Really interesting debate over at sffworld about why George R. R. Martin's epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire is so popular.
At least, that was what the discussion started as. But online genre forums being what they are, it rapidly descended into a heated argument about whether Martin's sex scenes are gratuitous or not, and whether Westeros is an accurate portrayal of the Middle Ages (minus the dragons, etc!).
I love seeing people get so passionate about this sort of thing; it's what makes the online genre community so absorbing. Not that I'm condoning personal attacks of course, but it's great to see someone throwing a proper frilly-cuffed strop about what constitutes 'gratuituous' sex.
For the record, I don't believe at all that Martin's sex scenes are gratuitous (Richard Morgan's favourite word) and I do believe that - if you take all the obvious fantasy stuff out - Martin's world is an accurate representation of Medieval Europe.
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3 hours ago