Bing bang a bong

Requesting reviews is hard blooming work. Real solid GRAFT. I have a list of over 200 review sites and I’ve hardly scratched the surface:

Things I’ve discovered:

There are a lot of review sites
Some of them won’t touch gay fiction (eww cooties)
Some are impossible to work out e.g. where to request a review
Some don’t accept review requests
Some only review for pay or for advertising
Some won’t accept PDF

It’s tough! I guess this is the first time I’ve worked quite this hard sending to review sites. When Standish was released I was a complete newbie and didn’t have the tools of the trade as it were, simply didn’t know the existence of most of these places.

Anyway, that’s dull. I want to talk about this new book I’m reading! It’s called The Steel Remains by Richard Morgan and I’ve just read this review of it and brother! – you’d think it was another book entirely. This reviewer loves it as well (and shamingly knows of Morgan when I’ve not heard of him…)

What I’m loving (and granted I’m only into chapter 7) is that so far it’s very fantasy (fuck-off big swords, mud, leather waistcoats, barbarians, yurts and the like) but the main protag is gay and it affects his life in the hundreds of ways that you’d expect it to, particularly as it’s punishable by death (unsurprisingly) in his neck of the woods, and his big beefy barbarian buddies are generally not of the gay persuasion. I had to blink when words like faggot and queer were bandied around, but then I thought “why on earth not?” if we are calling all these other things by the same words, sword, yurt, demon, and the book IS in English – then there’s no need to invent new words and insults for gay terms.

The other reviewer’s review is far more intellectual than anything I’d ever come up with, but I think just sliding in the words “sexual repression” into a review doesn’t exactly sum up the main character as “loving to suck men’s cocks” as he crudely says (to his very disapproving father) himself.

I think the author’s summing up on that review is just about perfect: “Look – it’s like this: if you really, really love Tolkein with a firmly burning uncritical passion, then there’s a good chance The Steel Remains is going to upset you. If you really, really love all those stories about simple, good-hearted farm-boys becoming princes or wizards, then there’s a good chance The Steel Remains is going to upset you as well. And if you like your heroes masculine, muscular and morally upright, well, then you could be in serious trouble here.”

That alone would have made me pick this book up. Although I can’t agree with him when he says that his hero isn’t masculine. Aside for a concern that he’s developing a paunch he’s very masculine. Just because he’s gay doesn’t mean he doesn’t have to be, either! More when I’ve finished it!!

Eurovision tonight. We don’t have a chance in hell of winning it, our song is rubbish as usual but I shall still be watching. *goes to search for a Eurovision LJ Comm* there must be one….

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