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On Pedestals

03/31/08 | by Adam | Categories: Silly

Link: http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/issues/2008/March/SecurityBeat.htm#Science

It's always sad when one's heroes turn out to be not merely human but, to put it nicely, utter shits. I've been an SF fan for a long time and enjoyed authors like Orson Scott Card, Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven. Jerry Pournelle was the first I soured on when I corresponded with him on the Byte Information Exchange (BIX) a number of years ago. Card followed somewhat later when his assholery made itself apparent when the growth of the internet allowed easy pontificating.

Niven, who'd previously remained inconspicuous, demonstrated a remarkable evilness in the linked-to article:

Niven said a good way to help hospitals stem financial losses is to spread rumors in Spanish within the Latino community that emergency rooms are killing patients in order to harvest their organs for transplants.

David Brin, another favourite writer cited in the same article, appears to be an utter megalomaniac:

“It is impossible for you to succeed without us!” he shouted at the assembled officials, while banging his fist on the table and at one point jumping off his chair to wave a mobile phone in their faces.

Perhaps it was all just theatre and the authors were trying to emphasize a point. The context doesn't seem to allow for that though.

While I still enjoy their books (although nothing I've read from Pournelle or Niven in the last fifteen years has been particularly good) it's hard to read them now without an eye on the political and social subtext that guides the narrative. That's a pity really.

(Via BoingBoing)


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