Friday, March 30, 2007

How to say 'No Thank you' to M/M and F/F (again)

Yes, some times I go on and on and on about the same thing,but here we go--again. When I saw a post about a new science fiction and fantasy romance publisher I was enthused. I have long thought that sf/fantasy romance was an under-served genre and there is a real gap in the market that the right small press could exploit.

My first observation of Crescent Press was that they seem a little unclear whether they want sci fi and fantasy romance (the blending of those genres, satisfying the needs of both) or pretty much more of the same ol' paranormal romance that everyone else is currently cranking out by the score. But, clearly, on the issue of genre they are pretty open-minded.

"Crescent Moon Press is all about the book. Our main goal, to present only the finest in paranormal literature driven by a strong romance, is first and foremost in choosing a manuscript for publication. We are an equal opportunity publisher, and will give stories of magick, science fiction and fantasy the same consideration as we do those of faries, werewolves and vampires.

Then I got to this: "We accept all levels of sensuality, but please, no erotica (including S.M., bondage, men on men, women on women, or multiple partners.) We want books with a happy ending. Books that make us smile. Books that fill our hearts with amazement, and a sense of goodness."

Once again, strong romance: check, equal opportunity publisher: check, all levels of sensuality: check. No ("please, no") erotica (confusion)... as sensual as you want but without any eroticism? So what makes something erotica, you might ask? Well, apparently it is being gay (amongst other things). A boy and a girl is sensual (except for S&M), any other combo is erotic. I get the message.

Which caused my "sense of goodness" to grimace, order a double martini and slope off to its happy place. For the record, publishers, if you don't want this type of material is is perfectly fine to say: "We will not be publishing M/M, F/F, multiple partners or BDSM at this time" -- and leave it at that.

Just my 2c.


Jules Jones said...

Oh dear. Yet another publisher who thinks that even very sweet gay romance with no explicit sex (and it does exist) is erotica. By definition, because of Teh Gay.

Reminds me of my fanfic days, when in some quarters slash had to be labelled adult even if it was G or PG-13 rated, while it was okay to label some pretty steamy het stuff gen, because it wasn't, you know, *gay*. Though of course in fanfic you also got the opposite situation, where some of the slashfen had hysterics if their slash was contaminated by any suggestion of icky het...

Barbara Sheridan said...

We want books with a happy ending. Books that make us smile. Books that fill our hearts with amazement, and a sense of goodness."

Oh Brother! Why can't the above apply to same sex couples? Aren't they entitled to their happy endings too?

As you said, there's no problem if a publisher doesn't choose to do gay or lesbian books but don't word it so that it makes stories featuring same sex couples come across as lower than dirt.

Keziah Hill said...

All those same sex couples having happy endings. The end of civilization as we know it.

Dawno said...

Let the market decide. What's wrong with these people? If nobody buys the m/m or f/f then there's a good financial reason not to accept. Otherwise I wonder if they're in the business to try and shape morality or sell books. sheesh.

Cassandra Kane said...

Completely agree with Dawno.

I wish some online publishers would just get a proper marketing person to write the stuff on their websites. Maybe they would look a tad less unprofessional in the long run.