A growing number of science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts are concerned about the politicization of the culture, as various conventions in the genre increasingly impose a postmodern ideology on attendees. This is according to the organizers of the BasedCon convention, who want to protect the freedom of the genre.
The third edition of the science fiction and fantasy convention BasedCon will be held September 8-10 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Initiator Robert Kroese says that these types of conventions used to be entertaining and focused on fantasy, science fiction, games, movies and TV series, but nowadays they have become highly politicized.
“Starting a few years ago, things changed. Cons became increasingly dominated by a small clique of authoritarian jerks who made them into venues for pushing social justice dogma and, in the name of “inclusiveness,” shut down any opinions that didn’t align with progressive orthodoxy”, the organizers write on their website.
They point out that it always starts the same way – with subversive left-wing liberals moving into a space and gradually influencing it in a direction that suits their agenda, especially by labeling dissenters with pejoratives such as “racist,” “sexist,” and “homophobic. This problem is particularly evident in the science fiction and fantasy genres, according to the founders of BasedCon.
“As a result, a genre that has historically been about the unfettered exploration of ideas has become stagnant and derivative, and the people running the industry are often openly, unapologetically hostile to a significant portion of their audience. And if you’re an openly conservative sci-fi or fantasy author, good luck getting published”, they summarize the current situation.
They go on to explain that it is the publishing industry’s explicit hostility to authors who act independently of the dominant orthodoxy that motivated the creation of BasedCon, where it is hoped that authors can network and learn from each more freely.
“BasedCon isn’t about pushing any particular ideology, but honest conversations have to start with a shared understanding of reality”, it says.
Based, in the sense of the organizers, refers to “someone who is in touch with reality”. Examples of such understandings, which are contrary to the paradigm of the cultural establishment at large, are that men cannot give birth, that it is primarily people and not weapons that kill other people, or that a fetus is an unborn human being.
Prominent guest list
The convention will include panels, presentations, and games – as well as food, social events, and opportunities to meet and talk with various authors. Perhaps the most prominent guest at the event will be legendary Wolfenstein, Doom and Quake creator John Carmack, who founded id Software in 1991.
I’m going to be at https://t.co/plYFgrjxYP again this year. I had read books from and twitter-interacted with three of the authors (more since!), but I wasn’t sure what to expect last year. It turned out fun, in a grass-roots con way that reminded me of the old Space Access days.
— John Carmack (@ID_AA_Carmack) May 17, 2023
Carmack, who is considered one of the true pioneers of computer games and 3D graphics, has faced a pressure and smear campaign from left-liberal groups to pressure him to cancel his participation.