- David Moles shares my astonishment, and the astonishment of all right-thinking people, at the award of a Nebula for Best Novelette to Eric James Stone's 'That Leviathan, Which Thou Hast Made', a story which "contained no science worth speaking of. There was very little fiction in it either, if fiction is the narrative of imagination; whatever images might have been in its author’s mind, what made it onto the page was determinedly unimaginative, and less narrated than vaguely gestured at. It put forward no fantasy, unless the fantasy that the world is an uncomplicated place populated chiefly by straw men and contrived examples is a fantasy. What writing was in it was mostly bad."
- Chad Orzel weighs in: "I could rant at some length about all the things that are awful about this story about Mormons proselytizing to aliens who live in the Sun, but life is just too short, you know?"
- Locus pulls together comments on the story from elsewhere, and attracts some additional comments from Martin Lewis (whose hilarious dissection of the story is so far only available on Twitter).
- Abigail puts her finger on it: "What's wrong with "Leviathan" isn't just that it's badly written and that all its characters seem to have been created either to spout talking points [...] or act as straw men [...]. Worse than these is the fact that it's not a story so much as a thought experiment that posits a situation in which none of the negative associations of Christian missionary work are applicable... The premise of proselytizing to aliens raises a lot of questions, but Stone is more interested in giving definitive answers, ones that shut down all objections to missionary work, among humans and aliens alike."
- My own very modest contribution to the debate: "Written from the heart, just not very well."
Delicious LiveJournal Links for 6-13-2011
Second paragraph of third chapter: Tunde is twenty-one, just out of that period of his life where everything seemed the wrong size, too long or too…
Second paragraph of third entry ("And"): Why get so excited over a 'little word' like and? In most wordbooks, it's the 'content words' that attract…
Second paragraph of third story ("Ten with a Flag", by Joseph Paul Haines): It only took him a couple of seconds to connect to the traffic web.…