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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 07:03 pm (UTC)
I was wondering why my comment didn't show up in the NYT website.

Apparently, we cultured womenfolk are only supposed to like sensitive, thought-provoking novels about dead children, spouses, serial killers, and adultery that we can talk about at our "book clubs." I'm not sure why, but the whole book club paragraph really got to me. Much has been written about women's writing, and writing for women, (and much more will be), but I have to say, I never thought of your novels as slanted towards one gender or the other. They're about characters, history, and conflict.

Although, when the Times reviewer said they were about climate change, I did start laughing. That helped temper the outrage.
Apr. 16th, 2011 10:59 pm (UTC)
I've noticed the whole comment thread is closed. I tried to comment there, as well (I settled for giving the review a rating of "1".


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

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