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From: "Allan Lloyd" 
Subject: Re: (urth) Re: RAH sex
Date: Mon, 21 Apr 2003 09:09:31 +0100

----- Original Message -----
From: "Alice K. Turner" 
Sent: Monday, April 21, 2003 3:50 AM
Subject: (urth) Re: RAH sex

> From: "Jeff Wilson" 
> quoting me:
> > > Wrong. No one ever, ever, including hack porn writers, EVER, EVER
> > > worse sex than Heinlein. With possibly the momentary exception of a
> > > long-forgotten 9-day wonder of the 60s or 70s called -The Harrad
> > > Experiment-. And I am something of an expert here. I should probably
> say,
> > > for members of this group, that IMO Sturgeon wrote bad sex too, though
> not,
> > > by leagues, in the same abysmal class.
> >
> > I don't find sprunging nipples to be an inappropriate idiom, and neither
> > did my ex-wife. The spiggots remark I will give you, but I find Clarke's
> > depiction of sex to be poorer storytelling than Heinlein's overall.
> Have you considered why she's your ex-wife, hmmm?  No, seriously, none of
> the Golden Agers could address sex; you could say that they were trained
> of it by convention, and by the time things loosened up it was too late
> them. Clarke had the further problem of the het stuff being a bit alien,
> hence indeed "poor storytelling." But only RAH was actively offensive in a
> horrible lame, leering, really repulsive sort of way--for me it's that
> screaming across a blackboard syndrome to a degree I've never felt with
> another writer in any  genre. Ask your ex if she likes any of RAH's later
> books (anything after -Stranger-) and if so why.
> -alga

I couldn't agree more about the creepy attitude of RAH, but for sheer badly
judged and inappropriate writing, the worst must be the childbirth scene in
one of the post Stranger in a Strange Land books, where the girl who is
about to die in agony looks up to her partner and says "Sorry about the
sound effects, daddy".

I find it hard to take any writer who is so unaware of human feelings or
emotions seriously. Didn't Harry Harrison remark to Brian Aldiss after
reading "Starship Troopers" that RAH had obviously never seen any real
fighting in the war. By his general treatment of pain and suffering, mostly
dealt with with a macho shrug and "there goes my leg but, what the hell,
I've got another one" attitude, I get the impression of a man who has never
seen real pain, or been touched by real suffering.

With Wolfe, the one rape that always affects me deeply is of the child in
the Latro books. This happens between chapters and off-page, but it is a
mark of Wolfe's skill that he can still make it significant and moving. I'm
not altogether happy about the number of rapes in Wolfe's work, but that is
part of an article on women in Wolfe's work which I keep planning to write



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