Question of the Week: Crossing the Streams

While I accept the marketing and retail need for categories and subcategories, sometimes I find it frustrating to describe one of my stories as simply a “fantasy” or “sword and sorcery” or “Mythos horror” or “kind-of but not-really steampunk.” Most if not all of my novels, and quite a few of my short stories, don’t fit neatly into one category. I want an enormous German term for fantasy-romance-horror-comedy-mystery.

This weeks questions are: Do you prefer stories that combine many genres? Are there some genres that mix especially well? Others that don’t mix at all? How do you figure out whether, say, a fantasy novel also has the other elements you enjoy?

4 thoughts on “Question of the Week: Crossing the Streams

  1. I’m a big fan of the urban fantasy genre. Done poorly it is painful to read. But done well it can often pack more of a punch for me than just straight fantasy settings. Also, I’m enough of a gaming nerd that I *want* there to be fantasy creatures roaming around our modern world.

  2. Some of my favorite stories are mashups: Sherlock meets Chuthlu… Victorian Dieselpunk… Time Travel and Egyptian Gods… sci-fi and Native American mythology… Two great things that are awesome together… I think the German word you are looking for is “drawn from other sources yet wholly original”

    (Bonus points if you can identify the stories cited above…no Googling….)

  3. I do prefer stories that combine genres, but I’m also in agreement with Alan (above) to a great extent. If we go back far enough, there were only two genres, poetry (fiction) and prose (non-fiction). Accepting that the demands of marketing have given us other genres, the best combinations are SF or Fantasy and crime/mystery. Romance (as in love story) makes a nice subplot, but not for cross-genre work — at least, not if you’re actually using the tropes and conventions of the romance novel.

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