Thursday, January 11, 2007

Jaw-Dropping Drivel

Via Nick Mamatas, an astonishingly stupid take on Jim Baen's publishing career:

BAEN BOOKS OFFERED AN ANTIDOTE to leftism generally in science fiction. It helped rescue science-fiction publishing from the leftist, nihilistic "New Wave" science fiction that had arisen in the 1960s and was concerned, in parallel with postmodernism and deconstructionism in other literature and art, with denigrating Western traditions and values. The "New Wave" was never really popular (New Worlds, the major New Wave magazine in Britain, was bailed out by public money after the buyers and readers stayed away in droves), but it might well have had the purely negative achievement of driving traditional science-fiction writers out of publishing. Baen Books gave -- and still gives -- a voice to stories of traditional Western values like honor, patriotism, chivalry, duty and military valor.

This is stupid in so many ways I'm not even sure where to begin. (Mamatas' post is a good start.) I guess it comes down to:

Yes, Jim Baen published a bunch of military SF, and a lot of Campbellian Engineer-saves-the-Human-Race SF (and a lot of which is quite good). But some of that military SF is written by writers like Lois McMaster Bujold and C.J. Cherryh, who hardly fit this guy's notion of a Real Science Fiction Writer, them having two X chromosomes and all. And for crying out loud, Baen published stuff by Marion Zimmer Bradley -- she of Mists of Avalon fame (or in some circles, infamy). (Note that Baen didn't publish The Mists of Avalon; Del Rey did.)

I don't know why I'm bothering to mock someone who writes for the American Spectator, in any case. Other than, well, it's fun.

1 comment:

Edward Ott said...

u have to remember that even if he was as bad as all that, he made money for somebody so they are going to say nice things about him.