From a Colleague

Mr Charles Stross holds forth on the recent controversy concerning the Hugo nominations:

The indented remarks are his, and the italics is his quote of Castalia House’s public statement of purpose:

Castalia House was (per wikipedia) founded by Theodore Beale (aka Vox Day) in early 2014 in Kouvola, Finland. As their website explains:

Castalia House is a Finland-based publisher that has a great appreciation for the golden age of science fiction and fantasy literature. The books that we publish honor the traditions and intellectual authenticity exemplified by writers such as J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Robert E. Howard, G.K. Chesterton, and Hermann Hesse. We are consciously providing an alternative to readers who increasingly feel alienated from the nihilistic, dogmatic science fiction and fantasy being published today. We seek nothing less than a Campbellian revolution in genre literature.

Total culture wars, very gamergate, much fail, wow. But the screaming question I feel the need to ask, is: why Finland? Could there be a connection between the white supremacist Perussuomalaiset (Finns Party), the overtly racist Sweden Democrats, the Dark Enlightenment/neoreactionary movement, and Vox Day’s peculiarly toxic sect of Christian Dominionist theology?

Later, in the comments, Mr Stross remarks:

The shout-out to “Campbellian” in the Castalia House bumph is telling — John W. Campbell was an obnoxious racist (consider that Heinlein wrote “Fifth Column” to an outline drafted by Campbell and toned down the racist/eliminationist invective against the Yellow Peril!), as well as a crank and a reactionary who thought teh wimmins’ place was in the kitchen. Says it all, really.


Jim Butcher certainly deserves to be on the Hugo shortlist.


Later, Mr Stross adds:

I am really really glad I’m not on the shortlist this year, as it means I don’t have to rub shoulders with John C. Wright (the best description of whom that I’ve heard, being: “He’s sort of like Gene Wolfe, with an involuntary lobotomy”).

My comment: I think it sad that Mr Stross has decided, not for the first time, to insult me publicly, when I have never said a harsh word against him, nor treated him with anything but respect, nor am I likely to change that policy.

I suspect it is a difference between our worldviews.

He regards the mere fact that I am a Christian as a threat against all he holds dear, and so to belittle me is the reasonable thing to do.

I regard nothing in the mortal world as a threat against me, and to treat my fellows with contempt is not merely unnecessary in my world, and unwise, it is unlawful, forbidden by the deepest law of all.

A man who forgives easily lives easily.