Fiction for Free Range Children
In January I'll be beginning a short period of research at the Eileen Wallace Collection at the University of New Brunswick, Canada. The Eileen Wallace Collection is one of the larger collections of children's fiction, and I'll be there to read as much children's science fiction as I can. I'm contracted to write a book which discusses what's wrong with most of the so-called "YA science fiction" published in the past twenty years.
My main thesis is that modern YA sf is mostly not science fiction. It isn't interested in kids going out, exploring the galaxy, and staying out there to change the universe. Instead, it wants children to go out into the galaxy, discover it's a really scary place, learn some lessons and come home to apply those lessons to home and family.
Instead of socialising children to move outwards, these stories are socialising children to come home.
I'll be using these pages to talk about the books I think work as science fiction and why, the books I don't think work (even if I like them for other reasons) and why. As some of my ideas are tied into changing ideas about children and children's cognitive processes, there will be comments on and links to child development pages.