SF author Rahul Kanakia writes
…more and more like the idea of being a YA [ science fiction ] writer. The field feels a bit more active (although these things can change pretty quickly). But it also feels a bit more accepting. YA novels can have a number of different structures and plots and types of conflict.
SF, on the other hand, feels like it’s very limited to the standard adventure plot. Even very sophisticated and high-concept SF (stuff like the work of Brian Francis Slattery or Jeff Vandermeer or Cory Doctorow) kind of has these adventure plots. And I feel like I’m a bit over that. The part of the story that I’m most interested in is the rest of it: the situations, the characters, the settings—I resent every page that I have to waste on action scenes…
While I don’t dislike action and adventure, I think that Rahul is right that YA fantasy and science fiction is more active an experimental than adult F & SF right now.
I’ve got some thoughts about writing YA SF at some point; I like the universe I’m building for my two adult SF novels, but one character that I’ve really fallen in love with is a minor one: Ewoma, a 12 year old Nigerian girl who works with her folks in a small restaurant in the Aristillus moon colony. She’s sharp as a tack, brave, and likes being useful.
After I finish the two core novels, I’d like to work up a YA novel featuring her.
…and I should also add that I think the smaller wordcount of YA novels would be a win for me: the huge sprawling 270k word series I’ve been working for 2.3 years is exhausting. Limiting myself to 60-80k words would be nice.