While I’m working on a few reviews, I wanted to post this awesome link to all the best 2013 science fiction and fantasy novels coming out in 2013.
My husband sent me this link, and the first thing that struck me about this list was how many of my favorite authors AND my husband’s favorite authors are included. And we don’t share much in our reading tastes. Mine: Diana Gabaldon, Kate Atkinson, Stephen King, Gail Carriger, Neil Gaiman, Paulo Bacigalupi, Terry Pratchett, and Brandon Sanderson. His: Charles Stross, Peter Hamilton, James A. Corey. We both like Robert Sawyer, John Scalzi, and J.R.R. Tolkien (yes, new Tolkien coming out!).
But what really struck me about the list is how gender-neutral most of it seems. My husband reads really “male” science fiction (he calls it “hard” science fiction, tee hee). I like science fiction that’s more plot, less science, like Ray Bradbury or the recent anthology I read, Diverse Energies. I’m struggling with the term “gender-neutral”, which seems a horribly dry way to discuss books, but what I mean are books that aren’t girly and not screamingly-male.
For example: urban fantasy or steampunk usually = girly.
Space opera = only guys are reading this stuff.
But look at most of the books on the list and you tell me where the categories fall. You can’t. Sure, I’m judging mainly by the covers, but let’s face it, science fiction and fantasy covers are usually about as gender-specific as you get in the world of fiction. And even though I hardly read books with physical covers any more, covers still determine who buys what book.
For a collection of science fiction and fantasy to look this varied says a lot about the changing world of science fiction and fantasy. I see boundaries being mixed, borders being crossed. I’m happy to see writers like Stephen King and Diana Gabaldon being included in science fiction and fantasy rather than segregated in the back of the store as horror and romance. I see new ideas about what is science fiction and fantasy, and women writers emerging as more equal in the field.
Granted, I’m seeing a lot from just a list. And I’m sure there’s room for criticism: too many series books? Too much YA? Too many white authors? What do you think?
Amidst all the greatness on this list, there are also tons of authors I’ve never heard of and can’t wait to try out. So thanks to the husband not only for a fantastic reading list but for turning me on to io9, a really cool website (and while you’re there, you have to check out this awesomeness).