Indeed it would be. Since I have no idea about Godwin's personal ideology or character, and was talking about this story, it's you that is making assumptions about whether I am making assumptions[/recursion] , and not just about this story but about him generally.Beth Peters wrote: Haha, that's a little unfair I think. In fact, any time someone makes an assumption about an author's personal ideology or character based on a story they wrote I see it as unfortunate and reactive.
Again, neither of us knows the author personally but it's probably safe to agree that he did not have a life agenda to exterminate children. Partly why I didn't say that, either.Beth Peters wrote: You seem pretty convinced that Tom Godwin's life agenda, personally, was just to exterminate children. Sure, the writing career got him by in the mean time and allowed him an opportunity to vent his inner angst at laws and social mores preventing him from accomplishing his ultimate mission: the annihilation of every last one of those little young bastards. That's sily.
It was certainly a clumsy attempt to create a moral dilemma (yeah, I agree, unsuccessful).Beth Peters wrote: Isn't it more likely that he was going for (unsuccessfully I agree, to some extent) a moral conundrum that would be a challenging for the reader at the time? Making it a kid specifically to pushed out the airlock, making it a GIRL kid, isn't it a little more reasonable to think that he was just trying to make the decision tougher and also putting things in a bureaucratic framework that shows how cold and awful and stupid bureaucracy can be?
I've had a while to think about why I dislike this story since I first read it years ago and ......I dunno, I still wonder about why he tried to set up a dilemma in this particular way.
I mean, given the setting: limited resources, needing to make tight calculations, the relative importance of the overall flight compared to a single person, harshness-of-the-reality-of-spaceflight, etc. etc. I don't believe that the only way to illustrate this is a naive child stowaway (and no one noticing this, including apparently no one noticing the ship had too much mass), there being, apparently, no other objects on the entire ship that could be sacrificed, no option for the pilot for example to get thrown off and so save the girl (cos the pilot's job is so vital to the flight that you wouldn't train anyone else who would be able to take over if anything happened to the pilot. No, you'd only have one person with this vital and irreplacable skill and knowledge) and so 'having' to throw her off the ship.
I think it comes down to: the set-up doesn't justify the conclusion.
To me, having the story end the way it does just seems indulgent rather than as the only way the story could have gone (and the author makes a lot in the story about there being 'just no other way', blah blah but it all rings hollow given the holes in the plot and the poor explanation for why things 'just have to be this way').