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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. 17th, 2011 07:27 am (UTC)
Bah, literary snobbism? I see that all the time when some reviewer decides to tear apart horror, fantasy, sci-fi or some other genre just because they are too set on their views of how a genre should be written. Or they think anything which comes out of a certain genre must be bad. And then, these reviews are often filled with ranting which have little to do with the pertaining subject. *shakes head* You should see how people treat Joss Whedon's writing or even series like Supernatural. It's a tragedy many of these critics' followers buy every word they say and repeat every word, as though it's The Law you must abide by on Earth. I'll bet if you threw some of these people a series like Doctor Who, most of them would tear it to pieces because it violates a ton of rules: how it structures plot, how it crams in details about the universe, the lack of high-end special effects, no sex, little violence, etc.

Going back to the main topic: Then there's the time where a negative review is made because the site merely wanted to generate more hits. And I see this really often when the reviewers have nothing to do and spend their time beating up some series just because it's, say, aimed at females(sometimes male posturing comes in) or some target demographic. It's especially bad when you hear adults beating up some series aimed at children or teens. Of course the writing will be shallow! They haven't lived through much to gain enough life experiences to be deep, duh.

I'm sorry and sad that you got caught up too, in the game of "let's allow the reviewer to spill something, even IF she has never watched anything from that genre. Or quite possibly, she only likes 1 to 2 series from that genre and thinks the rest are crap without really delving into them." Giving a series a cursory glance and penning some throwaway comments is hot air, btw.


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

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