Science Fiction this week has not changed much from previous weeks, though there is a rise in interest in “Classics” of the genre that is quite new. Otherwise, it is still Apocalypses and Dystopias, Space Operas and Military Science Fiction, Science Fiction Romance, and LitRPG that are grabbing hold of people and refusing to let go.
The books seen as Classics this week are, perhaps not surprisingly, books that also dip into the other popular niches of the week. 1984, by George Orwell, for example is clearly a Dystopian novel, and manages to get onto the chart twice, once by itself and once in a collection with Animal Farm. Also falling into this combined niche of Apocalypse/Dystopian fiction that is a classic are Margaret Atwood’s, The Handmaid’s Tale, and it’s new sequel, The Testaments, and Octavia E. Butler’s, The Parable of the Sower. But what does all of this mean? Essentially, I think it shows that readers know that there are excellent books in this niche and are perfectly happy dipping into older tales. It might also show that the niche is able to catch a hold of readers from outside of the usual Science Fiction genre, and as such has a broader foundation to build on their sales.
There is also a lot of Dystopian and Apocalyptic fiction that is not a Classic of the genre. It is still a very popular and beloved niche. There is a lot of interest this week in books where it is humanity’s fault that the world has come to ruin, whether that is from climate change, disease, EMPs or any other variety of apocalypse. There are a lot of books about people searching and going on what are essentially quests, to try and find a cure or a solution.
In addition to this, Space Operas are very popular this week. Most of them feature a space ship and military force blend of space, which typically features massive space battles and less exploring than one would think.
Science Fiction Romance is also doing very well, with the trend of Alien Male and Human Woman continuing. Typically in these books the male is from a superior society of technological warriors, while the woman is from Earth, and usually the Earth is in pretty bad shape and needs all the help it can get.
And last but not least, there is also the LitRPG genre which is still holding strong. Typically, these stories tend to also incorporate a bit of Apocalypse/Dystopian flare into the story, as the people need some reason to wish to escape reality. They are usually also set in a reasonably near future Earth, or a setting that has been near Earth at some point. Sometimes space ships are involved. These books tend to cross pretty merrily between the Fantasy and Science Fiction genres, so expect to hear more about them in the Fantasy post later today.
One last post script, a book we here on the website have been looking forward to has come out and it is already squarely in the middle of the chart. Gideon the Ninth, by Tamsyn Muir, is a mix of High Fantasy tropes in a Science Fiction setting. Since it has a space setting, plus Sci Fi Military elements, it fits into that niche, but it is pretty distinctly different too.
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