When I saw that A Cast of Stones – showcased this week in the CSFF blog tour – was listed as adult fantasy, it made me happy. Maybe unduly happy.
I was glad for the adult label for the reason that the majority of the speculative books I’ve recently read are labeled YA or younger. I have enjoyed these novels; the YA label means that the principal characters will be under twenty, but not much more. These books – sold as they are to a younger crowd – are fit for adults, too.
C.S. Lewis once weighed forth – or possibly it was Tolkien; either way, an estimable person you ought to listen to weighed forth – that fairy tales ended up in the nursery for the same reason old furniture did: It had gone out of fashion. That was a long time ago. Today speculative fiction – in many ways our modern fairy tales – is often directed, as the old fairy tales were, to the very young.
And I wonder why. Why are so many speculative books, perfectly decent for adult reading, pitched to teens and children? Why are so many speculative books written to them, reducing the age of the heroes, reducing the page count?
Is it a matter of fashion? I don’t think so; I don’t know. The current fashions are not an area of high knowledge for me.
Is it because adults won’t read speculative books? In my observation, adults read even speculative fiction that stars twelve-year-olds. But maybe it’s the crowd I’m around.
Is it driven by the market understanding of publishers? At the Realm Makers conference early this month, Jeff Gerke said that, in the mainstream publishing houses, the speculative genre is not expanding – except in YA. Maybe writers feel that to get an audience they have to aim their stories beneath adults.
Whatever the explanation, I’m glad to read a Christian fantasy written for adults. I’m glad to read a Christian fantasy about adults. To learn more about this rare bird, follow the links –
To the author’s website;
To A Cast of Stones [Book One] on Amazon;
To The Hero’s Lost [Book Two] on Amazon;
To the blog tour (reviews up in some places today!):
Emma or Audrey Engel
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller