An Open Letter to My People
Dear Fellow Nerds,
Please stop the exclusionary tactics. Please stop acting like someone who has other interests besides science fiction isn’t worthy of the Spock t-shirt they are wearing. Maybe you want to keep certain people out of the sandbox because they’ve bullied you out of other things in life, when you were a freshman in high school. So now you want to alienate the alienators. Because we are all in high school forever. Totally. And no one ever changes. Yes. Logical.
The sandbox is big enough for everyone, okay? In fact, the sandbox is infinite. The higher its population, the better it becomes. More minds, more ideas, more room to grow.
And it matters because the normalization of geek culture is about more than making vampires sexy, or zombies cool. It’s about modifying mindsets. Not just modifying- it’s about cracking minds open, because once those minds have been opened they never can shut completely again. It’s about compassion, about empathy, about imagination. These things are vanishing, and that is what is slowly killing the Western World. The people who are least likely to read speculative fiction are usually the ones who need it the most. So what if they come for the zombies. Let them stay for the BRAINS.
In short, no one is trying to take anything away from you. You can’t take away ideas. But you can spread them.
Your Friendly Neighborhood Spec Fic Proselytizer,
PS And for the love of Grimm, stop slapfighting among yourselves. Science fiction isn’t better than fantasy. Fantasy isn’t better than science fiction. You may favor one over the other, but that choice is based on personal preference, not some sort of immeasurable but inherent goodness. Buy into that and you also tacitly endorse the idea that genre fiction is inherently inferior to nongenre fiction. Build a hierarchy and you’ll find yourself on the bottom. Let’s grow away from that, shall we?