The Cultural War or how I got a ban on r/Fantasy

For the most part, I tend to stay out of the culture wars. I just don’t have the patience to deal with whiny liberals, bowtie conservatives, and everything in between. I’m also not a gamer, a comic guy, or anime fan. I read what I like and what I want. I have no interest in making anyone read the stuff I’m into and I don’t really care about the new trends in SFF or literary fiction.

bran castle

But, this week I got myself a 28-day ban from the Reddit Fantasy board. I’ve been a reader and poster on r/fantasy since about 2010. It’s a great board, and due to the posts and discussions on there, I’ve come across some great Fantasy fiction. Mark Lawrence, Robin Hobb, Louis Bujold, and Guy Gavriel Kay were some of the writers I discovered thanks to that board.

Sadly, the place has become the personal fiefdom of the moderators and some of their pet sublist writers like Krista Ball, a hard left ideologue. They allow her to shut down any discussion or debate that disagrees with their core beliefs, which of course are far left progressive stances on everything. Just looking through her twitter and some of her past Reddit posts makes my point clear. You will see her shutting down discussions, insulting readers, derailing debate, and of course all in the wake of comments deleted by the mods.

Two days ago she posted a thread outlining the tweets from writer N. K. Jemisin, blaming the lack of PoC SFF writers on bigoted editors choosing mediocre “Europe-Based Fantasy” over their non-Western offerings. The post is here, some interesting back and forth.

Highlights:

Every time I see another mediocre Europe-based fantasy, I think of how many brilliant non-European fantasies got rejected to make room for it.

The genre is impoverished because we listen to mediocre bigots. We are all stupider for listening to people like this. STOP listening to people like this.

SFF shouldn’t listen to mediocre bigots. That just shouldn’t be a thing. But because we do privilege the voices of mediocre people — mostly white dudes, but some white women — they have an effect. The editor who rejects brilliant non-Euro fantasy has been listening to them.

 

N.K. Jemisin is a multiple Hugo and Nebula winner, who is also a racist ideologue who considers anyone who doesn’t kowtow to her boringly dull fiction(not my thing, it’s written in unreadable 2nd person present tense) must be a racist bigot. Check out her awesome twitter, it’s all liberal resentment.

Honestly, I could give two fucks about Jemisin and the rest of the liberal racists. Most of the time they are just busy fighting each other over how woke they are or what pronouns to use on each other this week. Yet, something about this post irritated me. The idea that traditional European fantasy is mediocre and only gets published because the publishers are racists and so are the low cultured readers.

You can unpack those preposterous comments and debate for days, the threads on Reddit have some pretty good back and forth. I’m just personally sick of shaking any social media rock and finding some snaking complaining about how dull and boring Eurocentric fantasy is, and how advanced and woke they are because they read a novella set in a pseudo-African setting.

So, sitting at work eating breakfast I spat out this quick post, I Love Medieval Eurocentric Fantasy!

I love Medieval Eurocentric Fantasy.

While I enjoy a lot of variety in my reading my go-to for fantasy and history is the old fashioned eurocentric stuff.

The N.K. Jemisin post is a great illustration of the negativity thrown towards my favorite type of fantasy. Seems like the stuff I like is a dirty word, or synonymous with racism, or bigotry.

I even love chosen farmboys, aloof elves, surly dwarfs, and funny hat wizards.So here it goes man.. I love castles, Knights, kings and queens, princess and princes, witches, warlocks, and dragons. I love taverns on the side of a road and quaint inns where adventurers gather.

I love LotR, WoT, Lyonesse, Broken Empire, The Witcher, Realm of the Elderlings, and all old and new eurocentric fantasy.

Maybe I’m just mediocre and like mediocre tastes but I’m ok with that.

So for all the writers that love the above, keep writing it, I’ll keep buying it.

I triggered a fucking hornet’s nest of resentment. I watched the post and the upvotes went up and down every second, back and forth. It spawned another thread, right here. Then I got banned..

You have been temporarily banned from participating in r/Fantasy. This ban will last for 28 days. You can still view and subscribe to r/Fantasy, but you won’t be able to post or comment.

If you have a question regarding your ban, you can contact the moderator team for r/Fantasy by replying to this message.

Reminder from the Reddit staff: If you use another account to circumvent this subreddit ban, that will be considered a violation of

the Content Policy and can result in your account being suspended from the site as a whole.

The primary rule of r/fantasy, which we’ve spoken to you about before, is to be kind. Included in this is being respectful to others and not picking fights with users.

I’m not sure how many times I can possibly explain that it’s not your opinions that’s the issue, it’s the way your express them.

So basically my above post.. is an improper way to express my opinions. If you have no life you can go through the thread and see that none of my posts are rude, combative, or even mean-spirited. Most of the replies to my thread are in fact rude or derail the conversation. But, what the fuck do I know? My expression is mean or something.

lamia

 

Either way, I stand by my original statement. I love Eurocentric Fantasy. That’s what I like, that’s what I like to read, and that’s what I will continue to pay money for.

So why am I irritated by this to even make a post? I can hear you guys already saying, “fuck Reddit, it sucks anyways.”  That’s the standard conservative reply to these issues. “Fuck Hollywood let the liberals have it, fuck music let the liberals have it, fuck Universities let the liberals have it,” over and over and on and on until progressive far left liberalism dominates our entire cultural landscape.

The reason I’m irritated is because r/fantasy has 374k subscribers. At any given time, there are about 1k readers online. I know that all of them aren’t culture warriors so I’m not going to let a bunch of ideologue moderators silence me. I’m no longer going to keep my opinions silent. I’m going, to be honest, and unapologetically stand up for what I love and what I enjoy.

I love Eurocentric Fantasy and Science Fiction, from Jules Verne through I Robert Jordan I love it all. I love Conan, Bilbo, Frodo, Rand’al Thor, Fitzchivalry, Sauron, and all the other characters that grace the browned pages of my favorite books. I love castles and keeps, roadside taverns, kings and queens, princes and princesses. I love dark forests, deep dungeons, aloof elves, industrious dwarves, and beastly orcs. From chosen farmboys to dark lords, keep writing it and I will keep reading.

 

 

 

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7 thoughts on “The Cultural War or how I got a ban on r/Fantasy

  1. I love (good) Eurocentric fantasy, I love (good) non-Eurocentric fantasies. Her basic premise, that multiple brilliant non-European fantasies are rejected to make way for ever mediocre Eurocentric fantasy, is nonsense.

    Like

  2. She also wrong, I think, about the bias of publishers. Non-European fantasy is in vogue now, to the point that the opposite of what she said is closer to true. There is still a lot of good Eurocentric fantasy coming out these days, but most of it seems to be coming from the UK.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with Mr. Lovecraft above. The Non-traditional stories featuring “under-represented groups” is what editors are looking for. And there’s nothing wrong with that. If I weren’t a white male I’d be unhappy that there aren’t many stories about me too.
    But I think there’s a lot wrong with everything here. (1) politics has infested SFF for years now. All the major awards are so damn political now and every year end up being fights between ideologies. Of course a writer’s politics are going to leak into a work here and there, but the fans and readers shouldn’t be arguing politics in SFF. Part of this stems from the social media culture, everyone saying whatever the hell they want and letting their worst side show thru from the cover of their parents’ basements. Also…
    Just so much to say that I can’t form words.
    How about this: Don’t we have enough terrible politics in every other aspect our lives, in our faces constantly? Can’t we leave it out of our escapism?! Where the hell are we to escape to??? Actually SFF has always been a great platform for social commentary (think 1984, Fahrenheit 451, The Left Hand of Darkness, etc) but if you don’t want to read that, then no one should shove it down your throat. Your reading tastes are like your religion—no one else’s fucking business!
    Okay, that’s a bad comparison because the religion is fought about more than anything in this world. But it shouldn’t be.
    Let me go to point (2) Obviously everything she said was more divisive and racist than anything you said. *She* was the one trying to start a fight. You just stood up for your tastes.
    Anyway, no point writing any more. We all agree, I think.
    My advice: Stay out of that shit. The world’s going to burn. There aren’t enough of us not trying to burn it compared to all the assholes trying to do so. Grab a quiet corner, stay off the internet, and enjoy life while we can.

    Like

  4. It seems that there are 3 broad categories when dealing with these kinds of communities:

    1) Walk away. This is the typical “bowtie conservative” response. This one gives the left free reign over the forum, organization, etc.

    2) Make their own space. Whether it is a new subreddit or Reddit replacement or self-publishing or something like Castalia House.

    3) Stick with it and try to bring light into a dark place.

    In my opinion, 2 and 3 are the best options.

    Like

  5. I’m dying man. It’s the way you expressed your opinion that they objected to? Utter nonsense. Who do they think they’re fooling?

    The push for “people who look like me!” representation was always bound to backfire, and I’ll tell you why: white people of a European background ALSO like people who look like them! What’s good for one is good for all. Double standards are ruining everything. Being forced to like stuff BECAUSE of the creator’s identity is never going to work long-term. It did while people were sufficiently cowed, but those days are over.

    Good for you for sticking your (metaphorical) middle finger in these clowns’ faces.

    Like

    1. It’s actually quite sad because I enjoy reading books from different cultures and different peoples. But due to the nonstop toxic anti-western thought in publishing, I’ve gotten to the point that I immediately assume a poc writer hates me so I won’t even try it out. Why would I accidentally give race hustling anti-white racists like Taneshi Coats any of my hard earned money? Fuck em.

      Liked by 1 person

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