Monday, 1 August 2011

This fantasy business. Dragons and what-not. Over-rated, if you ask me. Silly stuff. Nothing in it.

*Writing from somewhere in a hermetically sealed room* With 10,000 words and three weeks to go (*reaches shakily for the Diet Coke*), I thought that this week I would treat you all to the results from my questionnaires about stigma and science fiction and fantasy publishing. While I acknowledge that it is good to provide a balanced result, I’ll happily admit that when I sent the surveys out what I ideally wanted someone to respond with was this:

‘I hate science fiction and fantasy with a passion, it’s just swords and sorcery and Tolkien/Twilight rip-offs anyways, right? I’m just grateful that it stays the hell away from our precious literary awards. My bookshelves heave with long-listed titles. If I see some middle-aged loser reading a trashy fantasy book on the tube, I move seats in case they try to invite me back to their parents’ house to play Dungeons and Dragons in their basement ‘apartment’ while their mum makes us sandwiches with the crusts cut off. Did I mention it was lowbrow?’

And repeat times 100 and I would have had full justification for writing 20,000 words on the damaging effect of stigma on the genre fiction market. HOWEVER, obviously that wasn’t going to be the case *tears up dissertation plan*, but that doesn’t mean that some of the results weren’t curious.

So, from 200 people and two different surveys, drum roll please (you'll be pleased to know I've used pie charts):


Here's the breakdown of who people view are the type of readers the market is aimed at:

And here's why people choose not to read science fiction and fantasy:
Wait for the curious part.

Prepare to squint in amazement. Here's what those same people say they've enjoyed reading:

Notice anything (apart from it being really, really small)?

That's right, eagle-eyed reader, they all contain science fiction and/or fantasy elements.

I'll leave you with my favourite response (from a good friend, I found out. Yes reader, I have a friend):

(In response to a question about which covers they prefer) ‘They all look the same – dragons and shit. I seriously wouldn’t read any of them.’

Can I put ‘shit’ in my dissertation?


  1. Rachel you made me smile! Sounds like you got a lot to go on and yes - put "shit" in your dissertation. Just be sure you use the quotation marks :) Greetings from "the continent" (yes I did learn how you refer to the rest of Europe :p) xx

  2. Cheers, Amrei. Sorry about the teeny tiny writing on the graphs - you get what you pay for with these free blogging platforms!