Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Labels within Labels

When we think of genre, we think in general terms of science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery, romance, etc. But within each genre, there are subgenres, usually known only to the fans of that particular genre, and created as a means of helping to communicate to other fans of the genre what they can expect from a certain author or title. For instance, many people think of Star Wars as science fiction, but ask any science fiction fan what genre Star Wars belongs in and the answer will be either space opera and science fantasy.

So off the top of my head, I tried to list out all the different subgenres within each genre.

epic, fairy tale, gothic, magic realism, myth, legend, traditional, dark fantasy, fable, folktale, light fantasy, sword and sorcery, urban fantasy

Science Fiction:
alternate history, cyberpunk, futuristic, generation starship, hard science, invasion of Earth, lost colony, lost civilization, parallel worlds, post-nuclear holocaust, space opera, science fantasy, time travel, alien invasion, utopian/dystopian

amateur, cozy, hard-boiled, gum shoe, police procedural, historical, legal, medical, puzzle, locked room, forensic, coroner, whodunit
(I haven't included the suspense or espionage, and to some those are a genre outside of Mystery)

(there are about as many categories as there are authors), standard, chick-lit, historic, Amish (yes, I really mean Amish), paranormal, futuristic, dystopian, fantasy, erotica, soft porn, comedy, pagan, RenFaire, foreign, crime, adultery, etc. etc.

I know for a fact that I've forgotten at least six or more subgenres with each of the general genres listed above. And I know that many of the subgenres break down into one more layer of subgenre. But like said, these categories are for the fans who read within those genres, and usually are of little interest to those outside genres.

If you know of any I've missed and can supply a real-world example of it (title and author), please shoot me an email or leave a comment.

Until Next Time,
Categorically Yours,

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