Blood Storm and Social Commentary

Steven Harper PiziksMy book IRON AXE got a lot of favorable reviews.  Awesome!  It also got a few less-favorable reviews.  Ah well.  Not everyone can like everything.  One displeased reader, however, wrote:

“I really enjoyed this story up until the introduction of the gay character I don’t [read] books especially fantasy for some great societal commentary”

Hm.  I don’t respond to reviews on forums where they appear.  But this is my forum.  And I’m gonna say:

What kind of shit sandwich did you eat for lunch, dude?  Talfi, the gay character you’re talking about, doesn’t reveal he’s gay until chapter eleven, exactly halfway through the book.  Until then, you had no idea.  Meanwhile, we have a protagonist who deals with the fact that his half-blood status makes him an outcast and a slave who is made an outcast because she dared to stand up to her (male) owner, both of which are thinly-veiled social commentary that carry us through a good two hundred pages.  But a character who off-handedly mentions that he’s gay–THAT becomes social commentary which makes the book unreadable to you?
Blood Storm Hi Res
Shit sandwich reader, you need to examine your life priorities.  Reading about the injustice of prejudice, sexism, and slavery doesn’t bother you in the slightest, but a form of love bothers you.  Dude, grow up.  Look around you.  Walk a few miles in the real world.  Or, if you can’t, look at a fantasy novel as a fantasy and enjoy the craft that went into the story.

BLOOD STORM, the second book in the series, went on sale yesterday, and Talfi is in it.  His relationship with his partner Ranadar is one of the things that forces him to accompany Danr on the dangerous quest to find the power of the shape.  And we find out more about Talfi’s background along the way.  How, exactly, did Talfi survive the Sundering?  What happened on the day he died the first time?  Who was his family and what happened to them?

And Talfi talks directly to Grandfather Wyrm, one of the most fascinating characters I’ve ever created.  I can’t wait to see what readers think of him.

BLOOD STORM is on sale now, including in electronic format and audio format!

–Steven Harper Piziks

DANNY on sale now at Book View Cafe.

Danny Large



Blood Storm and Social Commentary — 11 Comments

  1. Silly me, I had always thought that science fiction and fantasy *were* social commentary. So besides just looking for things that go boom, which some of these kids do, a good story should be the main reason for reading. Getting into a snit because the protagonist doesn’t line up with your own beliefs is missing one of the main reasons that I think sf exists, which is to give you a window on people who ain’t you. My sympathies.

  2. Well, I want to read it now 🙂

    I have to agree with Lynne above. The very reason I write and read fantasy and science fiction is that it’s a highly suitable medium for social commentary and thinking about the real world in general. It’s the very reason for the existence of mythology, which to me is modern fantasy’s ancestor.

    And claiming that the appearance of a gay character is social commentary is a pretty homophobic, ignorant thing to say.

  3. I’ve got too much CrazyLife going on around me to say anything profound–just that I enjoyed your blunt response to this situation, and I’m enjoying what others have to say about it, too.

    Of course, this is coming from someone who once got a review on her “horse turns into woman” book (with a horse on the cover and horsie stuff in the description) as being “too horsie.”

    Some people, I think, just can’t be taken seriously…

      • Folks who like SF set in a society indistinguishable from suburban 1950s America think that anything different is a political agenda. It never occurs to them that their idea of a perfect society is just as political. Just as much an agenda.

        I grew up in 1950s suburban America and I have no interest in revisiting it. “Girls can’t do that.” “Girls shouldn’t do that.” “Girls shouldn’t *want* to do that.”


  4. What a rude awakening this poor reader will have one day when they wake up to find that the world really doesn’t care one way or another what they think. The world will keep marching on with or without them – hopefully towards a brighter, more inclusive future.

    So keep writing those awesome characters: we change the world one word at a time.