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Category Descriptions: Young Adult Speculative Fiction

Speculative Fiction takes us to realms of the imagination: places and times and realities where the rules of life may be different than our own and where the impossible and improbable become real. But good science fiction and fantasy does more than that: it asks, “What if?” It makes us think. It holds up a mirror to our own society and lets us see ourselves in a different light.

Magic, aliens, ghosts, alternate universes, time travel, space travel, high fantasy, dystopian, post-apocalyptic futures, horror, and sentient animals are just some of the many topics that belong here. If a book could happen today or could have happened in the past, nominate it over in YA Fiction. But any story that’s impossible, improbable, or merely possible – but not quite yet – belongs in Speculative Fiction. Magic Realism may be placed either here or in YA Fiction, depending on the context, but don’t stress too much about it; if necessary we’ll move it where we feel it fits best.

Speculative fiction novels with graphics in addition to text belong here, but if the book is primarily told through serial artwork, it belongs in the Graphic Novels category.

The age range for this category is approximately 12-18, although there is some overlap with the Elementary/Middle-grade Speculative Fiction category that will be decided on a case by case basis. New Adult (NA) titles are not eligible, as those are primarily intended for an adult audience.

This category accepts books published in either print or ebook formats.

—Sheila Ruth

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