Libertarian SF versus Establishment SF

The science fiction stories promoted by the establishment authors, libraries, schools and lit-critics has become so dreary, smug, self-righteous and politically correct as to be unreadable, save by those seeking a political commentary, not a space princess.

If the establishment were content to kept its moist hands to itself, and write books to its taste to please its own narrow niche audience, all would be well and good.

But the nature of dreary smug self-righteousness, the very definition, is a desire to improve the lives of others by vexing and browbeating them, and then shedding crocodile tears at any sign of opposition or demand for civility, as if such demands were cruel and heartless.

Such is the absurd situation in which science fiction finds itself today. The dreary and self-righteous nags and scolds will not let us be, and scream bloody murder if we, the normal and sane science fiction fans, the one who have been here since the genre was invented, want to give the normal science fiction awards to the normal writers based on merit, not on political correctness. That is something they cannot stand.

They seek to impose a tyranny of drear. Wrongfans, beware!

To paraphrase the great George Orwell, imagine a fat lady wagging her finger in a human face…. forever!

Mr Allan Davis Jr at the Lew Rockwell site describes the upcoming boycott of Tor Books in admirable brevity and precision:

I have been a science fiction fan from day one.

I can say that, with all honesty and a straight face.  My mother loves to tell the story of how she watched an episode of Star Trek while in the hospital in labor, and asked my father to buy a television set so she could watch more.

I’ve also been a reader of science fiction for as long as I can remember, since she loaned me her copy of Dune when I was eight years old.  My tastes in science fiction have always leaned towards the “hard”–Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, Robert L. Forward, Frederik Pohl, Jerry Pournelle, to offer up a few examples.  It’s getting harder and harder to find stuff by those authors, for the unfortunate reason that many of them aren’t around anymore.

For their part, Tor Books seems content to continue to ignore this dissatisfied segment of science fiction fandom.  And, in fact, Tor employees are content to insult them.

Irene Gallo, the Creative Director at Tor Books and an Associate Publisher at, wrote

There are two extreme right-wing to neo-nazi groups, called the Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies respectively, that are calling for the end of social justice in science fiction and fantasy. They are unrepentantly racist, misogynist, and homophobic. A noisy few but they’ve been able to gather some Gamergate folks around them and elect a slate of bad-to-reprehensible works on this year’s Hugo ballot.

In Ms. Gallo’s defense, these remarks were posted on her personal Facebook page.  On the other hand, they were in a thread announcing an upcoming Tor release.

Writer Peter Grant was infuriated.

He called for a deadline of June 15th, but was convinced to extend that deadline to Friday, June 19th.  If he has not heard any acceptable response from either Tor or Macmillan by then, he will call for a general boycott of Tor.

Vox Day called for a letter writing campaign, not only to Tor, but to Macmillan, their parent company.

Since many of those emails were copied to Vox and to Peter Grant, they were definitely sent.  To date, Tor has not responded to the emails or made any acknowledgement of the situation.

L. Jagi Lamplighter requested that science fiction fans take pictures of their Tor books and email them to her, “not to shame Tor, but to help readers let Tor know they are real people.”  

I have always preferred Robert Heinlein to Marion Zimmer Bradley, Robert Forward to Samuel Delaney, and, more recently, John C. Wright to John Scalzi and “A Throne of Bones” to “Game of Thrones.”  Somehow, those preferences in science fiction and fantasy apparently make me something other than a “science fiction fan”–at least in the eyes of the current science fiction establishment.  And, in the opinion of some, they make me a pariah, a “heretic against the true church of science fiction.”

At least, now I know I’m not the only one.