I was saying to someone on Tuesday that although I am reading a lot at the moment, it is mostly crime and thrillers, and almost no science fiction. In fact the only book I have read recently close to that genre was Stephen King’s Under The Dome, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
But while saying that my sf reading was way down, I had no idea why it was. It was definitely not a conscious decision *not* to read sf. I wonder if, in part, it is because there have been several decent SF shows on TV in the last couple of years, so I was getting my fix that way.
Today I received a clue. Having finished my current book, and not having anything in the easily accessible “to read” pile (I am sure I have got unread books still packed in boxes, but they will have to wait), I wandered into W. H. Smiths. Just passing the Crime and General sections, I spotted 4 books that I quite fancied, but I walked past, to go to the SF and Fantasy section. Only to find two and a half shelves of various Vampire novels, not just Stephanie Meyer, but at least 2 other series of vampire books – Vampire Academy, Vampire Diaries, plus assorted other books. There was the ubiquitous shelf of Pratchett, without which any W. H. Smiths would not be complete, and half a shelf of Dr Who novels.
Which left a single shelf of assorted sf novels, half of which were really fantasy, and none of which were of any interest to me. So I went back to the general and crime sections, and picked up the books I had spotted earlier.
Which explains it. I get my idea of what is hot on the general/crime front by recommendations from friends and family, and listening to the radio. My sf “hotometer” was always based on what I saw in book stores.
So what do you think is hot at the moment. No long lists, please, just (a) what is the best sf novel you have read in the last year and/or (b) who is the up-and-coming author to watch.