Ten Bookish Trends I’d Like to See More or Less Of

“Make no mistake, those who write long books have nothing to say. Of course those who write short books have even less to say.”

Mark Z. Danielewski


  1. The one where romance takes a back seat to, you know, surviving. Pioneered by The Hunger Games and perfected in Uprooted.
  2. The one where SFF is taken seriously as a valid mode of storytelling and not “just escapism”. China Mieville. Charles Yu. Kazuo Ishiguro. Cormac McCarthy. All authors who take the speculative genres on their own terms and use them to push the boundaries of literature. We need literary science fiction!
  3. The one where women have self-definition and make their own decisions and need no man. Anything ever written by Garth Nix.
  4. The one with urban fantasy. Cities are thriving, living places, and it’s great to see that reflected in fiction. SFF has really interesting things to say about urban life.
  5. The one with fairytales. I love a good fairytale retelling – they’re so interesting to read, and often full of a shivering darkness that’s hard to find anywhere else.
  6. The one with found footage. House of Leaves and Night Film: fascinating, terrifying, baggy books that play with text and the textual and which reward endless rereading because there are so many gaps. Two recently published ones are on my mental radar at the moment: Illuminae and Wylding Hall.


  1. The one where the World was Saved By Love. Please. I’m sure you can do better than this. No, that is not how bombs work.
  2. The one where the phrase “celebrity author” is involved. Because, invariably, a terrible book written by a celebrity author will get more hype and excitement than a wonderful book by an unknown and this is not really fair and the celebrities already have enough money.
  3. The one where Beloved Author no longer gets edited because they can Do No Wrong. Believe me. They can. Stephen King does still need an editor. So does Terry Pratchett. So does everyone. That is what editors are for.
  4. The one with the unsubtle metaphors for puberty and/or sex. Otherwise known as anything that has had the word “paranormal” anywhere near it. Having periods is just like turning into a werewolf every month! No, no it isn’t. Also vampires. Vampire territory is dodgy territory.

(The theme for this post was suggested by the Broke and the Bookish’s weekly meme Top Ten Tuesday.)

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