The Young Adult Section

Feb 9, 13:56 by IROSF
Thread for the discussion of the Young Adult phenomenon.

Jay and Ruth's article is here.
Feb 9, 14:34 by Peter Rich
How could you leave out Scott Westerfeld's YA books, including the Midnighters and the Uglies/the Pretties, etc.?
These are very popular and also accessible to adults.
Feb 9, 14:59 by Jay Lake
Well, we left out *lots* of great books. The article wasn't intended to be a comprehensive survey, more of an overview with citations. Thank you for adding to the list.
Feb 9, 15:39 by James Pfundstein
You guys mention Citizen of the Galaxy as Asimov's work, but it's actually one of Heinlein's juveniles. I think Asimov's only juvenile novels (excluding the books he wrote in his own second childhood) were the "Lucky Starr" books (under the byline Paul French).

JMP
Feb 9, 16:00 by Matt Leavitt
Thank you, James, for the comments and observant eye. We have fixed the reference to Heinlein's classic novel, Citizen of the Galaxy, as well as correcting the bibliography.

Again, thanks for reading and commenting!

Matt Leavitt
Editor-at-Large, IROSF
Feb 9, 16:32 by David Bartell
I think it is high time for a serious SF/Fantasy magazine for the youth market, done by the likes of the big 3. SF is moving rapidly to enormous Hollywood markets, while magazines remain a niche. The genre would be well served if youth were given a magazine that developed interest in quality speculative fiction, not just the latest comic book movie. Which periodical will devote an entire issue to YA as an experiment?
Feb 9, 16:56 by Bluejack
I agree with you, Bartell, but I am not sure devoting one issue to YA would actually be a successful experiment. Moreover, of the big 3, both Asimov's and F&SF regularly publish material that can offend parents (and offending parents is far more hazardous than offending teens).

I think the right experiment would be a commitment from a major publisher to underwrite a magazine for at least one year, preferably two, targetting the YA demographic. That could be Dell, adding a third publication to their Analog/Asimov's stable, but it doesn't need to be.

(F&SF probably doesn't have the resources to expand to a second magazine, so I won't even bring them in.)

I don't think any indie would have deep enough pockets, or sufficient access to distribution to make it work.

I actually like what Realms of Fantasy is doing: a healthy mix of fiction and non-fiction, with focus on youth material such as video games, lots of great artwork and the like. Unfortunately, the fiction is in no way directed toward the YA market.

So, what I would like to see, is Realms of Fantasy or their parent company putting a YA mag out there, or some big publisher with the right resources doing something similar. Hook that into an online presence, and maybe a shared-world component (one or two stories in every issue from a shared world environment to provide continuity of characters and world-building), and I think it could be a huge winner.

Quintamid will be glad to undertake this venture if someone is ready to provide capital.
Feb 9, 17:45 by Jay Lake
Big old "oops" on "Citizen of the Galaxy." Sigh. And I even looked it up for original publisher and date and still missed the little authorial detail...

As for a YA-oriented mag, I'm with Bluejack -- I do think RoF comes pretty close.
Feb 10, 07:12 by James Pfundstein
Sorry if I sounded like a middle-aged fanboy. I was just rereading the old Heinlein juveniles to see if I could recommend them to my kids, so this stuff was on the top of my memory stack.

I think that the fiction in RoF does keep it just this side of a YA zine, but it has the right design for the YA market.

The very existence of an untapped "Young Adult" audience is an indicator of how much sf/f magazines have changed. In 1940, it was all one market. By 1950 you start getting more adult outlets like _F&SF_ (which still published a lot of adventure fiction however; Have Spacesuit Will Travel was first serialized there, I think). By 1980 it was all "adult": the short fiction market was dominated by the digest magazines with post New Wave literary standards.

I'm not saying it's altogether a bad thing (although personally I'd prefer more jazz and less musicology, in William Tenn's telling formulation), but I think it's the proximate cause of the graying and contracting subscription lists which bedevil the majors these days. People start reading these magazines young or they never start, and the current incarnations of "the majors" don't give young readers enough reason to read them.

JMP
Feb 10, 09:56 by David Bartell
Great thoughts BlueJack and JMP. If the golden age of SF is 12, then TV and movies dominate the current golden age. SF is being assimilated. My kids (a little under 12) are reading these endless series of fantasies - Secrets of Droon, and Cirque du Freak. (Not into Potter books, but like the movies.)

Kids are into participation - a juvenile mag should have one story, poem, picture submitted by kids. Reprints of classics. New stories by current writers. Obligatory tie-ins with pop culture... I was a teenage Sith... and some real science, to keep it rooted (and maybe help get a sponsor). Finally, a cool name.
Feb 10, 11:14 by Lois Tilton
Such a magazine would do well in the school and library market. I think the best choice would be a publisher already in that market, ie, the Cricket group.
Feb 10, 15:32 by Ellen Datlow
Of course, the anthology series Terri Windling and I edit for Viking (Green Man,The Faery Reel, and our forthcoming The Coyote Road) are all intended for the YA crossover to adult market.
Feb 10, 16:55 by Bluejack
I was actually thinking about the power of anthology-series' as an alternative to magazines: I hope your first three catch some attention and turn into a regular publication. I do think there's a power in regular publication that helps young people form a sort of allegiance to the field.
Feb 14, 09:25 by Adrian Simmons
Wait a second, isn't Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic RoadShow just what you are talking about:

check it!


Mar 12, 19:58 by Ellen Datlow
We're most likely doing a fourth. As long as they sell and as long as our editor/publisher wants more, we'll keep doing 'em.
   

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