Oprah’s Book Club and Speculative Fiction

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I was reading an article about Jeanine Cummins novel, American Dirt. It’s receiving much controversy, but that’s not what this article is about. Oprah Winfrey’s Book Club has been a staple of the business for decades now. There have been some controversies involved with her choices, but I am not saying her choices are bad. In fact, after going over her entire list, I plan on purchasing many of the books. If you’re not aware, I once owned over three-hundred books but being between jobs for almost eighteen months in 2017, I had to sell most of them and I can tell you each one that left my possession was like being — well I can’t think of an appropriate analogy that won’t scare the you-know-what out of people.

I’ve been rebuilding my collection over the past couple of years. So, this is a goldmine for me. You can never have too many books. But one thing that always disappointed me about Oprah’s Book Club? The complete lack of genre fiction choices. For this article, I’ll be focusing on fantasy, science-fiction and horror but I’ll be glad to discuss others, just let me know. I recall when The Book Club came to be. It was I believe the late 90s too early 2000s — the site says 1996! I was right!

I went over the list twice just to make sure I wasn’t wrong. The only one that could work in the category of speculative fiction would be The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates, which is on my TBP list. From what I gathered it leans towards historical fantasy. Now that may not be the case and the author may not think of his work in that genre, so my apologies if I’m wrong about this. I’m still buying it.

So almost some speculative fiction.

“But — ,” you may say, “ — maybe Oprah doesn’t like speculative fiction.”

Maybe and that’s fine. There are types of books I prefer not to read. Doesn’t mean they’re bad, they’re just not my thing. So maybe it’s not her thing.

Still (insert wistful sigh here) I wish she’d at least consider them. …

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I just read an interesting article on BookBub by author Jeff Somers, Sci-Fi Set in the 2020’s Predicted a Dim Decade for Humanity. It was a fascinating and informative read, but it got me thinking. I wanted to comment but there’s no way to do so at least not on that article. So, I decided on this.

In the article Mr. Somers speaks about how most futuristic science-fiction written back in the day predicted that by a certain date the entire world would go to hell in a handbasket. …

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I finished the edits on my book and sent it off to my agent. There are others things I want to do while I await her reply, like writing articles for Medium and completing my current WIP a science-fantasy. So boredom won’t be an issue.

When I say, after The Call I mean that sense of, “OK, now my routine is out the door.”

Here’s how my routine went:

1. Warm up PC check email to see if received rejections and/or requests for fulls/partials.

2. Check out Twitter and Facebook for any writing related news like which agents are open or closed to queries. …

WA Simpson

Author of fantasy and science-fiction. Now represented by Anne Tibbets of the D4EO Agency. www.authorwasimpson.com

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