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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. 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.
Apr. 17th, 2011 12:06 am (UTC)
So you are a talentless hack?
Apr. 17th, 2011 06:09 pm (UTC)
hey hey hey, i'm sorry but without talented reviewers how much harder would it be to find a good book. yes, you can find a diamond in the rough, but let's be serious here. How did you find game of thrones? i'm guessing maybe someone recommended it to you, or you saw the "New York Times Best Seller List" whose books owe a lot to positive reviews given to them.

we're mad at one review. what about all the great ones?
Apr. 17th, 2011 06:49 am (UTC)
You are right, I did let myslef verbalize first emotional reaction.
Apr. 17th, 2011 07:17 am (UTC)
It actually can be an art. Baird Searles did some fantastic film reviews, Unshelved's book reviews are kind of a staple of my webcomics trawl, and if someone works at it enough, a review can be just as entertaining or evocative as the work it's about. I agree with you about it being work, and about not making generalizations about reviewers, but as a reviewer that tries to put some art into their work, I must respectfully disagree with you that it can't be an art.


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

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