This week, I need to force myself back into the Hugo pile. The biggest disappointment about the Puppy nominees I’ve read thus far is that the stories aren’t nearly as offensive as their detractors make them (the Puppies, that is) out to be. With all of the accusations of sexist misogyny, I would at least hope to see some of the dated hallmarks of the sci-fi classics I’ve been enjoying recently.
No barbarian hero shacking up with the twin daughters of the evil lord he and his buddy killed.*
No square-jawed spaceman punching a racist lady for the good of all mankind.*
No con-woman sexing it up in big tent revivals to part lonely blue-collar spacemen from their cash.*
No one getting killed by indians, their gods, their curses or their pet monsters.*
For all of the outrage, very little I’ve seen has been outrageous, or even particularly provocative. Where is the sci-fi Salome I was promised? The mild and inoffensive nature of the Puppy entries is in bizarre contrast to those who’ve given me the impression that it was all going to be Spacemen doing manly things, like shooting guns and absconding with inappropriately dressed women on implausible worlds of mushroom forests populated by spear-chucking natives. I mean, if everyone is calling you racist and sexist, at least have some fun with it!
I know I really need to get back to doing my Short Reviews series, and probably will once my Holmes/Moldvay game is underway and on track.
Real men smoke cigarettes in outer space. And when they do, they smoke Kents.
*: feel free to guess which multiple Hugo winning, Hugo Winning, and Hugo Nominated authors wrote these great tales!