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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?
and
(2) thank you, geek girls! I love you all.

Comments

smilingsoprano
Apr. 18th, 2011 12:22 am (UTC)
I know this has been said about 331 times over already, but thank you. As a geek girl, as a fantasy enthusiast, and as a person, I was pretty deeply offended by that review. The idea that fantasy is necessarily "boy fiction," let alone ASoIaF, which has a large, well-rounded, and diverse female cast, makes me fume incoherently.

Thank you for writing fantasy that is as worthy of the term "literature" as any non-genre fiction. Thank you for writing characters who are people--heroic and admirable and flawed and fallible and grey--before they are a gender or a stereotype. Thank you for managing to write characters like Sansa, whose early chapters remind me almost painfully of my middle school self, and Catelyn, who is the mother anyone would want. At the same time, thank you for writing the exhilarating fight scenes, dense political intrigue, unapologetically gritty and realistic worlds, and yes, revealing and character-developing sexual situations that apparently only appeal to boys.

I look forward to seeing the show.

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