Friday, June 6, 2014

The Fabulous World of Backlist



Sometimes it is highly amusing to be old enough to remember ‘the good old days’ of certain genre. “YA” as a genre is very, very old.
The only thing new about Today’s YA is the names of the people writing for it – many are far too young to recall the old, glory days.
Once upon a time, a very long time ago, there was an author named Robert Heinlein who wrote something called “Heinlein juveniles.”
According to Wikipedia these were “aimed for what would now be known as the “young adult” market. The core group are the twelve Heinlein novels published by Scribner’s between 1947 and 1958.”
Many of these novels were written for young males and were also classified as ‘space opera.’ The Fabulous World of Backlist contains jewels that have been out-of-print for years. I’m thrilled to see more and more of these jewels making their way to e-books so modern readers can find them.
Since ‘YA’ can be traced back to the 1940′s there ARE classics out there. Books worth re-discovering and cherishing, even though they are no longer to be found, in print, at affordable prices.
It seems to me that anyone who loves ‘Hunger Games’ might also enjoy Andre Norton’s books. If not her, then dozen of other ‘YA’ authors of years gone by.
Modern ‘YA’ writers (self-include) are in competition with the life’s work of writers like Heinlein and Norton – not just with ‘Hunger Games’ and ‘Twilight.’
As a Reader, I’m stocking up on ‘the good stuff’ as it becomes available. As a Writer, I’m looking at all my favorites, thinking ‘I’ve got some serious work to do.’
So I agree that there are some classics out there that “adults should be reading.” I don’t agree with how she PRESENTED that conclusion.
There’s nothing wrong with today’s ‘YA’ – just don’t miss the classics!
Andre Norton 
Robert Heinlein
Issac Asimov
Anne McCaffery
E. E. "Doc" Smith
There are more, I'll add them as I think of them.

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