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Thursday, March 09, 2017

Amazon rejects Pink SF

A first start at it, anyhow. Amazon tells Romance authors - and publishers - to stop inflicting their romances on the readers of other genres, starting with Science Fiction & Fantasy:

Do not add books from any Romance category to these categories: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Children's.
PRAISES BE TO THE GODS! Unfortunately, it is too little, too late. I've been complaining about this sort of thing ever since Twilight got crammed into my horror genre.  :'(

Romance is a separate genre from sci-fi and fantasy. And I don't care how much authors argue otherwise, no, your book cannot be both. You can't serve two (or three) masters.

A romance, at its root, specifically focuses on romantic love between two people, with an emotionally satisfying ending (usually, happily ever after, or HEA). In a romance, the relationship itself is the most important and driving motivator of the plot.

A fantasy, at its root, specifically focuses on magic and the supernatural as the primary motivators of the plot, presented within a self-contained world. In a fantasy, the presence of magic and the supernatural is the driving motivator of the plot.

A sci-fi, at its root, specifically focuses on fantastic but logically plausible creatures and technological developments while looking at the consequences of such developments. It is generally defined as writing rationally about alternative possibilities.

The fundamental problem is that too many authors neither understand nor respect the meaning and function of genre categories. Genres exist to help READERS find the type of stories they want. As others have said, I can't use Amazon to search for fantasy or sci-fi anymore because half the search results come up as romances.  Your romance might be set in a futuristic setting, but that doesn't mean you are serving the needs of the science fiction genre. Just because the hero in your romance is a werewolf doesn't mean it is a fantasy. It just means you took your romance and gave it a paranormal cosmetic makeover.

This is particularly frustrating since Amazon DOES, in fact, have rather substantial sub-categories that can call out your fantasy-leaning or futuristic leaning romances. There is zero reason to take a romance novel and shove it into a non-romance category.
Of course, the romance authors trying to game the system by putting their wereseal erotica in science fiction are whining up a storm. But the fact is, it is a massive turnoff to readers of military science fiction to see their bestseller lists infested by My Secret SpecOps Lover and whatnot.

Bullshit like The Quantum Rose isn't science fiction any more than Taken by the T-Rex is. It's just romance in space. Amazon should have done this a long time ago. It would be good to see them add this restriction to Western and Military categories as well.

Now, there is nothing wrong with writing, or reading, romance in space if that's what floats your boat. But stop pretending it is science fiction! And stop pretending elf erotica is high fantasy! As one author, Edwin M. Grant, commented, Taken by the Alien Alpha Barbarian is not Military SF just because it's set in space and the barbarian beats up a few people.

And as for those books that cross both genres, the obvious answer is to throw them in Romance. The Romance readers won't mind, since they're happy as long as there is a female protagonist pursued by two alpha males between whom she must choose. They don't care if the alpha males are men, vampires, wereseals, elves, angels, or artificial intelligences. Most of the SF readers will mind.

It's rather amusing. All the authors who understand what Amazon is doing and support it have a wide variety of book covers indicating various genres beneath their posts. All the authors who can't understand it and think it is unfair and wrong have book covers that feature either a) women in poofy dresses or b) headless male torsos with abs underneath theirs.

You're fucking romance writers. Now shut up and go away.


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138 Comments:

Anonymous Looking Glass March 09, 2017 6:22 AM  

But "Space Raptor Butt Invasion" is one of the greatest works of sci-fi of all time. Can people not see...

I can't stop laughing to finish typing that sentence. Breathe... breathe...

Anonymous Hauberrisser March 09, 2017 6:26 AM  

And yet, Jeffro of your Castalia blog calls for romance to be a major component of genre fiction... He even wrote that Ship of Ishtar is first and foremost a romance , and how that was major part of its popularity.

Anonymous Steve March 09, 2017 6:32 AM  

Yarp. Kindle Unlimited is a pretty good service, but having to handpick the science fiction peanuts out of the slurry of BBW ALIEN VAMPIRE BILLIONAIRE PREGNANCY ROMANCE shite is tiresome.

There must be money in fat bird soft porn with a skiffy tint though.

So I'm thinking of writing one about a hunky billionaire fireman cyclops and a ripped billionaire vampire-ghost professional surfer duelling for the dainty, betrottered hand of Big Seanan McGuire.

It's called SHOWDOWN AT THE GOLDEN CORRAL.

Blogger Al From Bay Shore March 09, 2017 6:32 AM  

The Western, military, sic-fi, and fantasy genres, from my experiences have always appealed to men. Do you think the attempts at placing romance in these genres is yet another instance of feminine invasion of male spaces through deceptive means?

Blogger VD March 09, 2017 6:35 AM  

Jeffro of your Castalia blog calls for romance to be a major component of genre fiction.

So what? Jeffro is entitled to his opinion. But more importantly, the inclusion of a romantic element does not make a novel a Romance.

Blogger VD March 09, 2017 6:36 AM  

Do you think the attempts at placing romance in these genres is yet another instance of feminine invasion of male spaces through deceptive means?

I don't think it, I know it. It is the result of female authors wanting to write, and female editors wanting to publish, science fiction. Most of them can't do it. So they write romances in space and call it science fiction.

It isn't.

Blogger Esteban Serafini March 09, 2017 6:48 AM  

These female authors are going to just ditch the "Romance" category.

"Alright then, I'm going to put my fantasy romance just in fantasy. ::)"

"Like Kyra, I will stick my SF romance series only in SF, if they won't let me have the romance category."

Interesting: when the choice is presented, they choose the male space, always.

Blogger Adrian Werner March 09, 2017 7:05 AM  

By using that definition Game of Thrones isn't fantasy, because neither magic nor supernatural are primary motivators of the plot.

But this isn't about genre definitions, but about making fans of specific categories have easier time finding good material for them and thus such change was very needed.

Anonymous Fed Up Aussie March 09, 2017 7:05 AM  

And yet, Jeffro of your Castalia blog calls for romance to be a major component of genre fiction

He is using romance in the old fashioned meaning of the word. Vox is using the word in its modern, much narrower, meaning. I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you are merely ignorant and not an obvious troll. You can look up definitions but to truly understand what romance once meant you would have to read a few. I recommend Burroughs as a start.

Blogger paul b. March 09, 2017 7:10 AM  

Something to celebrate, I think, but this oughta be extended to certain other genres as soon as possible. It is nigh impossible to browse new Kindle releases in certain horror sub-genres, as anything borderline interesting is buried in this endless stream of paranormal romances of all stripes.

Anonymous Generic March 09, 2017 7:34 AM  

Related: in netflix, the categories all contain the same 10 titles. Everything is an action-adventure-scifi-commedy-drama-new arrival.

Blogger Midnight Avenue J March 09, 2017 7:39 AM  

I use KU but never really looked to see if you can give feedback beyond a review. Is Amazon responsive to reader feedback about categories?

Overall this is a big step in a good direction. If writers ditch the "romance" category altogether, they won't reach their audience. People go looking for romance novels, hiding them in other categories would cut off readers who don't bother to search outside the box.

Blogger Nate March 09, 2017 7:39 AM  

Ah... but don't you see... saying you're reading sci fi is a lot less embarrassing to female sociology majors than saying they are reading romance. And saying the write sci fi is a lot less embarrassing that saying they write romance.

As always... when women are involved What Other People Think is the primary driver.

and.. also as always...

Women ruin everything.

Blogger Aeoli Pera March 09, 2017 7:40 AM  

Women ruin everything.

Blogger VD March 09, 2017 7:44 AM  

By using that definition Game of Thrones isn't fantasy, because neither magic nor supernatural are primary motivators of the plot.

Sure it is. "Winter is coming". They're talking about the Others.

Blogger VD March 09, 2017 7:44 AM  

As always... when women are involved What Other People Think is the primary driver.

And, as always, what it's actually about isn't what it is purportedly about.

Blogger SteelPalm March 09, 2017 7:47 AM  

I enjoyed reading the absurd, hilarious self-justifications by female authors in the Kindle forum link about why their shitty romance in space deserves to be science fiction or werewolf erotica is fantasy.

What made it even better is seeing the covers of their "books" as they waxed poetic about how genre-breaking and unique their works were, following in the rich tradition of Heinlein, Farmer, Asimov, etc.

These daft cunts lack even an ounce of self-awareness.

Blogger Edward Trimnell March 09, 2017 7:50 AM  

I'm glad this is finally getting the attention it deserves. For the SF/F and horror genres, the search function at Amazon has basically become unusable, due to all the miscategorized romance novels.

Search for "vampire novels" on Amazon, and you get page after page of Twilight-esque vampire romances. You'll also get lots of "paranormal romance", which is very different from what Stephen King or Richard Matheson are about. There is even "werewolf romance" and "zombie romance" nowadays (which strike me as a bit warped, but that's another issue.)

Given that the romance category is so broad, it seems more reasonable to create subcategories within romance (paranormal romance, SF romance, etc.) versus allowing romance to take over every other category of genre fiction.

As another commenter suggested, posting romance where it doesn't belong isn't going to sell romance books, it's only going to make the search functions at Amazon perpetually unusable.

Blogger Chris Lutz March 09, 2017 7:50 AM  

A good movie example would be "Passengers." That was a romance novel wrapped in a sci-fi setting.

Anonymous Bob Ramar March 09, 2017 7:59 AM  

So, how would you classify Heinlein's "Time Enough for Love"?

Blogger Dirk Manly March 09, 2017 8:06 AM  

"It's called SHOWDOWN AT THE GOLDEN CORRAL."

Sounds like a restaurant review.

Blogger Cail Corishev March 09, 2017 8:07 AM  

But more importantly, the inclusion of a romantic element does not make a novel a Romance.

Yep. Most westerns I've read contained a romance, but that didn't make them Romance novels. Ditto detective novels. If, in the course of taking down the bad guys, solvin the case, or saving the universe, the man meets, wins, and beds a woman, that doesn't make it a Romance. Only a sperg or a liar would claim not to see the obvious difference.

And if someone finds an example that seems to ride the line between Romance and Other, that won't invalidate the general point here any more than Tiger Woods invalidates the existence of races.

Blogger Shimshon March 09, 2017 8:08 AM  

Peter Grant's comment is funny.

"On the other hand, this is going to hit hard on things like Bujold's A Civil Campaign, which is a regency in space, or Catherine Asaro's Quantum Rose, which is a scifi and a romance, and faithfully done to the tropes of each genre."

Peter, stick to writing, not literary analysis. Vox, I'll take your word for it.

Blogger Lovekraft March 09, 2017 8:17 AM  

It's reflective of a culture that thinks it can put a mysterious 'community organizer' with little experience in the highest office of the land because diversity.

Blogger Durandel Almiras March 09, 2017 8:22 AM  

@23 - Shimshon, I think that post was by Peter's wife, Dorothy. It doesn't even read like Peter's writing at his blog.

Blogger Shimshon March 09, 2017 8:29 AM  

@25 I stand corrected. Thanks for the clarification. I agree. I've read some of his blog posts. It was odd. But now makes sense. Only a woman would claim that those books were faithful SF.

Blogger Benjamin Kraft March 09, 2017 8:31 AM  

@8. To be fair, GoT is extremely light on the magical and supernatural aspects for much of the actual story other than a few skillfully placed cornerstones that don't see the light of day much (at least not to any depth at all).

However, it is in no way a romance, even with the ridiculous amount of rape.

Blogger Johnny March 09, 2017 8:31 AM  

I wonder if it would be possible for Amazon to have a better category system. I wonder if they would want to. Perhaps have a multiple choice option and allow the readers to assign a novel to one or more categories. Naturally readers who don't want romance could steer away from any Sci Fi novel that also gets a romance rating.

Blogger Silly But True March 09, 2017 8:32 AM  

Only odd movie out is Michael Mann's Last of the Mohicans film. Because every man on the planet wants but won't admit to wanting to be Milo to the movie as a ripped black stud, we've all come to this unspoken agreement to call it an action movie instead of romance.

Blogger bub March 09, 2017 8:33 AM  

(cough) Sarah Hoyt, geographic-American SF(R) author

Blogger horsewithnonick March 09, 2017 8:34 AM  

The most repulsive party of this, to me, is that these authors needed to be told not to stick their supernatural erotica in the CHILDREN'S category.

Blogger Benjamin Kraft March 09, 2017 8:37 AM  

@31. You know how (and why) a foul mouth is not at all a desirable trait for a mother? Well it's the same for a lewd mind, for nearly identical reasons. They just cannot help infecting the children who spend so much time around them.

Anonymous Alsos March 09, 2017 8:38 AM  

This transgenre-ism explains all those indistinguishable-from-Harlequin-Romance covers in the SF/F aisles at B&N I've noticed over the past several years.

Judging books by their covers has served me well.

Anonymous VFM #6306 March 09, 2017 8:40 AM  

Redshirts is a Romance, with 3 codas.

Blogger Chris Lutz March 09, 2017 8:42 AM  

@28 That's the problem now. The billionaire playboy werewolf alien who wants the everyday Jane is being put in the SF, Fantasy, Romance categories. The Fantasy and SF people are then having to sort through the haystack of those books to find the actual SF and Fantasy stories. With exceedingly few exceptions, books fall into the standard genre categories. The fact that Jane Doe doesn't want to admit that her werewolf lover story is romance (sub category fantasy) and not fantasy is the problem.

Blogger VD March 09, 2017 8:46 AM  

The defenders of "cross-genre" Romances don't seem to understand that if you put Romance in it, it's Romance.

It doesn't matter if there is an action plot complete with kung-fu action, a revenge plot, and a brother killed by the bad guy at the beginning, if you have four extended girl-girl sequences in the movie, it's lesbian porn.

It doesn't matter if the cone is filled with 9/10ths vanilla ice cream and 1/10th koala excrement, it's a koala poop cone, not a eucalyptus-vanilla ice cream cone.

No one cares if it is faithful to SF or fantasy or Western tropes. It's still a Romance, so put some android abs, or elf abs, or cowboy abs on the cover and be done with it.

Blogger Benjamin Kraft March 09, 2017 8:47 AM  

@33. Alsos, I know, right? It puts the lie to "not judging a book by its cover".

The fact of the matter is, the cover of the book (or the person) is the very first thing you see and can begin to judge by.

Blogger Durandel Almiras March 09, 2017 8:53 AM  

@ 30 - The only thing by Sarah Hoyt that I've read was her mediocre short story in Forbidden Thoughts. If that represents her overall style, then yes, she might be on that side of the genre spectrum. I'd need to read more of her work but that short story didn't leave me wanting for more.

I still don't understand why her story was included and why it was set as the last one in the book since it didn't hold up so well in comparison to some of the other stories, ending the overall book on a lacklustre note. The miscegenation, denial of behavioral genetics, and the ham handed racism canceled out the anti-abortion message and made it difficult to see the piece as being "forbidden" and more in line with the liberal message fiction we so deride.

Blogger Durandel Almiras March 09, 2017 8:55 AM  

@36 - And yet somehow, this logic escapes the female and gamma male mind.

Anonymous Dyskord March 09, 2017 8:56 AM  

OT: Didn't know where else to drop this.

Disney is making a live action Alladin. At the moment they are proudly searching for authentic middle eastern leads.
Well, since this is an actual arabic tale It dawned on me the best way to troll Disney would be to have them put an actually declared gay character into their muslim themed live action film. In fact make it as feminist as possible.
personally i think Disney would never dare introduce gay or strong feminist themes into a story based on Arabs. Nor would the MSM push for it.
So I made a petition to coerce them. Wrote it as PC as I could championing every principle the media and entertainment industry has motivated for shoving the PC swill down our throats.

These people love their petitions so if we can get enough signatures Disney might have to buckle.
If they do the movie flops, the muslims will be mad at them. Win win for us.
this is my first attempt so if i got it wrong sorry. Also if you think you can improve upon this please do.

Thanks.
BTW the name the petition is under is false. i figured it would look look stronger coming from a black lesbian.
link: https://www.change.org/p/twdc-pressinquiries-disney-com-make-aladdin-trully-feminist?recruiter=692433368&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink

Blogger Edward Trimnell March 09, 2017 8:56 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Benjamin Kraft March 09, 2017 9:00 AM  

@38. Durandel, agreed, it was pretty hard to rationalize, and I can rationalize a lot...

It seemed to shoehorn in pretty much every other wrongheaded extremity/rarity in the process of getting the anti-abortion message across. I was tempted to look at it as a "bad ending" story, where a single couple's stupidity-induced sob story breaches a wall responsible for protecting many more innocent people.

Definitely sends mixed messages.

Blogger Durandel Almiras March 09, 2017 9:01 AM  

If you go to the last page of comments, (page 9 when I last read it), you already see some female authors claiming they write "hybrid" novels, true 50/50 I tell you! So besides the high school antics of female behavior displaying itself in the kindle boards, they are trying to rationalize that their 50/50 status means they should be in SciFi. As Vox said, 50% porn makes it porn. 50% romance makes it romance.

@31 - yeah, I too was both surprised that Amazon had to include Children's books in the denial category, and disgusted that there must have been incidents that warranted Amazon having to explicitly state no Romance in the Kids section. Disgusting. But then, we've seen degenerate women do love to plague the minds of the young so that they can join together in misery.

Blogger Benjamin Kraft March 09, 2017 9:04 AM  

"Misery loves company" makes an excellent axiom.

Blogger Durandel Almiras March 09, 2017 9:05 AM  

@40 - Dyskord, why did you post that here? If you want to truly troll the left, post your Change petition to SJW and LGBTQ webboards and get the rabid lib-zombies to do the work for you.

Blogger Durandel Almiras March 09, 2017 9:10 AM  

@42 - Good point. I had considered that as well, that the story ends with one nutty couple breaking the Wall and their sob story leading to the boundary's breakdown and the cycle repeats itself. But I didn't see that from the piece. I also considered that it was meant to be an example of how lib-message fiction should be written, but again, it does not really come off as the main message. There were no hints, so I concluded Hoyt wrote it to mean what she wanted it to mean, and the superversive element was the anti-abortion position.

But her cheering for miscegenation was disgusting. If I want to get that, I'll go watch tv, movies and commercials.

Anonymous Dyskord March 09, 2017 9:10 AM  

@45
Am doing that too.
though there I push it as real.
i posted it here because I thought it would be a good troll and others here might agree.
If innappropriate i apologize and will accept the deletion of the post without complaint.

Anonymous VFM #6306 March 09, 2017 9:10 AM  

1977 Star Wars is not a love triangle.
2017 Beauty and the Beast is not an action movie.

This should never be controversial. I'm glad Amazon is cleaning up its categories. The boats were swamped.

Anonymous 0007 March 09, 2017 9:15 AM  

Nora Robert's J. D. Roberts series is the perfect example. Female detective with hot husband set in the future with lots of throw-away tech mentioned(and bedroom action by the main characters) . But it is always found in the romance section of B&N as it should be. And I suspect the author has no small say in how it's shelved.

Blogger Benjamin Kraft March 09, 2017 9:30 AM  

@46. Oh, I'm not saying I actually saw the "bad ending" as her point. Anti-abortion was definitely her point, but she did it in exactly the wrong way, to the extent that the abortion, murder though it is, can easily be seen as the better option.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan March 09, 2017 9:31 AM  

Blame the progressive men as well. Years ago Chronicles house liberal wrote a column extolling the work of some woman who wrote militia fiction. So I spent my money and read a romance novel with a totally implausible ending that included a few guns and a dead senator.

And the house liberal is still there at Chronicles and all the intellectuals there pretend to great intellectualism (or the same shit that brought us to where we are today)

Blogger Benjamin Kraft March 09, 2017 9:33 AM  

Now, if she wanted to do it more honest, she would have had him wreck, destroying the tunnel and killing tens or hundreds of people in the process.

This would highlight all points, that abortion is bad, that reckless emotion-driven aggression is just as bad, and that neither would be attractive solutions in the first place if both parties weren't so incredibly stupid/shortsighted.

Blogger Edward Trimnell March 09, 2017 9:34 AM  

@49: I picked up a Nora Robert's JD Robb novel at the library once on a whim. I made it to about page 10. Nora Roberts is one of the world's most successful authors, but she knows who she's writing for--romance readers. I was looking for a Michael Connelly-esque mystery, and the the JD Robb novel wasn't my kind of book at all.

In the same way, Nicholas Sparks fancies himself a literary author, and he gets very prickly when he's pigeonholed as a romance author. But if you've actually read a Nicholas Sparks novel (I did once, on a trans-Pacific plane ride with no other reading options) you'll immediately see that what he's doing is basically Danielle Steel for millennials. Ditto for John Green.

Anonymous BBGKB March 09, 2017 9:34 AM  

In the artic land of Atlantusk ,where fat is considered brûléefull, 2 secret kings war over Mary Sue of America. Will she choose a secret king or go home to her boring black afrrophysicist husband?

A romance, at its root, specifically focuses on romantic love between two people,

Then it wouldn’t apply to twilight as it is about a young girls choice between bestiality and necrophilia

told not to stick their supernatural erotica in the CHILDREN'S category.

The Comet Pizza Murder Mystery might be hard to categorize

if you have four extended girl-girl sequences in the movie, it's lesbian porn

Mary Sue and Diesel Dyke faced off in yet another a light scissor battle.

OpenID jeffro March 09, 2017 9:46 AM  

There is a big difference between romance geared for male tastes and romance geared for women's tastes.

The former appeals to men and women of all ages. The latter only to women.

When I say that romance has been driven out of the science fiction drama, I am talking specifically about the one-two punch of the anti-heroic phase of the Campbellian era followed by the outright ensqualmation of the industry in the seventies by second wave feminists.

Taken together you have an aggressive push to eliminate "stuff guys like" from the field.

The irony is that the sort of lush femininity exuded by C. L. Moore's fiction has been lost as well. Her work and even her existence causes the standard narrative of sff history to completely fall apart.

To return to some semblance of sanity, we need more science fiction and fantasy written by guys that have actually kissed a girl. For guys that want to kiss girls. There is a very large market that simply isn't being served right now. Deal with them, and everything else will fall back into place.

Blogger Yarnwinder March 09, 2017 9:50 AM  

As an avid reader of all genres, I can state for a fact that the headless six-pack not only indicates a Romance, but a BAD Romance.

Hopefully all publishers will now pay more attention to categorizing their fiction.

Blogger Sheila4g March 09, 2017 10:17 AM  

I've read quite a bit of Hoyt, and while I've enjoyed her books, they're definitely romance with a bit of science fiction thrown in. Whether she's dealing with people who magically transform into dragons, or people who live on another planet, the root of her stories is always the same Message: Love Conquers All. Technology, alien races, planets, or magic are all assists to the Message. When she considers ramifications of certain government policies or political philosophies, she does so with a view to the personal. If it interferes with Love Conquers All, it's bad. If it facilitates the romance (mandragon/woman; symbionicman/woman, etc.), then it's all good. In many ways she's similar to Nora Roberts when Roberts is wearing her magic/fantasy hat on top of her romance hat.

I haven't read the Kindle comment thread, but Bujold's books immediately came to mind. I think the argument could be made that many of them are a synthesis, but there's no question that romance (that between Vorkosigan's parents) is at the root of it all.

Anonymous CarpeOro March 09, 2017 10:21 AM  

You mean books like this will stop appearing in my related books list:

"Ciaran & Madeline respond to a call for help from a faraway universe. But the only viable weapon they have to fight evil is their love for each other"

None too soon.

Blogger Gaiseric March 09, 2017 10:26 AM  

jeffro wrote:There is a big difference between romance geared for male tastes and romance geared for women's tastes.

The former appeals to men and women of all ages. The latter only to women.

One of my favorite old movies (1962) is Hatari! Screenplay by Leigh Brackett, score by Henry Mancini, and starring John Wayne, Red Buttons, Bruce Cabot, Hardy Kruger, and Elsa Martinelli (among others) it's the story of just about the manliest of manly men in manly adventure living on a ranch in Africa where they ride around in jeeps and beat up old pickup trucks really fast lassoing animals and wrasslin' them to the ground to sell to zoos and circuses. And yes, John Wayne, in this very unlikely venue, finds true love with a hot girl that any red-blooded man could desire.

It defies the notion that rom-coms are a genre designed for women. It's a rom-com for men.

In any case, there's also a huge difference between the more general use of the word Romance as a descriptive adjective and the much more constrained and limited use of the word to refer to the modern genre of novels with Fabio book covers.

The world needs much more of the former. It arguably has plenty of the latter already.

Blogger Markku March 09, 2017 10:29 AM  

Some people may confuse two completely separate issues here. Amazon allows you to pick 1-3 genres for your book. This is perfectly kosher, and what Amazon actually wants you to do:

1) Genre Romance, subgenre Sci-Fi

This is not kosher:

1) Genre Romance
2) Genre Sci-Fi

Blogger Natalie March 09, 2017 10:37 AM  

To be predictably solipsistic - all I could think reading this post was that I hope Castalia eventually finds and publishes some female genre authors, but I don't want that werewolf erotica crap in my book searches either.

There's an entire flipping erotica category! And yet whenever I'm trying to find a fairly clean, not completely stupid or converged book to read I have to wade through pages and pages of what can only be the literary equivalent of taking off your wedding band and going bar hopping with the skankiest girls you know.

At least men have spaces that let you see where the fence posts _should_ be even if they're rather broken at present. (And they have Castalia House). Women have......"Taken by the Marquis" and "That Dumbass Decision I Made that's Haunting my Relationship." Grrrrr.

I'm going to have to learn how to write books just so that I've got something to read.

Blogger Natalie March 09, 2017 10:41 AM  

Sorry, that should read "because I don't want that werewolf crap."

And I've read a bit from Castalia House myself. OTOH hand much of that is what it says on the cover - men's literature. I've read and enjoyed man lit before (King Solomon's Mines and the Virginian both come to mind), but I don't prefer a steady diet of it.

Blogger Mats March 09, 2017 10:46 AM  

"Bullshit like The Quantum Rose isn't science fiction any more than Taken by the T-Rex is"

LOL

Man, I laughed so much reading this post.

Blogger Markku March 09, 2017 10:47 AM  

Natalie wrote:And I've read a bit from Castalia House myself. OTOH hand much of that is what it says on the cover - men's literature. I've read and enjoyed man lit before (King Solomon's Mines and the Virginian both come to mind), but I don't prefer a steady diet of it.

If you haven't read it, I recommend Awake in the Night Land, by John C. Wright

Anonymous BBGKB March 09, 2017 10:50 AM  

that werewolf erotica crap...Sorry, that should read "because I don't want that werewolf crap."

I just came up with the best idea for a series of womens books. Werewolf Erotica Cat, about a cat that becomes a werewolf. Purfect for all the barran spinster cat ladies out there.

Blogger Phelps March 09, 2017 11:02 AM  

What hasn't been explicitly said is that Romance is the gender equivalent of porn. Women seek the satisfaction that men obtain from porn via romance stories.

Porn is generally a fantasy about a man obtaining a woman (often out of his league) for no verbalized reason other than "I want you" who then pleasures the man.

Romance is generally a fantasy about a woman obtaining a man (often out of her league) for no verbalized reason other than "I want you" who then pleasures the woman.

The same way that jamming porn into any other genre movie makes it porn, shoving romance into any other genre story makes it romance. Yes, you can have relationships and even sex scenes in both movies and stories without them being porn/romance, but we all know that there is a threshold that pushes it over into porn/romance.

Anonymous Avalanche March 09, 2017 11:21 AM  

@1 "'Space Raptor Butt Invasion' is one of the greatest works of sci-fi"

Has the amazing Chuck Tingle ever (or will he ever) actually come out and tell us who he is? I've only "read" (watched a gay guy reading it to a coffee house -- brilliantly! On YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kub4OJcWgkg) "Space Raptor Butt Invasion." (Always better with an audience?)

The talented Mr. Tingle seems to have disappeared? Has he served his purpose?

Blogger Kentucky Headhunter March 09, 2017 11:25 AM  

"Ciaran & Madeline respond to a call for help from a faraway universe. But the only viable weapon they have to fight evil is their love for each other"

Love for each is no match for a good blaster at your side, kid. - Han Solo

Blogger pyrrhus March 09, 2017 11:30 AM  

O/T I'm really enjoying 'Six Expressions of Death', and hope the author is contemplating a series with the same hero..ll

Blogger Silly But True March 09, 2017 11:39 AM  

Where there are still hard buds and buckaroos still searching anywhere for amazing moments, then Chuck Tingle still has purpose. Also we have yet to have the pleasure of a story about Chuck Tingle's butt getting slammed by EPH.

Anonymous Gen. Kong March 09, 2017 11:45 AM  

Interesting. This is an example of Auster's law of the unprincipled exception in play. Leftards and cucks often employ it to avoid having to face the real-life consequences of their insane ideology/religion. Another example was posted here the other day about well-to-do white Unitarians living in nice, low-crime whitopias. Scalzi, who lives in a very un-diverse locale, is another. Given his vast fake-wealth from uncountable fake-book sales, he could buy up several acres in Detroilet and have a fine estate with a high wall surrounding to insulate him from the worst of the zombie-swamp.

This does not change the fact that Amazon is an SJW-converged organization. It's just that (for now) they are more interested in actually making money when it comes to this particular area. Bezos got all sorts of tax advantages when he bought the coprolite tower known as the Washington Post for half what he was paid by the CIA for a cloud which apparently has some crash problems.

Anonymous rws March 09, 2017 11:46 AM  

I yearn for the day Amazon will allow me to sort and exclude any book by a female author. Also any book where the author uses initials in the name, because you know it's written by a woman.

Now that would make finding a good read so much easier, don't you think?

Yeah,I know. Fat chance.

Anonymous Avalanche March 09, 2017 11:51 AM  

@64 "I recommend Awake in the Night Land, by John C. Wright"

I finished that last week. I must admit it took me two tries. I quit early-middle of the book; it seemed to drag for me: walking through bad areas and avoiding, or fighting then avoiding, weird evil creatures. But I did want to finish it (because: Vox and Wright). I wasn't interested in the endless questing and questioning. (Could be a girl-thing -- OTOH, I loved 4G Warfare Handbook, though I found it disconcerting about the future.)

Picked Night Land back up later and carried on. The leaps through time were somewhat confusing, but worth struggling with. The 'twist' at the end was ... for me ... somewhat satisfying if still confusing.

(I also just read, and enjoyed very much, The Last Witchking and A Magic Broken; just started CTRL-Alt Revolt and am enjoying it.)

Fer shure, it's Castalia for the win!

Blogger bob kek mando ( Death To The Boor-geois, Keks To The Lol-etariat ) March 09, 2017 11:52 AM  

20. Bob Ramar March 09, 2017 7:59 AM
So, how would you classify Heinlein's "Time Enough for Love"?


the sex crazed meanderings of a senile retiree suffering from age related dementia?



46. Durandel Almiras March 09, 2017 9:10 AM
But her cheering for miscegenation was disgusting.



a - Hoyt is true racial Hispanic, being Portuguese, married to a White American. of COURSE she's in favor of miscegenation. she's engaged in it her whole life.

b - it's funny how much even the most lightly 'coloreds' consider themselves non-White. listen to Joey Diaz on youtube sometime ( regular guest with Joe Rogan ). his family ( Diaz ) is from the Conquistadors who settled Cuba and then emigrated to New York City. he's got a little bit of a 'tan' complexion but is otherwise obviously obese Caucasian.

he claims that he is proudly NOT 'white'.


and this is from a guy whose family threw the Arabs out of Europe, conquered Central and South America and imported African slaves to work their sugar plantations ...

*shrugs*

Anonymous Camilla Cameo March 09, 2017 11:55 AM  

Looking for constructive criticism here, but feel free just to tell me to shut up if this is too self-centered.

I'm working on writing a novel that's an adaptation of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. The main thing is that the "beast" is a warlord who, along with his armies, magically merged with these terrifying warmachines to defeat demonic mechanical magical invaders. Both the invaders and the armies are now sealed away in magical sleep, with only the warlord awake to watch over them. There's the usual pattern with Beauty taking her father's place as hostage, but like in East of the Sun West of the Moon or Cupid and Psyche, she does the one forbidden thing and messes up everything by unsealing the invaders, so the army also is raised to defeat them once again.

I really hope to make this the kind of romance Jeffro was talking about, not that Vox is talking about, and to be able honestly to categorize it as Fantasy and not have it be Pink Fantasy. Is this possible? Or is the premise hopelessly Romance in the modern sense? As a woman, I think I may be blind to how Pink it might be. There's not going to be any sex or kissing or lengthy contemplation of conflicted feelings. Love will not be the thing that solves the final problem, but they will marry in the end after that problem is solved. I realize one may have to read it to know for sure if it's Pink, but if the whole idea is irredeemably Pink I think I'll abandon it.

Blogger bob kek mando ( Death To The Boor-geois, Keks To The Lol-etariat ) March 09, 2017 12:04 PM  

67. Avalanche March 09, 2017 11:21 AM
The talented Mr. Tingle seems to have disappeared? Has he served his purpose?



are you deef?

Chuck Tingle was just on national television in the last month.

http://www.avclub.com/article/erotica-author-chuck-tingle-pound-tvs-butt-midnigh-250177

Anonymous instasetting March 09, 2017 12:06 PM  

My 'time travel' searches have been plagued by Romance Across Time stories. This is an excellent move by Amazon.

Anonymous Avalanche March 09, 2017 12:07 PM  

@65 "I just came up with the best idea for a series of womens books. Werewolf Erotica Cat, about a cat that becomes a werewolf."

Almost already out there! Lora Leigh's (very very popular) "The Breed" romance series. Secretly created (eeeeevil capitalist/govt-controlled scientists: boo-hiss!) (I think I saw Soros in one?) human-animal cross "warriors" -- now struggling to fit into (near) a society at long last recognizing that making and keeping (and torturing and misusing) "part-human animals" is badeviterrible. (There's your SJW.)

The (another) funny thing (I enjoy them from an anti-feminist / sociological / anthropological aspect) is that the male "breeds" can have all the sex they want until they meet their biological "mate" -- after with they go into a 'pon farr'-like state that lasts for the rest of their lives; massive violent mate guarding, inability to even TOUCH any other female; and if they don't "win" her -- they DIE! (Gee, sounds like a modern-female's dream man?)

And there are packs by 'breed' (why, one might even call it by RACE!): e.g., wolf breeds, coyote breeds, the rare lion breeds... 'breed' loyalty, with a strong hierarchy within (and across) the packs. It's a well-done mix (mish-mash?) of liberal feminism surrendering (sometimes ungracefully, but always,in the end, gratefully) to patriarchy, hierarchy, acceptance of male violence, and even anti-miscegenation (albeit not human-to-breed; merely "cross-breed"). VERY popular series! Leigh is a good romance writer.

Anonymous Avalanche March 09, 2017 12:13 PM  

@66 "Romance is generally a fantasy about a woman obtaining a man (often out of her league) for no verbalized reason other than "I want you" who then pleasures the woman."

Spea... er, writes the man who has not read much romance? The woman is "obtaining the man (often out of her league)" for the reason of: "I want you to protect me from other men and from want/need." (Pleasure? No, survival!) Not 'pleasure'; safety and security. Doesn't matter how they dress it up in a romance, the end goal is safety and security for the woman (and future offspring) -- provided freely by the man. There is even still a small (and slightly growing) market for no-sex romances! (And not just the YA romance market!)

Blogger BigFire March 09, 2017 12:20 PM  

Meanwhile, the #1 book in Amazon right now is Michael J. Knowles's insightful Reason to Vote for Democrats. 266 pages of hard hitting truth.

Blogger VD March 09, 2017 12:23 PM  

There's the usual pattern with Beauty taking her father's place as hostage, but like in East of the Sun West of the Moon or Cupid and Psyche, she does the one forbidden thing and messes up everything by unsealing the invaders, so the army also is raised to defeat them once again.

Forget the love story. You'd do better to have the Beast's army rise up and slaughter everyone Belle knows and rule over the land with an iron fist. And the novel ends with Belle becoming a cyborged brood mare.

I would read that. An object lesson in the idiocy of Disney princessing.

Blogger VD March 09, 2017 12:24 PM  

266 pages of hard hitting truth.

I could have written it in one.

"Want more of the White Man's stuff? Vote Democrat."

Anonymous Nathan March 09, 2017 12:26 PM  

@61,

Try Andre Norton's Gothic romances. I just reviewed her The White Jade Fox, a supernatural mystery featuring a young governess trying to keep her own guardian from stealing her charge's house. It's heavier on the mystery than the romance, as in her scant spare time keeping her charge from losing everything, Saranna is trying to avoid getting forced into a bad match than making a good one.

Blogger L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright March 09, 2017 12:31 PM  

It goes the other way,too. Real romance readers don't want to read paranormal romance, either.

It needs its own category...away from SF and from romance.

Blogger L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright March 09, 2017 12:36 PM  

@ 75

If the story is the thing and the romance is the side plot, you should be fine. That is a fantasy.

If the romance is the main issue...that is paranormal romance.

Anonymous Avalanche March 09, 2017 12:41 PM  

@75 "I really hope to make this the kind of romance Jeffro was talking about, not that Vox is talking about, and to be able honestly to categorize it as Fantasy and not have it be Pink Fantasy. Is this possible? Or is the premise hopelessly Romance in the modern sense? As a woman, I think I may be blind to how Pink it might be. There's not going to be any sex or kissing or lengthy contemplation of conflicted feelings."

But isn't the POINT of Beauty and the Beast the love story? (I.e., that's what makes it a romance?) Overcoming the odds ("he's a beast!") to fall in love? Your description sounds like it has an interesting source for the 'beast' -- but it sounds as if the point is still: "Pandora" opens the box, stuff happens, she and the beast fall in love, they get married?

The romance point is easy to see: love, a barrier/obstacle to love, they overcome it, they get married. Happily ever after. What would be the "fantasy" point of your story? The magic / supernatural aspects? Not sure 'merging with metal' isn't still/essentially magical in a way? Armies / rescuing force sleeping till recalled? (Once and Future King?)

(And is there anything wrong with writting an honest romance? Largest selling book genre.)

Blogger L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright March 09, 2017 12:43 PM  

I would like to add: I am a huge romance fan. I have always loved it. To me, good romnces read like human nature mysteries.

But I can't read pink sf either. In most that I have read...and I admit I have been able to force myself to read read very few...neither the romance nor the sf/fantasy is good.

Blogger CBart March 09, 2017 12:43 PM  

Would the first Pern novel be a romance? It has the spunky heroine, Lessa and her alpha male partner. I wonder if it would be published today, since there's some slut shaming in it.

Blogger Shitlord Numéro Uno March 09, 2017 12:45 PM  

What? GOT's plot is driven by the return of magic to the world and impending conflict between magical beings (dragons vs walkers). How the hell is that not fantasy?

Blogger bob kek mando ( Death To The Boor-geois, Keks To The Lol-etariat ) March 09, 2017 12:48 PM  

82. VD March 09, 2017 12:24 PM
I could have written it in one.



but then the purchaser would be missing out on 266 valuable pages of scribbling surface.

http://www.wnd.com/2017/03/blank-book-reasons-to-vote-for-democrats-now-amazon-best-seller/

Blogger Natalie March 09, 2017 12:56 PM  

@Nathan - will do. Thanks!

@Phelps:

Romance as female porn is largely true of the contemporary stuff, and the "clean" Christian novels are at least as bad in that sense as many mass market romances with actual sex scenes in them.

However, there are also romances that are well and truly clean that give you a good story about loyalty, spunk, perseverance, "insert flavor on the month" that don't pull those emotional strings. Georgette Heyer, Grace Livingston Hill, and Lucy Maud Montgomery are all more or less good examples of this. That's the sort of book I miss. There's a basic decency to the characters and plot that avoids the cheap emotional thrills of chiselled jaws and sexually charged scenes.

Blogger Bob Loblaw March 09, 2017 1:03 PM  

Don't you get to pick multiple genres for your book? I swear the same books kept showing up no matter what genre I selected. I figured the authors just added them to every genre to get maximum exposure.

Blogger Gaiseric March 09, 2017 1:07 PM  

@91: The point isn't that romance IS porn or is full of porn, the point is that romance is to women what porn is to men. That's a pretty different thing to say altogether. I'm not sure that it's completely true, with the exception of the really trashy romances which actually are porn though.

Blogger Sheila4g March 09, 2017 1:08 PM  

@91 Natalie: "Georgette Heyer, Grace Livingston Hill, and Lucy Maud Montgomery are all more or less good examples of this."

Perhaps I'm confusing her with someone else, but don't most of Grace Livingston Hill's books deal with a woman in "straitened" circumstances? Apologies for somewhat murky memories but back when I babysat one lady in particular had entire shopping bags filled with paperback romances, and I read tons to pass the time. I seem to remember some older and/or English ones, nice but straitlaced, and every single heroine had an elderly aunt to care for, or had sacrificed her best years to her widowed mother, or was caring for a younger orphaned sibling. The "romance" involved finding a decent older man who'd become chief caretaker. It wasn't the decency or lack of extraneous sex that bored me, even as a young teen, it was the boring characters.

Anonymous Camilla Cameo March 09, 2017 1:11 PM  

Thank you all for your advice!

@86 I do like some Romances, Jane Austen and some YA fairy tale adaptations; I hate the pecs-and-abs cover type and Twilight-esque paranormal romance utterly. But good or bad, I don't want to write Romance in this case. I think you're right that Beauty and the Beast is too much about love overcoming obstacles, so...

Vox may have been joking, but what he said has given me an idea, making it not a Beauty and the Beast thing, mostly cutting her out except as the passerby who breaks the seal. Then I can concentrate on the armies and the place where they're sealed and the battles once they're unsealed, which is what I find most interesting. Thank you again!

Blogger Rational Thinker March 09, 2017 1:14 PM  

I stopped reading any Science Fiction or Fantasy book written by a woman years ago, and I am even hesitant to read a Science Fiction or Fantasy book written by a man where the main protagonist is a woman.

Using this criteria seriously reduces the drek I have to wade through when trying to find something interesting to read.

Blogger synp March 09, 2017 1:19 PM  

Dyskord wrote:OT: Didn't know where else to drop this.

Disney is making a live action Alladin. At the moment they are proudly searching for authentic middle eastern leads.


Alladin is Chinese. Having an Arab play him is cultural appropriation. The fact that the story is originally Arab (before having been heavily edited by Disney) makes no difference.

Blogger Benjamin Kraft March 09, 2017 1:27 PM  

@89. That's what we're all assuming the "Ice and Fire" in the title are referring to, but tell me, precisely how many white walkers have been killed by dragons, or vice versa so far?

Zero unless you count the one Jon Snow killed with "dragonglass"?

Sure, you've got a bunch of different types of magic around the "edges of the map", so to say, but the vast majority of the plot so far has centered quite firmly on the nigh-purely flesh-and-steel doings of everyone in the "middle of the map", and I don't really see any signs at this point that that is going to change much. The author's written himself hard into a corner, and not only because of having too many "perspective characters". He's literally sent characters off to all corners of the world, and for some of them, there's really no reason for them ever to come back, even if the author can somehow juggle "building" all of those different parts simultaneously.

Oh, and Daenerys's storyline is totally predictable at all moments when it's not dragging on for aeons for no reason other than her constant motivation failures/roadblocks/perversions.

Aside from the "edges of the map", GoT's plot is very much NOT driven by magical beings in the current books. The dragons show up a lot, but do next to nothing. The walkers show up a little, and do a fair amount, but only to one character. The dragon-priest-lady does a bunch of ridiculous stuff because she's a blind fanatic jumping to conclusions, and is probably the crux of magic actually related to the "middle of the map". What other magic is there? The greenseers who have done precisely nothing yet? The skinchangers who pretty much stopped mattering several books ago(and again only to one character)? The magic-death-cult that only matters to one character? Oh, yeah, and the flesh-golem-revenant-thing that keeps being built up but has done nothing at all yet.

But I digress. With regard to the actual topic, I have to say that while stories can contain elements of other genres, no such thing as an "equal fusion" either does, will, or can exist. It's either primarily romance or not, and I think we're all aware of exactly how strong the sci-fi or fantasy elements are in a primarily romance story, which is to say they have no bearing whatsoever on the story in the vast majority of cases, and easily replaceable influences in the rare few remaining.

Blogger Servant March 09, 2017 1:28 PM  

Bob Ramar wrote:So, how would you classify Heinlein's "Time Enough for Love"?

Yeah I'm not sure where the line is drawn in Heinlein's career where everything past it is total shit (somewhere through stranger in a strange land) but it's definitely on the wrong side of it.

@8 The promise of fantasy was strong in the first book. The man went off the deep end of course, and there is no pay off. I would call it more political thriller if it wasn't bad at that too. VD has addressed this, but what is an impactful meaningful death has led him down the road of just writing violence porn. The author is incapable of recognizing the truth and meaning in what he wrote, and turns to sensationalization to try to capture it again.

I would guess it's because he's a very soul sick person, and thus is blind to truth.

Blogger Benjamin Kraft March 09, 2017 1:31 PM  

@97. synp, good on you, I was wondering how long it would take before someone would realize that. Disney appropriated it as arabic (although maybe someone else slightly before them as well, not sure).

Blogger L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright March 09, 2017 1:35 PM  

@88 Pern has a touch of romance....but having read it many times as a kid, I can tell you that when you take it apart, there is surprisingly little actual romance. It is mainly implied.

I think Pern..or Dragonfligjt,at least...may be what these other books wish they were -- actual story with a touch or romance.(Not going to comment on later Pern nooks.)

Blogger L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright March 09, 2017 1:39 PM  

@95
Feel free to email me if you wish to bounce ideas off someonere: your Beauty and the Beast story.

At Gmail. User...arhyalon

Blogger Servant March 09, 2017 1:40 PM  

@98

It doesn't require that much analysis. A well crafted death in the first book of a character you like and respect covers up so much shit that you read the rest. If I was smart I would have stopped at Robb throwing it all away for love, or the red wedding, or Khal Drogo's death, or torture of can't remember his name. Guy who gets his penis cut off. Any number of the warning signs that I was reading violence porn akin to the movie Hostel.

Anonymous Blume March 09, 2017 1:49 PM  

I think one of the reasons fur the disconnect between vox and Jeffro is social-sexual in nature. Vox wants the sigma hero and jeffro wants the beta/delta hero. Betas and deltas want the white picket fence maybe more than women want it. So their conan speech ends with and hear the cries of jubilation from my woman/women.

Anonymous Dorothy Grant March 09, 2017 1:52 PM  

@Shimson Yes, that's me, Peter Grant's wife, not him. I keep an eye on kboards for the marketing and business threads. That way he doesn't have to deal with the signal to noise ratio, and can concentrate on writing.

@Jagi - we'll both be very glad to see the erotica marketed as SF Romance (but is neither SF nor good romance) leave the lists.

Blogger Gaiseric March 09, 2017 1:59 PM  

Rational Thinker wrote:I stopped reading any Science Fiction or Fantasy book written by a woman years ago, and I am even hesitant to read a Science Fiction or Fantasy book written by a man where the main protagonist is a woman.

Using this criteria seriously reduces the drek I have to wade through when trying to find something interesting to read.

I've had to do the same a few years ago. Unless heartily recommended by someone who's judgement in this regard I trust or an author I'm already familiar with (Leigh Brackett, C. L. Moore, or even Jane Austen—I don't mind some classics), I simply will not read anything written by a woman.

Blogger Natalie March 09, 2017 2:01 PM  

Sheila4g wrote:@91.

That doesn't sound quite right. GLH certainly had more a few poor girls, but many of them had intact families or a father living, but they didn't tend to marry older men. GLH definitely has her banal moments herself, but the value I see in the stories is that they all reward the traditional virtues like domesticity, loyalty, respect for elders, masculinity/femininity, hard work, family pride, modesty, etc. It's not that they're great literature by any means, and they're typically somewhat legalistic. However, they're virtuous, Christian, and light reading when your brain is tired.

Anonymous Camilla Cameo March 09, 2017 2:22 PM  

@102

Thank you! I'm having all sorts of ideas now. What a great blog this is!

Blogger Miss Carnivorous March 09, 2017 2:26 PM  

The Romance authors have infected the Mystery genre with their novels as well. I hate it! My co-worker/friend is the cataloguer of fiction and I can't stand her cataloguing anymore. We have fights about it. I just have to keep my mouth shut.

Blogger L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright March 09, 2017 2:43 PM  

@ Dorathy and @109 Miss Carnivorous

I totally agree. Romance should not be in F & SF, in mystery, or in horror. The people who go to those areas are not looking for that kind of literature.

(Were it up to me, I wouldn't put Paranormal romance in romance either. ;-P )

I think it was an attempt to sell more books, trying to put them in multiple catagories...but, really, true cross-genre books are very rare. When you add the trappings of a second genre, it doesn't make the story interesting to readers of that genre.

(I've been meaning to write a series of articles about this for some time.)

Blogger Fenris Wulf March 09, 2017 2:56 PM  

When "Loki's Child" came out, it was knocked off the #1 "Dark Humor" spot by an African-American romance novel written by a lady to whom punctuation and grammar will remain forever a mystery. From what I've seen, the majority of self-published romance novels are written by illiterates.

Anonymous Avalanche March 09, 2017 3:07 PM  

@98
"magical beings in the current books.
The dragons
The walkers
The dragon-priest-lady
The greenseers
The skinchangers
The magic-death-cult
the flesh-golem-revenant-thing"

Thank you, Benjamin Kraft, for sparing me any need to even consider reading/watching Game of Thrones et seq. I hadn't read any, and have heard way too much about the TV show, and wondered once in a while if I really needed to catch up to hoi polloi on this apparent cultish fav.

This one paragraph (along with Vox's descriptions and criticisms en passant) solidifies my decision to skip it all! (Gets me that much closer to AToB.)

Anonymous Avalanche March 09, 2017 3:13 PM  

@101 "Pern has a touch of romance....but having read it many times as a kid, I can tell you that when you take it apart, there is surprisingly little actual romance. It is mainly implied."

Agree completely. The "romance" between Lessa and F'lar isn't one (I think) because their relationship starts as duty (mainly to dragon kind and protection of the humans); and develops into partnership rather than mad love. (e.g., "old married couple" coping when he's injured, rather than desperate youthful panic.) It's a nice pay-off that Lessa falls in love; but her first love is Ramoth.

Blogger Bob Loblaw March 09, 2017 3:26 PM  

Servant wrote:Bob Ramar wrote:So, how would you classify Heinlein's "Time Enough for Love"?

Yeah I'm not sure where the line is drawn in Heinlein's career where everything past it is total shit (somewhere through stranger in a strange land) but it's definitely on the wrong side of it.


When he got older he started writing adolescent sexual fantasies. I'm not sure if he thought he was being somehow transgressive or if he developed some kind of mental problem.

Blogger L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright March 09, 2017 3:29 PM  

@113 -- agreed. And, more importantly, the story isn't about their romance. It is, in part, about them coming to be in agreement, but more in their roles as weyr leaders than as a couple, per se, but its more about solving the mysteries of the dragon and thread.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash March 09, 2017 3:35 PM  

Avalanche wrote:Thank you, Benjamin Kraft, for sparing me any need to even consider reading/watching Game of Thrones et seq. I hadn't read any, and have heard way too much about the TV show, and wondered once in a while if I really needed to catch up to hoi polloi on this apparent cultish fav.
I started to watch one episode. It opened with the sound of the effects man slapping two porkchops together, pan around the top of a mediaeval tower to peep in the window to view a couple going at it doggie-style. Pull back to see child peering in the window. I shut it off and haven't bothered with it since.

Despite all its fantasy trappings, GOT is porn. Psedo-Fantasy porn fanbois can bite me. It's just crappy porn.

Blogger Were-Puppy March 09, 2017 3:38 PM  

@31 horsewithnonick
The most repulsive party of this, to me, is that these authors needed to be told not to stick their supernatural erotica in the CHILDREN'S category.

---

Some of these freaks are pizza monsters

Blogger Were-Puppy March 09, 2017 3:51 PM  

@55 jeffro

The irony is that the sort of lush femininity exuded by C. L. Moore's fiction has been lost as well. Her work and even her existence causes the standard narrative of sff history to completely fall apart.
---

I like C.L. Moore, got a best of around here somewhere, or a planet story.

Blogger Were-Puppy March 09, 2017 3:55 PM  

@59 Gaiseric

Leigh Brackett
---

Check out her Skeith stories sometime

Blogger Were-Puppy March 09, 2017 3:57 PM  

@65 BBGKB

I just came up with the best idea for a series of womens books. Werewolf Erotica Cat, about a cat that becomes a werewolf.
---

You old fossil, that idea is old as Oblivion, in which players who had a Kajhit (cat) character could get the werewolf virus, and then position all the dead bodies in very interesting positions

Blogger bob kek mando ( Death To The Boor-geois, Keks To The Lol-etariat ) March 09, 2017 4:01 PM  

114. Bob Loblaw March 09, 2017 3:26 PM
I'm not sure if he thought he was being somehow transgressive or if he developed some kind of mental problem.



he stopped bothering to conceal the aberrant sex that he had always practiced ( or, at least, idealized ).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/For_Us,_The_Living:_A_Comedy_of_Customs

that's the very first thing he ever wrote, from 1938.

it's got mandatory government instruction of children ( so parents can't "corrupt" them with morals or Christianity )

public nudity

free love

i'm not sure if the bi-curious stuff was in that or not ...

Blogger Were-Puppy March 09, 2017 4:05 PM  

@73 Avalanche
(I also just read, and enjoyed very much, The Last Witchking and A Magic Broken; just started CTRL-Alt Revolt and am enjoying it.)
---

Try The End of the World as We Knew It by Nick Cole, if you like the CTRL-Alt- Revolt. It's not the same series, but pretty good book.

Blogger Cail Corishev March 09, 2017 4:25 PM  

Thank you, Benjamin Kraft, for sparing me any need to even consider reading/watching Game of Thrones et seq.

In the first book, the main characters were mostly young people headed off on fantasy adventures in different directions. Darker than most, but still firmly in that genre, plus some political intrigue. It didn't turn into a violent soap opera until somewhere in the next couple books, but I'd never recommend the first book or two of a series that's at five books and growing.

Way back in the day, one of the books I got from the SFBC was Clan of the Cave Bear. I don't remember much about it, except that it was about a clash of prehistorical cultures (some pretty race-realist stuff by today's standards), and the sex was unromantic to say the least. It was quite a surprise to get the next book (I was always terrible about sending back the card to say I didn't want that month's featured items) and find that it was full of explicit sex and romance and the protagonist discovering the orgasm. There was even a freaking love triangle. I don't know if the author intentionally put out one "serious" book to get published and then turned to her real interests, but it was quite the shift.

Blogger Feather Blade March 09, 2017 4:38 PM  

Esteban Serafini wrote:Interesting: when the choice is presented, they choose the male space, always.

This is a mistake if the Romance writer does this. Romance is, or so I have heard, one of the best selling and most profitable genres to write in.

Blogger Alexander March 09, 2017 6:07 PM  

Camilla,

Do you mind if I have a Crack at Cyborg broodmare Beauty and the eternal iron fist of the beast variant? It seems polite to ask first.

Blogger Gospace March 09, 2017 6:13 PM  

So, how would you classify Heinlein's "Time Enough for Love"?

Much as I like most of RAH's writing, I'm sorry I wasted money buying that book. Along with Friday. I would classify it as crap. YMMV.

Anonymous Camilla Cameo March 09, 2017 7:10 PM  

@125

Alexander,

I still plan to do something with it, but it's not going to be a Beauty and the Beast thing anymore, more a labyrinth of the minotaur Pandora's Box thing, and I'm not having the brood mare bit, so I think they'd probably end up different enough. Thanks for asking!

Anonymous LastRedoubt March 09, 2017 7:38 PM  

99. Servant

Yeah I'm not sure where the line is drawn in Heinlein's career where everything past it is total shit (somewhere through stranger in a strange land) but it's definitely on the wrong side of it.

Outside of Orphans in the Sky - technically a fix up of work done earlier - and Moon is a Harsh Mistress, I think you can safely ignore almost anything after Starship Troopers. His best stuff, including Have Space Suit, and Citizen of the Galaxy, was written earlier.

Not sure where the shorts in Assignment in Eternity and Waldo/Magic Inc. fall.

Blogger J Van Stry March 10, 2017 1:21 AM  

What we really need is a place for people who write books aimed at men to advertise.
Books written primarily for women are really taking over all of the categories on Amazon. Because more women read then men.
Facebook advertising it aimed primarily at women.
So are most of the book advertising services (like bookbub).

So where do you go, if you write stories with strong male characters, that aren't romance, to advertise? Where in this day and age do you actually find the male audience?

That's the question I want to know the answer to.

Blogger Markku March 10, 2017 1:41 AM  

Now, see, this is the main value a publisher offers. The customer has a certain expectation about the book due to it being a Castalia House book. And that's why we have to be extremely vigilant to not dilute that expectation.

This is not to say "publish with us, Stry", this is just to explain the dynamic in the situation. If you publish indie, yes, you keep all the revenue. But unless you have already built an extremely strong brand, like say, Peter Grant, you have no way to inform the potential customer about what your book is like.

That said, your best bet is probably Facebook ads, targeted only to accounts that Facebook has flagged as "very conservative". The ad dashboard lets you choose by tag.

Blogger The Overgrown Hobbit March 10, 2017 5:35 AM  

The anti-prog motto: "de gustibus..."

@Camilla Cameo Vox Day is yanking your chain. Odds are he doesn't really think a classic myth like Cupid & Psyche / East of the Sun West of the Moon / Beauty & the Beast automatically = Disney Princess. Go read Til We Have Faces, keep the mythic tale that inspired you and anchor it with the real world: God, virtue, truth. You've already decided to cut out all of the stupid modern self-absorbed emo, yes?

Most of the great literature of Western Civilization ended their tales with a marriage after all. Good luck with the book.

But if you do manage to write a book that is honest-to-Beowulf epic fantasy, and honest-to-A Winter's Tale romance, both the folks allergic to romance AND the ones who hate High Fantasy will eschew your tale. Don't sweat it. You're not writing for SJWs, after all.

Though for the purists, I'll point out that I missed Firefly because "Westerns are *not* SF" until it was off the air. For the a apologists: I'm still not going to read another Western unless JCW writes one.

Blogger Gaiseric March 10, 2017 7:45 AM  

Were-Puppy wrote:@59 Gaiseric

Leigh Brackett

---

Check out her Skeith stories sometime

Skaith, yeah. Own 'em, from the 70s? 80s? With the Steranko covers.

At first I didn't like them nearly as much as her other Eric John Starke books—he was too passive, and had no chemistry of any kind with any other character. I felt like he was just being dragged along while she ticked off checkmarks.

Later, I really came to appreciate the series as an anti-socialist allegory. If it wasn't intentionally done, that's even more remarkable.

Blogger J Van Stry March 10, 2017 12:49 PM  

@103 I'd like to think I have a strong brand at this point. What I'm trying to do is increase the size of my readership. I will see if I can find the tags you suggest.

And it's Van Stry, not Stry, please.

Anonymous Camilla Cameo March 10, 2017 12:55 PM  

@131
Overgrown Hobbit,

Thank you, I did realize he was probably mostly joking, but what he said did still give me ideas that I like much better than some of what I had planned. Exactly following his instructions while still making it a Beauty and the Beast adaptation would be deconstructive toward fairy tales, which is not what I want either, so that's not what I'm doing, but there will be an object lesson against a self-willed, my-wonderful-womaness-can-heal-the-horrible-monster sort of romanticisation which is one of things I dislike about most paranormal romance books. There will still be Beauty and the Beast allusions, but overall it will be more of a Pandora's Box labyrinth of the minotaur thing. And I'm adding another heroine with a good romance that I think will still be not-the-main-focus enough to avoid making the genre be Romance, which, as stated, good or bad, I don't want to write in this case.

Anonymous Camilla Cameo March 10, 2017 12:56 PM  

Oh and I have read Til we have Faces and like it very much!

Anonymous I Am Irony, Man March 10, 2017 2:58 PM  

rws @72: "Also any book where the author uses initials in the name, because you know it's written by a woman."

J.R.R. Tolkien is transgender? Who knew?

Blogger Markku March 11, 2017 2:16 AM  

Don't capitalize the "van", then.

Blogger Francis Parker Yockey March 11, 2017 10:01 AM  

Unfortunately, on the same day, Amazon decided to capitulate to the powers that be, and suppress all works by dissidents who dared to question the officially-promoted narrative of Jewish casualties in WW2:

https://katana17.wordpress.com/2017/03/09/amazion-bans-100s-of-holocaust-revisionist-books/

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