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March 7, 2014 - 11:00 am
Hi, this is Sarah, and I’m tired.
So, lately I’m looking over all the “controversies” over who gets to be recognized as writing science fiction and who gets not to be, and how the cool kids club in SF/F needs to be restricted to people who are genetically diverse, endowed with vagina or in other ways part of the “victim club.” Then there’s the whole thing with “stealing victimhood.” Unless you’re a member of a mean girls approved victimhood class or you spend your entire life beating your chest, you’re not allowed to write about anyone who is from a different genetic/orientation/handicap class than you. That’s stealing victimhood. I’m so used to this that I didn’t even blink at the article in Salon ragging on white belly dancers.
Note the arrow of victimhood goes only one way. I’m completely able to write a white male because, since he’s supposed to be an oppressor, I can’t steal his “victimhood.” No, not even if I write about a white male who’s been beaten from birth, and who never had anything. Because… he’s supposed to have white male privilege, which I suppose is a magical attribute that keeps him warm and dry and fed.
In case this is not obvious I’m tired. I’m tired of people importing Marxist privilege and victimhood classes into their heads without a whit of thought. I’m tired of their trying to justify their casual racism.
Casual racism? Yes, what else do you think the entire confusion of culture with race is? My kids, (half Portuguese) were repeatedly put in ESL classes taught in Spanish, leading to my descending on the school in escalating rages, until I got in the secretary’s face and said “Why are you teaching my children in the language of their ancient enemies?” This they got. This stopped it. And this is extreme nonsense. My kids are American. They speak English as their first language. They belong to the curious Geek subculture. They’re American. But in the mind of people for whom race equals culture, it made sense they’d hate Spaniards, because their ancestors fought them. (And traded with them. And mated with them, because nearby countries do. But I couldn’t say that, because then they’d put the kids back in Spanish.)
What is this belief that people’s characteristics are determined by their ancestors’ genes and nothing else, but casual racism? Every supermarket shopper (I wish I were joking) who chided me for not teaching my kids “their language” believed that language is somehow genetically inherited, never mind that this goes against the evidence of the entire history of mankind. (No? Are you speaking Caldean? Or whatever proto language Og the caveman spoke?)
Worse, note that it is enough to be part-blood of one of the oppressed, downtrodden or just unfashionable (well, once upon a time, Portuguese and Spanish did divide the world between them) ethnicities to be of that ethnicity and to be unable to speak English as your native language. Because, you know, we little brown people (well, give me a month at the beach and I am. I consider the lack of a month at the beach a violation of my basic human rights) can never possibly speak the language of the “oppressors” who must therefore be obviously superior.
In the same way, the article at Slate drips with “leave them belly dancing, because, I mean, that’s all they have.”
And when I’m tired, I do revert to type. There is a tendency to put my hands on either side of my hips and speak frankly. Only I’ve done that, and the insanity continues.
So, I say undermine them. Take their victimhood away and flush it in a river of good fiction that doesn’t care what color you are, or what language your ancestors spoke: a flood of good storytelling that doesn’t care about anything but telling a convincing story that makes internal sense and that people want to read.
Years ago, tired of all the books in which humans are the villains, western culture is the villain, white males are the villains, males are the villains, and no woman, gay or person of color can possibly do any wrong, I wrote a post about a new kind of literature, “Human Wave.” The reason I called it that was an answer to the “New Wave” which, back in the seventies tried to be revolutionary and challenging and ended up devolving into the political correctness we see today.
The requirements of Human Wave writing are: It should be human positive. This doesn’t mean other races can’t be awesome, or that we can’t have bad endings, just spare us the pseudo-profound “humans are a cancer upon the Earth.” You know you don’t really believe it. If you did, you’d have offed yourself before writing it.
So enough with the pseudo-enlightened chest-beating. I’m not the only one who is tired of it. Judging by the way the print runs have dropped in the last forty years, most people are.
If you’re a human wave writer, you can be any color, gender or orientation. So can your heroes. So can your villains. We don’t care. All we care is that you’re readable, and that you’re not beating up on humans or pushing Marxist victimhood classes down our throats.
And the people who insist you need to be this tan to get into the club? Their culture is dead and walking. They just don’t know it yet.
Remember, tell all your writer friends to send the AUTHOR, TITLE, a SHORT BLURB, and an AMAZON LINK AMAZON LINK AMAZON LINK to firstname.lastname@example.org to be plugged here on PJ Media.
Deadlines are flexible, but in general the deadline for Friday is Tuesday the preceding week. So, for example, the deadline for March 7 was February 22.
That said, last week was a really big one, so some books are being put off until next week. Hey, we said the deadlines are flexible.
It really helps if you don’t bother with HTML magic at all, because we just have to parse it apart to put it into the template. The ideal submission is like
TITLE My Book
AUTHOR My name as it’s on the book cover.
AMAZON LINK http://www.amazon.com/My-Book-By-Me/dp/B00ABCDEFG/
BLURB no more than about 100 words.
Great Ward is now crumbling, after 3,000 years of peace,. Two unstoppable enemies prepare to invade…and blue frog magic is almost gone.
Now comes the death of a very uncommon acolyte, revealing centuries of secrets when the wizard Vorin investigates why she died…reopening an ageless war between himself and the ever-grasping Order she joined.
If he fails, his magic will be gone forever and East Thumb Peninsula will be lost. If he wins, an entire society must change.
Ally of Eldisle, sword-thegn and sometime mage, bears twin burdens: a complicated heritage, and a penchant for finding herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Faced with false accusations of treason and murder, she flees to foreign lands, finding enemies all around, friends in unexpected places, and wonders undreamed-of. While struggling to keep an ancient treasure out of unfriendly hands, she is forced to reconcile her preconceptions about the wider world and its myriad inhabitants with her own origins – and to come to terms with the meaning of a bloodline lost in the depths of antiquity, created by ancestors both inhuman and unknown, and with the awful powers they have bequeathed her.
A collection of essays on all things geek – technology, Star Trek, Doctor Who, Dungeons and Dragons, and more!
From the introduction:
A few years ago, this open geekness would have been shunned, and I would have been subject to random wedgies from strangers as I walked down the street. Well, no more. Now, geek is chic. Shows like The Big Bang Theory has allowed people like me to let our “geek flags fly” with pride, and all of a sudden we are the cool kids… mostly.
The geek have inherited the earth.
“Everyone thinks they know what happened in the Trojan War and afterwards, but no one ever bothered to ask me.” –Helen of Troy
At 65, the famous Helen of Troy finds herself in a new role, that of having no title, husband or things to do as she faces exile on the island of Rhodes. Her hoarded wealth, fabulous stories of the past, and a newly acquired servant/scribe named Pythia , should allow Helen to establish her own legacy, but there are some who won’t be courted.
Helen begins to ply her legendary charm, wit and capacity to create beauty and spectacle in her new home to win the hearts of the people with great effect. But Helen rarely recognizes that as she ascends, others might resent her casual winning over of everyone. Queen Polyoxo has granted sanctuary to her childhood friend for reasons other than friendship, leaving Pythia caught in the wake of two very powerful women with very different means of conveying and maintaining authority.
Can Helen with all her treasures and stories and charisma win over everyone? Or will the need for revenge, threaten the life of the most beautiful woman in the world and those who serve her?
Does romance have a future? It’s the year 2165, and one man thinks so… As a pager, Peter Mandrin’s job is to track things down – criminals, shipments, missing transports, anything that turns a profit – and he’s just sacked the catch of a lifetime, infamous embezzler Roger Finlay. As a reward Mandrin wins Finlay’s vintage 1960’s four bedroom, ranch-style house, complete with sports court and old-fashioned swimming pool, on the most expensive planet in the universe, Earth. From low-life pager, he’s hit the sweet, sweet big-time. In Pager two hundred years have passed and a hostile, canyon-like divide has developed between men and women. Marriage is an arcane word, mutual suspicion abounds, and Wallys (artificial life) fill in the emotional void. Up to now, it’s just been Peter and his insouciant, sexy Wally, Debris, the replicant woman of his dreams. That is, until he meets the real woman who lives next door, the mysterious Wendy Roseland. In Wendy, Peter discovers that the human touch and passions it arouses are greater than anything he imagined. Unlike Debris, it’s Wendy imperfections that beguile him the most. In her arms, he suddenly feels the ticking clock of his own mortality — and it frightens him. He wants to be with her forever. When Wendy suddenly flees the planet, Peter does what he does best: tracks down the truth behind her disappearance.
“The characters, dialogue and action are mature enough to satisfy readers at the older end of the YA range, and the author weaves them all into an attention-sustaining tale…the milieu is markedly original…first rate world-building.”
Two millennia ago She thundered into the skies of Arisa: Suwraith, a demon bent on Humanity’s extinction.
Into this world is born Rukh Shektan, a peerless young warrior from a Caste of warriors, devoted to the sanctity of his home and his way of life. He is well-versed in the keen language of swords but all his courage and skills may not save him. A challenge comes, one that threatens all he once thought true and puts at risk all he holds dear. And it will enter his life in the form of one of Humanity’s greatest enemies – and perhaps its greatest allies.
Worse, he will learn of Suwraith’s plans. The Sorrow Bringer has dread intentions for his home. The city of Ashoka is to be razed and her people slaughtered.
Jennifer Goodwyn, a Cornell University graduate student, inadvertently returns home to sleepy Ithaca, N.Y. from an archaeological dig at the Cenacle—the purported site of the Last Supper—with an ancient bone box. The ossuary is found to contain several pieces of early first century stoneware, and a mysterious, tiny scroll. When the Aramaic glyphs on the slip of crumbling papyrus are translated, they identify the humble dinner setting as the one used by a rabblerousing Nazarene rabbi at his Seder meal, on the evening he’d been arrested by the Romans.
One ill-considered impulse—asking a local parish priest to say Mass with the cup—sweeps Jennifer away to churches, cathedrals, sports stadiums, and to a powerful Cardinal’s basilica to celebrate Mass with the vessel and to exhibit it before ever-growing crowds of believers.
But soon, all hell breaks loose. While the State Department is aggressively seeking its return to Israel, a nationwide political movement starts rising up around the relic. And Jennifer soon discovers that the storied artifact is causing sickness and even death among those who remain too long in its presence.
In an effort to stem the political mayhem and insure the safety of the faithful, Jennifer hits the road, trying to stay one step ahead of the feds until she can find a way to quell the growing public chaos unleashed by the revelations of The Cenacle Scroll.
Wildlife biologist Jackie Bannon may have found just the job to jump-start her stalled career. A potential client with seemingly bottomless pockets and plans for an unorthodox business venture has invited her to his private Caribbean island to discuss her coming on board.
At first glance, the place seems a textbook tropical paradise: glistening white sand beaches, lush highland forests, every inch teeming with exotic flowers and wildlife. But a closer look reveals widespread abnormal behavior among the native animal species; behavior that Jackie recognizes as deeply problematic.
Despite her misgivings, she wasn’t about to turn down a high-paying job on a luxurious private island, especially one that could remake her career, and she relished the independence she would be allowed. But with that independence would come responsibility, and she could already see that there was much more to this island than meets the eye…
Big Boys Don’t Cry is a novella from military science fiction author Tom Kratman, known for A Desert Called Peace. The story concerns the life cycle of a Ratha, a sentient future supertank that dutifully fights Man’s battles on dozens of alien worlds. But how long will an intelligent war machine with enough firepower to flatten a city be content to remain Man’s obedient slave?
The wind blows from the sea to the mountains, bringing snow and rain in season, creating a paradise so enchanting that the first inhabitants named it ‘Eden’. This year Eden was invaded and sacked. The books were burned, and fanatics hunted and killed the few who still studied the old knowledge of magic.
In the ancient, haunted city of Selzburg, a new power is rising. A local guild has uncovered a book revealing the secrets of black magic, long lost and nearly forgotten.
Kail, a young magician from Eden hopes to ally with these new sorcerers, though he mistrusts the source of their power. His plans go awry when a princess is abducted and circumstantial evidence points to him as the perpetrator. Now a wanted man, Kail still hopes to turn the sorcerers from enemies into allies.
With the help of an abusive girlfriend, a street boy named Rat and a possibly possessed horse, he has to save the princess, clear his name and gain the sorcerers’ aid against their common enemy.