Summer vacation is coming, a favorite time for readers to indulge in their favorite activity. This year, many of them will be slipping "Ice Planet Barbarians," a romantic saga featuring blue aliens, into their suitcase. Here's what you need to know about the fiction phenomenon..
If you don't know who Ruby Dixon is, you probably don't spend enough time on TikTok. And more specifically on #BookTok, the posts where the social network's young users are reinventing literary criticism as we know it. In the last few months, these bibliophiles have taken a liking to Ruby Dixon and her hit sci-fi romance saga, "Ice Planet Barbarians" .
The author tells the adventures of Georgie and other women who have been abducted by aliens to be enslaved. After trying in vain to escape, they find themselves on a strange planet covered in snow and ice where they meet imposing blue aliens. Strange creatures with horns, whose "gigantic penises" make them fall under their spell.
This element of the plot is not mentioned in the summary of the saga, which first saw the light in 2015, but in the review that Emma Carter has posted on TikTok. According to CNN, the American was the first to praise Ruby's many sci-fi novels on the platform. "Miss Ruby Dixon has created, I would say, one of the only sci-fan fantasy moods that I would seriously consider moving to," she explains in one of her videos. The reason? The "big-dick virgins" who populate it, and whose only goal is to satisfy the women they meet.
The biggest BookTok "inside joke" hits bookstores
Emma Carter is not the only one who is enthusiastic about the characters of "Ice Planet Barbarians" and the other 30 works (novels and novellas) of the saga. The hashtag #iceplanetbarbarians has more than 34.6 million views on TikTok. Behind this impressive figure are literary reviews of Ruby Dixon's novels, but also numerous parody videos about the craze they generate on the social network, which the user @literarylibra describes as the "biggest inside joke of #BookTok."
While the "Ice Planet Barbarians" phenomenon may amuse some, professionals in the industry are taking it very seriously. Starting with Amazon, whose best-seller rankings show that readers (and especially women readers) are very interested in these big blue guys. The first volume of the saga is currently in 14th place in the list of the most popular books on the e-commerce site . Other literary giants like Barnes & Noble have also succumbed to the "Barbarian romance" wave. One of the group's Californian stores posted a humorous video on its TikTok account, where it informs its subscribers that copies of "big blue alien books" have been ordered.
While Ruby Dixon is thrilled with the success of her erotic science fiction novels, she's not the only one benefiting from the #BookTok effect. In recent months, many authors have seen their sales soar thanks to the recommendations of these new-gen literary critics. This has been the case for Sarah J. Maas with "A Court of Thorns and Roses" and "Throne of Glass" from the "Keleana" series, Madeline Miller with "The Song of Achilles" and Leigh Bardugo with her "Shadow and Bone" series. The phenomenon is such that Barnes & Noble has even created its own special #BookTok reading list . If the "Ice Planet Barbarians" saga does not appear there yet, it will soon.