Space Ramblings

Tag Archives: Mike Resnick

And Many Fucks Were Given…


Perusing the responses to Bikinifail, one word keeps cropping up.

S.L. Huang (who? he has a novel coming out someday” has the following message. “Dear Mike Resnick, Barry Malzberg, and the SFWA for Giving You a Platform: Fuck You.”

Rachel Acks, of Shut Up and Write (she should take her own advice) has a creatively similar message. “Dear Barry Malzberg and Mike Resnick: Fuck you. Signed, Rachael Acks.”

Mary Robinette Kowal, puppeteer and SF author (keep your day job), says “Dear Twelve Rabid Weasels of SFWA, please shut the fuck up.”

Nobody ever said aspiring censors were very good debaters. They can get all the way from, “How dare you say that” to “Fuck you for saying it” and “Fuck anyone who doesn’t support putting them in front of a firing squad for saying it” in 60 seconds or less.

But while the fucks are on the table, let’s pass some of them around for the Bikinifailers rageballing away because no one reads them and because real life isn’t anything like Evergreen College.

Fuck the millennial writers who spend all their time “building a brand” by blogging and when that doesn’t work, going on social justice crusades to knock off established writers instead of learning to actually write.

Fuck the privileged brats who don’t want to put in the years at the keyboard, and instead decided that the way to get ahead is to terrorize editors and better writers for the privilege of a diversity publishing slot and the next ten years on panels on “Minority Trans Women in Science Fiction” at Wiscon.

Fuck the circle jerk bloggers who have one book in the works and two hundred posts talking about how hard writing is to each other and every microaggression that won’t let them sit down and finish Space Goblins of the Magic Kingdom instead of a twenty page post on the time someone was mean to them in second grade.

Fuck the next useless waste of bandwidth who begins her post by whining about all the old people with their backward ways who dominate Science Fiction and how they haven’t gotten with it. Those old people can write, you can’t. If you could, you wouldn’t be bitching about them.

Fuck the pathetic post-preschoolers with their trigger warnings and their “How Dare You’s” for inflicting their need for a narrow system of rules on everyone else to make them feel like they’re back at Evergreen College.

Fuck the entitled people who walk out of a Steampunk convention into a field that has everyone from Fascists to Communists to Anarchists in it with no sense of its history or its camaraderie and begin making demands.

Fuck the LiveJournal trolls who aren’t in this for the stars or the magic, but thought that it was a natural transition from wearing goth makeup and hanging around Hot Topic and think that Joss Whedon is the greatest Science Fiction writer who ever lived.

Fuck the messed up people who live from outrage to outrage dumping their personal issues on everyone else and stirring up politically correct fights because therapy isn’t working and the medication is bringing them down.

And finally fuck the fact that we have to keep having this conversation because of a community of professional trolls who don’t grasp the fact that they are not entitled to control other people’s speech, their participation in Science Fiction, their appearance at conventions, their ability to publish books and exist on this planet.

That is all the fucks I will give.

Bikinifail: OMG Mike Resnick and Barry Malzberg are Sexist You Guys


I try to pay as little attention to the SFWA as possible on the theory that if I ignore it, it will go away. The same goes for the Nebulas, the Hugos, the backbiting pro blogs and the shrieking banshees of organized fandom who made something that used to be strange and wonderful into a humorless and joyless cancer that makes the pros look like amateurs and the amateurs sound like the Red Guard.

I have as much appetite for watching the Maoists and Randians fight it out over the SFWA Twitter feed as I do for moving to a real life version of Rapture, but every now and then enough of this crap shows up on my feed as the same blogs close ranks, declare an OUTRAGE in progress and links to each other’s denunciations of the Thoughtcrime establishing consensus and demanding an immediate penalty.

If they offenders try to defend themselves or excuse their offense, which consists entirely of offending some very entitled people who blog more than they write, that just compounds their sheer evil. And more essays will come by non-writing writers wondering whether the reason they can’t sell their books is because Science Fiction is Xist, X being the variable of the outrage.

After Racefail, the new outrage is Bikinifail.

The outrage du’jour is two writers, one born in 1939 and the other in 1942, who have also contributed more than their critics ever have or will to the field, using the SFWA newsletter to discuss past “Lady editors” and to remark how good looking they were.

Get back to me when any of the social justice crusaders have written anything half as good or as socially relevant as Mike Resnick’s For I Have Touched the Sky or Hothouse Flowers. For those just joining us after finishing a graduate thesis on Joss Whedon’s eleventh wave feminism, that was an award winning story about a girl who kills herself because her culture refuses to allow women to read.

For anyone joining us last week, Science Fiction used to be very hedonistic. A whole lot of people were sleeping with a whole lot of people around the time that Eisenhower was president. The old conventions came complete with public nudity. But today we have something much better. We have Bikinifail.

If you’re too delicate to handle some old guys talking about how hot some of the women they remember used to be, go do something else with your precious self-esteem. Resnick and Malzberg are tacky. Just as tacky as the bloggers going rageballs over this in between drooling over the male actors of Firefly… but that’s totally different because it’s them doing it.

The response is disproportionate to the offense. The only hostile environment is the one being created by the Bikinifailers.

What is Bikinifail really? It’s “OMG Science Fiction is such a hostile field because the pros I want to displace are saying things I don’t like.”

No? Yes. Here’s Jamie Wyman who has written nothing that anyone has ever heard of nailing herself to a cross shaped like a vagina.

“We still live in a world where women are treated as second-class citizens, where having a vagina makes a person somehow inferior.”

Jamie is confusing the difference between having a vagina and being a vagina. It’s like the difference between having a dick and being a dick.

“What it comes down to is this, Mr. Scalzi: I’m a writer. My stories have merit. I work hard at my craft. I love what I do. At no time does my gender have anything to do with the quality of my work.”

Has John Scalzi actually said that Jamie Wyman’s lame stories about dragons lack merit because of her gender? Have Mike Resnick or Barry Malzberg said any such thing? Who has nailed Jamie Wyman to a vagina cross (try to picture it, I dare you) except Jamie Wyman?

And Jamie Wyman has an answer. Just hire Jamie Wyman… because (according to her) she has a vagina.

“I need you to do better, Mr. Scalzi. When writing a story about women in the publishing industry, perhaps it should be told by other women.”

Like maybe Jamie Wyman. Kameron Hurley doesn’t stop with a vagina cross. Hurley, the author of a bunch of crap that I wouldn’t read on a drunken bet, adds racist and homophobic strawmen.

“So. I get it. The world used to agree with you. You used to be able to say things like, “I really like those lady writers in this industry, especially in swimsuits!” and your fellow writers, editors, agents, and other assorted colleagues would all wink and grin and agree with you, and Asimov would go around pinching women’s asses, and it was so cool! So cool that he could just sexually assault women all the time! You used to be able to say, “Black people are fine. As long as they are clean and don’t live in my neighborhood,” and your friends and colleagues would wink and grin and agree with you. You’d say, “Gay men are gay because they were abused, and all lesbians are really bisexual and just need the love of a good man,” and hey, it was Ok, because no one disagreed with you.”

Can Kameron Hurley quote where Mike Resnick or Barry Malzberg said racist or homophobic things? It’s not in her post which means she’s a libelous liar.

Give Kameron Hurley another month and she’ll accuse Resnick and Malzberg of kidnapping the Lindbergh baby.

“I get it. You like to molest old women on transatlantic flights. You once set fire to two orphanages over the weekend. You want to revive Hitler’s corpse and make him rule over the world. But we don’t do that anymore. I used to be a privileged white middle class homophobic racist, then I realized that with my mediocre writing, talking shit about more talented writers is my form of privilege.”

Katherine Kerry comes closest to making a valid point when she says that, “When is good taste censorship?” Good taste is the reason I stopped reading the one and only Katherine Kerry book I ever bought after fifteen pages.

That and boredom.

Now Science Fiction does have a sexism problem. This is what it looks like. Or this…

“Marie Hawkins nurses a personal grudge against Austin Bowe, captain of the rival Corinthian, who beat and raped her 25 years ago. Obsessed and vengeful, Marie intends to destroy Austin by proving that his ship trades illegally with pirates and smugglers. When both ships dock at the Mariner space station, she pounces. Concerned for her welfare, her son, Tom–Austin’s boy- -interferes with Marie’s plans and for his pains is shanghaied and confined aboard Corinthian by his half-brother, Christian. While the desperate Marie persuades Sprite’s captain to pursue the Corinthian, and a ship full of genuine bad guys draws ever nearer, Tom adapts to his new life aboard his father’s vessel–a life that is neither as dangerous nor as unpleasant as Marie had led him to expect.

Kirkus Reviews, C. J. Cherryh, Tripoint

This isn’t it

“Consider: When all is said and done, we didn’t run the kind of diatribe that you hear from almost every top-selling rap star these days. We didn’t bring Henry Miller up to date. Or Rabelais. All we did was appear in a magazine with a warrior woman on the cover, and mention that a woman who edited a science fiction magazine 65 years ago was beautiful.”

I don’t like Resnick or Malzberg. The reminisces are typical of old pros babbling about how much more fun things were two hundred years ago. And worse, they’re probably right.

It’s not about the swimsuits, it’s a new cultural revolution every five minutes. Every petty offensive is magnified into a careerist assault on the evil “establishment” and “If you bring me on board, I’ll stop complaining.”

Honestly, I don’t care. Even though I just wrote a twenty page post on how much I don’t care. Science Fiction at the output and input level has become a wasteland dominated by exactly the sort of people trying to lynch Resnick and Malzberg while churning out crap ending in punk, goblins, dragons and vampires, novels about alternate worlds that look just like this one whose theme is recognizing your privilege and stuff that only sells because the writer has a popular blog.

Good Science Fiction has become impossible to come by. SF is being murdered and one day it will rise again when the industry as we know it dies the horrid death it deserves and the publishing companies stop shoving the same crap that no one is reading through the door and the readers get to decide for themselves what to read and then maybe we won’t have to hear about this crap anymore.

But that’s probably Science Fiction.

The Draco Tavern by Larry Niven book review

The Draco Tavern Larry NivenThere used to be a time when Larry Niven’s name on a cover meant an exciting novel, these days it’s more likely to mean another collection of short stories wrapped up in hard cover form, which is pretty much what The Draco Tavern by Larry Niven is. The idea of the bar or tavern where everyone comes, including the wild and the furry, the freaky and the extremely alien is nothing new but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of elbow room there in Science Fiction for telling stories set in multispecies bars, Mike Resnick proved it could be done not so long ago. The Draco Tavern though is more of an argument in the other direction.

The biggest problem with The Draco Tavern stories is how tame and undeveloped the world is. From the start in the introduction Larry Niven states that he’s out to produce vignettes but the twists and logical problems in them read like second hand Asimov and the aliens of the Draco Tavern universe are poor cousins compared to Niven’s Known Space bestiary aliens like the Kzin or the Puppeteers and the one skit that contains the two, reminds you of just how lacking the Draco Tavern’s aliens are.

The humans in The Draco Tavern are little better, beginning with Rick himself, little more than foils for the aliens and the aliens themselves are occasionally strange but lack any real ambition or scope, instead they’re mainly there to present a problem and then wait for the story to wrap it all up.

The best story in The Draco Tavern comes at the beginning with The Question is Settled, because it takes place at least narratively in deep space and involves the death of a civilization and probably also because it goes unresolved. The remaining stories dip down from there and Niven’s awkward attempt to integrate the War on Terror in The Ones Who Stay Home and the War in Iraq by giving Rick an Iraqi girlfriend only makes things worse. This is the type of writing that some authors do well but Niven was never really one of them.

Jellyfish by David Gerrold and Mike Resnick – Just Plain Pathetic

You know I take a lot of shots at writers, SciFi and otherwise on this blog and elsewhere. I’ve never done that to Philip K. Dick for a reason. Really three reasons.

1. Philip K. Dick really did suffer from severe problems, mental and otherwise, that made him more an object of pity than anything else.

2. Philip K. Dick, unlike a lot of the writers I do take shots at genuinely was a great artists. He may not often have been sane. His stories may not seem linear, but unlike a lot of the detritus that the New Wave washed up on the shores of Science Fiction, he was the genuine article.

By comparison the same anthology of Solaris that contained Jellyfish by David Gerrold and Mike Resnick, contained a terrible rambling bit of mythical posturing by Brian Aldiss that can’t even properly be called a story– Four Ladies or something equally silly.

Top that off with the simple fact that David Gerrold and Mike Resnick can’t even properly identify Philip K. Dick’s style. Their parody of him is written in a style distinctly that of Kurt Vonnegut. The jellyfish story at the center of the story along with the Frelching is distinctly Vonnegut. It’s precisely that kind of didactic tediously nitpicking style Vonnegut used in books like Breakfast of Champions. It was not PKDick’s style.

Additionally David Gerrold taking shots at Robert Heinlein is particularly pathetic since David Gerrold made his whole career plagiarizing Heinlein, one book after another. The Man Who Folded Himself, The Trouble with Tribbles, The Chtorr War.

Mike Resnick is one of the most overrated writers working in the field today after maybe Ian Watson or Ted Chiang. Including the two of them on their imaginary version of Philip K. Dick– Fillion K. Dilk’s enemies list is particularly even more pathetic. In no ranking of SF writers, would either of them merit the least bit of mention. Jellyfish is a series of potshots at writers, many dead, who wouldn’t have even bothered to sneeze at them.

Custom Avatars For Comments
%d bloggers like this: