wombat_socho (wombat_socho) wrote,

  • Mood:
  • Music:

Food for thought

Michael Williamson has an excellent post about military SF in response to Andrew Liptak, who seems to be yearning for the bad old days of Gernsback-era scientifiction.

Williamson is absolutely right. Since John W. Campbell took over Astounding back in the 1930s, science fiction has been a genre whose stories revolve around characters, not just Big Ideas and Big Gizmos. Writers who write like Clausewitz (who is damned difficult to read, BTW) are never going to make it out of the slush pile because they are all about the Big Idea of grand strategy. Yes, Orson Scott Card wrote about grand strategy in Ender's Game, but he didn't go on for 700 pages in a Germanic pedantic way about it; he told us the story of an alienated little boy trained for battle in zero-gee. And the same is true of Joe Haldeman, Robert Heinlein, John Scalzi, Gordon Dickson, David Drake, and all the rest of the great combat SF writers. They're all writing about people, and can't be arsed to write detailed treatises on military technology, tactics and strategy, because that sort of thing turns off a lot of the potential audience by taking time away from the characters.

Shit, I understand this and I've never had a syllable of SF published. What the hell is wrong with Andrew Liptak that he doesn't?
Tags: the bush of fandom

  • now I am 61

    Looking back over this past year, I sometimes think that God was concerned that my humility score wasn't high enough, because the events of the last…

  • What's it like up here?

    So, having been here for about a month, what are the pros & cons? Well, despite the elevation (6030 feet above sea level) I seem to be sleeping…

  • some observations on the cost of living

    So having been to the Raley's and the Family Dollar a couple of times...man, was I spoiled in Las Vegas. Especially by the availability of Walmart,…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.