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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. 19th, 2011 05:03 pm (UTC)
And we love you!
Apr. 19th, 2011 06:20 pm (UTC)
I'm a proud geek girl!
Apr. 19th, 2011 10:44 pm (UTC)
Sex & chicks
I think that the person who wrote the review at the NYTimes didn't read your books. If he had, he "might" have noticed that sex is an important part of your books.
In my opinion, the first episode is an introduction to the characters as it is in the book. It could've been better but the review is not focused in the right way.
By the way, congratulations for your books...but...what are you doing reading my poor english???? You should be working on your next book!!!! :-P
Tracey Stewart
Apr. 20th, 2011 06:50 pm (UTC)
We love you too, needless to say
There's plenty being said on Goodreads.com - including a new GeekGirls reading group. (The first book? The Hobbit.)

Thank you, Mr. Martin - I've been a geeky fangirl of yours since Vincent. Other people's ignorance isn't bliss, it's absurd.
Apr. 20th, 2011 08:35 pm (UTC)
Thank you from the bottom of my heart
Mr. Martin, I was one of the 'boys with breast' who turned up to defend the female geek fan base of your incredible series. Ms. Jones by far, angered me the most. I just want to thank you for writing this. It warms my heart knowing that you read our comments and know how much you and your series mean to us. I feel like you just gave all us ladies one wonderful bear hug. Thank you!
Apr. 21st, 2011 03:52 am (UTC)
I never leave comments but this nonsense has been flowing through the internet for days. It made me really mad when I first heard it. I have loved your books for years and can't imagine where people get these ideas. (I have also been following Not-a-Blog for years, hoping and praying that I'd eventually hear that ADwD was on the way...and I got that wish this year, too!)

Your work is fantastic so don't let the critics get to you. This particular argument on their part is so erroneous it could be laughable if it wasn't insulting to those of us women who truly have had a passion for this series for a very long time and don't appreciate the fact that this isn't being recognized as a possibility.

Keep it up! Can't wait for July 12!!
Apr. 21st, 2011 02:28 pm (UTC)
just who do they think we are...
I don't know about the rest of the readers out there but it sounds like they haven't even read the series of books... I guess they think if it's not sparkly vampires? targeted at tweens then it must be 'boy?' fiction???
With all the drama (and I mean DRAAMA...but in a good way) that is in the books, it almost plays out like a soap opera 'that hasn't had a new episode in 4-5yrs' :P . (No offense Mr. Martin, I'm a big fan, I just couldn't resist typing that after it popped in my head.) I'll just leave it at that... don't want to give away any spoilers.

Forgive my bastardizing punctuation useage.

Apr. 21st, 2011 03:30 pm (UTC)
I'm one of your biggest Geek Girl fans! Yes I have met you and the only words I could utter were "I love Arya, please don't kill her off!" The article was terrible.
Apr. 21st, 2011 05:43 pm (UTC)
I don't get HBO but I'm going to have to buy the book on the strength of the review alone.
Apr. 22nd, 2011 12:26 am (UTC)
Geek girls <3 you too, sir! :-D
Apr. 22nd, 2011 01:00 am (UTC)
Yes, I sent a profanity laced tirade to the Times before it even went viral. Idiots.
Apr. 22nd, 2011 04:17 am (UTC)
To do the inverse...
I was not horribly offended by the article, at least at first.

However, while I will admit I have not yet picked up one of the books of this series, it is an oversight that is soon to be rectified. I have heard good things, both from men and women, and being a geek girl myself, feel the sudden desperate urge to read any of these books.

So, in summary, Mr. Martin, you can thank this rather offensive reviewer for at least one more (and probably many more) book sales. So, her pigheadedness served only to help you in the end. And, you know even further the strength of your fandom. May every good author have your luck. ;)
Apr. 23rd, 2011 03:04 am (UTC)
NY Times made me a man book lover.
I got my girl friend started with the HBO series, she was just blown away. Now she is reading the first book, she has not stopped reading it all week.

I showed her the NY Times article and she almost broke her laptop. She asked me if I liked boys with breasts (after reading Mr. Martin's post) I said I don't think so. She then bared her breasts at me and made me believer.

Thank you NY Times, for making me like man boobs.
Apr. 23rd, 2011 06:08 am (UTC)
Times ?
You know what? I am a female, I love all your books, and have turned plenty of friends into fans of A song of ice and fire. One of my biggest points is the fact that every character is so strong in there own way, weather they are female or male. I love that about the way you right. I'm glad Times received feed back! They are obviously wrong.
Kelly Marsolek
Apr. 23rd, 2011 06:32 am (UTC)
Your books are like life, the great equalizer! Good and bad, right and wrong, kindness and evil, all are perspective based. As always, the mainstream media is willing to dismiss things based upon gender. Thankfully your books and the characters therein are well developed, multi-dimensional beings that are more than just their chromosomes, so very much more. Thank you for these books and the ones to come!
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George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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