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Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Oh, John Ringo and Your Silly Fantasies About People (or, I Now Like Redshirts)

In relation to this year's Hugo Awards, I am two things:
  1. An unabashed crazy leftish pinko liberal hippy gerfferrmerrfle (whatever that is)
  2. On the record for having disliked John Scalzi's Hugo Award-winning Redshirts (truthfully, I hated it)
But #2 is over with now.  I still don't think Redshirts is a good book, and perhaps some of my disappointment comes from the fact that some of his other work has blown me away in terms of quality; this one just didn't have the strength of the others.  But, as I said, I'm done hating it now.  Why?

Because John Ringo said this craziness:
There's nothing wrong with Scalzi's writing. This is a reasonably good novel (from what I've heard) with no real SF or literary merit beyond being a reasonably good novel. But he's been speaking truth to power about the degradation of women in SF along with other idiocracy and so he's beloved by all the hasbeen liberal neurotics who control the Hugo voting and balloting. Look to many more in the future as long as he toes the Party line. Huzzah.
Umm, what?

So let me get this straight.  Worldcon 2013 is just so jam-packed with liberals who have no standards that anything Scalzi writes will automatically win or get nominated because he says things we like to hear?  Logical fallacy says what?

First, how does Ringo account for all those other novels Scalzi wrote which didn't win or get nominated for a Hugo Award.  Was he just not liberal enough those years?  Did the secret conservative cabal take over that year?  Do you have to get in a pissing match with a sexist troll to earn the respect of the imaginary establishment liberals before winning an award?  He does realize that liberals don't Google-snoop every author to intentionally avoid nominating or voting for a novel they like, right?  Maybe there's a secret Google-snooping room somewhere...

Second, how do you account for all the folks who didn't vote for Scalzi's novel?  Are we all conservatives or closet conservatives?  Are we secretly objectivist monkey overlords from Nerpton 7, hell bent on rigging a relatively small literary award in favor of people who don't like seeing women treated like turdfactories?  Oh, I know!  In the Ringoverse, uh...conservatives were secretly denied voting rights and so they couldn't vote on the books and now they live in a camp somewhere (we'll call it Fartabulous Camp) where they eat oatmeal and watch re-runs of Charlton Heston movies.  No?  That's not it?  Damn.  And here I was getting my hopes up...Drat.

I won't deny that there are a lot of liberals in the SF/F world, but let's stop pretending for the time being that it's all puppies and flowers for us libbies, or that all it takes to get in our metaphorical pants is a bit of political pandering.  I agree with almost everything Scalzi says on a political level, but I didn't actually pick Redshirts because I didn't like it.  His politics didn't come into it.  I know a lot of folks of the liberal persuasion who did not vote for Scalzi's novel, whether on the nomination or the final ballot.  Shockingly, they were able to decide for themselves that they didn't like it (or they didn't read it).  Free will is a bitch.

So, with that being said, I would like to thank John Ringo for making me a fan of Redshirts.  It seems all it takes to convert us is for folks like Ringo to say demonstrably nonsensical things.  We should hire him to convince all our children to eat their vegetables...

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  1. My favorite is that he argues that Scalzi won because he's a liberal but that he will end up losing because sci-fi fans are mostly conservative...HOWDIDHEWININTHEFIRSTPLACETHEN?!

    1. To clarify, he believes that Scalzi's primary audience are military/combat SF readers, who he thinks are overwhelmingly conservative. And while that may be true (I don't know and don't really care), it clearly has nothing to do with Scalzi's sales, nor do I see any reason to believe that Scalzi's primary audience are, by definition of him writing military/combat SF, conservatives. That's preposterous, and he has to be aware of that.

      The whole argument is googooloony.