Fisking Catholic Fiction

Sometimes, I love my fellow Catholics.

And sometimes, they are brain-dead stupid.

If you look at this article from CatholicFiction.net, you’ll see this great example of brain death.

Science fiction has also been derelict in its duty. Who does science fiction serve? Sci-fi is a significant buttress propping up the established church of Scientism. Sci-fi flatters both rightist and leftist elites: square-jarred heroes battle alien savages along the outer space frontier while proclaiming anti-religious and anti-natalist platitudes. As an avid reader of the genre, I have come up with a list of the major shortcomings of the genre.

While I can think of some particular examples of what this nimrod (a creature from the black lagoon named Nito Gnoci), this is just … “Avid reader?” Really?

Funny, as an avid reader myself, Nito, you’re an idiot.

In my time, I’ve done some guest posts for Right Fans, or and did some reviews of Karina Fabian’s work; if you read them, you’ll probably note that Nito’s very concept is already starting to get under my skin.  But, sure, there are problems within science fiction — real science fiction fans know that “sci-fi” started as a derogatory term — so let’s play this out some, shall we?

If you compare and contrast the article excerpts here with the original article, you’ll note that I’ve cleaned up the lousy formatting.


 

Ancient Aliens MIB

1) Aliens

Aliens: Sci-fi stories often involve contact with numerous alien civilizations.In 1950 Enrico Fermi, in conversation with his colleagues at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, famously asked “Where is everybody?” (Meaning: If alien civilizations exist why haven’t we heard from them?) I don’t think the question has received a satisfactory answer. It is unlikely other technologically advanced civilizations exist within our galaxy. If they existed they would have already explored the galaxy, a process which takes only some hundreds of thousands of years, which is a mere moment in geologic time.

Ummm … doesn’t this presume that the aliens are more advanced than us?  This is a presumption that Rod Serling never made.  In fact, there are three distinct episodes of The Twilight Zone that immediately come to mind (“Third from the Sun” being one of them, “The Invaders,” “The Little People,” and to some extent “People are Alike All Over”).

Also, if there are other life forms out in this galaxy, doesn’t that mean that they could be as advanced as we are, or maybe even less so?

The argument basically reads: If there are aliens, therefore they must be more advanced than we are, therefore they don’t exist because otherwise we would have heard of them by now?  What idiot thinks like that?

Not to mention that this presumes that any technological advancement is leaps and bounds ahead of us.  In fact, Nito assumes that aliens would advance at ONE EXACT RATE OF SPEED.  Yikes. Nito the nimrod presumes so, so much.

I’m not saying that there are aliens, but there’s a lot of space out there. As Douglas Adams noted, space is big. Really big. The idea that we’re the only ones in the galaxy is kinda presumptuous, don’t you think? Also, the author limits himself to this Galaxy. There are more galaxies than just ours out there.


2) Bad predictions

Sci-fi often features time travel or routine intergalactic travel. Instead of dubious scenarios that involve debating with Socrates or zooming to the Andromeda Galaxy for the weekend, sci-fi should focus on less speculative but still astonishing advances in medical, communication, and computer technology. Sci-fi readies us for a future that will never come, and too often assumes the future will mirror the past, an assumption both unrealistic and unimaginative. After all, what is the starship Enterprise but a British or American colonial gunboat?

Um, excuse me.  When 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was written, it was science fiction, and now we have nuclear submarines. Is that not predictive enough?

EnterpriseBut Robert Heinlein created mechanical suits of armor for soldiers to fight in, and our modern military is designing it.  Captain Kirk had the first flip phone. Doctor Crusher had the first tablet, and Captain Picard read off the first e-reader. J. Michael Straczynski’s Babylon 5 developed a star fighter called Starfuries — which NASA wants to use a model to design space construction craft. The science fiction show had the most functional design.

Oh, wait, medical technology? You mean the people who’ve been designing a medical tri-corder from Star Trek and the people who’ve made an actual Doctor Who sonic screwdriver aren’t enough for Nito? Are we kidding?

Oh, and these things will never come? Maybe not in our lifetime, some of them, but we’ve already got scientists who are coming up with variations on warp drive. Presuming that Einsteinian physics will always be physics is like saying that Newtonian physics is the end all and be all of physics. Hint: it’s not.  Considering what quantum physics might end up giving us, we might end up with better technology than warp drive.

Hell, we’ve already got the early stages of a transporter, dang it. Meaning that Nito the Nimrod not only doesn’t know science fiction, HE DOESN’T KNOW SCIENCE!!!!

Right now, Agatha Heterodyne knows science better! And she’s a steam punk web comic character!

Facepalm Godzilla


3) Threatening life as we know it.

What is it with science fiction and fantasies of mass extermination?  It’s troubling how often sci-fi Superior Beings engage in mass murder. Super geniuses, often with great intentions and well thought out justifications, find it necessary to commit genocide – eliminate all those inferior superstitious childlike barbarians.   Influential authors like Olaf Stapledon (see Last and First Men) and Arthur C. Clarke (see Childhood’s End) seem sympathetic to this kind of mass extermination.

And your point, Nito the Numbskull? Excuse me, but how many of these were written during the Cold War, when the eradication of human kind seemed like a real possibility?

As Matt Bowman, Novel Ninja (who, also commented on the subject), pointed out to me while we were at DragonCon together, Star Trek was the first science fiction in a long, long time that had a happy ending after World War III.  Science fiction has advanced a long freaking way since Clarke.

And again, see: Babylon 5. Or Baen. Or read a book or something.


4) Technology run rampant hasn’t been explored enough.

Inadequate examination of the threat posed by technocracy: Does advanced technology concentrate power in technocratic elites? What will happen to the masses as robotic technology progresses and they are no longer needed to man the factories and fight the wars of the plutocrats? Does scientism/materialism lead to dehumanization and despair? If man is just a sack of chemicals, the random product of an indifferent universe, why should he possess dignity or rights? Will a hedonistic society of abundance destroy itself? What further drama will accompany the rise of Faustian man?

Are you kidding me? No, seriously, are you kidding me? First, you bitch and whine about how science fiction destroys the human race, and then you complain that you’re not seeing anything about the dangers of technology?

Were you not paying attention to The Matrix?  Were you asleep during the four — soon to be five — Terminator films?  I’m sick to death of the machines coming to kill us. It’s a tired and tiresome cliche. Even the comic strip Ctrl+Alt+Del ended its primary storyline with “My living Xbox has taken over the world and enslaved humans.”

How about an episode of Doctor Who called “The Poison Sky,” in which an alien race was going to wipe out all life on the planet with a little help from the on-board GPS system of cars.

“Will a hedonistic society of abundance destroy itself?”  Also see: The Time Machine, by HG Wells. You know, one of those time travel stories you just sneered at, you stupid fool.  It’s one of the storylines in the bedrock of science fiction, and you never heard of it? How ignorant are you that anyone allowed you near the website letting you write this article?


5) Women

Black-Widow (1)

Has sci-fi really thought about the status of women in a technologically advanced civilization? In the future will wombs be needed to procreate and will mammary glands be needed to nurture? If wombs and mammary glands are unnecessary isn’t the male body more functional? Will a technologically advanced society eliminate the female sex?

WHAT ROCK HAVE YOU BEEN LIVING UNDER, YOU … Gah.

One, you do realize that we have the ability to incubate kids outside the womb?  You realize that, don’t you? That’s not science fiction anymore. That’s today.  And people don’t do that now because, um, ew. Squicky as sin.

For the record, David Weber addressed this one a bit. So did Farscape, and I didn’t even watch that show.

“Will a technologically advanced society eliminate the female sex?” Of all the stupid…

Also for the record, no, we’re not getting rid of women. You wanna know why?  Men won’t get right of women because men like having sex with women.  Women won’t get rid of women because women seem to like existing. So who’s getting rid of them? The aliens you said don’t exist?  We’ve also got the inverse of that problem in several sci-fi media, in case your brain couldn’t think of that problem, Nito the nit.

Any other stupid questions?


6) Virtual reality

Skyrim-Wallpapers-elder-scrolls-v-skyrim-27742087-1920-1080

Oh for the love of …

Sci-Fi’s materialists/atheists are more easily lost in the hyperreal house of mirrors known as modern skepticism. Materialists lack access to or even awareness of a being who knows the absolute Truth. If our universe is considered accidental and deficient man will be more inclined to find refuge in a virtual universe of his own making. If man considers himself less than the Imago Dei he may feel incompetent to discern what’s lacking in a virtual world.

Karina Fabian wrote this short story already in Infinite Space, Infinite God II, with a Virtual reality missionary. Thank you. Good night. [Mic drop]

You know what happens in virtual worlds in science fiction?  Very. Bad. Things. In the real world, Star Trek’s holodeck would be banned because it is so dangerous and nearly kills people half the time. Look up The Next Generation  and Moriarty in search terms if you don’t believe me, Nito the inept. Heck, just the title “Elementary, My Dear Data.”  Or “Ship in a Bottle.”  Also “Our Man Bashir.” And “A FistFull of Datas.” 

Those are just the episode titles I know off hand. There’s the time the crew was almost killed by 1920s gangsters, or almost killed by Grendel, or when the holographic doctor of Voyager became Jekyl and Hyde, all on the Holodeck. Obviously, this was tech not approved by OSHA.

How about the 90s tv show VR-5? Very Bad Things Happen in virtual reality.  How about the 90s kid show VR-Troopers, in which virtual reality contained all of the bad guys trying to kill us?

There’s stupid, there’s ignorant, and then there’s NOT PAYING ATTENTION.

So how about science fiction that prefers challenging our elites to groveling before them? Science fiction that doesn’t defer to the conventional unconventionalities of postmodernist philosopher Jean Baudrillard or cosmologist Carl Sagan? Science fiction that isn’t misinformed by simple-minded positivism? Science fiction that is more comprehensive when identifying the dangers we’ll face in the future? Science fiction that is less “masculinist” (if I may coin a phrase)? Science fiction that prepares us for a future that will actually come to pass?

Really?

We call him John Ringo. 

You know what, Nito go read a book published by Baen, will you?  In fact, go read Kia Heavey. And Karina Fabian. And Cedar Sanderson. And Daniella Bova. And have I made my point yet?

In fact, how about Nito the Nitwit tries reading CS Lewis, and his SCIENCE FICTION TRILOGY. You know, the one that identified issues like the threat of atheism and academia. Things religious people are actually dealing with.  Seriously, there’s stupid, there’s slow, and then there’s someone who’s missing his Darwin Award.

CatholicFiction.net, you have failed this genre. And if this is your idea of editing, and storytelling, and articles, I’m not sure why anyone would want to have anything to do with you.

Oh, wait, an editor for Chesterton Press has already broken off with you because of this article. Have a nice day.

About Declan Finn

Declan Finn is the author of Honor at Stake, an urban fantasy novel, nominated for Best Horror in the first annual Dragon Awards. He has also written The Pius Trilogy, an attempt to take Dan Brown to the woodshed in his own medium -- soon to be republished by Silver Empire Press. Finn has also written "Codename: Winterborn," an SF espionage thriller, and it's follow-up, "Codename: Winterborn." And "It was Only on Stun!" and "Set To Kill" are murder mysteries at a science fiction convention.
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8 Responses to Fisking Catholic Fiction

  1. One tangential comment: if we object to the use of the term “sci-fi” because it started as a derogatory term, then we also have to reject the use of the term “geek.” Since I’m not in favor of changing our site’s name, you might guess where I stand on that particular point. 🙂

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  2. Lori Janeski says:

    Can’t . . . handle . . . the STUPID! o.O Wow. I think this guy takes the Stupid Cake home with him. And these are the kind of people that make Catholics look bad. Great fisk. I approve. 🙂

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  3. Pingback: The Catholic Geek Radio Show: Catholic Sci-Fi with Right Fans | The Catholic Geeks

  4. nitognoci says:

    My response to Mr. Finn:

    I enjoyed reading your criticism of my essay Captain Kirk’s Dereliction of Duty or, Why Mr. Faust Has Found Himself Adrift Among the Aisles in the Church of Modern Science. In particular I enjoyed your anger – which looks to be of the red-faced, sputtering, incontinent, bewildered, unglued variety.

    Let me respond to the few coherent points you made during the course of your reply/tantrum.
    You dispute several statements you found in my essay:

    •This argument basically reads: If there are aliens, therefore they must be more advanced; therefore they don’t exist because otherwise we would have heard of them by now
    •In fact, Mr. Gnoci assumes that aliens would advance at one exact rate of speed.
    The problem is I never made this statement or this assumption. I did not say aliens must be more advanced I said it is likely that a technologically advanced civilization would quickly explore the galaxy. See the difference? Do I need to explain it to you using smaller words? If my reply was written in crayon would that help?

    If your reading skills ever improve I suggest: http://www.amazon.com/Universe-Teeming-Aliens-WHERE-EVERYBODY/dp/0387955011/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1416949057&sr=1-1&keywords=where+are+extraterrestrials%20

    You condemn me for believing “Technology run rampant hasn’t been explored enough.” Though I never said that either. I discussed the “Inadequate examination of the threat posed by technocracy”. Not the same thing. I’m more concerned with a lack of quality than a lack of quantity. Given your obvious limitations, I’m surprised you don’t know the meaning of inadequate. Inadequate = lacking the quality or quantity required; insufficient for a purpose. It’s a definition you really ought to familiarize yourself with.

    You criticize me for doubting this statement: “You know what happens in virtual worlds in science fiction? Very. Bad. Things.” But when did I doubt it?

    I notice many of your examples of science fiction becoming science fact involve medical, communication, and computer technology. That’s why I said sci-fi should focus on less speculative but still astonishing advances in medical, communication, and computer technology! Are you really this dense, this thick-headed?

    You say: “Hell, we’ve already got the early stages of a transporter, dang it. Meaning that Nito the Nimrod not only doesn’t know science fiction, HE DOESN’T KNOW SCIENCE!!!!

    Maybe if you read a bit you wouldn’t make a fool of yourself so often. Try this article: http://www.livescience.com/34005-science-fiction-fact-teleporters-beam.html

    Or if that is too challenging how about: http://www.amazon.com/Cut-Paste-Science/dp/0743937066/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1442034684&sr=8-3&keywords=kindergarten+science

    In your original attack you said “Men won’t get right of women if only because, at the most base level, men like having sex with women and like having children.” You forgot we were talking about a situation where children can be produced without women. I’m glad you realized how stupid you were and corrected your mistake. Congratulations!

    My suggestion is: Stop constructing straw men and work on your reading comprehension skills. Then people won’t think of you as a loud-mouthed half-wit who shrieks and bitches about an article he can’t understand.

    Nito Gnoci

    PS I focused on mainstream, establishment sci-fi. I discussed what sci-fi means to the average person. I am not saying there aren’t relatively unknown, wonderful authors who don’t worship at the church of Scientism. Also I never claimed to be an “avid reader of the genre”. The good folks at Catholic Fiction added that to my essay. They made a few changes, including the title which I like.

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    • Declan Finn says:

      Awwww, isn’t Mr. Gnochi so cute. He rants and raves and blames Tuscany Press for screwing around with his article. And then he blames me for misreading what he says, and his solution? Say the exact same thing and insist that I bow down to him and tell him he’s right.

      Well, buddy, I don’t cater to imbeciles who are so desperate for blog hits that he hunts down someone who made these comments FOUR MONTHS AGO, just so he can throw names and declare victory.

      I think you want to find some nice CHORFs to back your play and … oh, wait, no, sorry, your comments are so stupid, even John Scalzi is laughing at you. Possibly even David Gerrold. Please, run your article past George RR Martin, and he’ll probably write someone who looks very much like you and then murder them, or rape them, or both.

      Feel free to crawl back under the bridge you came from. Hell, try pulling this crap at File 770, and I think even THAT merry band of psychotics will laugh at you.

      Learn to read? I have. You keep using those big words. I don’t think they mean what you think they mean.

      Schmuck.

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  5. nitognoci says:

    More demented histrionics from Mr. Finn. lol Is it possible his childish name-calling and girlish shrieking represent a feeble attempt to cover up the fact he is unable to write a coherent critique of a given article on CatholicFiction.net?

    I looked up CHORFS and found “They express a superiority over others for their self-perceived superior knowledge on the subject. When confronted by any change or imagined threat to their favorite subject they react with volatility” Hmmm… I wonder who that reminds me of?

    Anyway Finn I enjoy arguing as much as anyone, but we’re both on the same side so let’s deescalate a bit okay?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Declan Finn says:

      Aww, you have have graciously suggested a truce. Which is funny, I had almost forgotten who the hell you were until you hunted me down on this website. I accept your being above insults as you insult me in the spirit in which they are given.

      Liked by 1 person

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