I am not worthy to describe myself as a science fiction writer but I did co-author two books with the talented and witty Jules Smith who deserves all the credit for everything. I likewise take all of the blame.
The third book in the series is somewhere around half-finished and I have no idea when it will reach the market. Blame the laggard!
However, this blog post isn’t about me or the insightful Jules (it’s unfair that somebody like Jules has so much talent), but about how science fiction is being destroyed by the legions of woke (the evil cult of wokeness). They have a vision of the future and Orwell identified it in 1984: “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.” Normally we sci-fi writers can ascribe these traits and agendas to villains of the worst sort. Unfortunately, the Woke have grabbed these attributes as a totem to worship before.
When Disney bought Star Wars, it had a license to print money, and more fan goodwill than anyone, anywhere, at any time in the history of the planet. And they pissed it all away in the name of Wokeness.
The success of two seasons of The Mandolorian amply displays that any and all Disney stories set in the Galaxy of Far Faraway could have been crowd-pleasing money-makers, true to the original while being truly original, not brainless clones like FORCE IS WOKE, not hateful deconstructions like LAST STRAW, not soulless cash-grabs like RISE OF MARY SUE.
Four billion dollars flushed into the incinerator. BILLION with a B. Larger than the war budget of middle-rank First World nations. Up in smoke in the name of Woke. That is one freakishly expensive hobby.
The same madness of Political Correctness that drives readers away from science fiction, and ruins all the beloved franchises from the past, pulling down statues from Ghostbusters to Dr. Who to Star Trek to Marvel to DC and beyond, may create an audience for a sane and wholesome version of such old school space opera. Time will tell.
It remains to be seen whether more of the market will be ruined than is recreated because the normal mechanisms which would bankrupt these untalented and hate-filled purveyors of Wokescold puke are also corrupt; hence the free market cannot be relied upon to sponge away the unsightly scourge.
The Woke are not going Broke, or count the cost light, because they hope they can build the next generation to be Woke as themselves, and have a taste for their trash, and eat filth like bottom-feeders.
Politics is downstream of culture, but culture is downstream of cult. The wokescolds are willing to burn their fortunes to spread their cult. Would not any faithful Christian, loving Christ more than Mammon, do the same?
So, ultimately, the question is not personal to me, nor professional to the small world of science fiction writers, but afflicts all arts, all institutions, all the world.
It is a universal and spiritual problem.
The phrase “Political Correctness” is Stalinist in origin, a euphemism for those falsehoods found useful to the Party Ideology, to which all party loyalists are expected to sacrifice the truth.
It is a phrase ironically perfect as an example of itself: because “politically” correct means incorrect. As with “social” justice, which is injustice, or “racial” equity, which is racism, the addition of a jabberwocky modifier is meant to keep the connotation while reversing the denotation. In this case, what we denote as dishonesty is artificially given the moral connotation of its reverse, namely honesty. In reality, falsehood is blameworthy; under political correctness, falsehood is praiseworthy, and truth is hate-speech.
The falsehood, in reality, is incorrect, but the ideology demands greater loyalty to the ideology than to reality. Falsehood may be factually incorrect, but it is politically correct, hence the name.
That the belief is false is of no concern: the point is to believe the nonsense even when you don’t.
The point is to be seen to believe what you don’t believe. The point is conformity. The point is to avoid being the first man to stop clapping, so to speak.
What to believe is inconsistent, in some generations favoring one thing, and some the opposite. For example, the Soviets at times legalized sodomy, at others punished it. A socialist of 1930 promoting futurism and industrialization, by 1960 promoted a back-to-nature movement. An “Occupy Wall Street” activist of 2011 promoted plutocracy in Silicon Valley of 2016, or Big Pharma of 2020. Alarmists can switch from dire warnings about Global Cooling to Global Warming at a moment’s notice, and adored idols, as writer J.K. Rowling, can become unpersons as if with the stroke of an airbrush. There are several variations of Political Correctness.
The current variation of Political Correctness is variously known as Wokeness, also called Critical Race Theory, or Intersectional Feminism, or Gender Ideology, does not allow for any human emotion to be praised as praiseworthy. Unlike Stalinism, which was a Satanic parody of divine compassion for the poor able to retain or mimic certain compassionate elements, Wokism is entirely selfish, self-centered, hence Satanic, hence unable to retain any human elements. It is for this reason, a Wokescold cannot tell a story.
Woke Ideology is the Sin of Pride riding the many-headed beast of psychological projection. The message: Everything you need is found in the looking glass.
Pride is a sin that does not tolerate pride in others. The ambition to be paramount, to be the sole and only soul of worth in creation, is incompatible with such ambition in others. There cannot be two Number One.
Nor can any Number One actually be number one in all things, accomplished at all arts, wiser than all sages, braver than all heroes, saintlier than all saints, and so on. However, what he can be is more enlightened that all others, merely by attributing bad motives and wicked desires to those others, while his motives are declared to be pure. (Hunter Biden)
So being “Woke” means nothing more than seeing all human emotions and motivations as impure, and hence all social institutions, traditions, customs and laws, as unjust. It means scolding everyone about everything in every way and at all times. No matter what the question might be, the answer is always the same: the Woke man is morally superior to you.
The parallel between this eccentric and nakedly evil worldview, and the ancient heresy of the Gnostics, is not accident. The Gnostics also held that God, and the world, were false and impure, but that the Gnostic himself was enlightened, and, indeed, was his own god.
Since all human institutions are condemned as impure, love and romance are condemned. The Woke is enlightened enough to see love as a trap meant to victimize women by reducing them to sweethearts, lovers, wives, and mothers, which prevents them from being entrepreneurs. At that same time, entrepreneurs are evil, so it is unclear what the Woke propose to put in the place of romance, love, marriage, motherhood, once these instructions are destroyed. (One assumes it will be the City of Sodom, peopled solely by drag queen pederasts, but run as a commune.)
Wokeness is political correctness applied to the eyes: you look around, and see everything as the opposite of what it reality is, you declare the reality to be dream and deception, an opiate of the sheep that ensnares and degrades them, an entire world of grift and deception, where all games are rigged: and your hallucination from the looking glass world, seeing love as hate, wealth as poverty, and colorblindness as racism, you decree to be a true and hidden inner reality, visible to you due to your innermost self-wonderfulness.
For the writer, the Woke heroine cannot be concerned with the matter typical of heroines in a romance tale, or even in an adventure romance. She is not interested in love and marriage, since these things are feminine, and not sufficiently selfish and prideful. She is not able to do the work typical of action heroes, fighting evil and saving the weak, because these things likewise require self-sacrifice.
The Woke regard all of life as a roulette wheel which should distribute honors and rewards equally and randomly; but since certain people, nations, groups receive disproportionately — so unfair that the Moonshot and the Wright Flyer both came from the United States, not Upper Volta or Botswana! — this proves the wheel is rigged, corrupted by impure social institutions.
Even those things that are obvious differences in nature and biology, such as the sexual differences between the sexes, are held to be by-products of impure social institutions, which can be rectified merely by changing pronouns in speech. Hence, if you say “he and she” rather than “he” when referring to a person of unknown sex, that person will be able to swim or run in an athletic contest equally with all other contestants, regardless of innate biological differences in bone density, lung capacity, testosterone level, musculature, size, build between the sexes. Also, men will be able to menstruate, give birth, give milk, and women will be able to father children. (As said above, no one actually believes this insolent nonsense; it is merely a psychological ploy to see how many people can be cajoled or pressured into expressing loyalty by uttering falsehoods.)
The long and the short of it is that Political Correctness is falsehood, and Wokeness is falsehood about human nature.
No poet can tell a good tale if he speaks falsehood about the spirit of man. The Woke require that everything is false to be acceptable.