Sex is remarkably unpopular per the following four fantasy book reviewers’ stipulations about books they don’t want to critique.
‘Absolutely no erotica’
‘I do NOT review erotica’
‘no erotica/sex scenes’
‘I will not except (sic) erotica’
The last of these quotes is my favorite.
Poor word choice aside, lust in fantasy novels appears to be distained by 18 of 52 fantasy book reviewers in a recent listing of reviewers who accept independently-published books. That’s 1/3. Let me hasten to add that reviewers are entitled to critique whatever they like, and this is a modest sample perhaps more prudish than the broader reviewer community.
Further, it’s not clear whether these reviewers reflect fantasy readers’ tastes.
However, there’s a lot to unpack here. For starters, it’s not clear how much sex disqualifies a fantasy novel from review. As in everything else in life, definitions are key. To me, ‘erotica’ implies the novel’s focus is sensuality, so possibly these apparently blanket bans aren’t as air-tight as they seem and the reviewers will tolerate modest allusions to love and lust in fantasy novels. Or do the reviewers want no mention of sex whatsoever? Or is chaste kissing OK, but nothing more (and kissing can only start after the romantic partners have completed an epic quest together to prove their worthiness)? And how about vulgarity? Certainly, the reviewers’ stipulations suggest that novels with explicit sex scenes won’t be reviewed.
Evidently, everything is in the eye of the beholder. One reviewer notes that ‘clean romance’ is fine, so probably chaste kissing is OK for this individual.
Sex – or the lack thereof – in fantasy novels is a complicated topic, so future posts will touch on this again.
This subject is of passing interest to me, since my recent modern fantasy includes a couple of mildly (to me) sensual scenes, not to shock or titillate, but because it seemed natural to the plot and characters. Also, the setting was San Francisco’s ‘Summer of Love’, so a little eroticism seemed true to the times. I’ll include the Amazon link for THE LORDS OF THE SUMMER SEASON so you can judge for yourself (link: https://amzn.to/35S7Cgn ).
Oh, and please ‘like’ this post and/or ‘follow’ this page – I promise not to flood your inbox with daily postings! And I try to keep the writing quality reasonably high.
I write modern fantasy novels that are hopefully both exciting and literate. These novels include an on-going series about a near-immortal magician who grew up in Camelot and grew famous in San Francisco's 'Summer of Love'. He's still having adventures to this day described in The Lords of the Summer Season, The Lords of Powder, and The Lords of Oblivion. The books can be read in any order.
As author S Alessandro Martinez has stated about the series:
"Lords of Oblivion
A 1500-year-old wizard. A pair of savage druids raised from the dead. Modern day San Francisco. A wolf that takes no gruff. Blaisdell creates a fascinating world in this magical realism novel with smart writing, complex characters, and clever use of history and mythology. I was sucked in from the very beginning. I look forward to more of Bradan and Tintagel's mystical adventures.
Lords of Powder
Merlin's former apprentice, Bradan, is back! The 1500-year-old wizard, who is sometimes too smart for his own good, returns for another exciting adventure, this time in 70s Miami as he takes on the criminal world of drug trafficking. Blaisdell's smart, fast-paced writing and use of fascinating history and mythology keeps you on the edge of your seat as Bradan uses his wits, charm, and illusions to navigate the modern era and get himself into plenty of trouble.
Lords of the Summer Season
Being Merlin's former apprentice and living for 1500 years is bound to make you a few enemies. Travel back to the 60s with Bradan the wizard and his otherworldly wolf Tintagel. As Bradan juggles careers as a professor and musician, he must defend himself from his greatest threat yet: a literal god. Blaisdell continues with his clever, skillful, and imaginative writing that will keep readers eagerly turning the next page. My favorite of the Bradan books, Blaisdell dives deeper into the Arthur mythology, and brings the reader even more elements of magic and folklore, all the while weaving an entertaining tale of gods, wizards, ghosts, and 60s acid rock. Thoroughly enjoyable!"
Besides the literary side of my life, my background includes membership on a scientific advisory board for a non-profit professional organization promoting the biomedical and digital health business community in the greater Los Angeles area.
I’ve authored both basic research publications and business management articles focusing on the bio/pharma industry. My Ph.D. is in Biochemistry from the University of Minnesota where I also conducted post-doctoral research in microbiology. And my BS is from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) with a double major in chemistry and cell biology.
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