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Boy Fiction?

I usually make it a policy not to comment on reviews, especially negative reviewers. When you put your art out there in the marketplace on public view, some are going to like and some are going to hate it. Comes with the territory. And like Superchicken always said, I knew the job was dangerous when I took it.

Normally, I would not even comment on something as spectacularly wrong-headed and condescending as the review of the HBO series GAME OF THRONES recenltly published in the NEW YORK TIMES. There have been dozens and dozens of reviews of the show coming out all over the place, in newspaper and magazines, on television and radio, and of course on the web. Most, I am pleased to say, have been very good, but of course there are some bad ones as well. C'est la vie.

((Okay, I will confess, it does cheese me when I come across a reviewer who simply hates all fantasy. I had hoped that kind of literary snobbism was extinct, or nearly so. Maybe not.))

But the startling assertion in the TIMES review that women could not possibly like fantasy unless a lot of graphic sex was added to it (??) has prompted me to break my "no comment" rule. At least to extent of this post.

I see this morning that legions of female fantasy readers and self-proclaimed "geek girls" and "scifi chicks" have risen up all over the internet to say all the things that I'm too polite and too busy to say. And a lot more besides. I'd link to their blogs and posts here, but it would take hours. Google will lead you to them, if you're interested. It would seem that so many outraged emails and posts poured into the TIMES that they had to shut down the comments section for the review.

I am not going to get into it myself, except to say
(1) if I am writing "boy fiction," who are all those boys with breasts who keep turning up by the hundreds at my signings and readings?
(2) thank you, geek girls! I love you all.


Apr. 16th, 2011 06:48 pm (UTC)
Amy Ratcliffe over at Tor.com wrote a response to the review, defending the love of geek girls for ASOIAF. The article may be read here:

As a geek boy myself, I can't speak to the female opinion, other than to note that every one of the many women I know who have read the series love it every bit as much as I do.

I haven't read the original review, but the relevant snippet. Bizarre interpretation. Most likely written by someone who pigeonholes 'genre' stories being for the stereotyped basement-dwelling Clearasil D&D crowd.
Apr. 16th, 2011 09:23 pm (UTC)
That crack about D&D players is itself a stereotypical comment.
Apr. 17th, 2011 07:44 am (UTC)
They were saying the reviewer held that view of D&D players, not that was the correct view.

Apr. 17th, 2011 05:17 pm (UTC)
That was his point.


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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