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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 07:27 pm (UTC)
The Slate article is also ridiculous. I mean if you don't like fantasy, don't review a fantasy show. Why go into a show telling people that the best possible outcome is that you'll be bored? Who are you helping? Wow, I learned from your review that there are swords and horses. Congratulations, that was informative.

I posted this there as well:

The thing is, we already knew it was fantasy. If you're going into a review knowing you'll dislike all fantasy, then really, it's not a review as much as you telling us why you don't like fantasy in general. It's like Ebert hating all comedies, and therefore giving all comedies thumbs down. Shouldn't the point of the review be to let us know how this works as a show within the genre? If it doesn't work, that's fine but I don't see why you'd review a show like this in the first place. If I hate Korean food, I wouldn't go and review a Korean restaurant and make my review about how that restaurant sucks because I hate all Korean food in the first place and how I've always hated it. What does it add, and who does it help?


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

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