I still haven’t read Sarah Diemer’s lesbian retelling of the Persephone/Hades story, The Dark Wife, but from the passing glance I gave it, I’d say that despite being self-published it’s of the same standard as any professionally published YA. Diemer’s writing is even fairly readable, which is more than can be said of the vast majority of YA, so take that as you will.
Anyway, she wrote These Are Not Your Stories: Reclaiming Archetypes in the GLBT Community, which is an interesting read. Also, she and Jenn, now her wife, are adorable! They look so happy. Diemer herself seems like a really sweet person and I rather hope I won’t end up saying “wow, The Dark Wife is tripe.” I also liked this post.
Most gay YA with gay main characters ends with the main character not getting the boy or girl s/he has been thinking about/wanting/in a relationship with. The relationship ends badly. The boy/girl turns out to be straight or “just experimenting” or falls in love with someone else. Things don’t work out.
Let me say that again. Because it needs to be emphasized: Most gay YA with gay main characters ends with the relationship not working out.
These books are lauded, over and over repeated forever, as “realistic.” “The relationship was so realistic!” “The ending was perfectly realistic.” Realistic is used so often in reviews of gay YA that I notice when it’s NOT used.
On which note, I must say I’ve never read a book with a queer/female/chromatic protagonist (or all three) and thought “my god, it’s so unrealistic! It needs more homophobia/misogyny/racism. Bury the gays! Bury ALL the gays!” In fact, in my experience the people who insist loudest on the -isms and -phobia for the sake of “realism” tend to be the neckbeards. You know, the ones who are least affected by any -ism or -phobia? Mm-hmm.
From Margaret Robertson at Kotaku: In Which I Don’t Try To Write Like a Man. It’s about misogyny and internalizing it, and overcoming that trap. Seems obvious, but isn’t very–I think a lot of us went through that “I’m one of the BOYS” phase. Unfortunately. Don’t read the comments.
Jane Smith reviews a self-published book, Flight to Paradise by Mike Coe. It’s not a particularly harsh review. As any reasonable, professional individual might do, Coe proceeded to post forty comments to refute her.
Harvey Stanbrough (whose work has been nominated for a National Book Award, a Pulitzer Prize, a Pushcart Prize, a Frankfurt Book Fair Award, and the Inscriptions Magazine Engraver’s Award) had this to say about “Flight to Paradise”.
“I’ve told only two unpublished novelists (from well over a hundred novelists and short-story authors) their work was excellent–you are the third.”
You sure told ‘em, Mike. Not looking hysterical or anything, dude.
Round-ups of more author meltdowns. Not so much authorial, but definitely meltdown here in response to a Strange Horizons review of a former self-published writer who went pro through means unknown (blackmailing editors? “I know where you live”?). The review itself is amazing, a level of pithy vitriol to which I can only aspire.
As of this writing, I want to hunt down every single soul associated with the decision to give this series the imprimatur of a major publishing house and rub their noses in it like a bad puppy. Sloppiness in amateurs is understandable. When professionals are involved, there should be consequences. I have words for these people. Bad words. But I’ll restrain myself, and restrict my vocabulary to standards acceptable in polite company. The book’s own words ought to be enough to condemn it.
Peculiarly, the dreck she reviewed actually has stalwart fans. Stalwart neckbeard fans, like this one Johnny:
What ALL of us were saying (though it was apparently falling on deaf ears) was that her review was NOT balanced, NOT subjective and was not something I would deem a “review” at all. At best it is a ranting blogpost by someone who’s really angry. I mentioned MH [mental health issues] because writing a blogpost laced with such vitriol (particularly one aimed at a book and an author who clearly worked quite hard to do what he did, regrdless of what you thought the outcome was) is the equivalent of standing on a street corner shouting at a tree while an imaginary dog nips at your heels. To me ranting blog posts have always signified some sort of issue upstairs. Otherwise why on EARTH can’t you write a negative review without resorting to petty bullying and nasty comments?
Bolding mine. Blatant ableism from someone who whines about “petty bullying and nasty comments”, of course. This seems to be a favorite neckbeard thing, because I have been accused of being crazy on top of the feminazi thing, too.
Remember Prince of Rape Queues? Mark Lawrence, author, finally got up to speed with the Tor.com review and predictably became defensive, to a rapturous circle-jerking applause of mindless, dribbling sycophants.
Meljean Brook parodies the shit out of oversensitive sacks of authorial ego.
Checked rankings on Amazon. Called my mother and cried. She said something about my aunt’s tumor getting worse. Thanks for caring about MY problems, MOTHER!
Note to self: Heartless mother in WIP? Art imitates life.
Googled self. New review! …. “uneven pacing” — What? She gave me an A-. MINUS!!! for “uneven pacing”??? She obviously doesn’t even know what pacing is! She probably never even WENT TO SCHOOL! Why can people who obviously grow up on pig farms can REVIEW BOOKS? God!
Search queries that led people, suspecting or unspsecting, to requireshate in the past week:
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Yes, people with white privilege are often very self-righteous about it, aren’t they?
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No. Go away.
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and stomping her pubic mound into mush
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What. Do I want to know. No. No I really don’t. What.
“r scott bakker” is one of the most frequent search terms. This means that when people are out googling something about Bakker, quite a few end up here. Excellent.