August 12, 2011

Are the lines between speculative genres becoming blurred?

Lately the speculative genres of fiction are growing a great deal in popularity. So, with competition on the rise, spec-fic writers are all trying to make their own contributions distinct, unique, and original. Experimentation is a natural first step on a quest for originality.
The result? New genres and sub-genres of speculative fiction are making their debut and getting a pretty good reception. Writers are looking at established concepts with completely new perspectives and new approaches. And they're beginning to experiment with crossing and combining different genres.
My friend Heather has started introducing steampunk concepts into some of her fantasy stories. My own fantasy WiP has some sci-fi-like concepts in it regarding the story world's technology and scientific developments. Falls the Shadow, a multi-author novel I am privileged to be a part of, fits into the steampunk, science fiction, alternate history, and futuristic genres, all with no trouble.

So what does this mean for speculative fiction as a whole? Are the lines between genres blurring? Is this a bad thing?

Readers, what do you think about this trend? Do you think it will make it harder to find a book you want to read if there is one particular speculative genre you like and one you don't?

Writers, what do you think? Have you experimented with crossing genres in any of your writing?


  1. I haven't experimented with crossing genres yet, but some of the story ideas I want to explore may very well end up doing so. I think we'll continue to see more blended genres in the future. Some, like science fantasy, are already well established, and others are on their way. Much of steampunk, as you pointed out, could also be classified as alternate history. It's an interesting world out there. :)

  2. As long as it has the taste of Northerness, I don't really care


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