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YA fantasy and SF
...for adult readers!
fernwithy
ya_f_sf
fernwithy
I'll try to give enough to discuss without people having read the books yet. :)

The basic set-up of the Warriors books is that there are four clans of feral cats living in the forest. Repeatedly, they're put into positions where they have to work together, despite their rivalary (and all are ruled over by StarClan, the spirits of their ancestors), and they have shared history all the way. In the second series, they nearly all join in order to make a journey together when the forest is razed for a superhighway. There are cross-clan friendships, and generally mutual respect for the leaders (all of whom are supernaturally endowed with the traditional nine lives, naturally).

But at the same time, it's repeatedly stressed that there need to be four clans, and that attempts to abolish the four-clan system--its rivalries included--are only made by evil cats. Good cats work together when necessary, then return to their clans when the danger is over, and value their clan traditions and loyalties. The evil cat of the first series displayed his evil most prominently in his forcible joining of two of the clans, and use of intimidation tactics to try and force the other two to capitulate. During a major battle, the hero, Firestar, goes to StarClan and asks for help in winning, and he says that it's because the cats need to be reminded that there have always been four clans in the forest--StarClan corrects him... but only to say, "No, there have always been five." At another point, he makes the observation that "the lines that divide us are also the lines that join us," giving the impression of seams more than sunderings, despite the often violent clashes.

So... what is the political message coming out of it?

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matril
ya_f_sf
matril
Well, I'm excited to be a part of this new community, and it sparked a question I've had - well, really more a point of discussion. In college I took a YA literature class, and one unit was YA sci-fi/fantasy. My teacher said that it wasn't a particularly large genre, because most YA fans of that sort of fiction usually just read the adult fantasy or sci-fi. And yet I get the impression it's larger than he thought. It may be that he would classify a lot of it as children's rather than YA - heaven knows he made a very severe distinction between the two (and I can't really blame him - having your specialty so frequently classified as "juvenille" and lumped together with picture books can be very irritating) but then, I've enjoyed outright children's fantasy as well as YA or adult. Maybe it's all just a question of classification rules, but I'm interested if anyone else has a take on this.
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fernwithy
ya_f_sf
fernwithy
Well, as you can see, I've been fiddling with layout. Had to--not having the names of original posters visible was driving me up the wall. Then I started messing around with colors.

I don't have any preferences, really; I'm going to use a color coordinating site to get matches, and I don't have any love for the default view. What do people like for a base color scheme?

What colors should the base be?

Reds
0(0.0%)
Blues
5(33.3%)
Greens
4(26.7%)
Browns
1(6.7%)
Purples
4(26.7%)
Grays
1(6.7%)
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queenitsy
ya_f_sf
queenitsy
I picked up the first two books in D.J. MacHale's Pendragon series a couple of months ago, on the recommendation of a friend. (Actually, she hadn't read them; she worked in my local Borders's children/YA depatment, and said they're the second most popular series after HP, so she suggested I check them out, as I really enjoy YA fantasy. But, duh, that's why I'm here.) I read through both of them, and was...pretty disappointed. And highly irritated.

Other than some qualms with the writing, my big problem was in the portrayal of women. Hopefully this falls into the sort of discussion this place is meant for, because it's been bugging me for awhile. The trend in the two books I read in the series seemed to be trying so hard to avoid sexism that it went all the way back into the realm of being sexist, or at least close to it.

Cut'n'pasted from an old review I wroteCollapse )

So... am I crazy and seeing things that aren't there? Or even if it's there, do you think this is problematic or just me being ranty? (Or both?) ...Well, at least I know no one is going to tell me I think too much about kids' books...

Hopefully this is allowed, since I had actual content in my post as well: scifantasybooks is another community some of y'all might enjoy. It would be lovely to see some other people reviewing books there.

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Current Mood: contemplative contemplative
Current Music: The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. -"Pirates!"

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leeflower
ya_f_sf
leeflower
Most of this is going behind a cut because of the massive spoilers (Fern, do we have a spoiler-policy?), but just a quick rec:

Libba Bray's A Great and Terrible Beauty is a fantastic read. A little darker than your average fantasy, it's likely to appeal to fans of mystery and historical fiction (it's about as dark as the last HP book). Garth Nix fen might enjoy it.

hermione_like mentioned having read it as well, and since it's an NYT Bestseller, I'm hoping there are others out there.

Spoilerific thoughts on Pippa's storyCollapse )

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fernwithy
ya_f_sf
fernwithy
Guys, from now on, could we stick the intros into the intro thread instead of making them seperarately? We'll call this the intro thread from now on, and I'll add it to the link list.
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luminousmarble
ya_f_sf
luminousmarble
Thank you, fernwithy! I am awfully excited to see this community.

I teach grades K-8, so when the Scholastic book fair comes around--hey! Inexpensive YA lit! I also keep an eye on lot of middle-grade and YA authors for various projects and volunteers activities, and since I was more into bodice-rippers than anything else as a young adult, I'm in my YA renaissance, so to speak. ;)

My bookshelf is partly in storage, but an off-the-top-of-my head I'm-forgetting-people list of favorites includes Sherwood Smith, Vivian Vande Velde, the Ender's Shadow books, Charles deLint, Tamora Pierce, Eoin Colfer, anything edited by Ellen Datlow/Terri Windling or published through Sharyn November's Firebirds Imprint...

And I go weak in the knees for Nancy Farmer.

I think what I enjoy most about YA f/sf is that, due to the generally reduced page numbers, it ends up being tightly plotted.

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lady_sarai
ya_f_sf
lady_sarai
Hello, all!

I'm very glad fernwithy created this community, as it seems long past due. In RL, I'm a recent college graduate who is looking for a job as an elementary teacher. This makes a very convenient excuse when I head immediately for the YA, intermediate and children's book section of the bookstore or library the moment I enter.

I fell in love with YA fantasy a long time ago; the first fantasy books I remember reading are Robin McKinley's novels. I love Tamora Pierce, and most things Star Wars and Star Trek. Of course, there's also Narnia and Lord of the Rings (which may be a bit "old" for this group, but still). There are so many others... I love Edith Pattou, Harry Potter, movie tie-ins, Phillip Pullman, and goodness. I can't think of them all. I have a special fondness for retellings of fairy tales, which I utterly blame on Robin McKinley, but I've found some spectacular books because of it.

I'm looking forward to this community and the discussions and recs bound to come of it. I've already been convinced to try some of the books I've wavered over, based simply on the lists in the intro posts. :)

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riah_chan
ya_f_sf
riah_chan
Hi! I joined earlier but then had to go out.

I am a big fan of YA sci-fi and fantasy. I love the classics like the Narnia books and The Dark is Rising Sequence. Lord of the Rings probably doesn't count as YA but I first read it when I was 12. I also love more recent stuff like the Peter Pan prequels (I don't have the second one yet) and Harry Potter. I also really like the translated Slayers novels. I don't really make much distinction between YA and adult books... I just know that I am more interested in plot progression and characters than I am in sex in books.

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leeflower
ya_f_sf
leeflower
Heyas.

I'm a student at a small liberal arts college in Indiana and an aspiring YA writer. I'm a big Tamara Pierce fan. I adored Sherwood Smith's Crown Duel/Court Duel duology, Garth Nix's Sabriel and Shade's Children, and of course, all things Redwall. I grabbed a copy of Libba Bray's A Great And Terrible Beauty a few weeks back, and find myself eagerly awaiting the sequel. Though it shames me to admit it, I also have almost all of Jude Watson's Jedi Apprentice books on my shelf. I never got into Jedi Quest because I really didn't like her take on Anakin or Anakin and Obi-Wan's relationship, but I was kind of a crack addict where JA was concerned.

Has anyone here read Frances Hardinge's Fly By Night? It's about a fantasy world where books are banned-- it looks like a sort of "Farenheit 451 meets Wizard of Oz" deal. I'm contemplating picking it up, but I'm not familiar with Hardinge's work, so I don't know if she's worth the investment. Micheal Molloy's Peter Raven series-- Napoleonic Wars novels in the style of Horatio Hornblower-- also looks pretty interesting, but I'm waiting for the paperback.

fernwithy, I'm really glad you decided to start up this community. Let me know if there's any way I can be of assistance.

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