One of the two headline stories of our recent Galactic Suburbia Episode 42 was the piece on Publisher’s Weekly about two authors who were upset about an agent asking them to ‘straighten’ a gay protagonist.
Nicola Griffith shared a video of her describing a similar issue to a group of students, when her own agent questioned why the protagonist of her second novel needed to be a lesbian.
Malinda Lo followed up with a very constructive post looking at the hard stats of YA fiction published in the US over the last several decades. In particular I found it interesting that she proves once and for all that the anecdotal experience of there being less lesbians than gay male characters in YA is absolutely true – in fact, it’s a 2-1 balance. So YA authors, time to add the girl on girl kissing!
Finally, it seems that while the Publishers Weekly was carefully not naming and shaming the agent in question, the buzz behind the scenes was not so kind. She speaks out at Colleen Lindsay’s blog the Swivet, with her own description of the phone call in question.
[UPDATE] The authors of the original post have replied at Rachel’s LJ, standing by their original post and urging people to focus on the bigger and more important picture of making YA more gay-friendly, rather than getting distracted in finger pointing or choosing sides.
In other news, Catherynne Valente provides one of the best responses I’ve seen to the idea of an Amazon ‘subscription service’ for e-books. I don’t think I know any writer who is more eloquent when angry.
An announcement that the marvellous Diana Rigg is getting her own ‘at the BBC’ DVD celebration of her TV career.
Kate Elliott tackles the writing advice question of how to tackle the openings of novels.
a wonderful post by Karen Healey celebrating the women in the David & Leigh Eddings, and how you can appreciate elements of some work while also acknowledging its many, many flaws.
A discussion on why it’s deeply inappropriate to use the sexual image of breasts to promote breast cancer awareness – I really appreciate having concrete reasons now to argue against this, as it’s something I’d always felt was vaguely wrong without being able to put my finger on why (apart from it always being inappropriate to use the sexual image of breasts to advertise anything).
On Mad Men and the new crop of copycat “retro sexist” TV shows – what’s the difference between a well crafted guilty pleasure, and wallowing in the bad habits of the past?
A post on Tor.com about the relationship between the Doctor and children in New Who.
I love me some My Little Pony rebuilds and these modern Doctor Who monsters are very impressive!
Sketches of Harry Potter kids as hipsters – funny, apart for the repeated joke. My favourite is Draco Malfoy’s classic “I hated Potter before it was cool.”
Speaking of Potter, I loved the recent entry in Kathleen Jennings ‘the Dalek Game’ series of sketches, including a discussion of how she came to reading Harry Potter and what it means to her.
Great post for readers wanting to look back at some of the fantasy fiction of the past: a list of the top 10 bad-ass female fantasy characters.