Tor.com content by

Kevin C. Pyle

Fiction and Excerpts [5]
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Fiction and Excerpts [5]

A Map of Comic Book Burnings Across the U.S.

In Bad for You, available from Henry Holt, authors Kevin C. Pyle and Scott Cunningham expose the long-standing campaign against fun for what it really is: a bunch of anxious adults grasping at straws, ignoring scientific data, and blindly yearning for the good old days that never were.

As part of our recognition of Banned Books Week, we’ve pulled this map of all known comic book burnings across the U.S. for perusal. Many date from before Fredric Wertham’s “classic” Seduction of the Innocent, and all of them seem almost-quaint considering how movies based on comic books now bring in billions of dollars every year.

[A map of comic book burnings across the U.S.]

Have We Ever Trusted Our Children?

In Bad For You, coming on January 7th from Henry Holt, authors Kevin C. Pyle and Scott Cunningham expose the long-standing campaign against fun for what it really is: a bunch of anxious adults grasping at straws, ignoring scientific data, and blindly yearning for the good old days that never were.

Throughout the last two months, we’ve excerpted various portions from the book, illustrating and putting into context ill-informed panics over books, comic books, Dungeons & Dragons, and even chess. The damage these panics cause can be quite substantial and in some cases has led to tragic consequences. The targets of these panics are often children, and even when the intentions behind them are good, they still underscore the fact that we hold little trust for those we’re ostensibly trying to educate.

Today’s excerpt tallies instances of that mistrust over millennia. Is this a cycle that can be broken?

[A long history of being afraid of our own children]

These New-Fangled Books Will Doom Us All!

Behold the techno-panic timeline!

In Bad For You, coming on January 7th from Henry Holt, authors Kevin C. Pyle and Scott Cunningham expose the long-standing campaign against fun for what it really is: a bunch of anxious adults grasping at straws, ignoring scientific data, and blindly yearning for the good old days that never were.

In this handy graphic, they point out the repeated panics we’ve had over new technology, from the printing press to books to telephones and everything in between and around. It turns out we’re really super into blaming new things for existing problems!

If only we could invent some kind of device that would impart information from previous years and eras, as a way to…read history…in hopes of not, um, not…

No, wait, it’ll come to us….

[The techno-panic timeline]

If You Think Dungeons & Dragons Leads to Suicide, You Don’t Understand Gaming

In Bad For You, coming on January 7th from Henry Holt, authors Kevin C. Pyle and Scott Cunningham expose the long-standing campaign against fun for what it really is: a bunch of anxious adults grasping at straws, ignoring scientific data, and blindly yearning for the good old days that never were.

Today’s excerpt highlights the tragic story of Dallas Egbert, a child prodigy who committed suicide, and the publicity-chasing detective who linked his suicide to his love of Dungeons & Dragons. The excerpt takes a deeper look into the real connection between fantasy gaming and the emotional development of young adults. This excerpt may contain material of a triggering nature.

[Bad For You and the story of Dungeons & Dragons]

Chess Was Once Considered Bad For You

In Bad For You, coming on January 7th from Henry Holt, authors Kevin C. Pyle and Scott Cunningham expose the long-standing campaign against fun for what it really is: a bunch of anxious adults grasping at straws, ignoring scientific data, and blindly yearning for the good old days that never were.

A portion of the book looks at the hysteria over gaming, be it tabletop or video, and how depressingly cyclical that unthinking hysteria can be. As evidenced by the following snippet from the book, even chess was once considered a path to moral degeneracy. Checkmate, said the devil.

[We must not allow our youths this “chess,” lest they form clubs and unite against us]

Is There a Correlation Between Banning Books and Bad Science?

In Bad For You, coming on January 7th from Henry Holt, authors Kevin C. Pyle and Scott Cunningham expose the long-standing campaign against fun for what it really is: a bunch of anxious adults grasping at straws, ignoring scientific data, and blindly yearning for the good old days that never were.

Today we’re featuring a section focused on how ignoring the scientific method produced the wayward assumptions that characterize Fredric Wertham’s anti-comics book Seduction of the Innocent, and how that ignorance propels arguments for banning books. (See this map of comic burnings across the U.S. in the 20th century.)

But is there really a correlation between scientific education and supression of literature? Authors Kevin C. Pyle and Scott Cunningham cover that concept, too!

[The scientific method and the supression of literature]

Series: Banned Books Week 2013

A Map of Comic Book Burnings Across the U.S.

In Bad For You, coming on January 7th from Henry Holt, authors Kevin C. Pyle and Scott Cunningham expose the long-standing campaign against fun for what it really is: a bunch of anxious adults grasping at straws, ignoring scientific data, and blindly yearning for the good old days that never were.

As part of our recognition of Banned Books Week, we’ve pulled this map of all known comic book burnings across the U.S. for perusal. Many date from before Fredric Wertham’s “classic” Seduction of the Innocent, and all of them seem almost-quaint considering how movies based on comic books now bring in billions of dollars every year.

[A map of comic book burnings across the U.S.]

Series: Banned Books Week 2013

If Plato Were Alive Today, Would He Try to Ban Harry Potter?

In Bad For You, coming on January 7th from Henry Holt, authors Kevin C. Pyle and Scott Cunningham expose the long-standing campaign against fun for what it really is: a bunch of anxious adults grasping at straws, ignoring scientific data, and blindly yearning for the good old days that never were.

In this timely excerpt, Pyle and Cunningham look at the practice of banning and burning stories, reaching from Harry Potter to fairy tales in the first century A.D. to Plato in Athens B.C.

[Read this comic excerpt from Bad For You]

Series: Banned Books Week 2013