Last month I expressed hope that I’d soon be able to start serialising chapters from Monster Hunters, Dinosaur Lovers (my long-gestating book about the stories caught up in the Hugos/Puppies controversy a few years ago) via my Patreon. Well, I made good on my promise and, if you’re a subscriber to my Patreon, you’ll now have access to the chapter in which I discuss Rachel Swirsky’s “If You Were a Dinosair, My Love”.
The chapter isn’t entirely new as it incorporates a few of the reviews I penned for Women Write About Comics, but I’ve greatly expanded upon them: starting with 2300 words’ worth of WWAC writing, I ended up with an essay of around 10,000 words. As well as outlining the backlash against “If You Were a Dinosaur” from right-leaning culture warriors, I discuss the story in relation to the recurring themes and techniques seen in Swirsky’s other work and confront a number of accusations: is it classist? Is it derivative? Does it deserve its reputation as an “SJW” story? Can it truly be termed SF/F?
In the final part of the essay I talk about the various parodies, written by authors ranging from Vox Day’s blog-bottom commentariat through to Swirsky herself (with a special appearance from the inestimable Chuck Tingle).
By the standards of modern short fiction, “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love” prompted a large amount of discussion. With this essay, I may well have come up with the single longest piece of analysis yet written. Current patrons can read it already; anyone else is free to subscribe to my Patreon and gain access both to this essay and to subsequent exclusive posts.
Meanwhile, I’m still hoping to publish one chapter per month for the rest of the year. Stay tuned…