Astrogator's Logs

New Words, New Worlds
Artist, Heather Oliver             

A Plague on Both Your Houses

Dwellers of the SF/F community may be aware of the recent debate about contemporary fantasy between Leo Grin and Joe Abercrombie.  They and their followers argue over fantasy as art, social construct and moral fable totally oblivious to the relevant achievements of half of humanity -– closer to ninety percent, actually, when you take into account the settings of the works they discuss.  I wrote an article about the topic which just appeared at the Apex blog [update note: the Apex site was hacked, so I reprised the essay here.]

Given the readership of much so-called “heroic” fantasy, I expect a larger than usual troll crop.  In connection with that, I recently read an interesting review of books about the Internet in the New Yorker.  Adam Gopnik posits that the Internet does not necessarily promote loud aggressiveness — it just removes the inhibitions made necessary by face-to-face interactions that go beyond hacking at each other with blunt or sharp implements.  In other words, the Internet shows our true selves devoid of trappings, the mighty Id included.

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