Document Type

Paper

Publication Date

5-2020

Subjects

Science fiction, Fantasy fiction, Publishers and publishing, Multiculturalism in literature

Abstract

Science fiction and fantasy is one of the most abundant genres today, projected to gross $590.2 million in the adult fiction market in the year 2020. However, despite its growing popularity and its large reader base, it still predominantly caters to white men; something that could be detrimental to the industry. This paper aimed to show how science fiction and fantasy (SFF) publishers can learn more about their non-white reader demographic and how they can potentially increase their interaction with their diverse audiences. I conducted a study of social media interaction by compiling Twitter posts over the course of four months and sorted them into two categories. The first being General SFF Spaces where my focus was on identifying diverse readers by looking through each post’s likes, comments, and retweets. The second was Diverse SFF Spaces where I analyzed the content of these accounts to see what it was that diverse SFF readers were interacting with. The results showed that on Twitter alone there is a moderate to high level of ethnically and racially diverse reader interaction and that a large portion of it revolved around diverse SFF content. These results support the idea that the science fiction and fantasy reader demographics are not as homogeneous as it is often assumed to be and that there is an oversight on the publishers’ side when it comes to connecting and catering to these individuals in the community. Thus, further demographic research is essential if we are ever to see a shift toward a more inclusive SFF community and industry.

Description

Paper submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Writing: Book Publishing.

Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/33243

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