In recent years, there's been a great deal of discussion (and angst) about the graying of science fiction and the inaccessibility of modern adult prose sf to readers who aren't immersed in the field.
But it just occurred to me (though I imagine others have been commenting on this for a couple of years now) that we seem to be in the midst of a boom, or at least a boomlet, of YA fantasy and science fiction. (As usual, "sf" in this entry means "speculative fiction," in which category I include both fantasy and science fiction.)
So I'm wondering two things, though it may be too early to know the answers:
- Are the fans of modern YA sf growing up into readers of adult sf?
- What kinds of adult sf are those fans going to want to read?
I'm not sure that second question will make sense to anyone not in my head, so a brief explanation:
It seems to me that in the olden days, the Heinlein juveniles and the Andre Norton books and the Earthsea trilogy and such served as a kind of a gateway drug to adult sf; kids who liked those books could grow up to enjoy other somewhat similar books (as well as others, of course).
But I don't know enough about today's YA sf readers to know whether modern adult sf is the kind of thing that's likely to interest them when they grow up. Will they be looking for other kinds of sf than what's currently being written?
(What do I mean by "other kinds of sf"? I'm not sure. This is all kind of vague in my head.)
I'm sure some of them will grow up to write the kinds of sf they want to read. And I know some of today's YA sf writers are also writing for adults.
But I'm nonetheless curious.
I imagine no answer would be complete without reference to Harry Potter. A few years ago, word on the street seemed to be that the vast multitudes of Harry Potter fans were not making the transition into being fans of YA sf in general. But I don't know whether things have changed since then.
Basically, there's all sorts of stuff I don't know about this area, and I'm hoping someone will come along and educate me and/or point me to interesting discussions.
If I were going to WorldCon this weekend, this is the kind of thing I would ask about there. But I'm not, so I'll have to ask here.
(First time I've missed a North American WorldCon since 1999, and second time I've missed any WorldCon at all during that time. But friends' weddings take precedence.)