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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. 18th, 2011 07:07 pm (UTC)
The TV show, Lost, was pretty popular. Lots of women liked it, and it was, shockingly, fantasy. I never watched Lost until streaming Netflix, where I decided I'd watch Season 1 to see if it was even close to the hype. I made the time to watch it, and it was, if anything, not hyped enough. I think if the critic were to give the show a chance or read the book, she might change her tune.

Great characters and stories are what keeps people coming back for more. Cliffhangers don't hurt either. The only question here is whether the actors in Game can deliver, and how well the story can be translated onto the screen. I'm optimistic about it. I'm hoping it will be even better than Lost.

It seems to me the critic just didn't want to be bothered with having to watch something associated with the genre. She then took it a step further and displayed her ignorance to all. Dumb. Why did she even bother? Did she have an abusive brother who hit her with his fantasy books? Surely there's something personal behind that review.


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

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