Tag Archives: science fiction

Genre Wars: My Final Word (For Now)

Earlier, I discussed how genres allow people to categorize stories so that they can narrow down the list of books they want to read, movies they want to watch, etc. However, people like nice, tidy, delineated categories with sharply defined borders, and these simply do not capture or reflect the tremendous range of tales that the human imagination can concoct.Genres are not the hermetically sealed glass boxes we want to think they are; rather, they are permeable membranes that hold a lot of stuff together while allowing certain types things to flow in and out of their borders. Continue reading

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Geeks and Glory at Ad Astra 2014

Normally, I’m not one to hang out at conventions because, well, I expect them to be noisy, crowded places and I don’t generally like noisy, crowded places. But after hearing a great deal about Ad Astra from writers, editors, and SF fans, I decided to dive in and spend some time checking out the goo Continue reading

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Genre: The Theme’s the Thing?

By “theme” I mean an underlying idea or concept that, while not necessarily the immediate focus of a body of work, is still pervasive throughout that work and provides some basis for binding the events and ideas presented into a meaningful whole. Continue reading

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Genre Should be Made of Sterner Stuff

We still haven’t determined whether or not science fiction and fantasy are a single genre. First and foremost, we need to remember that genres are categories and often very broad ones at that, so you’ll have a tough time justifying the existence of a genre that includes only one text. What we need to do is identify patterns among the objects that might belong to a single genre. Continue reading

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Much Ado about Genre

With respect to genre, we may make distinctions based in part on the author’s purpose for telling the story and on whether the story’s content is meant to be informative, philosophical, entertaining, etc. Biographies and autobiographies discuss the historical details of a real person’s life; horror novels are meant to scare the daylights out of us; manuals and “how-to” books can teach us new skills. Identifying genres, however vaguely defined they may be, can help direct us to books, movies, and television shows that will likely be of interest to us. Continue reading

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Science Fiction v. Fantasy: A Tale of Two Genres?

Science fiction and fantasy often get lumped together under a single textual taxonomy, continually spurring the debate about whether we ought to finally separate them into completely different literary categories. So, are they really two distinct genres or merely one rather bloated genre? Continue reading

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