A plethora of tastes and other things

The BLUE ZONE factor!
Stating the obvious: everyone has a different taste in what they like to read. Men and women's tastes are like this Venn diagram (I like visuals on my blog).

Table A= women
Table B= men

The literary tastes of the two sexes are clearly displayed in childhood. Boy's fight with pretend swords while girls bake cookies in the make believe castle.

Now, as the above diagram shows, there is a BLUE ZONE. Some of Table A meshes with Table B, and some of Table B meshes with Table A. Thus, there is no way one can pinpoint all men's/women's tastes. Most girls prefer a romantic movie over something like Braveheart or Gladiator--but not all! I've met a girl who claims Braveheart as her favorite movie.

The question was posed, "Can men ever like 'chick fantasy'?"

Well, I wouldn't label DragonLight chick fantasy, because that would take it completely out of the BLUE ZONE. What I do think is that DragonLight is more geared for women by its lighthearted nature, but there is still the BLUE ZONE, and some men will enjoy it.

In my last blog entry, I was honored to have Donita K. Paul leave me a comment. She had excellent examples of men who really enjoyed the book.

So to conclude this line of thought, I, Brandon, don't fall into the BLUE ZONE. So read the previous posts with that in mind.

The Positive in DragonLight

I also want to finish by saying, I regret that I didn't earlier give the postive side of what I read. I was definitely too focused on what I didn't like. The world of DragonLight, with Wulder representing God, and the relationship he has with the dwellers of that world, is a fascinating approach. A unique way to show how God interacts with his creation. This is a world with morals, and right and wrong, a thing too many books are lacking these days.

Also, Donita's prose and language were well crafted/ well chosen. She's clearly a good writer. The fact that I didn't like the lightness of the story and a few of the characters personalities is just my thing. I could give a list of books I've read that I really didn't like for one reason or another, yet some of them are considered classics, or have won Hugo/Nebula awards, or are New York Times bestsellers!

Conan and the Princess Bride

The Princess Bride is a light fantasy movie that I thouroughly enjoyed! However, I haven't read the book, and I've found that I'd much rather watch a funny, comic-fantasy movie than read a book about it. There like two different realms for me.

As far as my refrencing Conan for a heroic/epic fantasy, I indeed used it as an extreme. I find several things about the Conan stories in poor taste.
1) Treatment of females as sex objects
2) Racist undertones
3) Unnecessary gore
4) A main character who's often a scumbag

If Conan were written without issues 1-3, and then for issue 4, give Conan a moral compass, and a desire to do good, then you'd have one incredibly daring and fun adventure story.

I hope everyone has enjoyed this tour as much as I have.

Brandon Barr
Justin Boyer
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
CSFF Blog Tour
Gene Curtis
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
* Beth Goddard
Mark Goodyear
Andrea Graham
Todd Michael Greene
Katie Hart
Christopher Hopper
Joleen Howell
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Terri Main
* Shannon McNear
Melissa Meeks
* Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte
Deena Peterson
Steve Rice
* Cheryl Russel
Ashley Rutherford
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Robert Treskillard
* Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Laura Williams


Anonymous said...


It's obvious you stirred up quite a bit of discussion with your comments about the book. It's always a good thing to get people thinking. The pictures of cute dragons was a bonus.


Brandon Barr said...

Yes, I did. And I'm not the type that likes stirring up controversy. I think the overall blog tour gave a wide spectrum of thoughts and POV's. That makes for very interesting reading.

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

Brandon, I appreciate your approach to this topic. I'm glad you felt the freedom to voice your opinion, I don't think we should intentionally stir up controversy, but when it comes, it should be handled with respect to differing views and to the work that raised the issues. I think you certainly did that.

The one point I think might be true is that more women cross the blue zone and venture into the B Table. Donita, for example, told me a story for my contest about her brother shooting her with an arrow when they were playing Indians. She was five at the time. No baking cookies in the castle for her. True for me, too. (Not the shot by an arrow part. ;-) And a number of women who commented at my site last time we had this gender discussion. My impression has been that women are more willing to read and enjoy stories with male protagonists, doing the male protagonist things than men are reading stories with women protagonists doing women protagonist things.

I don't think that makes women any better or more broad minded or anything. I think it's another indication of the way God has made us different. But I did truly wonder if guys can "cross the zone" and enjoy the book.

Actually, I think it ws John Otte or maybe Tim Hicks (or was it you) who pointed out just how feminine this book was. I hadn't thought of it before, but key points were [SPOILER}

a meech dragon about to deliver her egg
a pregnant Kale
a new minor dragon hatching
the Followers taking the children from the people
Toopka being a grown woman in reality

So this book probably did fall within your Blue Zone. Bardon, after all, was a key POV character and he was a strong, manly example.

Anyway, I'm glad we can have this discussion. I'm glad there's more and more out there in Christian fiction for men to read. I hope the number of titles grows.


Brandon Barr said...

Hey Rebecca,

I think you're correct in saying that more women tend to dig "typical guy stuff" than vice versa.

Kind of odd, but like you said, God made us unique. I'm sure He gave women the gift of enjoying "typical guy stuff" for good reason.

It kind of closes a gap in tastes...