Thursday, June 23, 2005

Did Dozois destroy sci-fi?

Don't have anything new to report, so I thought I just repost most of something I wriote for a particulary stupid thread on the Asimov's discussion board:

The protagonist in my Asimov's tale is a redneck who doesn't even speak proper English and has rather benighted social views.

I think Gardner picked out the best stories that crossed his desk over the years - but a lot the trendy stuff in the years the Cyber-galoots were loose was WAMSA bashing and sexually deviant. OK, Cyberpunk is dead. Even Gardner has said so. GET OVER IT!

There's no reason that Gardner needed to use his position to foist YOUR views on the science fiction reading public. He doesn't even foist his OWN views on the public.

If you want to influence the genre, get your stories published. If you're really good, you might become an editor. Obviously, you can't.

The shocking thing to me on this thread is that - well, I knew Bromfield was a no talent - but I thought Joe Schembrie was a talented writer.

I am really, really disappointed at what you've said here, Joe. You've turned this forum into a plaque of ruins.

I chatted with Fred Pohl at the Campbell Conference at the University of Kansas last summner (Fred and me, we both have stories in next month's Asimov's. We're like this *imagine gesture of putting two fingers together* Are those your teeth I hear grinding Jon?).

Anyway, Fred make a very good observation, in relation to whether science fiction can predict the future. He said, more importantly than predicting the future, science fiction can imagine the future. You can direct and influence society's development by giving them a vision and road map of what lies ahead. It may be dystopian and cautionary, or it might be utopian and visionary.

I think Robert Heinlein did such a fantastic job of envisioning a future of space flight for us that we perhaps got ahead of ourselves and made the moon landing too soon. It may take us a number of years until regular space flight and subsequent colonization becomes common place.

SO if you've got a gripe, stop baying at the moon. Write the stories and write them so well that your images and ideas will drive themselves into the collective consciousness of society and influence its future development.

One man with the genius of God is a majority. Stop pointing fingers and whining about slush piles and gatekeepers and elites. Man's nature hasn't changed in thousands of years. Only his tools. The tools are out there. If you have the skills, use the tools. Don't blame the tools or accuse the man who sold them to you of some scam.

Bromfield has consistently shown he's an obnoxious no talent. I have no idea now what to think about you, Joe. I DO know that rather than bitch and piss and moan about rejections, I try to find time every night to write a little bit and keep plugging away, like Fred said, and provide a vision for the future.

And you know what. I have this funny positive feeling it's going to work.

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Slush Pile Mambo

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