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John Scalzi's "The Orthodox Church of Heinlein"

If you’re an aficionado of passive-aggressive fannish xenophobia, in which the frothing distrust of people who aren’t just like you is couched in language designed to give the appearance of being reasonable until you squint at it closely, then you’re not going to want to miss this piece by Baen publisher Toni Weisskopf.

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comment(s); comment here or there.

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Looks like you're missing a slash from your italics tag. Scalzi's essay is good 8-).

Scalzi's a smart guy who often says reasonable things, but if you're an aficionado of passive-aggressive behavior, you could just stay on that post and watch him helpfully offer not to give Big Idea slots to Baen authors any more.

That struck me, too.

Not sure that counts as passive-aggressive exactly. More like "You know damned well what's under this velvet glove I just happen to have put on this morning."

Well, it's passive-aggressive in construction, if not in affect.

Well, he has to hold the Mallet of Loving Correction in _something_.

--Dave, splinters, you know

Exactly. I will believe him if he is willing to confront wingers in person if they show up on his blog. He gave Stevar a platform a bit too often for my taste to be too trustworthy.

To be fair, he generally is up for confrontation.

I am generally not a huge Scalzi fan but I wish to loudly applaud his fourth point, which articulates my own feelings on the subject of RAH quite well.

I tried to read the piece under discussion earlier today. It read like a memo from an especially pompous bureaucratic administration.

I used to have an account of Baen’s Bar years back. I was kicked out for failing to maintain a proper level of respect for anti-muslim/anti-gay/anti-liberal rants, and for ultimately for asking that Americans remember that there were more than just American troops in Iraq at the time.

That should suggest what my opinion is of who is excluding who. And I am disheartened to see Ms. Weisskopf has yet to learn that Baen’s Bar is not her PR Department.

You got kicked out? Kudos. I left because it sucked more than a barrel of ticks.

This seems a bit odd:

Just as they should read Wollenstonecraft, Verne, Wells, Asimov, Bradbury, Clarke, Russ and Tiptree.

Presuming he means "Wollstonecraft," and presuming he's referring to the author of Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus rather than, say, her mother, this is an unusual way to designate her.

Most people refer to her as Mary Shelley. Her maiden name is Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin. Her middle name is Wollstonecraft.

Is this just a hiccup encountered in the white heat of blogging? Or does Scalzi have a reason, not apparent to me, to designate MWGS that way?

I suppose because most people use "Shelley" to designate her husband the poet, and "Mary Shelley" when they're referring to her. Given the construction of the sentence as a list of last names, perhaps he wanted to avoid confusion. I don't think it's a coincidence that this list begins and ends with women.

Meh, she wrote it before they married and tended to use her mother's name FWIU. But then, the argument you should read her mother's work as well isn't a bad one (I have a copy, but it's on the pile of to-read stuff that's a bit bigger than it ought to be).

I await the inevitable doubling-down with a full bowl of popcorn.

And oh dear me: as Brad DeLong says, "worse than you imagine even after taking account of the fact that it is worse than you imagine."

Scalzi's encapsulation did not seem to be an fair or accurate summary of what Toni said, which was the sanest thing I've ever seen on Hoyt's site. (Low bar there, I know.)

Yeah, I read Toni's post as more "We were a small group which could basically know each other and had a lot of shared points that we KNEW everyone would have read even if we didn't all like them, and now it's fragmented. One group and impulse says 'well, screw those other wierdos, we've got our fandom here and we don't need them!', but I don't agree; I think that regardless of whether I understand or even like this new fandom or groups of fandom that is emerging, it's vital that we DO interact with them and somehow come to a connection, because that very conflict between us is part of what keeps us a living fandom."

Maybe I'm wrong, but that's what I got out of her post.

I actually got similar, except it was "I think that regardless of whether I understand or even like this new sack of weirdos that is emerging—snd I DON'T, because they're fuggheads!!!—it's vital that we DO interact with them and somehow sell them your books, because that very conflict between us is keeping me from meeting my sales goals. Fucking weirdos."

I don't understand the point of engaging with people who view Heinlein as an exemplar of what SF should be. They're the equivalent of people who think Harold Robbins deserves a Nobel Prize for Literature, or that Adam Sander's been robbed by the Academy -- we should point at them and laugh and don't invite them to any parties.

Because you're missing a clause - it's "an exemplar of what SF should be as compared to what else was being published at the time" Compared to the rest of the dreck coming out in those days, he really was a beacon of quality - the problem is all the dreck has been forgotten and he doesn't look quite so shiny compared to what's come out since.

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