Before I started my life as a bookseller, I visited bookstores only to find the science fiction and fantasy sections tucked into corners, hidden away from the floor like the Minotaur in its maze: something people were inexplicably drawn towards, but never something they wanted to look in the eye or admit to needing.
By the time I became a bookseller, things had begun to change—and now, in the bookselling circles I run in, it’s considered as egregious a crime not to carry N.K. Jemisin as it is to not carry Richard Russo.
Oh, yes, there are still booksellers who push against genre fiction. The same people who don’t understand why romance belongs in a bookstore—despite being the largest-selling genre in the publishing industry—often don’t understand why people would want to read about dragons and robots and magic and spaceships when there is perfectly good realistic literary fiction right there.
These people are fools.