And the diagnosis is...

Does your head pound when you see a shelf full of paranormal fiction? Do your eyes glaze over every time you read a synopsis about high schoolers finding out they're vampires?  Do you feel nauseated when you read reviews of books about love triangles between humans, werewolves and angels? Perhaps you are suffering from "paranormal fatigue".

Publishers' Weekly published an article titled, "YA comes of Age" back in September 2011 discussing current and possible future trends in young adult fiction publishing. They noted the continuing boom in YA literature which is possibly tied to the success of the Twilight series, but also an "industry wide case of paranormal fatigue". Apparently some editors are getting tired of the hundreds of manuscripts about vampires, angels, zombies and faeries. The article points out that some paranormal is continuing to sell, but the new trend is dystopian fiction, writers hoping for the same success of the Hunger Games Trilogy. An interview with the president of the American Library Association's YALSA about publishing trends in 2012 expresses similar thoughts that vampires are "fading" but also suggests that steampunk, in addition to dystopian fiction, might be on the rise.

I am definitely seeing more and more dystopian fiction, and though I personally prefer it over the paranormal theme, I can see the plots becoming stale unless authors come up with some unique settings and original characters that develop well throughout the story. That said, excellent writing can often save a formula plotline for me.

As for steampunk, I think it's still overshadowed by paranormal and dystopian themes. Will it be the next big thing? Some comments on the Publisher's Weekly article wondered if historical fiction or more traditional sci-fi would become popular. I think steampunk is more likely -- it probably would have more popular appeal. It has elements of fantasy (which readers seem to love these days) and potential to be pretty creative in the way technology is included. I think fiction written in true classic sci-fi and historical fiction styles will remain on the sidelines -- unless authors start cutting down the length and complexity of their plots (which, in that case, it would no longer be of the true classic styles!). But whatever the next big trend, I sure hope we can get away from endless descriptions of the protagonists' bemoaning forbidden love, unnecessary details of each character's wardrobe, and book covers that look like shampoo advertisements.
Email Facebook Twitter Favorites More


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...