Thursday, March 19, 2009

Farah Mendlesohn and the Campaign for Shiny Futures


Farah Mendlesohn, a name I see often on the Child_Lit listserv, has published an impassioned article about the state of sci-fi in YA, and how it got there. Quotage, you ask? Soitenly.
Very few SF books published for the teen market since 1970 saw the future as something to look forward to, and the downbeat books are not merely skeptical, they are downright doom-mongering and disempowering.
Now I love me some Uglies and Feed as much as the next geek, but I have to admit she's got a point there. Dystopia are so common in YA SF that I have a whole category in my LibraryThing for it. She also makes some remarks about why teens aren't supposed to like classic techno-geek SF (and why that assumption isn't always right) that are worth paying attention to.

She mentions a forthcoming book, The Intergalactic Playground. Now I'm terribly interested in reading it, or at least getting my hot little hands on a booklist.

Thanks to SheilaRuth via Twitter.

1 comment:


Thanks for pointing me to Mendlesohn's article! When people ask me to recommend sci-fi for teens, I don't even know what to tell them these days. Dragon and Thief? Starswarm? Citizen of the Galaxy? There doesn't seem to be much more, other than dystopian novels. Whereas I can name dozens and dozens of fantasy books. And I totally agree with her take on Ender's Game: The enemy's gate is DOWN! Not sure about her definition of didacticism, though. Intriguing!