The next Young Adult book I read where all the pop culture refs are from the 1980s when it’s supposed to be set now, well, that book I set on fire.1
I’ve had it with these lazy authors. You wanna write about your teenage years? Then bloody set it then! You’re allowed. There’s no law that says it has to be set in the here and now.
I can buy one or two characters who are obsessed with the eighties (though I have no idea why they would be but, hey, I hear some people are obsessed with cars, and Englishmen, and chewing gum wrappers—people are weird) but I cannot buy an entire novel set in the 2000s where all popular culture came to a grinding halt in 1990. A world without reality TV, manga,2 Micheal Hussey, Antony & the Johnsons, Beyonce, Brokeback Mountain, Harry Potter or Meg Cabot. C’mon already!
Your development may have arrested back then but the world has moved on. Try to reflect that in your novels set NOW. It’s not too much to ask, is it?
Grrr. Bloody buggery eighties. They sucked. I was there. I know.
Is there anything you keep seeing over and over in a particular genre that drives you insane? Rant away! (Though try not to name specific writers. You know how I feel about making writers cry.)