19 February 2013

Sci-fi covers

I know the covers usually seen here are romance, this week we're going to take a walk in a different park, the sci-fi & fantasy cover fun park, where we'll ride only the worst rides, I mean covers.

Thanks to Good Show Sir for putting these and more, all in one place.

Did you spot it? Yes, that a purple fetus above the weird face.

Not surprised it's a virgin plant, she doesn't appear to have any genitalia.

I'm not sure, is he underwater, or on land? Either way he looks like he's about to trip.

Search the foliage for what's hidden. I don't mean things that would normally be covered by a Maple leaf, I mean the electronic gadgets.

Nice quote from the author on this one: "This is the cover to my first novel. It didn’t sell well. My editor/publisher blamed me, of course. This looks like a Harlequin romance. Even I wouldn’t have purchased this book." Published 1981
To be fair, Mr Cook, it may look a bit romance-y, but it wouldn't be a good romance cover either. It would just show up on worst romance cover blogs instead of worst Sci-fi cover blogs.

12 February 2013

Attitudes to romance novels

Last week's blog looked at Maya Rodale's video on where some of our attitudes to romance novels come from. This week is episode 2 on the same subject :)

This episode from a radio program shows attitudes about "career girls" in the 1950s. Female workforce participation rose dramatically during the 20th century.

Ms. Rodale: "I  nearly spit out my coffee when I watched this video from the 1950′s in which a woman is rated a bad businesswoman because she reads romance novels and likes the idea of romance. For what it’s worth I know plenty of talented women executives who also happen to read romance. And I must add: telling off the boss and good in an emergency? Sounds like a romance heroine to me!"

I'll add that in many cases that attitude hasn't changed. I don't tell people at the work what I do on the side (write romance), because even telling them that I read romance makes some of them treat me as less mentally capable afterwards. 

Lastly, I'll let Ms. Rodale field the comment frequently thrown at the romance genre: It's just porn for women.

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that romance novels are naught but misleading fantasies that delude innocent young ladies, pornography for the feminine sex, and rescue fantasies for idle women, all of which end in marriages that snuff out the feisty, independent heroine.
Or so we are encouraged to believe.
We readers know instinctively these stories are GREAT and that none of the above statements are true.  But have you ever wondered where these stereotypes come from and why they persist? Have you ever wanted to utter a devastatingly witty and smart retort whenever someone questions your preference for “trashy bodice rippers”?...
 ...One revolutionary element that sets romance apart from “Serious” Fiction is that the heroines have sex and do not die in the end....
...Politically and culturally we are instructed that we should feel shame for our own sexual curiosity and arousal...
...What’s wrong with a woman enjoying consensual love making with a partner of her choosing...
...Romance is not porn for women. Porn is porn for women."

Read full here

Next week we'll take a step away from romance, my penchant for cringing at romance covers, & look at sci-fi & fantasy's embarrassing covers instead. Hey, if you're going ot pick on genre's, pick genre's you love :)

05 February 2013

Romance Novels - Why the scorn?

Why do some people scorn romance novels? Why do others feel shame for reading them?
We've all been there, on one side or the other. 
I'll admit, even as a self-confessed reader of romance, as well a published author in the genre, I've felt the need to hide my love of romance novels. Why? Why do so many of us feel this way? Why do we anticipate such negative responses from people when we share the truth?

Ms Rodale did some research for her master degree at New York University.  "Despite their popularity and profitability, romance novels have long been scorned and ridiculed as trashy literature. Is it the covers? Is because the audience and authors are largely comprised of women? Or it something else..." By Maya Rodale

Have a gander at this video for more: