SENSOR SWEEP: Regard for the Past, Mimetic Revolution, Infectious Fun, and Myth-Illiterate Comic-Fan Writers

Monday , 22, May 2017 1 Comment

#SpaceOperaWeek (SuperversiveSF) When New Is (Not) Best–The Degradation of Grand Master Anne McCaffrey — “I don’t know what is more shocking to me: That this person who supposedly reviews SF spoke so lightly of this Grand Master who changed the field and who still sells today. That a person who is so old-fashioned as to use the Victorian term bluestocking shows no regard for the past.”

#SpaceOperaWeek (Jon Del Arroz) When It’s #SpaceOperaWeek And Your Contributors Hate Space Opera — “I wrote Star Realms: Rescue Run because I love space opera more than anything. I love it in my gaming, I love it in my fiction. Space battles between worlds are interesting. The geopolitics of the colonies vs. the extreme corporate Earth of Star Realms is even more interesting… and we haven’t even gotten to the weird alien species in the story outside of small mentions. I like to build up the world from the ground up. From the human outward. But the hallmark of space opera is that it reaches that outward plane to where it bends the mind. And that’s why it’s great in a nutshell.”

#SpaceOperaWeek (Yakov Merkin) It’s #SpaceOperaWeek, but Where are the Aliens? — “I still remember watching Star Wars, and to a lesser extent, Star Trek (which despite trying not to be, was often not too far off (and the new, J. J. Abrams films are most certainly space opera), and being awed by the wide variety of aliens on the screen. Since then, in all of my favorite space opera universes, including the Mass Effect franchise, the Starcraft franchise, and of course, Star Wars, the non-human characters have always been my favorites, and the ones I wanted to spend the most time with, from Tassadar and Artanis to Tali and Garrus to Plo Koon and Ahsoka Tano, among many others. However, even in these space opera universes where aliens are plentiful and diverse (and I’ll be getting back to that hot-button word in a bit), something always bugged me. Humans. Humans are always the center of attention, the main characters, and in many stories, the most important species.”

#SpaceOperaWeek (SuperversiveSF) Jon Del Arroz’s Definitive Top 5: Space Opera Series — “The original Space Opera by E.E. ‘Doc’ Smith. He wrote this over the course of his life. Two epic alien species the Arisians and The Eddorians toying with the younger races like humanity in order to try to assert their will over the galaxy. These books are short, action packed, and they have a great punch to them. This series has inspired the likes of Star Wars and Babylon 5, and still is some of the most impactful work in the genre to this day.”

#SpaceOperaWeek (PCBushi) Tor Bravely Fights Wrongthink — “It’s not that women are oppressed and have been memory-holed. It’s that many of the old greats have been forgotten and buried in a mudslide of new crap. I tried to point this out at Tor, but my comment doesn’t seem to have made it past the moderator. Can’t have people challenging your narrative, eh?”

#SpaceOperaWeek (Jon Del Arroz) Tordotcom Celebrates #SpaceOperaWeek By Censoring Popular Space Opera Author — “So if the point isn’t to talk about Space Opera and celebrate together with leaders in the genre what is #SpaceOperaWeek for? Why do they have people who don’t even like the genre writing about it?”

#SpaceOperaWeek (Benjamin Cheah) Space Opera is about Opera — “Tor launched #SpaceOperaWeek to promote and discusse space opera. In 24 hours, the Pulp Revolution launched a memetic revolution and claimed the hashtag for its own. Now, practically every hashtag and Internet discussion about #SpaceOperaWeek is dominated by the PulpRev folks. This stunning success exposes a hard truth: Tor has no idea what space opera is about.”

#SpaceOperaWeek (Walker’s Retreat) Spacehounds of IPC — “Learn from the masters, because– contrary to the Pink Slime Cult’s dogma of ‘Newer Is Better’– Culture is NOT Technology- ‘Progress’ DOES NOT APPLY! E.E. Smith is the basis for ALL Space Opera, so learn how to do it from the man who made it. As the Gundam franchise’s enduring success and popularity shows, Space Opera that isn’t interstellar is still Space Opera and can easily acquire and retain a large, loyal, and global audience.”

#SpaceOperaWeek (SuperversiveSF) Ordinary, Everyday Life: Good For Dramas, Not For Epics — “Space Opera is an epic myth, with psionics instead of sorcerers, and spaceships instead of chariots, with planets in place of strongholds. The urge to focus on the mundane and the ordinary, when the very heavens are calling to you, is a failure of the spirit of space opera. It is beginning at the launchpad, and staying there. To focus on the ‘ordinary, everyday life’ is fine for drama. But for space opera, it is failure to launch.”

#SpaceOperaWeek (Injustice Gamer) Carson Napier of Venus — “First of all, let’s look at the overt politics contained within these books. In the first book, we see some of the results of a communist revolt, with a society in exile from their home. I would posit that this first book alone puts the establishment against ERB. The next major government we see is a ‘scientific’ government, with tests dictating the existence or death of people, bloodsports being the only recreation, as there’s no real conflict within society. Another strike against ERB for the SocJus crowd, as he clearly doesn’t f’n love science, but merely respects what it can find. And there’s one more overt political situation: the Nazis are overtly written about, complete with mocking the salute, education, and propaganda methods thereof.”

#SpaceOperaWeek (Barbarian Book Club) House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds — “I loved this book. It shares a mournful atmosphere with other Science Fiction novels such as Hyperion and Dune. A sort of new-Gothic Space Opera that touches on the concept of humanity in a post-Earth far future Galaxy. A fantastic novel and a great introduction to Reynolds. If you enjoy high concept Space Opera pick this one up.”

#SpaceOperaWeek (Yakov Merkin) #SpaceOperaWeek: Wonder and the Soul’s Desire by Dominika Lein — “One of our major issues with the articles Tor has been putting out is that its writers really don’t get space opera, with articles focused on modern political talking points and complaints that they try and tie to the genre, and at least some of their writers have stated openly that they aren’t fans of space opera. Thankfully, we have the Castalia House blog and its excellent contributors to fill the void, people who actually get space opera. Check out Dominika Lein’s post below.”

The Pulp Ethos (Russell Newquist) The Rock is the Living Embodiment of Pulp — “The Rock picks films that have an absurd – but cool – premise. He plays over-the-top roles, and he plays them as larger than life. His sense of fun shines through in every role, and his fun is infectious. He doesn’t care that people don’t take him seriously – because he never takes himself too seriously, either. His style plays to the tastes of the masses, not the elites. He’s never afraid to make fun of himself.”

Comics (TheRPGPunit) Marvel Comics’ Woes Prove That Selling to the Ctrl-Left Doesn’t Work — “The earlier crop of the comic writers for the last 20 years or so were not much better at understanding the value of archetype. But at least they actually liked comics. And they actually liked heroism. They actually believed, with that special kind of starry-eyed naivete comic book fans can muster, that there’s such a thing as good and evil, and Doing the Right Thing. But when you switch over the well-meaning albeit myth-illiterate comic-fan writers with a bunch of Ctrl-Left activist writers who consider comics ‘toxic’ and are on a crusade to purge them, that’s the recipe for Marvel losing 60% of its readership.”

#SpaceOperaWeek (Russell Newquist) The Decline And Fall Of The Ordinary Man — “The trend isn’t universal, but it trends distinctly in favor of aristocrats and away from self-made, ordinary men. This isn’t a healthy sign for our society. Indeed, it’s one more symptom of our devolution from democratic rule to aristocratic rule. Jeffro rightly picks up on this as being anti-pulp. Yet it’s more than that – it’s distinctly anti-American.”

Appendix N (Nixon Now) Message Fiction or Not? — “Did ERB write this scheming that he was going to put in a how-to for heroes or is the story simply a reflection of the mores of the time? Or maybe he was just trying to write the most awesome thing he could. There’s more of an argument to be made for deliberate message insertion for the anti-socialist/communist and anti-eugenics elements of the story, but those messages are slipped in there and not shoved in your face. If you’re going to say, however, that having any kind of message in your fiction makes it message fiction, then I think it can be argued that there’s hardly anything out there that isn’t message fiction.”

Appendix N (Injustice Gamer) Injustice Quick Reviews 2.7 — “Galactic Derelict by Andre Norton – I had NO idea what I was in for when I started this. I know she’s one of the Appendix N authors, but hadn’t gotten to reading her work til now. I must hang my head in shame, this is an excellent tale of time and space travel. The ending feels a touch abrupt, but otherwise, I’ve no complaints. Major crime: People, not just civilizations fall. We do not progress infinitely. 9 of 10 fell deeds.”

#SpaceOperaWeek (Walker’s Retreat) Space Opera Week: Concluding Remarks — “Star Wars remains the world’s most prominent and commercially-successful Space Opera for a reason, and that reason is the mythic foundation that George Lucas wisely laid when creating the original movie- a foundation that comes from the Pulps. Which means that Space Opera is a Pulp genre, and does not succeed outside of that sensibility. Indeed, you can reliably measure the success of a given example by how harmomious with Pulp sensibility it is- just like you can with precursor genres like Planetary Romance.”

One Comment
  • We really did dominate them this past week, didn’t we?

    Just like Gamergate, _All Your Hashtags Are Belong To Us_.

    Who the hell do you think we are?

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