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What do you think about fantasy genre-benders?
Nevena Georgieva
Posted: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 11:28 AM
Joined: 2/9/2012
Posts: 438

Genre-benders are books that straddle multiple genres; they are sometimes harder to sell to publishers and market to readers, but that's not always the case. Take Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse series, for example. The series it classified as urban fantasy, but there are elements of romance and mystery in the books. There are paranormal creatures and lots of adventure; however, the mystery aspect livens up the plots, and the romance aspect appeals to readers' emotions. On the other hand, Harris considers herself a mystery writer, and has been writing mysteries for more than 30 years now.

So what do you think about fantasy books that are hard to classify, and have elements of different fantasy subgenres, and even other genres, in them? Does it really depend on the book in question?

Nevena Georgieva
Posted: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 12:58 PM
Joined: 2/9/2012
Posts: 438

Bump bump!
Posted: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 10:28 PM
Joined: 2/6/2013
Posts: 2


I think all genres can exist in a fantasy world. That's the beauty of it. Looking at it logically I think first you have to define fantasy then you can add any subgenre you'd like. Dracula was originally horror and now vampires are "supernatural" and definitely part of the fantasy genre. But, publishers look for a sell point based on what's hot. So they create and pump life into a new sub genre looking to capitalize on it by feeding the new genre with new voices. I saw a publisher that was looking specifically for romantic paranormal transgender vampire stories.  Can't wait to see the section at Barnes&Noble for that!
Nevena Georgieva
Posted: Thursday, February 7, 2013 10:04 AM
Joined: 2/9/2012
Posts: 438

"Romantic paranormal transgender vampire stories"? This is going to be interesting!

You're onto something here. I don't think that publishers aren't open to genre-benders, but they don't always know if they can make the book work/sell. There is the big question of "Where the heck do we place this book in the bookstore?"

LeeAnna Holt
Posted: Thursday, February 7, 2013 10:59 AM
Joined: 4/30/2011
Posts: 662

Mark Lawrence's Prince of Thorns is really more along the lines of a post-apocalyptic fantasy with dashes of sci-fi, but it reads like a medieval fantasy. His work is often mixed in with other iron-age based fantasies even though it doesn't fit if you look at the setting.

At one point the main character, Jorg, is describing a road his band is on. He says something along the lines of how the stones were put together so tightly he couldn't even see the lines. The more I read, the more I realized that he was on a highway from our time, a thousand years in their past. Think of these books as the baby of Fallout and Skyrim, only without zombie dragons.
Elizabeth Moon
Posted: Monday, February 11, 2013 2:25 PM
Joined: 6/14/2012
Posts: 195

Genre benders work well in fantasy, though some genres fit better with some sub-genres of fantasy than others.   And mostly it depends on the strength of the characterization and story.   Kate Elliot's excellent Cold Magic and Cold Fire, for instance, are a sort of alternate history using this world and its geography and much of its history (it's not entirely clear to me where it diverges, but readers will recognize Africa, the Near East, Europe, the North American colonies.)   We usually think of alternate history as science fiction--but it doesn't have to be.

Alexander Hollins
Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 4:24 PM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 416

The idea of "Fantasy" as a setting is becoming more main stream, which I like. So now, much like you could have a war story, or a travel story, or a coming of age story, and then IN that framework, tell a love story, or hero story, or such, fantasy and SF have become overarching categories, rather than their own "story type". 

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