This was going to be a post about Barnacle Bill the Spacer but then…
… I read up a few things about Lucius Shepard, the author of Barnacle Bill the Spacer and half a dozen other books that I absolutely adore.
I very much adore Lucius Shepard. I adore his writing. I adore the way he describes places and I absoluetly adore his gift for setting the mood. I also adore his political and religious views. I short, Lucius Shepard is God.
At least I thought so before I started reading his blog in order to get a few nice juicy quotes for this post. Up until a few days ago, I didn’t even know Mr. Shepard had a blog. I had read that he was a very seclusive person and didn’t like to give interviews. Somewhere. Wikipedia, I think. And that was it. Man has no public life. Good for him. I tend to support life-style choices like this.
But then I re-read the Wikipedia entry and lo and behold! There seemed to be a blog after all.
Only it turns out that the political and religious views and the great writing (also suspiciously absent in the blog) come in a package deal with a stunning example of the most horrid artistic snobbery that I have ever witnessed in a human being.
This man claims to be a Firefly addict, yet he says that according to his own likes and dislikes he should hate the show. Actually, he hates “populists like Joss Whedon and J. K. Rowling.” I won’t even get into on how many levels that is so wrong. (Not a Whedon fan-girl myself by any means, but he has done some good stuff over the years, above all Firefly.) Could it be, Mr. Shepard, that you try to dislike everything new and presumably Hollywood with a Harold-Bloomesque fervor, but actually, deep down, like stuff like that? Did you, like many people of your generation, sit through Star Wars Episodes 1-3, desperately grabbing on to your deep-seated mistrust, lest it fly away on wings of superb CGI? And did you shelter your carefully-groomed hatred, lest it get scared away by the good story? If yes, then I pity you. There seem to be too many people out there today that reject modern cinema out of principle. Like my grandfather, who still insists that in his youth the vegetables still tasted of vegetable and not of cardboard. Only he is probably right.
Sorry, Mr. Shepard, but it’s true.
Now, the question is: Can I still adore an author who is also so obviously a total idiot?
I guess I can. The Man Who Painted the Dragon Griaule and Jailwise are still two of the very best short stories that I have ever read. Nothing will change that. Fine writing is fine writing. Shame about the rest though…