Really Great Speculative Fiction Is Worth Millions, Even In A RecessionS

Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler's Wife, won a staggering $5 million advance for her second novel, Her Fearful Symmetry. And everyone seems to agree she earned it.

The New York Times weighs in on this recession-defying advance, noting that Time Traveler sold 113,000 copies in hardcover and another 1.3 million copies in paperback, after it was selected by the Today Show book club. Unlike Charles Frazier, who received an $8 million advance for his disappointing follow-up to Cold Mountain, Niffenegger has actually finished her new novel, which is

a supernatural story about twins who inherit an apartment near a London cemetery and become embroiled in the lives of the building's other residents and the ghost of their aunt, who left them the flat.

The new novel, according to Scribner's Nan Graham, is "a spectacular second novel."

Meanwhile, author Robert J. Sawyer puts it more succinctly:

You know what? She deserves it. Her The Time Traveler's Wife is one of the best science-fiction novels I've ever read.

The bad news, though, is that the long-awaited movie of TTTW isn't going to be out until February 2010.