[LMB] Heinlein and Bujold

Joel Polowin jpolowin at hotmail.com
Fri Oct 8 18:49:03 BST 2021


"Richard G. Molpus" <rgmolpus at flash.net> wrote:
> During the Soviet era, only authors who were members in good standing
> with the official Writer's and Author's union could be published; the
> rules for 'good standing; included a requirement that their work be
> agreeable with existing political dogma of the USSR communist party.
>
> As the official dogma of the USSR had that Marxist theory of history
> insisted that the eventual result was a 'Worker's Paradise'; works
> that implied that the future of society wasn't that nice wasn't
> acceptable. Since much of SF and Fantasy is 'What If' stories, this
> forces the writers away from real extrapolation of the future and into
> 'this is what we're going to get'.

Sure, but a lot of non-USSR SF of that period didn't touch on politics
or workers or anything like that *at all*.  There's a gap between "must
be agreeable with existing political dogma" and "must promote political
dogma".  A story of exploration, or a "puzzle story", shouldn't have
ruffled feathers, while not being explicitly pro-communist.  I'm not
convinced that all Russian fiction of that period had to explicitly be
pro-communist.  It's not *impossible* that all of the Soviet analogues
of John Campbell would have that requirement, but it seemed unlikely.
And at any rate, the stories in those books seemed clunky even apart
from that element.

Joel



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