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Registered: 06-2004
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What gender do you read?


I'm curious. Do you predominantly read books/novels by authors of the same gender as you, or a mix of both?

I was thinking about this earlier today, and I guess I mostly read books by male authors. (being a guy myself)

In part this is due to the fact that I mostly read fantasy, and science fiction, spy novels and that sort of thing, which are in all honesty, genres which are heavily weighted in the male authorship direction. That being said, I do enjoy Christie Golden, Kim Wilkins, Laurel Hamilton, and I've got a begrudging likinghood for Sara Douglass.

If I can make a horrible generalisation, I tend to steer clear of chick lit, romanctic sub-genres of anything, crime fiction, and bad modern vampire fiction. In fact I steer clear of a lot of literary fiction in general. Which does preclude a lot of serious women in writing. *shrug*

In some ways, I tend to be very incurious regarding books, I tend to stick with what I know, authors I've heard of, or enjoy.

A by-productial train of thought occurred to me, which is about the genders of music we listen to. I enjoy an eclectic mix of male and female singers from different genres, however it is still definitely skewed towards male.

Anyway, just curious.

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Re: What gender do you read?


I read mostly male authors, but just because there are more male authors in the genres I read most of. I mean, I don't deliberately seek males out or shun females, it's just that when I go looking, I find males.

quote:


In some ways, I tend to be very incurious regarding books, I tend to stick with what I know, authors I've heard of, or enjoy.


This is true of me too. I want to try new authors, but with so much still to read from authors that I know I like, when will I ever get the time? emoticon



quote:

A by-productial train of thought occurred to me, which is about the genders of music we listen to. I enjoy an eclectic mix of male and female singers from different genres, however it is still definitely skewed towards male.



This is an odd one. 10 years ago, I hardly listened to any female singers and wouldn't have put any of them in a personal "top 10" list. That's completely changed now, to the point where I think I now listen to more women than men and would put several of them my top 10.

I'm not sure that it's at all related to my taste in writers, though. I don;t see any relationship between the two (but I don't think you were trying to imply one).



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Re: What gender do you read?


I read mostly from male authors it seems. It is not something that I have really thought about. I read a book because I believe it will be a good one. Nothing to do with gender, race, or religion.

I have a few female authors on my bookshelf, but not many.

Mary Shelly
C.S. Freidman
J.K Rowling
Harper Lee (at least I think I own to kill a Mockingbird, unless it was my parents copy)

[sign in to see URL]'s all I can think of.

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Re: What gender do you read?


I probably read about half-and-half, though if I'm off some, it's probably biased towards men, for the same reason as the rest of you. Consider fantasy/scifi authors like Anne McCaffery, Jane Lindskold, Anne Bishop, Lois McMaster Bujold, and CJ Cherryh. There are probably others on my bookshelves at home, but those come to mind immediately.

It's true that a disproportionate amount of fantasy -- and especially scifi -- is written by men. I think that's a shame, frankly, since oftentimes their depictions of women characters turn me off from their entire books/series (see: Tolkien, Heinlein, et al). Think about it. In "classic" scifi and fantasy, there are very few realistic, likeable women. You either get wimpy princess types, ridiculous barbarians, sexy sleezebags, or -- more recently -- mages who are clever but can't lift a stick, much less a sword or heavy box, and probably don't really accomplish much by themselves. There are exceptions to this, of course, but not a large proportion of them compared to the total number of books written.

My boyfriend recently sat me down and made me watch "Princess Bride", which I hadn't seen since high school. I agree that it's got amusing bits in it, but as I pointed out to him at the end, the main female character is a total ditz who not only can't get herself out of her predicament, but also NEVER TRIES. She's only a slight exaggeration of how even many "strong" scifi/fantasy women are written. Just because the woman is willing to speak her mind, that doesn't make her equivalent to the males of the party -- for that you have to let her take the same risks and actually TRY things. The thing is, my boyfriend (who's a very nice guy and not gender-biased in real life) had never really noticed how horrible the Princess Bride was as a character, until I pointed it out. Of course, then he saw it right away. But my point is, I think this is how a lot of guys look at scifi/fantasy women characters, too -- it's not that they can't intellectually see the ridiculous, pitiful nature of those characters, but they never really think to look. Women are far more likely to, since there's a natural resonance there -- and that's one reason they're turned off my the genres. And, of course, if girls don't read their 50% of scifi/fantasy stories, women won't write an equal proportion of them either.

I'd say, in general, women scifi/fantasy writers focus more on the characters of their stories, while more men focus on "the one cool idea that makes the story" (as a friend of mine once put it). And while I like "cool ideas", I also like characters. I think the lack of likeable characters (both male and female ones) in older, "classic" scifi/fantasy is one of the reasons a lot of young girls get turned off from the genres. The first fantasy series I read and enjoyed as a young teen was McCaffery's Pern series -- probably half because dragons are awesome, and half because it was the first time I'd read a fantasy book where I WANTED the characters to succeed. Big battle scenes and sexy bedroom details might turn teenaged boys on to fantasy/scifi, but it has the opposite effect on teenaged girls. Good dialogue, a little more drama and a subtle hint of romance (which isn't necessarily sex) works a lot better on girls.

As for music, again, my CDs are probably 50-50. Though I've noticed, annoyingly, that a vast majority of the current non-hip-hop radio music is sung by men -- and mostly whiny ones with no actual musical talent. Needless to say, I'm mostly listening to CDs at the moment! emoticon

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Re: What gender do you read?


quote:

David Meadows wrote:

I'm not sure that it's at all related to my taste in writers, though. I don;t see any relationship between the two (but I don't think you were trying to imply one).





The relationship I was trying to draw was - essentially - what are the 'voices' that we like to read, or listen to. Not in the vocal sense of the word, but what points of view 'speak to us'.

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Re: What gender do you read?


Female authors I like:

Anne McCaffrey, Ursula K. Le Guin, Andre Norton, Elizabeth Moon, CJ Cherryh, Mercedes Lackey, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Diann Thornley and Julie Czerneda so that's nine that come to mind immediately...

Male authors I like:

David Weber, David Drake, Robert Heinlein, Arthur Clarke, John Ringo, Larry Niven, Robert Silverberg, E. E. “Doc” Smith, Ray Bradbury, and Ben Bova which is ten...

So I guess I am almost exactly split 50-50 on the gender reads...

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Re: What gender do you read?


I have no clue, I don't even remember most of the authors I've read, never mind their gender... Never seemed very important to me either... actually more like didn't seem important at all. emoticon
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Re: What gender do you read?


Men almost exclusively. I've got one or two female authors on my shelves but I know I haven't read some of them (and oddly enough those books are a long way down the reading list). I guess women just don't tend to write my kind of books...

Having said that, I'm currently in the middle of two books, both of which were penned by ladies, so I guess there are no universal laws emoticon

Last edited by Flasheart2006, 6/20/2011, 11:06 am
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Re: What gender do you read?


Those with pictures in it.

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Re: What gender do you read?


quote:

JessieLong wrote:

Those with pictures in it.



Pictures of men, or women? emoticon

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Re: What gender do you read?


quote:

Reythia wrote:

quote:

JessieLong wrote:

Those with pictures in it.



Pictures of men, or women? emoticon



Depends, really. As a general rule, superhero teams have more men than women (but for a while Claremont's X-Men went completely the opposite direction)

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Re: What gender do you read?


Never thought about it. I just read what I like and don't pay attention to the gender of the author. Might be a pen name, anyway. emoticon

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Re: What gender do you read?


Maybe they use the internet to track down the real genders these days? Where possible of course, I'm sure some writers are very secretive.
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I always susprect J K Rowling might be a man, then I heard that "her" first name was Joe and I knew for sure emoticon



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Re: What gender do you read?


I've hardly read anything but scifi and fantasy, so it's mostly male authors, but with lots of Agatha Christie when younger and Margaret Weis' Dragonlance series (and yes, I did read Potters too), I'd say maybe 30% of all book I've read have been by females.

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Re: What gender do you read?


It's interesting to know that many women who write in the "hard" categories like SF, or horror, or hardboiled crime fiction actually choose male pen names. Some choose first names that could be used for both genderns.

And men who write romance choose female pen names in turn.

Just saying that the actual name on the cover doesn't necessarily mean anything.

In addition, there is a huge, and I mean huge, nasty, sexist and entirly unfair backlash against women authors in any geeky genre (SF, gaming and comics come to mind). It's obvious on cons, it's obvious in many blogs, and I've read a lot about that struggle.

So if I were trying to make a living writing SF as indie author, I'd probably write under "Frank Moebius". Cool name for an SF author, right? And very close to my real life one.

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Re: What gender do you read?


"Moebius" would be a bit corny, being so used. I'd twist that a little, like "Moebion" or something like that...

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But ... but ... Moebius is my real last name. emoticon

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Ah, can't blame for using your name.

As... well, "Kaunisto"...

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Re: What gender do you read?


quote:

Firlefanz wrote:

So if I were trying to make a living writing SF as indie author, I'd probably write under "Frank Moebius". Cool name for an SF author, right? And very close to my real life one.


Why not use your real initials? Or is that a dead giveaway that it's a female author?






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I only have one first name so that would be F. Moebius. And both names are really hard to pronounce for an english-speaking person.

One reason why I went with a pen name. emoticon

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Re: What gender do you read?


I believe J K Rowling doesn't have a middle name. She used the initial of one of her grandmothers, I think. emoticon






Last edited by Joxcenia, 6/23/2014, 11:38 pm


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Re: What gender do you read?


Well, I'm working to establish the brand "Hannah Steenbock". I'm fortunate that there is no other writer of that name around, so there isn't really any need for a middle initial.

 emoticon

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Re: What gender do you read?


I meant if you went with the male author name you mentioned you might use with a different genre.






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Re: What gender do you read?


Oh. Well, it might be very cool to write SF as "Frank H. Moebius".

H. being the initial of my mom's first name. emoticon

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Re: What gender do you read?


I like that. emoticon






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Setting up an author page for him might be tricky, though.

  emoticon

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You could hire a male model. emoticon







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Or someone with a space helmet over his head. emoticon

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Re: What gender do you read?


Pull your hair back in a pony tail, or grease it down, and add a fake beard. emoticon






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