ETA: I was asked to do a Q & A on being a book blogger over at The Book Base. You can see it here. Take a look around. It's part of a series so there are lots of other bloggers to discover.
Hey, according to the Wall Street Journal, fantasy and science fiction accounted for 10% of adult fiction sold last year. Three hundred and fifty-eight fantasy novels hit the best seller list in 2010. This has not gone unnoticed by the industry and more and more "literary" fiction authors are wading into the fantasy pool. You can read all about it at The Season of Supernatural.
io9 had a piece a few weeks back on Why do so many cyberpunk authors now write dark fantasy.
Kim Harrison Says, 'Excuse Me, You Got Your Romance in My Urban Fantasy'. I read a lot of urban fantasy but I haven't noticed "...that the kick-ass protagonists were melting into damsels more worried about getting their man than the big-bad-ugly..." Hmmm, maybe we're not reading the same books. Most of the commenters agree with her but there are a few dissenters that make some good points. Like this one from Jaye Wells:
The problem I have with claiming that romance is diluting UF is that you'd not see those claim if, say, books started containing what some feel is too much mystery or thriller elements, for example. For some reason, romance makes people edgy.
Personally, I like romance in my urban fantasy. When it doesn't work for me it is usually because it was poorly written or the story was unbalanced. Yet, it is the romance aspect that often takes the rap when instead it should be blamed on bad writing. Romance gets no respect.
I am easily distracted by the way women characters are costumed on television - and I don't mean in the wow-what-cute-shoes way. I mean in the what-the-fuck-is-she-wearing way. I am often befuddled to see female detectives rocking massive cleavage in tight, low-cut blouses while conducting interrogations. Good cop/bad cop is effective. Good cop/naughty cop... not so much. And CSIs in three inch heels? - this does not seem like a practical way to dress at a crime scene. Then there are the superheroes. God bless, 'em but a lot of those ladies are expected to fight super villains while wearing little more than two bandaids and a thong. So Noah Berlatsky's post, Wonder Playmate, about the changing erotic focus of Wonder Woman's costume was of great interest to me.
I Just Wanted to Read Stories Where the Women Didn't Embarrass Me - Former Batgirl writer Barbara Randall Kesel is interviewed over at DC Women Kicking Ass. I liked this bit:
"...it’s not just about having the women be good characters: it’s about ALL characters having personality and distinctive voices. I wasn’t just advising how to make the women better, but the men too. They can all be eye candy; they can all also be interesting on the inside. My point was that if the creators invested a little of themselves in their stories and maybe spent some time in the company of someone who was different, they’d make better comics."
Looking for books to fry your brain while you fry your body at the beach? Wired has a list of 10 Books That Will Fry Your Mind This Summer.
Oh Ursula K. Le Guin, you are too fucking funny. If I had heroes, you'd be on that list. To Save Free Enterprise, Books Must Die.
This also cracked me up. Vladimir Putin as a superhero? And Dmitri Medvedev as his bear suit wearing sidekick? Who thinks of this shit? You know what. I don't care. I just want more. Super Putin, the Vladimire Putin comic the world's been waiting for.
Gail Carriger on the whimsical side of Steampunk, Bustlepunk, Mannerspunk, New Steampunk and Feminine Frivolity
So Many Names Say the Same Thing - Paul Jessup on new ways of labeling the genre.
Cheryl Morgan on How Not to Write a Trans Character
SF Mistressworks Project is looking to create a resource for books authored by female SF writers. They are looking for volunteer reviewers. (hat tip Cheryl Morgan)
It’s a problem. Not because we view male and female, Caucasian and minority characters differently. But because we have a hard time NOT seeing them differently. A female or minority character automatically comes with more baggage, both good and bad. And it’s that baggage that shows an innate flaw in the way we view stories. A. Lee Martinez on Monsters, Women, and Other Strange Creatures
A few more BEA 2011 Links:
A Better Vibe at BEA 2011
BEA Numbers Are In
Deadbeat Dorchester at BEA