I can only think that the NY Times has idiots for critics now. Sad come down for a newspaper that used to be distinguished for its journalism even if it was NY chauvinistic. But this one is raging numbskull and a member of Clan Oblivious if she thinks women don’t read Sci-fi and fantasy and what the hell is “boy lit”?
My guess is that this woman only reads and sees “chick flicks and chick lit”. Something I’ve never read and never will read any more than I will read a romance novel unless they have mis-labeled the urban fantasy again. On the other hand the “Chicks in Chain Mail” series edited by Esther Friesner, is wonderful. LOL!
Since when don’t women read fantasy? I read the “Hobbit” back in Junior Hi as well as Asimov and Heinlein and the “Lord of the Rings” for the first time back in high school. The first of many re-reads. The first books my mom read to us were fantasy – the OZ books. Some of the best fantasy- Sci-Fi writers are women, Mercedes Lackey, Elizabeth Moon, Marian Zimmer Bradley, Anne McCaffrey. And a lot of them have written great fantasy in both genres.
I did not go to all the LOTR movies because I had a crush on Legolas, for pete’s sake. I wanted to be an elf not lust after one and not just because I’m a lesbian either. It’s a great epic story not unlike the Illiad or the Aenead. Those two books if they weren’t ancient would sit squarely in the speculative fiction genre now.
This woman should actually go to a bookstore and check out who is buying the fiction in those aisles and I don’t mean the ones buying Charlaine Harris or the Twi-hards. I’ve read my way through a good share of the Star Wars spin off universe books. I read David Weber’s Honor Harrington books. Diana Paxson, Tamora Pierce, Kate Forsyth, Mary Stewart, all write excellent fantasy, all of the sword and sorcery genre and all with complex well written characters of both sexes.
I haven’t read any of Mr Martin’s books because I prefer women writers of sci-fi for the most part but I love Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, John Ringo, James Luceno, Aaron Allston, E.B.White and Troy Denning. Have to admit I hated Terry Goodkind. I was pissed off when Robert Jordan had the temerity to die without finishing his way too slow series of fantasy novels.
Sci-fi and fantasy writers expect their readers to have brains and keep up and yes, there are some with undeveloped women characters but those are the exception not the rule.
Try a book from Lynn Flewelling’s Nighrunner series if you want complex gay male characters and by the way, she’s a woman.
And lately, there is an embarrassing trend of sticking some fantasy fiction under the urban fantasy label, under romance that necessitates me going into the dreaded romance aisle and for that matter J.D. Robb AKA Nora Roberts detective series is really sci-fi.
Ms Bellafante must favour the type of books with easy words and no critical thinking skills necessary. Georgette Heyer, maybe? I know plenty of other women who enjoy both genres so this woman is either an illiterate idiot or she’s just plain stupid and demeaning to men who read too. Who does she think she is, speaking for me? Shame on the NY Times, another reason not to read that snobby paper.