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."