Friday, September 7, 2007

Genre Wars

Considering my initial posting "on paranormal romance," and my recent reading of "Finders Keepers" by Linnea Sinclair, on which I also posted, I thought long and hard about genre.

To get down to a real definition of Paranormal Romance (PnR), a posting here on blogspot does a decent job of it, titled: Teach Me Tonight: Definition of Paranormal Romance by Sarah S.G. Frantz. Greatly condensing Frantz's essay, PnR is a romance with:
  • central love story with a Happily Ever After (HEA)
  • paranormal--beyond normal
  • of this world
  • primary theme--the interaction between the "normal" world & the "beyond normal"
When I'm describing my *unpublished* writing to anyone who does not read romance, sci-fi, or fantasy, I lump all my works in progress (WIP) into PnR. Not really caring to carefully define the genre. Now, discussing WIP with professional authors or within professional or crit groups, the genres are taken a little more seriously.

This presents a problem.

How would I describe my WIP, The Phoenix Warrior? Does it have a central love story? check. HEA? check. Beyond normal? check. Of this world? maybe not. The setting for Phoenix is a futuristic Earth-based space vessel. According to Frantz, futuristics may not fit. Does Phoenix have the tension between the mundane and the paranormal, yes it does.

For the sake of argument, let's say that since it's futuristic, and not set on "Earth," and will in fact be set on another planet in the planned book 2, that Phoenix is not PnR.

What is it? Sci-Fi? (it's certainly not hard SF, no doubt there)
Certainly it could be considered Speculative Fiction. Science Fantasy? Space Opera? SF Romance?

I'll try to narrow this down in my next posting, Genre Wars II.
In the meantime, I'll be checking out the blog Romantic SF & Fantasy Novels which has reviews on books right up my alley. Including a reference to Karin Lowachee’s Trilogy: WARCHILD, BURNDIVE, and CAGEBIRD, reviewed as Best Space Opera in a Long Time. Gotta check those out!

1 comment:

Linnea Sinclair said...

It sounds like SFR, Ella. Go here:

and see if something in that doesn't ring a bell. If it doesn't then email me through my site and we'll hash it out. ;-)

Thanks for your support of my books! ~Linnea