Dystopia the new paranormal at Bologna

Dystopia the new paranormal at Bologna

The Bologna stands are still full of vampires, werewolves, angels and faerie lovers, but with sales of paranormal romance dipping in the US, dystopian fiction—which made a showing at last year's Bologna—has now taken over as the hottest theme in young adult publishing.

Macmillan Children's Books is showing Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts, a September title about a dystopian world set in the aftermath of huge earthquakes. Simon & Schuster yesterday announced a six-figure acquisition for a YA dystopian trilogy by Andy Fukuda. Hodder has reported lots of interest in Saci Lloyd's novel Momentum, which has been sold to Holiday House in the United States with a German offer imminent. Chicken House publisher Barry Cunningham said he was even pitched a book about dystopian dogs at the fair.

“People are very positive about dystopian fiction as a genre and booksellers are very keen,” said Bloomsbury children's publisher Sarah Odedina.

But scout Nicolette Jones warned that the spring 2012 market looked already saturated with tales of post-apocalyptic disaster. Francesca Dow, m.d. of Penguin Children's, said: "Since Razorbill launched, there has been a wave of dystopian trilogies from the US, and we are being very selective."