Sounding Presidential

One of science fiction fandom’s unwritten rules is – Never review a book you haven’t read.

But that’s not a rule in politics, written or unwritten, so Politico unhesitatingly quoted Todd Dashoff’s criticisms of Battlefield Earth in ”Mitt Romney: Sci-fi fan”.

Romney has praised various sf/fantasy works during two campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination. He cited L. Ron Hubbard’s novel as his favorite book in a May 2007 Fox News interview. This week Politico revived the story and asked selected experts to comment:

Even Todd Dashoff, president of the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society, raised an eyebrow at the choice.

Asked if he’d read the book, Dashoff told POLITICO he hadn’t – “thankfully.”

“Partly because it’s a long book and partially because L. Ron Hubbard’s stuff does have a reputation for a certain style,” Dashoff explained. “It’s not the best written stuff on the planet. It’s not going to make anybody’s list of the best science fiction. ‘Turgid’ might be the word to describe it.”

Of Romney, Dashoff said: “I would be curious to find out how much actual reading he’d done in the field. Let’s put it that way.”

Let’s put it this way: Mitt Romney has read one science fiction book Todd Dashoff hasn’t.

[Thanks to Steven H Silver for the link.]