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Usually, when I see a stupid thing on the internet, I laugh and maybe tweet about it. “Look! Someone spilled a pile of dumb on the internet!” Then we’ll all share a laugh together and I’d go back to blocking “Emergency Cat” accounts. If I think the source of this particular piece of blockheadery is a pernicious sort who is actively courting the attention, I won’t bother.

But some things are annoying enough that I feel moved to blog about it. Here’s the deal: When Guardians of the Galaxy came out, a lot of people were talking about how upbeat it was, as though it was this bright, cheerful thing. They were also contrasting it favorably with Man of Steel, an objectively terrible movie no matter how thrilling the special effects were.

Me, I didn’t think GotG was all that upbeat. In fact, I thought it was pretty dark (without being grimdark) and said so.

You don’t have to click through on that link. Basically, I embedded a Kameron Hurley tweet about the movie’s success being the “sound of grimdark being over”, then I talked about the actual darkness in GotG, why it was a welcome contrast with MoS, and the piece ended like this:

So, don’t expect GotG to be light, cheerful fare. It has more than its share of darkness. The difference is that it also has clever, dedicated protagonists who are capable of prevailing in the end.

That’s it. That’s the whole deal.

I don’t know how that got interpreted as As fantasy authors Kameron Hurley and Harry J. Connolly observed, the success of Guardians of the Galaxy heralds “the sound of grimdark being over. over on io9. If I’d agreed with Hurley’s tweet, I would have just retweeted it, not written a fucking blog post. Anyway, I tried to clarify this in a comment over there, but it didn’t go and I’m too busy to fuss with blog comment systems.

And now I have this shit, in which Richard K. Morgan links to my post (and only my post) and responds to it as thought I’m personally calling for the end of the grimdark subgenre.

As anyone who’s read the actual post (rather than the io9 summary) would know, I’m not. Maybe Kameron Hurley would like it to go away forever; I’m not her so I wouldn’t know. Personally, I’m happy to see grimdark on the shelves, because I read it. Not only that, but anyone who’s picked up my short fiction collection knows I write it, too.

In fact, I have never felt the urge to call for the end of any genre. Some I read. Some I don’t. It’s no big deal. When I go into the supermarket, I see vanilla AND chocolate ice cream in the freezer. I get to choose the one I like and leave the other for someone else to buy, maybe. I don’t require everyone to want what I want. In fact, I don’t really care what you like (unless it’s my books, in which case why not buy some, please).

But all I have to do is point out that MoS was deeply muddle-headed in its attempt to be serious and grim, and suddenly I want to take away people’s favorite ice cream.

What is it with that shit, anyway? Why do these guys reflexively read any criticism at all–even of something dumb like MoS–and interpret it as “You’re trying to ban something I love!”

Anyway, that’s the stupid thing, what I would normally just tweet about for a laugh. This is the annoying bit.

Is this a constituency so totally bombproof resistant to cultural shift that they want to go back to a fictionscape dreamed up in the middle of the last century, back when women and coloured folks still knew their place, the cop on the beat was a lovely cuddly (white) guy, war was a glorious endeavour undertaken against dastardly foreign foes, and real men walked like John Wayne?

Hey, Mr. Morgan, you can kiss my fat ass for this. And if this wasn’t meant to be addressed to me directly, you should have linked to someone else at the start of your post.

Anyway, I’m sure regular readers (both of you) will be startled to discover that grimdark is totes progressive. You know those olden days, when everyone’s art was all about capital G good and capital E evil, no nuance need apply!

Please.

For the record, the only work of Mr. Morgan’s that I have read was a trade collection of a Black Widow comic, which I thought was excellent. In fact, I thought it should be the basis of the character’s first movie. The blog post he wrote is still as dumb as a sack of ice cubes.

Also, the short fiction piece of my own I consider grimdark is the title story in my collection: “Bad Little Girls Die Horrible Deaths” even though no girls (bad or otherwise) die in the story. #spoilers

Yes, I realize that last link is basically an invitation for punitive one-star reviews. So be it.

Mirrored from Harry Connolly. You can comment here but not there.

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
james_nicoll
Aug. 21st, 2014 11:46 pm (UTC)
One of his novels is basically "Cars Wars, as written by Noam Chompsky". Hilarious. Although not intentionally.
burger_eater
Aug. 21st, 2014 11:50 pm (UTC)
That just makes me want it more.
sartorias
Aug. 22nd, 2014 04:44 am (UTC)
Well, I'm someone who doesn't like grimdark very much, but who finds his leap from your comment to "calling for an end to it" a real head scratcher. (But then spending the energy calling for an end to any genre just because I don't happen to be a fan of it is another head scratcher.)
burger_eater
Aug. 22nd, 2014 05:11 am (UTC)
::raises hands::

I declare an end to...

NURSE NOVELS!

::goes into bookstore::

Well, whaddaya know!
sartorias
Aug. 22nd, 2014 12:31 pm (UTC)
Use that power wisely.
burger_eater
Aug. 22nd, 2014 02:33 pm (UTC)
I would rather have the power to make obscure genres super popular.
sartorias
Aug. 22nd, 2014 03:16 pm (UTC)
That, my friend, IS using it wisely!
sinboy
Aug. 22nd, 2014 09:40 am (UTC)
Yeah, he's one of those guys who, while a good author, appears to be a total ass when writing opinion spots.
burger_eater
Aug. 22nd, 2014 02:35 pm (UTC)
And a sloppy reader, too, which is always a bad combination.
mastadge
Aug. 23rd, 2014 12:25 am (UTC)
I miss the good ol' days when Requires Hate and RKM went at each other all the time.
burger_eater
Aug. 23rd, 2014 02:29 am (UTC)
Kept each other busy, did they?

I prefer to be below both of their horizons.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )