September 23rd, 2007

The grammar of bad Libertarian SF

There is something, which I cannot put my finger on, very specific to the way that bad Libertarian SF is written. As in, I was reading 'In the Kingdom of the Blind' by Michael Flynn and, after the first few pages of feisty black heroine and gay white sidekick infodumping at each other, I had a look at page i and sure enough 'winner of the Prometheus Award'.
See also L. Neil Smith, J Neil Schulman. Doctorow writes / can't write like a Libertarian too. I don't actually know his political views but I suspect there is a cluster of personality traits at work here, I'm sure Ms Borsook would have something to say...

It is not actually that bad a book until the point where the plot just peters out, then we get a long appendix of graphs (wars follow poisson distribution, Zipf's law, MTBF of civilisations, hey if you look from far enough away the timelines of western and eastern civilisations look kind-of similar, yada yada, the famous 55, 14,9 and 7 year economic cycles overlaying each other [or whatever the numbers are, don't know don't care]).

In other book news, the geek anti-defamation league should be picketing Ian Rankin Collapse )