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Conservative Science Fiction Authors

March 11, 2011

Patrick Richardson (Pajamas Media) interviewed four science fiction authors to ask “Is Science Fiction getting more conservative?” In hindsight, I shouldn’t be surprised that a majority of science fiction authors are leftist.  Actually, it seems to me that most authors in general are leftist.  It becomes second nature to ignore that bias plus I gravitate towards those authors who are more conservative or libertarian.  Not surprisingly, one of my favorite authors was asked to comment — Orson Scott Card.  Here’s what he had to say:

Card noted that he wasn’t at all sure where the trends even stood in science fiction these days — because he had long since stopped paying attention. “I left SFWA [the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America] in 1987,” he said, “and haven’t looked back. I have very few friends among sci-fi writers and have no idea at all what their politics might be.”

“Back when I cared,” he continued, “most of the writers of my generation were so extremely leftist in their formal opinions, and so extremely elitist in their practices, that it would be difficult to discern where they actually stood on anything. It’s as if the entire Tsarist aristocracy fervently preached Bolshevism even as they oppressed their peasants. But that view is based on observations back in the mid-1980s. Since then, my only exposure to their views has been the general boycott of mine. In short,” he said, “I’m their Devil, but I have no idea who their God is anymore.”

It must really annoy some of the SFWA that Card has been insanely successful without being part of their club.  I love that.

 

15 Comments leave one →
  1. June 12, 2011 4:49 am

    There has been no conservative science fiction. However, consider “America’s Galactic Foreign Legion” by Walter Knight, a 13 books science fiction series depicting a stong America taking humanity across the galaxy.

  2. Michele permalink*
    June 12, 2011 11:14 am

    Even if you do say so yourself?

  3. June 13, 2011 2:02 am

    My complaint with much science fiction is repeated depiction of a failed America, or rants about evil corporations.taking over the world. Authors put Muslems in space just for the shock value, and that political correctness gets old, too.

    If mankind ever reaches out across the galaxy it will be on American spaceships. If aliens are ever contacted, it will be American culture they meet first. There will be no Russian, Chinese, or UN exploration of space because only American know-how can get the job done.

  4. Michele permalink*
    June 13, 2011 10:14 am

    Have you read anything by Orson Scott Card?

  5. June 13, 2011 11:12 am

    I love Orson Scott Card: Enders game and Bean are the best. The sequels fade a bit after that. I even liked “Enchanted,” a book most people overlook.

  6. Michele permalink*
    June 13, 2011 11:54 am

    I recommend Empire and Hidden Empire.

    I haven’t disliked any Card book that I’ve read.

  7. June 13, 2011 12:50 pm

    Getting back to the premise of your above article, the problem is not just that most science fiction authors are liberal, or that there is a shortage of conservative science fiction authors. The problem is that the ‘gatekeepers’ of what is published, the Big 6 NY publishers, stifle conservative voices.

    However, that is changing. The advent of Amazon Kindle published books has increased and diversified books available much the way cable TV destroyed the monopoly enjoyed by ABC, CBS, and NBC back in the day.

    Take my books for an example. “America’s Galactic Foreign Legion” was rejected by large publishers and agents. But published through a samll press, I have sold over 20,000 books, and sales are increasing as the series unfolds (a modest start). However, 98 percent of these books are E-books (Kindle). Without Kindle, my writing project would have been a literary and finacial failure.

    You can see on the Amazon readers review comments that liberals are irritated, but positive comments and E-mails show that conservative science fiction is way overdue and appreciated.

    As for Card, he has so much talent, but still shows an America that fails. I repeat, if humanity crosses the stars, it will be on American spaceships.

  8. Cliff Ball permalink
    September 25, 2011 2:19 pm

    There are science fiction novels out there that are right-leaning, or at least written by right-leaning authors, but most of them, including myself, are publishing through Createspace for paperbacks, and Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords for our e-books. I totally agree with Walter about all the changes and how people are bypassing the monopoly that is traditional publishing.

    If Card is conservative, then I better start reading his novels.

  9. Patty Schorsch permalink
    April 8, 2012 10:34 pm

    What is the original author talking about? “It must really annoy some of the SFWA that Card has been insanely successful without being part of their club. I love that.”

    Card has been one of the most successful and loved science fiction authors because he tells great stories. His Ender series is one of the most recommended series to anyone looking for something good to read and is on most lists of science fiction books you must read.

    Science fiction has long taken society and projected how certain political schools of thought would look if they were the current dominating driver. That is part of the fun in science fiction. It gives us a chance to look at what the world/universe might look like from that point of view. Or conversely, what the world would look like with the opposing view dominating society.

    Card’s success annoys no one I have ever talked to. It is only the authors that abandon good storytelling for their own political views that annoy science fiction fans. Books with an obvious political agenda and preachiness grate on many readers whether you subscribe to that theory of politics or not. Many science fiction fans hated the movie Avatar because of that – I know I did. Lazy, preachy, manipulative storytelling looking for the quick emotional fix targeting the self righteousness of its audience.

    Science fiction at its best can change minds; at minimum it can bring to life the other side’s view of utopia or folly.

    A solid liberal and lifetime science fiction fan.

  10. September 20, 2012 8:20 am

    As a published conservatire Sci-fi Author I have to agree with Cards assessment and applaud the road he took. Through organizations I am part of, the large majority of authors I come i contact with are liberal in their views. Many of the Amazon ebooks I’m given to read/review also are heavily liberalized and usually excessively preachy about it.

    Its hard for me to say if the prevailing liberal attitude in sci-fi writing today has impacted me in any way. I believe, if you have a good story and tell it in a way that doen’t suffocate and nauseate people with your personal ideology (in other words, exhibiting good writing skills) then any sci-fi enthusiast will appreciate your novel – conservative, liberal, or otherwise.

  11. vint permalink
    September 22, 2012 1:11 am

    If you’re in need of a conservative writer of science fiction — bordering on righwing fanatic — just drop in a dansimmons dot com, and you’ll get what you are looking for. He regularly quotes from Fox “news” postings, and recently posted about how he found the act of celebrities pledging allegiance to President Obama (which, of course, means they will support him and his administration by voting and volunteering) to be extremely offensive (He did not, apparently, find the lies and criminal acts of the Bush administration offensive — go figure). His followers there are every bit as crazy in their beliefs and musings.

  12. Zero X permalink
    November 27, 2012 10:28 pm

    I bounced in here after googling Conservative Science Fiction Authors. After reading the article and most of the replies, it occurred to me that those of us who write speculative fiction from a “conservative” perspective are the rebels.
    The Leftist/Socialist/Anti-Free Market view of the future has become as cliche’ and threadbare as the sitcom plot where the main character meets his exact double and they trade places!
    What SF author worth his salt would dare make a corporate CEO the hero of his novel? Who would do the unthinkable and portray a corporation in their SF novel as anything other than a greedy planet raping juggernaut?
    The orthodoxy of Science Fiction is definitely out there in Left field. Their cutting edge is dulled and broken from overuse.

  13. May 4, 2013 8:13 pm

    Conservative and also Christian themed science fiction is mainly in the Createspace and Kindle world as Cliff said previously. However, as with anything else, it cannot be too preachy as to alienate or make the reader feel that concepts are being shoved down their throat. Fiction is a great tool to educate and science fiction offers the opportunity to present the results of liberalism on society.

  14. May 31, 2013 1:30 am

    We lost one of my favorite conservative authors a few years back – Poul Anderson

    If someone wanted to do a truly conservative hero for a TV series, it would be Nicholas Van Rijn, the piratical CEO of Solar Space & Liquors and his rag tag gang of traders. He’s always trying to end wars and conflicts on frontier planets in order that everyone can get along and make money together. My kinda space hero. Dom DeLuise would have been perfect in the role.

    It’s a shame no one ever has picked up on Anderson’s vast body of work for ideas.

  15. Michael A. Bowie permalink
    October 1, 2013 5:36 pm

    My favorite conservative science fiction author is David Conn, he wrote the book LEDNORF’S DILEMMA. With the 35th anniversary of Jonestown coming it makes more sense than ever.

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