The Next YA Trend: Science Fiction?

A few months ago I bemoaned on Twitter that there was not enough science fiction or space operas in young adult fiction:

Of course, fiction publishing is full of speculation about the next genre people won’t be able to get enough of. Even before the dystopian genre had died (and I’m not 100% sure it has yet), people were hailing the zombie genre with open arms – and just look how dominant that genre has become! /sarcasm

Looking back, it’s not “genre fiction” that succeeded The Hunger Games and its spawn but contemporary and coming of age novels – think The Fault in Our Stars, published in 2012 or The Perks of Being a Wallflower, both recently given the film treatment to much success.

But what’s next? Again, I hate to speculate – but I think it’s going to be science fiction. Space travel. Warp speed. Worm holes. Cryo-sleep, unchartered planets, intergalactic wars, space mining. And doesn’t it all sound so exciting?! I think it does. I’ve been waiting for science fiction to take hold of the young adult market for a while – I love the scale of space, the intricacies and technological marvels of (invented) space travel, the idea of entirely new discoveries to be made. And I’m not the only one – with the release of Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, it looks like a lot of people are getting off on the idea of whole new worlds.

“ready to say goodbye to our solar system? To our galaxy – here we go”

YA has already been making a few steps towards sci-fi: think Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave, which became hugely popular last year and is undergoing a film adaptation, or Pierce Brown’s Red Rising (based on Mars). Was Garth Nix ahead of the curve when he published his space opera A Confusion of Princes in 2012? I hope so. Whether “hard” or “soft” sci-fi, I’m welcoming it with open arms. I’m excited – are you?

Are you convinced? Do you think science fiction will be the next big thing in YA?

About Rhys

Rhys is a 19 year old with roots in the UK and Germany. Aside from reading and blogging, he also produces theatre, loves Kate Bush and hopes to pursue a career in publishing. His reviews have been widely quoted in books such as Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines Quartet, Catherine Bruton’s Pop!, James Treadwell’s Advent and Anarchy and he has presented at such events as Book Expo America.

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