John C Write has a nice blog post about his fight with the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association. I don't really have a comment about who to champion in this brawl. I just wanted to point out something he wrote in his blog. However, I do think that a man who can right like this probably deserves our support in a bar room brawl.
"When the first storyteller of prehistory standing outside the cave in the circle of light shed by that newly-invented dancing sky-flower called fire, and with wide gestures and daring words, while the shadows leaped, astonished the youngsters of the clan with the deeds of the great hunt which happened that day, he used these tools of the trade.
He told of the comedy of a spear thrown butt-first, the tragedy of a man trampled, the drama of the band of hunters aiding each other that the tribe might feast, that the tribe might live! And the youngsters with their eyes wide and mouths hanging round open listened in wonder. They were enchanted.
And then, as twilight deepened into night and the stars looked on, the tale he told turned to the of the eldest grandfathers and great hunters long dead but living again in the constellations, chasing the raging boars and mighty mastodons and swift smilodons whose images were in the zodiac — that unknown and unnamed first storyteller told a tale of stars and eternal things.
He told of the creation of the world, the kindling of the sun and moon, and how the High Spirit placed green trees and blue rivers in the mighty lap of the Earth. And he sang the names of their fathers and forefathers, and how the tribe was blessed in times long gone by the gods, and how these names and great deeds must never be forgotten, but told in turn to their sons and daughters.
That first founder of my guild knew the three things any storyteller who is honest knows: A story is not a lecture nor a sermon; the storyteller puts the story first, not the storyteller; the storyteller serves rather than rules those who hear his tale."
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