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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. 17th, 2011 09:36 pm (UTC)
And we love you! I will not go into a long rant about the absolute ignorance of the review you mentioned, instead I just want to say this:

I love the series for many reasons, but one of the biggest ones is the fact that the women in it are strong, complicated people. And many are just plain BADASS. I have always felt that the series has strong feminist views. Anyone who misses that is just too simpleminded to see it perhaps.

Also, I was never one for Fantasy...well, actually I'm not a big Fiction fan in general really. But my husband (BF at the time) convinced me to read it and I was hooked. Now I am totally one of those "fangurls". Your books opened up my mind to a whole world of GREAT fiction- it made me realize that not ALL Sci-Fi and Fantasy was mediocre plot lines and 2-D characters made more interesting by strange creatures or complicated tech doo-hickies.

What makes great Fantasy/Sci-Fi is what makes great LITERATURE, no matter the genre. And your book was the 1st to help me realize that. Now I can really appreciate the drama and intrigue of Robin Hobb's books, or the linguistics and history woven into Tolkien's world (that of which I could write whole research papers on...actually, I have, but that's a story for another time).

Liking something has nothing to do with gender, and everything o do with preferences and tastes. I know many women who LOVE sports and just as many men who find it boring. I know plenty of men who love bubble baths and spas, and I know a bunch of women who would rather go camping. It's the same for entertainment- you like what you like because of your personality and your intellectual level. So, smart fun-loving people with imaginations will like something like Game of Thrones, while the more simple people in need of escape might prefer something about party-loving, superficial sisters painting Miami/LA/NY red; Or perhaps a good made for TV movie about kidnapping/untimely death/lost love what-have-you (what my family likes to call "Woo-Woo" movies)

Ya know, to each their own ;)

I know what I prefer though and I pick imagination and intellectual stimulation 'most every time.


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

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