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Old 04-29-2013, 11:54 AM   #16
HarryT
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Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
Sometimes I wish authors were assigned serial numbers.

"Topping the Best Seller list this week is Number 14 on Random House's 2015 Catalog by newcomer 45-327-12."
Precisely. Whether an author has plumbing of the convex or concave variety has never been of the slightest interest to me when buying books.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:54 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by GlenBarrington View Post
It always seems to be women writers trying to hide their gender. At least that's how it FEELS to me, and I feel a bit insulted by it. (OK, CS Lewis is an exception)
I'd use initials if it makes my name more pronounceable. Let's say, my name is "Samuel Levron". As a non-English person, my tongue stumbles to pronounce that. I'd much prefer "S. Levron" as an author name.

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Originally Posted by BeccaPrice View Post
The problem is, with a few exceptions, men don't read books by women writers.
Really? How stupid. When looking for a book, I look at the genre and the description, and if I like both, I read it. If it's written by a woman, so be it. Actually... now that I think about it, about 60% of my music is instrumental, new age and ambient, that sort of thing. Of the 40% that has lyrics in it, about 80% was sung by women. The songs I have that are sung by men, are mostly on "The best <years>" and "The best of <genre>" collections. I only have a few male singers of which I have CD's, while I have loads and loads of CD's by women singers.

===

Now that I'm writing my own fantasy story (at least, trying to), it has two major male characters one of which is the protagonist, two major female characters, and one major character that is female in this story, but she has the capability to be male, if she'd want to or needed to.

The strange thing is that scenes and plots literally form themselves around the three female characters without any troube, and that I actually have to watch out that the two males (and so, the protagonist) don't degrade into some sort of sidekicks.

I'm actually toying with the idea of turning one of the three females into a male, and turn the protagonist into a female, to be able to think up plots easier, centered around the protagonist. If I'd do that, the story would probably turn into "fantasy for girls" at some point.

===

So I do read works written by women, listen to women singers mostly, and feel that I write easier about, and for, women than I do for men. And I'm a guy, go figure. Maybe I'll just assume the pseudonym of "Mary Cassidy" or something, if I ever decide to publish this. Maybe I'm just weird.

Last edited by Katsunami; 04-29-2013 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:00 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
I can think of just as many men as women who use initials. A quick glance at my bookshelves reveals C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, P.G. Wodehouse, C.S. Forester and E.F. Benson. All of whom were men, if I'm not sadly mistaken.
All, from an older generation of writers, none of whom are concerned with marketing their work currently. How many modern men writers use initials? Not many I bet. The use of initials has become a sort of code to indicate that the author is a woman not writing romance novels.
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:30 PM   #19
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I did a minor self-poll a bit ago, and found, just looking at the reading I did last year, most of the books I've read (both fiction and non-fiction) were written by women - and that I enjoyed the books by women better than I did the ones by men (both fiction and non-fiction, interestingly enough). Part of it seems to be that the male authors I read wrote primarily plot-driven books, and I prefer character-driven novels. A notable exception was Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore, written by a male (Robin Sloan, I think), but definitely character-driven.
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Old 04-29-2013, 01:26 PM   #20
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I don't know about men not reading books written by women, could have been true in the very distant past, but I do not think it holds too true today. Most of my favorite authors that I read are females and that is in all genres that I read. One genre where that is not true is non-fiction historical books. I do not have one book in that genre that was written by a woman. At least I don't think it was.
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Old 04-29-2013, 01:33 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
Sometimes I wish authors were assigned serial numbers.

"Topping the Best Seller list this week is Number 14 on Random House's 2015 Catalog by newcomer 45-327-12."
Then we'd be discussing the merits of low first digit serial numbers versus high. Or the fact that women get certain sorts of numbers while men do not.
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Old 04-29-2013, 02:09 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeccaPrice View Post
I did a minor self-poll a bit ago, and found, just looking at the reading I did last year, most of the books I've read (both fiction and non-fiction) were written by women - and that I enjoyed the books by women better than I did the ones by men (both fiction and non-fiction, interestingly enough). Part of it seems to be that the male authors I read wrote primarily plot-driven books, and I prefer character-driven novels. A notable exception was Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore, written by a male (Robin Sloan, I think), but definitely character-driven.
That's okay. Women can prefer women authors. It's the opposite that is labeled idiotic, stupid, and evil.

I assume a name with initials is a woman. I assume a gender neutral name is more likely to be a woman than not.

There are a few women authors I read, mostly older books, but as a rule I prefer male authors.
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Old 04-29-2013, 02:37 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by QuantumIguana View Post
It used to be true that men would avoid books written by women.
Did it?
Didn't seem to hurt Agatha Christie, Dorothy L Sayers, Patricia Wentworth, Ngaio Marsh...
Golden age crime fiction was completely dominated by women (writing as women), and I don't believe that men didn't read them.
And no boys read Enid Blyton growing up?
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Old 04-29-2013, 03:00 PM   #24
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I think the idea of women using initials or male sounding names was prevalent back in the early 20th century. Leigh Brackett sounds male for example, but she was Edmund Hamilton's wife. Also back when George Elliot wrote most writer's were male I think. Even Mary Shelley used a pen name when she initially went to get Frankenstein published.
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Old 04-29-2013, 03:09 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murraypaul View Post
Did it?
Didn't seem to hurt Agatha Christie, Dorothy L Sayers, Patricia Wentworth, Ngaio Marsh...
Golden age crime fiction was completely dominated by women (writing as women), and I don't believe that men didn't read them.
And no boys read Enid Blyton growing up?

It really depended on the genre, and it may have been more a matter of what publishers thought about the market. If the publisher insisted that the author disguise their gender, there wasn't much choice but to do so.
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Old 04-29-2013, 03:38 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by murraypaul View Post
Did it?
Didn't seem to hurt Agatha Christie, Dorothy L Sayers, Patricia Wentworth, Ngaio Marsh...
Golden age crime fiction was completely dominated by women (writing as women), and I don't believe that men didn't read them.
And no boys read Enid Blyton growing up?
Uhh, this boy didn't, but not because of her gender (at least not on my part). I've never heard of her or her books and had to look her up. They never made it to the Midwestern US.
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Old 04-29-2013, 03:46 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by GlenBarrington View Post
Uhh, this boy didn't, but not because of her gender (at least not on my part). I've never heard of her or her books and had to look her up. They never made it to the Midwestern US.
Ahh, two countries separated by a common language again.
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:29 PM   #28
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I don't think men preferring men authors is idiotic, stupid, or evil, unless the reason they do so is because they feel that women either shouldn't be authors or that a woman author is automatically lesser simply by virtue of being a woman. Any given male may prefer "men's fiction" - that is, lots of action, maybe some sex, but not heavy on emotion. (I started to make a comment about psychological complexity of characters, but since I don't tend to read "men's fiction", I really can't make a judgement there.)(I tried a Lee Child book once, and while the plot moved at breakneck speed, I could have done without the 8 pages of gun porn where the specifics of the gun, the flight of the bullet, and the effect of the bullet on the victim's head were described in almost loving detail).

It has been my experience that men tend to write more plot-driven books and women more character-driven books, but that could be selection bias on my part.

It is true that male reviewers tend to review more books by male authors than they do female authors by a pretty wide margin - that smacks of discrimination.
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:38 PM   #29
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Who is Enid Blyton?

I do tend to read male authors, but I look more about the story plot than anything else when picking a book and right now to buck the trend I'm reading books by two female authors, Catherynne M. Valente and Diane Duane.
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Old 04-29-2013, 05:02 PM   #30
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It is true that male reviewers tend to review more books by male authors than they do female authors by a pretty wide margin - that smacks of discrimination.
But why? If a reader decides to start posting reviews of the books they read, why does their personal preference (which was cool while they were just a reader) suddenly turn discriminatory just because they decided to start sharing their thoughts on their preferred reading material? I'm obviously speaking of unpaid amateur blog-type reviewers here, rather than professionals paid by magazines, newspapers and such, but there's a big bluster about gender-balanced reviewing raging through the SFF blogosphere right now and I frankly don't get it. Like if you don't hit some magic 50/50 mark, you're a privileged, misogynistic d-bag. It's weird.
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