This week the main themes tying the Science Fiction on the chart together, seem to be Dystopias and Apocalypses, and Military Science Fiction. Plus quite a bit of Romance. There is also a show of power from the award winning books on the chart.
A. G. Riddle is still riding high with numerous books on the chart, most involve some sort of Apocalypse, be it man, alien, or natural in nature. Margaret Atwood’s, A Handmaid’s Tale, is also at the top of the chart, showing that the classics of the genre are not disappearing. Dystopias are strewn around the chart, there are numerous causes. Most are thanks to humanity, but there are also plenty which are based in things like asteroids, strange phenomena, and aliens which are less our fault. This, however, does not detract from the massive amount of books where it is very clearly humanity’s fault, whether bombs, EMPs, or bio engineered diseases are the cause.
In Military Science Fiction it is clear that there are two main trends, Earth based and Space based. The books that happen in space tend to be far further into the future, and frequently involve aliens and exploration, and the occasional death of entire planets. In contrast, the Earth based ones tend to be a lot smaller and focused in their settings, people are generally fighting over one corner of the world that is familiar to them, rather than facing off against a massive space empire. Alien invasions of Earth are popular in this niche, which leads us onto the next trend doing well.
Science Fiction Romance will get it’s own post later this week, but it would be remiss to leave it out entirely of this post. There is quite a bit of it on the chart this week, primarily human women being abducted or coerced into a relationship with an alien man. The alien man is usually part of a conquering force who have taken over the Earth, and there are usually undertones of arranged marriage or something similar to the plight of the Handmaids in Atwood’s, The Handmaid’s Tale.
Finally, as in Fantasy this week there has been a lot of books coming out to celebrate the best stories written that year. There are also numerous themed anthologies doing very well. As well as N. K. Jemison’s, The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2018, Galactic Empires, edited by Neil Clarke, and Invaders, edited by Jacob Weisman are also selling very well.
Interestingly, the recent Hugo Awards have also helped to boost some books popularity, Mary Robinette Kowal’s Hugo Winning book about Alternate History astronauts, is back in the chart. The Calculating Stars has been in and out of the chart fairly frequently of late, but it is interesting to see it doing so well a week after it’s win of the Best Novel Award.
LitRPG and GameLit are also doing well in the chart this week. Ironically the books doing best seem to be ones where magic and Fantasy tropes are most heavily layered onto the plot, which feels as if it should be more in favour over in Fantasy. However this does not seem to be the case.
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