Tuesday, April 27, 2010

SFR for the Young, and the Young at Heart

Young Adult Science Fiction Romance is as rare as Tribble teeth, I swear.  But, there are a few out there.  JOURNEY BETWEEN WORLDS by Sylvia Engdahl was first out in 1970, but was updated and released again in 2007 because we know more about Mars now.  Here's the link to the author's website for more information-
Here's the book blurb-   "When Melinda Ashley receives a ticket to Mars as a high school graduation gift from her dad, she isn't at all eager for the trip. But he is going himself, and because she hasn't had much opportunity to get to know him in the past, she agrees to accompany him. She has little interest in the Martian colonies until, aboard the ship, she meets Alex Preston, a second-generation colonist who is going home. During her stay on Mars she finds herself more and more drawn to Alex. She also enjoys the company of his family, and begins to understand why they believe so strongly in the future they are working toward. Ultimately, after she has faced tragedy and sorrow, a terrifying experience on the Martian moon Phobos shows Melinda what is really important to her."
It seems to me you need to disguise your YA SFR as something else these days.  Publishers almost never use the SF words when they market YA Science Fiction in general.  However, if we don't include young people in SFR the future of it will only shrink. 
No Babies, No Future.
It's a simple scientific fact.
I remember reading an interview of Scott Westerfeld, who's probably the most popular YA SF author right now, and he was asked why he writes for teens.  He said something like it being great to influence the next generation of SF readers.  "'The hand that rocks the cradle...'"
There needs to be more encouragement and certainly more SFR for our younger sisters.  YA SFR isn't getting published much these days, because it's not considered a sure-sell.  But, it is out there in older releases and I think we ought to champion it as much as possible.

1 comment:

  1. I can't quite figure out why YA SFR isn't an instant sell, when SF with R aimed at the YA audience is so predominant in motion pictures and television. Maybe written word doesn't translate to visual elements for this generation like having it right there before their eyes?

    If so, how do you explain the success of the Harry Potter books which relied on the readers' imaginations to create the scenes of magic and paranormal elements in their heads?

    It is puzzling. As someone who started work on a YA SFR collaboration, I'd given this a lot of thought. Is it that young adult readers really aren't that interested in YA SFR, or is this only a perception held by NY?


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