Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Beware of Science Fiction!

That's the message of this guy. Holy shit -- um, so to speak. 
Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site
and WakeWatchWonder.com

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19 Comments:

At January 07, 2010 12:45 AM , Blogger Dan CaJacob said...

Unconscionable stupidity.

 
At January 07, 2010 2:18 AM , Blogger g d townshende said...

Yes, beware of science fiction! It might cause you to... THINK! o.o

However, if it's written by someone who's Christian, well, then, that's just fine, isn't it? Or is it? Or is it even relevant?

Years ago, back when I USED TO attend church regularly, I had some rather interesting conversations with fellow church-folk. For example, I'd mention having characters in my fiction who might -- GASP! -- take God's name in vain. One person, in response to this, once said to me, "But can't you show such a person to be that sort of character without having them commit such a sin?" Of course, they didn't like it when I'd point out things like:

* the Bible has people cursing God, so why can't my fiction characters do the same?
* the Bible has people committing adultery, so why can't my fiction characters do the same?
* the Bible has people committing murder, so why can't my fiction characters do the same?
* the Bible even has people committing the Unpardonable Sin, so... well,... you know the rest.

And my point was if the Bible has no problem with portraying people as they are, then how can it be wrong for a fiction writer to do the same? Isn't that, after a fashion, imitating God?

Better yet, it's fiction. Stop having a cow over something that isn't true. (What really yanks my chain, though, are those who think all of fiction is "sinful" because, well, you know, it's not TRUE. o.o Really? Can we perhaps have a discussion about a certain talking donkey?)

This actually reminds me of the story told by Stephen King where he has a character abusing a dog, and readers (religious or otherwise) wrote to him condemning him for "supporting" animal abuse. Nevermind that the dog and the man DON'T exist.

In a similar vein, you have folk who, say, hire a carpenter simply because they're Christian, thinking that the carpenter's religion has something to do with their skill with a hammer and saw, or that it somehow makes them better than any other carpenter whose beliefs are different. I'd rather hire a carpenter who knows what the hell he's doing and is honest in his business practices, no matter what his religion. (And if there is a God, I'd certainly hope that he'd take the same position about a man who plies his living as a carpenter.)

Some folk need a few screws tightened. Others first need to find their screws.

 
At January 07, 2010 2:23 AM , Blogger g d townshende said...

Oh, also, I wanted to add that I recently purchased and read Flashforward. (Yeah, I know, I'm 10 years late. What can I say? :P LOL) I've not been watching the television series, but I absolutely loved the book.

My girlfriend has asked me to say nothing about the book, though, because she's a fan of the show and she's afraid I'll spill a spoiler.

 
At January 07, 2010 5:37 AM , Blogger K. W. Ramsey said...

That was hilarious! It was just like those old Jack Chick pamphlets warning parents about how Dungeons and Dragons was evil.

 
At January 07, 2010 6:45 AM , Blogger Eric Olsen said...

you should mail him "Calculating God" just to really mess with his mind...and then get your name added to the list as well. :)

 
At January 07, 2010 8:13 AM , Blogger John F said...

Thank you for pointing me to this website! I can already see it will be good for hours of cheap entertainment.

Let's see...the author writes about Billy Graham's "sad disobedience to the Word of God". He also has an article entitled "Evolutionists in Love with Lucy".

Oh, and I see that he worries that businesses might be legally required to serve homosexual customers. Even worse, the same businesses might not be allowed to refuse to hire homosexuals!

I'm sorely tempted to go on Amazon and send this guy gift copies of your "Neanderthal Parallax" trilogy. :-)

 
At January 07, 2010 9:41 AM , Blogger H Don said...

Rats, I wanted to post a picture but I can't figure out how.

I'll sum it up in one word ... wing, nut.

 
At January 07, 2010 10:16 AM , Blogger Ryan McFadden said...

Wow. I guess the main problem I have with his argument is that it isn't an argument. Only a listing of people who disagree with his views, and therefore, stay away.

Heaven forbid (pun intended) that we use our brains.

 
At January 07, 2010 11:07 AM , OpenID 6p00d834523c1e69e2 said...

Intelligent design doesn't count as science fiction?

 
At January 07, 2010 1:12 PM , Blogger Andrew said...

...And that spinning sound we're now hearing would be Clifford D. Simak and C.S. Lewis spinning in their graves.

I couldn't help but notice that "this guy" chose to pick on dead authors. Easy pickings, I suppose - the dead can't defend themselves.

Personally, as both a Christian and a science fiction fan, I'm disappointed. I hope you don't judge all of us by this man's example.

 
At January 07, 2010 3:59 PM , Blogger g d townshende said...

Andrew, I don't know about anyone else, but I certainly don't judge all Christians by that man's example. I've many Christian friends who put that man's intelligence to shame, and I'm also well aware that there are/were many Christians who write/wrote both science fiction and fantasy... C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Clifford Simak, Gene Wolfe, Christopher Stasheff, and others. Plus, the late Ross Pavlac who was key in organizing the annual SF/F conventions in Chicago, who I had the pleasure of meeting at the WorldCon in San Francisco in '93, was Christian, as well. I don't recall his name, but so, too, was the man who did the fanzine RADIO FREE THULCANDRA, whom I also met at that WorldCon.

 
At January 07, 2010 6:07 PM , Blogger Ron Friedman said...

That guy is simply a literary critic, who have personal preferences to a specific fantasy book, over certain SF novels.

 
At January 07, 2010 8:47 PM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

Among major SF writers who are devout Christians are Michael Bishop, Tim Powers, and Gene Wolfe, all three of whom I count as friends.

 
At January 07, 2010 9:55 PM , Blogger g d townshende said...

I believe James P. Blaylock is a devout Christian, as well. As I recall, I believe Marion Zimmer-Bradley held to some denomination of Christianity also. Fantasy writer Holly Lisle is the daughter of missionary parents, as I recall, and her Secret Books trilogy reflects some of that upbringing. Cordwainer Smith (which was the pen-name for Dr. Paul Linebarger) was Christian.

I know there many more besides, too, based on correspondence I had with Ross Pavlac many years ago. So, to me, for the guy at the web site to which you've linked to say that people should "beware of science fiction" should be as offensive/laughable to Christians as it is to anyone, regardless of their religious beliefs (or lack thereof).

 
At January 07, 2010 10:59 PM , Blogger Ian H. said...

"Holy crap" indeed. Thanks to your astute readers for starting the list of Christian SF authors. I'd add Chris Walley, Sigmund Brouwer, James Byron Huggins and Kathy Tyers to the expanding list.

 
At January 08, 2010 9:29 AM , Blogger The Snake said...

Not sure whether to laugh or cry... though I tend to learn towards laughter.

chick tracks are awesome. Just look at what the Harry Potter books will do to you! http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/5012/5012_01.asp


Also, Orson Scott Card is a Mormon

 
At January 08, 2010 3:10 PM , Blogger Andrew Zimmerman Jones said...

If the guy's going to make the case that SF is dangerous because of atheistic influences, he really needs to do a better job. All of the people on his list are dead, which implies that it's far more of a historic "problem" than a current one. Shame you're not on the list.

For that matter, he could put Orson Scott Card as a religious danger, since for most fundamentalists Mormonism is heretical, and therefore worse than atheism. (Plus Mormonism actively seeks converts - and does so at a very successful rate.)

 
At January 08, 2010 8:59 PM , Blogger K. W. Ramsey said...

To continue the cavalcade of Christian science fiction writers, David Weber is a Methodist lay preacher.

He actually does a good job, in my opinion of course, of presenting characters of various religions, even atheists, as complex and engaging people. Some can be the worst possible examples, but some can be rather heroic and noble, and intelligent, and yet still have faith.

 
At January 09, 2010 12:32 PM , Blogger TomR said...

I fear we're giving this clown more attention than he deserves, but I'm enjoying the comments.

Hopefully someone will remind me who said that there were two elements the universe had in abundance: hydrogen and stupidity.

Being a recovering Southern Baptist, I'm not averse to Christian viewpoints in literature nor do I reject completely different perspectives and religions. "Calculating God" turned me on to Robert's work, and I felt the religious themes were handled in a very smart and adult manner.

All of the authors that this clown mentioned helped me think very seriously about the world I live in and it's possibilities. Isn't that what God would want us to use our brains for?

 

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