Sunday, November 22, 2015

Bradley P. Beaulieu on writers need not be ''didactic'' -- and on the infamous ''rape scene'' in ''GAME OF THROMES''

‘‘Tim Powers insists, ‘I don’t say anything with my stories.’ I was listening to a panel with him and Guy Gavriel Kay. Kay took exception and said, ‘We can’t get away from that com­pletely, Tim.’ Tim agreed, to a degree. Even if you’re looking to explore a certain thing, like Paolo Bacigalupi does with climate change, you don’t have to make it didactic. You can make people think about a subject and look at the po­tential consequences, while telling a perfectly fine story. Saladin Ahmed is a fan of the Game of Thrones TV show, but after an episode with a rape, he criticized it, and later tweeted, ‘I can be a fan and still criticize.’ People are entitled to their opinions. They’re entitled to feel how they feel when they read something. We were talking about this on my podcast Speculate re­cently. When you write something, you owe it to yourself and your readers to educate yourself on what you’re writing about, whether that’s sex, race relations, different religions, whatever. At least you know going in what you chose to do and why you chose it. After that point, live with the consequences. Let people have their opin­ions. They have a right to say what they feel. It’s frustrating, sometimes, if that one element of a work becomes all that people talk about. That rape is now the entirety of Game of Thrones. I’m not saying everybody thinks that way, but it feels like it sometimes. People who haven’t seen the show have heard about the rape, and that’s all they know about it. I think that happens over and over again with fantasy, too.

Bradley P. Beaulieu

No comments: