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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.


Jul. 3rd, 2011 06:31 pm (UTC)
Game of Thrones
Hey, Mr. Martin. I'm a woman (haven't been a girl for a while now) and I LOVE Game of Thrones, both the 1st book and the HBO series. I've also been reading, science fiction mostly, and some fantasy since before ANY so-called girl was supposed to like them. Guess what? I'm neither titillated... who in their right minds say that graphic sex scenes attract female viewers? Generally, they're not the target audience, when the author or director of the piece is a schlockmeister... nor am I turned off. They're part of the story, plain and simple.

GOT has a strong medieval vibe and one of its premises is that life is cheap, sex can be bought, and women have to be strong and hope they are born in the right place to the right people (and I'm not just talking rich and powerful here). I bought the books on my Kindle after the first episode and read along. I stopped reading just because I wanted to be surprised each week. Now that the first season is over, I'm reading again, and pretty happy that HBO led me to find your wonderful series. I already knew your through Wildcards, but I didn't know the Song of Ice and Fire series. Thank you very much, and that woman is full of hoohah. Bet she used to look down her nose at the girls who didn't wear the 'in' clothes of the week or the lipstick colour of the month in high school. Ptah!

And I have to say, Lord Petyr shocked the hell out of me! I quite liked him until he sold the dour Lord Eddard down the river. Though ES was out of his mind to lay his cards on the table like that. Like everyone else -- I assume -- I adore Tyrion Lannister and hope he lasts a long long time in a series with a serious body count. As I wrote before, life is cheap in GOT, so...


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

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