March 30, 2010
For newcomers, three more items from the archives.
Escaping gas, high drama and The Great Symbolic Bench.
“The wind was so strong that the mission would have failed immediately, the bench would be blown off the iceberg in no time. Around 8 in the evening we gave up... I started to feel that my project was gaining a different, and maybe stronger, meaning... And maybe the bench was an excuse and didn’t need to be left out on the ice at all.”
James Bond is insufficiently emasculated, unlike Theo Hobson.
It seems to me that a huge part of Bond’s appeal, as a character and a franchise, is precisely the rejection of many PC assumptions and their petty, emasculating tenor. Unlike many Guardian writers, Bond isn’t prone to disabling fits of quasi-Marxist handwringing. And nor is his boss, ‘M’, played by a pleasingly firm Judy Dench - hardly a “flimsy thing who needs hard male mastery.”
On Bidisha’s Planet Diversity all science fiction will be made to conform.
The claim that the world of science fiction is inordinately populated by “homophobic white male straight writers” and “woman-hating racists” – none of whom are named - sits uneasily with the author’s admission that science fiction fandom is noted for its breadth and inclusivity and a propensity for discussing “sex, race, whatever.” Nor is it entirely consonant with her own extended list of suitably inclusive authors. Indeed, so extensive is this list, and so numerous are the writers and characters unfairly omitted from it, one might suppose the author of this article is intent on disproving her own premise.
Or poke about in the greatest hits.