Craig Bernthal on the Victor Davis Hansen Private Papers website reviews the stories and essays in the Sci Phi journal, and gives high praise to the editor, writers and essayists, likening them to the greats from the golden age of science fiction.
I was please to see he liked my essay:
Finally, there is John C. Wright’s essay, “Prophetic and Atropaic Science Fiction.” Wright’s main goal in this essay is to distinguish science fiction from prophecy, and he does it by using a pagan source, Oedipus, and a biblical source, Jonah. Oedipus shows that no man escapes his fate and Jonah, the opposite, that man can use his free will to amend his life. They speak from two opposite moral perspectives. Science fiction is more on Jonah’s side. It is a very American art form, optimistic about our chances of living better, decent lives if we work at it. Science fiction writers believed we would have moon bases by now (2001: A Space Odyssey) or be exploring Mars; Wright notes that we have not done these things because they were out of reach, technologically, but because social engineers decided to spend the money otherwise, and here he becomes prophetic himself:
The problem, not to put too fine a point on the question, was that we had too many social engineers, that is socialists, here on Earth, and their promotion of a vision of the unworkable worker’s paradise composed of a collective they crave was at odds with the workable but imperfect free market democracy composed of individuals.
The collective requires doubtful, fearful and effeminate men. It requires men conditioned to think that asking for permission from the state before acting is normal. It requires men who think of licking the boot of a bureaucrat as an annoying but necessary trifle; men who think nothing wrong with disarming themselves upon request; going into infinities of debt upon request; surrendering their children to be educated by incompetent ideologues upon request. . .
If we are no longer pursuing the dreams of space exploration, it is perhaps because we are also no longer the kind of people who have the dreams that powered science fiction as a literary genre. You don’t find paragraphs like these in America’s Best Fiction or America’s Best Essays. Sci Phi promises a venue for marginalized conservative voices in at least one genre.
Read the whole thing: http://victorhanson.com/wordpress/?p=8139