And the books vanish for months, then get returned by the shamefaced borrower: “Couldn’t really get into them. Sorry.”
I’m probably typical. My much-loved genre classics are the equivalent of a warm bath, not a subject for literary criticism.
Until recently, that is.
My son – “Kurtzhau” – is 9, at the tail end of Middle Grade. He loves some of the rip-roaring YA novels that are knocking around – Percy Jackson and Time Riders, for example (the Pulp tradition is un-self-consciously alive and well in YA). However, he craves proper stories with swords and/or soldiers and lasers in them. Powered armor is also good.
And that’s a problem. Nobody seems to be writing the mainstream subgenres for YA.
Helpful mates recommend all sorts of adult novels, but often forget that the dénouement – say – takes place in a brothel staffed by surgically modified aliens and that the antagonists are incestuous twins.
That leaves the classics; either mid-20th century YA such as Andre Norton or earlier “Pulp” yarns which were constrained by pre-WWII decency codes; the stuff I grew up on, the stuff that still crams my shelves…
The stuff of which Kurtzhau inevitably bounces. Here’s why.