This week in Science Fiction it’s Aliens and Apocalypses from the bottom to the top.
A. G. Riddle’s books are still filling the charts, the books are filled with plagues, end of the world disasters, and alien invasions. So they fit in pretty well with the chart and really could be used as a microcosm of the entire thing. Similar books, such as The Jakarta Pandemic, by Steven Konkoly, and The Amber Project, by J. N. Chaney, both deal with worlds ripped apart and the people trying desperately to stick them back together again.
In contrast, Alien Invasion books, such as The Invasion, by M. R. Forbes, tend to be also about survival, but with a hefty dose of revenge and warfare as well. There is an easy link between these and the Military Sci Fi books in the Space Opera niche, the only change is that Earth is less of a focus and on occasion the enemies the protagonists are fighting are human as well. There is also sometimes a bit of a tonal change, it goes from desperate struggles for survival, to fights fr revenge, to fights for territory and politics, though often the first two aspects are also included.
Mary Robinette Kowal’s award winning, The Calculating Stars, is also proving popular this week. Though perhaps it should not be too much of a surprise given that it tells an alternate history version of the 1960’s space race, and that is something that has been massively in the news this week, given the anniversary of the Moon Landing. It also continues a trend shown in the Fantasy genre of women fighting against the structures pinning them down and saving the world.
Thrawn: Treason, by Timothy Zahn, is a part of the Star Wars universe, and thus has the power of a billion dollar media empire behind it. The chance for people to read about a familiar fictional universe, but an unknown part of it with new characters and different worlds and societies, is a well known draw for readers. It has been one that has worked for a very, very long time, it is a story telling niche that works. But perhaps it is also helped by being a part of the Alien niche that is so popular this week, or perhaps it is helping the niche? Either way, Aliens are doing well, and not just in the classic areas of Science Fiction, books that cover exploration and war, but also in the Romance areas of the chart.
Alien Invasions, Alien Abduction Fantasies, Omegaverse, and Alpha Males, are all represented in the Science Fiction Romance books filling the charts today. There is a slight reduction in the number of books which feature the recent trend of a Savage Alien Hero rescuing a Space Faring Human Heroine, but it is still not entirely gone, and appears unlikely to disappear in the very near future.
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