Back in day, when I was a wee young ‘un just discovering the wonders of the written word (that golden age known as the 90’s…) Y/A fiction was basically Sweet Vally High and other stuff general shoved in a shelve at the back of the book store. For hardcore geeks, fantasy was a genre generally seen as being for adults, or at least for all ages. There was never the assumption that any of it was being specifically targeted towards young readers – generally speaking, if you were into fantasy, you started one on the more accessible stuff (Dragonlance Chronicles being the gateway of choice for a whole generation…RIP, TSR!) and moved on up as your tates matured (Robert Jordan, GRRM, Gaiman….) A big help was that a lot of the stuff being written back then was really accessible and didn’t take itself too seriously. Ad that was true of all speculative genres…scifi, horror and so on.
Now, it seems like a lot of the creative energy is coming from books that, technically speaking, are written for teen and tween readers…except that a large part of the audience are adults looking for a good read. While it seems like a lot of “adult” fantasy, scifi and so on come across as stale…which begs the question…why? How did Y/A get the genre-fic mojo?
Here’s an article from the LA Times that might shed a little light on the subject….