Saturday, February 20, 2010

Kim Stanley Robinson

I have a love/hate relationship with the writings of Kim Stanley Robinson. His SF books are wonderfully detailed and intricate, in a way that just puts you in the story. That's pretty impressive when the story takes place in a coffee shop on Mars. His short story "Enough Is As Good As a Feast" (in The Martians) is one of the most wonderful vignettes I've ever read. On the other hand, he expresses a lot of hostility to Christianity. His Mars trilogy only had one Christian in it, and she was (of course) a hypocrite. The Years of Rice and Salt is an alt-history imagining what if all the Christians and Europeans had been killed by the Black Plague so the Buddhists and Muslims could rule the world. Try to imagine someone writing a similar storyline where any other religion or people group was snuffed out without the author being excoriated. Plus, as much as I love his detail, he often seems as if he's trying to show off how much he knows. It can get annoying when it's a topic that I have little to no interest in.

Anyway, long introduction to an interesting review of a book by and about Kim Stanley Robinson that's reviewed at Boing Boing.


sennet said...

The hostility to Christianity which you mention is entirely understandable, since Christian beliefs (like all religions) have, all through history and all over the world, generally resulted in oppression, torture, and war.

As to hypocrisy: in your own Bible you find your Christ (who was Jewish) telling you that Jewish customs and laws are fundamental and that Christ's coming does not change these laws and customs "one jot or tittle" -- so to be Christian you MUST be Jewish; this in unequivocal. Yet how many Christians admit this? And how many Christians claim their beliefs are based on "love" -- where is the love in the Jephtha story? There are many, many other similar points of hypocritical doctrine.

(Not to mention that Jesus never actually existed: The city of Nazareth where Jesus supposedly live most of his life was only founded in the second century, and the Romans, who like all Fascists were fanatical record-keepers, have no record at all of Jesus, which if he were actually officially executed as Christians claim, is extremely improbable. Again, there are many other lines of evidence showing quite clearly that the historical Jesus never existed.)

Anyway, apologies for the rant; but there should be some clarity on this point.

Internet Peasant said...

Well I bet you thought no one would be commenting on this post eight years later, but here I am. I'm almost done with "Red Mars", my first (and likely last) Robinson book, and the signs of a strong leftist ideology started popping up so severely that I figured I should look into the author's life. Sure enough, he's a Marxist educated environmental socialist who, like many modern science-adjacent thinkers, likes to pretend that "real" human ingenuity didn't start until after the 18th century. Your comments here helped convince me not to bother committing to two more massive reads based on utopian fantasy silliness, and for that I thank you. There are too many books to read, to waste time on these.

As for sennet's comment: good lord, man. Just your point about Jesus never existing is enough to get you laughed out of school by the vast majority of historians, including atheist ones, but the "all religions are EEEEEEEVIL" nonsense and your absolute reliance on a casual Sunday School understanding of the bible and Christian teaching are what firmly identify you as a disciple of that sad and backwards school of smarmy atheist hatred ala Dawkins and Hitchens. Like those fellows, you see what you want to see and argue accordingly. I hope in the five years since your post you have grown in understanding and knowledge, or at least learned not to hang your hat on these infantile, anti-Catholic arguments.