Driving the stake into SF/F

The publishing news from the current SFWA Bulletin:

“Liz Scheier acquires contemporary and urban F, paranormal romance and some SF/F for Del Rey Books. She would like to see more “genuinely funny books,” especially funny urban F.”

“Luna Books publishes up to 12 titles per year…. The books focus on a strong female protagonist who is coming to terms with some sort of magical power…. Theyr’e looking for a loosely-linked series of stand-alone books with strong female leads.”

“Sangeeta Mehta acquires YA fiction for Simon & Schuster. Paranormal YA romance is very popular right now and she’d be interested in seeing more.”

“Tor Romance publishes one book a month… they would like to eventually publish one romantic suspense and one paranomal per month. [Editor Heather Osborne] is a huge fan of paranormal romance in general. She likes ‘kick-butt’ heroines – intelligent heroines. She doesn’t want heroines put in jeopardy solely for the convenience of the plot. Heroines should be capable of rescuing themselves…. She prefers snark and sarcasm over slapstick or anything campy. [Editor Melissa Singer acquires general women’s fiction, contemporary and historical fiction…. She’s looking for a series mystery with a female protagonist.”

Snarky, strong, independent women who kick butt and don’t need a man to rescue them… well now, that’s certainly new! You really can’t say that it isn’t fantasy, though, since in the novels, this incredible creature actually has one or more men interested in her in the place of the Feline Familiar and Magic Pulsating Wand that would serve as a much more realistic love interest.

On what may be a related note, this year, the Nebula Novel jury couldn’t find a single novel that merited a recommendation to the award’s final ballot. Given what the former publishers of science fiction and fantasy are currently looking to publish, it appears that there soon won’t be a single novel worth nominating, period. I sure hope you like sexy vampires and seductive were-seals, because that’s what’s going to be for sale on the shelves of your local bookstore.