The market wants Science Fiction for younger readers

… Apparently. According to various agent sites.


The Far Horizon is a book I started writing when I was reading fiction to my kids every night. I noticed that there was an awful lot of fantasy for younger readers, but no science fiction.

I wanted to write a story that highlighted a child’s perspective on life in space. How cool would it be to explore a space station, to get into trouble for doing so, and to see and overhear things that no one expected you to hear? In books, life in space is almost exclusively the domain of serious adults. Playful children have little place there. But when we consider settlement in space, there will inevitably be children.

This book is about that experience. It is about kicking against the clique mentality of closed communities, about making friends where you never thought you would find any. While I wrote this with readers of 8-13 years in age in mind, I also slipped in some references that adults might enjoy.

The great cover was designed by Olivia Kernot, and proofreading was done by my editor buddy Simon Petrie at ASIM.

So, if the market wants SF for younger readers, show me!

Clicking on the image will take you to the Amazon Kindle link for this book. A link for Smashwords is in the window to the right.

5 comments on “The market wants Science Fiction for younger readers

  1. Just to note Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, John Christopher, John Ford, countless others. There may not be much *new* science fiction for younger readers, though.

    • But this is the whole thing. Despite their appeal, a lot of those oldies are so terribly *dated* in their sociological aspects. If a friend of my daughter’s would ask me for an SF to read, I’m not going to recommend any Heinlein because it’s stiff with patronising attitudes towards women. Heck, I’m finding it hard to put those attitudes aside when I’m reading, knowing when the books were written and what the prevailing opinion was in those days.

      • I grant that point, especially with regard to Heinlein, who only got more sexist as he grew older and his books grew more ‘adult’. I mentioned those because (except Ford), they’re what I read when I was between 7 and 10 (or so).

        I just went through some of my recent acquisitions to see if I could find a more recent counterpoint, and was surprised how little there was. John Barnes, but he’s got some of the Heinlein problem. There’s Joe Haldeman, but one swallow…

        The good news is that there is a fair amount of adult ‘easy reading’ SF (James Alan Gardner), and I recall that the shift from “Dick and Jane” to “Dead Souls” was pretty quick.

      • I don’t hold the attitudes against those writers, because those were the prevailing attitudes, but to younger readers, the worlds described in these books will most likely feel quaint and, to be honest, blinkered.

        Personally, I find it sad that when I ask for a recommendation of a Science Fiction book for a younger reader, people come up with Heinlein. The guy wrote most of his fiction before I was born. These readers we’re talking about are my children. Seriously, has no one written anything worth recommending since?

  2. I read Asimov when I was in high school but I don’t think I remember any of his books. I’d have written off sci-fi as boring if I hadn’t discovered Animorphs around then. It wasn’t in space, but still. Evil aliens invade Earth by basically possessing people and it’s up to a bunch of kids to delay them by using alien tech that allows them to turn into animals.

    The author of Animorphs did write a ‘sci-fi in space’ series called Remnants afterwards, but I never read it.

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