The Sci-Fi Elite’s Insulting Attempt To Erase History At NYCC

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This weekend, N.K. Jemisin and Ann Leckie had a panel at New York Comic Con, one of the very few the book publishing industry can muster at these events. The topic seemed innocuous enough – “What Makes A Science Fiction Classic?” Something several friends could debate around a table, and is also something very hard to pin down, as you can almost not call something a classic while an author is still alive with very few exceptions.

It’s interesting to see the psychology of the elites as this breaks down. They truly believe they’re in a class of their own, and that’s why they had to “save” the Hugo Awards from the unwashed masses. She began with a statement: “literary commons are not open to everybody just yet” which I’d have to get a little more context for. Still, the way it’s phrased does communicate an elitist mentality that, despite their constant use of the word inclusive, is very exclusive.

This attitude ripped through the Hugos to a definition of new classics — one where men are apparently not invited for such honors any longer. It’s no wonder, given the extreme biases against men in publishing, as I exposed a month ago on this blog. It’s nebulous as to what they perceive as “quality” and interestingly as it gets explained later, it becomes more who the person is, than whether t he work is deserving or not. Just as many of her critics have been saying for years. She took about the most offensive tack with it, demeaning one of the most popular and influential works of not only the last 40 years, but in all of science fiction and perhaps all of fiction.. She did so by taking a show of hands as to “who believes Ender’s Game is a classic” — among an audience stacked for her and Leckie.

I don’t have footage of what those hands look like, but Jemisin proudly proclaims many more would have considered it a classic before recent times. It has nothing to do with how good the work is, how much it influenced a genre, it has to do with politics and how she wants to cast Mr. Card out as an apostate and unbeliever because he doesn’t share her extreme views. She goes on to say just that:  “Knowing about authors’ beliefs helps you understand how those beliefs influence their writing, and things you thought meant one thing, once you’ve got enough information about that writer, you suddenly realize mean an entirely different thing. That makes a difference. … And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.”

So because she doesn’t like Card’s politics, one of what most would call one of the greatest books ever is no longer a classic. And she’s the one to dictate that.  Because her current event, hyper-in-the-moment politics dictate he is something to be scorned?

Classics and what defines them are quite the opposite. This definition is incredibly offensive, stupid, and shows a complete lack of concern for quality of work, and what stands the test of time. Despite a massive smear campaign on Mr. Card over the last decade by the elitists, one that resulted in the original #ComicsGate of him being blackballed from writing comics (of which he did a very good job on Ultimate Iron Man — if only Marvel could have works like that anymore!), Ender’s Game rereleased with the film. It became a #1 NYT Bestseller again, forty years after its release. After Card’s politics were known. Why? Because it’s a great work. It Is a classic. NK Jemisin and Ann Leckie cannot take that away from us.

As always, it has nothing to do with quality, but everything to do with identity politics. Jemisin concluded: “the people who know full well that whiteness and maleness and straightness have meaning—the people who like that is has meaning—the people who like that its meaning is centrality and, in their mind, superiority, and who like the privilege that come with those things,” 

It’s about shutting white males out of the industry when it drills down to it. The problem . for her is– very few will ever accept her definitions of classic. Why? Because very few read the . works she promotes compared to books like Ender’s Game, which has sold millions upon millions, and will continue to do so.

Science Fiction has a huge political problem, politics of the moment, by people who hate history, hate the genre, and even hate the audience of the regular reader. They are bitter people who want everyone to suffer because they feel bad in their own culture war. But the people have had enough. This is another example of why more and more people are turning to independent fiction for their fix. We don’t need to be lectured, talked down to, or to receive these incredibly bigoted remarks from authors. We just want to enjoy a fun story.

Fun like Ender’s Game.

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43 thoughts on “The Sci-Fi Elite’s Insulting Attempt To Erase History At NYCC

  1. I keep itching to *produce* good stories and comics, but it’s hard to make the business case for it, since from what I can tell, it’s easier to make more money with a job at the local burger joint. It’s heartening to see that publishing and audiences are opening up, though.

    • Writing for Tradpub is pretty much a dead end. Most of the companies are going out of business, and they really pay their authors crap (which living in mansions and driving expensive cars).
      If you can write well, engage an audience and publish regularly, you can make more money as an indy than Tradpub will ever pay you (unless you’re one of their darlings, like Steven King).

      Yes, Tradpub is really good at glad-handing. They’re not very good however at paying their authors. As an indy, I do better, financially, than most Tradpub authors.

  2. It’s always my hope that young people because of their inherently rebellious nature will do the opposite of the SJW propaganda. Once someone reads for themselves the blacklisted authors the light will go on. Their response will be:”You lied”.

  3. Calling out someone’s bigotry doesn’t make you a bigot.

    Card is a raging homophobe. Sure, you can still try to like his work (just like you can try to like Roman Polanski movies), but if his extreme anti-gay views don’t taint your feelings about him as a writer (even just a little), you’re probably an anti-gay zealot (or closet case), too.

    Here’s a chronology of Card’s bigotry (from reporter Aja Romano):

    1990: Card argued that states should keep sodomy laws on the books in order to punish unruly gays–presumably implying that the fear of breaking the law ought to keep most gay men in the closet where they belonged.

    2004: He claimed that most homosexuals are the self-loathing victims of child abuse, who became gay “through a disturbing seduction or rape or molestation or abuse.”

    2008: In 2008, Card published his most controversial anti-gay screed yet, in the Mormon Times, where he argued that gay marriage “marks the end of democracy in America,” that homosexuality was a “tragic genetic mixup,” and that allowing courts to redefine marriage was a slippery slope towards total homosexual political rule and the classifying of anyone who disagreed as “mentally ill.”

    Card went on to advocate for, literally, a straight people’s insurrection against a pro-gay government:

    “[W]hen government is the enemy of marriage, then the people who are actually creating successful marriages have no choice but to change governments, by whatever means is made possible or necessary… Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down…”

    2009: He joined the board for anti-gay lobby The National Organization for Marriage, which was created to pass California’s notorious Proposition 8, banning gay marriage.

    2012: He supported his home state North Carolina’s constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

    This isn’t “politics.” This is pure hate.

          • You’re joking, right? I honestly can’t tell.

            She didn’t say a single thing about Mormonism. Not a single thing.

            She has an issue with ONE extremely homophobic Mormon—OSC. A man who clearly hates ALL gays and actively tries to impede their freedoms.

            Jon, your argument here is ridiculous. It would be like me saying that since you hate NK Jemisin, you must hate all black people. You owe the black community an apology!

            Maybe you should just admit that you agree with OSC’s stance on gays.

    • *pretentious sigh*

      Hey, Pete? Fuck you, you self-righteous, virtue-signaling piece of shit.

      The short version of your argument: “If you don’t agree with me, you’re probably a bigot and a bad person.”

      It’s convenient. It lets you dismiss any dissenting opinion as “bigotry”. It insulates you from having to take disagreeing viewpoints under serious consideration.

      Seriously, does that still work on people?

      Judging from the content and painfully smarmy phrasing of your posts, I’m going to go ahead and say there are plenty of things you and I disagree on. Since that is the case, and because I am the Arbiter of Morality in Public Discourse, I can only conclude that you’re a terrible, terrible person. You want people you don’t like to die. Evidence? Evidence isn’t required, because I have confirmation bias on my side. I can tell myself a story in which you’re the monster I assume you to be, and that is all that is required.

      Therefore, nothing you say has any merit, and you are henceforth dismissed out of hand. Don’t even bother typing a reply. Nobody wants to hear your excuses for your own hatred and evil. Go whine on tumblr about it.

      This is something you clearly struggle with, so let me spell it out for you: people disagree with you on things. They disagree with you on things you really, really care about, and they hold their opinions just as dearly as you hold yours. They believe the opposite of what you believe, just as hard. People who can’t deal with that fact descend into the protective bubble of assuming all dissenting opinion is the product of monsters, not real people. After all, if you had to cope with the fact that actual people believe things you don’t believe, holy shit…that blows the door open to all sorts of uncomfortable possibilities, doesn’t it?

      • Whoa! Triggered much, princess?

        Here’s the problem with OSC (writing aside): He’s a homophobic bigot who ACTIVELY worked to impede the rights of gays and lesbians. Fact. Full stop. End of story.

        Pointing that out does in no way make ME the bigot! That’s ludicrous. What a dumb, childish argument.

        I’m not trying to prevent Mormons—or OSC—from believing anything! I’m just factually pointing out that he doesn’t just have “beliefs.” He’s worked very hard to assert his beliefs on the rest of society, and THAT’s the issue.

        If you can’t understand that, then you are an idiot. Or an anti-gay bigot. Probably both.

    • I stopped reading Card because his bias began to annoy me. As a history major, it was pretty easy for me to detect it. However, Ender’s Game is indeed a classic. I read what I enjoy. I quite frankly don’t care about the politics or person involved with that as long as I enjoy the story. If it pollutes the story, that is a very different matter. So. I don’t consider your concern about his politics as apposed to his stories to be bigoted. Complain about the books? I’m good with that. Complain about his politics? That is your right, but you are still a bigot.

      • You’re ridiculous. OSC is a homophobic bigot. I’m not bigoted of anyone. Again, pointing out bigotry doesn’t make someone a bigot.

    • Actually, she did attack all Later Day Saints as nothing that OSC wrote goes against conventional LDS teachings. OSC is not some outlier with radical views, he’s as mainstream theologically as it gets. If you bother to read the articles she linked to you’d see how many times he used the words love and compassion to signify how the church feels about homosexuality. There is no hatred involved, just genuine love coming from a guy who wants to see everyone return to God. BTW, when the Salon ‘journalist’ you quote goes after a hard target I’ll accept she has some integrity. Until then she’s nothing more than a click bait farmer with poor comprehension skills and a moronic readership. You see, that’s how you insult an entire group of people.

      • You know you’re mentally unstable, right?

        OSC is just one notch more “mainstream” than the Westboro Baptist Church.

        They both “love” gay people the same way an abuser loves his wife.

        They “love” gay people so much they want to prevent their right to marry, to adopt, etc. They want to force them to adhere to their religious beliefs, which is so patenently un-American. Forcing people to “return to god” sounds an awful lot like a theocracy to me.

    • No, it did not hold up FOR YOU, as an adult. There are many many adults who continue to adore it. You are projecting, which is typical leftist SJW.

    • I’m going to strongly disagree with Ryan. I had the opportunity to read both Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead when those novels debuted, then I read both of them again about 15 years later (in my twenties) and have read them yet again — this time with the eyes of an award-winning SF/F author in his own right. And each of them remains astoundingly good.

      Mainly because Orson Scott Card knows how human beings actually work. Especially precocious children. Understanding how people truly work, is not very common among SF/F authors. Who tend to either be infatuated with technology (the knock against a lot of Hard SF) or infatuated with social causes. The human beings in both Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead are beautifully three-dimensional, with a great deal of subtlety applied to their interactions and responses. The kind of instinctive understanding of the flawed human soul, which is beyond the reach of too many SF/F authors. Yes, even the highly educated and/or ballyhooed ones.

      Now, I fully 100% appreciate someone saying, “As an adult, I found Ender’s Game wasn’t to my taste anymore.” This has happened for me with any number of books and series I adored as a teenager. But that doesn’t mean those books and series did not hold up. Not at all.

      • As a child I loved reading the Hardy Boys mysteries. As an adult? Not so much.

        They are still classics that I would recommend any child read.

        EG is still a classic. Always will be. Jemesin’s trash? Never was. Never will be.

  4. I’m aware that Ender’s Game is a classic and I’ve never read it. I aim to correct that soon. Card’s politics are irrelevant. Bite me, NK.
    BTW, opposing gay marriage (I happen to support it) does not prove “hate.” That’s one of the biggest problems with SJW’s. They think they can read minds and determine what everyone’s motivations are.

      • And you’re right, Vaughn. We can’t read OSC’s mind. If we did, I suspect we’d all be shocked at how much this “straight” guy is thinking about gay sex.

        What we CAN do, though, is come to conclusions about his actions. He has done everything in his power to make sure gays and lesbians are denied the rights that he has. He’s claimed gay people are gay because they were molested as children, contradicting every bit of data and science on sexual preference. Why? Who knows? But these are not the actions of someone who likes gay people.

        And, yes, it’s the exact same issue as interracial marriage. Hey, I don’t know WHY some people opposed interracial marriage or desegregation, but I’m sure they all loved black people, right?

        So, I’m happy to call someone a bigot when their actions show that to be the case.

        And that doesn’t make me one. I don’t hate all Mormons or conservatives, and as long as they keep their beliefs just that, we’re all good.

  5. Lol yes it does lol oh and I totally agree with everything Orson Scott Card says about homosexuals. Trigger warning lol

  6. “Knowing about authors’ beliefs helps you understand how those beliefs influence their writing, and things you thought meant one thing, once you’ve got enough information about that writer, you suddenly realize mean an entirely different thing. That makes a difference. … And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.””

    Thus I will never consider her books to be classics of anything but bigotry, regardless of the quality of the writing. Only fair, right?

    • Not really. I’d love to see how you turn yourself into a pretzel trying to show how NK is a bigot. Try it.

      OSC, on the other hand, has said plenty of truly disparaging words (which he’s backed by actions) about gays and lesbians, including this choice bit:

      “Laws against homosexual behavior should remain on the books, not to be indiscriminately enforced against anyone who happens to be caught violating them, but to be used when necessary to send a clear message that those who flagrantly violate society’s regulation of sexual behavior cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within that society.”

      What a prince. That’s true bigotry. Find something that NK has said that even comes close. Oh, that’s right. You can’t.

      You entitled dudes just can’t stand the thought of a black woman writing sci-fi, “ruining” a genre that’s been dominated by men (mostly white) for close to a hundred years.

      And if OSC is such a legend, and if Ender’s Game is a classic, then isn’t HE the elite?

  7. Here’s the thing. People are still going to be reading Ender’s Game long after Orson Scott Card is dead. In the same way the original Dune books are still being read, long after Frank Herbert’s death.

    By intention or accident, Orson Scott Card created something not one of us in ten thousand can manage: timelessness.

    I think J.K. Rowling did the same, with the Harry Potter books. J.R.R. Tolkien certainly did it with his Middle-Earth books. It’s why Tolkien’s literary and popular footprints are both far, far bigger in the 21st century, than they ever were in the 20th century.

    I suspect it may be the same with Card. Ender’s Game is just one of those books which manages to keep spontaneously capturing audiences, generation after generation. People who first read and loved Ender’s Game in the 1980s, are watching their grandchildren pick up and love Ender’s Game too.

    Meanwhile, Leckie’s top books and Jemisin’s top books are already on the deep discount shelves. The Radch bundle proudly trumpets that Leckie’s opening act in the trilogy ran the awards table. But will any of the Radch books still make the New York Times list in ten years? Ender’s Game has occasionally made the NYT times list — purely of its own accord — decades after its first printing. Do either Jemisin’s work or Leckie’s work stand a chance of being in the same league, when these academics-cum-authors in their senior years?

    The answer is: no.

    And no matter how much they — or any of their Social Justice Zealot followers —
    bash Orson Scott Card (or his politics) it won’t magically make their books timeless, in the way Ender’s Game is timeless.

    They may manage to achieve the (ig)noble distinction of having their books forced upon High School or college undergrads — as assignments — but that’s a peculiar way to achieve fame. Akin to putting your name on a brand of drill widely used in root canals.

    Doubt me? Dog-eared copies of The Great Gatsby are not pulled fondly down from cherished home library shelves. The Great Gatsby is remembered with chagrin — by every student ever forced to plod through that tedious, boring wreck of a literary “masterpiece.”

    Jemisin and Leckie are both gunning for Gatsby immortality.

    • Do either Jemisin’s work or Leckie’s work stand a chance of being in the same league, when these academics-cum-authors in their senior years?

      Brad, have you read them?

      • Yes, I have read them. As I noted above, Card — either by deliberation or chance — did something remarkable. Neither Leckie nor Jemisin have done the same. The proof will bear out over time. Thing is, now, it’s even harder to leave a lasting impression in the field. Because there are a hundred thousand would-be SF/F authors all hoping that they can be the next Orson Scott Card. Or, at least, achieve his lasting power — while actively despising his personal and political views.

        So, this puts Jemisin and Leckie both squarely in a sea of like-minded authors, almost none of whom have education or degrees in the hard sciences, but almost all of whom view SF/F as an academic tool for education and scolding.

        They may attain a long shadow via schools, but not the altogether taller, more culturally impactful shadow of someone who can entertain people — without foisting a work on an audience, as a matter of political duty.

        • Brad; I’ll agree that The Imperial Radch or Broken Earth books may not have the lasting impact that Ender’s Game has had, but like you said, the proof will bear out over time.

          With that said, I didn’t find either series to be “scolding” or focuses solely on “educating”, and I was entertained by both. I think N.K. Jemisin’s real life persona comes across “scolding” but I didn’t find that carried over into The Broken Earth (or Dreamblood for that matter) in the least. And while Ann Leckie’s pronoun gimmick (which was absolutely legitimate in the world she created) triggered a lot of people, the series itself was about as apolitical as they come (or at least as apolitical as Ender’s Game and Dune).

  8. As tnere was so much talk abkut Jemisin’s books, I thouvht, “Cool, new author to add to the thousands of books we have (seriously, thousands). OMG. This book was effusively praised and enthusiastically endorsed and recommended? THIS??

    I didn’t get 100 pages into it. The self righteous tone, the utter confusion on how to get a mental picture of the protagonist was nigh on impossible!

    I do a lot of proofreading and editing for indy authors (guys, I am available for beta reads, with recommendations!) and her writing skills were right there withsome of the first books some of the authors wrote. For that matter, they were as poorly written as some of stuff I proofread for Prepper Press.

    I want an author who entertains me, who captures my imagination and takes me somewhere else. Especially right now…I need it. And I will read just about anything…but do not beat me over the head with your message or agenda. Make it subtle and intriguing. Do it in such a way that it makes me consider and think about what you have written. Don’t virtue signal with every chapter and check off all the politically correct boxes to suit your contemporaries. And don’t attack authors you do not care for for whatever reason, when you are discussing your genre. That will turn me off to your writing and make me look at those authors you hate to see what is wrong, what horrible thing have they done that makes them authors not to be read lr discussed. To throw another nameout there, H.P. Lovecraft wrote forever ago, but hi style and subject matter are still influencers today.

    I happen to like Card and Torgerson too.

        • if you’re posting a message about your services as a proofreader, you might want to make sure it’s not riddled with mistakes.

          And if you’re a raging homophobe like OSC, you might actually be a self-loathing closet case, as actual scientific data indicates.

          And if you’re one of the alt-right lunatics posting here, enjoy wet dreaming about your Handmaid’s Tale theocracy with OSC and Mike Pence as your mommy and daddy.

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