Why are female authors’ adult fantasy novels so often marketed at teenagers?
Why are adult fantasy novels by women often marketed at teenagers? This is the question an article on the website BookRiot has posited, arguing that unconscious sexism is to blame. “As more women’s novels get mistakenly classified as young adult, it furthers the message that grownup fantasy and sci-fi are for men. Sure, women can write for teens who like The Hunger Games, but for the ‘real’ fantasy readers? Try again,” wrote Mya Nunnally.
Sexism exists in science fiction and fantasy: until recently, the genre has remained stubbornly white and male but for the rise of authors including Nnedi Okorafor or NK Jemisin. Every time the Guardian runs reviews of sci-fi by women, commenters invariably debate whether it is sci-fi at all. But while YA fiction as we know it has been around since the 1950s, many of the popular series share common features: fantasy-romance blends usually led by a feisty-but-relatable young woman who, in between interspecies/inter-kingdom battles, will fall in love with a male friend, with whom she will eventually hit the heights of heavy petting in, perhaps, book three.