The SF Signal Podcast (Episode 025): Interview with S. Andrew Swann + Discussion of Book Censorship

In episode 25 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester asks the SF Signal gang:

Q: Should books with controversial or offensive content be changed to make them more palatable to the public?

A revised version of Huckleberry Finn will be released next month that replaces all 219 instances of the racially charged “N-word” with the word “slave.” Is this acceptable? Who gets to decide what is and isn’t offensive? Are we standing on the precipice of a slippery slope where the freedom of speech is trumped by public sentiment?

Later, Patrick Hester & John DeNardo sit down to chat with S. Andrew Swann, author of Forests of the Night, Emperors of the Twilight, Specters of the Dawn, Profiteer, Partisan, Revolutionary, Raven, God’s Dice, The Flesh, the Blood, & the Fire, Teek, Fearful Symmetries, Zimmerman’s Algorithm, The Omega Game, Dragons of the Cuyahoga, The Moreau Omnibus, Stranger Inside, The Hostile Takeover Trilogy, Broken Crescent, Dwarves of Whiskey Island, Blood & Rust, Prophets, Dragons & Dwarves, Wolfbreed, Heretics, and Wolf’s Cross.


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7 thoughts on “The SF Signal Podcast (Episode 025): Interview with S. Andrew Swann + Discussion of Book Censorship”

  1. Nothing disgusts me more than censorship because it implies that readers cannot be trusted to make decisions for themselves or that there are words on a page so terrible that they need to be hidden from the public lest they incite…what?

    Think of a novel with the worst possible subject matter your brain can conceive — does it make you nauseous that such a novel could be written? Does it make you wonder about the author and the dark places in his mind? It might make me wonder all of those things and more. The only thing is that it’s fiction. It’s not real. Even if what’s in the book could happen in real life, the people in the book don’t exist and never will. I’m sorry but I don’t waste a lot of time feeling badly for people that are figments of someone else’s imagination no matter what happens to them. The same goes with alleged “how-to” manuals. Let’s say the subject was terrorism and an author put out the Dummies Guide to Terrorism. Are you telling me that honest to goodness terrorists need a manual that they can buy for their Kindle? Did terrorism not exist before this book was written? Same thing goes for a recent e-book that caused such an uproar that the author was arrested. Good thing they stopped that book from being sold because who knows what might have happened in society if we introduced, let’s say, priests to that subject.

  2. What bothers me is that even here you insist on saying “N-word”.  The word is nigger.  You can type it, I know you can.  Used in this context it is just a word, a string of letters.   Used in some contexts it can be quite offensive to some.  It just bothers the hell out of me every time I hear someone say N-word.  Words are only offensive if we allow them to be.

  3. Hmm!? Nigger, Negro, Black, African-American. I’m reminded of Shakespeare. ” A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

    If your ancestors were white but came from Africa to the states would you still be an African-American?

  4. Q: Should books with controversial or offensive content be changed to make them more palatable to the public?

    No.  If it offends you, don’t read it/watch it/listen to it/eat it/etc.  To me this is one of those blatantly black and white issues that drive me crazy.  To me it’s not even up for debate. Stay out of my life, I’m perfectly capable of making my own choices without some idiots telling me what I can/cannot read/watch/listen to/eat/etc.

  5. No! Give our kids credit for more intelligence and stability than the educators that want to bowdlerize books or films or whatever. It was not until the sixties that films were allowed to use the word “pregnant”. Everyone had to understand the suddenly French speaking actor saying,”she is enceinte.” And if you think our teenagers lack self-esteem then you have not listened to them or been in a classroom lately.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    french

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