Tag: Urban fantasy

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

Image result for the scorch trials city"

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

image via the portalist

 

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

This Interactive Short Story Will Make You Feel Things

Ever wanted to choose your own profound and horrifying sci-fi adventure? This article is for you.

“With Those We Love Alive” is a strange, deeply atmospheric short story, told a few pieces at a time. You are an artificer, drawn into the service of the Skull Queen. The magic is strange and tangible, and though you don’t see much of the world, you get an impression of its vastness. Live the luminous sense of listless terror made ambiance through the simple but powerful backgrounds, the eerie soundtrack, and the world’s uneasy details. Wander the palace and the city. Look on the outer world. You will be prompted to hold your breath. Look. Look away. Draw all over yourself (cue weird looks from the rest of the editorial team).

 

Please don’t judge my lack of art skills

You make many choices, shape the world, or does it shape you? The pull of the plot is inexorable, subtle. This is a land of monsters, of gruesome beauty, and unlike any fantasy world you’ve ever seen. You will come to feel trapped. You will come to realize you are terribly in love. With a sense of both choice and inevitability, walk through this place, the palace of the Skull Queen, her city, and see what it makes you. Find an ending as sudden and vibrant as the rest of the story, and etch each choice into your skin.

Eerie, gorgeous, and coolly violent, this story will stay with you long after the sigils you’re instructed to draw have faded.

Things you’ll need: headphones, a marker or pen.

See other people’s sigils here.

 

3 Independent Web Comic Serials Worth the Wait

We’re living in a golden age of graphic novels, and serials give you your comic fix while also taking you back to the days when you had to wait a month between Full Metal Alchemist chapters. Dark times. There are plenty of great platforms for web comics nowadays, but here are a few that are doing it on their own.

 

 

1. Ava’s Demon

Image via Patreon

 

Sci-fi, ghosts, and a whole lot of fire – this comic has it all! Ava Ire, haunted by a malicious ghost all her life, lives on a boarding school planet for the god-emperor TITAN, until raiders attack and she’s forced to flee. When her escape goes wrong, she’s forced to make a pact with the very entity she’s been trying to resist all her life, but that’s just the beginning. Ava is a flawed character you’ll still adore, and the blend of science fiction and fantasy is seamlessly elegant. Plus the art is outrageously beautiful.

 

 

 

2. Vattu

Image via rice-boy.com

 

This is the story of Vattu, a small creature from a tribe of nomadic musicians, who are given to a colonizing empire as tribute. A servant in the palace, Vattu gets into more than she expects to when she stumbles across secret plots, cults, and strange magics. This is high fantasy at it’s best, original, high stakes, and immersive, in a world that’s not really like anything you’ve seen. The art is simple and evocative, and the plot steady and surprising.

 

 

 

3. Barbarous

Image via JohnnyWander

 

This urban fantasy centers around Persephone, a young woman who can’t control her magic. Considered a liability, she’s unemployed and couch surfing, until an attempted act of kindness and a chance encounter lead to a job that prizes her for her unruly magic and difficult personality. The world is sparse and believable, the art is stylized, and the color manages to convey urban blight without actually being monochrome. Persephone is instantly likable, and her world is seamlessly supernatural.

 

 

Featured image via Roblox

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost to Adapt Ben Aaronovitch’s ‘Rivers of London’

Exciting news! According to Deadline  Stolen Picture, a production company set up by Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, is set to adapt the epic fantasy drama novel Rivers of London. The novel by Ben Aaronovitch follows Peter Grant, a former policeman who becomes a magician’s apprentice. The series of novels follows Peter as he solves magical crimes, blending urban fantasy with crime thrillers. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have previously collaborated to make films such as Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End. They will be developing the book as a TV series, with the two expressing great excited at bringing Aaronovitch’s world to life.

 

A portrait of London covered in rivers of blood
IMAGE VIA AMAZON

Ben Aaronovitch has been brought onto the series as an executive producer. Simon Pegg noted this was important for him, wanting to make sure the creator’s vision is adhered to. Often, Pegg noted, writers are treated unfairly and have their ideas stolen rather than being creative partners. Making Aaronovitch a producer of the series will make sure his vision is faithfully adapted and allow him to create his world again onscreen. Each season is intended to adapt one of the books, with the first season slated for ten episodes. Currently, the team is in the assembly aspect of the series but hopefully, Rivers of Londons will grace our screens soon! It sounds like a great project and certainly something for any urban fantasy fan.

Are you excited? Let us know in the comments!

 

 

Featured Image Via Deadline