Elizabeth Bear sez…

When asked what kind of responses she’d gotten from readers and critics about the emotional content in her books:

A very few squeamish male reviewers get fussed–almost exclusively about male same-sex relationships. I have, a couple of times, seen some of my work characterized as yaoi or slash, which indicates to me two things: one, that the reviewer is ignorant as to the meaning of those terms (I will accept “slashy,” although I think if you have a cannon gay relationship it’s not so much slashy as a book in which there are gay people); and two, that the reviewer does not actually understand that there are real gay people in the world who might like to read books about themselves.

But you know, it’s fair: I get teh gay on them, and they get teh dumb on me.

♥ ♥

Full interview here.

Ay me

So I just received a very nice email from the gentleman whose company is doing the ebook re-release of my all-time favorite fantasy book, Jim Grimsley’s Kirith Kirin (it has been out of print for about ten years, so this is good news indeed!), to say that he had been to my Gay Fiction Booklist That Doesn’t Suck and wants to quote my review of "Jimmy’s book."

Huzzah! This means I can stop telling people that the only way to get a copy is to steal one from the library.

…It also means that if this guy has been to my site, then "Jimmy" probably has too… and has seen the part where I said that if I ever meet him at a sci-fi convention, I’m going to shake him and demand to know what the hell he meant with the ending of The Last Green Tree, because I thought it was goddamned pointless.

This is what I try not to think about when I write reviews — what would the author say if they read it? (And it’s not a stretch to imagine that they might, since there are only so many gay booklists around.) Valuable public service it may be to maintain a list of all the extant gay fantasy, I do not think it’s going to stand me in good stead if/when I become an actualfax published writer. I’m afraid I’m going to meet someone and they’ll be like, "…YOU! You’re the jackass who said that stabbing yourself in the eye would be more fun than reading my book!!"

Yeah, I think I’m going to go hide now.

The consensus on Amazon may disagree, but…

The World that Trade Created beats the pants off A Splendid Exchange

Just in terms of being written more engagingly and delving into more of the social history of trade (which is what I care about) rather than an endless procession of dates when which group did what (which puts me to sleep). Most of the non-fiction reading I do is for the purpose of world-building, because truth is often stranger than fiction when it comes to the crazy ingenuity of humans:

“Kidnapping became so pervasive a business pursuit that, in the 1200s, a standard ransom rate prevailed throughout the Mediterranean.”

You can’t make this shit up. o_O

Hmm hmmmm.

Read Diana Gabaldon’s Lord John and the Private Matter and Greg Egan’s Teranesia today.

What is it with authors giving their gay characters random fits of heterosexuality? Not even bisexuality, but temporary lapses in their stated sexual preference — and it’s funny, because I can count of straight characters I’ve read with similar lapses on, let’s see, no hands.