This week in the Bestselling Science Fiction charts, the end is nigh! Or at least there are an awful lot of books being read about apocalypses.
Three classics of the Science Fiction (and Fantasy) genre are ruling the roost. Margaret Atwood’s, The Handmaid’s Tale, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s, Good Omens, and George Orwell’s, 1984, all three have versions for the screen either in the works or running now. But, many people will tell you that this is not why these books are doing so well, instead it is the comparison with real life that is pushing them up the charts.
As well as the classics of the genre, A. G. Riddle is enjoying a lot of limelight this week, with several books in the top end of the charts. These include, The Solar War, Pandemic, The Winter World, and The Atlantis Gene. These books generally deal with a plot featuring an oncoming apocalypse that must be fought against. They are relatively near future science fiction novels, and while space travel occurs they are not planet hopping space operas.
Elsewhere in the charts, Lindsay Buroker is doing exceptionally well, with multiple books in the charts. These are mostly from the Star Kingdom series, though the collection of the Heritage of Power series is also pretty high up the list. The latter is described on its page as Steampunk Science Fiction, though it features all the trappings of High Fantasy, given the dragons and talking swords featured in the blurb, however the Star Kingdom is more traditional Science Fiction fare. Space, Robots, Genetic Experimentation, and a Science minded hero, are all pillars of the genre.
There are as many space operas on the chart as there are pre, during, and post-apocalyptic novels, the old favourites do not go far, it seems.
A new favourite, LitRPG (well, reasonably new) is also doing well, with Travis Bagwell publishing a new spin off from his main series. Awaken Online: Unity, follows a side character, Frank, as he explores the world off stage as the main characters of the other books are busy doing other things. LitRPG is a tricky genre to explain to people, but the idea of a secondary character going off and having their own adventures while the series protagonists are hard at work, is something that many readers will enjoy the thought of, even if they do not know the world they are exploring too well.
In Science Fiction, thrillers abound. It is just how it is, the two genres are made for one another. One example of this is Sleeping Giants, by Sylvain Neuvel, and another is Bone Music by Christopher Rice, the pair of which are collecting five star reviews with the enthusiasm of Victorian butterfly lovers.
As always, Romance is finding a way to sneak into the charts, the broad strokes of it are this, most if not all of the books on the charts that are Science Fiction Romance feature a human woman having a relationship with an alien male. There are more nuances than that, and many more sub-genres, niches, and trends, than I can mention here, and if you wish to learn more then you can follow my link here to the post I wrote analysing the Science Fiction Romance sub-genre yesterday. It is always fairly safe to say that books aligning with Science Fiction Romance will appear on all three charts and many of the books I have already mentioned do so.
Finally, one interesting thing to note about the books on the list this week is how many deal with the idea of female fertility and safety during pregnancy. As well as the aforementioned The Handmaid’s Tale, there is also The Book of the Unnamed Midwife, by Meg Ellison, and numerous books in the Science Fiction Romance section of the chart. It seems to be a very powerful trend in the genre, though one that writers should be wary about. It is a very complicated subject and one that is very easy to upset a lot of people, even those on opposite sides, when writing about.