Although it’s somehow hard for me to make tops, I can relate to this one.
5 books I would like to see more:
1. (Portuguese) steampunk books: I know there are lots of them in English, but the steampunk fever hasn’t reached Portugal yet and it makes me sad that writers only follow trends. We didn’t have many Portuguese fantasy writers until Stephanie Meyer and suddenly there was a boom and everyone decided that fantasy was a good way to start their adventures in the Literature world. I would love to read a Steampunk novel written by a Portuguese author.
2. (Portuguese) Myths/ Legends told as fiction: I have read so many books about Irish myths, Norse myths and Grimms fairy tales, that when I think about Portuguese myths, what do I have? Few. Most of our Historical Fiction sucks terribly. It is either about our kings or viscounts, the authors don’t seem to bother to create a good story pre-Afonso Henriques and it would make me quite happy to read a book where it would have myths about MY country.
3. (Portuguese) Feminist books: It is no shame to admit that one person is a feminist and when it is sad that here in Portugal, people actually look at you aside when you admit that you are one of them. They laugh and ask “What? You burn your bras in public?” So stand up, write something that is feminist and screw the others.
4. (Portuguese) Science Fiction that is not about aliens and wars in other worlds: I can name three Portuguese science fiction writers and all of them have many years on top of them. I would love to read something Portuguese that reminded me of Ursula Le Guin or Philip Dick. Not the same style, but the same depth. A book that you read and you feel like “that is SF, but somehow I can also feel that the themes were universal.”
5. (Portuguese) Erotica: Yes it is extremely hard to write good erotic stuff in Portuguese. I have been there, done that, yet I feel that you either fall in a grotesque style and use words such as “cunt”, or you end up using words like “vagina” which will cause your readers to abandon the book. The reason why I would love to see more erotic novels on the Portuguese shelves is due to the pleasure that you have when you know you are reading a good book. Translations are usually pretty bad and it would be nice to have more choice.
5 books I would like to see less:
1. Twilight-cover-based: When you see a nice cover art, you better step away. This relates to all YA fantasy books out there. You see a nice cover and you expect the book to be great! Well when you open to read it, you’re like “fuck this is like Twilight… I was fooled!”. If you write to be the new S. Meyer, I pity you!
2. Books where the male figure has a huge penis and muscular body: I find that women who enjoy these books are not happy with their marriage/ relationship. Honestly why would I want a God for a husband? He’d be too perfect and probably leave me for a Hollywood actress. I prefer my chubby, geek boyfriend, who might not pay me all the attention in the world or turn him on just by walking inside the room, but guess what? It’s life! I’m glad my boyfriend doesn’t get a boner every time I am naked, that would be hell! Seriously stop writing fiction like that, you are just creating women who want unreal men.
3. Books where the female figure does not have a brain: What gets to my nerves is the fact that these types of women are actually created by women! Where is your pride?
4. Fantasy series books: I enjoy some series “Sevenwaters”, “The mists of Avalon” and I am currently enjoying Shiver. But when the series are suppose to have 4 books and in the end it’s like 8 or 10, you just realise that the author wants to suck all the money. This happened to me with “A game of thrones”, when I reached to the end of the first volume my main thoughts were “The guy wrote 4 more books with 1000 about this?” Write more stand-alone, not all fantasy books must be series!
5. Tolkien-fantasy-based: Tolkien wasn’t original, he was a brilliant teacher and he did great research on medieval studies, but seriously by copying him, you are copying myths and legends that are medieval. When people put Tolkien as their main influence, I doubt they read what he wrote in essays. The fact that you like Tolkien and you copy him, is not influence, it’s just copy/paste. If I see another interview from a Portuguese author that says Tolkien is his/her main influence, I will shoot myself. It is either him or Fernando Pessoa or some other famous author that everyone knows and they probably just read a couple of things.