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Over at the LA Times, David Weigel suffers through a year of right-wing science fiction novels.

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  1. Science fiction goes political

    Asimov, Bradbury, Heinlein…Hannity?

    Conservatives seem determined to turn every once-intelligent medium into a mediocre, cheezy, un-enlightened crap.

  2. Oh, Weigal, you must of drunk more of that dimocratic juce.

  3. Wow, the subtlety of these works amazes me.

    I’ll stick to Stephenson, Brin and Wright, TYVM…

  4. Sorry, Dave, no prize for this one.

    Science Fiction has always been political from H.G. Wells’ “The Time Machine” right through to the works of L. Neil Smith (which are curiously absent from the bookstores near me.)

    Some of it is good (“1984”) and some of it is bad (“The Dispossessed”). The bad stuff usually spends more time on the ‘big issue’ than on the story.

  5. Aresen-His objection was not that the novels are political, but that they are silly.

  6. I wonder why it is that in these fantasies, “Hollywood liberals” want Americans to convert to Islam. Under what logic does it follow that people who don’t adhere to “Traditional Christian morality” would want to live in a strict theocracy where their actions and opinions would get them killed?

  7. The good news is that none of these books, dispite copious advertising in SF magazines, is really making much of a dent in the SF market, at least no more so than the Gor novels or the latest Eragon book. This is SF designed for non-SF readers, mostly of the alarmist stripe.

  8. 95% of everything is crap…

  9. If you want true, sincere right wing SF, just read Analog.

  10. The Right Wing of Darkness?

  11. I’ve spent almost a year reading as much sci-fi as possible, but fortunately have not stumbled across any of the crap Mr. Weigel mentions in that article. Much of what I’ve read seems to be left-libertarian (and very enjoyable), and frankly the idea of “conservative science fiction” scares me to death.

  12. I disagree with Weigel that this stuff is a ‘coping mechanism.’ It’s base-rallying at its most cynical and really underscores the whole problem with a base-rallying mentality.

    You really gotta worry about whatever base is gonna be stupid enough to be ‘rallied’ by this garbage in the first place.

  13. actually “Bob” is me, madpad. Sorry.

  14. …frankly the idea of “conservative science fiction” scares me to death…

    With ya, jf. “Conservative science fiction” now tops my list of oxymorons.

  15. So, if these folks (Hannity, Scott Card, etc) are pushing for a war against liberals in paper, do you think their dreaming of a war in real life? Do you think their at home saying “Just whats it going to take before we have to purge these people?”

    Or do you think this is just cynical moneymaking?

  16. ugh, two awful uses of their, for they’re. Pre-caffeinated, I am.

  17. Or do you think this is just cynical moneymaking?

    Hard to say. Probably a mix of the two.

    As for “do you think their dreaming of a war in real life?”, yeah, I think so.

    Some of these folks are some real bellicose pricks – as is evidenced by their war themes and their willingness to adopt the current tactic of demonizing faceless straw-men called ‘liberals’…

    …as if being a liberal were a unifying ideal in which all liberals are atheistic, Christian-hating, anti-capitalist, anti-military, enviro-whacko terrorist-apeasers who hang on every word that comes out of Barbara Striesand’s mouth.

    I’ve met at least as many liberal Christian, ex-military entrepreneurs as I’ve met agnostic conservatives.

    I understand Hannity’s motivation…he makes a lot of money off this crap. But Card is a serious writer with a reputation for insightful work. That he would fall for the ‘liberal’s are evil’ crap is truly sad.

  18. So, if these folks (Hannity, Scott Card, etc) are pushing for a war against liberals in paper, do you think their dreaming of a war in real life? Do you think their at home saying “Just whats it going to take before we have to purge these people?”

    Maybe, but I have to think back to reading Analog and such growing up. It was “right-wing” in the individualist sense, but during the 80s and into the 90s, there was a lot of angst about the actual right end of the spectrum, with a lot of portrayals of the US being taken over by overt theocrats or militarists. These people often had to be opposed by protagonists.

    Political-tinged SF (as opposed to SF based on political ideas) is often about fear and resentment and fantasizing about those Slimy Bastards Who Disagree With Us just stopping the charade and becoming Openly Evil Monsters Who Are Trying to Hurt Us. You see this from every political vantage.

  19. Hmmm…good point, Eric.

    Here’s where I get nauseous.

    A lot of (good) Sci Fi pays homage to individuality, freedom of choice, respect for others and was among some of the first literature to point out that the way you did something was at least as important as what you did.

    Wars and cultural issues are no strangers to science fiction. Some of the best, thought-provoking science fiction paints current ideas and issues in broad strokes and uses unusual characters and situations to explore the themes.

    By contrast, these wankers are limply projecting current gripes into a pretty unrealistic near future and screaming “This is where we’re headed…do YOU want THAT?”.

    It’s anti-thetical to what much of the best Sci-Fi has long been known for in that it (like a lot of conservative, cheez-ball silliness) pretends to be though-provoking while being anything but. It’s somatized, brain-stem-candy for idiots who aren’t critical thinkers and have little appreciation for quality.

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