This post is a sequel of sorts to my previous post on Brad Torgersen and the Sad & Rabid Puppies, which you can read here.
To get a better idea of Brad Torgersen's problem with today's science fiction, let's take a look at some good, old-fashioned, reliably-packaged SF.
Hey, that looks like a space marine! This must be an old-fashioned classic of military SF, right? And, oh, hey, it won a Hugo in one of Brad’s favorite decades, the 1970s! Nope, turns out it’s really just some anti-Vietnam War propaganda. No fair drawing us in with gung-ho genre trappings and then giving us the horrors of war!
Hey, this one looks fun. It’s got space ships and all kinds of stuff. Wait, what? It’s about the evils of capitalism? Bait and switch!
Good ol’ Moses of the NRA in a rollicking adventure where he fights gorillas? Nope, turns out it’s really about racial prejudice. Oh, and the horrors of war. Man, that's a popular one!
Hey, look-- this one won a Hugo AND a Nebula in the ‘70s. It’s got some outer space-y stuff going on. Some kind of weird ice planet thing happening. What’s that? It’s also entirely about gender issues? Huh. Wait a minute… does Brad Torgersen think this book came out in the 2000s? That would explain a lot.
OK, Galaxy is gonna set everybody straight. Here’s a house ad from their first issue, where they explain that all SF fans want is straightforward adventure. Ummm… Oh, wait. Actually, it kinda sounsd like they're making fun of straightforward adventure stories. Says they’re basically just space westerns, and implies that that’s boring. Yikes.
Well, this one’s got space ships and stuff. But I read it and it turns out it’s just some weepy beta-male character study or something. Nobody gets blasted with a ray gun at all.
This seems like some kind of fun, lighthearted portal fantasy. But apparently it’s actually just a big Christian allegory. (Does that count as Puppy-saddening?)
Oh, I know that guy—that’s Captain Kirk! This must be one of those straightforward, rock-‘em, sock-‘em, social-justice-messages-need-not-apply space adventures that attracted us to SF in the first place. Yeah, and Brad even quoted its opening monolog when he was talking about what great SF is supposed to be! This must be the thing. Wait, what? This one’s about racial prejudice and the horrors of war?
Well, shucks. I give up. Maybe Brad Torgersen really is just pining for a future that never was.