Two very nice people gave me amazon gift cards for this xmas. And I, of course, have been a giddy little schoolgirl browsing movies and books.
But I go to my favorite genre "Scifi Fantasy" and STILL am bombarded with nothing but Vampire lover and werewolf lover books.
Yes, before you go on your diatribe - I KNOW. A few people made a lot of money on some "zomg it's a vampire world" and I'm very happy for them. I've even read a few. However, none of them are standouts in my mind.
I'm not asking for there to be NO vampire lover/werewolf lover/changling lover anything. All I'm asking for is VARIETY.
I want to be able to walk into a book store, sit down where I can on the floor and see artwork by Michael Raymond Whelan again, gracing the covers of the books. Or others with his talent. There is no shame in reading a book that is CLEARLY a fantasy novel. Those covers are things of magnificence and beauty. They give you a visual snippet of what you might find within.
If you're ashamed of what you're reading they've got these magical devices called Kindles, Tablets, and Nooks now. NO ONE will ever know what you're reading. They'll probably think you're playing Candy Crush Saga.
I want to be able to go through the bookshelves and see vampire romances next to Kim Stanley Robinson, Greg Bear, Anne Bishop, Sarah Wishnevsky, Sarah Monette, Amanda Downum, Jay Lake etc. I want to be able to tell my friends that if I hand them a copy of Matthew Stover's Heroes Die to read they can easily find him in the stacks.
And I'm not just saying this because these people are friends or acquaintences. These people are GOOD, imaginative people, that write original thought provoking works.
As with any entertainment, you're only going to get out of a book or a movie, or even a set of lyrics, what you're looking to get out of it. If it's a candy read, or a thought provoking cannon masterpiece you'll get what you're looking for. I just want to be able to wander in to one of my favorite places in the world, settle down, and browse for hours to find a new book. And not have every. one. I. pick. up. be about the same damned cut out bit.
I've heard that there are formulas that certain authors have followed: David Eddings I believe said something along these lines - albeit I could be wrong But even those formulas that make our epic stories have variations.
Why is Game of Thrones so incredibly popular? I would go out on a limb and say that it's because George R. R. Martin took a formula, and twisted it into something new using his imagination. Something that appeals to a wider audience. He isn't the first to write an epic fantasy (and yes, I'm a fangirl, but that doesn't change the fact that he's not the first).
JK Rowling wasn't the first to write about wizardry and children. But she did it differently and she hit at the right time.
So yes, in the end, with all the popularity that Scifi and Fantasy are receiving these days, you would think that they would get a bit more love. I want my variety. Although, I suppose I'll just have to satisfy myself by finding my way to the used book stores where I can get lost in the stacks and find the variety I'm looking for.
As it stands, I search for my favorites and try to find new books/authors to my liking by digging online. It's just not the same though. And sometimes it makes me an irate sad monkey.
On that note /end soapbox.