A World without Politics

File the latest analog mindset Tourette's spasm from Scalzi & friends under  SF SJWs Always Double Down.

Whomever Whatever

H/t @Azu-Rayn
“Dear whomever: Kiss my ass,” author John Scalzi tells a room full of fans. The crowd laughs and applauds.
Scalzi, who is a Hugo award-winning science fiction author of novels like Old Man’s War and Redshirts, was at Book Con — an annual convention of authors and booksellers at the Javits Convention Center in New York City. Along with fellow science fiction authors Charlie Jane Anders, Annalee Newitz, and Cory Doctorow, Scalzi appeared on a panel on Saturday to discuss resistance in science fiction.
“People will visit my website or Twitter feed where apparently I have political opinions,” said Scalzi. “Then I get the sorrowful email that says, ‘I thought I was coming to you for entertainment, but you’re telling me how to think and regretfully I must not read your books anymore.’ They’re expecting me to say something like, ‘No, don’t leave.’ They’re not expecting the email I actually send, which is ‘Dear whomever: kiss my ass.”
Annalee Newitz, who co-founded io9 and has a debut sci-fi novel Autonomous coming out in September, chimed in to add, “If you’re setting [a story] on earth with humans, you can’t have a world without politics.”
All four authors lingered on the inherent absurdity of the notion that science fiction is entertainment and therefore shouldn’t be political.
Science fiction fans must always remember to thank Scalzi and Newitz for giving us two statements that perfectly diagnose the causes of tradpub SF's demise.

The rank dishonesty of those public comments is striking. First we have Scalzi admitting how he's alienating readers who come to him for fun and adventure but get double handfuls of message fic. He's the sci-fi equivalent of the prudish curmudgeon who hands out Jack Chick tracts on Halloween instead of candy.

As for the snarky reply he purportedly gives to ex-readers who dare complain, you can be sure it's bullshit. After all, Scalzi's years of observably duplicitous attention-seeking provided the basis for the First Law of SJWs.

Any professional author who wants to stay in this business had better care when readers say, "I'm not reading you anymore, and here's why." It's Market Research 101.

No, he cares. His living depends on readers buying his books. Finding out that there are fewer of them every day is not a revelation that inspires confidence. He's bringing up these emails from disaffected readers and glibly dismissing them to reinforce his self-delusions.

Whereas Scalzi is mainly lying to himself, Newitz commits the graver injustice of lying to readers. She brazenly misrepresents the plight of readers who say, "This isn't fun. We wanted action, adventure, and wonder; not civics lectures," when she replies with a non-sequitur about world building.

Here's a thought experiment: when Newitz says that a world with humans can't be a world without politics, can you imagine her defending a story that features libertarianism, conservatism, or nationalism as prominently as Scalzi's books bang the Leftist drum?

Then we come to the non-argument where readers who are sick to death of getting lectured by finger-wagging schoolmarms are told that their wishes are inherently absurd.

This bait and switch is monumentally dishonest. Everyone knows damn well that the readers leaving tradpub in droves aren't precious snowflakes who get the vapors from any mention of politics in a secondary world's background. (See the Third Law of SJWs.)

What the readers are is tired of being propagandized.

The authors on that panel have forgotten--or, more likely, are studiously ignoring--the fact that authors work for readers; not publishers. Only two parties are absolutely necessary in the author-reader relationship. I'll let you figure out which two.

The Big Five publishers and their pet propagandists masquerading as storytellers know this. Their once packed conventions and trade shows are shrinking. Their profits are down; their market dominance lost to indie, small presses, and Amazon's own imprints.

Top comment goes to Castalia House author and Hugo finalist Ben Cheah:

Ben Cheah

Successful non-tradpub authors like Ben and myself listen to our readers. We know that you want entertainment; not propaganda.

For a totally insane supernatural space opera with guns, pirates, demons, and zero politics, check out Nethereal, book I of my award-winning Soul Cycle.

Nethereal - Brian Niemeier

And don't forget to nominate The Secret Kings, Soul Cycle Book III for Best Science Fiction Novel at the Dragon Awards. In stark contrast to the Hugos, the Dragons know how to have fun!

Haven't read The Secret Kings? Get it for free here.



  1. Brian

    Wow just wow. These guys are insufferable. Life tough enough with disappointments,heartache and failure. If i want a message i'll read Tomas a Kempis or St Francis de Sales or the Beatitudes. At least they're uplifting. But i just want to escape for a few hours each day

    Writers and entertainers have 1 job: make us escape for a short time so we can look beyond the disappointments and regrets so we can be a little better.
    I don't want to read political treatises when i'm off the clock. Politics is both my speciality and my interest but not to exclusion of fun.

    So thanks Brian for doing your best to entertain us. If you have political opinions they'll be subtle and to ground your story.
    So keep writing and I'll come by and read your books. I might not like all of them but i'm sure i'll find one


  2. "Wow just wow. These guys are insufferable."

    I know, right? I can't even!

    Thanks for reading :)

  3. " ‘I thought I was coming to you for entertainment, but you’re telling me how to think and regretfully I must not read your books anymore."

    That totally happened.

    1. Now, now. Without evidence to the contrary, the principled thing to do is take Mr. Scalzi at his wor--*snort* Sorry! I couldn't keep a straight face :)

  4. TradPub Writers diss on Readers in front of crowd composed of SJWs and farming the results of said events to remainder of World. Wash, rinse, repeat.

    What Scalzi and the rest of this mid-wit panel of intellectual and moral retards don't seem to realize is that the rest of their audience is watching their shit-show and making their buying decisions accordingly. Great 'Marketing 401' move, Johnny!

    Buh-bye, Trad Pub! You will not be missed!

    1. "Buh-bye, Trad Pub! You will not be missed!"

      Dismember the corpse and send the widow a corsage.

    2. Actually I'd buy the archives because it'll be like opening a Soviet/communist era censored works.we'll find a lot of gems as well as rough diamonds that can be reworked.

      That's what I'm looking forward


    3. I wouldn't hold my breath.

      I can't actually recall any work that was written "into the table" (with the clear understanding of no chances to publish it) and was good.
      Quite a lot of them were published in late 80s and early 90s and none of them left a mark.

      The reasons are twofold.
      First, a lot of these creators hold (and still held, the ones that are still alive) the readers in contempt. As in the readers should be grateful that they even deigned to write.
      Second, with the liberalization of the publishing these authors got drowned in:
      - 40 years worth (and to add to the ideological vetting, USSR actually adhered to the Bern covention, so post-1971 literature was scarce) of pirate translations of Western SF
      - the tidal wave of low-quality and sometimes batshit insane (Petukhov) local produce that was more in-tune to the ideological nihilism that reigned then

      Current circumstances are even more unforgiving as instead of dubious samizdat publishing you can just self-publish.
      So, most probably there's no need to hold your breath.

  5. This is another phoney tough guy Scalzi rant. If he actually believed it was ok to piss away readers, his publisher and agent would stage an intervention. Not even Scalzi is that stupid.

    On another point, isn't that book con the one that keeps getting smaller? If it is, you don't suppose that advertising a total contempt for your readers has anything to do with that do you? Nah, that's just crazy talk.

    1. Chris

      Yeah my attitude is whatever. He and his kind are one reason why I'm reading in other languages. At least those writers are 'hacks' but they entertain me. Part of it the old work ethic as well as sheer delight interacting with their audience. The other is the sheer smallness of the market. They really, really can't afford to alienate their fan base because they'd starve to death in real life.


    2. It's a different con, but held in the same place a few days later. Book Expo is for publishers and retailers and is fading fast. The panel took place at BookCon, but I'd be amazed if it's growing.

  6. Just keep speaking, Johnny.


    1. Readers will like what he tells them to like.

  7. Ya I decided to venture to Scalzi's twitter. Haven't been there since before the 2016 election. He got even more caustic which I didn't think was possible. I actually know someone who met him in person. She described him as unpleasant to be around, and full of himself. In all sincerity he is shooting himself in the foot with his preachyness and narcissism.

    Not regretting my decision to never buy one of his books... again. First Scifi book I ever got. That is bitter taste.

    1. Scalzi's worsening attitude is no surprise. His last book launch, which was meant to break him onto the A list, was a disappointment. He's behind on his contract, and Tor is likely to cancel it sooner than later.

      Scalzi's no fool. He knows he should be listening to his readers, but he can't do that and maintain his position in the SocJus cult. Sucking up to them got him moderate success. Now he knows that he's painted himself into a corner.

  8. No writer can help injecting messages into his fiction, because writing is pouring one's essence onto paper. It's as natural as breathing.

    But like in old-fashioned comic books and pulps, the messages should be universal, and unconnected the politics of today. Tyranny is bad. Good is the way to go. Love makes the universe go 'round, though money comes a close second. Heros may die, but heroism never does. Protect the innocent, punish the guilty, war is hell, kill the enemy and let God sort them out, a man should own his own land and never steal someone else's, obsession leads to madness--there are TONS of messages in good fiction. These are messages that explore the human condition as it is.

    What sucks is when the messages are narrow, agenda-driven, condescending, irrational, unbalanced, neo-puritanical, and aimed at suppressing, not expanding, the reader's ability to think for himself. This kind of message fiction, despite its claims, does not enlighten; it seeks to force conformity of thought. "Conform or be cast out," it says, which ironically used to be the province of the original Puritanism.

    Now, the very people who revile religion for being so narrow-minded have adopted the worst of its forms and expressions. They have become what they hate, and are blind to that fact.

    Though therein lies a caution, that we do not do the same in turn.

    1. "Now, the very people who revile religion for being so narrow-minded have adopted the worst of its forms and expressions. They have become what they hate, and are blind to that fact."

      They always were. Leftism is a Christian heresy--Gnosticism, to be exact.

  9. I love your books. I just thought that aught to be said.

    1. Thank you. I can't wait to hear what you think of Embers of Empire.