Tag: H.G.Wells

5 YA Genres That Are Totally Dead

Young adult fiction is undeniably one of the most popular genres of all time. It was first categorized around the 1930s with Lauren Ingalls Wilder’s series Little House on the Prairie. Teachers and librarians were slow to accept books intended for younger readers, but young adult books today focus on issues in society with such a passion that even older adults love to read them.

YA subgenres have ebbed and flowed over the years, and the two ever-reigning subgenres seem to be fantasy and contemporary fiction. You can always find a unique new release of a fantasy novel or a self-aware contemporary love story. But what genres are so dead that publishers in 2019 will rarely publish them and why did young adults stop reading them?

 

 

1. Dystopian

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image via crosswalk.com

 

Ah, yes. Dystopian. Nostalgia for 2012, anyone? Maybe it was because everyone was talking about the Mayan calendar and the end of the world, but people were in a craze over dystopian society books like The Hunger Games and Divergent. Books about post-apocalyptic societies like The Maze Runner weren’t too far behind in the craze, either. Most dystopian subgenres are based on sci-fi and these particular subgenres started to oversaturate the sci-fi genre. Because of the immense popularity of books like The Hunger Games, every author wanted to replicate that fame and success. Understandably, readers got bored.

We became sick of tropes like “the chosen 16-year old who has a special ability that allows him or her to rebel and change dystopian society.” Readers began to pay attention to different genres and new authors, and the dystopian genre and its tropes slowly died out as YA readers found more relevant books. With the upcoming release of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakesit’ll be interesting to see how this dystopian writer tackles this so-called “dead” genre.

 

2. PARANORMAL / URBAN fantasy

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image via empireonline.com

 

When you think of paranormal YA, think vampires, werewolves, and zombies. So basically Twilight minus the zombies. For a while, the Twilight series was the reigning series for the paranormal subgenre. Teens were obsessed and buying t-shirts to show off their pride in Team Edward or Team Jacob. So what happened? Well, other authors tried to replicate the success of Twilight, and teens kept reading vampire and werewolf books until they wanted a taste of something different. Once the movies were released, Twilight stirred up even more controversy as readers began to release that Bella and Edward were an unhealthy relationship portrayal for young teens.

 

 

Still, it seems a bit disappointing that the whole vampire subgenre should die out because of one bad portrayal— especially when there’s so many amazing vampire stories, like Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire. But never fear for those readers who were into paranormal or urban fantasy books other than Twilight, or even those who were into Twilight (no shame here)— these subgenres are making a slow return, starting with Renee Ahdieh’s new vampire novel The Beautiful.

 

 

3. STEAMPUNK

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Steampunk is one of a few YA genres that has never taken hold of a readership. Any successful steampunk books are technically classified under other YA subgenres and only have small steampunk elements. Those books that did attempt to focus solely on steampunk, an attempt that surged around the early 2000s, were usually adult books and were just too similar to each other to claim a place as a real subgenre.

 

4. Superhero

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image via CBR.com

 

Superheroes certainly have a presence in comic books and movies, but this genre just isn’t present in YA. There’s no clear reason why superheroes are more popular in movies than books— maybe viewers would rather see sexy superhero actors and actresses blow stuff up rather than reading about them. Or maybe, like steampunk, superhero YA books have just been too similar with dead YA tropes like “the chosen one.”

 

5. TIME TRAVEL

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image via the next web

 

Time travel in YA sci-fi hasn’t been as successful as you might think, although time travel in YA fantasy has more of a presence. Maybe it’s because sci-fi books like H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine were written way back in 1895 and readers’ fascination with time travel has died out since then. Yet time travel is still popular in movies and TV, so it’s also up to speculation as to why this genre hasn’t taken off in YA.

If you’re interested in more about the book market or dead genres in publishing, check out this video by Alexa Donne, author of Brightly Burning. She explains all of these dead genres and tropes in-depth and also has some fascinating insights about the publishing world as well as advice for new writers.

 

 

 

Featured image via The Pilot Press

Celebrate Alien Abduction Day with Our Top 5 Alien Abduction Books!

Its Alien Abduction Day! It’s a day when the skies are watched carefully by those who wish to find UFOs or be abducted by aliens. Most people celebrate the day by either UFO watching or watching movies featuring extraterrestrials. But you can always read some books featuring our alien friends! Below are five books dealing with alien abductions, both fictional and…er…nonfictional.

A portrait of an alien, showing a strange humanoid with dark slant eyes and a slit-like nose

Image Via Goodreads

5. ‘Communion’ by Whitley Strieber

Communion by Whitley Strieber is a supposed real life account by Strieber’s potential encounters with aliens. Strieber offers no interpretation of whether these events were real or not, leaving the audience to decide that for themselves. You can decide whether Strieber’s account is real or not but the novel itself is worth the read, if only for Strieber’s terrifying account of the actual abductions. Dream-like and surreal, these accounts are seriously disturbing and will keep you up at night for sure. The novel gets bogged down near the end with Strieber’s philosophical ramblings of what the aliens wanted from him but the book itself is a must read for UFO fans.

A small Martian, a humanoid little green man with a big head, stands on the cover of the novel Little Green Men

Image Via Goodreads

4. ‘Little Green Men’ by Christopher Buckley

Little Green Men is a comedy bent on the alien abduction trope. It centers on a man called John Oliver Banion who is abducted by aliens. Believing the aliens abducted him for a purpose, he concludes that purpose is to force Washington to acknowledge the existence of extraterrestrials! He soon becomes a cult figure to millions who want the truth as well and has to choose between his career, life, family or seeing his new cause through to the end. Funny, satirical, and with great characters, Little Green Men is a hilarious read.

The cover to Lagoon, featuring a young woman surrounded by aquatic life under the sea

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3. ‘Lagoon’ by Nnedi Okorafor 

Lagoon details humanity’s first contact with aliens, as when an alien spaceship crashes into a lagoon off the coast of Lagos, the fifth most populated city in the world, Earth is changed forever. The novel follows a rapper, a biologist, and a rogue soldier who come together as the city begins to get out of control. As the government considers bombing the city and its own citizens begin to riot, this small group of people must work as one to ensure peaceful first contact. A unique and highly engaging novel that details aliens landing somewhere that isn’t America, Lagoon is a great, fast paced read.

The cover to Contact featuring a swirling nebula, the dark void of space, and the planet Earth

Image Via Goodreads

2. ‘Contact’ by Carl Sagan

The basis for the more famous nineties movie, Contact centers on a young woman receiving a message from supposed aliens and attempting to decipher their message then somehow heads into space to make contact with the extraterrestrials. Touching on themes on faith, science, and what it means to be human, Contact is intimidating to read, as its very focused on the realistic side of space travel, which means like of high minded scientific concepts/math thrown at the reader. But its a wonderful read nonetheless and the reveal at the end makes the whole journey worth it.

The cover to the War of the Worlds, featuring a towering tripod vaporizing a ship in the sea

Image Via Pixels

1. ‘War of the Worlds’ by H.G. Wells

You know it, you’ve watched it, but have you actually read it? War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells started it all. The popularity of aliens, alien invasions, and the human conflicts against them began with this book. The aliens come without warning, attacking London at the end of the nineteenth century. The war against the aliens is still just as hard hitting as it was back then, despite countless other alien invasion stories popping up by the thousand since. Most famous are the giant tripods, the aliens war machines that stomp their way through London, annihilating everything in sight with their death rays. A great and exciting pulpy read, War of the Worlds started it all but holds up very well.

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New ‘War Of The Worlds’ Adaptation Begins Filming

Another adaptation of H.G. Wells’ epic science-fiction novel War of the Worlds is coming to the small screen. Filming has begun in Bristol for an eight-episode miniseries from AGC Television.

First published in 1897, War of the Worlds was one of the first stories to deal with the concept of contact with extraterrestrial life and follows two protagonists, a father and daughter, as they try to survive an incoming attack from martians. Two of its most famous adaptations include a 1938 radio broadcast, which fooled people into thinking that aliens were actually invading, and a 2005 feature film directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning.

 

Movie poster for War of the Worlds starring Tom Cruise
Image Via Amazon

 

The miniseries will star Gabriel Byrne and Elizabeth McGovern and will be set in present day Europe as a re-imagining of the classic story. It is unknown when the series is scheduled to be released.

 

Gabriel Byrne and Elizabeth McGovern
Image Via The Hollywood Reporter

 

This is not to be confused with the BBC adaptation starring Rafe Spall and Eleanor Thompson which will be airing later this year.

 

 

Featured Image Via BloodyDisgusting

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George R.R. Martin Pens Tribute to Classic Mars Science Fiction

The world’s favorite alien planet is back in the news this week (and not just because of The Martian adaptation!): scientists have discovered liquid water on Mars, a possible indication that there could be life on the Red Planet. One person who’s excited by the news is George R.R. Martin, who grew up reading about Mars in paperbacks and comic books. In a new piece written for the Guardian, he reflects on the literary history of Mars.

In the article, the author of A Game of Thrones traces the legacy of Martian science fiction from H.G. Wells and Edgar Rice Burroughs all the way to the present-day writers who appear in Old Mars, a collection of Martian stories that Martin edited. Throughout the piece, Martin draws connections between scientific exploration and literature. In particular, he focuses on the Mariner spacecrafts’ discoveries and how they put an end to the more imaginative portrayals of Mars.

Despite NASA’s injection of realism to the science fiction community, Martin’s Old Mars collection will feature retro-style Martian stories. Martin anticipates some backlash from his community, but he defends the collection, saying:

Purists and fans of “hard SF” and other people with sticks up their butts may howl that the stories in Old Mars are not “real science fiction”. So be it. Call them “space opera” or “space fantasy” or “retro-sf” or “skiffy”, any term you like. Me, I call them “stories”, and like all stories, they are rooted in the imagination. When you come right down to it, I don’t think “real” matters nearly as much as “cool”.

Check out Martin’s entire piece over at the Guardian – it’s well worth reading!

 

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Stephen L., Staff Writer