Sunday, September 18, 2011

Spanner Interlude 10: Memo from Wesley

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner
Interlude 10: Memo from Wesley

Keenan Sasser, author of the first series of Civet novels, has never been satisfied with the second-series novels, for reasons that should be obvious, starting with the fact that they suck. So he has leaked onto the Internet an open letter to the readers, under the house pseudonym under which he wrote the first series. He has some choice words to say about the new series and its publishers.
An Open Letter to Civet Fans from the Author

You may be wondering why the new series Civet novels has been dumbed down. The reason is executive meddling. It seems our Publisher (which shall not be named) believes that readers are morons and decreed that the Civet series be edited (to put it lightly) accordingly. To make things worse, all the sexual content has been edited out of the American editions to conform to the increasingly absurd American censorship laws; fortunately, all the sex and violence remains intact in all European editions.

This is not merely a matter of executive prejudice. It is corporate policy. I for one have heard that the decree has come down from higher levels that the board of directors of the Publisher Which Shall Not Be Named. Some of you have tried to protest, only to find out that the more you protest, the more determined the censorship authorities are to stand their ground.

I have concluded that the authorities are more simpleminded than the great mass of readers, even if you consider things like Twilight. This is especially true of the American Imperial authorities, who pride themselves on their simplemindedness and actively campaign against complex storytelling. I believe this is also true of the Corporate authorities. They are fighting the trend of history.

Before the coup d’état of two years ago, popular culture was getting ever more complex and demanding for at least the past forty years or so. This long-term trend was especially apparent in videogames and television shows since 1995, when the DVD and the PlayStation were introduced. Twilight and other Mary Sue-laden squee wanks notwithstanding, the majority of games and shows expected you to use your brain. Some of those videogame counterparts to CliffsNotes outsold some of the biggest novels on the bestseller lists.

Not anymore. Not since the coup ruined everything.

The whole premise of today’s America is that everybody is required to throw away their brains and put blind faith in whatever. It’s like those gurus who want you to discard your ego, “just believe,” and worship the guru, except in this case the guru has been replaced by the Nation. The oxymoronically named Conservative Revolutionary Party calls for “simple people with simple faith,” while we complicated people who can actually think get in trouble for thinking.

But even the Party’s censorhip policy in the name of ‘simple moral principles’ is a minor problem compared to the United Corporations’ own censorship policy. I’ve come to the conclusion that the Cartel censors don’t care about what you want. They only allow what they want. And what they want is simplistic escapism all but indistinguishable from the pulp fiction of the 1930s and ’40s or the TV shows of the 1960s and ’70s. These were aimed at the Lowest Common Denominator and were thus subject to a low maximum limit of complexity. The charitable conclusion is that they think of fiction as a form of masturbation. But from the letters I’ve gotten, most of you are convinced that the censors think that most readers, viewers, and players are morons.

My pre-coup writings, at least since I actually started writing my own stories, have tended to be complicated mindbenders with lots of metafiction. This is especially true of my novels. My original concept for the Civet was that because of her disadvantages in size, strength, and numbers, she had to outthink the villains. Due to the current censorship laws that mandate blunt force trauma editing, the Publisher Which Shall Not Be Named threw that out the window, and as a result the second series sucks. They have edited out all the intelligence out of their new heroine and all the conspiracy out of the villains, and therefore all the entertainment out of the novels.

I don’t expect the current situation to last forever. Why, you ask? I know several Corporates who disagree with the current censorship regime because it doesn’t allow the complicated mysteries they’re addicted to. And so I’ve hidden copies of the original drafts in secret locations which I will not disclose under any circumstances. The purpose is to protect them from the current censorship regime, which wants them destroyed. Once the censorship is lifted, then the Civet series will be restored to its original form at last.

Yours truly,
Wesley Dent
Author, The Civet

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