Answering some of the repeat objections to my Three Body Problem video

Answering some of the repeat objections to my Three Body Problem video

This Is Clickbait – there’s a huge amount of uncritical coverage of 3BP, very few people have taken the time to question the pro-authoritarian stance of the book. I think the gushing essays and videos saying “this is how hard SF should be” are actually where the clickbait is happening.

Liu Cixin Can’t Speak Freely – I would be more willing to give LC the benefit of the doubt if his responses in interview hadn’t been so explicity anti-Muslim, and if they weren’t mirrored in 3BP itself. I don’t see any reason to believe that LC is not what he presents himself as, a right wing nationalist who supports the violence against Uyghur Muslims.

But The War On Terror – I never supported the Western hysterical response to terrorism either, and I don’t give any time or attention to the chunk of the scifi community that went hard right in the 00s. But a major difference is that I could publish any number of denunciations of post 9/11 politics without consequence, in contrast I had to think for a week about whether to publish one mild criticism of Chinese cultural product, and the very realistic possibilities of facing direct consequences for doing so.

LCs Ethnicity Had Nothing To Do With The Hugo Win – it wasn’t the only factor, but it was certainly a factor. 3BP is a work of flag waving nationalist scifi, if it had been flag waving American nationalist scifi it would have been ignored by many of those who voted for it in 2015. The irony is if LC was an American author, he’d have been a Sad Puppy.


Published by Damien Walter

Writer and storyteller. Contributor to The Guardian, Independent, BBC, Wired, Buzzfeed and Aeon magazine. Special forces librarian (retired). Teaches the Rhetoric of Story to over 35,000 students worldwide.


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