AncalagonTheBlack

K.J. Parker (a.k.a.Tom Holt) - Part II

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I did get the impression that a lot of people believed KJP was a female because they wanted to believe he was female. So that people can say, "look, there are a lot of good female fantasy authors." Or to support some agenda or another.


Edited by End of Disc One

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How so?

Well, because a few people here said they would be pussed if Parker turned out to be male. As for why I don't recall.

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I did get the impression that a lot of people believed KJP was a female because they wanted to believe he was female. So that people can say, "look, there are a lot of good female fantasy authors." Or to support some agenda or another.

No there was a lot press at one point that made a semi big deal about Parker being a she.

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I did get the impression that a lot of people believed KJP was a female because they wanted to believe he was female. So that people can say, "look, there are a lot of good female fantasy authors." Or to support some agenda or another.

Kind of silly since there are an awful lot of excellent female fantasy even if we don't count Parker.

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So Parker did an interview with himself? I also always felt the writing was female, no idea why though

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Why pretend to be a woman in the first place? It's like--'K.J Parker writes uber-pendantic-geeky fantasy, and get this... she's a girl!' Disingenuous and shitty... for the author and the publisher to pull this kind of stunt for nothing more than publicity, is just pathetic, as well as ill-advised.



I've only read his first book, and found the characterization inconsistently unbelievable, but might have been willing to give 'him' another chance. Not now though.


Edited by Juba

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Why pretend to be a woman in the first place? It's like--'K.J Parker writes uber-pendantic-geeky fantasy, and get this... she's a girl!' Disingenuous and shitty... for the author and the publisher to pull this kind of stunt for nothing more than publicity, is just pathetic, as well as ill-advised.

I've only read his first book, and found the characterization inconsistently unbelievable, but might have been willing to give 'him' another chance. Not now though.

Your loss. Some of his work, like The Scavenger Series or The Folding Knife are truly excellent. I'd give him another go.

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Did Tom Holt (as KJ Parker) actually pretend to be a woman?


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Did Tom Holt (as KJ Parker) actually pretend to be a woman?

He never as such went 'I'm a woman' but he certainly colluded in maintaining the perception that he was and at times (such as here) certainly encouraged the suggestion.

Edited by The PolishBear

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Is there a story behind this? Or did he just not like his name. The whole thing is kinda weird and seems to have had no point.

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Yeah, I think the big thing about Parker being a woman was because Subpress has referred to Parker as "she" several times, then waffled and said "he" and even "they" at one point.

What I do find a little disingenuous is that there have been a couple of author biographies in anthologies and what not that said something along the lines of, "KJ Parker is not KJ Parker's real name. Even if you knew KJ Parker's real name, it would not mean anything to you." Which is clearly wrong as Tom Holt is certainly known in SFF on the other side of the pond at least.

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I'm thrilled to have learned K. J. Parker's identity. It always troubled me, deep down in my blackened soul, that there were other bodies of work under a different name by this talented author—and now I will have them all.



Every last goddamned book. ʘ‿ʘ



I am going to fucking RAID my local libraries. This shit is going to be positively Viking.



(Also, big thanks to you who continue to provide news about upcoming Parker novels. It's very much appreciated.)


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What surprises me is that KJ Parker is ONLY Holt, not a collaboration of some sort. Because I honestly have not enjoyed Holt's books published under his own name. Apparently I don't think much of his sense of humor, but love his dark side. Go figure.


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Is there a story behind this? Or did he just not like his name. The whole thing is kinda weird and seems to have had no point.

For the false name? I haven't listened to the podcast or anything, but I imagine it was done because Holt's original name was considered to be to strongly tied to his humourist books. They might have even stopped selling well, but I have no idea. But either Holt or his publisher would have been keen to have an identity change. In addition to that, it's a clean slate for sales, and bookstores and the like will be more willing to order your books. The recent debut of Alex Marshal, for example, will likely turn out of be an author who has had to change their name due to an identity with another genre or bad sales.

Anyhow, after watching all you guys here talk about Parker's books, I ordered one to check it out last week. Now I feel timely and up to date on all the gossip of the industry, yet again.

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He discusses it on the new episode of the Coode Street podcast on tor.com.


He, and probably his publisher, initially felt that it was necessary to use a pen name to distance his epic fantasy work from his comic fantasy work under his real name. He felt that the comic fantasy fans may be annoyed if they picked up the epic fantasy work, not realising it was quite different. Plus, it meant it was easier to market it separately, without leaning so heavily on the comic elements.



I am not sure if he had always intended for the KJ pseudonym to be perceived as female, but he does say that in some of the small amount of press he has done, he did give that impression on purpose. He said this wasn't a political statement, but rather an homage to the epic fantasy writers he prefers, who tend to be female. He particularly highlights CJ Cherryh and Mercedes Lackey.



It doesn't really bother me particularly, apart from mucking up my female/male ratio of authors read a bit. I had always gone with the online presumption that KJ was female, but I had noticed that the vast majority of his characters were male, so had started to doubt that somewhat.



I would really encourage anyone who is put off by this to give him another chance as his books are excellent, especially his shorter work. For Juba in particular, I would encourage you to try out some of his later work, which is marked improvement over his earlier trilogies. Most of his shorter work can be read for free online, check the links at the bottom of his wiki page.


Edited by anotherevilbadguy

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What surprises me is that KJ Parker is ONLY Holt, not a collaboration of some sort. Because I honestly have not enjoyed Holt's books published under his own name. Apparently I don't think much of his sense of humor, but love his dark side. Go figure.

Yeah I'm in the same boat. It's like if, I dunno, John Scalzi revealed he was really Karen Millar. I just can't equate the two styles as coming fro one person in my head.

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I've always thought the best way to get introduced to Parker was to read The Folding Knife, followed by either the rest of the standalones or the short stories. Then, and only then, should readers try the trilogies. Readers will have become familiar with Parker at that point.


Edited by garneac

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I've always thought the best way to get introduced to Parker was to read The Folding Knife, followed by either the rest of the standalones or the short stories. Then. and only then, should readers try the trilogies. By then readers will have become familiar with Parker.

Yeah, totally agreed. I read Shadow ages ago and thought it was ok, but a bit confused and nothing special. So, I didn't feel any urge to follow up with his work, but then I read one of his shorts on a whim about five years later and loved it. Then I read The Folding Knife, and most of his shorts, and when I went back to his trilogies I enjoyed them much more and just got them more (though I still have to read the Fencer trilogy).

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