Science Fiction Publishers Will Not Touch UFO Books


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Science Fiction Publishers Will Not Touch UFO Books [UFO Publishing Prejudice]

Robert Sawyer, the much-awarded scifi author of novels like Rollback and Hominids writes on his blog that, for some reason, scifi publishers are not interested in UFO stories. He says that he advised a friend writing about UFOs that he'd "probably have better luck with a mainstream publisher than a scifi one" because "rightly or wrongly, most SF readers and editors have decided that whatever UFOs have been reported have nothing to do with extraterrestrial life." Now that he mentions it, I have to agree. Whitley Strieber's UFO classic Communion came out on Avon (a division of Harper Collins). Most scifi with aliens does not deal with "unidentified flying objects" or Grays with mind control powers and big, blinky eyes. [via Robert J. Sawyer]


(Via io9)
Anybody out there, especially some of our guest authors, have insight into this one?

I usually don't take notice of the publishers of the books I read (but perhaps I should); is there a backlash against UFO stories going on?
As a UK based Sci-fi author (Well OK, maybe a touch toward Sci-Fantasy in some parts!) I have to say there is really only one publisher in this genre - Gollancz. And they get so many submissions that they reject over 97% of what they get. If it isn't by someone "known" or who the Marketing Gurus can sell on the basis of a colourful past, you haven't a prayer getting published by them, unless you fall into that magic category occupied currently by a certain Mrs Rowling.

Two things they look at now - how many copies can we sell - clue, under 20,000 forget it - and can we get this onto the book reviewers lists in the major dailies and magazones. No to either of those is a killer. The UFO angle is even more so, since - or so I'm told - young buyers (The major target market apparently) don't go for the "Flying Saucer/Roswell" angles anymore.

It is incredibly difficult to sell Sci-Fi of any sort in the UK, but UFO's and anything "Military" based is definitely a non-starter.

Thanks for the bit of insight into the UK market. I guess with the Harry Potter and Twilight crazes going on that fantasy is more marketable over the traditional sci-fi type themes.

Why the backlash against the military genre? At least with the US it is not uncommon to see military themed novels selling great (eg: Dale Brown, Tom Clancy, etc.).
Our publishing houses and literary media are now run and staffed by mainly left leaning intellectuals who are inherently anti-military, unilateral disarmament campaigners in their youth. If you take a look at the books they promote it is almost always the "loner", anti-establishment type who makes the military look incompetent. It's the result of decades of Labour propaganda against our military and the product of universities staffed by pacifists and anti-nuclear campaigners. In the mindset of these "intellectuals" the "Military" equals "Fascist" and the ridiculous campaigns they run in this country against "bullying" and "eleitism" in our armed forces beggars belief.

I suspect they are afraid of allowing the public to see the military as something good because history tells us that when a government becomes sufficiently unpopular it can be removed by the public with the support of the military. Parliament is the power it is in this land because of Cromwell's use of the military and when the military of the day changed sides on his death, parliament's ambitions were curtailed, forcing them to accept the dispensation we currently enjoy.

It speaks for itself that the Civil Service was allowed to spend the equivalent price of a Type 45 Destroyer refurbishing one office block infested entirely by worthless bureaucrats at a time our troops were having to cope with boots that melted in the desert heat and weapons that jam if they get a little dirt in them. Go figure - a country that is run by left wingers who can't see anything wrong with a balance of 9 bureaucrats to every single soldier, sailor or airman in our armed forces in the Ministry of Defence alone.

Write a book that shows the military as "evil" and oppressive - now that will be snapped up in a trice!
From being in the academic environment I can agree here that 100% of teachers/tutors I've met are anti-war, pretty much anti-military. Not sure why though. Since they should be anti-politician, not the soldiers themselves. Soldiers press buttons, politicians order those buttons pressed.

If the people in control of what gets published in the UK are denyng certain genres and material then they are seeming to go against the very truths they cry out, namely anti-censorship.
Strange isn't it that the servicemen and women get blamed for carrying out the instructions of the politcians - and the academic/intellectual world regards the services as "anti-freedom" when it is the sacrifices the services make that preserve the freedom of those critics to voice their criticisms. Kipling's "Tommy Atkins" Realtors Generate More Leads - First to Visit is so accurate for todays society it hurts.