c is for cat

Rules for Anchorites

Letters from Proxima Thule

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And, a P.S. - I may just be oblivious, though I don't think I am, but I sort of feel like the marketing of Hawt SF Authors almost goes against the grain, conventional-objectification-wise. I can think of a few male authors who are almost always accompanied by a mention of their unusual irresistiblity (Gaiman, Mieville,etc.), but I'm hard-put to think of any female authors who get objectified as a matter of course. It's rather one of the things I like about the field ... am I just blanking, here?

I think it's more a matter of women writers who aren't conventionally pretty don't get their pictures on their books. I'm uncomfortable naming the authors who I think get the benefit of their attractiveness, though?

Oh, I can see *that* ... point of fact, once we get down below super-famous, I wouldn't feel that comfortable discussing the presentation of acquaintance-friends either.

So, keeping things abstract ... it's the absence of objectification that's problematic, almost? Like the publishing world's back-handed side-swipe. That reads as nearly familiar, like something I may have seen, but from a different angle.

There was a ... Gawker post? Jezebel? Something light and fluffy, a couple of years ago, that looked at some random chick-lit author and rated her photo. I believe they qualified her as indie-book-photo hot, if not really hot (and, yes, steam boiled from my ears). And my primary thought was, oh, thank god that's not a thing in my field.

I do come at it from a totally different angle: academics don't get author-photos, and I'm, like, the only person I know who doesn't do fiction. But I'm always so pleased when I don't see an author photo prominently displayed, or when an author remains cleverly anonymous so as to allow for imagination. Jacqueline Carey, Kim Harrison, etc. - their dimly lit shots of the backs of frock coats made me feel kinda happy: not because I have any doubt they're lovely, but because when one writes like that, what earthly purpose does the further validation of looks serve? From the reader-perspective, I feel like it furthers the notion that if you're really good at something, you should look it (which ... yeah). I never quite thought about it from the author perspective before, and now that I am, I want to bop somebody (probably somebody in PR, even if they're not personally responsible). It's the can't-win thing again. I wonder if dudely authors worry about this, too ....?

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