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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

( 388 comments )
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skittled
Apr. 16th, 2011 06:42 pm (UTC)
That article pissed me off to no end. Of COURSE, it's all the sex that makes us love this series! Not the engaging plot, fascinating characters and sharp twists and turns that have us squirming in our seats. Gosh. Where would I be without articles like that to tell me how I feel?

Can. Not. WAIT to see the premiere.
Beatriz Ribeiro
Apr. 19th, 2011 12:54 pm (UTC)
i can't agree. i LOVE this series, it's not the sex that makes me like that, it's the fantasy, the history, the reality!
and if some people, can't just understand that,they are dumb like a door (sorry doors).

thanks for the politeness mr.martin, and don't be annoyed. we geek girls can treat him like... well, i said too much :)
shery_dewinter
Apr. 16th, 2011 06:43 pm (UTC)
By your own definition - I am a "boy with boobs" :P *wiggles them with pride*

And your books are anything but "boy-fiction". If anything, for what my own personal experience counts, I know more girls who are heavily into them than boys.

i_hunter
Apr. 16th, 2011 06:46 pm (UTC)
If you can't write a book or produce a movie - become a reviewer. That way you get to be part of an art world without having any talent.
icepearls
Apr. 16th, 2011 09:11 pm (UTC)
I resent that statement. I'm a book reviewer. It's not an art but it's damn hard work. Be angry at individuals sure, but lay off on the group.
(no subject) - danbuter1 - Apr. 17th, 2011 12:06 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - vikjha - Apr. 17th, 2011 06:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - i_hunter - Apr. 17th, 2011 06:49 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - srmbc.blogspot.com - Apr. 17th, 2011 07:17 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
lovefromgirl
Apr. 16th, 2011 06:47 pm (UTC)
I loved seeing the vast range of women in your books--so refreshing! Dany in particular has nestled into my heart. Thank you for giving this geek girl a change of pace in her fantasy.
oraien
Apr. 16th, 2011 06:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Mr. Martin. I'm an amateur writer and a geek girl, and grateful that you, as one of my most favorite authors of all time, feel this way.
sistercrow
Apr. 17th, 2011 01:32 am (UTC)
He wouldn't have been in my top 5 authors if he didn't.
rvillarrubia
Apr. 16th, 2011 06:48 pm (UTC)
Thanks George, we love you too! :D
supremacy_born
Apr. 16th, 2011 06:48 pm (UTC)
We love you too, George! If that review had been true, me and all my friends would have to change our genders to fit the criteria. We love your books with a passion, and can't wait to read more. Don't pay any attention to that nonsense! The girls are backing you up. :)
mdunnbass
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:
http://www.tor.com/blogs/2011/04/a-response-to-the-ny-times-game-of-thrones-review

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.
_grimtales_
Apr. 16th, 2011 09:23 pm (UTC)
That crack about D&D players is itself a stereotypical comment.
(no subject) - mercury_glitch - Apr. 17th, 2011 07:44 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kinggale - Apr. 17th, 2011 05:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
aldtai
Apr. 16th, 2011 06:49 pm (UTC)
GOT
I'm having a small get together (6 people) to watch the first episode of GOT, and half the people coming are female. I can also say with a certainty that they are just as excited as their male counterparts. Clearly this columnist has no idea how the world of fantasy fans works. Try not to let it get under your skin and keep up the great work.

For those of you looking for a last minute distraction to kill some time. Check out the GOT cast and crew section HBO's web site. They have posted quite a few 1-2 minute video character profiles. Very Cool.
arantius
Apr. 17th, 2011 02:44 am (UTC)
Re: GOT
Those girls are clearly only just going to be there in the hope they'll see some graphic sex scenes ;P
infinite_hiatus
Apr. 16th, 2011 06:50 pm (UTC)
I heard the review was shit so I didn't even bother to read it. I have a few friends who started to read it and only made it a couple paragraphs in. The NYT really hurt their credibility with this one.
(Deleted comment)
iorwen107
Apr. 16th, 2011 06:50 pm (UTC)
I read that review and was disgusted by it. To think a genre is either boy centric or girl centric is idiotic at best, and extremely offensive at worst. It just goes to show that even at the NY Times you can find ignorance.

This "boy with breasts" can't wait until tomorrow's GOT premiere and not for the graphic sex but for the amazing story that will br brought to life and unfold before my tv screen.

Thank you for writing such a wonderful and non gender specific story and thank you HBO for adapting it.
glazomaniac
Apr. 16th, 2011 06:51 pm (UTC)
look, i love your books with all my heart, and i think the NYT article was way off base, but if you want to use this as an excuse to include more graphic sex, with any particular sorts of pairings you want to include (f/f, m/f, m/m, podrick/shagga's goats, i'm not picky), very few of us will complain.
natsufan
Apr. 16th, 2011 09:57 pm (UTC)
I disagree. One of the reasons why I love the book with all my heart is that the sex is never unnecessary. It always describes the character, the characters interactions or the characters' feelings. You don't get the same "clean" vibe from J & Y than from Tyrion & whomever... Don't get me started in what Theon's sexual romps say about him... The sex is not only included in the story, it's part of the story and relevant to either character development, plot advance or both. I wouldn't want that to change. Unless it's Sansa & Sandor, in which I might forgive some irrelevancy. But I think George will NOT include irrelevant stuff into the plot, thanks the Seven.
ellgue
Apr. 16th, 2011 06:51 pm (UTC)
we love you too -))
iaq85
Apr. 16th, 2011 06:52 pm (UTC)
It was one of the worst reviews I've ever read. Seriously poor.
(Deleted comment)
entomologist
Apr. 17th, 2011 06:35 pm (UTC)
you seem to know how to write female characters without *female* topping the list of character traits.

Huh. I never thought about it in quite those terms, but that is an excellent statement of one of the salient virtues of these books, and one of the major problems with much of genre fiction in general.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - elfbabe - Apr. 17th, 2011 10:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
What?! - macfly0007 - Apr. 19th, 2011 03:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
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( 388 comments )

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