David Thompson
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May 23, 2022

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Alice

You may score Career-Advancing Lefty Points by, for instance, invoking “whiteness” or “patriarchy,” or some other intersectional woo, or by claiming that women are paid less than men for doing exactly the same work; but a mismatch with reality seems likely to exacerbate any feelings of fraudulence.

That.

David

That.

Well, in Ms Edell’s case, it’s worth noting how vague and unsubstantiated are her claims of being oppressed and of thereby feeling fraudulent, of feeling that her “success is a result of luck rather than ability.” One might think that our Philosopher Queen, our self-styled intellectual, would be accustomed to offering evidence, even some suitably damning anecdotes. One might think that this would be felt as an obligation, even a reflex, a habit. But no. Instead, and like so much else, we’re expected to take this alleged victimhood on trust - which, given her tendency to declare things that are clearly untrue, is a big ask.

And as Ms Edell’s supposedly macho and oppressive workplace is, or was, the Clown Quarter of academia, where lefties dominate, are we to assume that this crushingly-oppressive-yet-oddly-unspecified sexism, the cause of all her insecurity and woe, is coming from other lefties?

David

That.

The nearest we get to anything substantive regarding Ms Edell’s own alleged oppression, supposedly the basis of the article, is her claim that male peers and students sometimes dare to question her dubious assertions. Say, regarding the supposed gender gap in pay. Which she assumes couldn’t possibly happen to a man making similar, equally dubious claims. And this is while admitting that she struggles to articulate these things and to sound confident. No other personal hardship is mentioned.

The rest of the article is the standard bag of dishonesties and doctrinaire question-begging – the false and endlessly debunked claim about female earnings being the opener. Apparently, we’re expected to blame men for women’s choices, regarding interests, priorities, career paths and motherhood, for instance. We’re also supposed to be outraged that demographic variations exist at all, regardless of how and why they come about. Clearly, we’re supposed to think such things unjust by definition.

And this is the standard throughout.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Regarding Miss Edell, a blast from the past...

Bridget loves that Celia’s posts strike the perfect balance between style and substance. And maybe there’s something more to be said about Millennials desire to have the whole package (be smart, dress smart).

Two swings, two misses.

Perhaps it’s the same as older generations, but where they turn to for the advice has moved onto an entirely new platform with an entirely new, diverse (and nontraditional) group of voices.

Three strikes, and she's out.

ccscientist

Claims of systemic this and that are so tiresome. If it is so bad, surely you must have examples.
The idea that any financial outcomes different from uniform are unjust is the talk of a lazy person. Sure, there are a few people with inherited wealth, but in the past 50 years almost all billionaires worldwide have gotten rich on their own. Even Trump turned a few million in family money into billions. Most millionaires in the US run a small plumbing company or fast food franchises and worked their butts off. The lawyers and doctors who are rich worked harder than these lazy people are willing to do. Because I decided med school was too much work, I do not envy doctors. I have had several tell me they wished they had chosen my career.
As to women and $: In the US, single women in their 20s in major cities make more than men the same age. There are plenty of high-pay trades completely open to women because you can start your own painting, roofing, landscaping business but women don't want those jobs.

aelfheld
Claims of systemic this and that are so tiresome.

The only thing truly 'systemic' is the utter bad faith of those employing the term.

Jack Klompus

She's a "philosopher." She thinks very deeply.

anon a mouse

She's a "philosopher

"Did you BS last week..."

ccscientist

People these days seem to think that "philosopher" means you can just talk with no regard for logic, evidence, or what previous thinkers have said. You keep using that word....

TDK

Interesting. I would say that maybe the idea of imposter syndrome is not quite right in this situation. Some other term is needed.

I think we all to some degree have, from time to time, suffered from imposter syndrome. I know that at work when I have been promoted or a particularly difficult problem arises, I wonder if I am really in the right job. It's then that I compare myself to others who seem so much more on top of their brief. It's only when you talk to each other that you realise that we all (mostly) suffer from this condition.

In contrast I've been in meetings where people talk absolute rubbish about something I do understand, yet they do it with supreme confidence, sufficient to impress others. B*ll-sh*tt*rs lik ethis will almost certainly never suffer imposter syndrome. {I was going to say, these people are called salesmen but that's a common, rather than absolute match}. Cynically, these people seem to get promoted.

Jack Klompus

"In contrast I've been in meetings where people talk absolute rubbish about something I do understand, yet they do it with supreme confidence, sufficient to impress others.

In academia all you have to do is recycle the same set of platitudes in different order, mixed with made-up words carrying about as much significance as the theology of Scientology (neo- this, cis- that...) along with a stew of connectives like "at the intersection of..."
Throw in your pronouns, another made up word indicating how you like your sex or lack thereof, and your self-diagnosed disabilities, and tenure can't be too far down the road.

Uma Thurmond's Feet

It may be that many people use imposter when they are talking about garden-variety insecurity. I see this a lot among high-earning indie authors who worry that the gravy train they're riding (which they richly earn, I might add; it's tough writing consistently appealing books in commercial fiction), would end with their next book.

Fortunately, I don't suffer from that. My sales are shit, so I know I'm incompetent.

pst314

David and company: Is "Brit" derogatory? And if so, what is preferred? And if not now, did it used to be, and how much? (I saw a comment to this effect in a discussion of the recent banning of writer Mercedes Lackey for Wrong Speech.)

David

Is “Brit” derogatory?

Um, no.

Zit-faced shitbag is, but not Brit.

pst314

Thanks, David. Interesting that the commenter I read said she and the folks she knew saw it as derogatory back when she lived there before she moved to America in 1970.

I certainly do not want to be unintentionally insulting. Only intentional insults made for lighthearted humorous effect which will be taken in the same way. Very much want to maintain the convivial atmosphere of this blog.

semi retired conservative

Rule Zit-Faced Shitbaggia, Zit-Faced Shitbaggia rules the waves !!

Steve E

Today, in the culturally bereft Great White North, we celebrate Queen Victoria's birthday. Why? Reasons. It seems only us hosers and the Scots celebrate this occasion.

In Canada, we refer to it as the May 2-4 (pronounced two-four) weekend because at one time we bought our beer in a case of 24 bottles--affectionately known as a 2-4. Only diehard drinkers and people with money to spare buy their beer this way now. The holiday seldom occurs on the actual 24th of May. Last year was the first time it had happened in many years.

Things have not always gone swimmingly on Victoria Day. For example, in 1881, the passenger ferry Victoria overturned in the Thames river in London, Ontario (the city I recently moved to) killing 182 people who were unable to swim to safety. In 1896 a bridge collapsed in Victoria, British Columbia killing streetcar passengers on their way to celebrate Victoria Day.

I, for one, am wary of any form of transportation and things bearing the name Victoria on this holiday. But a day off is a day off.

This has been a Canadian Corner moment.

Jack Klompus

"It seems only us hosers..."

TAKE OFF!

This has been a Canadian Corner moment.

Coming up next...how the Commander of our largest airbase got away with serial murder and the theft of tens of thousands of panties...

pst314

David, does the Queen avoid mirrors?

pst314

The woke eat their own.

Farnswoth M Muldoon

...how the Commander of our largest airbase got away with serial murder and the theft of tens of thousands of panties...

He is in a Canadian hoosegow, but gets to keep his pension for some odd reason - they even made a movie about him.

pst314

...how the Commander of our largest airbase got away with serial murder and the theft of tens of thousands of panties...

Presumably he got away with it by never making mean tweets and not getting "Welcome Aboard" tattooed on his penis.

Jack Klompus

they even made a movie about him

Not the first time Gary "Lumberg" Cole played a psychopathic murdering military officer. He played Jeffrey MacDonald in the made for TV movie Fatal Vision.

pst314

This book won the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards for best novel.

That is appallingly bad prose. Further evidence of the politicization of the awards.

Maynard G. Krebs

So, if I call some spotty shitbag a Brit, he's not going to be offended? But VV is a no-no... How are you on the term "Gooner"?...as in, "I hope those Gooners enjoy playing on Thursday night, because they're shite."

Steve E

This book won the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards for best novel.

From the Amazon description:

The Calculating Stars, explores the premise behind her award-winning "Lady Astronaut of Mars.

Good. Mars. Needs. Women.

David

This book won the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards for best novel.

Blimey. I’m assuming the recipient was chosen for something other than literary deftness.

John

Is “Brit” derogatory?

I believe it was originally meant to be offensive when widely used by Irish republicans in the 1970s. This backfired rather badly when many, particularly younger, British people enthusiastically appropriated it.

Historically it’s been quite hard to insult British people as we generally don’t rise to the bait (which really winds them up), However this may be changing as the recent influx of “new Brits” includes many whose forbearance of any perceived slander is sadly lacking.

pst314

Mars. Needs. Women Angry Feminists.

pst314

Blimey. I’m assuming the recipient was chosen for something other than literary deftness.

As I understand it, the book is a sort of science-fictional Hidden Figures--so prose quality doesn't matter, only relentless promulgation of racial and sexual politics.

Captain Nemo

I have spent the last fifteen minutes or so laughing maniacally at this:

https://twitter.com/BidenLs/status/1528822530185764866

I feel like a supervillain.

Daniel Ream

I caused quite a stir at work by alleging that in a technical field there was no such thing as impostor syndrome - there is by definition a right and wrong way to do it, and if you don't know the right way and how to evaluate your work against it you're incompetent rather than an impostor. Boy, did that agitate the front-end developers.

The woke eat their own.

I read all the extant Valdemar books in my twenties. My recollection was that they were fairy tales for bookish thirteen-year-old girls. The first book is very much an allegory for the aforementioned bookish thirteen-year-old girl running away from home and discovering SFcon culture. All of the much vaunted First Gay Characters in SF were the typical happy fluffy bunny types (basically moon-eyed thirteen-year-old girls in men's bodies). They're popular, but so are the Sweet Valley High novellas.

I do wonder how important the con circuit is any more to F/SF authors; my impression is that with the fandom having gone both mainstream and digital it's probably become irrelevant.

pst314

Cross-dressing men in lingerie at children's "Night at the Museum" event.

pst314

the woke eat their own

In the latest installment of this shameful episode, the SFWA which banned Mercedes Lackey for saying "colored" tweeted a tasteless joke making reference to the comfort women of WWII: "Comfort elves" are available free of charge for conference members.

I have a fairly live-and-let-live attitude towards humor, but the bullies at SFWA deserve no forbearance whatsoever.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

"Teacher" has a gender euphoria moment.

pst314

The disease festers: "He's a good boy. He didn't do nuffin."

Farnsworth M Muldoon

The progressive retail restaurant experience, Part 7893.

WTP

and not getting "Welcome Aboard" tattooed on his penis.

Nah, mahn. Dem say, “Welcome to Canada and have a nice Moose Head”.

pst314

Sure it's not "Welcome ladies, enjoy the ride, and watch your step while coming aboard"?

Chester Draws

It may be that many people use imposter when they are talking about garden-variety insecurity.

I agree.

I caused quite a stir at work by alleging that in a technical field there was no such thing as impostor syndrome - there is by definition a right and wrong way to do it, and if you don't know the right way and how to evaluate your work against it you're incompetent rather than an impostor.

Most of us don't work in technical fields though.

Imposter Syndrome is a major issue in teaching. It causes good teachers, or potential teachers, to freak out and lose the plot. I know I have suffered it several times, when changing schools, teaching new courses etc, taking on new resposibilities.

But Imposter Syndrome should be a brief thing. If it doesn't fade, then it would seem that you are either fundamentally incompetent or insecure.

pst314

have a nice Moose Head

How did that song go?

"Moose, moose, I like a moose.
I've never had anything quite like a moose..."

WTP

I read all the extant Valdemar books in my twenties. My recollection was that they were fairy tales for bookish thirteen-year-old girls.

Umm…I have questions. Am I the only one with questions?

WTP

I've never had anything quite like a moose..."

I must confess, I really used to enjoy Moose Head. But my doctor made me give it up. He refused to treat the antler burns on my thighs.

Thought I would just get that out of the way so I can get a good night’s sleep. On the road again tomorrow.

WTP

Imposter Syndrome is a major issue in teaching. It causes good teachers, or potential teachers, to freak out and lose the plot.

Rabbit hole there a couple of directions but as something of an aside…I never felt true “imposter syndrome” but there were so many things that I thought were bad ideas that were the Rules Of The Day. Caution, geek speak… Top-down development was what I was taught in school. I would write code “inside-out” as I called it. Modules to do specific functions. I would hide my designs as much as I could, of course back then code reviews were a joke…kinda still are. Just a few years later, object-oriented development was a thing.

I wasted considerable credibility arguing against waterfall-style development. Things needed to be sketched out first, assumptions proved, and façades or similar to allow for tool replacement if/when possible (though I’m not convinced myself on this latter bit). Spiral development I called it. Bah…I didn’t understand that REAL engineering gets all the requirements 100% correct up front thus there is no need to revisit code. Say what you will about Fragile but waterfall is (hopefully?) dead.

I could say similar things about investment and finance but I’m a big ignoramous there as well. Stupidly trying to tell people their $240K home bought three years earlier was not truly worth $420K in 2007. Or at least it wouldn’t be some time shortly after 2007.

Darleen

They just don't give up.

A new curriculum released by Pollyanna, Inc., diversity consultant to over 60 high-priced elite K-12 schools, preaches that “all texts grapple with race, either explicitly or implicitly,” that “health can be experienced at every size,” and tasks students with planning protests in math class.

JuliaM

Darleen: "...preaches that “all texts grapple with race..."

Not really, they mostly surrender abjectly.

Daniel Ream

Umm…I have questions. Am I the only one with questions?

They were held up to me as a shining example of fantasy written by and for women. I didn't find the comparison flattering.

David

As Mr Francis notes in the piece:

Maybe all this concern about imposter syndrome is just caused by those with a political agenda grasping at straws to claim their favourite groups are oppressed in insidious ways. But with substantial affirmative action for women and ethnic minorities, I wouldn’t really be surprised if many had got into prestigious positions with a sense of being an imposter. Any intelligent black person at an Ivy League must wonder whether their admittance had something to do with their race.

Given the prevalence of racial favouritism in admissions policies, and given the desperation to find even remotely qualified applicants, with all the inadequacy and barrel-scraping that entails, the rise of ‘imposter syndrome’ is hardly surprising. Not only will there be doubts as to competence for the reason quoted above, which can be rather unfair to the capable, but there will also be plenty of actual and obvious incompetence - people invited into an environment for which they have neither the temperament nor cognitive wherewithal. Many of whom will drop out of courses beyond their abilities and find consolation, of a sort, in Angry Studies activism.

Heather Mac Donald has been documenting this for decades.

As Amy Wax put it not too long ago,

On the one hand, all good people are for affirmative action. That’s a sign of virtue. On the other hand, to talk about the predicate, the reason that affirmative action is needed, which is that there are these gaps in educational achievement and proficiency, is verboten. So, we kind of twisted ourselves in knots that we have to embrace something but deny the factual underpinning of it.

And so, to a very large extent, the feelings of mismatch and fraudulence, of being an imposter, and any consequent alienation and resentment, and crippling debt, are caused by the very people who claim to be fixing things.

Zionist Overlord #73

Mars. Needs. Women.

Ah, but what is a Woman? If only we could know!

Then, of course, Earth Women could save Mars by identifying as Martian Women, and save all the bother of space travel, which is expensive, and can muss up your hair.

pst314

They were held up to me as a shining example of fantasy written by and for women. I didn't find the comparison flattering.

And yet you say that you read all of them. And according to Wikipedia there are dozens. [ Riffles memory for old jokes. ]

pst314

On the one hand, all good people are for affirmative action...On the other hand, to talk about the predicate, the reason that affirmative action is needed, which is that there are these gaps in educational achievement and proficiency, is verboten.

I've been arguing with liberals about "affirmative action" ever since my twenties. It seemed obvious to me that lowering standards only led to failure, but the liberals I argued that those affirmative action candidates would catch up with the rest. The AA students would learn the remedial material needed to do the basic entry level course work and go on to succeed in any major, including math and chemistry and physics. The AA employees would also catch up and become just as productive as the qualified hires. I would say to the liberals that there was too much catching up to do, and that there was no evidence that the AA candidates could catch up. But it was a matter of religious faith for the liberals: The AA candidates would catch up because their faith demanded that this be true. No evidence could shake this faith, no facts, no logical reasoning.

Is there anything in this world more immoral than a leftie?

pst314

“all texts grapple with race, either explicitly or implicitly,”

Implicitly present in all the texts: "How much must the material be dumbed down to enable the affirmative action students to pass the tests?"

pst314

Thought I would just get that out of the way so I can get a good night’s sleep. On the road again tomorrow.

If there's a stepladder in the trunk of your car then we'll know you haven't really given it up and are still dreaming of Mister Goodmoose. 😄

Directrix Gazer

“all texts grapple with race, either explicitly or implicitly,”

How about Euclid's Elements? I'd like to see them try and demonstrate that. Actually, on second thought, I wouldn't.

pst314

How about Euclid's Elements?

Those dirty whitey-white Greeks stole all their philosophy from the Egyptians--who were black, donchaknow.

ccscientist

I know lots of US legal immigrants. They are aware that they have disadvantages: no family connections, thick accent, cultural differences (which means you miss jokes and social cues), difficulty with English, starting with no $. Their response is to work their butts off and stay out of trouble. They focus their kids on school. Instead of rioting and shoplifting. I know, it is crazy, who would have thought that would work?

ccscientist

Imposter syndrome: valid confidence comes from mastery. We can call this "self-esteem". Like the cargo-cultists that they are, the woke have been busy for 40 yrs giving out confidence and self-esteem without the underlying competence or mastery of anything. Participation tropies. Getting rid of valedictorians. "you go girl" Grade inflation. Because we don't want the darlings to feel bad about themselves. Gang-bangers are full of confidence. But at some level the lack of actual competence seeps through the forcefield and the result is imposter syndrome.

Nikw211

While faults can be found*, that is a great article and not only because, with the exception of the Hanania tweet, no one else seems to have asked the question.

That alone makes it worth reading.

That and the sly humour in this carefully placed paragraph:

    An analogy to this whole situation would be defining obesity as people who are substantially overweight, despite eating less than 2,500 calories a day. You can’t simply define an illness to exclude causes you do not want to think about.

There's no way the author isn't aware of this kind of thing.

*I'm not unaware of the irony.

David

There’s no way the author isn’t aware of this kind of thing.

From the linked Guardian article, this supposed Gotcha! moment:

…those people will now have to fess up that really they’re doing it [dieting, exercise] because they think being fat looks gross. They’ll have to address their prejudices against certain body types, and how they feel about being someone who has one of those bodies. That’s an honesty that I, for one, would appreciate.

I don’t think Ms Rutter, our fat activist, is being entirely honest.

David

no one else seems to have asked the question.

As with so much of the woke blather we cover here, it’s not that the rebuttals that come to mind are arcane or require some esoteric knowledge. It’s usually quite the opposite. What’s remarkable is just how often, and how strenuously, the obvious is avoided by those doing the blathering.

ccscientist

Fat is healthy: for a while you can get away with it. By 55 you can't climb stairs, your knees hurt, you have high blood pressure and diabetes. If that is your definition of "healthy" then go for it, I don't care.

Jack Klompus

The disease festers: "He's a good boy. He didn't do nuffin."

The author of the article has a degree in "rhetoric" from Berkeley. She misspelled "rhethoric" (sic) on her LinkedIn page.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

If that is your definition of "healthy" then go for it, I don't care.

Related, and a new category beyond infinifat, "...for those who wish to embrace their morbidness."

Meanwhile in the world where everyone must have a pride flag, the "asexuals" break out some new ones including "Lithosexual" which either means you are attracted to rocks or like getting them off, and "Autosexuals" AKA wankers.

Darleen

argued that those affirmative action candidates would catch up with the rest.

High drop-out and dismal graduation rates would argue otherwise.

ccscientist

The affirmative action premise is that 1) getting into college or a job is just arbitrary and there are no real requirements, just racism and 2) if admit minorities, we have done our good deed and no further questions are allowed.
I am sure these people also want to hire a competent lawyer, doctor, pilot, tax attorney, and plumber, but consistency has never been their strong suit.

pst314

High drop-out and dismal graduation rates would argue otherwise.

The activists continue to not care about this--which shows that they do not actually care about human beings.

pst314

The affirmative action premise is that 1) getting into college or a job is just arbitrary and there are no real requirements, just racism...

One can find that attitude in many areas of life. Criminology is one. And I have mentioned here before the immigrants who think that American public health laws are merely a racist conspiracy to keep the brown man down.

Daniel Ream

And yet you say that you read all of them

There were...twenty or so at the time? They're pretty thin. I was blowing through one and a half a day or so, they're not deep texts. As I said, they'd be fine as a tween fantasy series. I just found the number of women in their thirties raving about the books to be a bit incongruous.

pst314

There were...twenty or so at the time? They're pretty thin. I was blowing through one and a half a day or so

Sounds sort of like the old Tom Swift books.

Not that it matters: I just saw an opportunity for a joke.

I just found the number of women in their thirties raving about the books to be a bit incongruous.

There are men and women who remain stuck on kid's fiction. I've known more than a few.

As a matter of fact, I've never read any of Mercedes Lackey's books. Everything I saw on the book covers and everything I heard from her fans led me to think I would not enjoy them.

pst314

As I said, they'd be fine as a tween fantasy series.

Speaking of which, I still have some of the paperbacks I bought when I was a pre-teen. Funny, because there is virtually no chance that I'll want to re-read James Blish's short story adaptations of Star Trek episodes.

LW

Funny, because there is virtually no chance that I'll want to re-read James Blish's short story adaptations of Star Trek episodes.

We were not allowed to watch television when I was child, so my first exposure to Star Trek was reading my uncle's collection of James Blish's adaptations.

When I finally saw some of the episodes as an adult, I was sorely disappointed.

Daniel Ream

Sounds sort of like the old Tom Swift books

That's a good analogy. Something you might casually enjoy as an adult, in a kind of nostalgia way, but if one were to hold them up as Works of Great SF that would be stretching it a bit and earn one some sidelong glances.

I've never read any of Mercedes Lackey's books

The Valdemar series has some potentially good ideas in there, like the basic trope that problems are solved without resorting to the Howard-esque method of stabbing it in the face. The notion of a kind of non-violent knighthood acting as a fantasy civil service seemed like it could have gone somewhere. But the notions are executed by the author simply deciding by fiat that nobody in the world ever resorts to violence and everyone always listens to the eminently reasonable Queen's Cavaliers. Which is what relegates the books to the children's section.

By comparison, the Sector General novels by James White, a pacifist, do cracking good space opera medical drama without any stabbery. I've often thought those would make a good TV series, although I expect the lack of stabbery would make it an impossible sell.

pst314

We were not allowed to watch television when I was child

My parents did not get a TV until I was about 10 years old. They strongly believed in the superiority of "read a book", "go outside", and "listen to local classical and university radio stations".

When I finally saw some of the episodes as an adult, I was sorely disappointed.

I was about 11 years old when Star Trek ran, which was about the ideal age for falling in love with it. And yet it was wildly popular with college students. I would walk by the university student union on my way home from grade school, and would see a room crammed with students watching Star Trek.

When I finally saw some of the episodes as an adult, I was sorely disappointed.

James Blish was a good writer. Good storyteller and thoughtful too. I have a few of his novels in my library.

pst314

That's a good analogy. Something you might casually enjoy as an adult, in a kind of nostalgia way...

Now and then I track down a book I enjoyed as a child, and am usually disappointed--sometimes very much so. Perhaps the most psychologically revealing thing is seeing that passages which made a big impression on me as a child turn out on re-reading to be very short, even things mentioned in passing. I think there's a clue there regarding how kids see things.

...but if one were to hold them up as Works of Great SF that would be stretching it a bit and earn one some sidelong glances.

I believe there are a few people I know casually who still have large Tom Swift collections. I'd like to think that these are all books left over from their childhoods, except that they have sometimes talked at length about them--and even about the original Tom Swift Sr series. ;-)

pst314

The Valdemar series has some potentially good ideas in there, like the basic trope that problems are solved without resorting to the Howard-esque method of stabbing it in the face. The notion of a kind of non-violent knighthood acting as a fantasy civil service seemed like it could have gone somewhere. But the notions are executed by the author simply deciding by fiat that nobody in the world ever resorts to violence and everyone always listens to the eminently reasonable Queen's Cavaliers. Which is what relegates the books to the children's section.

I think you have given me some insight into the people who, as adults, are so passionately fond of her books. There is a lot of that childish thinking on the left. A lot.

pst314

By comparison, the Sector General novels by James White, a pacifist, do cracking good space opera medical drama without any stabbery. I've often thought those would make a good TV series, although I expect the lack of stabbery would make it an impossible sell.

Yes, very good mention.

James White did write some novels which had their share of violence, but it was always depicted as horrible. See, for instance, The Dream Millennium and All Judgement Fled.

pst314

I just found the number of women in their thirties raving about the books to be a bit incongruous.

Have I ever mentioned witnessing Isaac Asimov mobbed by something like 100 women, all screaming like sixties girls at a Beatles concert? It was a strangely disturbing sight.

Daniel Ream

There is a lot of that childish thinking on the left. A lot.

A group of very progressive gamers created an RPG setting book based unofficially on Valdemar while dialing up the wokery to ludicrous heights, and a reviewer commented that because they'd made it magically impossible for anyone in the setting to act against, or even disagree with the benevolent pacifist authority, what they'd created was in fact a Brave New World style dystopia that would be horrifying to anyone living in it.

You will have a nice day, citizen.

Squires

There are men and women who remain stuck on kid's fiction.

Leave The Tripods alone!

...problems are solved without resorting to the Howard-esque method of stabbing it in the face.

[Narrows eyes, fondles poignard.]

JuliaM

In today's 'Guardian', a secondary school teacher in London writes:

"Unless you’ve experienced it, it’s hard to put into words how it feels to meet yourself in a book for the first time. The first time I did, I was an A-level student faced with Othello, whose contested “Moorish” background was the closest to my north African heritage I’d ever encountered on the page. And who did I meet? A man whose violence was likened to a wild beast and whose race rendered him a savage, a danger to white women."

Err....

pst314

Leave The Tripods alone!

:-D Written by John Christopher, one of the more talented science fiction writers of the 20th century. The Hobbit was written for children, but it was so well written that an adult can enjoy it. Some day I may get around to the Tripods.

pst314

But the notions are executed by the author simply deciding by fiat that nobody in the world ever resorts to violence and everyone always listens to the eminently reasonable Queen's Cavaliers. Which is what relegates the books to the children's section.

As to why Mercedes Lackey would write so many books built on an impossible and childish idea: Yesterday I ran across a social media post from her husband bemoaning her mistreatment by SFWA, in which he said that among her personal difficulties are dyslexia and chronic depression. And so we return, once again, to the observation that badly broken people are attracted to "woke" ideology. (Apologies: Five minutes search in my browser history did not locate the thread in which her husband commented. If I find it later I will update here.)

asiaseen

among her personal difficulties are dyslexia and chronic depression

Dyslexia has to be a good start for an author. Thank god for competent text editors.

pst314

Dyslexia has to be a good start for an author. Thank god for competent text editors.

Many decades ago, I read a comment by Samuel R Delany saying that he was extremely dyslexic and crediting his editors for putting his manuscripts into usable shape.

pst314

among her personal difficulties are dyslexia and chronic depression...

Found it: "Misty is dyslexic, depressive, has panic attacks, chronic pain, poor eyesight, & crippling anxiety."

It's terribly sad that she is being treated this way, but I cannot forget that she is "just another" woke person being turned when it became useful to do so. (Not sure about what she has said for or against the various woke crusades/jihads, so I'll remain silent unless/until I find reminders of what little I've read.)

pst314

By "into usable shape" I meant "as-is they were essentially unreadable". At least that's the impression I retain from 40 years ago.

Daniel Ream

it was so well written that an adult can enjoy it

A few years back I dove into children's fantasy fiction, because the Harry Potter phenomenon meant publishers were printing anything in the slush pile in the hopes of finding another hit, and because children's fantasy tends not to be straitjacketed into one of the Standard Fantasy Models[1]. I've been pleasantly surprised to find quite a lot of very well written children's fantasy, which I've passed on to friends with young children; and occasionally a Hobbit-esque work that may ostensibly be for children but is so well written as to be universal. D.M. Cornish's Foundling trilogy, Joseph Delaney's Wardstone Chronicles, and surprisingly The Hunger Games. Collins confirmed in an interview something I had long suspected, which is that The Hunger Games did not start out as a children's/YA fantasy, but was retooled into one because that's what publishers were buying.


[1] Broadly, "The Author's College D&D campaign", "Tolkien Ripoff", "Whatever-is-currently-selling-well Ripoff", "Porn"

Daniel Ream

"Misty is dyslexic, depressive, has panic attacks, chronic pain, poor eyesight, & crippling anxiety."

Those are symptoms, not conditions. There's something else going on.

But yes, I can see how someone with those disorders would want to create a stress- and conflict-free fantasy world to hide in.

pst314

Those are symptoms, not conditions. There's something else going on.

Expect me to make more errors of terminology in the future.

But yes, I can see how someone with those disorders would want to create a stress- and conflict-free fantasy world to hide in.

Understandable and very sad. But very harmful when people mistake the fantasy for reality and start making unreasonable demands upon us.

pst314

I've been pleasantly surprised to find quite a lot of very well written children's fantasy...

Now I'm wondering if I'd still enjoy the Edgar Rice Burroughs stories that I read when I was about 10 or 11 years old.

Daniel Ream

Expect me to make more errors of terminology in the future

Oh, I didn't mean to correct you, just pointing out that these are indicators of a deeper problem that's either going unaddressed or going unremarked. If the opening of the first Valdemar novel is at all autobiographical I suspect Ms. Lackey had a very unhappy childhood.

Now I'm wondering if I'd still enjoy the Edgar Rice Burroughs stories

I find them dreadfully dry and slow-moving, but that was the norm for the time.

pst314

Oh, I didn't mean to correct you

But feel free to do so! Please! I know that is an area where my knowledge is not deep, and I also know that I am sometimes careless in my choice of words. This is a forum where the folks are all generally quite congenial (unlike others I could name where every disagreement or question becomes an exchange of insults) and it is a pleasure to learn more about things.

I find them dreadfully dry and slow-moving, but that was the norm for the time.

I'll just have to give them a try and find out. ("I'm not a pulp fiction reader. I just heard that pulp is really bad and wanted to find out for myself.")

pst314

Update on the banning of Mercedes Lackey: Not only are she and her husband lifelong leftists, it seems that she is on record as approving of cancel culture because in her eyes conservatives deserve it.

Mercedes may have been drawn to leftism because of her mental illnesses, but I find it hard to feel sorry for her.

And farther down that thread, someone wrote:
"Getting a little tired of people saying how ‘nice’ and ‘polite’ Lackey is. That just means she was fine letting the thugs do the dirty work..."
Yes, this. Humanities departments are full of two-faced weasels, by the way: Nice to your face but willing to destroy you or allow others to destroy you.

aelfheld
Many decades ago, I read a comment by Samuel R Delany saying that he was extremely dyslexic and crediting his editors for putting his manuscripts into usable shape.

A biography of Gerald Durrell, read some years ago, stated his spelling was so atrocious his first wife had to largely rewrite his manuscripts. His inability to spell was attributed by the biographer to his rather eccentric education. In these hypochondriacal times it would likely be put down to dyslexia.

pst314

A biography of Gerald Durrell...

Never heard of him. Sounds interesting. Will have to check the library for his books. Once again, a thank you to a patron of this fine establishment.

Steve E

Never heard of him.

Must not be a fan of Masterpiece Theatre. The Durrells in Corfu. A romanticized view perhaps, but taken from Gerald Durrells' memoirs.

pst314

I've only watched Masterpiece Theater occasionally. I have already bookmarked The Durrells in Corfu to borrow soon--as well as the books they are based on.

Romanticized view? Not surprising, that seems to be the usual practice: romanticization and invention of drama and comedy to liven things up. I've noticed, for instance, how the BBC's "All Creatures Great and Small" differs from the books.

ComputerLabRat

Not surprising, that seems to be the usual practice: romanticization and invention of drama and comedy to liven things up. I've noticed, for instance, how the BBC's "All Creatures Great and Small" differs from the books.

I just finished that series of books in audio format, and from what I understand even the books themselves are a mix of autobiography, romanticization, and dramatization of real events. They make for a cracking good story though - swerve right from laugh out loud to there's dust in my eye from one chapter to the next.

pst314

I just finished that series of books in audio format...They make for a cracking good story...

I changed my mind: I'm going to jumpstart the process by downloading the free Kindle samples.

Again, I greatly appreciate seeing recommendations here. Even from purveyors of Dubious Bar Snacks. 😁

Daniel Ream

I've noticed, for instance, how the BBC's "All Creatures Great and Small" differs from the books.

Now do Sex and the City.

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