Writers these days are awfully sensitive. I keep seeing published authors – and people who want to be published – wailing on social media about their fear of censorship and how we’re basically just a few bleak moments away from turning to book burning as a society.
When these writers wail about censorship, what they’re generally wailing against is… the right that readers have to comment critically about the content they’re consuming or prepared to consume. Readers criticizing a newly/unreleased book (via an advance copy) for unaddressed problematic or even bigoted content isn’t the same as a government deciding what people can create and consume when it comes to content.
Over on Intersections in the Darkest Visions in her article “Criticism Will Never Be Censorship“, my friend Lyana pokes holes in the very flawed idea that criticism is what’s really wrong with publishing these days… (instead of how publishing allows bigoted, problematic, and just plain flawed content to be bought, published, and promoted without thinking of marginalized fans prior to like… all of that).
It’s an amazing article across the board, but here’s one choice quote from it that should get you on your way over there to read the whole thing:
“Social theory is not something convenient you can toss away the minute it’s no longer profitable for your writing. Media doesn’t stop affecting reality because it happens to be fictional or in a more speculative genre. If anything, speculative fiction can have the most powerful effect on its readers because its foundation rests on the worlds we create, not the world that we currently live in.”
Go check out “Criticism Will Never Be Censorship” right now!
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