Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Fiction Needs More . . .

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week, I get to tell you what I want to see more of in fiction. I’m about to get ridiculously specific.

Fiction Needs More . . .

1. Historical plagues and famines. The world has seen many plagues and famines during its long history. Where are the fictional stories set during these times?

2. Character-driven, non-tropey fantasy. One of the reasons I can’t get into fantasy is because the books are too similar for my tastes. Even the titles are similar. (Seriously, how many blood/smoke/glass/roses/bone/queen/pirate/daughter/assassin/thrones do we need?) There also seems to be a plethora of vague England-type settings. I want a fantasy book with a unique world and realistic characters. Like Smoke by Dan Vyleta, but with a plot.

3. Character-driven alien books. I like books about aliens, but I don’t like hard sci-fi. We need a novel that falls somewhere between The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber and Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel. I want the amazing character development of The Book of Strange New Things and the plot twists of Sleeping Giants.

4. Unique dystopias with a strong sense of place. Most of the dystopias I’ve read have vague USA-type settings. Are there dystopias set in Africa? Or in South America? Asia? Books like Battle Royale by Koushun Takami, but more unique.

5. Friends and enemies who don’t become lovers. Novels about strong friendships or strong rivalries. The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough comes to mind. There’s romance in there, but there’s also friendship and a competition between enemies.

6. Isolated societies. If you’ve been on this blog more than once, you’ll probably know about my love of cult books and survival stories. I want more books about whole societies that are isolated from the rest of the world. Have you read the short story “Ice Age” by Alexander Weinstein? It’s about a community of humans who are trying to survive a future ice age. I want that story in novel form.

7. Islands and other obscure settings. I recently read a book set on the island of Lampedusa. Some parts of the world get neglected in fiction. I want to read about everywhere.

8. Good young adult short stories. Seriously, where are the good YA short stories? There are thousands of marvelous short stories for adults. Most of the YA short stories I’ve read are “Meh.” Get on this problem, YA authors.

9. Translations of children’s books. Lots of adult books have been translated, but what about children’s stories? I’m always looking for classic children’s stories from around the world.

10. Books set during wars but not about wars. This one is hard to explain. We need books that are set during wars but don’t focus on the war itself. The war is more of a setting. The characters are just trying to live their lives around it. Do books like that exist?

Do you have any book recommendations for me? What do you want to see more of in fiction?


  1. I'd like to read more books like Year of Wonders with the area quarantined against the plague as they struggle to survive. I want to see more original stories in various genres instead of the same old thing. I don't read much fantasy but anything else like Game of Thrones might interest me. Good list!

  2. Okay, I definitely need to check out those alien books that you mentioned. They sound awesome!! Great list :)

  3. Yes to books in all sorts of setting and obscure places. ALso I love the last one about being during war but not about war. Your fantasy title rant made me laugh :) They all do sound the same don't they??

  4. I need to give Sleeping Giants another try!

  5. I agree with the alien books! I love aliens but I am not too much fan of the Science fiction. Did you read the I Am Number Four series?
    My TTT.

  6. Ooooo plague books sound fascinating! And totally agreed about the non-tropey fantasy

  7. 1. The Plague - Albert Camus. It's based on a real one, but fictionalized.
    3. Girl in Landscape - Jonathan Lethem
    5. On the Road - Jack Kerouac
    10. The War - Marguerite Duras. It's about WWII, but not in the traditional military / battle sense.

  8. LOL at #2- very true. And yes those titles- there are an awful lot of assassins/ thrones/etc aren't there??? I would LOVE to read more isolated society stories, and stories set on islands or other far off places too. In fact I'll go check out that short story you mention, since I think it would be awesome to read about a future ice age. Unique dystopias too...

  9. Friends and enemies who don't become lovers - how right you are! I hope some authors somewhere get wind of this wish!

  10. oh you little dark creature! I love how you thing! Plagues, famines, dystopians.. Hell yeah! and a big fat yes to diverse settings :)

  11. I now really want to read a plague book. It's something I didn't even know I needed until today.

  12. I would love to see more plagues in books too! Why isn't that a thing? And yes, to more YA short stories. The ones I've read haven't been that great either. I want one that will blow me out of the water. Fantastic list!

    Here's my Top Ten Tuesday

  13. Plague books is such a good idea! It's such a huge topic/area of history - I can't believe I haven't found a book about one yet. I do agree that there should be more unique fantasy, but I have to admit I really love the ones that are out there haha.

  14. Number 10 really resonated with me. There ARE quite a few romance books set during war times, but are not necessarily about war per se. Think Gone with the Wind, which is set during the Civil War, but it was only the back drop of the epic historical novel.

  15. Oh you have a such a great list!! I would also like dystopian novels that are set outside of the US because you're right most take place in the US and only the major cities.

    - Tina @ As Told By Tina

  16. Great list! I would definitely like to see some more alien books.

  17. Great list! I agree with for point 10.

    Carrie @ The Butterfly Reader

  18. YAS! Character driven alien stories for me pleaseee. I would totally get behind that. I loved The Host, because it was unique and really was about the alien character development. I need to read more of books like it.


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