Nick Mamatas Calmly Brings the Hammer Down on Spinrad

Note: I set up an unfortunate implication in both the title and the following paragraph that “calm and white” should be listened to over “angry and non-white” posts. I hadn’t yet seen N. K. Jemisin’s highly relevant and very good post when I wrote this post—and it was also stupidly presumptuous of me to have remarked upon “most calm” even before a day had passed vis a vis the Spinrad Incident. Apologies for my own FAIL here. This post is otherwise unmodified, because BAHLETION fixes nothing, and should be read with this note in mind.

Indeed, of all the reactions to Norman Spinrad’s recent fail of the week, Nick Mamatas’ is the most reasoned, informative, and calm. Read his column on Haikasoru, “World SF, Worth Reading BEFORE developing an opinion”:

The problem is that Spinrad is just making an appeal to ignorance. He’s not familiar with the many writers of world SF, so he assumes they do not exist. For whatever reason, though he could be familiar with Japanese SF as some of it has been translated into English, he decided to ignore actually existing Japanese SF. He also utterly ignores Chinese SF, which has been a going concern since 1904 at least. China is also the home of Science Fiction World, the most widely read SF magazine on the planet.

[more at Haikasoru]

I think Norman Spinrad just decided he already knew enough, and didn’t need to do the research. Old dog, tricks, etc.

I really must add a wisdom-of-nick-mamatas tag.

As to Norman Spinrad:

2 thoughts on “Nick Mamatas Calmly Brings the Hammer Down on Spinrad

  1. Hm. Praising Nick for being “calm” kind of sets up a contrast against the vocal anger of non-white SF/F writers, and seems to suggest that a calm white* man is more worth listening to than (to borrow a phrase) an angry black woman. He might be easier for white people to listen to, but that very justifiable anger warrants airtime and attention too.

    * I don’t recall the extent to which Nick thinks of himself as white, but I think the culture in which he currently lives would generally classify him as such.

  2. Rose Fox,

    I certainly agree with you about the unfortunate implications I made there, and didn’t mean to set him up that way—at that point I hadn’t yet seen N.K. Jemisin’s post.

    I will shortly point that out in this post.

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