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Mastadge
Posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 04:02 am:   

Holy crap. This simply must be read to be believed.
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KeithB
Posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 04:26 am:   

ha ha ha! Other words fail me...
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Neal Stanifer
Posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 05:01 am:   

Oh, come on now. Your life is just limited to loathing and indifference. Didn't you read what Terry had to say about your kind? Why, you're just attacking what's good because it's good. Like those people who claim to be disenchanted fans of his interminable series of NOT-Fantasy novels, but who are really brick-throwing, drug-using welfare abusers who hate all values and the good people who cherish those values. They're like the Medellin Cartel, Rex Reed, and the Grinch all rolled up into one icky bundle.

And I'm sure you're going to tell us that Terry is really a Fantasy writer, and not even a particularly original one, and that he just has some sort of literary self-delusions, like so many other genre hacks who aspire to heights they can't reach. But it just isn't so.

I will have you remember that Fantasy books don't deal in human reason or important human themes. They deal in silly things like conventional values, magic, and other goofy stuff. These things are ESSENTIAL to Fantasy books, but only Plot, Theme, and Characterization are essential to real novels like Terry's. His novels are NOT-Fantasy because they do NOT accept conventional values and they are NOT NOT about human reason and NOT unimportant human themes. That they contain certain elements of Fantasy (such as heroes and magic) should NOT delude us into thinking that this eight-volume (so far) series of ingenious Objectivist philosophy is NOT a metaphor for something that is NOT Fantasy.

See, it's all about fundamentality, which is a big word, but it means something pretty simple. Like with cookbooks. They have food in them, right? And Terry's books might have food in them, too. But that food is NOT essential to Terry's books. You could take it out, and you'd still have complex objectivist metaphors for really really important human themes. But take the food out of a cookbook, and what then? See? Terry's books are NOT fundamentally cookbooks, even if they have food in them. If you have trouble following that, then perhaps you're just not intellectually developed enough to keep up with Terry's brilliant reasoning.

For Terry, magic and pseudo-quasi-faux-medievalism are NOT essential to his series, but rather are mere metaphors which permit him to convey his vital intellectual truths. Or rather, Ayn Rand's vital intellectual truths. Whatever. Anyway, maybe you should spend a little less time doing drugs and throwing bricks, and a little more time nodding your head when smarter people say important things with big words in it and stuff. It's called using your Reason, in case you don't know? Might do you some good.
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Nick Mamatas
Posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 05:48 am:   

Wait, those books have plots?

Coulda fooled me! I mean, stuff HAPPENS and all, but plot? That's the stretch.
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Nicholas Liu
Posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 07:10 am:   

Right on, Neal!
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Rhys
Posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 07:58 am:   

Thanks Neal for that wonderful deconstruction... Confirms my growing belief that the most powerful way of opposing something is to temporarily adopt it, push it harder than it is capable of being pushed before finally abandoning its deflated skin on the roadside!
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Cheryl
Posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 01:41 pm:   

Oh, come on people. Margaret Atwood can write. Who cares what Terry Goodkind says?
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Jeremy Lassen
Posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 03:52 pm:   

When people make stupid, self aggrandizing, or simply silly statements in public, weather they can "write" or not makes those statements no less stupid, self aggrandizing, or silly, nor does it give them a free pass from ridicule. Atwood and Goodkind… two peas in a pod. Who would have thought. :-)

-jl
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Nick Mamatas
Posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 05:07 pm:   

Actually, I think Goodkind is far more loathesome here.

Atwood, who has previously given props to SF, fudged a bit: her near-future stuff is "speculative fiction," while the gonzo material is skiffy. That's a bit of text torture to make herself look good, but that's it.

Goodkind is claiming his shit don't stick because he's John Galt and anyone who disagrees with him is objectively in an ideological bloc with The Pope and Stalin.

A pea and a rat turd in a pod, maybe.
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Neal Stanifer
Posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 05:25 pm:   

I have to agree with Nick. While I'm not a fan of Atwood's fiction, and while she did stick her foot in her mouth, her foolish comments are a far cry from Goodkind's patronizing and self-important horseshit. I have to wonder whether he's given any thought to the elements of fiction beyond what he read in that grade school primer he seems to be reciting.

And why is it that every neo-Con and Libertarian in genre fiction has to pose with a copy of The Fountainhead, fercrissakes? "I have no original ideas, but at least my unoriginal ideas are macho and unforgiving." Rand, Rand, Rand. How many times must we flush before she goes away?
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Tom Bates
Posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 07:15 pm:   

So, Neal, does that mean everything you wrote this morning was just sarcasm?
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Martin
Posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 01:16 am:   

Arf!
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Cheryl
Posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 02:00 am:   

Sorry folks, have to disagree. Atwood is a hugely respected writer whose words will be taken seriously throughout the literary world and beyond. Therefore we have to counter what she says rationally. Goodkind is a brainless twat whose ranting will be taken as gospel truth by his fellow Randites and be ignored by most other people. You are giving him far more respect than he deserves.
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Neal Stanifer
Posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 04:28 am:   

Cheryl, are we reading the same posts? Who is giving Goodkind any sort of respect? It certainly wasn't me... or Nick... or Jeremy... or Rhys... or Nicholas... or Keith. And Mastadge's initial posting of the link shows rather plainly that he has no respect for Goodkind. So I'm not sure what you're reading, but it doesn't seem to be the postings on this thread.

As for Atwood, we've flogged that equine, haven't we? Counter her words rationally? She denied writing SF because SF is all about "squids in outer space." She knows better than that, and she was being disingenuous in the hopes of distancing herself from a distasteful crowd. Well, as a member of that distasteful crowd, I'm quite happy to give Empress Margaret all the space her bloated ego requires. And good riddance to bad rubbish.
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Night Shade Books
Posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 05:02 am:   

Actually, just to be the aberrant data point, I can't stand Atwood's work. Handmaiden's Tale bored me to tears, and I couldn't finish the new one.

Jason
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Nick Mamatas
Posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 08:05 am:   

As an actual-to-goodness member of the literary world as well as the SF world, let me make it clear that nobody other than the SF world gave two fucks about Atwood's comments.
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Neal Stanifer
Posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 10:42 am:   

Would that it were so, Nick. While I would not endorse the hyperbole that Atwood is "hugely respected" or "taken seriously throughout the literary world," her following is not confined solely to SF. In fact, I've met more feminist scholars who pay her lip-service (at least) than I have SF scholars. Still, while I can't speak for other SF folks, I will say that if I am going to feature self-consciously feminist SF in a course (and I do, routinely), it's going to be Joanna Russ and James Tiptree Jr., not Margaret Atwood.

This isn't a decision I came to only since Atwood's "squids in space" gaffe, either. I agree with Jason that A Handmaid's Tale is a colossal snore. One of the problems with the one-issue satire/dystopia is that once it's hammered in its main point, it has nothing left to say. Fifty pages into AHT, I found myself screaming "I fucking GET IT!" I had the same reaction to Ellis's American Psycho, come to think of it.
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Neal Stanifer
Posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 10:44 am:   

Ah, sorry, Nick. I misread your post. You were talking about her comments, and I was thinking of her works. Appy-polly-loggys.
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Nicholas Liu
Posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 10:45 am:   

I think, Neal, that what Nick's saying isn't that the literary world doesn't care what Margaret Atwood says, but that it doesn't care about what Margaret Atwood—or anyone else—has to say about SF. In other words, only us fanboys have our panties in a bunch over her calling SF "talking squids in outer space".
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Nicholas Liu
Posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 10:46 am:   

Cross-posting sucks.
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Andreas Black
Posted on Friday, November 21, 2003 - 06:47 am:   

Oh, wow, I just found this. I think I've finally found out who really ghost writes George Bush's speeches.
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Neal Asher
Posted on Friday, November 21, 2003 - 07:10 am:   

Just read the Goodkind verbal incontinence that started this. What a tosser.
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Andreas Black
Posted on Friday, November 21, 2003 - 09:46 am:   

Not sure if you were referring to me in your recent post, Neal. To clarify, I read some of the Goodkind chat and was struck by the possibility he might ghost as one of Bush's speech writers. Not anyone on this board.
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Nicholas Liu
Posted on Friday, November 21, 2003 - 10:16 am:   

I'm quite sure Neal was referring to Goodkind. =P
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Neal Asher
Posted on Friday, November 21, 2003 - 11:17 am:   

Goodkind.

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