So come on all you Bilbo Baggins, Captain Ahabs, Harry Potters, Anne of Green Gables and Katniss Everdeens. I know you are out there and we need you to win this one. Because how this story ends affects us all.
Aren't there authors who stay outside the mainstream and are better for it? To satisfy myself, I concocted a version of objective analysis sufficiently rigorous to help a fiction writer relax. Scientists, shut your eyes.
Could it be that women just don't write as well as men? And yet the winner of latest Pulitzer Prize for fiction is notably female, as were three of the four winners of this year's National Book Awards.