S&S: Oliver Brackenbury – So I’m Writing A Novel Part 2

I’m picking up on Brackenbury’s Episode 4. If you’d like to read my thoughts on the previous episodes, see this post.

Link to The People Of The Black Circle on Gutenberg.

Link to The People Of The Black Circle On Pulp Lit.

S&S: Oliver Brackenbury – So I’m Writing A Novel!

Link to Episode 4 here:

Ep4 – Compare and Contrast: The People of the Black Circle vs Conan the Buccaneer

13:00 – Brackenbury starts talking about racism and sexism, and how S&S writers can sidestep these and still write good Conan-type stories. I saw this on a Lovecraft discussion once, where people refused to read Lovecraft because of the author’s racism.

You know what I say to that? You’re limiting your own imagination by setting PC limits, or dare I say, borders, on what you can and cannot read for fun. Historically, that kind of thinking doesn’t last very long, only until the rest of the world gets fed up with it. Real life is not an ideal setting created by a liberal college professor, based on his or her thoughts of how to social engineer students. The real world is full of political incorrectness! Just look at Black Lives Matter; that’s the most racist organization you can ever have, where only Negros matter and everyone else has to bend the knee. The KKK doesn’t even do that! The sexism is there too, in promoting LGBT over straight people, such as GMO men competing against natural women. If you want to appease the PC crowd, go ahead, but watch, after a few years their way of thinking will change, and then they’ll start coming after you, the compliant one, for something you wrote or tweeted a decade ago.

Racism and sexism IS part of the dynamic in Sword And Sorcery. Believe it or not, they did not have Political Correctness in the Bronze or Iron Age. It was every man, and every race or empire, for themselves. If the story you want to create should have some of those elements in it, write them in, and don’t worry about any blow-back from people that don’t even read the genre, but who still want to police it.

38:00 – Stephen King’s politics are okay, but not J.K. Rowlings? You mean the Stephen King who went with the CIA official narrative of the Kennedy assassination?

The Black Circle sounds like it will be a good read. I’m up to… the something or other of Xuthal in my reading so far. I don’t think I’ve read any of Lin Carter’s Conan stories, because I’d like to see if he’s really as bad as Brackenbury makes him out to be.

Update: Someone in the comments section called Brackenbury out on his criticism of De Camp:

L. Sprague de Camp is known for his own science fiction AND his Conan continuations. His SF is classic stuff: Lest Darkness Fall, The Wheels of If, Rogue Queen. and his own excursions into S & S: the Harold Shea stories written in collaboration with Fletcher Pratt. All really good stuff. De Camp’s involvement with Conan is a controversial tempest in a teapot. De Camp started his involvement with Conan in the 1950s. Gnome Press published a series of hardcover books with contributions by de Camp years before the Lancer series began. Rewriting unsold stories and turning them into marketable ones just made good sense. The first Conan story was a rewritten King Kull story. REH turned two unsold Conan stories into a pirate tale and an a generic barbarian tale. De Camp turning unsold El Borak stories into Conan tales was simply a smart decision. Once the Gnome series was over, de Camp’s belief in the character’s appeal took him to Lancer Books where he turned REH and Conan into series that sold in the millions. Great job by my account. – SprageDeCampFan

And Brackenbury backtracks as a result:

Oh for sure! My apologies if I made it sound like this was the sum total of De Camp’s literary contributions. I’ve also enjoyed checking out some of his non-fiction, historical texts.


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