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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Why she doesn't read women writers

For a different reason than I don't, as it happens:
So, what is this all about?

It is about the fact I’m tired of getting fan letters saying “I finally read your books, having hesitated long and hard to start.  Forgive me, but the fact that you’re female made me doubtful.”

Ah, yeah, that.  And then I became conscious of an hesitation to pick up female-written books, myself.

I, who am a female writing books, and who have been formed as a reader by a veritable battalion of writing females, suddenly subjecting to greater scrutiny books by females, and asking friends “is she okay?” before starting a new female author.

Why?  Oh, not because of what is between the author’s legs.  No, that never interested me, before or since.  What makes me hesitate is the mush that younger females have had their heads filled with, often from primary education.

One of the first warnings of this was when a young college student joined our writers’ group.  (She is now a bestselling author.)  Her education had been exquisite and expensive, and yet… And yet she believed things like that there had been great women fighters in the middle ages, and the men had suppressed all memory of them.  Or that my best friend and I didn’t have college degrees (both of us had Masters) because we were stay at home moms.

I don’t judge her too harshly on these beliefs.  It’s really hard to examine the things that adults told us when we were very young.  Note how until recently I believed my cousin Dulce had died because I refused to share my bread and butter with her.  (I suspect being rebuked, then hearing she’d died got conflated in my mind.)  And that wasn’t even an intentional guilt trip.

But I find myself reading about women as they never were, women without agency oppressed by a far  more coordinated patriarchy than any male I know could manage, let alone a group of males.  I find myself reading about men as they never were, too, men who are all plotting and evil and powerful or else cringing ball-less cowards.  And then there is the Marxism that afflicts the younger, “well educated” ones.  And the preaching.  Oh, my LORD, I never took well to preaching, even in religious books.

So, I hesitate before picking up new women writers.  Though I do pick them up.  I even tolerate a fair amount of feminism and left wing ideology if it’s so well wrapped in the story it doesn’t pop me out of it.  Most of the women and some of the men above are/were definitely on the left, but they can tell a story, and that’s all I care about.
Looking at my reading lists for the past few years, it is readily apparent that although women are some of my favorite authors - Tanith Lee, Ellis Peters, Agatha Christie, Susan Cooper, Murasaki Shikibu - I very seldom read women who write today. If it weren't for the Hugo Awards, I wouldn't have read any at all this year.

Why? Because, for the most part, they bore me. Women write best when they write about what truly interests them, which is interpersonal relationships. But shoe-horning a woman's novel into a science fiction, or fantasy, or worse, military science fiction skin is not only uninteresting, it's quite often downright cringe-worthy.

The problem, as I see it, is that most female writers are too solipsistic to be interested in ideas beyond pushing the current Narrative. It's too bad, because they are vastly superior in their understanding of socio-sexual relations than are their gamma male counterparts in the SF/F genre. At the very least, women writers understand that men pursue women and that women are attracted to men for reasons that have nothing to do with how assiduously he respects her and avoids expressing any undue interest in her. (I can reliably ID a male writer's socio-sexual status by how he describes male-female relations, and most male writers in SF/F are gammas.)

But at the end of the day, I don't give a damn about whether the author's Mary Sue protagonist goes for Alpha Male 1 or Alpha Male 2, which is the central question around which most female-written fiction revolves. This may explain why, when I look at the female authors I like reading, I notice that they almost uniformly utilize male protagonists.

Ellis Peters - Brother Cadfael. Agatha Christie - Hercule Poirot and the famously celibate Miss Marple. Susan Cooper - Will Stanton. Tanith Lee utilizes a broad range of protagonists, but most of them are male. Even Lady Murasaki's classic novel revolved around Hikaru Genji, the shining prince.

Now, there are no doubt exceptions to be found, but as a general rule, name a woman author with a female protagonist and you can be fairly certain that regardless of what else might be going on in the book,  a significant percentage of the text will be devoted to answering one of two questions: a) will she or won't she? and b) Alpha Male 1 or Alpha Male 2?

If that interests you, fine. There is nothing wrong with that. But I, for one, am not very likely to read it. A great book is a great book, and it doesn't matter who writes it, but women writers should keep in mind that many readers have been burned many times by other women writers who have attempted to sell them a romance in non-romance wrapping.

Play the reader dishonestly that way and he - or she -  will never give you another chance.

Labels:

164 Comments:

Anonymous Pink or Blue, It's Up To You! June 16, 2016 2:49 PM  

But at the end of the day, I don't give a damn about whether the author's Mary Sue protagonist goes for Alpha Male 1 or Alpha Male 2,

How homophobic! What about when Mary Sue has to choose between "Alpha Grrl 1" and 2? Or ambiguous-oriented-wereseal and Alpha-vampirebatman?

Really, you clearly are not reading the full, broad, expanded, ever widening range of femme-fant-fic that is out there. Goodreads is infested with it. Amazed Hoyt's missed it.

Anonymous Rygel June 16, 2016 2:49 PM  

Besides Michael Z. Williamson I find that women authors tend to have a fairly large amount of sex centered around their protagonist and story line. I tell my wife our daughter has to be a bit older to read the female authors on my shelf for a reason besides patrairchy.

Anonymous TLM June 16, 2016 2:50 PM  

Read the SE Hinton books when in HS. Never knew it was a female writer until the internet came around.

Haven't read any other women but I'd be willing to bet they use I, me, myself, more in one chapter than Obama uses them in a SOTU speech.

Blogger Dexter June 16, 2016 2:53 PM  

when I look at the female authors I like reading, I notice that they almost uniformly utilize male protagonists.

Even then they don't always get it right. Recently I read the Harry Potter books to my son. Rowling's idea of the psychology of a teenage boy is soooooo fucking far off the mark it's not even funny. The way Harry interacts with girls is pathetic - abjectly beta - especially when you consider that he is supposedly famous, popular, and powerful. It's like he stays mentally and psychosexually 11 (his age in the first book) throughout the series, even in the final book when he's 17. We never get any clue why Hermione is attracted to Ron (who never really does anything attractive) either.

But then NONE of the characters significantly evolve over the course of the series.

Blogger Dexter June 16, 2016 2:55 PM  

If a woman wrote Lord of the Rings, Froda Baggins would have an agonizing choice between alpha badboy Saruman and alpha badboy Sauron.

Anonymous A Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents June 16, 2016 3:00 PM  

It took me a few years in mid school to figure out that Andre Norton wasn't a man's name. It didn't make any difference to me either, since the stories were well done.

Reading Poirot novels lately I've been impressed by how astute Agatha Christie was regarding women.

Attempting to read modern women SF, in Analog or other places, is so tedious I can't finish most of it. Between the GrrlPOWr junk thought and the ob-sex, it's all too predictable and often badly written.

Blogger ValeriusMaximus June 16, 2016 3:01 PM  

My favorite short story writer, Flannery O'Connor, was a women; other than that I can't think of another that I enjoy.

Anonymous A Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents June 16, 2016 3:02 PM  

Recently I read the Harry Potter books to my son.

Why?

Blogger Fatherless June 16, 2016 3:02 PM  

I liked The Guns of August, but that was all men.

Blogger Doug Northcote June 16, 2016 3:04 PM  

Ewwww Dexter... Ewwwwwww!

Blogger Doug Northcote June 16, 2016 3:09 PM  

I'd add in Lois Bujold to the list of the above authors that I read. Christie is excellent, agreed. I've read some of Hoyts stuff, some I really enjoyed, others, not so much.

Read the first 5 of Naomi Noviks dragon books but those were definitely a struggle. I've not been back for books 6 (7 now?). I was interested enough but it probably had more to do with how skewed she was making Napoleonic wars with Dragons than anything else.

I'll have to circle back around to the others authors you mentioned.

Also much agree with Andre Norton. Confused me in middle school as well.

Blogger L. Beau June 16, 2016 3:17 PM  

I agree with VD's post above, regrading our mutual lack of desire to read "vampire romance"-type writing, even if is it is packaged as SF/F.

I also agree regarding the quality of Tanith Lee's work. I would also recommend the work of the late Florence King, the reliably right6of-center essayist, who might also have been that last conservative worthy of the name at The National Review.. I also enjoy the short stories of Dorothy Parker, which had noticeably less roaring-20s lefty content than in her essays.

@2 Rygel, the "Time Quintet" of Madeleine L'Engle, which I enjoyed when I was a kid, "keeps it clean", as Bertie Wooster might say, and therefore might be a good choice for a schoolgirl-aged daughter. BTW, who's the woman writer on your bookshelf, Xaviera Hollander?

Blogger Unknown June 16, 2016 3:20 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous P. Vasco June 16, 2016 3:21 PM  

At least in the lower, more commercial fiction, there are female writers who have come up entertaining fantasy stories with a female lead, especially the ones that didn't have romance.

Anonymous Philipp June 16, 2016 3:24 PM  

@5: Dexter, that was a great comment!

I quite enjoy the books by Barbara Tuchman.

Blogger Brian S June 16, 2016 3:24 PM  

YOU'RE Joan Wilder? THE Joan Wilder?!

Blogger L. Beau June 16, 2016 3:25 PM  

Can anybody, besides @12 Doug, tell me if Sarah Hoyt's stuff is worth bothering with?

Blogger Salt June 16, 2016 3:26 PM  

Hoyt might find she likes it better if read in her native Portuguese.

Anonymous andor June 16, 2016 3:27 PM  

i like Camille Paglia but I guess she's not much of an author, more of a social observer

Blogger Karl June 16, 2016 3:38 PM  

OT: the Jesus papyrus forgery was done by a man who produced cuck porn starring his own wife.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/07/the-unbelievable-tale-of-jesus-wife/485573/

Blogger Gaiseric June 16, 2016 3:38 PM  

Leigh Brackett did some good work too. And CL Moore wasn't bad.

Anonymous BGKB June 16, 2016 3:40 PM  

But at the end of the day, I don't give a damn about whether the author's Mary Sue protagonist goes for Alpha Male 1 or Alpha Male 2

The best stories are when Mary Sue has to chose between bestiality and necrophilia.

Blogger J A Baker June 16, 2016 3:42 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger J A Baker June 16, 2016 3:44 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Timmy3 June 16, 2016 3:53 PM  

I guess you read whatever genre you prefer. Women do dominate teen apocalyptic and vampire fantasy. The bottom line is its a romance first.

Blogger Brian S June 16, 2016 3:55 PM  

I remember reading "Luck in the Shadows" (Nightrunner #1) by Lynn Flewelling and the rest of the series when I was a kid. With 20+ years hindsight, there's a healthy does of cliched irony that this book was recommended to me a female bookstore spinster and featured a gay male protagonist. Honestly, it wasn't a huge part of the story, and I was too young to tell you if it was a good story besides the tropes, but when I just searched for it, I found it at the top of the list on Good Reads by searching for "fantasy book with gay character".

Anonymous JAG June 16, 2016 3:56 PM  

I think the last novel I read written by a female was Clan of the Cave Bear. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great either. Did not read any further in the series. That was in 1998.

I do not intentionally avoid female writers as long as they are from before the time of the SJW. To be fair I won't read any SJW author (which is pretty much the vast majority from the main stream) be they of the "he", "she", or "it" variety.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash June 16, 2016 4:03 PM  

a significant percentage of the text will be devoted to answering one of two questions: a) will she or won't she? and b) Alpha Male 1 or Alpha Male 2?


ahhh dithering, hypergamy, and the love of invented drama.

I love women, but I don't like talking to them.

Blogger Neanderserk June 16, 2016 4:06 PM  

Spoilers!

a) Yes
b) Both, but IANAS (x400 pages)

@28 try talking at them.

Blogger dienw June 16, 2016 4:06 PM  

Tell me; I find it curious as to how a female writer would be able to create a male protagonist: would the writer first create a female character then add reason and logic? But, being female, how would the writer....

Blogger John Wright June 16, 2016 4:07 PM  

"Leigh Brackett did some good work too."

Masterful understatement about the woman who wrote EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, still the best Star Wars movie, hence the best Space Opera film, ever filmed.

Anonymous Siobhan June 16, 2016 4:08 PM  

I like CJ Cherryh a lot. And indeed she has primarily male protagonists.

Blogger Cataline Sergius June 16, 2016 4:13 PM  

Lois McMaster Bujold is a prime example of this.

When she does a male protagonist I thoroughly enjoy her stuff. Even her earlier lesser works (with the the exception of Ethan of Athos).

But when she does a female lead she heads for Mary Sue land and it's not an interesting trip. (Exception there being; Barrayar. You don't run into Progressive Pro-Life SF everyday).

However and this shouldn't be over looked. The post child-bearing hags that rule Worldcon eat this shit up likes it candy.

Look for Gentlemen Jole to be a favorite at the Nebula's next year. As for the Hugos, normally I'd say this self-indulgent fan-fic would be a shoe-in. But in the Rabid Puppies world, weeeeeellll...

Blogger Snidely Whiplash June 16, 2016 4:14 PM  

Neanderserk wrote:@28 try talking at them.

Fortunately, as I age, my hearing is starting to deteriorate.

Anonymous Noah Nehm June 16, 2016 4:14 PM  

a) will she or won't she? and b) Alpha Male 1 or Alpha Male 2?

So, you've read Pride and Prejudice?

Blogger Bob June 16, 2016 4:15 PM  

I'm glad that you like Ellis Peters and Brother Cadfael. I detected more than a bit of Peters influence in Opera Vita Aeterna. I'd guess that Cadfael, like Thomas Merton to an earlier generation, was responsible for a lot of monastic vocations.

Blogger James Dixon June 16, 2016 4:25 PM  

> Read the SE Hinton books when in HS. Never knew it was a female writer until the internet came around.

> It took me a few years in mid school to figure out that Andre Norton wasn't a man's name.

I was most of the way through "Dark of the Moon" by P.C. Hodgell before I realized it was a female author. The fact that the central character is female maybe should have been a telltale sign, but I was a lot younger then.

> My favorite short story writer, Flannery O'Connor, was a women; other than that I can't think of another that I enjoy.

Besides the afore mentioned Norton and Hodgell, there's C.J. Cherryh (none of her latest stuff though), Barbara Hambly, and Ursula K. LeGuin, to name a few good ones.

Blogger Blue88 June 16, 2016 4:26 PM  

Anne McCaffreys' Dragonriders, the first three books especially. Very strong female protagonist, heck, a lot of the leads were females. And always, they had a strong male lead character that would control their emotional side with male logic and pragmatism. Hell, in the third book, The White Dragon, the young Lord Jaxom basically rapes a peasant girl, over and over, and it's all good. He feels guilty, kind of, but will man up and support the bastard child. Everyone knows that it is going on and they expect it. It is his prerogative. I still like these books, because men are men and women are women. The author portrayed men and women as partners, each to his or her strengths and weakness. One controls the other or rather, complement each other. However, the main heroes were men. The author even has a "U go Girrl" that no one likes

Blogger Blue88 June 16, 2016 4:29 PM  

I always liked Ursula K. LeGuin. Male protagonists, with females that complemented and upheld the male lead. As I remember from the stories I read, so long ago

Blogger Marie June 16, 2016 4:29 PM  

I read a lot. SciFi/Fantasy was always my favorite genre, but it is also the one I am most hesitant about picking up a new book.

I don't typically pick up a new female writer without a recommendation. And it has to come from a female friend who I feel comfortable enough with to ask "Is it clean?" I like love stories but keep it classy. If you don't want to be classy there is a whole genre devoted to that.

(You know, if I want to pick up a mystery I don't really have to worry about it. That should be true of SciFi and Fantasy. Grrrr.)

But I agree with Hoyt- most women can't suppress the urge to preach and as a result tend to tell the same story or rehash the same characters and conflicts. It gets boring.

Blogger Aurini June 16, 2016 4:31 PM  

Don't forget Ann Sterzinger.

Blogger Doug Northcote June 16, 2016 4:34 PM  

@33 Excellent points Cataline! I'm listening to Gentleman Jole right now and it does have some real laugh out loud funny parts. And yup, your right for female protagonist it can go Mary Sue real fast (Sharing knife series, wasn't my favorite didn't finish. Barely got through book 1, didn't finish 2).

And yeah totally agree about "Barrayar!"

I cant comment much more on the Hoyt books other than the two or 3 in the "Draw one in the Dark" series. First one was good, 2nd good, 3rd blek. I've not read any others of her books. I've heard good things, etc.

OpenID b1bae96e-6447-11e3-b6bb-000f20980440 June 16, 2016 4:45 PM  

Thinking it over Rowlings and Coulter are the only two women novel authors I can recall reading in the last 10 years that are still alive. That isn't from any sort of active shunning either.

---

Ron is a pureblood. That would be far more important to somebody like Hermione than other women in terms of securing magical ability for her children.

Harry was emotionally abused, if not physically, and then he finds out he is marked for dead, and by the 5th book the brunt of the Government PR machine calling him a nutter.

Will Best

Anonymous Faceless June 16, 2016 4:46 PM  

It's not just fiction.

They must still pay for crap news by the word.

I realized I couldn't read most stories with a female byline because they have never heard of the fundamental questions a news story should answer.

Who? What? When? Where? Why?

Has been replaced by a horrible and annoying deviation into some backstory about a person that I do not care about.

Women writers of all sorts fail to understand that the reader has no reason to care about a character without that being established. It is earned. I don't care about some emo princess who is huffing and puffing who all I really want is to see a dragon rip her apart for being obnoxious, and I don't care about whoever the moony bitch is in the feature picture whose name and station I don't yet know because we aren't given the facts in the first paragraph, we're given the storyteller garbage that I have to drive up a winding road past a porch light that was turned on by the last great toad flopper and by then I hope that it ends with the death of everyone, including the scribbler.

Anonymous Faceless June 16, 2016 4:49 PM  

By way of comparison, once upon a time, American newsmen knew how to convey exactly the required information:

https://www.sethkaller.com/item/1000-The-First-Published-Announcement-of-Independence-(SOLD)

Anonymous AmStrat June 16, 2016 4:55 PM  

It's awesome to know Aurini reads here.

Blogger wrf3 June 16, 2016 5:05 PM  

Shout out to James Tiptree, Jr (aka Alice Sheldon).

And @20 -- a fascinating detective story.

Blogger tublecane June 16, 2016 5:10 PM  

Were woman writers so good at socio-sexual relations you'd think they'd manage better than Mary Sues. Though they understand what motivates female desire, they often don't bother providing the Alpha males with any motivation whatsoever. Love interests are attracted to the protagonists merely because that's who the story is about, near as I can tell.

There are good "Which Alpha Male will it be?" stories. Gone With the Wind is an example, despite one suitor being, sexually at least, vastly superior to the other. That book helps reveal a deeper truth, one which helps explain your problem with female-centric literature. Scarlett O'Hara is no Mary Sue, but she's much less interesting than Rhett Butler. Feminists bitch constantly about male treatment of females in literature, but look in the best of female novelists and you find a similar problem: they're not good at writing females either. Or at least not as good as they are at writing males.

That is, considering major characters. They may be better on average at writing women, I don't know. Odds are the best characters in their books are men. I'm more interested in Rochester than Jane Eyre, or in Mr. Darcy than Elizabeth, for instance.

Women simply don't make as interesting material for fiction, for whatever reason. At least they're narrower in their uses. As you say, women have a natural advantage at specific genres, for instance ones which are centered on very delicate and subtle social cues, like courtship and drawing room fiction. Even these have better male characters, as I say, for whatever reason.

Which is one reason why men still have an edge, even comparing them to the ablest women. Women understand what turns women on infinitely better than men, and they understand the social-sexual dance between men and women better (notwithstanding the endless chain of Mary Sues in their books), especially better than men who don't turn women on, who are overrepresented among writers. But women don't understand the whole gamut of maleness as well as do men, and male characters make for better literature. Therefore, woman novelists will always be at a disadvantage. (They're also at a disadvantage because men are more likely to be better artists and monopolize the top tier of artistry, but that's another argument.)

Not that this matters if the woman writers are good. But how do you know just by reading the name? Odds are better going with the opposite sex.

By the way, I've been talking major characters here. Female minor characters can be as good as major ones, oftentimes better. The Nurse in Romeo and Juliet, for instance, is better than either of the title characters, as is Madame DeFarge in A Tale of Two Cities. There are countless great minor female characters in fiction written by both men and women.

Anonymous EH June 16, 2016 5:13 PM  

Other good female SF writers besides those already mentioned: C.L. Moore, Kage Baker, Emma Bull. There are a few others that are readable, but for the most part you get is Mercedes Lackey-grade trash, painfully dull or pretentious.

Anonymous MT June 16, 2016 5:20 PM  

Who is John Galt??

Blogger Dexter June 16, 2016 5:25 PM  

Recently I read the Harry Potter books to my son.

Why?


All my son's friends started reading them, so he wanted to read them too.

The books really motivated him to read independently, I'll say that much.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash June 16, 2016 5:31 PM  

@48 tublecane
you see women lie. Mostly women lie to themselves. And wht do women lie to themselves about? Themselves.

Women generally (not all women, as I have to point out to my wife wife every single damn time I say anything about women in general, because God knows no man can say anything about women or even an individual woman who is not her, without it including her personally) never admit to themselves what they find attractive in men. They also cannot admit what men find attractive in women.

Their self-image depends on not knowing these things.

Blogger tublecane June 16, 2016 5:31 PM  

Just because everyone else is listing woman authors they enjoy, here are a few of mine, or rather woman authors who have written at least one novel I like, heavy though the list is on Required Reading: Mary Shelley (The Last Man more than Frankenstein), Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot, Willa Cather, Edith Wharton, Ayn Rand, Daphne Du Maurier, Nancy Hale, Anya Seton, Flannery O'Connor, Taylor Caldwell, Barbara Pym, Eudora Welty, Elizabeth Taylor, Muriel Spark, S.E. Hinton, and Ursula K. Le Guin.

None of these are science fiction or fantasy authors, except Le Guin and Shelley, and arguably Rand.

Blogger BunE22 June 16, 2016 5:38 PM  

My bookshelves are filled with novels by men. The only exceptions are classics like Wuthering Heights and Pride and Prejudice, and a female author who writes a light hearted romcom who-done-it series.

Hoyt's post is a good example of why I avoid female authors: too wordy and meandering.



Anonymous BGKB June 16, 2016 5:43 PM  

Since guns are always OT: http://www.dailywire.com/news/6612/west-hollywood-inundated-poster-rainbow-gadsen-hank-berrien

Blogger tublecane June 16, 2016 5:44 PM  

@52-Appearance especially seems to catch a tripwire, or "trigger" them in current parlance. It's nigh impossible to discuss feminine beauty in general with a woman without her taking it personally. I have managed with my sister, who presumably knows that her looks in particular aren't on my mind.

Perhaps this explains why so many female protagonists of romance novels are Plain Janes, and why the motivation for the hunks that fall for them can't be discussed. Because there is motivation, unless it's of the Arnold Schwarzenegger with his maid variety. Which I assume was along the lines of boredom/it's a woman in the house.

Blogger tublecane June 16, 2016 5:46 PM  

@56-That should read "because there is NO motivation"

Blogger tublecane June 16, 2016 5:52 PM  

@31-She wrote an early draft, not the final version everyone's seen, which was also written by two men: Lawrence Kasdan and less so George Lucas. Just sayin.

Anonymous Zippy June 16, 2016 5:55 PM  

I like some of the above, including LeGuin and Shelley and Rand. Interestingly, Rand arguably understood what women find attractive in men, though she in fact did not end up with an alpha by any stretch.

I like Bujold a lot, but I couldn't make it through Gentleman Jole. I didn't so much mind Aral being bisexual -- that was established early on. But I did mind the idea of him forming a long-term romantic affiliation with a subordinate. I think both the betrayal of Cordelia and going after a subordinate itself would violate his sense of honor.

Call me a romantic, but I don't see their love admitting of any third party.

I have a question for Vox, though. If he can tell the social-sexual status of any man by his fiction, what would you say about the social-sexual status of:

Robert A Heinlein
Isaac Asimov
Poul Anderson

(Based solely on fiction.) Just curious.

Blogger tublecane June 16, 2016 5:56 PM  

@35-There's some of that in Pride and Prejudice, but it's much more than that. The dramatic tension between the leads persists after the Rake is out of the running. It's more "will they or won't they."

Anonymous SciVo June 16, 2016 6:04 PM  

BGKB wrote:But at the end of the day, I don't give a damn about whether the author's Mary Sue protagonist goes for Alpha Male 1 or Alpha Male 2

The best stories are when Mary Sue has to chose between bestiality and necrophilia.


I normally prefer erotica to romance, but I would've gladly gone my whole life without knowing the mechanical details of how wolf dicks are different.

Anonymous SMisanthrope June 16, 2016 6:12 PM  

God, I know exactly what you mean. Unfortunately a (male) friend of mine just put out a book with three other writers, two women and a gamma, and it's..."romance in space" is putting it kindly, since it's not even in space.

Blogger tublecane June 16, 2016 6:13 PM  

By the way, you can get some of the advantages of a feminine mindset without the drawbacks by reading homos. Somerset Maugham, for instance, is one of my favorite authors.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan June 16, 2016 6:36 PM  

Maybe the better ones know humility it seems the feminist ones lack all humility to the point their humanity is in question, then we get nothing but scolding

Blogger Blume June 16, 2016 6:36 PM  

Zippy, if any one can answer not just vox. I will give it a shot. Heinlein is a gamma based on Lazarus Longs crazy sex odities. Asimov was a delta since reliability was a major theme of his characters and the lack of any real relationships in the foundation series. Anderson is a Beta. In the Van Rijin story set on the winged cat men planet, the slovenly but charismatic rich trader wins the girl despite the capable engineer being the true savior of the castaways. Anderson clearly identifies more with the engineer but understands how the social\sexual heriarchy works and even has the engineer take a job with Van Rijin despite losing the girl to him.

Blogger Marie June 16, 2016 6:47 PM  

"Feminists bitch constantly about male treatment of females in literature, but look in the best of female novelists and you find a similar problem: they're not good at writing females either. Or at least not as good as they are at writing males."

You said this better than I ever could.

Men still produce a truth when they write women characters. It may be a superficial truth or a not very well-developed character. But you can still recognize the woman and her femininity.

I was going to say feminist writers mess up because they deny a truth. But I realized I hate reading their writings because it points to another truth: most women have a lot of self-loathing towards their own sex.

Which stinks because being a girl is fun.

But yeah, I rather read the male writers. Most of the time they still like women even if they don't have a high opinion of them.

Anonymous LBD June 16, 2016 6:50 PM  

There was a time when I enjoyed reading Regency era romance novels, particularly ones by the excellent Georgette Heyer, who wrote in the 1930's, 40's and 50's. I gave up on the modern Regency romances for two reasons: first, the authors are so Mary Sue that the female protagonists all sound like liberal Democrats from Northern California. Second, the authors are very lazy in researching the period, so there are plenty of jarring anachronisms. For example, in one novel set in 1810, the hero crosses the Thames via Waterloo Bridge. How prescient of the English to name a bridge for an obscure Belgian town where there would be a great battle six years in the future. What finally tore it was when one heroine's horse drawn carriage "threw a rod"!!! Hey, I'm a girl but even I knew that was wrong!

Blogger Sheila4g June 16, 2016 6:51 PM  

I like a lot of the female authors already mentioned (Cooper, Leguin, Bujold) and a few that haven't been (Joan Vinge, Judith Tarr, Patricia McKillip). One of my very favorites, Dorothy Dunnett, wrote top-notch historical fiction (emphasis on historical with only a bit of romance on the side) and was recommended to me (in 1980)by my Chaucer professor, a wonderful old South Carolina gentleman. Naomi Novik was recommended by one of my husband's friends - I'll give him a pass because I think he only read the first book. She has an interesting premise, but as the series goes on her SJW preaching gets stronger and stronger and overwhelms everything else. I deleted them from my kindle.

I'm pretty willing to give things a try, but I have to be drawn in by the story. Even though a lot of the gun tech goes over my head, I've really enjoyed a number of the books recommended as book bombs by Larry Correia. Most of those I've read have been by men (John Ringo, Mike Williamson) and I particularly love Chuck Dixon and Peter Nealan. Amazing character development and tension, and I'll presume the situations don't merely seem realistic because they're good writers - Nealan, for example, was also a force recon Marine.

@17 L Beau: I've enjoyed Hoyt's books, generally. I wouldn't call them fantastic, and her politics (magic Americanism and love conquers all genetic differences) are in there, but they don't generally overwhelm the stories.

Anonymous John Steed June 16, 2016 7:00 PM  

After I read Custer`s book I tried to read his widow`s four books about their life together. Except for parts of `Boots and Saddles`, ALL was Unreadable. BTW, June 25 is the 140th of the Battle of the Little Bighorn (Formerly Custer Day).

Anonymous Steve June 16, 2016 7:01 PM  

Like many folks I love Ayn Rand's books, warts and all. Despite the cardboard cutout characters and long-winded speechifying she was a brilliant storyteller with a unique and unforgettable voice to her writing.

But there's not many girl writers who can capture my attention like Rand.

Take Connie Willis, because

* she's a skiffy writer
* she's won about 73,000 Hugos
* she exemplifies everything I hate about girl authors

So I read her (award-winning, natch) DOOMSDAY BOOK and, in the name of Doc Brown, I regretted it.

It's a "time travel" novel by someone who clearly isn't interested in time travel or technology in general.

It's set in medieval times but we don't get to see any awesome medieval stuff like Crusades, trebuchets or witch burning.

It's page after dreary page of inconsequential guff and pettifogging minutae. People in modern-day Oxford get the flu. Medieval people get the plague. Lots of folks die unpleasantly.

But if you can't wait to read interminable descriptions of olden tymes housework and feminine bickering, Ms Willis has you covered.

I slogged through to the last fives pages or so, realised I didn't give a shit about any of the characters or how the boring story ends, and put it down forever.

Anonymous Mr. Rational June 16, 2016 7:05 PM  

wrf3 wrote:Shout out to James Tiptree, Jr (aka Alice Sheldon).
The stuff that was published in Analog when I was a reader left me highly unimpressed.  I asked myself "why is this considered on par with the rest of this issue, let alone the genre?"  Answer:  because vagina.  Just like Delany because pervert (also Joanna Russ).

Tiptree never held a candle to LeGuin, let alone Bujold (and I wish I'd been warned away from Ethan of Athos).  I think I'll skip Gentleman Jole.

Blogger VD June 16, 2016 7:23 PM  

So I read her (award-winning, natch) DOOMSDAY BOOK and, in the name of Doc Brown, I regretted it.

It's horrible. I seldom quit a book, and I quit that one after about 40 pages. Just pure tedium.

Anonymous #1037 June 16, 2016 7:25 PM  

I read one Sarah Hoyt book on the strength of Larry Corriea and the libertarian fanboi brigade fawning over her. It was supposed to be Scifi but was pure Syfy. It was gay romance in a slightly futuristic setting, with a dollop of teenage libertarian wish fulfillment mixed in. So I didn't read any more of her books.

Blogger J Van Stry June 16, 2016 7:33 PM  

Feminists REALLY hate the male/female relationships in some of my books, and don't hesitate to tell me so. It's pretty funny hearing them say that I know nothing about women, never slept with any, I'm a teenager with no experience, etc.

Because I have a character who starts out as something of a womanizer. Because he's rich, powerful, and isn't afraid to use it to get laid (you know, like Rock Stars, Movie Stars, Sports Stars, etc).

Blogger Dexter June 16, 2016 7:36 PM  

Martha Wells

I liked Death of the Necromancer and the Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy. Books of the Raksura are kinda meh so far.

OpenID protestmanager June 16, 2016 7:41 PM  

Wen Spencer would be a counter-example. Female characters often go for relationships, but it's always subordinate to saving the world

Blogger wrf3 June 16, 2016 7:44 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger wrf3 June 16, 2016 7:45 PM  

Mr. Rational wrote:
The stuff that was published in Analog when I was a reader left me highly unimpressed.  I asked myself "why is this considered on par with the rest of this issue, let alone the genre?"  Answer:  because vagina. 

When was this? Tiptree's true identity didn't come out until the late 70's (76, IIRC. YMMV).

Tiptree never held a candle to LeGuin, let alone Bujold (and I wish I'd been warned away from Ethan of Athos).
Gosh, authors are different, with different stories to tell, different strengths, and different weaknesses. "The Left Hand of Darkness" isn't "The Borders of Infinity" isn't "Brightness Falls From the Air."

I think I'll skip Gentleman Jole.
"Gentleman Jole" is about relationships and not about Imperial politics or Cetagandan skulduggery. If that's not your thing, then that's not your thing.

Anonymous MendoScot June 16, 2016 7:58 PM  

The only woman-written fiction that held my attention (apart from the Fabulous Four when I was 4) was Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond chronicles. Not surprisingly, based on the bloody history of 15thC Scotland.
I suspect that RapeRape borrowed more than a little from them for GoT (one was even titled Game of Kings). Even so, it took me several tries to get into them, and she made her principle character bisexual. It wasn't until I read her modern detective series that I realized that she had no capacity to write credible male characters outside of historical models.

Anonymous Dave Gerrold's 6184th Cabana Boy June 16, 2016 8:08 PM  

I would second Barbara Hambly's Asher and Winterlands along with Patricia McKillip's Riddle of Stars.

I would add Louise Cooper's Time Master trilogy.

Anonymous Mr. Rational June 16, 2016 8:15 PM  

wrf3 wrote:When was this? Tiptree's true identity didn't come out until the late 70's (76, IIRC. YMMV).
Editors knew, or suspected.  Affirmative action was operational in SFF even then

Anonymous Noah Nehm June 16, 2016 8:33 PM  

@60: You're right, P&P adds many more layers than the classic 1&2. Still, the dominant theme of P&P is hypergamy: Lizzie and Jane are marrying up.

One of my favorite things about it, by the way, is the relationship between father and daughter. A real kindrance of souls, both in humor and outlook. There is none of the fashionable misandrosy that you find in contemporary popular literature.


Blogger SmokeyJoe June 16, 2016 8:39 PM  

Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome series. The First Man in Rome, was the first book by a female author I ever bought. And I'll say I probably spent a couple hours in the bookstore looking 'round for somthing else but am a sucker for roman history. I ended up buying the all of 'em. Imo she was very able to seperate the 'man stuff,the gurl stuff all twined up with the historical' and keep you interested. Have to say though the last book, Antony and Cleopatra, was not as solid.

Anonymous rubberducky June 16, 2016 8:39 PM  

In the last age, when I was in college, I had an English professor who was a specialist in Victorian literature and he made these points regarding female authors.

1) The publishing industry then was much like the publishing industry today, only bigger. They had no radio, television, movies, etc. And certainly no Internet (we did not have that when he spoke, either). Accordingly, readership was HUGE. Readers were a far higher percentage of the population than they were now. People read, and they read everything. It was a great time to be a publisher.

2) Women owned the readership. There were tons more male readers than there are today, adjusting for population, but even more female reader.

3) Women dominated authorship. Having a dominant place among the readership, women were naturally targeted by publishers eager to sell to them with books written by women for the very purpose.

4) There were hugely successful female authors who are unknown today, and deservedly so. There were your Danielle Steeles, your JK Rowlings, etc. And there were a lot of them. 10 of them for every Bronte.

5) Very few of these female writers from the Victorian Era are remembered today. Very many of them outsold authors from the era such as Thomas Hardy, Henry James, etc. whose name you would recognize.

6) The men are better remembered not because of any conspiracy against women, because there was none. The market actually *favored* the women writers then as now. The boys simply wrote better books. That was the judgment of history and literary criticism.

He didn't offer his thoughts on why -- universities weren't the lunatic, Stalinist nutfarms they are today, but you could tell that's where the crazy train was headed.

Blogger Sheila4g June 16, 2016 8:44 PM  

@79 MendoScot: I think you're only about the third person I've ever known, besides myself, who's actually read Dunnett. The titles of the entire series are based on chess - not merely the "Game of Kings" volume. I adored the Lymond Chronicles (which is actually set in the 16th century, not the 15th), but I don't know you could call Lymond bisexual. He uses his sexuality, like he uses any aspect of his character, to achieve his strategic and political goals, but when it's a matter of the heart, he's most definitely heterosexual. Since I've never read any of Dunnett's mysteries, I can't comment on her treatment of male characters otherwise.

Have you also read the subsequent series, which is a very indirect prequel - Niccolo Rising? Another fascinating character and romp throughout Europe and the Levant, although a century earlier.

Vox (or anyone else here), have you ever read any of the Marcus Didus Falco Roman murder mysteries by Lindsey Davis? I'd be interested in hearing a man's view of how she handles her main character. Her first in the series, Silver Pigs, is the first fiction book I've ever gotten my husband to read in more than 25 years.

Anonymous Godfrey June 16, 2016 8:55 PM  

I recently finished the works of Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters. These authoresses excelled in writing about intense yet repressed emotions and the dynamic of interpersonal relationships. Their dialogue is superb. I especially enjoyed "Villete" and "Persuasion". I definitely recommend reading the repartee between Anne Elliot and Captain James Benwick in "Persuasion". Writing seldom if ever gets much better than this.

Anonymous Godfrey June 16, 2016 8:58 PM  

Another great authoress is Zoe Oldenbourg. I highly recommend her novel "The Crusades". One of the most thoroughly enjoyable books I've ever read.

Blogger L. Beau June 16, 2016 9:02 PM  

Thank you, @80 D.G.'s 6184th Cabana Boy! Your online handle couldn't have amused me more if your alias had been "Fonkin Hoddypeak."

Also thanks to @68 Sheila4g, and other commenters, for weighing on Hoyt's work.

Anonymous Dave June 16, 2016 9:03 PM  

From about 1957 to 1962 my aunt wrote two novels and several short stories. One publisher encouraged her to shorten a novel, but this broke too many plot threads. Nothing she wrote was ever published.

I found the manuscripts in her house, under fifty years of spinster clutter, after her death in 2012. I read some of the short stories and threw them away, and haven't attempted the novels yet. It all read like something an over-educated upper-middle-class white girl with no real-world experience would write.

Anonymous rubberducky June 16, 2016 9:06 PM  

Godfrey I agree that the Brontes and Jane Austen are tremendous writers. Another female writer of the era who is considered a major is George Elliot, who was a woman (Mary Ann Evans) writing under a male pseudonym. She did this not because she couldn't get published as a man, but because she wanted "to be taken seriously". The knock was that the women authors were writing "women's books".

So, George Eliot emerged as a man. Who wrote "women's books", as it happened! I was forced to read _Middlemarch_ in college and hated every page. Austen and the Brontes were better, and more honest about it.

Blogger Lazarus June 16, 2016 9:38 PM  

I don’t judge her too harshly on these beliefs. It’s really hard to examine the things that adults told us when we were very young. - Sarah Hoyt.

Bullshit. That is exactly what should be done, FFS. And right to her face. Like a man. She can't learn otherwise. Humiliation is the beginning of liberation.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan June 16, 2016 9:39 PM  

Steed, that was the greatest day ever

Blogger Roy Lofquist June 16, 2016 9:42 PM  

Hey, I've got an idea! Naw, it would never works. Crashed the careers of E.B. White, S.E. Hinton, J.K. Rowling, W.B. Yeats, P.G. Wodehouse and any number of others

Blogger Aeoli Pera June 16, 2016 9:43 PM  

Aside from Ayn Rand and Agatha Christie, I don't think I've ever read a book by a female author. This wasn't a conscious decision, so I don't know how it happened.

Blogger Aeoli Pera June 16, 2016 9:45 PM  

Oh hang on, I did read the Harry Potter and Hunger Games books. They were okay if you like revisiting middle school.

Anonymous Rigel Kent June 16, 2016 9:45 PM  

Generally I've found female authors that had to pretend to be male when they started are better than those writing nowadays.

Anonymous Napoleon 12pdr June 16, 2016 9:47 PM  

I can think of ONE female medieval field commander of merit...and St. Joan of Arc was decidedly NOT buried by "The Patriarchy".

Not to mention the long laundry list of women as queens, regents, etc. Eleanor of Aquitaine comes to mind.

Blogger Skylark Thibedeau June 16, 2016 9:47 PM  

I liked Eliot's Silas Marner.

I loved Andre Norton. I was quite fond of her Egypt under the Hyksos books.

I was at ConCarolinas a few weeks ago. Every single female author there was pushing their Mary Sue series. Each seemed to be their take on Buffy/Katniss/Red Sonja.

Blogger Aeoli Pera June 16, 2016 9:49 PM  

Atlas Shrugged was a masterpiece, but I regard the others I've read as deeply flawed practice attempts. Too bad she was an atheist, she could have made something of herself.

Blogger Aeoli Pera June 16, 2016 9:50 PM  

SHAKESPEARE WAS A WOMAN

We wuz queens.

Anonymous Susan June 16, 2016 9:51 PM  

Leigh Brackett also had a very successful screenwriting career in Hollywood back in the day. She wrote the movies that Howard Hawks directed for The Duke, and she also did stuff for Bogie and a number of other big names. She was a very versatile author. Even though I haven't read her SF, it doesn't surprise me that she did it well, because her westerns were and are still very watchable.

Blogger Skylark Thibedeau June 16, 2016 9:54 PM  

I also liked Sharon Penland's 'When Christ and his Saints Slept' but the protagonist was a fictional illegitimate son of William II helping Empress Matilda claim the throne of England for herself and her son Henry II.

Anonymous Susan June 16, 2016 9:54 PM  

Just a bit of trivia, never trust a romance novel to be written by a woman. If there is no photo of the author, chances are real good that book was written by a man using a fake gender/ID. It may have changed now, but back in the day, you could never be sure. So laugh all you want to, but you could be mocking something that was written by a guy under false pretense.

Blogger Aeoli Pera June 16, 2016 9:56 PM  

Zippy wrote:I have a question for Vox, though. If he can tell the social-sexual status of any man by his fiction, what would you say about the social-sexual status of:

Robert A Heinlein

Isaac Asimov

Poul Anderson


I'd pick Heinlein for a Beta. Asimov comes off as either Gamma or Omega from the first Foundation book, but that's the only thing of his I've read. Haven't read Anderson.

Blogger Cail Corishev June 16, 2016 9:58 PM  

Vox (or anyone else here), have you ever read any of the Marcus Didus Falco Roman murder mysteries by Lindsey Davis?

Nearly all of them, and I like them a lot. For those who don't know, Falco is sort of a private detective (informer) in Rome during the Flavian Dynasty. They're reasonably true to the broad history -- she does research -- but are fairly lighthearted. Think Magnum p.i. in ancient Rome, basically.

I think she does a great job with Falco and the other men in the stories. Helen is really too good to be true, but I get the impression Davis prefers writing the men. The romance in the first one is important, but doesn't get in the way, and it's background in the rest of the series.

Blogger Anonymous-9 June 16, 2016 9:59 PM  

I'm a woman crime writer. Hardboiled noir is the genre. My protagonist is a paraplegic vigilante who targets hit-and-run drivers in Los Angeles with the aid of a helper monkey named Sid. The series has a bunch of awards and 196 organic Amazon reviews with a 4.2 out of 5-star average. May I send you a copy, Vox?
https://www.amazon.com/Hard-Bite-9-ebook/dp/B00GWGYE1W/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Blogger Aeoli Pera June 16, 2016 10:07 PM  

Corrections and apologies: We the Living was pretty good, Asimov came off as plain Omega from that one book, we wuz Illuminati.

Blogger Sheila4g June 16, 2016 10:33 PM  

@105 Cail Corishev: Glad to hear her male characters come off as realistic to you. I've also enjoyed her books, some more than others. I've been disappointed, however, with the ones she's done featuring Falco and Helen's adopted British daughter - her character is neither appealing nor rings true. I also read an autobiographical Falco companion that Davis did, and knowing of her political views has not increased my appreciation of her as an author.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash June 16, 2016 10:35 PM  

My protagonist is a paraplegic vigilante who targets hit-and-run drivers in Los Angeles with the aid of a helper monkey named Sid. The series has a bunch of awards and 196 organic Amazon reviews with a 4.2 out of 5-star average. May I send you a copy, Vox?

If it hadn't been for the Amazon link, I'd have thought that was a joke.

Blogger rumpole5 June 16, 2016 10:40 PM  

Maybe I am too dense, but I don't believe that that the female PI (Kinsey Milhone) protagonist in Sue Grafton's novels fits your description. I recall a couple where she had a love interest (one tried to kill her and she blew him away) but most are pretty straightforward detective novels with intriguing plots. I believe that the same is true of the park ranger character (Anna Tangle?)in Nevada Barr's novels. Barr is a little heavy on the environmental and feminist issues, but the plots are intriguing mysteries also. Grafton, Barr, and Evanonvitch (because of her character Lula) are the only contemporary fem authors I read, but they have given me many a pleasant hours respite from a demanding work life.

Anonymous A Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents June 16, 2016 10:52 PM  

Just a bit of trivia, never trust a romance novel to be written by a woman.

Heinlein wrote first-person-female True Confessions pulp in the 30's. Apparently it wasn't difficult, just tedious.

IMO he was a Sigma.

Anonymous MendoScot June 16, 2016 10:52 PM  

Sheila4g wrote:@79 ...but I don't know you could call Lymond bisexual. He uses his sexuality, like he uses any aspect of his character, to achieve his strategic and political goals, but when it's a matter of the heart, he's most definitely heterosexual.

That's what I said.

Have you also read the subsequent series, which is a very indirect prequel - Niccolo Rising? Another fascinating character and romp throughout Europe and the Levant, although a century earlier.

Read the first, but she was re-writing Machiavelli as Lymond. I didn't wait around for the gay romping.

Blogger Cail Corishev June 16, 2016 10:55 PM  

Sheila, I haven't read any of her non-Falco books (didn't know they existed, actually), but I'm not surprised. Helen is really just there to give Falco a worthy love interest; she's not even fleshed out enough to be a Mary Sue. The only other significant female character I can think of is Falco's mom, who's written pretty well, but she's the exception.

Blogger Sagramore June 16, 2016 10:55 PM  

The only time I've read specific women authors recommended by women (Pride and Prejudice for example) was because I was trying to get inside thier heads (who the hell is this sperg Mr. Darcy anyway and what is his one weird trick for the ladies?)

Anonymous Godfrey June 16, 2016 10:56 PM  

"Poor Fanny! she would not have forgotten him so soon!"

"No," replied Anne, in a low, feeling voice. "That I can easily believe."

"It was not in her nature. She doted on him."

"It would not be the nature of any woman who truly loved."

Captain Harville smiled, as much as to say, "Do you claim that for your sex?" and she answered the question, smiling also, "Yes. We certainly do not forget you as soon as you forget us. It is, perhaps, our fate rather than our merit. We cannot help ourselves. We live at home, quiet, confined, and our feelings prey upon us. You are forced on exertion. You have always a profession, pursuits, business of some sort or other, to take you back into the world immediately, and continual occupation and change soon weaken impressions."

"Granting your assertion that the world does all this so soon for men (which, however, I do not think I shall grant), it does not apply to Benwick. He has not been forced upon any exertion. The peace turned him on shore at the very moment, and he has been living with us, in our little family circle, ever since."

"True," said Anne, "very true; I did not recollect; but what shall we say now, Captain Harville? If the change be not from outward circumstances, it must be from within; it must be nature, man's nature, which has done the business for Captain Benwick."

"No, no, it is not man's nature. I will not allow it to be more man's nature than woman's to be inconstant and forget those they do love, or have loved. I believe the reverse. I believe in a true analogy between our bodily frames and our mental; and that as our bodies are the strongest, so are our feelings; capable of bearing most rough usage, and riding out the heaviest weather."

"Your feelings may be the strongest," replied Anne, "but the same spirit of analogy will authorise me to assert that ours are the most tender. Man is more robust than woman, but he is not longer lived; which exactly explains my view of the nature of their attachments. Nay, it would be too hard upon you, if it were otherwise. You have difficulties, and privations, and dangers enough to struggle with. You are always labouring and toiling, exposed to every risk and hardship. Your home, country, friends, all quitted. Neither time, nor health, nor life, to be called your own. It would be hard, indeed" (with a faltering voice), "if woman's feelings were to be added to all this."

Blogger Sagramore June 16, 2016 10:57 PM  

Thinking it over Rowlings and Coulter are the only two women novel authors I can recall reading in the last 10 years that are still alive. That isn't from any sort of active shunning either.

Hell, I know a guy who writes Harry Potter parodies and I've only considered reading the books to get the jokes.

Blogger Jay Awram June 16, 2016 10:59 PM  

First thing when looking for new science fiction for me is to look at author names. Females and initialed authors (invariably female) are passed over.
Just not enjoyable for the most part, and if there is enough good, decent press I may follow up.
CJ Cheryyh Alliance/Union is good but she has a unique style and is a lesbian. Anne McCaffrey used to be good, Joan Vinge was enjoyable, Elizabeth Moon, Bujold Vorkosigan Saga is still reliably good. Having read thousands of books those are the cream of the crop.
Mind of a female is different, why would the mind of a female author not be different too? Different thought processes.

Anonymous Godfrey June 16, 2016 10:59 PM  

"We shall never agree upon this question,"...(lowering his voice,) "as I was saying we shall never agree, I suppose, upon this point. No man and woman, would, probably. But let me observe that all histories are against you--all stories, prose and verse. If I had such a memory as Benwick, I could bring you fifty quotations in a moment on my side the argument, and I do not think I ever opened a book in my life which had not something to say upon woman's inconstancy. Songs and proverbs, all talk of woman's fickleness. But perhaps you will say, these were all written by men."

"Perhaps I shall. Yes, yes, if you please, no reference to examples in books. Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story. Education has been theirs in so much higher a degree; the pen has been in their hands. I will not allow books to prove anything."

"But how shall we prove anything?"

"We never shall. We never can expect to prove any thing upon such a point. It is a difference of opinion which does not admit of proof. We each begin, probably, with a little bias towards our own sex; and upon that bias build every circumstance in favour of it which has occurred within our own circle; many of which circumstances (perhaps those very cases which strike us the most) may be precisely such as cannot be brought forward without betraying a confidence, or in some respect saying what should not be said."

"Ah!" cried Captain Harville, in a tone of strong feeling, "if I could but make you comprehend what a man suffers when he takes a last look at his wife and children, and watches the boat that he has sent them off in, as long as it is in sight, and then turns away and says, `God knows whether we ever meet again!' And then, if I could convey to you the glow of his soul when he does see them again; when, coming back after a twelvemonth's absence, perhaps, and obliged to put into another port, he calculates how soon it be possible to get them there, pretending to deceive himself, and saying, `They cannot be here till such a day,' but all the while hoping for them twelve hours sooner, and seeing them arrive at last, as if Heaven had given them wings, by many hours sooner still! If I could explain to you all this, and all that a man can bear and do, and glories to do, for the sake of these treasures of his existence! I speak, you know, only of such men as have hearts!" pressing his own with emotion.

"Oh!" cried Anne eagerly, "I hope I do justice to all that is felt by you, and by those who resemble you. God forbid that I should undervalue the warm and faithful feelings of any of my fellow-creatures! I should deserve utter contempt if I dared to suppose that true attachment and constancy were known only by woman. No, I believe you capable of everything great and good in your married lives. I believe you equal to every important exertion, and to every domestic forbearance, so long as--if I may be allowed the expression--so long as you have an object. I mean while the woman you love lives, and lives for you. All the privilege I claim for my own sex (it is not a very enviable one; you need not covet it), is that of loving longest, when existence or when hope is gone."

She could not immediately have uttered another sentence; her heart was too full, her breath too much oppressed.

"You are a good soul," cried Captain Harville, putting his hand on her arm, quite affectionately. "There is no quarrelling with you. And when I think of Benwick, my tongue is tied."

Anonymous Mr. Rational June 16, 2016 11:03 PM  

rubberducky wrote:6) The men are better remembered not because of any conspiracy against women, because there was none. The market actually *favored* the women writers then as now. The boys simply wrote better books.
So you're saying the average book was the equivalent of a Harlequin romance, entertainment that was popular but essentially disposable... and that most female authors' works fell into that category?

Shades of today's click-bait websites.  Plus ça changé....

A Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents wrote:Heinlein wrote first-person-female True Confessions pulp in the 30's. Apparently it wasn't difficult, just tedious.
Holy crap, All You Zombies was half-autobiography!

Blogger Sagramore June 16, 2016 11:09 PM  

@95 Hunger Games

Back when I thought problem glasses were cute, an old college friend who went the SJW route in her 30s (likely office and social-related) started pushing them on me as the next big thing in kids fiction (she has two kids with a goon). Never saw the appeal. Movies were meh.

Anonymous MendoScot June 16, 2016 11:13 PM  

Rowling's earlier books for great fun, although if you've read Tom Brown's School Days you'll understand why the Flashman series were a better followup than hers.

And this defines my problem with women writers. Once Harry reached puberty, she could no longer write a believable male. Hermione was her Mary Sue, but the male characters were all teenage girls.

And Dumbledore was a kiddyfucker. Which she was proud about.

Blogger Roy Lofquist June 16, 2016 11:23 PM  

Robert A Heinlein:

Sui Generis. There aren't enough boxes in your local UPS store to put him in.

Isaac Asimov:

Read his two autobiographies. Then thumb through the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) and see how many you can spot.

Poul Anderson:

In my estimation, the best of all of them. Absolute master of the time travel story. He elides the paradoxes as no other. His character developments are both rich and concise. Read his books and you get a history lesson, and you enjoyed it. I'm going to stop here and go to my bookshelf.

Anonymous Odd Wobble June 16, 2016 11:40 PM  

How about C.V. Wedgwood? "The Thirty Years War" is good. Even better are her books on the English Civil War: "The King's Peace", "The King's War", "A Coffin for King Charles".

Highly recommended!

Blogger Roy Lofquist June 17, 2016 12:23 AM  

She's in that number of other. I even left out JRR Tolkien, who was a very close friend of CS Lewis.

"it hadn't been for the friendship between Tolkien and Lewis, the world would likely never have seen The Narnia Chronicles, The Lord of the Rings, and much else"

http://www.christianitytoday.com/history/2008/august/j-r-r-tolkien-and-c-s-lewis-legendary-friendship.html

Anonymous artaud June 17, 2016 12:35 AM  

"Tell all the truth
But tell it slant..."
-- Emily Dickinson

"The Irish say
your trouble is their trouble
and your joy their joy?
I wish
I could believe it.
I am troubled, I am
dissatisfied,
I'm Irish."
-- Marianne Moore, "Spenser's Ireland"

I think your critical model has a lot of merit, but I also think youse guys don't read nearly enough poetry. Poetry is good for the soul, it does something necessary and useful besides strict SFF (recall how much poetry and song there is in Tolkien), and it's good for understanding, and there are a lot of good women poets who don't quite fit your critical model (Dickinson, Anne Sexton, Yosano Akiko) -- we'll leave out tedious nuisances like Jorie Graham, Maya Angelou, and Adrienne Rich. Most people don't realize just how sharply funny Sylvia Plath's "The Bell Jar" really is.

Blogger tublecane June 17, 2016 12:42 AM  

@84-Sounds like TV today. Most of it is made for women, though not necessarily by women. Homos have enormous influence. Even violent, historical war dramas like Game of Thrones are alot about relationships and gossip and feelings and fashion.

But the higher end stuff is almost invariably written by men, with male protagonists and male-centric drama. Certainly the male-driven shows will be the ones we remember.

Anonymous Taniwha June 17, 2016 12:43 AM  

First time I ever bookmarked a blog post. A thousand thanks to all!

I can stand a Mary Sue or two or three. Hoyt and her circle are knowingly waging memetic war on the K12-Borg. Not for our posterity specifically, but not all of our next generation of recruits are being homeschooled. Their storytelling as storytelling would be better without the didactic freight, as how could it not be. Stet.

I'm about 60 years out of the optimal target audience, I was reading C.S. Forester at the critical time.

Blogger tublecane June 17, 2016 12:47 AM  

@123-I read her 30 years' war book. Though I read plenty of female novelists I almost never read woman authors in other fields. Not in history, and surely not in military history. I have made costly mistakes, like "The Rape of Nanking." But hers was a page turner. I don't know if it was great history, because I don't know much about the period. But I liked it.

Blogger residentMoron June 17, 2016 1:08 AM  

@Lazarus

You wrote: "Humiliation is the beginning of liberation."

But that is precisely the point; she could no more humiliate the younger woman than she would volunteer to humiliate herself. Because in her mind, she *would* then be humiliating herself. Because all women are her, to her. Any affront, to any woman, anywhere, by anyone, is an affront to her personally.

Hence, feminism.

Blogger tublecane June 17, 2016 1:20 AM  

@125-You're right about poetry, which doesn't appear to be a staple of educated readers anymore. Jeopardy! contestants consistently do as poorly at it as any other category, in my experience.

But woman poets? Please. They're much better at novels, short stories, and plays, even. I read plenty of poetry, yet own only two book by a woman poet: Dickinson and Millay.

For comparison's sake, here are some male poets I read, excluding non-English writers for convenience's sake: (English) Chaucer, Henry Howard, Shakespeare, Spenser, Sidney, Campion, Marlowe, Johnson, Donne, Vaughan, Marvell, Crashaw, Milton, Pope, Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, Keats, Tennyson, Arnold, Hardy, Hopkins, Kipling, Housman, Betjeman, Larkin, and Geoffrey Hill;

(Irish) Yeats, Heaney; (Scottish) Burns, Scott;

(American) Freneau, Longfellow, Whittier, Jones Very, Bryant, Emerson, James Russell Lowell, Melville, Holmes, Bierce, Howells, Masters, Frost, Pound, Elliot, Tate, Warren, Roethke, Jarrell, Robert Lowell, Hecht, Sissman.

Curious you mention The Bell Jar, which isn't poetry. I find that book as execrable as Catcher in the Rye and the works of Sartre.

Blogger Paul Lutgen June 17, 2016 1:28 AM  

If you want to read an author with an axe to grind and is obviously a huge fan of Ayn Rand read Terry Goodkind that is the ones prior to The Omen Machine.

Anonymous Rhetoric Man June 17, 2016 1:28 AM  

Identifying a male author's socio-sexual status is arguably a crapshoot, since the hierarchy is squarely based on one's personal ideal regarding how guys ought to act. It's subjective elitist nonsense.

Blogger pyrrhus June 17, 2016 1:30 AM  

I'm a huge fan of To The Lighthouse, by Virginia Wolff, and the Wizard of Earthsea series by LeGuin, but these days if I see it's by a female author, I won't even consider a novel...

Anonymous SciVo June 17, 2016 1:49 AM  

Rhetoric Man wrote:Identifying a male author's socio-sexual status is arguably a crapshoot, since the hierarchy is squarely based on one's personal ideal regarding how guys ought to act. It's subjective elitist nonsense.

No, there are two objective checks: the N count of how many partners, and (I would argue) also how many kids. If you would like to assert that those are independent of any psychosocial characteristics, then that is a hypothesis that I will not help you defend.

Blogger weka June 17, 2016 1:54 AM  

@132. No. Men set the market and scale for women, and it is about being a potential mother and wife. The traits that link with that (zero notch count, healthy body weight, down to shiny hair) we see as beautiful. Which is why movie stars don't look like fashion models.

Women look for provider status and dominance. This can be faked a bit, but they choose. So if you are deemed creepy... you are gamma.

Now, women can improve their status by getting fit, losing weight, and being ladylike. Men can by getting fit, having a job, and refusing to whine.

You are whining. Get a teaspoon of concrete and harden up.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash June 17, 2016 2:19 AM  

Sagramore wrote:(who the hell is this sperg Mr. Darcy anyway and what is his one weird trick for the ladies?)
"Do you not know he has £10,000 a year?"

That's equivalent to $1.1M per year at current value of silver. Of course the wimmens want him.

Blogger tublecane June 17, 2016 2:25 AM  

@135-"Which is why movie stars don't look like fashion models"

I'm not sure what your point is here. You'd think both professions would select for beauty. Traditionally, the latter is supposed to represent the height of beauty. Unfortunately, the fashion industry is run by homos and the women they pick look like boys. Movie stars are trending towards ugliness, too, though less starkly so.

I watch TCM occasionally and am blown away by how much more beautiful the women were. Even in the friend, sister, and mother roles. Our culture is sick.

Blogger tublecane June 17, 2016 2:29 AM  

@114!"who the hell is this sperg Mr. Darcy anyway and what is his one weird trick for the ladies?"

He's a fine gentleman. It's just that he's prideful, or prejudiced. I forget which.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash June 17, 2016 2:51 AM  

tublecane wrote:He's a fine gentleman. It's just that he's prideful, or prejudiced. I forget which.

He's rich, and handsome, and used to women throwing themselves at him. Elizabeth attracts his attention by disdaining him. WTF? Because that's how a man would attract Jane Austin's attention.
He's also attracted to her intelligence, and "her pert opinions and fine eyes."

Anonymous Discard June 17, 2016 3:12 AM  

Laura Buchanan, author of the soft core novel "Barbarian Princess", was actually Florence King, the right-wing lesbian at National Review.

"They gazed at each other for a small eternity of silence. Lydda's heart pounded so violently that her breasts quivered. All the sensations he had ever evoked in her seemed to rush in on her at once, filling her with desperate need. The nearness of his naked body, the smell of his sweat, the memory of his mouth that day in the Colisseum; all poured through her body like a sweet flame.

With a sharp cry, she held out her arms.

"Take me," she whispered. "Oh please, please, take me!"

I prefer her essays.

Anonymous Discard June 17, 2016 3:16 AM  

If I wanted to read romance, Jane Austen is still in print.

And the current movie, "Love and Friendship", taken from an Austen short story and starring Kate Beckinsale, is a fun evening.

Blogger The Overgrown Hobbit June 17, 2016 3:22 AM  

Tech woes spared you my essay on the wealth of female writers in the YA field (ala Susan Cooper) who were capable of telling stories with female protagonists that did not fall into the gooey-emo romance trap. (The "who becomes her husband and the father of her children" far from being a failing, is of interest to all civilized humanity. If the mere concept bores you: you, not the novelist - of either sex - are the problem)

But what they all have in common is that - pace Mrs. Holt - they write protagonists who are fully realised and interesting people who have interesting adventures in a good story. And nearly all of them wrote prior to the intervention of race and intersectional gender theory on Science Fiction storytelling.

To paraphrase Slick Willy, "It's the culture, stupid"

Feminism really is cancer .

And their bigotry really does make them stupid.

Blogger Roy Lofquist June 17, 2016 3:42 AM  

Firstly off, aesthetics lie outside the domain of objectivity. To visualize, they are like a Venn diagram where the circles stand alone. Never the twain shall meet.

Secondly, poetry is an aural artform. When read on a page it loses a dimension.

Perhaps an example is in order.

This is a poem by Rudyard Kipling, "Helen All Alone". It's quite impressive on the page.

http://www.poetryloverspage.com/poets/kipling/helen_all_alone.html

Here it is in aural form, set to music.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDQEoK0-J9c

Any clearer?

Anonymous Susan June 17, 2016 3:59 AM  

@141

Last Jane Austin I enjoyed recently was the movie Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Surprisingly well done, and the zombies did not derail the basic story line. Although it was amusing to watch those sisters in that era as well trained warrior women defending themselves and others from the zombie hordes.

Blogger The Overgrown Hobbit June 17, 2016 4:04 AM  

@17 Sarah Hoyt is a skilful wordsmith with a libertarian, pro-USA worldview and a distinctive authorial voice who writes across several genres.

If you enjoy her essays (whether or no you agree with any particular point therein) odds are you will find her style appealing. Whether you like any of the genres in which she writes depends on how much you enjoy said genre. She seems to be more craftsman than artiste.

So if you enjoy urban fantasy you can get DeLindt without the prog nonsense (such a pleasure.), Libertarian space opera (small "r") romance? Try the Good Men series. Supernatural Romance sans skeevy sexxors and prog virtue signalling? Witchfinder et al. I have purchased, but not yet read her historical (small r) romance, but suspect I'll enjoy it because I quite like Dumas.

I don't read historical fiction unless I know and like the period to read in non-fiction.

To put it another way, if Mrs Hoyt wrote a western, I wouldn't touch it, because it would be a Western, first and foremost. Peter Grant's book might be more a "Peter Grant" story, so I might give it a shot.

HTH.

Blogger The Overgrown Hobbit June 17, 2016 4:10 AM  

@17 Sarah Hoyt is a skilful wordsmith with a libertarian, pro-USA worldview and a distinctive authorial voice who writes across several genres.

If you enjoy her essays (whether or no you agree with any particular point therein) odds are you will find her style appealing. Whether you like any of the genres in which she writes depends on how much you enjoy said genre. She seems to be more craftsman than artiste.

So if you enjoy urban fantasy you can get DeLindt without the prog nonsense (such a pleasure.), Libertarian space opera (small "r") romance? Try the Good Men series. Supernatural Romance sans skeevy sexxors and prog virtue signalling? Witchfinder et al. I have purchased, but not yet read her historical (small r) romance, but suspect I'll enjoy it because I quite like Dumas.

I don't read historical fiction unless I know and like the period to read in non-fiction.

To put it another way, if Mrs Hoyt wrote a western, I wouldn't touch it, because it would be a Western, first and foremost. Peter Grant's book might be more a "Peter Grant" story, so I might give it a shot.

HTH.

Anonymous Bz June 17, 2016 4:51 AM  


I like Bujold a lot, but I couldn't make it through Gentleman Jole. I didn't so much mind Aral being bisexual -- that was established early on. But I did mind the idea of him forming a long-term romantic affiliation with a subordinate. I think both the betrayal of Cordelia and going after a subordinate itself would violate his sense of honor.


In Barrayar, Bujold and Cordelia made a triumphant point about "was bisexual, now monogamous". (Read how Cordelia DESTROYS rightwing bigots in four words -> click here.) Now plainly shown to be a lie on both the authorial and character level.

Anyway, I dropped the book somewhere around that point, the first chapter or two, because Bujold had by then turned Cordelia into some S&M creep and the presented idea was skin-crawling ("I'll brew up some babies with dead hubby's genetic material and give them to his gay lover"). Not to mention that, once again, that too was inconsistent with previous books making a big deal out of how utterly awful it was that some nobleman was brewing up a lot of daughters.

Blogger L. Beau June 17, 2016 4:58 AM  

@140 Discard, I see that you've read Miss King's Reflections in a Jaundiced Eye, in which she related the tale of her foray into the world of the "bodice ripper."

I think that by contemporary standards, Florence King would be considered a bisexual, rather than a lesbian.
As she herself wrote, regarding how much she was influenced by her late-19th-century-Virginia-born grandmother's notions of womanly propriety, "No matter which sex I went to bed with, I never smoked in the street."

Anonymous SciVo June 17, 2016 5:40 AM  

tublecane wrote:@135-"Which is why movie stars don't look like fashion models"

I'm not sure what your point is here.


Because men don't set the market and scale for fashion models...

Unfortunately, the fashion industry is run by homos and the women they pick look like boys.

...which you were apparently already aware of.

I watch TCM occasionally and am blown away by how much more beautiful the women were. Even in the friend, sister, and mother roles.

So therefore we may infer that the movie industry is increasingly dominated by homos too. Not complicated.

Whenever some pozzed chick starts going off on body insecurity being caused by the Patriarchy's unrealistic beauty standards, I have two words: "Amateur porn."

That's what normal men actually like, no intermediation by (((producers))), just here's a woman that turns men on. And guess what, normal men like normal women.

So I tell the pozzed chick to shut up until she watches some amateur porn, then come back and apologize to me. She can either love science or feminism, pick one.

Anonymous 0007 June 17, 2016 6:15 AM  

Regarding the original premise, I always liked both the fantasy and the science fiction that Elizabeth Moon writes.

Blogger tublecane June 17, 2016 6:29 AM  

@149-I was only confused, I suppose, because I don't see the industry as catering to male taste, either. But, of course, relative to high fashion a gaggle of middle-aged feminists is feminine.

I suppose I hold for no reason onto the notion that models are supposed to be pretty, despite the mad tyrants currently in charge of the industry. I must divest myself of that.

As for amateur porn, bear in mind that it doesn't represent what the viewer wants, necessarily. It's catch as catch can. What's available depends upon who's willing to put themselves out there, and the most beautiful women aren't usually willing to give it away for free. Although, women are getting cheaper, sluttier, stupider, and more careless.

Blogger tublecane June 17, 2016 6:32 AM  

When I say, "I don't see the industry catering to male taste, either," I meant the movie industry.

Anonymous SciVo June 17, 2016 8:24 AM  

tublecane wrote:As for amateur porn, bear in mind that it doesn't represent what the viewer wants, necessarily. It's catch as catch can. What's available depends upon who's willing to put themselves out there, and the most beautiful women aren't usually willing to give it away for free.

Yes, that's my point. You can see perfectly average young women, flaws and all, who are yet good enough for the perfectly average guys that would be looking.

The beauty ideals pushed in mass media are from women and gay men. Most straight men really don't care that much; most young women are pretty when they're naked.

So it pisses me off when some dumb feminist goes off on a crazy-eyed spittle-flecked rant about the male gaze, when that's actually the most forgiving perspective...

...unless her hypergamy is activating the apex fallacy. Which would be her own damn fault, and not my problem.

Blogger Sheila4g June 17, 2016 10:58 AM  

@112 Mendo Scott: Truly don't mean to be a contrarian, but I feel I must challenge your characterization of Dunnett's books - there's nary a gay romp in any of them. Lymond (and to a lesser degree, Niccolo) is presented as physically attractive as well as intellectually gifted, and while he's desired by both men and women, and is willing to use himself ruthlessly, he is NOT bisexual. Dunnett specifically depicts the relatively rare encounters as products of dissolution and degradation (specifically in the French court) and there is not a single such character who is positive or appealing. Her entire characterization of Lymond includes physical dissolution or corruption (whether by his choice or not) and his own bitter hatred of such, while he still retains a purity of soul because of his basic goodness, religious faith, and the justness of his goals (the first book includes a wonderful treatise on nationalism). He specifically and vehemently refuses to debauch an innocent, but uses others' belief in his having no such scruples to manipulate them.

Anyone who enjoys sweeping historical fiction, which includes far more real historical figures (each book includes a list of such at the beginning) than fictional ones, and a fairly accurate political, military, and commercial history of Europe and the Levant, would enjoy Dunnett's books. The first series begins immediately after Henry VIII's death, and ends with the accession of Elizabeth the 1st. It includes settings in England, Scotland, France, Turkey, Russia, Malta. The following prequel series begins in 1460 and includes Burgundy and Bruges, Italy, Germany, Cyprus, and Constantinople.

Oh, and Mendo - if you enjoyed Flashman, the author wrote an autobiographical account of his WWII time in Burma, which I quite enjoyed (it's currently on loan to a friend's British husband, so I can't remember its title).

@145 & 146 : Yes, Hoyt is a good writer of good stories, but as you note, the pro-US worldview (even in future and nonearth worlds) is there, along with interspecies sex and love conquering all. As I wrote earlier, I enjoyed her books - but doubt too many men would - they're extended love stories, at heart - nothing wrong with that, but not really for male readers.

Blogger Dexter June 17, 2016 1:16 PM  

" if you enjoyed Flashman, the author wrote an autobiographical account of his WWII time in Burma, which I quite enjoyed (it's currently on loan to a friend's British husband, so I can't remember its title)."

Quartered Safe Out Here

Anonymous Discard June 17, 2016 4:35 PM  

148. L. Beau: Yes, I did read "Reflections in a Jaundiced Eye", but I also have a copy of "Barbarian Princess". It says right there, copyright by Florence King, 1978.

I thought it would be a treat to read, but no. Miss King knew her audience and wrote accordingly. Gag me with a spoon.

Blogger tublecane June 17, 2016 4:36 PM  

@153-My point was men prefer better looking women, if only they could get them. Notice how you say "most young women are pretty when they're naked." Male preference for young (post-pubescent) females is a giant pey peeve of feminism, and the natural fact that they're better looking one of their nonexistent "myths."

Your "good enough" argument is well taken. But bear in mind that it takes a certain amount of discrimination to pass even the low bar of good enough amateur pornography. Certainly there's too much discrimination for feminists taste. How dare you prefer young women!

Blogger Natalie June 17, 2016 5:15 PM  

If no one has mentioned Dorothy Sayers I highly recommend her books. There's a lot of meat to be teased out of her portrayals of male/female relationships, aristocracy, "superfluous women," higher education, etc. She's not some red pill bastion, but she's no SJW either.

Poirot is amazingly red pill. Some of the advice he gives young men would scandalize a modern white knight. There's also subtle but consistent themes of Christian faith. His references to "le Bon Dieu" are always apropo and encouraging. Not to mention his delight in thoroughly feminine women.

Wives and Daughters by Gaskill is another excellent book. There are layers of romance, but it's not a romance in the way Pride and Prejudice is by any means. It explores lots of other relationships in equal or greater depth.

Blogger Aeoli Pera June 17, 2016 6:39 PM  

Roy Lofquist wrote:Firstly off, aesthetics lie outside the domain of objectivity. To visualize, they are like a Venn diagram where the circles stand alone. Never the twain shall meet.

Heinous lies.

Blogger Aeoli Pera June 17, 2016 6:44 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Aeoli Pera June 17, 2016 6:45 PM  

Immeasurable, maybe.

Blogger EscapeVelocity June 19, 2016 1:41 PM  

It just occurred to me that the most capable people to counter the Left, are conservative (or otherwise Not-Left) fiction writers.

Cultural Marxism is heavily informed by literary criticism. The Narratives they spin and promote to control minds.

Anonymous Song For the Deaf June 21, 2016 8:17 PM  

Jane Austen wrote some great books. They're all the same book, more or less, but it's a great book.

Emily Bronte wrote Wuthering Heights, which is not only a classic but probably the only gothic novel in any era that's worth a damn.

Then there's the aforementioned Flannery O'Connor.

That's about all I can think of. It bears pointing out that Austen and O'Connor were social conservatives, which it goes without saying made them better authors (dat realistic psychology) and if the characterization in WH is anything to go by, Bronte was as well.

That's about all I can think of. Of course, you have your Virginia Woolfs and Gertrude Steins, but you have to be an overly-intellectual lesbian to enjoy them.

Anonymous Pellaeon June 24, 2016 6:44 PM  

Ha, what's funny is even Ayn Rand suffers from the same issue. There was a decent percent of "Atlas Shrugged" devoted to the main protagonist agonizing over her respective alphas while all of them declared that they would forever be faithful to her and never take up with another woman, even after she left them.

While I enjoyed the book, I always found these portions of it particularly nauseating and unrealistic.

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