Stargate Monuments

marthawells

Martha Wells

The Invisible Woman


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Into the light
marthawells

Just Some Links

I usually try to take Saturday off and just read, but I didn't finish what I needed to yesterday, so more work today. And the weather's been lousy, freezing and borderline icy, with sleet and a little snow on Thursday morning. It's supposed to be in the 60s this weekend, but then it'll go right back to freezing, icy, etc.

* Teresa Frohock: being a woman and writing dark fiction--it's complicated
Beverly's question made me think of the time I surfed through some posts on Reddit about year ago. Someone once commented that women don't write complicated novels like [insert list of male fantasy authors here].

And be sure to read the first comment, by M.L Brennan:
I think the toughest incident I've had (beyond endless people asking, "How on earth did you write a male protagonist?" -- as if gender was more trouble than a change in species) was when I was at NYCC and there was a fantastic book signing set up where Myke Cole, Benedict Jacka, and I sat in a row and signed 100 free copies of the first books in our series for anyone who got in line. It was very cool, but I'll say this -- it was really hard to see male readers who were happy to have their books personalized by Myke and Benedict, but the moment (the *moment*) they laid eyes on me, they said, "Oh, why don't you address it to my mother/sister/aunt". Because my gender was enough to convince them that they wouldn't enjoy it, even though I was writing in the exact same genre and with most of the themes as the man beside me.

* Con or Bust is starting up on Monday, February 10. It's a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to increase racial and ethnic diversity in the production of and audience for speculative fiction, and the auction will raise money for con memberships. Some memberships have already been donated by WorldCon and other conventions, and there are plenty of great items up for auction this year, like tons of signed books, knitted goods, and gorgeous jewelry. I've got a signed set of the Books of the Raksura and a signed set of the two Emilie books in it.

endless people asking, "How on earth did you write a male protagonist?" -- as if gender was more trouble than a change in species

Well, there aren't a lot of Puppeteers or Kzin or Sorn or Hrossa here to complain if you get them wrong, unfortunately. ;-)

Just quickly: I don’t think M. L. Brennan *is* Marie Brennan - I think they’re different writers. I could be *entirely* wrong about this - but I remember seeing the paperback and actually hitting the web to check. This takes nothing away from her point or her experience, though.

They're different writers, yes. ML Brennan writes the Generation V books, not the Natural History of Dragons series.

Oh, okay -- I'll fix it.

I would have trouble writing a right-handed protagonist.

Really? When everything in the world is set up to accommodate right-handed people? You haven't tried to imagine what it would be like if everything was simply designed for you and your handedness?

(This is a serious question. I know kinesthetic writers who might well say that because they often have to physically feel how a movement happens to learn how to describe it, and might therefore have trouble flipping sides. But the majority of people I suspect would only find it relevant at all, much less difficult to write someone with the opposite handedness when discussing things like sword-play or arm injuries.)

I'd always assumed that the biggest problem for female authors was stupid and archaic assumptions by the publishing industry, but reading comments like that about large numbers of male readers utterly baffles me. I'm male and grew up reading YA and then adult fiction in the 1970s. I read large amounts of Norton, Bradley, LeGuin, Cherryh, & McCaffrey, as well as similar amounts of Asimov, Clarke, Anderson, & Niven. The idea that men won't (or perhaps just won't admit to others that they) read novels written by female authors doesn't make any sense to me, and yet I've many times read that it happens. Once again, many people baffle me.

Yes, It's very strange. I grew up about the same time, and when I chose books I never paid attention to the gender of the author. There was a discussion about this on this LJ a few years ago, and it was split between people who said that gender did make a difference and they leaned toward male authors, people who didn't think they had an unconscious bias until they looked at their bookshelves and saw mostly male authors, and people (including male readers) who read both male and female authors and were baffled by the idea that the author's gender made a difference and couldn't imagine choosing a book based on it. I really wonder how some people end up with a bias against women authors when others don't. It's weird.