Why do we need a Superversive movement?
Yes, I explained the other day why we need a genre for Superversive books, but why a movement? It’s not like we need a movement for murder mysteries.
I’m half expecting that some idiot will claim that “movements are the only thing that makes anyone pay attention to writers on” … some kind of the political spectrum, usually “evil Christian Conservatives” or some such nonsense.
…. Yes, because John Ringo, David Weber, Timothy Zahn, and Larry Correia are all going broke on the bestseller list as right wingers. Yeah. Uh huh. Tell me another one.
Recently, I read a book called The War of the Worlds Murder, in which Max Allen Collins described a real life encounter in 1972 with an author who declared that the Mystery Writers of America would never– never — allow Mickey Spillane into their ranks, or give him one of their Edgar awards. Because Mickey Spillane was a right-wing lout who–gasp!–posed on his book covers holding a gun!!!!! And the MWA was just too good for people like that. At the time, Collins, who declared himself a “left-wing lout” believed that Spillane was responsible for the genre becoming as big as it did in the latter half of the 20th century, so why were elitist prigs allowed to keep out a luminary such as Spillane?
Tell me this conversation doesn’t sound awfully familiar.
It can’t be about awards. Not “won’t be,” but “can’t be.” Seriously, how many people can name, off the top of their heads and without looking up every title and date of publication, what came out last year that is eligible for 2017 awards? If you can without having to Google it, you have a better memory than I do. Heck, I came out with six books in 2016, and the only reason I remember that is because four of them came out in November and October.
But, yes, while lists are useful for people who want to vote in awards, and people who need the cheat sheet, the awards can’t be the point. It’s impossible. There are hundreds if not thousands of small presses, not counting self publishing, pumping out a lot of books every year. It’s going to be really flipping difficult to work with if awards are an end point.
So, what’s the point? Why need a movement?
In case you didn’t realize it, there’s a culture war going on. One side gets to hurl insults at the other, refer to them as deplorable, and bitter clingers, and gun nuts, and religious zealots — not necessarily for holding opposing views, but for disagreeing even slightly. They have a very loud microphone, with a very active astroturfed base.
A culture war is like a sports game: you can be beating them 20-0 for four quarters, but if you get bored, give up and go home, the other team wins. If you leave the field, you forfeit.
In every war, there’s en enemy. And who is the enemy?
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
But is that what the Superversive movement is about?
Well, to steal a point from Appendix N, (Chapter 2) the enemy in traditional fantasy was not necessarily the forces of evil, but the forces of chaos. The forces of chaos were the fae, and they were stopped by men of faith, and crosses, and basically Christianity in general. And it wasn’t a homily, a message forced down the throat, but as part of an adventure. Make of it what you will.
How prevalent is chaos as an enemy in the world? It’s not like you can turn on the television and see riots and blood in the street…
Oh, wait, nevermind.
Declan Finn is a Dragon Award nominated author. His “Catholic Vampire romance novels” can be found on his personal website. As well as all the other strange things he does.