Make My Day, Punk: W*n #Dystopian KOP KILLER by Warren Hammond

Let’s talk about boys and girls, and how they’re different. No, not THAT. Get your minds out of the gutter. Naughty, naughty. I’m talking about writing.
For reasons I don’t quite understand, urban fantasy is dominated by women authors, and I’m down with that since I am one. But there are some really awesome UFs by male authors out there too (hello, Jim Butcher?) and they’re…different. Science fiction tends to have more male authors. Dystopians seem evenly split. But they’re different, depending on the author’s gender.
Why is that? Let me introduce you to Warren Hammond’s Kop Killer, and then I’ll get back to it. And, of course, I’ll be giving away a copy of KK to a winner.
ABOUT THE BOOK: Juno Mozambe once had a life. That was when he was a dirty cop, married to a woman who suffered such profound abuse that she murdered her vile, drug kingpin father. Juno loved his wife and did his best to help her survive her guilt, her drug habit, and her desire to end her life on the dead-end planet of Lagarto. When she died, however, Juno’s life went downhill. And then his first partner, the corrupt chief of the Koba Office of Police, was murdered. The man responsible, Emil Mota, is using the KOP for his personal gain. Juno has been laying low, but now he’s ready to do whatever it takes to take down the bastard. Rather than working from inside the system, he’s decided that the only way to take down the KOP is to create an independent base of power. So he gets involved with a team of dirty cops and starts working as a rent-a-thug for a whorehouse that needs protection.Juno’s last partner knows that his risky plan has a purpose, but she’s that rarest of creatures on the hothouse planet of Lagarto: an honest cop. She can’t help him.When Juno discovers a series of profoundly twisted murders, he faces a bleak possibility: in his desperate quest for vengeance against the man who targeted him for death, Juno may have placed himself beyond any hope of redemption….
This is SF noir, it’s brutal, it’s straightforward, there’s not much emotional hand-wringing. And it’s engaging. That’s not to say there’s not a lot of emotion, but it tends to veer from fear to anger to rage and back. I think men write cold anger better than women (okay, start throwing things at me), while women are better at hot anger (more emotional, less cerebral). I’ve read some brutal dystopian fiction by women, but it’s always tempered by more emotional complexity among the characters. Sometimes, you just want the rage and grit, and that’s where you find a book like Kop Killer. It’s a great read. You will not walk away feeling warm and fuzzy.
Want to win a copy of Kop Killer? Weigh in. Think of the male-authored sci fi or urban fantasy you’ve read versus that by women. Is there a difference? Or am I grasping for something that isn’t really there?
You know the drill: one entry for comment, a second for blog follow, third for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and a fourth for a tweet or retweet.

25 thoughts on “Make My Day, Punk: W*n #Dystopian KOP KILLER by Warren Hammond

  1. There is a difference between male and female writers, but I can’t always pigeon-hole one or the other. I do tend to read more male SF writers, than female, but some of the best I’ve read have been written by women. Most UF I’ve read have been by women, but some great stuff is being written by men (Butcher). This SF noir sounds interesting.

  2. I’ve wondered about this for some time. I have Urban Fantasy books by 135 authors of which only 9 are men. I think the women authors write about female protagonist/heroins much better. Why I know not! They are more detailed describing the world building and for some reason they are more violent.

  3. There is a huge difference. I think women-authors subconciously still push their heroines like they have something to prove. Which is alright I get it and I like it. Men on the other hand are different, their characters mostly wont to be left alone until they are so pissed off they just have to finish their enemies off 🙂
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  4. I for one really give no thought whether a book is written by a male or female when buying it. The blurb or word of mouth is what sucks me in. Often I could not tell you the name of the author or the title of the book (if it’s not a series)until after I’ve read it. Then I tend to roll the taste of the story/the author/the title around in my mind like a good wine to decide what I liked or didn’t like about it.
    Sometimes you need something gritty to cleanse the cloying taste of warm & fuzzy that has built up after way to many YAs & romance novels.
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  5. Sorry I haven’t had a chance to pop in with comments (darn day job!). To me, it seems the male-written UF is harder-edged than that written by women, although I do think women have just as much violence. The difference, to me, is in the emotional depth of the relationships between the characters.

    Why, as Roger notes, the vast majority of UF is written by women, however, I really don’t know. One of my editor’s colleagues, a SFF fan, says he just doesn’t “get” UF or the attraction to it. As @Spaz noted in an earlier discussion, some guys probably are put off by the now-stereotyped “kickass chick” UF covers. If you look at the bulk of UF covers, it’s pretty easy to differentiate the male authors from the female. Kickass chick on cover? It’s written by a woman. Conceptual cover with or without a (fully dressed) guy on the cover? Usually written by a guy.

    I have no answers. But it’s interesting.

  6. If I have two sci fi or urban fantasy books in my hand with equally stunning covers and plot summaries and the only difference is that one’s by a male writer the other’s by a female writer… and I can only buy one… I’m going with the male. Typical, but the truth. Because I figure the guy is more likely to give me what I’m looking for. Plus the current trend of moody women dressed in all black with a firearm or bladed weapon in hand is starting to make everything UF look like Underworld…

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  7. Thanks for posting this, Suzanne. I’m glad you said it, because if I had made such a comment, I might’ve been attacked (emotionally). But seriously, yes, in the majority of cases, I do think men and women write differently. They are very different outside of writing, so it only makes sense that their writing would be different. NOTE: This is coming from a guy who thinks Eudora Welty is the coolest.

    Another thing that might be fun to discuss is how differently men and women write love stories, or at least romantic moments. Sometimes, believe it or not, I think that men seem even more romantic when they allow themselves to go there, because everything leading up to there was so damn “manly.”

    There are of course exceptions: Annie Proulx, for instance, writes tough literary fiction that most men probably wish they could write. Not UF, but still…

    In the end, though, it doesn’t matter much to me; I’m still gonna read women and men pretty equally, as long as things don’t get too sappy (a la the adoration of Edward’s marble chest in Twilight).

  8. I’m wracking my brain for examples of this, but I feel for some reason that the chief difference I have noticed is their level of detail/description of things…. Let me preface my statement by saying that I don’t read a whole lot of UF, so it’ll be largely what I have noticed from authors in general. What I have read primarily has been Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher, and Simon R Green.

    It should be easier for me to put into words than it is proving to be. I think a simplified summation would be that I feel women are great at explaining the Why, and men have been good at explaining the What.

    With women authors, I typically get more of emotions, thoughts, and development of characters and relationships. That’s not to say I think they skimp on the visuals. I just feel that I can understand a given character’s expressed viewpoint/emotions/actions a little better. Though sometimes I think things can get a little too complicated, and sometimes guys are better at hitting the motivations, emotions, and reactions of guys better (for some, like, unknown reason).

    Generally with male authors I pick up more on the setting and more “visual” details and descriptions. Again, that’s not to say that their characters are flat or lacking. It’s generally been easier for me to visualize scenes (particularly action scenes) from male writers, though sometimes they can skimp a bit on clothing or building descriptions where a lady might not.

    This really makes me want to dig out some books and do some comparisons…. Wait, did I just give myself homework?

    • Well, maybe not so much simply clothing (poor choice of examples there) as much as a description of a character’s current appearance (even when a bit more detail might be important).

  9. I like to read both male and female authors too, even if I’m going in with certain expectations (and sometimes get surprised).

    @Jason…LOL. Sappy’s bad, no matter who’s writing it! I think romance can handle a little sappy if it doesn’t go overboard, but not sure there’s much sap room in UF. (Don’t even get me started on Twilight!)

    I think a discussion about how male and female writers handle romance would be fascinating. Gonna have to add that to one of our Wednesday book club discussions, I think.

    • Cool. That fine line between romance and sap is very important, too. Where does it go wrong? What’s the tipping point? I think that sometimes, when you strive to get close to sentimentality without going too far, you can hit some really beautiful stuff, stuff you wouldn’t have hit on if you hadn’t risked going there. But the faintest mistake is all it takes, and then you’ve got a full-on sapfest. I always try to ride that line in my own writing, but it’s tricky.

  10. I just did a head count of the UF authors on my shelves, and of those that I’ve read and really enjoyed, five are men and five are women.

    In general, I think the male authors are better at writing more humorous tales and interactions. Just look at the level of snark in Jim Butcher’s work. That isn’t to say that it doesn’t occur in female-written UF, but female-written UF does have a more emotional context for the snark, usually. I dunno.

    This isn’t to say that female authors can’t write really funny stuff. Just look at Seanan McGuire’s DISCOUNT ARMAGEDDON and Cherie Priest’s CHESHIRE RED REPORTS. Hysterical.

    I will agree with the assessment that men tend to write grittier novels than women. A prime example of this is Harry Connolly’s TWENTY PALACES series. Holy crap, those books. That’s get-a-rock-in-your-eye-from-reading level of gritty. However, by contrast, Kevin Hearne’s IRON DRUID CHRONICLES is a lot less gritty, and is a more lighthearted UF fare.

    However, Kat Richardson writes a fairly down-to-earth, gritty story with her GREYWALKER NOVELS, while Cherie Priest’s CHESHIRE RED REPORTS have a drag queen as a sidekick.

    And that’s /awesome/.

    So yes, there are differences. And I will agree with the assessment that men write better cold, detached anger bits, and tend to do so more often than women. And women write better emotion-fueled anger and the like than men, and do so more often. However, this isn’t to say that they can’t do both. Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden, for instance, has a good number of passionate angry moments throughout the series. Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels does the detached really well, too.

    The conclusion I draw from all of this is that, while we might wish there to be one, there isn’t a hard and fast rule for who writes what better.

    Food for thought.

    • Incidentally, I’m currently working on an “Introduction to UF” list for The Ranting Dragon (http://www.rantingdragon.com/), and a lot of this is going through my thought processes right now. And will likely be included.

      Oh, and Suzanne? ROYAL STREET is sitting on my shelf—I just haven’t gotten around to it yet…

  11. Great comments here!

    @Duffee…Yep, I think you just gave yourself homework! Actually, when I get home from Ye Olde Day Jobbe, I’m going to do a count as well, although I’ll have to count series instead of books because i’m a major fan of Dresden and SRG’s Nightside series, so they’d skew the numbers.

    @Garrett…Yeah, you might be right. There are probably generalities that will hold true but, in the end, there will always be writers who break away from those generalities. I’ll have to check out your Intro to UF list! (LOL about Royal Street…not too much longer and the second one, River Road, will be out!)

  12. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with the hot anger/cold anger dichotomy. None of want to get too far into stereotyping of course but I think we can all agree that one is more typically a male thing and the other more female.

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  13. First, I LOVE JIM BUTCHER!! I do agree with you that males write a different type of fantasy than females. Not that one is better than the other it’s just different. I say this with lots of biology in my head lol, but I have several ladies- you included- that write fantastically. I will not be throwing things at you as I will say I think the exact same thing you just said.

    As a reviewer, I will say as long as your story keeps me captivated I couldn’t care what sex you are 🙂

  14. i like to read both. and both are awrsome in there own way

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  15. I read a lot of urban fantasy and the majority of it is written by female author. I find that male author have more actions and less sex/love scene.

  16. I think there is a difference between male and femail writers. I enjoy reading both of them.I actually have not read any of Jim Butcher’s books even though they looked good. I would like to check this book out. I enjoy action movies and like the previous commenter said males tend to put more action in books vs love/sex scenes when women write them. I am a fan of both because it keeps me interested and out of a rut.

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  17. I’d like to read this book. It sounds good. I haven’t read many UF books, so don’t know if there’s a difference.

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