Saturday, 27 March 2010

Science Fiction and Fantasy Survey

This book contains two surveys of fantasy and science fiction authors, one carried out by Mexicon in 1989, the other by the British Science Fiction Association in 2009. Each author was asked the same questions under strict interrogation conditions (i.e. bright spotlights in a bar in 1989, email in 2009) and their answers analysed to produce a snapshot of the Muse’s favourite genre. The surveys are particularly interesting to Katherine, since 1989 was the year she began to write short stories for the genre magazines. They didn’t ask me – they must have thought unicorns would be a little bit biased? – but I gave my author a prod with my horn, so she’s quoted a couple of times in the book along with 127 other fantasy/sf authors you might recognise.

Here are a few authors in the book Katherine has met:
Sarah Ash – met at Fantasycon and wrote one of her favourite books “Moths to a Flame”.
Frances Hardinge – fellow Branford Boase Award winner.
Mary Hoffman – a friend and secret admirer of the Great Horse.
Diana Wynne Jones – did a joint event with Katherine at Cheltenham Festival.
Katherine Langrish – a friend also published by HarperCollins.
Tim Lebbon – wrote a collaborative novella with Katherine called “Children of the New Disorder” (warning: definitely NOT a children’s book!).
Juliet E McKenna – shared her first agent Maggie Noach.

Katherine obviously thinks of herself as a fantasy writer - why else would she have a unicorn as a muse? - but some authors don’t like labels, even though the Muse thinks they actually write fantasy. Other authors are notably missing from the surveys. For example, I don’t see JK Rowling or Philip Pullman in there… WHY NOT? (The Muse is disappointed in you two and will be coming to visit with my horn, so make sure you’ve both got a good excuse!)

You can buy a copy of this book from the BSFA

Now, for my own little survey. What the Muse would like to know is:

1) Do you count yourself as a fan of fantasy/science fiction?
2) Do you enjoy reading adult fantasy/sf as well as books published on the teenage shelves?
3) Would you be interested in a teenage fantasy/sf community covering books, games and films?


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