Monday, March 06, 2006

We Get Letters (Once in a While) 

The advent of a new SF reviewer at the New York Times has revived Locus Online's letters page, which hasn't been active in over a year and a half. The page has been dormant only partially due to my constricted schedule; mostly because we haven't received any letters. Perhaps the popularity of blogs for people to air their views is a factor?

Perhaps Gary Westfahl's latest essay, posted today, will generate some feedback for a letters page, too.
Where is the letters page? I can't seem to find a link to it on the main page.
I read Westfahl's essay... with mixed feelings.

OK, he's right about the connection between Asperger's Syndrome and SF fans. Elizabeth Moon held a lecture on the subject at a convention last year.
My detailed account of Moon's lecture can be read here:

But... why the "Fans Are Slans" evangelism? The whole "superiority of Aspergers" argument gives me a bad feeling.
That people -- say, SF fans -- can find ways to work around their shortcomings is great and noble. (See Moon's lecture for more on that.)

BUT to call one's shortcomings a great gift -- or even an evolutionary advantage -- smacks of self-justification. It sounds like the deaf couple that wanted to remove the hearing ability of their own child: resentment masquerading as virtue.

I will not support discrimination of people with Asperger's -- neither will I support holding them up as a superior breed. There's quite enough elitism in the world already, thank you very much.
"the 'Fans Are Slans' evangelism"

I really think some people--okay, a lot of people--were missing the j-o-k-e nature of some of Westfahl's piece. Which kind of just proves his central contention.
Now wait a minute -- does Westfahl really have Asperger's, or was this just a hoax? (I never met the man, so I can't tell...)
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Mark R. Kelly

The opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of Mark R. Kelly, and do not reflect the editorial position of Locus Magazine.
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