Scalzi explains the sad state of science fiction

Inadvertently, of course, but he does explain it:

Ugh, we’re talking about the “canon” of science fiction literature, again, for reasons (most imminently the recent Hugo award ceremony and its fallout), and whether, basically, newer writers and readers should and must slog through a bunch of books in the genre that are now half a century old at least, from a bunch of mostly male, mostly white, mostly straight writers who are, shall we say, not necessarily speaking to the moment.

I’ve essayed this before, because I’m me, but here’s my newest set of thoughts on the matter, also because I’m me. Ready? Here we go:

As a practical matter, the science fiction “canon” is already dead.

There are at least two generations of adults now, and two generations of genre writers, who didn’t grow up on it and fundamentally don’t care about it. Long gone are the days where a kid’s first introduction to the genre was a Heinlein or Asimov novel, smuggled out of the adult fiction section of the library or bookstore like samizdat. The Kids These Days got their start reading genre through the YA section and grew up on Rowling and Collins and Westerfeld and Black and Pierce and Snicket, and got their science fiction through film and TV and video games and animation and comics as much as if not more than from books.

I repeat: They don’t care about “the canon.” Why should they? What they grew up with was sufficient for what they needed — to be entertained when they became readers and fans, and to be inspired if they became creators and writers. The writers they read spoke to them directly, because the art was new and it was theirs, not their parents’ or grandparents’. And while one might sniffily declare that what those YA authors were doing had been done before, by [insert spreadsheet of who who did what first in genre, which in itself is probably incomplete and therefore incorrect], no one cares. For readers and developing writers, it doesn’t matter who got there first, it matters who is there now, when those readers (and writers) are developing their own tastes and preferences, and claiming their own heroes and inspirations, both in fiction and in terms of the people writing it.

Also, here’s a news flash: even those of us who are old enough that the “canon” might have some actual relevance to our development as writers didn’t necessarily have that much reverence for it back then.

If the canon is dead, then so too is the genre. SJWs always live in Year Zero, which is why they are totally incapable of creating anything that is either a) original or b) capable of lasting. The degradation of a culture is directly tied to the intentional abandonment of the canon and its declining influence on the culture. This is as true of the larger culture as it is of a sub-literary ghetto like science fiction.

This, of course, is why SJWs were so panicked about the Puppies successful assault on the Hugos and why they were so quick to converge the Dragon Awards. They know their work can’t even begin to compare to the works of the past, so they need to bury every sign of its influence. One thing I noted early on about SF-SJWs like Scalzi et al is that for all their derivative and imitative writing, they actually were not very well read in the science fiction genre and they didn’t even like most of it.

Which, of course, is why they can’t write it very well. This is why Castalia matters. This is why Castalia Library, in particular, is vital, because it cannot be erased by poseurs and pretenders.