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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.


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Apr. 16th, 2011 09:38 pm (UTC)
We love you too! (Fantasy loving female here)
Apr. 16th, 2011 09:38 pm (UTC)
I won't allow my wench to read Game of Thrones--it's Mr. Darcy for her or nothing.
Apr. 16th, 2011 09:42 pm (UTC)
I had the pleasure of being introduced to your work about five years ago, and I deeply enjoy it. I also happen to be female. I have also occasionally read fiction (pro and otherwise) where the sex was pastede on yey, and I appreciate authors who do not feel they have to add unnecessary sex that isn't a valuable part of the story just as integral to the character arc as any other arc.
Apr. 16th, 2011 09:50 pm (UTC)
Wow... that's pretty appalling. I've been a lover of fantasy since I was a child. At the time though I wanted unicorns and had no idea how sex actually worked lol. I found your short story of Duncan and Egg when I was around 12 (I'm coming up on 27 now) a local bookstore that was closing and have LOVED your writing ever since! I praise you to everyone saying you are the most talented author I have ever read in the fantasy genre and the plot twists and turns are so intricate it even becomes a little hard to keep up with (not a complaint I actually love the challenge!) To my point... even if your books were completely devoid of sex and romance of any kind I would still love them to no end. The TIMES makes women sound as if all we want are romance novels. Bull.

And thank you Mr. Martin we love you too!! :)
Apr. 16th, 2011 09:52 pm (UTC)
Odd reveiw. For someone who writes reviews for the NYT, and would purposedly have "a finger on the pulse" of her audience, the review comes across as seriously out of touch.

On a personal note, it was my mother who was just as interested in the series as I. She went and met Mr Martin at a signing in Kentucky I believe when the second book came out.

She's turning in her grave right now at that review, the NYT fan that she was.
Apr. 16th, 2011 09:54 pm (UTC)
I am a geek girl and I am proud of it!
Apr. 16th, 2011 09:55 pm (UTC)
Oh for heaven's sake
Everyone knows that the chicks dig George rr Martin!!
Apr. 16th, 2011 09:58 pm (UTC)
Right, that's why this girl's favorite character is the Maid of Tarth. Cuz I'm totally all about the tons of sex she's having. Of course.
Apr. 16th, 2011 09:59 pm (UTC)
Ginia Bellafonte probably thought the S&TC movies were great. (I will admit to liking the series, but the first movie was the final straw in ridiculousness, as it took seriously what was originally all fun. It would be akin to making a serious-minded movie out of Entourage -- a series that I find extremely amusing to no end.)

Considering her distaste for violence, I have to ask:

1.) What did she expect?

And perhaps more importantly:

2.) Did not the Sopranos, Deadwood, Rome, and The Wire -- which she adores (as do I) -- also revolve around violence and sex?

It's clear to me that Bellafonte is a whiny anti-fantasy wench who couldn't hold a sword to Arya and her Needle. Cersei would no doubt have her head for dinner -- and her heart for dessert. (And I'd pay to see that.) :)

Not only do girls love your series, but also gay men like me. It ain't just for the stereotypical pimply-faced sexually-frustrated D&D straight males -- a stereotype that is highly outnumbered at Cons these days -- but for people from all walks of life. Nothing irritates me more than a snobbish literary know-it-all who can't read or think outside of established NYC and LA circles and salons. (I hail from Seattle, by the by.)

Consider yourself lucky, George, that you don't have Bellafonte as a fan. The success of this series will be testament that she's clueless. (Can't wait until tomorrow night!)

Peace out. :)
Apr. 16th, 2011 10:00 pm (UTC)
from far away
My girl friend loves fantasy and even some sci-fi (written and on tv). Such statements about "women like" confuses me. That's like I'm saying that in my country people wear Lederhosen. (of course some do, but perhaps less than 2% of the majority of people)
Apr. 16th, 2011 10:00 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't actually call it a review, so you haven't actually gone against your policy. And we love you, too!
Apr. 16th, 2011 10:07 pm (UTC)
Just adding my voice to the chorus - as a "boy with boobs," I've read each of your books from cover to cover and thoroughly enjoyed every one. The sex is irrelevant, looking at the bigger picture. Your storytelling is brilliant.
Apr. 16th, 2011 10:16 pm (UTC)
I guess we all have a little Arya or Brienne in us.
Apr. 16th, 2011 10:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you for sharing your feelings about this! That article/review - whatever she chooses to call it - made me as mad as my sister geeks! This is my response on Bleeding Cool for the Geek Girl on the Street column - http://www.bleedingcool.com/2011/04/15/geek-girl-on-the-street-reports-new-york-times-sets-feminist-movement-back-with-game-of-thrones-review/

And the feeling's mutual.
Apr. 16th, 2011 10:22 pm (UTC)
I find that most of my friends who like fantasy and sci-fi books are women, not men. Of all my relatives who are fans of A Song of Ice and Fire, all of them are female.
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George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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