Gail @ Original Content gave me a heads-up about the conversation at io9 where we were both quoted.
To clarify the comments about YA Science Fiction I made here the other day: we saw vampires and zombies on the nomination list on the Cybils F&SF list this year. Of 134 books nominated in the young adult fantasy and science fiction category, we had few of what we can consider to be “real” science fiction – the kind that relies on actual science. (I can’t speak to what the middle grade science fiction and fantasy team faced, since I wasn’t on that committee, but their nomination list is also online right here.)
This year, we read:
- Patrick Ness’ The Ask and the Answer, which some might argue is fantasy
- Candor by Pam Bachorz,
- The Carbon Diaries 2015, by Saci Lloyd,
- and of course the Suzanne Collins sequel, Catching Fire.
- The Tomorrow Code, by Brian Falkner
- Falling Bakward by Henry Melton
- We enjoyed the excellent short story anthology in Firebirds Soaring,
- the intriguing cyberpunk Levithan by Scott Westerfeld
- Fire, by Kristin Cashore, which may or may not count, depending on your point of view, and your definition of "monsters,"
- The Walls Have Eyes, by Clare B. Dunkle
- and Zenith by Julie Bertanga
- The Maze Runner, by James Dashner,
- Academy 7, by Anne Osterlund
EDITED TO ADD
(Fellow FSF Cybs peeps, please tap me if I missed any.) Of 134 books, eleven science fiction books just didn’t seem to be a good balance for a category that is Fantasy AND Science Fiction.
Please note, this was not to say that there have been no YA science fiction books written -- I repeat my plea, we want to hear about them at Finding Wonderland, especially those with multicultural characters. My complaint, as Charlie Jane reported, was that they weren’t nominated for the Cybils, and that they’re not being talked up as much in the general blogosphere.
This post is also not to down fantasy. You know we love our fantasy - including fairytale retellings and the occasional superhero. I’m just finding that my interest in vampires and zombies, werewolves, and faeries, even, has thinned down remarkably. Twilight’s massive success and editors seeking a piece of it have supersaturated the market with the undead and the everliving. I'd love to see people just as excited about books which underscore discovery, identity, exploration. Surely they can be as awesome as the undead, the immortals, and other revenants.
The thing is, I still believe we've got to dream the future before we can see it, and science fiction is all about the dream. The younger we start dreaming of a better world, the stronger the hope that we can have it. With science fiction, we can rewrite the future. We need it.