Friday, March 7, 2014

Science Fiction has come to this

I love science fiction. I can't afford to invest the time in a lot of new stories these days so I've lost touch but from reading Sarah Hoyt's blog, I've been hearing disturbing things. The march through the institutions doesn't seem to have missed the science fiction writers association. Science fiction is sick and we've even gotten to the point of major author names from my youth are being taken in for some sort of Maoist self-criticism by a bunch of pygmy no-names. But that's been going on for awhile and is dreary stuff.

Instead, I'm reading today about an interesting manifesto for something called Human Wave science fiction. It's interesting because it's subversive in the same way that John Paul II's first visit to Poland was subversive. It's an attempt to create psychological permission to write in certain ways, to care about making the reader happy, for one. It's worth a read.

This is just a small field of battle in a much larger problem. Defeated ideas are taking refuge by seizing cultural institutions and denying the intellectual victors their due by denying psychological permission for people to hold those ideas. There's an assumed air of moral high ground, that acting or thinking in certain ways is impermissible. The dysfunctional alternatives aren't even discussed. They're just all that there is left once you've made it disreputable to hold what actually works.