There is another teapot tempest storming about now and, though I really have less than no interest in participating (my free time this week is taken up by Boskone and "Tawny Petticoats," a new Darger & Surplus story that's beginning to shape up on the page), I feel that I ought to say something about it, since, like it or not, I'm involved.
What happened was that some doofus took a dislike to Joe Abercrombie's fantasy novel The Heroes and wrote a long essay on his website attacking several books, one of which was my own The Iron Dragon's Daughter, as "a mockery and defilement of the mythopoeic splendor that true artists like Tolkien and [Robert E.] Howard willed into being with their life’s blood."
Okay, he didn't like my book. "Of taste and scent no argument," as Avram Davidson used to say. That's why there are so many different flavors of ice cream in the supermarket. Some of the rhetoric was, to my mind, intemperate. But that's simply the nature of a diatribe.
However, among the many reactions the blog post inspired was one from an honest-to-God published writer who called my novel "an elaborate and obsessive long-drawn-out paean of hatred and contempt of a cramped and unlit soul . . ." and then proceeded to get scatological.
For the record, then: No hatred, no contempt. I wrote The Iron Dragon's Daughter out of love. I love fantasy. I loved Jane Alderberry, the heroine of the book. Like all serious writers, I love truth. And I'd love it if people who don't understand what I'm doing would express themselves a little less hatefully.
And, um, well, that's all I had to say.
Above: Tiffany window. Big one. Philadelphia Museum of Art. I love that stuff.