Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Subterranean Scott Card Blues

Roll up, roll up. I'm giving 3 to 1 odds Subterranean Press release a statement of profound apology about their release of Orson Scott 'closet' Card's Hamlet's Father- a re-telling of the moderately well known Shakespere tragedy in which (I'm told) we discover that 'the something rotten in the state of' is, of course, evil man love- by the end of the week. 5 to 1 they withdraw the product entirely.

(Here's a review) (Afternoon update: here's another)

Already, S P have released a statement in which they attempt to set the record straight and the sound of ice trembling in whisky glasses is audible. And understandably. Already, the war drums of Twitter heat up (sorry for that mixed metaphor but I've only 140 characters here) as the online SF community smell the first whiffs of 'Subter-Fail', or whatever it'll be called by 6.00 pm tonight, Greenwich meantime. Worse still, SP already know they are defending something- given the writer's well known attitude to homosexuality in both its forms- that is quite undefendable. Gone trod in a brainwrong, you might say. A large and pongy one. Everyone knows it.

Don't get me wrong- SP make a good fist (not a phrase OSC would use but one I'd wager gives him a funny flutter he can't explain whenever he hears it) at damage limitation with a 'I'm just as surprised as you guys- it was published before elsewhere and no one so much as grumbled' patter. Which is simultaneously a bit naff, sadly. Because it suggests SP have absolutely no clue as to what kind of people their customers (and SF's small press culture generally) are. Its like they've just given a Roy Chubby Brown box set to their Guardian-reading spouse for their anniversary, in fact.

That said, their hoover-it-all-up ploy of requesting all those disgruntled to send them an Email about it instead of kicking off on the net is inspired and might, might, just work. Except it won't because lefty, attention-ravenous bloggers like me won't let it. That's just how these flamey-grrr things work I'm afraid.

A pity, ultimately, because Subterranean Press are a wonderful organ (that's for you, Card. You're welcome) producing beautiful books in a world full of 3-for-2 tat. A force for good in genre and the world in general.

I'll go out on a limb and say the same can't be said of Orson Scott Card. What the hell is a homophobic drone to a hoax-birthed religion doing in Science Fiction- the genre of progress- anyway? Aside from making a lot of money, I mean...


  1. SP make a good fist (not a phrase OSC would use but one I'd wager gives him a funny flutter he can't explain whenever he hears it)

    I like this whole blog post, but this is my favorite part.

  2. I'd also like to point out the social media universe's response: the #buyabiggaybookforscottcardday hashtag on Twitter, which had the wonderful effect of highlighting many worthy gay authors and books.

    (as well as a few hacks. *cough*)

  3. Wow, I didn't know that, Tim. I guess every bigoted medeivalist cloud has a silver lining.

  4. I'd like to think he gets a funny flutter, but I've got a theory that homophobes aren't closet homosexuals, we'd just rather they were because that would make them conflicted, interesting people.
    Most likely they are just stupid tossers incapable of distinguishing between something they personaly don't want to do, and something that's wrong.
    I don't like eating sprouts, but I'm not about to stop everyone else gobbling them. The sprouts I mean, not the, er... Jiiim, I'm in a hole and I can't get out, no not that kind of hole, oh damn.

    1. It's a slippery slope of delightfully toned man flesh isn't it? Gah! Now I'm doing It!