26 January 2009

Across the Genre Fences

Gah! My post for Friday didn't post! I'm terribly sorry about that. I'll post the movie I had lined up later this week instead.

Well, my week away was extremely, extremely busy - but it was fun. Good times with friends, some successful productions, and much happiness all round.

However, I am still exhausted from it all, so I beg your forgiveness... I'm not going to ramble like I usually do. (Ha, stop cheering. It isn't nice, you know :P).

What I'm going to do is respond to Liana's post from the 16th about genres.

I'm the first to admit that I used to be a genre snob. There were certain areas in the bookshop that I just didn't frequent - and I'd never even heard the term 'genre fiction', let alone read any of it. Until, that is, a dear friend, to whom I have a lifelong debt, introduced me to the wonderful world of fantasy via Terry Pratchett - Moving Pictures, to be precise.

And now I am as unsnobby as it is possible to be when it comes to reading. I am, in fact, a genre whore %-) I'll read everything, anything, something, so long as it has words on it - and yes, sadly, this extends to things like food cartons where no other reading material can be found O:)

So now it irks me when people say, "I don't read sci fi," or, "I don't read fantasy." I dislike the implication that a book's value is predicated on which shelf it sits on in the bookstore. To me, that's too much like predicating a human's worth on what country they come from. There will be people of every race and nationality that you don't like, of course - but there will also be people you do like. It's not enough to write a whole genre off because you've read one or two bad eggs - or worst, because you're scared of the idea of it, and haven't read anything in that genre.

So, in a celebration of diversity, here are my favourite books in as many genres as I can think of (restricted to books currently in print):

Literary: The Shadow Lines, by Amitav Ghosh.
Epic Fantasy: The Wheel of Time series, by Robert Jordan.
Urban Fantasy: Magic Lost, Trouble Found, by Lisa Shearin.
Science Fiction: Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card.
Space Opera: The Rings of the Master, by Jack Chalker.
Romance: Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen.
Comedy and Satire: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams and Lords and Ladies (or anything else) by Terry Pratchett.
Middle Grade: the first three Artmis Fowl books, by Eoin Colfer, or the Harry Potter books that count as MG.
Young Adult: Gallagher Girls series, by Ally Carter, and Harry Potter, by J.K. Rowling.
Mainstream: Swallows and Amazons, by Arthur Ransom (also classed as YA), and the Anne of Green Gables series, by L.M. Montgomery.
Fable/Mythic: The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho

I suspect I've forgotten a few genres. If that's the case, let me know in the comments, and I shall amend the list :D

Meanwhile - what are your favourite books that fall in genres you DON'T write in, and why?

8 comments:

Beth said...

Welcome back, Inky! :D

Hmm. I first need to figure out what genres I've written in:

Fantasy, Mainstream, Romance(-esque), Horror, Humor (does that count as a genre?) and a little Sci-Fi.

Mystery is a genre I don't write in but LOVE to read. In fact, that's probably one of my favorites!

Here are some of my faves from different genres:

Fantasy: The Hobbit, and the LOTR trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien

Mystery: And Then There Were None, and N or M? by Agatha Christie

Romance: Pride and Prejudice, and Persuasion by Jane Austen

War: Mr. Midshipman Hornblower by C.S. Forester

Non-fiction: Case Closed by Patricia Cornwell

Horror: The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

... That's all I can think of right now :)

Merc said...

Welcome back, Inky One! :D

I was thinking about genres the other day, but keep forgetting to make a list... ah well, dunno if I will bother, I have too many other blog posts I'm supposed to be finishing *sigh*.

But it is good to see thou hast returned. :D

~Merc

Lisa Shearin said...

Hi Amy,

Thank you so much for ranking Magic Lost, Trouble Found as your favorite Urban Fantasy!

Lisa

Just_Me said...

*looks at post above her in awe*

I really do need to go get a copy of that book now, don't I?

There are some genres I still can't get into, but I like individual books out of. Commercial, mainstream, and literary tend to bore me to tears. But there are a few books worth their binding hiding over there. :o)

Lady Glamis said...

I can't say that I don't ready any specific genre, but I do read mostly out of mainstream/contemporary, young adult, and literary.

However, I have tried fantasy and sci-fi, and there are some that I like. However, I must say that it's like trying a food you don't like. Sometimes you just don't like it unless prepared a specific way. But at least I'm tyring! I like most of CC friend's work, though, and that's great!

I'm too tired this morning to do a list. Sorry.

Windsong said...

Welcome home, Inkster. :)

I think my favorite reading in genres I don't write in would be anything but horror or *erm* gushy romance. Heck, even textbooks make great reads. :)

Yunaleska said...

Lei, you aren't the only one in awe!

MLTF is urban fantasy? Some days I don't think I'll ever get to grips with all the different genres...

I mainly stick to fantasy and scifi :) Romance is out (mostly, one or two books get in but I don't class them as Romance). Definitely read YA & MG (again, mostly in fantasy & sci-fi). List of books - too many, but adore Lisa's series on Raine :D

Inkblot said...

Ok, I can see I'm going to have to do a part two on this! So much interesting discussion!

Beth - interesting list. You've prompted me to think about which genres I actually write in, and why, etc.... Shall post next week O:)

Merkety - I find it helps if you just start all the posts when you think of them, and just save them. You can finish them whenever it's convenient - even months later - and you won't forget your topics, because they're there! :) Thanks for the welcome :)

Lisa - You're very welcome. I do heartily adore your books :D

L - yes, you must :D I'd be curious to know WHY you find those genres boring...?

Glam - Hmm, interesting analogy. I shall consider it in my post, I think %-)

Windsong - thanks for the welcome :) Hehe, I also read textbooks for fun O:) *is glad not to be the only weird one on the planet*

Yuna - Maybe I'll do a genre post on the distinctions between them for you! :D

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