Saturday, July 23, 2016

Playing Both Sides Against the Middle: Politics and Money in Contemporary Genre Publishing

This is essentially an extension of my review of Alter Reiss' Sunset Mantle.  Not entirely review material, however, more commentary, I decided to post it separately.

There is, perhaps, one angle to Sunset Mantle that can be appreciated: its indirect reminder how two-faced is. Sorcerer of the Wildeeps (a 2015 publication) is as shallow as it is deep. Wilson takes a tried and true sword & sorcery tale and imbues it with ideas germane to contemporary discussion on manhood, violence, race, and other issues. On the other hand, Sunset Mantle, with its clear belief in upholding personal honor over communal respect, revenge over diplomacy, blind retaliation rather than considered decision, and might-makes-right dominance rather than compromise—traits in leadership often leading to the socio-political problems our world is facing as a result—indicates’s interests do not lie in humanism, rather in commercialism. While blog posts engendering progressive political discussion and mature genre novellas like Sorcerer of the Wildeeps appear from, so too do contrasting works such as Sunset Mantle. SJWs cheer at the main gate, all the while opposing political ideals are peddled from the loading dock. This is known as playing both sides against the middle...


  1. Great, great post. I would love to read a much lengthier article on this. Is Tor explicitly humanistic in its mission statement? At first glance I don't find anything about it on their site. It's probably all about their authors' "artistic freedom" anyway...

    1. I'm all for artistic freedom, but if said freedom is truly in place at Tor,com, then there is a suspicious lack of conservative, right wing commentary and discussion...