Some folks think my book, Notes from An Alien, is a Sci-Fi novel. Thing is, one of the main characters thinks otherwise…
So, let’s look at what can be learned by putting “science fiction genre defined” in Google [If your favorite genre isn’t Sci-Fi, hang on just a bit…]:
Wikipedia says: “Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with the impact of imagined innovations in science or technology, often in a futuristic setting. Exploring the consequences of such innovations is the traditional purpose of science fiction, making it a ‘literature of ideas’.”
While there are some “innovations” in my novel, that isn’t the main theme by any means. Plus, “exploring the consequences of such innovations” misses the entire purpose of my book.
At least Wikipedia, a few paragraphs later, says: “Science fiction is difficult to define, as it includes a wide range of subgenres and themes.”
As I checked down the list of sites on Google, I found similar statements of the difficulty in nailing down a definitive definition :-)
So, I plugged in “mystery” and found this, on the Mysterious Times site: “Every author, publisher, bookseller, reader, collector … probably anyone who reads mystery books! … maintains their own definition of what is a mystery and of the genres that comprise the category.”
O.K., how about Romance? Back to Wikipedia: After stating plainly that a romance novel “must revolve around the two people as they develop romantic love for each other” and “have an ’emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending’.”, then discussing a couple other “rules”, they say: “…there are also many books that are widely considered to be romance novels that deviate from these rules.”
If any of you go looking up other genres, would you let me know in the comments if you also found folks disagreeing on just what comprises them??
Next, I put “non-genre” into Google. And, surprise!, I found a popular Sci-Fi site, SF Signal, that had an article with various authors’ choices for influential non-genre books.
I also found a GoodReads page with a list of Popular Non Genre Fiction Books. Now, here’s a place I really hope you go investigate! I bet we could have some wild discussions about whether those books are all “non-genre” :-)
Back in February, I wrote a post called, What Is A Genre & Should You Try To Write In One? After trying to cover a number of differing views on the issue of genre, I ended up saying:
So the question of whether a writer should try to write in a particular genre could become completely moot. What matters most is good writing, creative writing; even writing that pushes hard against genres and rules and conventions–steps up to the literary plate and belts one out of the authorial park :-)
What are your thoughts and feelings about Genre??
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