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Interesting article on male/male romance novels

Here's an interesting article on the popularity of male/male romance novels:


A quote:
"This sort of “what if?” fantasizing is in one sense what really fueled the gay-romance revolution. The bulk of today’s writers in the genre started writing “slash” fiction, where you take two preexisting characters who are normally straight and make them gay. Such combinations are indicated as M/M (two men) or F/F (two women), or M/M/F/Werewolf (two men, a woman and a werewolf).

"Women would write stories as part of what Prof. Penley calls a “gift economy.” In slash fandom, where almost everyone is a writer, you create something, hoping it will inspire someone else to write another story. It’s a sexed-up game of Exquisite Corpse. “In other words, I will write this really hot story, and maybe in turn you will write one for me. They’re doing it for their own pleasure,” she says.

"Slash found its best, most perfect medium online, but it’s been around for decades. Penley first came across it in 1986, when slash stories were being distributed as photocopied zines, like comic books. She was blown away by them, at the writers’ transgressions; by the way the women rewrote popular culture to meet their own social and sexual desires."


Two Men, a Woman and a Werewolf? I think my brain just sneezed.

M/M (and menage M/M/F and M/M/M/F) is now a very popular subcategory in romance. With the rise of author-centric publishing, it'll become more and more the case I think.
I've seen a lot of menage titles listed recently. With ebook publishers and self-publishing options like Lulu, entirely new (i.e. commercially viable) genres are springing into existence. A for the Two Men, a Woman and a Werewolf, if Laurell Hamilton hasn't written that one yet, I bet she will soon.
LA Weekly did an article on slash fan fiction (specifically, K/S) in August of 1986 ("Sigh Fi" by Anne Thompson).
Do you have a copy of that, by any chance? I'd love to read it.
It was reprinted in "On the Double" #1 (and in the second issue they reprinted a letter sent to the paper by Robin H., and the author's response).

If you don't have those issues, write me privately.
Thanks for the info! I do have those in my filing cabinets.
OMG. The commentary was just as interesting as the article, maybe more so. That troll was so worked UP! Anyway, interesting how the article mentions the lack of gay romance in Barnes & Noble. I cruised (heh) by the romance section in my local store for the first time in my adult life this year, looking for just that, and I was baffled by the complete lack of gay romance. I guess I had assumed it would just be there. I forget the world off-line isn't as open as the community I've found online. Then again, it is a self-selecting community...
Yeah, we are a pretty self-selecting community, but then again it's a growing phenomenon. And yaoi - male/male romance - has been marketed to teenage girls in Japan for at least two decades now, maybe longer. I think we're seeing the tip of the iceberg of the same phenomenon here.
Loki riding

June 2019

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