I don’t normally read Sarah Darkmagic’s blog, not because it’s not a good blog, but because almost all of the posts are hella depressing and focus almost exclusively on what’s wrong in gaming rather than what’s good in gaming. Y’know, like if every post I wrote was like the one that briefly put me at odds with the BFRPG community… Color me cynically privileged, but it’s exhausting to care that hard all the time!
But I actually found myself reading one of her recent posts, and one of the things she highlighted was an exchange in a book that she was reading:
Why did you kiss me?”
She started to answer, but R’s expression turned dark and he continued, “What did you hope to gain from it?”
D fell back another step, but then came forward aggressively, dropping her blade and putting her hands on her hips. She stood barely inches from R staring at him coldly.
“You cannot be mad at me!” R insisted.
“You have shown me– you have taught me! You have taken me to those noblemen’s grand parties and shown me how to use your charms to mainpula–”
D’s hand came up faster than R could react and slapped him hard across the face.
She huffed and swung around to run away, but R caught her by the shoulder and tugged her back around, throwing himself at her. And when they crashed together, he hugged her tightly. He saw the moisture in her pretty brown eyes, and kissed her.
She twisted to get away. She pulled her mouth back. But R pressed in harder and rejoined the kiss and D’s tension gradually melted away, and then she was kissing him as passionately or more.
“Do you doubt me?” she asked, and she twisted suddenly, dropping them both to the floor, her atop him.
“Have you never kissed any of them? Isn’t that part of the game you play?” R asked.
She did not mention the name of the author, and obscured the work by not naming the characters involved, but mentioned that he/she was a popular author, also wrote young adult fantasy, and, in above passage, was contributing to the Rape Culture. She complained about how she had to force herself to finish it for reasons that she only vaguely alluded to. I think that she missed a wonderful opportunity to name and shame. I mean, I wanna know who this dude is. No, not because it contributes to Rape Culture or offends my sensibilities, but because of how freaking bad it is! Oh, my god! This is what I have to compete against as an aspiring fantasy writer? Color me optimistic! I now feel like the stuff I’ve been churning out isn’t half bad, so maybe I have a chance!
I would like to know who this author is so I can avoid him/her like the plague, but thank you, Sarah Darkmagic, for showing me just how low the bar is really set for Popular Fantasy. Considering that the only ‘fantasy’ book I’ve read recently has been by Umberto Eco, I thought I was fucked, cuz that guy is amazing and I could probably NEVER be that good. But this
He felt the fool for ever doubting this amazing halfling lass. She was playing no game for him; her feelings were honest.
made me feel really good about myself as a writer in that even the stuff I wrote in high school was not that awful. Maybe there’s hope for me yet!
Turns out it’s by R.A. Salvatore! Really!?! BWAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!