Ramblings from the Desert

The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. ~Benjamin Franklin

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Location: New Mexico

Author of the urban fantasy novel, The Music of Chaos, and the paranormal romance, The Canvas Thief.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

But I'd Don't Wanna Write About That

Lit agent Jennifer Jackson has a interesting post regarding an author who would rather write SF but is being encouraged by her agent, to write fantasy. (This caught my interest because of my previous posting regarding my little romantic fairy tale, which may not have much of a market. I really liked writing this story; it came so easy. But where the hell do I send such a beastie?*)

In her LJ, the author says this:
So today my agent, to whom I had let slip that I was working on a new novel that was, gasp, science fiction, begged me not to go there. No one's buying it. Even established authors are having trouble selling it. Please consider if there is anything else at all that you can write other than science fiction. Fantasy, by the way, is doing pretty well
What do you do when your heart is in a story/novel or genre that doesn't sell well? Especially if you are a slow writer, like moi?

Interestingly, her novel sounds like something that would float my boat, as opposed to the thinky, big idea crap.
So what's not to like about a book with space ships and explosions? (Oh, yeah, those mundane sf guys have lots to say about it. But that's another topic for another day).
Um, explosions and rockets are good. Is the problem marketing? Do so many potential SF readers, people like me, think SF is now synonymous with dense, impenetrable stuff without memorable characters? Give me a rollicking space opera; I'm so there.

Jackson looks at her sales and sees that F is indeed outselling SF. Fiction anyway.

SF, however, seems to fare better on the big screen. Think about it. How many good Sci-Fi movies, or even okay movies can you think of? Several, huh? (I'm lumping the comic inspired movies into SF, although I suppose one could classify them as fantasy. Vampire related stuff typically leans toward horror.) But fantasy? Lord of the Rings is all I can come up with. Typically anything with dragons, swords, etc. sucks like the vacuum of outer space. Excalibur, snerk. First Knight? Ugh. Reign of Fire? Double Ugh. A Knight's Tale? Stick a fork in my eye, I'm done.

Jackson's attitude toward the matter is encouraging, however.
I take a deep breath, give them the honest truth about what I think our chances are, and then we go for it. The first time I ever did that, it took me nearly three years to sell the novel in question. And it's now into many printings and the author has sold several more novels. So, there.
Asta luego.

*Shuffling off to print out story and ship it to Cicada for lack of anyplace else to send it.


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