonconforming all at the same time, and rendered in drab wattle and daub. Its most striking feature would be a great big mealy mouth, from which would drip liquid bromides and taurine fecal matter. Hordes of hooting crypto-humanoids in their mobility scooters would gather under this toxic shower to pray for equality and more all-you-can-eat buffets.
John Scalzi, a best-selling author of science fiction, has signed a $3.4 million, 10-year deal with the publisher Tor Books that will cover his next 13 books.
Mr. Scalziâ€™s works include a series known as the â€œOld Manâ€™s Warâ€ and the more recent â€œRedshirts,â€ a Hugo-award-winning sendup of the luckless lives of nonfeatured characters on shows like the original â€œStar Trek.â€ Three of his works are being developed for television, including â€œRedshirtsâ€ and â€œLock In,â€ a science-inflected medical thriller that evokes Michael Crichton. Mr. Scalziâ€™s hyper-caffeinated Internet presence through his blog, Whatever, has made him an online celebrity as well.
Mr. Scalzi approached Tor Books, his longtime publisher, with proposals for 10 adult novels and three young adult novels over 10 years. Some of the books will extend the popular â€œOld Manâ€™s Warâ€ series, building on an existing audience, and one will be a sequel to â€œLock In.â€ Mr. Scalzi said he hoped books like â€œLock Inâ€ could draw more readers toward science fiction, since many, he said, are still â€œgun-shyâ€ about the genre.
Patrick Nielsen Hayden, the executive editor for Tor, said the decision was an easy one. While Mr. Scalzi has never had a â€œNo. 1 best seller,â€ he said, â€œhe backlists like crazy.â€
Scalzi has alienated a significant portion of his readership with sanctimonious hoplophobic blog posts (example) and by lining up with the Social Justice Warriors in the fighting over the Hugo Awards. My guess is that his backlisting powers will be declining.