Science fiction author Peter Watts just wrote a post titled "In Vicarious Defense of R. Scott Bakker." Here's a teaser:
For a while, a few years back, I thought I might have an evil twin.
I kept running into people at cons who’d met him: Man, he coulda been your clone, they’d say. He’s tall and gangly and kinda sardonic — smaller in the nose, maybe — he’s writing this book about the neurological impossibility of free will, and he’s worried that it might get used to justify serial sex killers or something…
Turns out his name was Scott Bakker (R. Scott Bakker, actually — I never bothered to find out what the R stood for), and while I remain mystified that anyone would mistake him for me, he turned out to be quite an interesting guy. We hung out a few times at cons, debated the finer points of pop neuro over beers, got along way better than you might expect from our orthogonal backgrounds (his formal training is in philosophy, for chrissake). He was popular at such events; always shooting the shit with someone, always going point-counterpoint around a table of writers and readers, always engaging, always attentive. Throughout the course of these events, I never saw him treat anyone with anything other than respect; and the belated discovery that Caitlin and Scott had been good friends for years before I’d known either of them came as no surprise whatsoever.
Remember that: it’s central.
When I had the chance to blurb Scott’s novel Neuropath — a book that dealt with many of the same issues as Blindsight, but within the confines of a thriller format that was far more accessible than my own vampires-in-space niche effort had been — I jumped at the chance (although I don’t think Tor ever used the blurb). Scott wrote Neuropath as an experiment in formula: he ploughed through a bunch of conventional thrillers to get a feel for the form, said Shit, I can do that, and did.
Where he really made his name, though, was in fantasy: firstly with an epic trilogy called The Prince of Nothing. The first volume is called The Darkness That Comes Before, and despite fair amount of critical acclaim (apparently it subverts pretty much every overused trope in the standard fantasy toolbox), there are inevitably people who do not like it. C’Est la vie.
Also, there is at least one rabid animal who hates it, someone who goes by the monicker “acrackedmoon”.
Notice what I did there: I reduced a fellow human being to the status of a mentally-diseased animal. I thought long and hard about doing that. It surprises me a little that I’m willing to sink so low, so early in the discussion (maybe I won’t; maybe I’ll have second thoughts and edit it out before I post.) (Guess not.) I’d generally show more restraint, but for the fact that acm has beaten me to that particular punch by referring to Scott Bakker as “a self-important little roach”. She calls him a number of other things, too, but I figure that particular shot justifies my own epithet (which at least accords acm the dignity of remaining a mammal).
It's a great read, no question. Especially if you are a fan of R. Scott Bakker, of course. Even better, our favorite rageaholic and psychotic Thai lesbian SFF reviewer somehow finds a way to make an even bigger fool of herself (no shit) in the comment section. Wonder if Larry will link this one. . .
Follow this link for the full piece.