“New Sci-fi” Part Two! Women

After reading some thoughts that the industry had on where the sci-fi genre needs to go in the next few years, I’ve found myself thinking about what the actual problems with the genre can be. It’s true that sales can be soft for science fiction work, but it’s also true that “we need less science in our sci-fi” is kind of a stupid solution. So, I’ve gathered some observations to see if maybe I can shed some light on the issue from the “outside”.

Truthfully, I was going to leave this observation for last. I’ve got about 3 or 4 things I feel are worth pointing out and this one I felt was the strongest one to go out on. But after some consideration and a chat with a near and dear friend, I’ve realized that this one really kind of leads into and ties the rest of them together. Because one of the biggest problems we have is assuming what will and won’t sell and preemptively avoiding it. And one of the biggest assumptions we have is just who does and doesn’t read certain genres.

If you look at some of the biggest successes in the last decade, you see that several of the authors have something that links them all: Two X Chromosomes. Think about it, aside from a couple of works from the likes of Dan Brown, most of the really popular books in the last 10 to 15 years have been written by women. Why is that?

And after some contemplation, I think I’ve come upon the answer to this and the key to this “mystery”. I’ll be honest, it wasn’t really that hard. Really it’s the kind of thing that should make sense to anyone. But after listening to industry types talk about what did and didn’t sell I’ve come to realize something “profound”:

Women read books. Seriously, I looked it up and it’s totally true! Go figure, right?

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