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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As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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