Top 10 – Best Selling Sci/Fi-books in Europe Today

16 May

6th. article in our 7week series on Sci-Fi/Fantasy

By Sony

I am very happy that Open Book asked me to write another article for LIH and I hope my contribution will be interesting for you, too. After Ozzie’s great article about The MostPopular Sci/Fi Film Festivals I will give you a general view of the Top 10 – Best Selling books of this genre in Germany, France and the UK. My source was amazon.de, amazon.fr and amazon.co.uk from May 13th, 2012 and you will find these lists below:

As we see the UK-readers seem to be totally smitten by George Martin’s “A Game of Thrones”, only one other author made it into the top 10: “Deadlocked: A True Blood Novel” by Charlaine Harris is listed on 3 and 6 (hardcover and paperback). This lopsidedness may be due to the TV-series which obviously drew in a lot of readers.

In Germany the readers are still fixated on Suzanne Collin’s Hunger Games Trilogy, they also like “A Game of Thrones” but we get some additional books, i.e. two out of the Black Dagger Series, one “classical” (or shall we call it old-fashioned?) like Perry Rhodan, the new volume “Archangel’s Blade” from the Guild Hunter series (where a huntress meets a vampire who is the right hand of an archangel) and another one from a series about vampires, “House of Night: Destined”. Looks as if Germany has not drifted back into Medieval times as much as the UK but is still also fond of vampires…

Since the French list is the most diversified one I would like to give you a bit information about some of these books. I’ve translated the titles into English the best I could. Two of them are only available in French, “The Standing Stones” by Jacques Vandroux (About a father who is desperately searching for his two children who were kidnapped in the Natural History Museum of Paris; during his search he is gradually moved towards the center of a conspiracy by a cult that infiltrated the upper French society. He gets help and support not only by a police officer outside the law but also an old aristocratic archeologist, a West Indian witch and a Russian medium) and “Four Handed Murder” by Kométès (A series of horrible and mysterious murders shock Paris. Their target: the doctors. Their common point: the brain. Crushed with bare hands. A criminologist and former professor of literature and a young commissioner will discover the secrets). And there is “The Clearing of the Lion” of the Gate Saga by Anthony Luc Douzet (The Lion Gate, the tomb of a prince of Romania has been desecrated, while the place is deemed and had been sealed for eternity. What do a small Romanian village in late 1999, a cursed alchemist in the 15th century and a burglar in a festive Beijing in early 2008 have in common?). I think a lot of you will know Flint Dille, screenwriter, game designer, and novelist. He is best known for his animated work on Transformers, G.I. Joe, An American Tail: Fievel Goes West, and his game-writing, The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, and Dead to Rights but he’s also present with “Book of Cain” from his Diablo Saga in France’s top 10.

It seems that we are just having “the time of the sagas” not only in the US but also in Europe; I’m curious what the next best-seller after “The Hunger Games” and “A Game of Thrones” will be.

GERMANY
1. Suzanne Collins Catching Fire (Hunger Games Trilogy)
2. Suzanne Collins The Hunger Games  (Hunger Games Trilogy)
3. Suzanne Collins Mockingjay (Hunger Games Trilogy)
4. George R.R. Martin A Dance with Dragons. Book Five of A Song of Ice and Fire (1)
5. J. R. Ward Lover Reborn (Part 1)
6. Frank Borsch Perry Rhodan Neo 17: The Administrator
7. Nalini Singh Archangel’s Blade
8. George R.R. Martin A Game of Thrones. Book One of A Song of Ice and Fire (1)
9. J. R. Ward Lover Reborn (Part 2)
10. Kristin Cast, P. C. Cast, Christine Blum Destined/House of Night 9
FRANCE
1. Terry Goodkind The Omen Machine (The Sword of Truth)
2. Jacques Vandroux The Standing Stones
3. George R.R. Martin A Storm of Swords: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book III
4. George R.R. Martin A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book I
5. Jeaniene Frost This Side of the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 5)
6. Kométès Four handed murder
7. George R.R. Martin A Clash of Kings: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book II
8. Alexandra Ivy Beyond the Darkness (Guardians of Eternity, Book 6)
9. Flint Dille Diablo III: Book of Cain
10. Anthony Luc Douzet The Clearing of the Lion (Saga The Gate)
UK
1. George R.R. Martin A Song of Ice and Fire (1) – A Game of Thrones
2. George R.R. Martin A Song of Ice and Fire (2) – A Clash of Kings (Song of Ice & Fire 2)
3. Charlaine Harris Deadlocked: A True Blood Novel (Sookie Stackhouse 12)
4. George R.R. Martin A Song of Ice and Fire (5) – A Dance With Dragons: Part 2 After the Feast
5. George R.R. Martin A Song of Ice and Fire (3) – A Storm of Swords Complete Edition (Two in One)
6. Charlaine Harris Deadlocked: A True Blood Novel (Sookie Stackhouse 12)
7. George R.R. Martin A Song of Ice and Fire (5) – A Dance With Dragons: Part 1 Dreams and Dust
8. George R.R. Martin A Song of Ice and Fire (4) – A Feast for Crows (Song of Ice & Fire 4)
9. George R.R. Martin A Song of Ice and Fire (3) – A Storm of Swords: Part 1 Steel and Snow (Reissue)
10. George R.R. Martin A Song of Ice and Fire (1) – A Game of Thrones: Book 1 of a Song of Ice and Fire

Please join us for an open discussion Wednesday through Thursday May 16th-17th.

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41 Responses to “Top 10 – Best Selling Sci/Fi-books in Europe Today”

  1. littlebells May 16, 2012 at 9:51 AM #

    Excellent Sony! After reading the summaries for the French books, I really want to read them! Unfortunately I don’t know French. 😦 do you know how often or not these books get translated into English?

    It is interesting how trilogies and sagas seem to be taking over. The Bronze Horseman is in excellent series. Having read it, I don’t see how it could possibly have been one book. I’ve heard Game of Thrones is great as well.

    Do you think sagas are successful because readers want to see their beloved characters continue in fictional life? Are their any series that you think are flops?

    • littlebells May 16, 2012 at 9:55 AM #

      Also, do you think some sagas contain too many volumes? For instance when you reach book 5, 6, etc…?

      • Sony May 17, 2012 at 1:57 PM #

        Hi LB, yes I think there are some sagas which contain too many volumes, for example the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I really loved the first one but I wouldn’t recommend to read further on, I would like to delete my memory because after the third book it became such a boring story and it is still going on…
        On the other hand “The bronze horseman” was phantasmic from the first to the last line!

        • littlebells May 17, 2012 at 5:03 PM #

          Thank you for that info. I would like to read Outlander and now know where to stop. 🙂

  2. Open Book May 16, 2012 at 2:54 PM #

    Sony,

    I’m so glad u agreed to write for us again. This is such a great article and review. I’ve always been curious about this topic. I wonder what the demographic is on who’s reading these books? Do u know if women and men are reading these books or are there more women then men etc…?

    None the less great job!!!

    • marsupilami328 May 17, 2012 at 2:04 PM #

      HI OB, sorry, but the sources I used do not make any distinction who is reading the books, male or female. IMO the TV-series of Game of Throwns might have attracted a lot of male readers to the books. I’ve not started with the books yet, I only saw the first series on TV and I decided to watch it because I am a huge fan of Sean Bean…

    • Sony May 17, 2012 at 2:07 PM #

      Hi OB, sorry, but the sources I used do not distinguish between male or female readers. IMO a lot of male readers might have been attracted by the TV series. I’ve not started with the books yet but I admit that I wanted to watch the TV series because of Sean Bean, I am a huge fan…

      • Open Book May 17, 2012 at 2:15 PM #

        Hi Sony,
        Thank u, I think it’s always difficult to assertain the demographic make up on books. Would u consider Game of Thrones more Fantasy then Sci-Fi? Also, I’m quite impressed by the interest in Sci-Fi in Europe. AWESOME!!!

        • Sony May 17, 2012 at 2:32 PM #

          Hi OB, I might be old-fashioned but I think of Game of Thrones as Fantasy (because I get back in time, and GoT to me looks like medieval times) whereas ScienceFiction for me is something in the future like Blade Runner or The Fifth Element and alikes. But that is really my humble opinion, I am sure a lot of you might disagree in this respect because the borders are fluent here.

          • Comic Relief May 17, 2012 at 2:52 PM #

            Sony,

            You are not the only one who evaluates that way. Traditional or not, I would interpret the same way you do.

            • ozzie20 May 17, 2012 at 8:02 PM #

              Hmmm, I had not thought of sci-fi and fantasy definitions that way. It’s alot easier than my convoluted way of thinking. I think I’ll use this classification from now on, lol!

          • Open Book May 17, 2012 at 3:02 PM #

            Sony, ITA Game of Thrones is fantasy not sci-fi. I love fantasy because it’s often more spiritual then sci-fi. What I like about sci-fi is the realism used to try and realize futuristic ideas in science and technology. Yet, sci-fi always overpowers the spiritual elements in a story. Where am I going? I think it’s interesting Europe tends to lean more toward fantasy then sci-fi and a hunger for more spiritually based stories. Has that always been the case?

      • Comic Relief May 17, 2012 at 3:18 PM #

        Sony,

        I don’t want to sound snobbish but there’s a history in the US of TV not being as serious a medium as narratives that occur in theatres.

        I’m not the biggest TV watcher, yet cable has a more serious following than network television has or has ever had (maybe because you pay for it differently).

        In its history, Star trek was always a TV phenomenon. Recently Paramount Picture’s J.J. Abrams Star trek, starring Chris Pine rebooted the original series at theatres without a TV genesis at all. I see no signs the TV will return regarding the series importance.
        http://www.startrek.com/

        I notice that your emphasis on television to literature doesn’t at all seem to embrace these biases. Does this perception of higher quality or more serious material at all impact perceptions of narrative value?

        I curious in regard to understanding how different nationalities evaluate and appreciate the value of these fantastic stories.

        • Sony May 17, 2012 at 5:07 PM #

          Hi CR,
          you don’t sound snobbish at all, I think that here is a great difference between the US and Germany w.r.t. to TV. In Germany you have free TV and you have only one pay TV (Sky). Most people (like me) have Sky only for sport events, not to see new movies. All successful series like Star Trek, The Borgias, The Turods or the newest one like Game of Thrones are shown in free TV. I hope I understood your question correctly.

          • Sony May 17, 2012 at 5:08 PM #

            The Tudors, of course, sorry for my mistake

            • Comic Relief May 18, 2012 at 12:47 PM #

              Sony,

              Thank you so much for your answer. Though I hope to do it in the near future I have never been to any of the places you surveyed so I just don’t have a notion of how things appear or are considered when they are seen or discussed.

              Yet before I suggest I’m an expert in something (I am not fully knowledgeable about) let me correct what I may have suggested. Distinguished from the North American continent, the US is a big place and all rules for network TV, cable, and many notions of regional and local film distribution are different in different parts of the continent. One of the reasons I know this is I have lived in many parts of the US and definitions and media availabilities can be very different. And what should be obvious (speaking to United States natives) all territories within North America including Mexico and Canada, are not governed by the same definitions and media availabilities.

              That said, I watch so little TV I can’t fully tell you where many popular shows reside. Regardless your answer tells me the barriers that complicate evaluation here don’t seem to provide encumbrances in Germany and possibly France and The U.K.

              I can now better interpret your statements. And I can far better appreciate how informative your wonderful article is.

              • marsupilami328 May 19, 2012 at 6:16 AM #

                Hi CR,
                thank you so much for your kind words about my article! And it is really interesting to hear that within the US there are such severe differences in network TV and cable and other film distributors. Like you I don’t watch a lot on TV apart from sports and if a series like GoT is shown I usually record it to watch it later and without the damn commercials in it…

  3. Comic Relief May 16, 2012 at 3:04 PM #

    Sony,

    Looking over your whole list I can’t help but notice that in terms of genre; spiritual and horror/fantasy themes seem to dominate. If I am correct, is there a reason these genres are suddenly so popular.

    I guess I should not be surprised that vampires have remained popular (especially in Hollywood and maybe in popular literature); however the spiritual fascination seems very unusual or new by comparison? Do you have any thoughts about this? Hearing a German perspective would be so fantastic.

    I hate to say this, because of the huge physical toll, yet I hope to see you at the discussion. Great article and thanks alot.

    • Comic Relief May 17, 2012 at 2:12 PM #

      Sony,

      Please ignore my comment about the discussion. It clearly says open discussion above.

      • Comic Relief May 17, 2012 at 2:14 PM #

        Of course the genre questions still stand. This was a really great article.

    • Sony May 17, 2012 at 2:21 PM #

      Hi CR,
      I was wondering like you why these topics (spiritual and fantasy/horror) are so popular now all of a sudden. I think in Germany this might be due to the huge success of Dan Brown’s books, especially the Da Vinci Code. I think the French list includes some books that are even more “bloody”; I remember one very popular book some time ago by Jean-Christophe Grangé, called “Die purpurnen Flüsse” (The purple rivers, although I don’t know how the original title in French was, please help me, Parisienne). The book was really great but unfortunately they changed so much in the movie.
      W.r.t. vampires I think the Germans still think of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” being the all times best Vampire story. For me it still is he best because it is written so well and now, 100 years after Stoker died we got two very good new German translations of it. It is a pity that no movie kept really close to the book.

      • Comic Relief May 17, 2012 at 2:39 PM #

        Unfortunately, I never read the book, but thought the film was fantastic. Casting was decent, costumes were incredible, and I appreciated a return to Stoker’s original story.

        Now that I know the original story wasn’t well adapted, now I want to rent the movie, and read the book to see what I was missed out on.

        • Comic Relief May 17, 2012 at 2:42 PM #

          Sorry (typing and posting too fast): “…what I missed out on.”

      • littlebells May 17, 2012 at 5:07 PM #

        Note tl self: Add book to our bookclub list. 🙂

  4. parisienne May 16, 2012 at 11:22 PM #

    Sony,

    Awesome article! I really want to read the book by Jacques Vandroux now! Why do you think Sagas are doing so well?

    • Sony May 17, 2012 at 2:24 PM #

      Hi Parisienne, please, please do tell me if you ever read this book, it sounds so interesting and thrilling but unfortunately my French isn’t good enough to read a whole book.
      I can’t find a solid reason why people are now so keen to read whole sagas; perhaps they cannot get enough of the heroes in a story they like, they want to follow them through their whole lives?

      • Open Book May 17, 2012 at 2:41 PM #

        Hmmm! Sony, I think u just answered my demographic question. Is it possible the new found interest in sagas is due to women? Let me clear my throat……..Is it possible Twilight has caused this interest in sagas?

        • littlebells May 17, 2012 at 5:08 PM #

          Take it back!!! Take it back!!! But I think you are right. It’s hard to say though. I mean look at HP. It had fans both male and female. Of course then there’s 50 Sahdes…who knows…

  5. Sony May 17, 2012 at 1:51 PM #

    Hi to all, so happy to are back with you!

    • Comic Relief May 17, 2012 at 2:10 PM #

      And we’re all happy to have you back.

      • Sony May 17, 2012 at 2:26 PM #

        Hi CR, I will try to follow the discussion as close as possible, I am so glad to be back.

  6. Open Book May 17, 2012 at 2:36 PM #

    France seem to be really into Fantasy then Sci-Fi. The Omen Machine sounds like a combination of Fantasy and Sci/Fi from what I’ve read on Amazon. Please correct me if I’m wrong Sony. Combining these two genres seems like a new trend among writers that’s also showing up in film. Interesting.

  7. Comic Relief May 17, 2012 at 2:48 PM #

    OB,

    I think you are right about the multi-genre appetite.

    I still have trouble with what I’ve been calling horror/fantasy. Horror used to be reserved for Vampire tales.

    I guess if we’re talking about “Twilight” the genre might be horror/fantasy/romance. I’m not sure any of this really matters, as much as diverse audiences and nationalities dig it.

  8. littlebells May 17, 2012 at 5:12 PM #

    Sony

    have many series from the US made it over to Europe. Other than you know…gag. Do you think TBH will ever make it huge like these other series?

    • ozzie20 May 17, 2012 at 8:06 PM #

      I think I remember seeing TBH on one of Amazon’s top lists.

      • littlebells May 17, 2012 at 8:21 PM #

        That’s awesome! We have gotten over 1,500 hits on our posts for the TBH book reviews. 🙂

  9. Open Book May 17, 2012 at 6:05 PM #

    Everyone-

    Rather than our regularly scheduled discussion @7pm EST. Today we are doing an open discussion on Sony’s article. We are so pleased to have Sony write and answer our questions that we also want to respect the time difference in which she’s joining us from. Therefore we are doing an open discussion so u can post questions and answers anytime of the day until Friday.

    • Sony May 17, 2012 at 10:37 PM #

      Thank you so much for this!

  10. ozzie20 May 17, 2012 at 7:56 PM #

    Hi all!

    Cool article Sony! I always like hearing about what is popular in other countries so I can add more books to my already massive list I wan to read!

    • Sony May 17, 2012 at 10:42 PM #

      Hi Ozzie, so happy to see you again! Unfortunately this research also added to my list of books I want to read although I am already lagging behind w.r.t. LB’s blog (I will catch up, LB, I promise 🙂

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