As I’ve noted before, there is a long production chain for a book to get published: manuscript acquisition, (copy)editing, layout and design, printing, and marketing. However, even if you do all of those things right—right meaning highest quality for the best cost—you can still wind up with thousands of books sitting in your garage for the next ten years if you don’t have one, last key element in place: a book distributor.
Archive for the dystopia Category
When I was growing up I spent every other Christmas and a couple of weeks each summer at my paternal grandparents’ farm in northern Arkansas. There was a series of things I’d always do every time I was there: have endless adventures in the big red barn my great-grandfather had built shortly after the turn of the century, construct buildings with the set of original Lincoln Logs kept in an old cardboard box at the back of the living room closet, and read the same paperbacks kicking around in that same closet like Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, The Hobbit, anything by Wilbur Smith or even the ancient World Book Encyclopedia that was perpetually bowing the bottom shelf almost to the point of collapse.
But, hands down, the book I always looked forward to rereading every time I was there was a thirty-five cent Dell paperback anthology from 1954 edited by Groff Conklin: Six Great Short Novels of Science Fiction.
There’s an interesting piece, “Fresh Hell” by Laura Miller, in the current New Yorker that examines the increasing appeal of dystopian novels and stories to the young adult (YA) demographic. As she sees it, there are a couple of fundamental differences between adult vs. YA dystopian novels: the former posit futures that might come to pass (1984) while the latter are metaphors for the world in which teenagers find themselves today (The Hunger Games); for adults the ending is inevitably pessimistic (and are usually stand-alone titles) while for younger readers it is either openly upbeat—or as much as a dystopian story can be “upbeat”—or decidedly ambiguous to drive its readers to the next book in the series.