Monday, September 5, 2016

Scaly Wings And Rocket Ships

     It had to happen. Of course it had to happen. There had to be a fissioning of the parent organism – the community inaccurately and euphemistically called “SF/F fandom” – once part of it became implacably hostile to the rest. What will follow is the question of the day. For a change, my outlook is...optimistic.

     By now, any regular Gentle Reader of Liberty’s Torch will be aware of the upheavals over science fiction’s venerable Hugo Awards. I’ve written about them several times:

     Broadly, I consider the phenomenon an illustration of the dynamic that inheres in organization – any organization. The skeleton is fairly simple:

  1. As those who desire power above all other things will seek power wherever it can be found, an organization that possesses a power structure will be targeted by such persons.
  2. As such persons possess an inherent advantage over those who don’t worship power, over time the power-worshippers will come to control the organization.
  3. Once that has happened, the power-worshippers will alter the organization’s rules to prevent any threat to their hegemony.

     This has special significance for organizations that possess some measure of influence over cultural currents. Such an organization offers two kinds of power. The influence available over the associated cultural trend might be the more valuable of the two.

     But all that goes under the heading of “previous work.” A regular Gentle Reader of Liberty’s Torch will have grasped it already. (What’s that you say? You find it obscure, opaque, impenetrable? Were you here the first day?) It’s time to look at what follows when the organization has been completely suborned by power-worshippers and everyone is fully aware of it.

     The 2016 Dragon Awards have been announced. The list of winners reads like a Sad Puppies wish fulfillment. The Sad Puppies’ 2016 slate, of course, was completely disparaged, denigrated, and dismissed by the 2016 World Science Fiction Convention, where the Hugo Awards are decided. But then, WorldCon is firmly in the grip of our era’s most vicious, most determined power-worshippers: the “community” of “thought” we who don’t belong to it call “social justice warriors, “ or SJWs.

     The Dragons are awarded strictly by popular vote. I have no data on how many persons voted. (If anyone has the figures, I’d dearly love to see them.) What I do know is how eager the SJWs that dominate WorldCon are to disparage, demean, and dismiss the Dragons. Nicki at The Liberty Zone has captured some of the venom. (Please spare me the labor of copying all those images; go to Nicki’s site for them.)

     This, too, is only to be expected. What remains to be seen are:

  • The size of the community that participates in the Dragons;
  • Non-SF/F media attention to the Dragons;
  • The market influence of the Dragons.

     ...specifically in comparison to the Hugos. If the Dragons prove to be more influential than the Hugos, especially as an influence on sales, the SJWs who have corrupted the Hugo Awards will target the Dragons.

     Remember Robert Conquest’s Second Law of Politics:

Any organization not explicitly right-wing will, over time, become left-wing

     ...because – as if you needed to be told – leftists worship power above all other things. They require it to achieve their social, political, and economic ends.

     They who have organized the Dragons should be on the lookout for early signs of infiltration. What they choose to do about it – what they can do about it – is another subject.

     For the moment, the Dragons are good news: those who voted in them appear to have placed originality and storytelling ability above political polemics. What the future will hold for the Dragons is uncertain, though the dynamic is absolute and inevitable. If you care about good fiction – and by that I mean good fiction, not political harangues thinly dressed in space suits or wizards’ robes – the winners of the 2016 awards are available for your enjoyment. If you care a lot, you might consider participating in the Dragon Awards process in future years. The more participants, the more influence the Dragons will have on the direction of SF and fantasy fiction. Who knows? We might even see the end of the already overly prolonged vampire, werewolf, and zombie crazes.

     All that having been said, it’s time for me to add a few items to my reading list.


David Smith said...

Pournelle's Law, in other words.

Anonymous said...

I began reading science fiction as a college freshman in 1951. Fast forward to the startup of Jim Baen's enjoyable publishings. And I even know a Hugo winner--albeit from the 1980s.

I've noted in recent years that Hugo award winners' books don't appeal to me.

I've enjoyed Correia's works, as well as MZW's.

I've yet to see anything from SJWs which appeals, whether in books or in the real world.