John C. Wright had this to say on the SuperversiveSF Livestream:
Jeffro Johnson is to this generation what Lin Carter was to mine: the guy who went back and found the old forgotten wonders… and introduced them to the modern audience. That’s why I know books from the 40’s and the 60’s and from the 1890’s is because of Lin Carter. The reason why anyone knows these books that were absolutely the staple reading of the 1970’s is because of Jeffro Johnson.
Now granted, I give rave review the guy’s books. I consider him to be the best living fantasy and science fiction author and have said so. We both work for the same publisher and are on the same side in the culture wars. So the guy is completely and utterly biased.
But he’s also right.
And it is the strangest thing, really. Just last year it seemed like I had just one reader. This year, that one reader went off and put together a short fiction magazine… with the express purpose of bringing back the sort of fiction I’d been writing about. And it didn’t stop there, either. It was absolutely uncanny watching it unfold before my eyes, but there are other authors that were in conversation with my book reviews. Because of them we went from “nobody writes like this anymore” to “these people are picking up where the old masters left off” in a year’s time.
The most interesting thing about surveying science fiction and fantasy history going back to Lord Dunsany and Edgar Rice Burroughs…? It made people want to read. It made people want to write. It made people want to create. And culture being downstream of criticism, it had a noticeable influence on how they went about it. This was unimaginable last year… but undeniable today.
There’s another aspect of this that is less obvious. As Sarah Hoyt wrote over on Mad Genius Club:
We’re still in the middle of a culture war. And one of the things the — for lack of a better term — other side has is bully pulpits. Now most of them are in the old paper media, and they’re not really read by fans of the field. BUT still, they have magazines that publish recommended lists, and interviews with authors, and turn the spotlight on work they think should be read.
We have nothing like that.
That isn’t the case. You can be forgiven for not noticing, of course– this only really started to kick into high gear in the past several months, after all.
There’s your spotlight right there. (See Sensor Sweep for highlights.)
And while I don’t speak for these gentlemen, I’d like to point out that the thing that ties them all together is their capacity to judge science fiction and fantasy on the basis of its canon and to discuss that canon without falling into the tired cadence of sneering accusations of sexism, racism, colonialism and whatever other ism the fake literary critics can come up with.
That is the way forward. And none of this would be happening if not for the conversations that sprang up surrounding the Puppy Wars of the past couple years.