Ramblings from the Desert

The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. ~Benjamin Franklin

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Location: New Mexico

Author of the urban fantasy novel, The Music of Chaos, and the paranormal romance, The Canvas Thief.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Science Fiction VS. Fantasy

Ah, so it's the same tired old argument, this time from one of the gods of SF--i.e., pompous twit with delusions of eloquence.

I know, not terribly interesting to most of you out there. But the gist is this. Greg Benford, Fancy Pants SF writer thinks all fantasy is crap and the herald of the decline of western civilization; science fiction is the only fiction worth reading because it edifies...something, yadda, yadda, yadda. Sounds a lot like a literary author...Bleh.

Scott_Lynch, (via Stephanie Shaver) takes Fancy Pants's argument apart nicely, but what caught my eye was this statement [about fantasy readers].

Of course, part of this is that these are people who never worked on a farm.

My husband comes from a long line of ranchers. He grew up "country," on a horse, gathering cattle, etc. And he spent summers working on farms, picking all manner of produce.

And he's a fantasy reader. Avid.

I determined that I wasn’t going to do an ordinary manual-laborer job, because I found it boring, plus other detriments.
Really? So labor-intensive work is for stooopid people? Somebody should tell the folks from "This Old House," skilled craftsman all. And some people--me--find that labor-intensive work gives us time to think. And there is something far more satisfying about working with your hands, creating something tangible, rather than the world of virtual info where most of us work.

They have no idea what life was like even a few centuries ago—almost entirely grunt labor. So they think lords and kings are swell, romantic.

Ever heard of George R. R. Martin, Senior Asshat? His portrayals of nobility are far short of "noble."

Science in this country is headed downhill, but not because of what people are reading. Although one could argue that dry-as-milquetoast-SF doesn't exactly encourage new readers, the state of science in this country is the result of a dreadful educational system, not J.K. Rowlings or George R. R. Martin.

I'm rather surprised Fancy Pants didn't mention the dreaded "R" word---Romance--which outsells pretty much all genres. He missed a golden oppportunity to make some sort of misogynist comments about how "girls" were screwing up fiction for everyone.

(Now kiddies, the above is a lesson. When you don't take a day to chill out, you post ranty-rants like the above.)

Feeling...sorely vexed.


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