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Old 06-19-2011, 07:09 AM   #1
VydorScope
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What is Genre?

So I go to some sites and see massive lists of book categories that I never heard of and some times see books that are clearly in my mind one genre yet found in another. For example why people insist on putting Lord of the Rings in the religious section, when its clearly Fantasy I have no clue.

Today when skimming a review site linked in another thread I came across this:

Quote:
Fantasy is the impossible made probable. Science fiction is the improbable made possible.

Speculative fiction is a genre that shares characteristics of more than one other genre, Star Wars is a good example of this as it shares many fantasy elements in a science fiction setting.
I have never heard of "Speculative Fiction" but had I seen it in a store I would have assumed it was a "what might have been" type book, i.e. a story about if Rome did not fall, what it would look like today. Instead, turns out by that description, my two books are "speculative fiction." So much for telling everyone that asks me about it that they are scifi books. Of course everyone I know would call Star Wars scifi.

Then on other sites I have seen the genre "trans gender" which I have no clue what that could be???

So I was wondering... is there a definitive list of genres and what they mean, or is it just what ever the store/site decides at the time its sorting books? Is there at least rule of thumb list some place?
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Old 06-19-2011, 08:47 AM   #2
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I would of thought trans gender was a sub-section of LGBT fiction that had a main character who was transgendered. Could be wrong.

Many publisher's determine genre and often print it on the back cover.
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Old 06-19-2011, 09:00 AM   #3
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Genres are slots in a big imaginary cash register.

Last edited by DiapDealer; 06-19-2011 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 06-19-2011, 09:04 AM   #4
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I think you mean "transgenre." (IMO) it would be a story or book that doesn't fit under just one genre of fiction. That is it has equal elements of different genre's. So if a book was equally Science Fiction and Fantasy (as seen by the characters) it might be considered Transgenre.
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crich70 View Post
I think you mean "transgenre." (IMO) it would be a story or book that doesn't fit under just one genre of fiction. That is it has equal elements of different genre's. So if a book was equally Science Fiction and Fantasy (as seen by the characters) it might be considered Transgenre.
That would make more sense!
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:45 AM   #6
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"Transgender" is a perfectly valid genre. What do you perceive to be the issue with it?
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Old 06-19-2011, 01:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VydorScope View Post
I have never heard of "Speculative Fiction" but had I seen it in a store I would have assumed it was a "what might have been" type book, i.e. a story about if Rome did not fall, what it would look like today. Instead, turns out by that description, my two books are "speculative fiction." So much for telling everyone that asks me about it that they are scifi books. Of course everyone I know would call Star Wars scifi.

Then on other sites I have seen the genre "trans gender" which I have no clue what that could be???

So I was wondering... is there a definitive list of genres and what they mean, or is it just what ever the store/site decides at the time its sorting books? Is there at least rule of thumb list some place?
Genres start with one person and then radiate out, just like everything else.

Have you heard of Speculative non-fiction? It's similar to Alternative History I suppose but usually takes place in the present. And is only mostly true.
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Old 06-19-2011, 01:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
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"Transgender" is a perfectly valid genre. What do you perceive to be the issue with it?
Is this directed to me?

If so, I have no issue with it. I suggested what it could be and then another poster pointed out that it is likely the OP is taking about trans genre fiction rather than a sub-genre of LGBT fiction. Which I acknowledged.
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Old 06-19-2011, 01:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tome Keeper View Post
Is this directed to me?
No, sorry, it was in response to the remark of the original poster:

Quote:
Then on other sites I have seen the genre "trans gender" which I have no clue what that could be???
Given that "transgender" is a perfectly valid category for fiction (concerning people who perceive their gender to be the opposite of their biological gender), it seems reasonable to simply accept it at face value.
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Old 06-19-2011, 01:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
No, sorry, it was in response to the remark of the original poster:



Given that "transgender" is a perfectly valid category for fiction (concerning people who perceive their gender to be the opposite of their biological gender), it seems reasonable to simply accept it at face value.
No worries. It might just be the OP has never come across the term before.
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Old 06-19-2011, 02:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Given that "transgender" is a perfectly valid category for fiction (concerning people who perceive their gender to be the opposite of their biological gender), it seems reasonable to simply accept it at face value.
I have never heard of the genre before, and there for said simply "I have no idea what it could mean," which is a fair statement of truth. Not sure why you are reacted with:

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT
"Transgender" is a perfectly valid genre. What do you perceive to be the issue with it?
Which makes it sound like you were offended that I did not know the meaning of the genre?? Either way thanks for the explanation, now I know.
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Old 06-19-2011, 02:58 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giggleton View Post
Genres start with one person and then radiate out, just like everything else.

Have you heard of Speculative non-fiction? It's similar to Alternative History I suppose but usually takes place in the present. And is only mostly true.

Nope. man... when I used to help out in the library as a child, it was a lot simpler then this! Well this diversity is good in many ways, it still be nice if they were all listed some place so when I see a genre I do not know, I can look up the meaning and know if it is something I would like.
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Old 06-19-2011, 03:07 PM   #13
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Speculative fiction, as the term is mostly used today, is a kind of catch all category for sf, fantasy, horror...and probably a few other genres.

Spec-fic was also used by some people in the 60's to basically mean science fiction, but without the pejorative sense that some people felt was attached to sf due to its pulp past. In that sense, it kind of meant "grown-up" science fiction. (Although I always thought of it as a euphemism and never liked the term. I still don't like the term, come to think of it).
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Old 06-19-2011, 04:25 PM   #14
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I don't limit my reading to any particular genre, and I really am overwhelmed with all the genre choices out there. I always like to find out what an author considers to be the genre of his or her book, since I wouldn't know how to categorize half of them on my own. Books are books, and good books are like gold. Genre is for people who really only like certain types of books, imo.
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Old 06-19-2011, 05:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Genre is for people who really only like certain types of books, imo.
Sometimes, yes. But genre is also for people who are obsessed with organizing things. My iPod has 102 music genres on it. My Kindle is up to about 50 genre collections. I'm a "mood reader" so I need to be able to easily find the books that match what I'm in the mood for that day, whether it be romance, horror, thriller, biography or anything else.

I do, however, wish that the Kindle had a "random book" feature I could use when I can't decide.
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