Fiction, and genre fiction in particular, has a Human Centipede problem, I think. We keep ingesting and regurgitating the same stuff. Tolkien! BARF. Heinlein! BARF. You eat the same, you puke the same, and we call just scoop it up again and put it back on the plate (AND NOW YOU KNOW THE ORIGIN STORY OF TACO BELL). Anything that breaks the cycle is jarring — but, also, necessary. It was interesting that, at the diversity panel in Colorado, the topic of “blind people feeling people’s faces” was brought up (by, if I recall, Jim Hines), and how basically, that’s total bullshit. And yet you see it everywhere, don’t you? Why do we see it everywhere? Because it’s a (false) data point that we keep scooping up and barfing back.
It’s a fly that’s been in the soup so long we think it’s an ingredient, not an invader.
–Chuck Wendig, ruining SFF for you, forever.