Sunday, September 19, 2010

All I intend to say about Elizabeth Moon re: Park 51

1) Her history, both in regards to immigration into the US and Islam in the US, is badly wrong. Her statements are based on wrong assumptions about the history of immigration and about the history of Islam in American. I can go into a little more detail if necessary, but really, if the underlying assumptions are wrong, then the statements are going to be wrong, and cannot get less wrong without revising the underlying assumptions. At this point, she seems unwilling to do such revision.

2) Moon is an author within a genre that prides itself on its inclusiveness (although spec fic has not always (indeed, often has not) lived up to its inclusive reputation). It is a genre/fandom which is filled with passionate people, and some of those passionate people are particularly passionate about the purported inclusiveness of their genre/fandom. Because Moon attacked that sense of inclusiveness, she got nuked for her statements. She deserved to get nuked. She was wrong, and she expressed little inclination to become less wrong.  She reacted in the way that one might expect under such circumstances, which is to say she retreated, pulled into her shell, and basically shut down. Now is the space in which Appeasers and Info/Logic Bombers can step in, and if the Nukers back off, the chances that Moon might recognize her errors increase. Note that I'm not saying the Nukers were wrong to nuke - they were entirely right to do so. I'm just saying that continued nuking at this juncture will almost certainly not have the desired effect (assuming the desired effect is to convince Mrs. Moon of the wrongness of her underlying assumptions. If the desire is to create another bitter writer who increasingly hates her fans and ultimately stops writing, continue the barrage.)

3) Until Moon includes a poorly written stand in for teh eeebul Moooslims in her next book, I will probably continue to read her work. As a general rule, I do not seek out the non-professional opinions of the authors I like, because, if they are truly professional authors, their non-professional opinions should not inform their professional writing. Were Moon writing a book about Islam in America (or about immigration in America), I would seriously question her qualifications to do so.