General Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

Why haven't there been a flurry of pandemic fiction novels?

Asked by elbanditoroso (33185points) 1 month ago

It seems like most tragedies and catastrophes are follows by a bunch of novels building on those events as the background for novels and fictional accounts.

There are tons of WW2 novels (and movies), Holocaust novels, 9/11 fiction, and so on.

And then there is a whole genre of Israel versus Arab terrorism fiction (authored by Daniel Silva, Kyle Mills, the late Vince Flynn, and plenty of others).

So two years after COVID-19 dissipated, where are the pandemic novels?

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14 Answers

MrGrimm888's avatar

Probably because anyone old enough to read them, has lived their own.

I do expect that literature and entertainment, will use that time as a backdrop, for many stories.
It’s a great external, uncontrollable force.

Demosthenes's avatar

There are some. Second Place by Rachel Cusk, is directly inspired by the COVID pandemic, even though it is not mentioned by name in the novel. I know I’ve heard of others, though that is the only I’ve read.

There will likely be more in the future. Perhaps it is too fresh in people’s minds; it feels like reliving the drudgery and misery of that time, and not everyone is ready to do so.

seawulf575's avatar

There have always been books about pandemics in the past. Maybe most of the ideas for books have been used. The Stand, The Plague, I Am Legend, and many more talk about plagues/pandemics wiping out humanity. Even something like inferno by Dan Brown is about a man-made virus being released to stop overpopulation.

janbb's avatar

I don’t know about a flurry but I’ve read a few. Wish You Were Here by Jodie Piccoult is one and Our Country Friends by Gar Shteyngart is another. I suspect mre are on the way.

LadyMarissa's avatar

In this instance, I’d think that it’s such a polarizing subject that it would be rejected by most publishers. It’s a subject that there is NO way to win. No matter your views, you’ve got a 50/50 chance of pissing somebody off. So, maybe half the potential readers are going to be upset. Once word gets out on which way you leaned, perspective buyers will determine beforehand what they think.

Demosthenes's avatar

@LadyMarissa I don’t know about that. Novels like this are generally not polemics about COVID restrictions and Fauci and Trump. COVID is used as a backdrop, and the stories are focused on those living through the pandemic, coping with death of relatives and the loneliness that the lockdowns brought.

janbb's avatar

@Demosthenes I agree with you. The few I read were not polemics as you’ve said.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Wulf. Don’t forget “The Andromeda Strain.”

janbb's avatar

^^ I assume the OP was talking about the recent pandemic.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^I know.
I thought that was one of the more unique takes, of basically the same plot.

Covid cane out of nowhere. Well. Likely an accident, in a lab in Wuhan…
It’s important to note, the Covid crisis, is still ongoing.
Treatments are far better, and more effectively. Screening is easier.
But. Some people have “long Covid,” or other symptoms that have lingered since they had it.
Obviously, it’s a virus, so it will continue mutating. It’s possible that a strain could become really dangerous again.
I have known a few people that had really bad viruses when they were younger, who developed ticks/twitches, and other signs of permanent damage.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@janbb is correct, the recent Pandemic. Andromeda strain is 45 years old.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^I never said she wasn’t.

seawulf575's avatar

@MrGrimm888 That is a good one. It had the potential to be a horrid pandemic but it really only wiped out one town and it was due to an alien lifeform. But Michael Crichton was a great author.

LifeQuestioner's avatar

I subscribe to several websites that send daily emails for Kindle books on sale. A lot of them I don’t bother with because there basically tripe. One way I can tell is if I go on to Amazon and I see that they’ve actually been published as a hardback or paperback. Anyway, I can tell you that there are plenty of pandemic novels out there nowadays. I’ve read one or two that were good a while back but most of them do not catch my interest.

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