How many fantasy categories do we need?
by, January 1st, 2011 at 09:36 AM (1211 Views)
I was on Duotrope the other day looking for a market for one of my short stories and was completely frustrated and confused by all the categories for fantasy stories they list. But they aren't to blame. They are only a reflection of the markets they serve. But it makes me think, how many categories do we need?
They list the following (this is not a complete list)
contemporary, dark fantasy, gothic, heroic, light fantasy, urban, science, magic realism, and historical. They also include the following categories which I thought were their own genre: superhero, paranormal (thought this was part of horror) vampire (again, isn't that part of the horror genre?) and steampunk.
They didn't list swords and sorcery, which surprised me, or epic fantasy, but I guess the latter is heroic.
I understand the need by publishers to identify the type of content they want I think we need some better, clearer labels because right now it feels like I'm ordering coffee when I describe the kind of fantasy novels I'm writing.
"Yes, I write novels in the tradition of the Lord of the Rings, Witch World, Deryni Chronicles, EarthSea, the Wheel of Time, or Pern, with some horror elements, and a medieval setting as a compared to a modern/urban one."
Does that make my novels heroic, epic, sword & sorcery, dark, and/or gothic? I have no idea. I just want we could simplify the whole mess and move on.