I guess most authors feel a bit sad when they read the first negative review of their work. It happened to me today.
It was from someone in Australia who likes male-written horror stories and men's menage a trois stories (three men). I can sort of see where FatLand (the review was for FatLand 1, not The Early Days) might leave him/her (I don't know the gender) a bit disappointed :) He/she commented that FatLand sounded fascistic because people there were told what to do.
Yes, the Constitution of FatLand forbade dieting and scales.
I thought he/she didn't quite have a handle on Fat Acceptance. Then again, most people outside the movement probably don't.
And that is why Amazon styled FatLand: The Early Days dystopian fiction. Can you imagine...being forbidden to diet and weigh yourself. Enough to make one...celebrate! Those are two "rights" most fat people are very very happy to have taken from them.
I then realized that to some non-fat people, those rights perhaps matter more. Maybe it is actually fascistic to take away the rights of thinner people to weight themselves and to diet. But guess what: it is doubly fascistic to stigmatize, harass, shame and insist on people changing their bodies to suit an image. Somehow that simply didn't occur to this person.
I did see that the person actually read a book on fat and stigmatizing. Maybe there is some hope.
If FatLand is a "dystopia," I'll take it any day over this supposed less-than-utopia that is our anti-fat country and culture.
Oh..and he/she gave Grapes of Wrath one star, lower even than FatLand in his/her review. At least I'm in good company.