Wednesday, October 27, 2010

when scifi writers could disagree

At Right Fans: Sci Fi from the Other Side: Pardon the Interruption: Politcal Correctness and the Death of Science Fiction Fandom, Stephanie S. shares a quote by Isaac Asimov:
...Fears were expressed at the time that [two competing statements written on the Vietnam War and signed by opposing blocks of science fiction authors] would create storms and divisions among science fiction writers and would break up our camaraderie in a tempest of controversy. Well, if the statements have done so, I haven't noticed it. Our mutual identification as fellow science fiction writers persists above and beyond lesser divisions.

To be specific, Poul [Anderson] knows that I am a "fuzzy-minded pinko" and I know that he is a "narrow-minded hardhat" (not that either of us would ever use such terms), but we love each other anyway, and our relations with each other in these last couple of years have not suffered at all.
I disagree with Stephanie's politics. I think she needs to learn the differences between the major schools of Islam, and especially needs to learn why Wahabism does not represent Islam in general. (I highly recommend Reza Aslan's No god but God.)

But I share her belief that we should be free to disagree. I've been quoting Malcolm X lately. Here's another of my favorites, from shortly before he was killed:
...my dearest friends have come to include all kinds -- some Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, agnostics, and even atheists! I have friends who are called capitalists, Socialists, and Communists! Some of my friends are moderates, conservatives, extremists -- some are even Uncle Toms! My friends today are black, brown, red, yellow, and white!
May we all be able to disagree and still be friends.

**

Regarding Wiscon, I suspect I'm done writing about it now. I've completed my trilogy:

6 reasons Wiscon should not have uninvited Elizabeth Moon, or The Inconvenient Feminist

replying to Saladin Ahmed: one more about Elizabeth Moon, Wiscon, and free speech

uninviting a speaker is censorship: Elizabeth Moon, Wiscon, ACLU, and more

And I like to think that once a literary convention has engaged in censorship, it can sink no lower. But I'm prepared to be wrong.