by wjw on September 29, 2022

A few days ago Imperium Restored achieved a #1 on Amazon in the category of Women’s Adventure Fiction. I’m not sure what that category actually means— I’m reasonably certain that Men’s Adventure features firearms being discharged in all odd-numbered chapters, but Women’s Adventure as a category seems far more slippery.

So I checked it out.

As of today, the #1 book in Women’s Adventure Fiction is described as a “Billionaire Boss Romance,” in which the Billionaire Boss is presumably a gorgeous hunk, as opposed to the more realistic picture of a greedy, self-absorbed little gerbil.

So far, so stereotypical. But the #2 in the category is The Passenger by literary author Cormac McCarthy, which won’t even be released till the end of October, and which seems to be a thriller involving a male rescue diver. No women are mentioned in the summary. So who’s having the adventure?

There are some other titles which, going by the description, have no women at all. There are covers that show cowboys in various stages of undress. (They leave the hat on, however.) There are books, usually part of a lengthy series, showing women in catsuits being silhouetted by a strong light— reminiscent of how urban fantasy was marketed ten years ago, and featuring more traditional action, I’m guessing.

Some books are straightforward fantasy or SF, but most are not.

There are several titles involving strong ex-military males (with names like Ridge or Ares) who are teamed with their K9 dogs to protect women in jeopardy, and which also feature strong elements of romance. (I have to admit that this category is commercial genius: not only is the protective male gorgeous and competent, he comes with a protective gorgeous competent dog.)

There’s a series called The Game of Doms, but I don’t think I’m old enough to read it.

I find a number of titles by bestselling novelist Jean Grainger, who writes a diverse series of novels about Ireland.

So I’m thinking the category is so broad as to be meaningless, but then very often the category is assigned by a publisher, hoping to attract the attention of a certain type of reader (and I’m guessing the type of reader is also so broad as to be meaningless).

This is the sort of thing that happens when you let algorithms do your shopping for you.

However, on the off chance the category is useful, allow me to recommend several titles that fit the Women’s Adventure Fiction classification at least as well as Imperium Restored.

All of these titles are by me. It so happens I use female protagonists a lot. Women, as Chairman Mao pointed out, hold up half the sky, and they also hold up half my novels. I like women. I find women interesting. Most of my close friends are women.

So here’s a list— not of my women friends, but of books. Some of my female protagonists are tag-teamed with male protagonists, as in Imperium Restored or Hardwired, sometimes they’re on their own. (And the books featuring male protagonists usually have strong female characters, though I’ll leave women who aren’t point-of-view characters off the list.)

Ambassador of Progress, my first SF novel, has a female lead. (She came as a welcome relief after my previous novels, which all featured 200 males on boats.) So do Hardwired, Angel Station, Metropolitan, City on Fire, The Praxis, The Sundering, Conventions of War, Impersonations, This Is Not a Game, Deep State, The Fourth Wall, The Accidental War, Fleet Elements, Imperium Restored, and my current project Heaven in Flames.

Dang. The list is longer than I thought!

Feel free to help put any of these works on bestseller lists. It’s late for most of them, but maybe we can get a groundswell grass-roots kind of thing going. What do you say?

John Appel September 29, 2022 at 11:58 am

My print copy arrived Tuesday! It’s the next thing in my TBR pile.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post:

Contact Us | Terms of User | Trademarks | Privacy Statement

Copyright © 2010 WJW. All Rights Reserved.