Feb. 17th, 2014

fengi: (Mr. Oswald)
Imagine a 1994 novel which included the article linked here and this description of an attempt to make people not red the article, plus this list of quotes from a discussion about a literary association newsletter in the 21st century.

Would it have been considered implausible SF due to how small and nasty it was (rabid fights over an in house journal seems positively Victorian)? Would such a skeptical reaction be due to genre narrative expectations of more action and higher stakes? Or because it's both difficult and disturbing to speculate about how petty bullshit and reactionary thinking evolves along with everything else?

Or would it have been a hit? Reviews reading "an absurdist masterpiece in which vast technological advances serve tantrums by the well off at those who fail to respect their betters, all while the world convulses with climate disasters and market manipulated starvation"?

Imagine if the Nueromancer series been about the minutae of various people sitting around typing furiously in response like a character like Truesdale, with nary a mirrorshade leather goddess in sights save on fap worthy posters? If cyberpunk had been about a future of d-bags Hunter Moore and Vox Day harassing others or humiliating themselves on a system built to function on poor impulse control and predatory urges, all while frat boy techbros aspire to corporate nation states using the worst of business motivational nonsense. Showing how the still somewhat romantic grim meathook future is preceded by the ennui laden death by rentier future. Might the fanboy class from horny mondo 3000 poseurs to Makerspace bourgeois fantasists be slightly less willing pawns in such?

But that is a cranky digression. Who could have predicted a discussion with such gems as this:
The problem is that the “vocal minority” of insects who make up the new generation of writers don’t scramble for the shadows when outside lights shines on them—they bare their pincers and go for the jugular. Maybe it is a good thing that SFWA keeps them locked up. The newer members who Scalzi et al. brought in are an embarrassment to the genre.
There's a great title for a lit movement anthology, Tales From The Insect Generation. As some of the alleged vermin are well past 40, this particular generation isn't about age, but who is clinging to the status quo.