from Visions of Paradise: Fantasy vs. Science Fiction
I read a headline recently that declared science fiction is dying, being replaced by fantasy. This spurred several thoughts in my overactive brain. It is undoubtedly true that fantasy dominates the genre these days. Locus reports in their November issue that as of September, 2009 there have been 242 sf novels published this year but 259 fantasy and 145 horror novels. That is a wide differential, which raises the obvious question: what does fantasy offer to its readers than science fiction does not?

Another possibility is that the best science fiction is thought-provoking as it speculates on the historical and sociological processes which created the future being explored. Its sense of wonder is largely intellectual rather than purely emotional. Fantasy has little of that depth, instead concentrating on creating characters whom the reader can identify with, then staying with those characters for several volumes. So where science fiction often has a feeling of disjoint, forcing the reader to adapt to a strange new world with a strange foundation in each individual novel, fantasy offers a comfortable familiarity which is something many readers crave in trouble times.

Read More here

By Fiona Purdon at the Herald Sun: Vampire thrillers boost book sales
Sales in the Young Adult fiction category have doubled annually in the past two years in Australia, figures by researcher Nielsen show.

Not surprisingly, US author Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series, after the romance between vampire Edward and high-school student Bella, have been the books most responsible for creating teenagers’ reading hunger.

The YA market is aimed at teenagers but also attracts adults. Other top-selling blood-sucking series such as Vampire Academy and the Vampire Diaries are selling and trilogies including the City of Glass and Hunger Games are popular.

Fantasy YA books, such as Graceling, have also struck gold with teenagers.

Scholastic head of publishing Andrew Berkhut is not surprised by the sales surge, saying the age group has been overlooked.

Read More here

From Liviu at Fantasy Book Critic: Random House Offers Two Popular Books Free on Their Suvudu Site
Random House official sff site Suvudu has always cool features and some great content; the best one is the Free Library section wherein various titles by prominent authors are featured free in a variety of e-book formats; this month’s additions to the ever-growing library are two very, very groovy books.

The first one is ALREADY DEAD by Charlie Huston , the 1st book in the Joe Pitt series; this book has been reviewed by Robert HERE. The blurb details are over here “Those stories you hear? The ones about things that only come out at night? Things that feed on blood, feed on us? Got news for you: they’re true. Only it’s not like the movies or old man Stoker’s storybook. It’s worse. Especially if you happen to be one of them. Just ask Joe Pitt.

Read More (and see the other book) here

via Vampire Librarian: Win a Free Copy of Vampire Taxonomy!
Don’t you love free books? Especially this time of the year when we’re all a bit strapped for cash. Therefore I’m happy to announce that we’re giving away 1 free copy of the following hilarious vampire book: “Vampire Taxonomy: Identifying And Interacting With The Modern-Day Bloodsucker”

Here’s a summary of the book:

From bestselling books to hit TV shows, there’s no denying that vampires have come a long way from the infamous monster created by Bram Stoker more than a century ago.

Our culture today is inundated with beloved blood-thirsty creatures of the night. With so many different species of vampire roaming the streets it’s important to know how to identify the different types.

More Details here

It was always frustrating when, as a teenager, I was looking for Sci Fi or Fantasy books. I ended up reading a lot of Micheal Crichton because there was nothing good in my age range. There was practically nothing, so it’s nice to see the genre being taken seriously. It’s producing good books. And even though it seems like most of what’s being published are vampire books, they have opened the door for everything else: werewolves, fairies, general shapeshifters. I had Anamorphs and that’s it. So I’m glad for the new surge.

What do you think of Young Adult books? Do you think it’s a genre worth taking seriously or is it just fluff?