File 770 says you aren’t a real fan unless you color in the appropriate boxes on the test. As I’ve said before, more people need to be told to FUCK OFF.

I grew up on Science Fiction and Fantasy. I was just a wee tyke when Luke and Han rescued Leia. One of my earliest memories of learning to read was reading the novel of Star Wars out loud to my parents and grandparents, demonstrating I COULD read and being darn proud of it.

I read Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. I read Terry Brooks and created my own maps and even made clay relief maps out of flour, salt and water.

I watched re-runs of Star Trek on Saturday afternoons with my parents, then read the Star Trek Log novels before I realized there was an animated show of it. I read the Pocket Books tie-in novels and was introduced to Diane Duane, John M. Ford, A.C. Crispin, Vonda McIntyre, Barbara Hambly and many others who I then sought out their non-Star Trek novels.

As I got older I discovered Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke on my parents shelves and devoured those as well. Then came Michael Crichton and Greg Bear and Ben Bova. I found Heinlein in High School along with Bruce Sterling and William Gibson.

I played D&D on the computer. That dang island in Pool of Radiance took me forever to figure out.

Then I got to college and was introduced to Orson Scott Card and Tad Williams. Could those two be any farther apart in politics? Yet, they both craft immensely interesting and engaging stories.

And all the while growing up I never once considered the political leanings of my favorite authors. Their private lives are completely irrelevant to their ability to entertain me. It’s only in the last few years since I’ve been on Facebook that I’ve discovered their political and social leanings, their sexual orientations, their diet and views on animals, etc.

In all, I still really don’t care about that stuff as long as they can tell a good story. But, that does seem to be lacking, at least in my view, over the last several years. It used to be that seeing the Hugo or Nebula badge on the cover was an indication of a good story. Now, those stories that are winning aren’t really my cup of tea. In fact, outside of Baen Publishing authors, I’ve only purchased one SF novel written in the 21st century. And that was Andy Weir’s The Martian, which was originally indie published. I’ve picked up some free offerings of various indie SF/F authors, but haven’t gotten around to actually reading them yet. Most of what I read is 1999 or before. And looking at the Amazon rankings for SF/F books, it looks like quite a few other people are in the same boat.

So yes, I am a fan. And I do want to see the two most prestigious awards in SF/F become relevant again.

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