Re: Herding Extropycats [was Shame on Australia]

From: Russell Blackford (
Date: Sat Sep 01 2001 - 18:06:45 MDT

Tim Maroney said (to me)

>I guess you don't hang around in the science fiction community much. (I
>don't any more, but I used to.) What I'm seeing here politically is
>by-the-book fanboy libertarianism.

Tim, I have a small but perfectly formed <g> body of professional work
published in the sf and fantasy field in Australia, the US, the UK and
Italy, and am an active member of SFWA. I am also a paid up member of SFRA
(the Science Fiction Research Association, for the academic study of the
genre). I count among my friends Joe Haldeman, William Gibson, Gregory
Benford, Kim Stanley Robinson, Ellen Datlow and various other people whom
you'd have heard of in the North American sf community. I have *a lot* of
friends in the local sf community including well-known writers such as
Damien Broderick. I ran a large chunk of the programming for the 1999 world
sf convention (held here in Melbourne) and later used the papers and
transcripts to co-edit a special Aussie issue of the British sf journal
_Foundation_. I've been to a number of worldcons overseas (hmmm, though
admittedly only one in the US - otherwise, I've been to worldcons in the Uk
and the Netherlands) as well as a large number of conventions here in
Australia, including two worldcons.

I am very active in the sf community in Australia and have co-written a book
on the history of Australian sf (published in the US by Greenwood Press if
anyone wants to go out and buy a copy).

And on and on...

In short, I am actually very familiar with the international sf community.
What you are describing is a small sub-set of the sf community based around
the work of Jerry Pournelle and a few others. It may seem largish in the US,
but it is almost non-existent in Australia and I think you'd find the same
in Britain and any of the European countries. There is, admittedly, a
libertarian streak in the group of American hard sf writers led by Benford,
Greg Bear and David Brin - but it's only a streak. These people are far more
complex thinkers than that.

So my question remains. Why does the extrolist show the same mentality as
one sub-set of sf fandom, whereas the sf-related lists I've been on have
shown a totally different mentality?


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