Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

Critics Criticize Best Selling Literary Critic for Critiquing: News at Eleven!

With this past week there has been an uptick in criticism of my criticism. The subtext is “all you do is tear down” and “you’re not cool like us actual content creators.” This is not only unnecessarily insulting, it is baloney. I will prove it to you.

I am recovering a canon for a field that has been destroyed. The problem with my critics is that they do not actually care about the field I work to build up. If they did, they would be able to list off fiction published in 2016 that is as good or better than what is on my list. But they can’t and they won’t because they are here to keep me in check, not to do the time consuming and exhausting work that I do.

What do I do exactly? I read science fiction and fantasy and then I get up at two o’clock in the morning to compare it to forgotten classics and current cultural trends. And this goes right past you. “Nothing to see here,” you declare. You see the critical aspect of what I do without acknowledging the building that goes on. And like basically every professional author right now, you act like creating a rival to the establishment sff blogs is a useless or even unworthy endeavor.

You think it’s nothing. But you can’t or won’t do what I do. You can’t point to specific works of fiction from 2016 that people really ought to read. Why is that? Well one, the field has been destroyed so you don’t read. Two… you are inherently bigoted towards criticism in general. You think it’s a non-activity or an anti-activity.

So you show up to someone that is doing something in order to lecture him on how he’s not doing anything. It’s pure projection. You either think that nothing should be done… or else you think that something ought to be done but it has to follow some sort of hyper-unrealistic script that you choose to judge me by. What I’m saying is… this script that you’re pushing is equivalent to “nothing should be done.” And you don’t see it. You won’t see it.

I don’t understand why you feel impelled to do this. But it really doesn’t make sense. For as long as I keep talking… the only true counter to what I’m saying is to do what I do, but do it better. Which you can’t do, because you don’t actually care. So you essentially retreat into, “stop doing what you’re doing, Jeff.” Which is the only way you win this exchange, isn’t it?

Not a very compelling argument, y’all.


12 responses to “Critics Criticize Best Selling Literary Critic for Critiquing: News at Eleven!

  1. fletchav March 12, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    Who is doing that? I’d love to read their arguments

    • jeffro March 12, 2017 at 3:14 pm

      Eh, it’s more tedious than you’d think. Given that they’re dear friends in some cases and top notch creators in others… I’d rather not rub salt in the wounds any more than I already have…!

      • fletchav March 12, 2017 at 3:21 pm

        gotcha. that aside, it’s an interesting time for sf. if all it gets is people reexamining assumptions and old books i’ll be happy. if it actually revives the genre i’ll be even happier.

  2. The Alt-Right DM March 12, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    “All you do is…”, is a lie. You’re out there on a regular basis championing writers both established and up and coming.

    Your ‘criticism’ is part of a conversation. Talking about books is what fans do, for God’s sake! They are literally telling you to stop acting like a fan. It makes no sense.

    • jeffro March 12, 2017 at 6:44 pm

      Just my opinion: it’s a mental reflex action programmed into people in order to stymie non-leftists from participating in culture creation. It’s really, really effective. When Asimov was writing about Hari Seldon’s “dead hand”, he was being incredibly prescient.

      • CCF March 13, 2017 at 1:33 pm

        If you are suggesting the present SF&F narrative is having a ”Seldon Crisis,” I’ll have to agree and better yet, there are many Mules out there.

  3. iaindalton March 14, 2017 at 3:06 am

    Something that I like about Zak S is that all his critiques of his critics can be traced back to their origin. If I want to know what his critics are saying about him, it’s not hard to follow the trail back. But your posts so often come off as vague and not explicitly directed at any particular people. Fine, it’s tedious, but what good are you doing by posting these self-vindications on your blog? If you don’t want to rub salt in any wounds, fine, but still let us know where to go to find out more.

    • jeffro March 14, 2017 at 5:13 am

      If you want to track down the context for this, it’s all right there on my social feed at Google+. But this is very different from Zak’s stuff. He argues with what, SJW’s or something? He has some particularly nasty enemies. My argument here is with friends and allies. So hell yes I handle it differently than him.

  4. Airboy March 18, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    My review of Appendix N is done. It will come out at either this month or in April.

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