Wish-fulfilment

December 9th, 2012

There are times when authors should just let criticism slide, and then there are times when you've just got to let 'em have it:

Author Scott Lynch responds to a critic of the character Zamira Drakasha, a black woman pirate in his fantasy book Red Seas Under Red Skies the second novel of the Gentleman Bastard series.

The bolded sections represent quotes from the criticism he received. […]

Your characters are unrealistic stereotpyes of political correctness. Is it really necessary for the sake of popular sensibilities to have in a fantasy what we have in the real world? I read fantasy to get away from politically correct cliches.

God, yes! If there's one thing fantasy is just crawling with these days it's widowed black middle-aged pirate moms.

Real sea pirates could not be controlled by women, they were vicous rapits and murderers and I am sorry to say it was a man's world. It is unrealistic wish fulfilment for you and your readers to have so many female pirates, especially if you want to be politically correct about it!

First, I will pretend that your last sentence makes sense because it will save us all time. Second, now you're pissing me off.

You know what? Yeah, Zamira Drakasha, middle-aged pirate mother of two, is a wish-fulfillment fantasy. I realized this as she was evolving on the page, and you know what? I fucking embrace it.

Why shouldn't middle-aged mothers get a wish-fulfillment character, you sad little bigot? […]

[Via Electrolite (Sidelights)]

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