Charybdis III

Yet more demands of poor fanfic writers - Bjorn wants less tunnel-vision:

I think that even when we’re discussing the future
of our own technology, we seem to have a big case of tunnel vision. We
won’t be able to predict everything, mind, you, but we also have to be
mindful that any technology that is produced will undoubtedly have all sorts
of side uses.

An unnamed SG-1 fan wants scientific accuracy. Others want more style,
or less style, more plot or less plot, a sprinkle of this and a dash of that.
Lori responds to some of these demands with her diplomatic
version of my favorite saying, Have you ever seen TOS?
For Bjorn I’ll translate it, Do you read sci-fi?

Yes, it would be nice if we
could all plot perfectly, write like the poets, display a perfect understanding of
human nature, know every last factoid about our subject matter, and predict
the cultural impact of science down to painting the moon blue. There’s just
one little problem - it’s impossible.

No one omits plot because of a personal prejudice against it. Writers write
bad plots because that’s the best they can do. No one says, today I’ll
make my prose dull and leaden
- they do the best they can. If a writer
seems to get by on just plot (as many genre novelists do), that means they’re
being read despite their disabilities, not because of
them. If a fanfic writer does the Mary Sue, it’s not because she’s decided that
being reviled by fandom would be a nice change of pace - she merely lacks
the skill to conceal herself.

Bjorn takes the failure of fanfic writers at what is arguably the hardest
challenge in
fiction today, that is, inventing and conveying future cultural changes caused by
scientific innovation, and equates it with tunnel vision. It’s these
outright demands for genius that are the real tunnel vision of the genre
discussion. Bjorn is far from the first to demand it; he was just the
most recent with his roundabout way of asking,
Why aren’t you Ursula LeGuin?

There need be no deeper reason for the deficiencies of genre and fanfic
than the simple one that writing is hard. No psychoanalysis or classification is
necessary. If you want it done better, you’re going to have to do it yourself.

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