So it begs the question; if I can't find a science fiction book on the bestseller list, can science fiction ever be considered as a noteworthy genre?
It may be interesting to note, that in literary circles, the genre of science fiction has been given a bad rap, and some writers actively seek to be labelled as something other than a writer of science fiction, even when their novels clearly fit into the genre. A major concern for writers of science fiction is the fear of becoming ghettoised, and once inside the ghetto, it's hard to escape.
It's not surprising then, that Cormac Mcarthy, urged book sellers to relegate his pulitzer prized bestseller, "The Road" to the literature section instead of the science fiction section. The tremendous creativity on display in his novel is masked by a conspiracy of book stores and publishing houses to keep high quality works out of the genre categories.
The ghetto walls are what separate science fiction from mainstream literature.
[My agent] said 'You have a murder mystery up there, you have a horror book up there, you have all kinds of genres on the bestseller shelf, why not Terry Pratchett's book?' And the response was "We don't let them out of the science fiction section'"
— Terry Pratchett,
"it will take not only courage for Science Fiction to join the community of literature, but strength, self-respect, the will not to settle for the second rate. It will take genuine self-criticism. And it will include genuine praise."