Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Is Your Fav SF Tome Banned? or We Braved the New Slaughter House #5 and What a Strange Clockwork Land it was Indeed.

Seriously, consider one of your most cherished Science Fiction book.  Is there a possibility that the book you hold near and dear is on someone's ban list?

I am not too sure how how I got here, but I was following link and five or six layers deep came across an IO9 article written by Susana Polo that originally appeared at Geekosystem.   Her article was the top ten banned science fiction works.  Now, the first few were works that I wasn't familiar with, but then it got....interestin!

Check it out

7:  Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein -This book was:
  • pro-religion, free love was controversial even when it was published in 1962.  So naturally it was challenged as part of the curriculum of a summer "Science Academy" course in Texas.

6: Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell - As the author of this io9 article points out :
  • In a textbook example of "missing the point," in 1981, Jackson County, Florida challenged ... Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four in its schools and libraries, claiming that the book was pro-communism and anti-Semitic 
Did they even bother to read past the first chapter?  Clearly they never understood the novel what so ever!

5: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury - I wonder if anyone stopped for a second to savor the irony of this situation?  Banning a book whose very nature rails against book banning! Here, from the article itself:
  •  In 1998, Fahrenheit 451 was removed from the curriculum in a Mississippi high school because a parent objected to the use of the phrase "god damn."
4:  A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle - I myself am not familiar with this book, but I feel the  book bears mentioning if for nothing else than for the number of times they were banned.  From the article:
  • This first book of  the series, tackles the the vastness of time and the universe, the nature of evil, and the dangers of blind belief.  But, it's got characters known as "witches"...... 
3: Slaughterhouse-Five - is a thinly veiled autobiography of Kurt Vonnegut's experience during the bombing of Dresden which killed tens of thousands of German civilians by firebombing the city. 
From the article:
  • Not only banned (in New York State, Ohio, Florida, Georgia, and Wisconsin) and challenged (in Louisiana, Michigan (twice), Texas, Virginia, Rhode Island, Illinois, Kentucky (twice), and Wisconsin again), copies of Slaughterhouse-Five were burned in North Dakota in 1973.
It is like you combined Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451!  Bradbury's novel was a work of fiction....right?

2: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley   Here is a clear example of not understanding  what you are reading.   BNW was banned because it was supposed to endorse:
  • free love, free drugs, atheism, and rejection of the nuclear family.
Now as  Susana Polo points out that this would be a legit argument if  BNW was presented as a utopia
But even I, ( Paul ) as a very green SF reader when I first started reading SF, could PLAINLY see that this WAS NOT as it was portrayed but a not to subtle Dystopia! Who could have missed this heavy handed wide brush painting of everything that is wrong with society whether it is early 20th or early 21st. Be that obvious as it may:
  • It was banned in Ireland in 1932, a Missouri town in 1980, an Alabama high school in 2000; and challenged in Oklahoma in 1988, California in 1993, Texas in 2003, and Indiana in 2008.   
1: A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess - Now I know...everyone is going to say Novel? No!  Movie directed by Stanley Kubrick starring Malcolm McDowell.  Granted, the movie is brilliant at times and disturbing, but at other times almost self indulgent.  But we are talking about banned books here and Burgess wrote the short novel....... And the book itself did have some strange moments in the annals of banned bookdom.  Here from the article is one of the more warped book bans, and I have to think, this one was based not on reading the book, but watching the movie...:
  • in 1973 a shop owner in Utah was arrested for selling the book, and though the charges were later dropped, the store was forced to relocate due to the controversy. Later in the 70's it was removed from two high schools for "objectionable language." Presumably they didn't mean bratchny, droog, or garbles.
full IO9 article with the complete list HERE


kallamis said...

I do believe me keeping my mouth shut on this one is for the best. The tirade that would come out of me would be unprintable, believe it. I am one that believes no books should ever be banned from the public. Not for any reason.
Now there are a few that I will agree should not be in schools maybe, but none of them are on this list. And my feelings towards the book burners and banners, well, sometimes maybe Logan's dystopian society really doesn't look all that bad after all.
And I will shut up now, because any logical conversation from me will vanish rapidly when it comes to these kinds of people. They are the same kind that would ban science in the schools, and replace it with you all know what.
And now I need to go work out. Like seriously so. A good way to get rid of what I am feeling is to take it out on a few boards. Truth is. I'd rather be lost in the Last Great Time War, than have to deal with people like these. If anger were rated on a nano-scale, mine would be at supernova size with these kind.

Beam Me Up said...

Well Kall, I hear ya, but I have to say that I am OPENING with this one. I have already recorded it and will play it first thing. I am serious, if you can keep somewhat of a lid on it, I would like to get some thoughts going

kallamis said...

Okay, you got it. I'll get it emailed to you, or do you want me to post it directly to here. I'll be starting on it right now.

kallamis said...

It's in your email, and in the draft section of the blog.

Beam Me Up said...

Well I think I let that one get out of hand...before I knew it....well it was already half past the hour. I think that if you wanted to either comment on my comments on the program, the blog issue is up and we can see what type of fire that it will start with the podcast and the blog.