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Francois Tremblay

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It seems convincing to me, but I'm not in a position to evaluate how much it explains. However, as a new father, I'm very aware of what messages I'm giving to my daughter by the way we treat her. We often have to do things for her and to her that she doesn't want or appreciate. So far she seems to understand that we care and are not deliberately trying to hurt or frustrate her. We'll see how it goes as she turns 2 in a few months. Nice to have direct object lessons for my philosophical reading.
Well, of course it works on a number of different levels; Spinrad was quite capable of adopting a number of different ways of examining and satirising society and its constructs, including sf itself. After all, it was only written a few years after 'Bug Jack Barron', so I feel that Spinrad was still in 'challenge expectations' mode; in BJB he challenged a range of assumptions, such as the role of the media and the supremacy of mere money; TID can also be seen as a challenge to accepted views on both Hitler and literature.

But as a student of history and an enthusiast of alternate history stories, I chose to approach it from that direction. In our world, Hitler was a barely adequate artist who built the reaction to his work into his negative world-view; in the world of "The Iron Dream", Hitler is a barely adequate writer who nonetheless finds a niche that, for some reason, values his world-view and accepts it as fantasy. That raises a whole range of questions: the role of science fiction fandom in giving value to people who might go down much darker paths if rejected by their peers instead of being accepted on some level or other; or also an attack on science fiction fandom for having a propensity to accept people with views as extreme as Hitler's.

SF as a whole has a rich vein of self-satire, which sits easily alongside a sense of its own values and weaknesses. Remember the cri de coeur, "Get SF out of the universities and back into the gutter where it belongs!" No-one's ever certain if that was written by an enthusiast or a critic.

In any case, it's a while since I actually sat down and read it; were I to do so, I would probably write a rather different review.
Good point. I just assumed w/out double checking that it was, since it included space travel. I didn't even spell "Hainish" correctly. Lesson learned!
You wrote: >I'd love to know which novels you've been reading! :)

Heh. I read a lot of feminist science fiction. I see you've got Ursula K. Le Guin covered. If you haven't already, you might be interested in checking out the winners of the Tiptree Award. http://tiptree.org/
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