The Insular and the Morlock

More on the same topic, from one Max Florschutz, a writer whose thoughts mirror mine:

I remember years ago, when I was still in high-school, I used to buy a yearly collection of “best of” science fiction and fantasy stories. And I really looked forward to it … right up until I didn’t. Year by year, my interest waned. Not because I stopped reading or enjoying science-fiction or fantasy, but because a lot of the stories included in the “best of” collection simply stopped being stories that I wanted to read. They started to become soapboxes. Character and plot dropped away to secondary importance (if appearing at all) in lieu of social commentary. So I stopped reading.

Now, do I take issue with them being called “best of” stories? Well, yes, because they’d sort of stopped being stories. Now, I’ll be honest, I don’t have any issue with someone else liking them and reading them. You want to read thinly-veiled soapboxing, be my guest. I’m just not interested.

I grew up reading The Lord of the RingsAngelmassStar Wars. Terry Prachett. Terry Brooks. R.A. Salvatore. More books than I could ever count unless I’d started at day one. I enjoy reading fantasy. I enjoy reading science fiction. And now, I enjoy writing them.

But to be told that I’m “not a real science-fiction/fantasy fan” because I don’t hold the same social views? I think if anything, that alone tells me that the SP campaign is on the right track with its boost to the Hugo awards. Because if the people who’ve been ruling the roost there for the last few years are saying stuff like this, then the Hugos were on the edge of being pretty irrelevant … at least to anyone deemed “not a real fan.”

Which seems to be just about everyone.

My comment:

The logic of what Mr Florschutz delicately calls the Insular Group and what I more archly call The Morlocks is stark in its sheer hypocrisy when pin to an autopsy table for examination:

According to their own statements, one’s opinions about matters touching current political economics, current religion, and the current issues of the current day determine who truly is and who truly is not a science fiction fan; what does not count is that person’s familiarity, interest, ease with and love of scientific romances, futurism, wild adventure stories set beneath the hurtling moons of Mars, wild speculations both scientific and metaphysical, the egg of the Roc, Storisende and Poictesme, Holmes saying, “The game’s afoot!”; Prestor John, and Excalibur held by a moon-white arm out of a silent lake; Ulysses and Tros of Samothrace, the pale lotus that grows upward forever in a land of endless golden afternoon. We don’t count.

In other words, those obsessed with the insufferably dreary nonsense of the current day (such as whether applauding rather than jazz hands are allowed in the femininist utopia), that is, the very thing we science fiction people climb into books to escape, are the Morlockian definition of a true science fiction fan.

But we whose eyes are on a far horizon, seeing peak on mysterious peak of things to come rising in unspeakable splendor to the infinite future, we who are unconcerned with the next general election or the latest fad agitating the halfeducated, we are somehow not true fans.

They define the slans as muggles, and define the muggles as slans. It is Orwellian, if I may refer to the one science fiction book I most wished had not come true.