The SF Numbers Game…

Those of you who follow my blog, know that each year I publish a graph of new novels published in SF, Fantasy and Horror (and lately Paranormal Romance) based on the numbers given an Gardner Dozois Best of Year anthology. Well here’s the latest update, which includes the numbers for last year.




Note the Paranormal Romance was part of the Fantasy genre prior to 2007.

Of the four genres, only science fiction has increased from 2012 to 2013. Whilst it is good news for science fiction, in reality it is only catching up on what Fantasy and Horror genres did earlier this century when they more than doubled their numbers. Even so it’s still got a long way to go to catch up with Fantasy. So there’s still room for more science fiction novels in the market.

I am personally not surprised by the noticeable drop in Fantasy because I thought there were too many books for the market to bear. But this is only from what I observe in the High Street.

So is science fiction coming out of its exhaustion or inward looking phase that Paul Kincaid suggested was the case last year?

Well looking in Waterstones Bristol today, they were definitely promoting a lot of the past masterworks. In comparison there was very little on the new side of things I hasten to add. So the rise in the number of new science fiction books are not getting into the bookshops as I, for one, would have hoped. So I’m a bit puzzled by this apparent contradiction.

According the great and the good in science fiction, new science fiction is coming out of countries who are increasing their science fiction output. I’m not sure this may be the case, because there has been a lot of written science fiction through the centuries and it is so easy to re-invent old stories without realising it. Only time will tell on this one.




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