Friday, April 22, 2011

S is for Sub-Genre

This was another tough topic to pick, but I think sub-genre will do. There are so many different sub-genres out there, it can be hard to keep track some times. Some are more recognized in general than others. One change I like about the layout of young adult novels in Barnes and Noble is that they separated out a few of the sub-genres, which make it easier to find certain types within the large mix that qualifies as YA.

I kind of wish the Science Fiction & Fantasy section would have a few sub-genres labelled to help find books. Granted, it would be difficult to pick which ones received their own shelves but it would still be nice. Right now there is just the vast grouping in the one I shop at of science fiction and fantasy combined. And there is the "new" section but that bugs me even more because the one I go to has it as "new science fiction" and I know around half of the new books are fantasy and not sci-fi. 

Categorizing a novel isn't easy. There are a few novels I know exactly where they would be placed but a few others I am not sure. My mutant novels sound sci-fi but at the same time the powers almost seem too unrealistic, which makes me have doubts. The new YA book seemed a little dystopian but I'm not sure if there is enough about the society since it's a small village for it to qualify (among other reasons). And the one that almost seemed steampunk definitely is not, but I have no idea what kind of fantasy it is yet. Course the easy ones are ones I'm not working on right now. Figures. lol

I could go into all the difference types and discuss a few in depth but I think I'll just list a few examples of different sub-genres that exist. There are many others but here are few of them.

Examples:
Paranormal Romance
Dystopian
Urban Fantasy
Epic Fantasy
Military Sci-Fi
Cyberpunk
Steampunk
Cozy Mystery
Noir
Historical (mystery, romance, etc)
Police Procedural
Contemporary
Regency Romance



What sub-genres do you read?
What sub-genres do you write?

8 comments:

Angeline said...

I write Fantasy Horror - not Dark Fantasy. My stories are not suitable for YA, they're like full-on horror in a fantasy setting.

Sarah McCabe said...

I read and write Epic Fantasy. Though I do branch out s bit with my reading, not with my writing. I don't think I could write anything else.

Laura Josephsen said...

It can be so tricky to categorize a book, can't it? I've wavered back and forth between several sub-genres for my latest book.

I like reading various branches of fantasy, and occasionally sci-fi. Though I might be a bit odd--I like reading fantasy more than watching it, and I like watching sci-fi more than reading it.

The Golden Eagle said...

Dystopian, cyberpunk, and parts of the novel I'm currently writing could be called Military SF.

Dawn Embers said...

Angeline - makes sense considering the title of your blog. ;-)

Sarah McCabe - I love reading epic fantasy even though I haven't lately. I am writing one too but my writing isn't in the genre as much as I'd like.

Laura Josephsen - Very true. And interesting. I like the idea of science fiction but easily get confused with certain ones.

The Golden Eagle - I really like dystopian but not sure if I've read any cyberpunk. Military SF is okay but not one I prefer.

Tessa Conte said...

Gah! I hate sub-genres, because I can never figure out what goes where. Everybody seems to have a different concept of them.

For example, distopian? I think that should be science fiction more than fantasy for the most part. And Dark Fantasy? What's that supposed to be? (I recently discovered my favourite bookstore has added a shelf with that title...it holds Stephanie Meyers et al. (mostly YA) - I would have expected Laurell K Hamilton, JR Ward or the likes).

As to what I write... uhm... epic fantasy, distopian science fiction, urban fantasy, romantic fantasy, and the odd horror story. For now.

Shannon Lawrence said...

I thought I knew exactly where my book was categorized until I started hearing about a bunch of sub-genres I wasn't aware of. It may be dystopian, it may not. Sigh. My adult novels are urban fantasy, but this one is YA and I'm still working on categorizing it.

I read as much as possible, so I usually read something in each category somewhere.

Dawn Embers said...

Tessa - I know how you feel. I do think dystopian is more sci-fi to a certain degree. The part that gets me is the alternate history, that I could never write. Always good to know other people write different subgenres.

Shannon Lawrence - YA is tough with everything under the sun of publishing (except maybe erotica) being found in there. My YA are tough to categorize as well.