Science Fiction Writers No Longer Write What I Want to Read

Here’s a timely tweet:

Why timely? I don’t keep up with sf as much as I used to, but last night I decided I was in the mood for some. So I browsed through new releases for the past three months. I immediately crossed off (a) fantasy novels and (b) anything that was book x of y. In other words, all I wanted was a single-volume sf novel that wasn’t part of an ongoing series.

After doing that, there were maybe four or five books left to choose from. Some just didn’t look like my cup of tea, as some books don’t. In the end, there were two books left on my list. I bought one of them. So far it’s not very good.

Obviously I’m in a minority. There’s a lot of fantasy out there because it’s popular these days. There are also lots of novels that are part of continuing universes because that’s also popular these days. But it leaves those of us with more old-school tastes without a lot of choices. This is why I don’t read all that much sf anymore.

POSTSCRIPT: I read both multi-volume fantasy (is there any other kind?) and multi-volume sf, though only after the entire series has been published. According to my Nook library, the most recent fantasy series I’ve read is N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth, and the most recent sf series is Cixin Liu’s Three-Body Problem. However, my usual preference is for self-contained sf. According to my Nook library, I’ve managed to read a grand total of two such books over the past year or so: Connie Willis’s Crosstalk and Cory Doctorow’s Walkaway.

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Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

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