AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
Addendum, 2-17-2021, 4:45 a.m. mountain time: Just an update from File 770 (still not a fan but it is an information source) on the whole Baen Bar fiasco. Of course, from that perspective, all conservatives are evil, but while 770 is also heavily biased, we must make certain that our own behavior and attitudes doesn’t support violence. No one is going to (I hope) cancel us because we believe in smaller government, the freedom to worship as we wish, free speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment, and eating actual beef hamburgers in opposition to the dictates of Bill Gates.
Original content starts here: Oh, good grief. Here we go again. I can just hear it. “All people even slightly to the right of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are Trump, Hitler, and Satan combined.”
What do I mean?
Well first off, a little personal background.
When I started reading science fiction in the 1960s and 70s, it was well before we had any idea of an “internet” much less “social media.” Today, we can investigate pretty much anyone’s past, at least up to a point. And not just individuals, but organizations as well. Thus we can make some sort of determination if we want to be associated with people and groups with a particular “reputation” before we partake of any of their “wares.”
Image of the cover of Orson Scott Card’s book “How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy”
On the heels of my blog posts Looks Like the 2020 Hugo Awards Once Again Sucked, Loving and Fearing SF/F Fandom, and the currently highly popular Is SciFi Author/Editor Robert Silverberg Really Racist and Sexist (or has the internet once again lost its mind)?, a library book I just finished and am about to return caught my attention.
Written by Orson Scott Card (Ender’s Game, Speaker for the Dead) the small book How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy was my choice to re-read in the hopes of dragging myself out of my current writing slump.
Published in 2001, all of the advice about how to publish, market, and, of course, win awards (Card won two Hugos, a Nebula, a Lotus, and in 1978, the John W. Campbell [now renamed Astounding] Award for Best New Writer) are outdated and useless.
But his lessons on how to write remain pretty much timeless, especially when you are actually learning the craft rather than trying to promote a social position, attitude, or bias (I say that knowing that all stories contain the biases of their authors, but lately, it’s gotten so much more obvious and even blatant).
Graphic depicting nuclear fallout – image credit unknown
Several days ago, I posted a link to my essay Concealment: Should I Have Used a Pen Name? in a private writers group on Facebook. The admin always holds links in mediation prior to approval. Usually the process takes a few minutes to an hour, but after a day went by, I figured I’d gone too far and he wasn’t going to approve it.
However, 24 hours later it appeared. Either he was too busy to approve of it prior to that time (doubtful, since he’d been active in the group all along), or he was pondering whether or not to approve it, maybe even consulting others.
Well, it was approved, and discussion in the group was pretty interesting and generally positive. That is, until this one, offered by an admin of another writers group to which I do not belong (and I don’t plan on asking to join):