The Battle of Aftermath: Identifying the Empire and the New Republic
I posted my review of Chuck Wendig's book Aftermath yesterday on Amazon, as well as a version of it here on my blog. (It was removed without notice or notification, which is interesting.)
But here's the interesting thing: my review got several responses before someone abused the "report" button.
W. Smith said:
...are you the person Wendig goes to for his silly descriptions of scenes. The book was bad. If the characters were all straight it wouldn't matter...the book would still be bad.Spartan085 said:
Another "you are all homophobes review"And I probably deserve that. I went out of my way to be provocative. But as you can see here, there's a perception that any positive reviews are sockpuppet campaigns for Wendig (which isn't something normal for just disliking a writing style):
And that's what I want to address here. As I mentioned in the first review, there's not exactly a plethora of gayness in this book. There's lots of action, fun, and generally a good time... something that was missing from the prequels. But yet folks like this guy:
literally CANNOT tolerate any mention, no matter how oblique, in a Star Wars story.
Let's look at this one in particular for a moment.
Kevin can't "escape" unless all the characters are like him.
This reminds me of the reasons why Dr. King convinced Nichelle Nichols to stay on Star Trek.
Because yes, I'm a straight, white, cisgendered male.
And I know I'm not the only type of person out there.
I'm not bothered by characters who are different than me. I don't need all my protagonists to be Mary Sues for me.
I know there will always be a character out there who has the same race, orientation, and value set as I do. Always.
But bigoted assholes like the ones above, the ones who are not only trying to destroy the ratings of Aftermath but to harass those who enjoyed the book, are trying to make sure that no other point of view is represented but theirs.
Here's the thing with the so-called "culture wars". One side wants everyone to do their thing and be included. Another side wants ONLY their side represented, mentioned, or allowed.
Which as Mr. Wendig quite cogently pointed out, is kind of the Empire's gig.
Screw that. I'm with the New Republic. As is Aftermath.
“This is democracy,” she says. “It is strange. And it is messy. It’s not about getting it right. It’s about trying to get it right. Yes, it’s a bit chaotic. Certainly we will get some things wrong. The Empire? They cared nothing for democracy. They valued order above everything else. They wanted to be right so badly that anybody who even hinted at getting it wrong or doing it differently was branded the enemy and thrown in a dark prison somewhere. They destroyed other voices so that only their own remained. That is not us. We will not always get it right. We will never have it perfect. But we will listen. To the countless voices crying out across the galaxy, we have opened our ears, and we will always listen. That is how democracy survives. That is how it thrives."