Friday, July 13, 2018

Taking flak means you're over the target

I figured some of the books in the Applied Topology series would offend a few people; oh, I didn't set out with that object, but one of the pleasures of writing indie is that I don't have to slip everything past an editor who is bent on removing anything that anybody could possibly find offensive. A generation ago that attitude might have made sense, but nowadays there are far too many people taking offense at far too many things; if I tried to keep all of the Perpetually Righteously Offended happy, my books would be as bland as Cream of Wheat and I'd be too bored to keep writing.

Instead, I let my real characters have real opinions that haven't been passed through the Blandifier. The mathematicians are terrible intellectual snobs, the college kids think all of West Texas and the Panhandle are a boring wasteland, Thalia hates guns and she's dating a guy whose best friend is his Glock. And readers who lack the mental capacity to tell the difference between an author's opinions and those of a character are gonna get bent out of shape.

So... a friend just sent me a link to a really impressively offended review on Goodreads. I laughed my way through it. You gotta admire someone who can determine in the first five pages of a book that the author panders to the nasty and dangerous to sell books and can only move the story forward by touting racist ideology. As far as I can tell, the reviewer came to this conclusion based on the opinion of one character about one plot to establish a terror cell in Austin.

So. Having a character who thinks terrorists might be crossing our porous Southern border is racist. Having a character who accuses the first one of lacking compassion for innocent refugees is... irrelevant, I guess.

You can't argue with people so determined to take offense. You can only laugh at them and move on. Oh, wait. Laughing is also offensive; the same reviewer also complains that I "mock political correctness." Do tell.

I've been worried that the only people who actually read the books were the ones in my little circle of online friends, most of whom are equally politically incorrect. Well, hallelujah! Now I know I've broken out into a larger market!


  1. Good golly! I just read that books are fiction, right...duh...guess my little brain can't understand her rant. Bit I did love your post!

  2. "an editor who is bent on removing anything that anybody could possibly find offensive. "

    For some values of "anybody" not including anybody defined as Oppressor Class. They're nobodies and should be offended.

  3. I have read the first two and have started the third. Politically incorrect? Oh, perhaps. Incoherent? Nope.

    (Reading over the moo's shoulder, as it were.)

  4. Just as long as you don't find it Politically Correct!

  5. Hmmm - had no idea you were a Republican . . . impressed that the reviewer sussed that out in the first 5 pages. ;-)

  6. I prefer to think of myself as more an anti-Democrat. Can't say that I'm really thrilled with either of our major political parties, so voting is usually a matter of deciding which one has annoyed me more lately.


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