Regarding the myth that readers determine what gets published

OK, so I just read this article in PW about new trends in YA, or What’s Hot and What’s Not.

And the Nice Agent People are all allowing as how they participated in the flooding of the market with Urban Fantasy and Dystopian novels, until nobody wants UF or Dystopian novels any more, and now they’re looking for the Coming Thing, which they believe will be “Contemporary Fiction.” Which they will proceed to flood the market with until nobody wants it anymore, and then they’ll be looking for the Coming Thing.

And my question is…why the hell can’t we learn that flooding the market with anything serves no one? That a balanced approach means that every reader can find something that they like to read, all the time? I’ve stopped reading Science Fiction a couple of times in my life because I happened to hate the Hot Thing, and there! was! nothing else! but! the Hot Thing on offer. The years when all the SF had to be Hard, and Space Opera was dead, were especially trying.

Also, I’m kind of tired of proclamations like, “Second World Fantasy is dead.” Because? Those sorts of proclamations, made by people who, actually don’t know if Second World Fantasy is really dead, or just taking a breather — mean that no one is going to be able to sell a Second World Fantasy to any of the established houses, the editors of which know that SWF is dead. . .which is why writers (1) Drink and (2) Self Publish.

And the trilogy thing? For years authors who had written a good, tight standalone novel were told that they “had” to write a trilogy. Which meant that the author sometimes “stretched” the ideas that had made a enthralling standalone until they broke, the trilogy tanked and readers got mad — at them, not at the folks who “knew” that standalones were dead.

*deep breath*

So, it’s a good thing that we’re sitting over here in our corner, writing Space Opera set in a universe of our own devising, which we’ve been doing for a while now, and not starting-out writers starving for publication, and studying the Hot Trends in the hope that their book will be bought during the flood’s high water mark.

*looks at button*

*pushes it off*


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