Friday, January 13, 2017

My Trouble with Genres

So I tend to write things that are not easily categorized into specific genres. I meld elements of fantasy and science fiction, various sub-genres, with my own peculiarities. It's possible that this has sometimes served as a hindrance to my success since publishers prefer easy categories. In fact, one of my better novels (Shadows of Tockland) was once rejected by a major publisher for not having enough science in the science fiction. Just take a look at how the various genres factor into my novels.

Shadows of Tockland

Post-apocalyptic science fiction with very little actual science. It also deals quite a bit with the history of clowning. It's also got zombies, in a manner of speaking. Hard to categorize.

Garden of Dust and Thorns

Technically, it's a fantasy novel because it involves magic, but it has almost none of the trappings of the fantasy genre. It's also got some elements that smack of science fiction.

The Vale of Ghosts

The biggest mishmash of genres I've ever written. At times, it almost feels like a young adult novel, with its young, alienated female protagonist and her various misadventures, but it's clearly not written for a young audience. It involves magic, so that makes it a fantasy novel. I sometimes classify it as paranormal, because it involves, in a way, the spirits of dead people, but it's not an easy fit with your typical paranormal novel. There are numerous elements of horror throughout, but it also has a few science fiction concepts.

You see what I'm talking about. The same goes for most of the novels I've written. Even when I do limit myself to a specific genre, I tend to avoid the trappings of that genre. Maybe it's been a hindrance at times, but I can't help myself.

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