Re: "Starship Stormtroopers", by Michael Moorcock

Damien Broderick (
Fri, 02 Jul 1999 12:34:35 +0000

At 09:09 PM 1/07/99 -0400, Mikey wrote:

>I'm not surprised that an anti-individualist like Moorcock would brand
>based on just one of his books, Starship Troopers, and that his abilities at
>literary analysis would be quite so stunted.

Have another look at what he wrote. (I know it's painful.) ST was the last book he thinks is kinda *okay*, becaue it's a gritty Bildungsroman. It's the later corpus, with its ever-more paternalistic authoritarian crypto-magic pseudo-rationality that he's offended by, and I think he's right. I love reading Heinlein, and I adore such usually-abominated fat tomes such as THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST-- precisely for those inveigling, insinuating characteristics that Moorcock is (rightly) railing against. I'm weak, I relish these fairytales in which competent men and superwomen rule the sevagram by the pure power of their good looks or improbably powerful minds and bodies or strict adherence to the absolute truths of science (ha!), but I know they are working to corrode my sense of reality and decent empathy just as tasty foods seem particularly shaped to destroy my teeth and bloodvessels.

>If Moorcock had instead fixated on
>_Stranger in a Strange Land_ before reading ST, I can imagine that he
would be
>singing the praises of Heinlein as a Buddhist, anti-establishment, pro-sexual
>revolution radical out to create a new transhumanist religion.

Aargh. It's STRANGER and the rest of the increasingly self-indulgent books that Moorcock finds so fatuous and suspect. Jubal rules the roost, even if the `girls' chuck him in the pool occasionally, because he is the Silverback with silver in his pocket. Mike the Archangel from Mars is right because... well, because *that's the way things are*, and he *knows it* because he can speak *Martian, the Truth Language* and hence kill his enemies at a thought. A vision of a post-Singularity Power? Maybe - but a troubling one. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Damien Broderick