Poem (was Re: recommendations wanted)

Denise DeGraf mustang at sonic.net
Thu Nov 14 16:32:51 EST 2002

I read this first as a young teenage girl in 1990 and was very excited to 
finally find another female with the same viewpoint on most mainstream 
fantasy.  *grin*


On Looking Into Bradley's Guidelines
Stories I Don't Want To Read Either
by Elizabeth Thompson (1985)

There's a story with which I am bored
of a scanty-clad girl with her lord:
the girl, who's a zero
stands around while the hero
chops the evil ones down with his sword.

I think that I've read this one, too:
there's a sexy cute sorceress who
has flashing white thighs
and also a wise
old male wizard who knows what to do.

Haven't I read these before?
There's gratuitous rape, lots of gore,
an evil old hag,
and Conan in drag,
and the Goddess Herself; and there's more.

There's a princess who's off on a quest
with her unicorn into the west.
She's sweet and demure
and unspeakably pure,
and the hero -- but you know the rest.

There's a female chauvinist pig
with a sidekick who's hulking and big.
He's clumsy and dumb
and he's under the thumb
of Beowulf wearing a wig.

There's a strong-minded woman who must
find a hero in whom she can trust.
The key to the plot
is that freedom is not
as rewarding as true love (or lust).

There's a commune that's idealistical,
and a lesbian priestess sadistical,
and a challenge to Man
by the woman who can
ruin his Magic in ways shamanistical.

There's also romantical rot:
a simpleton stuck in a plot
whose only solution
is the great institution
of Romance -- and that's all it's got.

There's verse eopic, pretentious and rough;
as if that weren't enough,
there's crude sopomorical
fake prehistorical
phantasmagorical Stuff.

There are man-hating women in leather;
there's polemical feminist blether
dressed up as a story
of how Woman's glory
is to do without Man altogether.

I want to read tales that are new
and exciting or thoughtful -- a few
could be light-hearted fun --
and every damn one
had better be well-written, too.

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