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Rules for Anchorites

Letters from Proxima Thule

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Let's Go Downtown and Watch the Failparade!
Oh, Elizabeth Moon! How could you write a post like that knowing it was bound raise a stink? The only answer is malice. Good citizens don't do that sort of thing, you know.

Honestly, though I know ours is a small community and in the larger scheme we are not terribly important, I am continually embarrassed every time someone raises a rock and exposes how much prejudice is still crawling around at the bottom of the SFF world. I want us, whose job it is to chronicle the future and a wealth of alternatives to the here and now, to be better than this. Why are we not better than this? How can people who make it their business to imagine and empathize with the truly alien offer such meager treatment to other humans?

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I was inexpressibly shocked by that entry. I really like her books, and I've read a lot of other long political rants of hers that made perfect sense to me.

But I really think that, when we write fiction, sometimes we become more than we are. (I strongly suspect that some writers become less than they are, too, but I'm not talking about them right now.) We say things we don't actually know, we make connections our regular brains haven't made. And sometimes all those insights do not follow us back to our circumscribed lives where we have the usual petty irritations, blind spots, distractions, and self- or other-imposed stupidities. So I'm very sad but not surprised that somebody who has written science fiction so well could write an entry like that.


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