12/02/2008

In Search of an Alpha Male

I've been on a bit of a sci-fi/fantasy kick in my reading lately. The authors in this genre I tend to prefer seem to have female protagonists rather than male (e.g. Anne McCaffrey, Mercedes Lackey, Elizabeth Moon, etc.) I've always assumed that this was because the authors themselves are female and so they tend toward female main characters.

My sister loaned me Eragon. It's something I've been wanting to read for a while but never quite gotten around to, so after a rash of re-reading some favorites, I picked it up. And then promptly put it back down as I encountered the problem I have with so many fantasy books where the protagonist is male: whining.

Whining is what kept me from reading more than three books in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. Seriously, Rand Al Thor, suck it up. You're the Dragon. Stop whining and move along.

Whining is what ultimately stopped me after six books in Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series. Again, suck it up Richard. You're the Seeker. Deal.

Whining has killed off many a series that others have highly recommended...and it's only today that I think I've realized the problem: there is no alpha male. And when you have a male main character, he needs to be a man, not a whiny little child. (Exception being, of course, if he is actually a child - Bastian Balthazar Bux (in the Neverending Story - the book, not the movies) is a bit of a whiner. But as he's...eight? Ten? I think some excuses can be made. The early Harry Potter is a bit of a whiner - and in the early books I forgave it, as he got older and kept whining it got irritating.

So the question arises...is it possible for a male fantasty/sci-fi author to create a male protagonist who doesn't whine? I'm open to recommendations, if you've got them.

2 comments:

Lynellen said...

I dont recall any whining in the Dune series

Lynellen said...

i cant remember...did Ender whine much?