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  • Writer's pictureartgainz

When Women Write Fantasy

Updated: Jan 17, 2020

"Black Sun Rising" by Michael Whelan.

I recently read C. S. Friedman's Coldfire trilogy. The story features an evil sorcerer called the Hunter who feeds on fear. At first I was unaware that the author was a woman, but as I progressed, the author's gender became rather obvious because I'm fairly certain that it would not occur to a man to write like this:

The story does not consist entirely of segments like this, of course. The story revolves around a renegade priest who is forced to work together with the Hunter to combat a progression of greater and greater threats. They spar as the priest attempts to lead the Hunter to redemption.

More examples of prose that would never occur to a man:

And again:

And again:

These are actually rather mild samples I have taken from the first book in the trilogy. By the third book, the prose in segments like these becomes a lot more intense.

I suppose it is not utterly impossible that a man could write like this, but I think he would have to be intentionally imitating the way some women write, or intentionally trying to appeal to female readers.

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