I am probably as typical a guy as a pink sixteen foot tall rhino is a typical guest at your 8 year old daughter’s sleepover party. Which sometimes makes writing for an audience… interesting. With the riot about YA going on in Mad Genius, I got to thinking about the books I loved most as kid/teen. Like most kids of my era I liked the Enid Blyton – not Noddy or particularly the secret seven (although the magic faraway tree has a soft spot), but the one where the kids had to hide out on an island and make do for themselves was probably my all time favorite. Not the characters, or the story, but what they had to do. It was my favorite side of Swiss Family Robinson too – which is why the emigrating and settling on the Island blog is called Flinders Family Freer. Likewise THE BLUE WORLD by Jack Vance. It wasn’t the Kraken, or the satire, or the adventure… it was how you survived and prospered and built up out of nothing, in a world without wood, or metal or even stones (the involuntary settlers are castaways from the crash of prison-ship on a water world, and live on the floating vegetation).
I loved the sheer ingenuity of it. The extracting of iron from blood, etc. That aspect probably was one of the driving forces in making me a scientist, making me choose to live on a remote island.
The current trend in YA is dystopian.
I usually guess trends wrong, but I find the idea of rebuilding after the dystopia a lot more interesting. The politically incorrect pioneering phase.
What does anyone else think?