Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

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You know that advice about never replying to reviews?

Generally, an author is best advised to ignore reviews, regardless of how bad or misguided they are. Responding to critics can end up making an author into a laughing stock and/or end up in a flame war on the net.

Just occasionally, however, a reply is exactly the right thing to do. Here is Scott Lynch's response to someone who said that he'd only put a 42-year-old black single mother into his book as a pirate in order to be "politically correct". Well, dear aggrieved reader, I'm sorry if Scott's book didn't float your boat, but it may come as a surprise to you that writers are not necessarily pandering to your particular needs and tastes. There are in fact many readers with many different requirements. All books don't have to be liked by all people, and I'm sure there's still plenty of stuff out there that still supplies the narrow-minded world view that you espouse.

There's also an excellent blog post here on what does and doesn't constitute realism (with regard to gender roles) in SF and fantasy. "Your default narrative settings are not apolitical".

Apologies to those of my friends who have seen these already, but I wanted to link here for my own reference.

[Cross-posted from Dreamwidth by way of a backup http://heleninwales.dreamwidth.org/75150.html. If you want to leave a comment, please use whichever site you find most convenient. Comments so far: comment count unavailable.]
Tags: gender roles, writing

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