Last night Larry Correia, a fantasy writer – he hunts monsters for fame and profit – published a furious and funny screed indicting the social justice warriors in book world who harassed a new author, Amelie Zhao until she pulled her book from publication. Writing fiction had been, as it is for so many, Zhao’s childhood dream and finally she had pulled it off. Correia begins with this.
First off, to know what I’m talking about, read this: https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/amelie-wen-zhao-learns-to-love-big-brother/?fbclid=IwAR0i1oKfiJuO2RErEnwam0kFcgddzSaFLN8hiErGvcSlYOnKFZLR_tOhtrw
and follows with this: “Basically an internet lynch mob of Social Justice Warriors hounded an author into not publishing her book. They browbeat her. They shamed her into compliance. And now she has pulled her book, apologized even though she’s done nothing wrong, and begged forgiveness.
Some of the reviews on Good Reads are genuinely terrifying. Here’s one:
15 reviews and how is nobody mentioning the anti-blackness and blatant bigotry in this book?
This book is about slavery, a false oppression narrative that equates having legitimately dangerous magical powers that kill people with being an oppressed minority, like a person of color. This whole story is absolutely repulsive. There is a slave auction in which the black slave girl dies for Ana and she sings her a lullaby as she dies. The Russian rep is fundamentally awful, the author didn’t even get the gendering of basic words right. The only disabled character is a villain who walks with a cane.
What book did you guys read? Do you think that’s okay or why is nobody saying a word? Look critically at what you read. This book is intended for teens. I wouldn’t want my kid to read something like that, a book that uses marginalized people as pawns.
Let’s be clear. Blood Heir is fantasy. Zhao is an immigrant from Communist China. She has rewritten the Anastasia story with a black heroine with dark powers who lives in a fictional universe and rights wrongs. A black heroine with “dark” powers is racist. She should have only “white” powers? Not exactly. She should have only “good” powers. And disabled people cannot be villains.
If you aren’t chilled yet, Rod Dreher adds these paras from Solzhenitsyn’s, “Live Not By Lies” (1974):
No, it will not be the same for everybody at first. Some, at first, will lose their jobs. For young people who want to live with truth, this will, in the beginning, complicate their young lives very much, because the required recitations are stuffed with lies, and it is necessary to make a choice.
But there are no loopholes for anybody who wants to be honest. On any given day any one of us will be confronted with at least one of the above-mentioned choices even in the most secure of the technical sciences. Either truth or falsehood: Toward spiritual independence or toward spiritual servitude.
And he who is not sufficiently courageous even to defend his soul—don’t let him be proud of his “progressive” views, don’t let him boast that he is an academician or a people’s artist, a merited figure, or a general—let him say to himself: I am in the herd, and a coward. It’s all the same to me as long as I’m fed and warm.
This is reality: we live in a Golden Age. The arts are flourishing as they never have at any other time in human history. The appetite is boundless, and we, the intended audience are learning the gifts of appreciation with every year. Admittedly, much of it is terrible if you put it through the filter of a decent critic, but some of it is very very good. Right now I am watching Hugo Blick’s Black Earth Rising on Netflix, possibly the best limited series of this year and any year. The lead character is an incandescently beautiful black woman, a victim of the Rwandan genocide bent on justice, despite an almost impossible psychological burden. The writing is nuanced, ethical and deeply based in a complex reality.
If you look at the ‘highly anticipated’ lists of future novels, a good half are written by people who are not white. Non-fiction books investigate and express everything. Fashion, once the whitest of professions has had a massive kick up the backside with the shapes and colours and expressions of Africa and Asia, which has sent designers spinning into new and rich territory. Television and film are replete unto nausea with stories of oppression and we are learning to look at the visual arts of other cultures with appreciation. The future that social justice warriors want is already here in embryo. It merely needs freedom to flourish.
Random House and Amelie Zhao should suck it up and publish. And the social justice mob better hope that we don’t turn the tables on their hateful and oppressive behavior. Because that will be decidedly unpretty.
Or rather, not coming.