You know, I’ve been avoiding responding to criticisms of “An Unimaginable Light” on the grounds that authors shouldn’t respond to criticisms of their own stories directly, but let them speak for themselves, but then I realized…I’m not the author. I’m the editor. And I have every right to defend my authors from unfair criticisms!
Goodreads has set up its own “An Unimaginable Light” page. Let’s see what it shows us.
We have this (these are snippets from reviews, not the full thing:
In some ways, the story is thought provoking, but Wright’s emphasis seems to be too much on the “provoking” side: the characters are designed to elicit a specific response, sexualization and use of force against the female character even more so.
I wonder when people are going to realize – as many people, bizarrely, also missed with Mr. Wright’s previous story “The Plural of Helen of Troy” – that the story is actually *specifically opposed to* oversexualization of female characters? But I guess that doesn’t fit the image in their head of that nutso crazy religion guy Wright.
This explores robot-human relations, very similar to what has been done many times in the last 50-75 years. There’s not a lot new to explore, and the argument posed is not very creative.
If you dislike a subgenre, that’s not an actual value judgment.
Wow. If Asimov’s collected body of work was, in fact, a steaming pile of shit, this story would fit right in. Read solely for the fact that it’s on the Hugo ballot and I want to be an informed voter. No Award definitely ranks higher than this piece of garbage.
It’s fascinating how right up until people explicitly hostile to Wright’s philosophy started reading this story, it was almost universally praised, and by people with no direct connection to the superversives or reason for bias in our favor. Perhaps – just perhaps – these negative reviews are written by people incapable of separating their opinion of the philosophy underlying a story from the quality of the story itself.
Because otherwise I would contend – and I think many would agree – to call the story, and I quote, “a steaming pile of shit”, is utterly preposterous.
The reviewer Marco, seen through the link, is apparently the same guy who wrote a previously linked negative review, given his bizarre insistence that some sort of creationism is being pushed (this is total nonsense; I don’t even think Mr. Wright is a creationist himself, though you’d need to ask him to confirm).
My favorite (ironically, of course):
I felt as though this story was an attack on femininity, beauty, on intelligence, sexuality etc, even though the story was pretending to be about ethics and philosophy.
It’s almost unfathomable to me how any sane person could possibly think this. It is literally a defense – an explicit, stated defense – of every single one of those things. How can you possibly think otherwise? How biased do you need to be going in?
Want to prove I’m off my rocker? Go ahead, give the story a look yourself.