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The question of whether Vance was dead or not became more than academic when he found himself in a bathtub up to his chin in ice water like some forgotten cocktail garnish, a demonic woman standing over him, and no memory of how he got there.
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Read free chapters of Dispensing Justice here (or get it here).
Read free chapters of The Red Rook here (or get it here). -- Fritz Freiheit

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Genres are vague categories with no fixed boundaries. Genres are formed by sets of conventions, and many works cross into multiple genres by way of borrowing and recombining these conventions. The scope of the word "genre" is sometimes confined to art and culture, particularly literature, but it has a long history in rhetoric as well. In genre studies the concept of genre is not compared to originality. Rather, all works are recognized as either reflecting on or participating in the conventions of genre. (Source: Genre at Wikipedia )
Genre fiction is a term for fictional works (novels, short stories) written with the intent of fitting into a specific literary genre in order to appeal to the fans of that genre. In contemporary fiction publishing, genre is an elastic term used to group works sharing similarities of character, theme, and setting—such as mystery, romance, or horror—that have been proven to appeal to particular groups of readers. Genres continuously evolve, divide, and combine as readers' tastes change and writers search for fresh ways to tell stories. Classic romance novels, such as those written by the Brontë sisters and Jane Austen in the nineteenth century, continue to enjoy popularity today in the form of both books and movies. Despite its popularity, genre fiction is often overlooked by institutions that favor literary fiction. (Source: genre fiction at Wikipedia )
See list of genre definitions (e)

Genre Definitions

Action-Adventure (category) (e)[edit]


Action-adventure fiction, appealing mainly to male readers, feature physical action and violence, often around a quest or military-style mission set in exotic or forbidding locales such as jungles, deserts, or mountains. The conflict typically involves commandos, mercenaries, terrorists, smugglers, pirates, and the like. Stories include elements of technology, weapons, and other hardware. (Source: genre fiction at Wikipedia ) (e)

Action-Adventure subgenres[edit]

Genres (C cont.)[edit]


Crime stories, centered on criminal enterprise, are told from the point of view of the perpetrators. They range in tone from lighthearted "caper" stories to darker plots involving organized crime or incarcerated convicts. (Source: genre fiction at Wikipedia ) (e)


Detective fiction has become almost synonymous with mystery. These stories relate the solving of a crime, usually one or more murders, by a protagonist who may or may not be a professional investigator. This large, popular genre has many subgenres, reflecting differences in tone, character, and setting. (Source: genre fiction at Wikipedia ) (e)

Fantasy (category) (e)[edit]


Fantasy features stories set in fanciful, invented worlds or in a legendary, mythic past. The stories themselves are often epics or quests, frequently involving magic like the book series of Dragonlance novels. The enormous popularity of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings novel and J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels demonstrates the wide appeal of this genre. (Source: genre fiction at Wikipedia ) (e)

Fantasy subgenres[edit]

Bangsian fantasy

Bangsian fantasy is the school of fantasy writing that sets the plot wholly or partially in the afterlife. Frequently used are Hades (benign; no torture or pleasure), Heaven (a good place, although religious sects differ on what a newly arrived soul gets when he/she dies) and Hell (a bad place, but again, exactly what souls face varies from religion to religion).
Bangsian fantasy is named for John Kendrick Bangs, whose Associated Shades series of novels, from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, deals with the afterlives of various famous dead people.
-- source Bangsian fantasy at Wikipedia
Alternatively in the science fiction context, you have Bangsian SF (genre). --(Source: Fritz Freiheit) (e)

comic fantasy

Template:Comic fantasy (genre) (e)

Contemporary Fantasy (category) (e)[edit]

contemporary fantasy

Contemporary fantasy, also known as modern fantasy or indigenous fantasy, is a sub-genre of fantasy, set in the present day. It is perhaps most popular for its sub-genre, urban fantasy.
These terms are used to describe stories set in the putative real world (often referred to as consensus reality) in contemporary times, in which magic and magical creatures exist, either living in the interstices of our world or leaking over from alternate worlds. It thus has much in common with, and sometimes overlaps with secret history; a work of fantasy in which the magic could not remain secret or does not have any known relationship to known history would not fit into this subgenre. Occasionally certain contemporary fantasy novels will make reference to pop culture.
Novels in which modern characters travel into alternate worlds, and all the magical action takes place there (except for the portal required to transport them), are not considered contemporary fantasy. Thus, C.S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, where all fantasy events take place in the land of Narnia which is reached via a magic wardrobe, would not count as contemporary fantasy; on the other hand, the part of The Magician's Nephew, where the Empress Jadis gets to London, tries to take over the Earth and clashes with police and a crowd of cockneys, would qualify as such.
Contemporary fantasy is also to be distinguished from horror fiction, which also often has contemporary settings. When encountering magical events and creatures, the protagonist of a horror novel is horrified, while the protagonist of a fantasy novel (contemporary or otherwise) is filled with a sense of joy and wonder. Horrifying events may happen, but the fundamental distinction is vital.
(Source: Contemporary fantasy at Wikipedia ) (e)

Contemporary Fantasy subgenres[edit]


Elfpunk was proposed as a subgenre of urban fantasy in which faeries and elves are transplanted from rural folklore into modern urban settings. During the awards ceremony for the 2007 National Book Awards, judge Elizabeth Partridge expounded on the distinction between elfpunk and urban fantasy, citing fellow judge Scott Westerfeld's thoughts on the works of Holly Black who is considered "classic elfpunk — there's enough creatures already, and she's using them. Urban fantasy, though, can have additionally made-up creatures."[1] -- Source: Wikipedia (e)

urban fantasy

Urban fantasy is a sub-genre of fantasy defined by place; the fantastic narrative has an urban setting. Many urban fantasies are set in contemporary times and contain supernatural elements. However, the stories can take place in historical, modern, or futuristic periods, as well as fictional settings. The prerequisite is that they must be primarily set in a city.[2][3]
Urban fantasy describes a work that is set primarily in a city and contains aspects of fantasy. These matters may involve the arrivals of alien races, the discovery of earthbound mythological creatures, coexistence between humans and paranormal beings, conflicts between humans and malicious paranormals, and subsequent changes in city management.[4][5]
Though stories may be set in contemporary times, this characteristic is not necessary for the fiction to be considered urban fantasy,[2] as works of the genre may also take place in futuristic and historical settings, real or imagined.[6] Author Marie Brennan has set urban fantasy in Elizabethan London, while author Charles de Lint has featured the genre in the fictional city of Newford.[3][7]
-- Source: Wikipedia (e)

Fantasy subgenres (cont.)[edit]

Genres (H cont.)[edit]

hard boiled

Hardboiled (or hard-boiled) fiction is a literary genre that shares to some degree its characters and settings with crime fiction (especially detective stories). Although deriving from romantic tradition which emphasized the emotions of apprehension, horror and terror, and awe, the hardboiled fiction deviates from the tradition in the detective's cynical attitude towards those emotions. The attitude is conveyed through the detective's self-talk describing to the reader (or—in film—to the viewer) what he is doing and feeling. The genre's typical protagonist was a detective, who daily witnesses the violence of organized crime that flourished during Prohibition, while dealing with a legal system that had become as corrupt as the organized crime itself.[8] Rendered cynical by this cycle of violence, the detectives of hardboiled fiction are classic antiheroes. (e)


Template:Historical (genre) (e)


Horror aims to evoke some combination of fear, fascination, and revulsion in its readers. This genre, like others, continues to evolve, recently moving away from stories with a religious or supernatural basis to ones making use of medical or psychological ideas. (Source: genre fiction at Wikipedia ) (e)

magical realism

Magic realism, or magical realism, is an artistic genre in which magical elements or illogical scenarios appear in an otherwise realistic or even "normal" setting.
As used today the term is broadly descriptive rather than critically rigorous. The term was initially used by German art critic Franz Roh to describe painting which demonstrated an altered reality, but was later used by Venezuelan Arturo Uslar-Pietri to describe the work of certain Latin American writers. The Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier (a friend of Uslar-Pietri) used the term "lo real maravilloso" (roughly "marvelous reality") in the prologue to his novel The Kingdom of this World (1949). Carpentier's conception was of a kind of heightened reality in which elements of the miraculous could appear while seeming natural and unforced. Carpentier's work was a key influence on the writers of the Latin American "boom" that emerged in the 1960s. (Source: Magic realism at Wikipedia ) (e)


Mystery fiction, technically involving stories in which characters try to discover a vital piece of information which is kept hidden until the climax, is now considered by many people almost a synonym for detective fiction. The standard novel stocked in the mystery section of bookstores is a whodunit. (Source: genre fiction at Wikipedia ) (e)


Noir (genre) or (Noir fiction, roman noir) is a literary genre closely related to hardboiled genre[9] with a distinction that the protagonist is not a detective, but instead either a victim, a suspect, or a perpetrator. Other common characteristics include the self-destructive qualities of the protagonist.[10] A typical protagonist of the Noir fiction is dealing with the legal, political or other system that is no less corrupt than the perpetrator by whom the protagonist is either victimized and/or has to victimize others on a daily basis, leading to Lose-lose situation. (e)

realistic fiction

Fictional stories containing events that could actually happen. The characters are true-to-life and the events are set in modern times. (Source: genre fiction at Wikipedia ) (e)


Template:Pulp (genre) (e)


Romance is currently the largest and best-selling fiction genre in North America. It has produced a wide array of subgenres, the majority of which feature the mutual attraction and love of a man and a woman as the main plot, and have a happy ending. (e)

science fantasy

Template:Science fantasy (genre) (e)

Science Fiction (category) (e)[edit]

science fiction

Science fiction is a fiction genre that uses significant speculative trappings that basically conforms to and/or does not violate known science at the time of its writing. Also known as SF and Sci-Fi.(Source: Fritz Freiheit)
(From Wikipedia) Science fiction is defined more by setting than by other story elements. With a few exceptions, stories set out of Earth or in the future qualify as science fiction. Within these settings, the conventions of almost any other genre may be used. A sub-genre of science fiction is alternate history where, for some specific reason, the history of the novel deviates from the history of our world. Pavane (1968) by Keith Roberts was an influential early alternate history, Harry Turtledove's The Guns of the South is another popular example. Of late, alternate history has come into its own as a distinctive and independent outgrowth from general science fiction. (Source: genre fiction at Wikipedia ) (e)

Science Fiction subgenres[edit]

alternate history

Alternate history or alternative history is a subgenre of speculative fiction (or some would say science fiction) and historical fiction that is set in a world in which history has diverged from history as it is generally known. Alternate history literature asks the question, "What if history had developed differently?" Most works in this genre are based in real historical events, yet feature social, geopolitical, or industrial circumstances that developed differently than our own. While to some extent all fiction can be described as "alternate history," the subgenre proper comprises fiction in which a change or point of divergence occurs in the past that causes human society to develop in a way that is distinct from our own. (e)

apocalyptic science fiction

Template:Apocalyptic science fiction (genre) (e)

Bangsian SF

Bangsian SF is a subgenre of science fiction that sets the plot wholly or partially in the afterlife. Based on the fantasy subgenre Bangsian fantasy named after John Kendrick Bangs. --(Source: Fritz Freiheit) (e)


Biopunk (a combination of "biotechnology" and "punk") is a technoprogressive movement advocating open access to genetic information.[11][12]
Biopunk hobbyists or biohackers experiment with DNA and other aspects of genetics.[13][14]
The related biopunk science fiction genre focuses on biotechnology and subversives.[15]
(Source: Biopunk at Wikipedia ) (e)

comic science fiction

Template:Comic science fiction (genre) (e)


Cyberpunk is a science fiction genre and movement noted for its focus on "high tech and low life". It is also a musical subgenre of industrial rock. The name is derived from cybernetics and punk and was originally coined by Bruce Bethke as the title of his short story "Cyberpunk" published in 1983(see The Etymology of "Cyberpunk"), though the style was popularized well before its publication by editor Gardner Dozois. It features advanced science such as information technology and cybernetics, coupled with a degree of breakdown or a radical change in the social order. (Source: cyberpunk at Wikipedia )
Primary exponents of the cyberpunk field include William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, Pat Cadigan, Rudy Rucker, and John Shirley. (e)

hard science fiction

Template:Hard science fiction (genre) (e)

military science fiction

Template:Military science fiction (genre) (e)

mundane science fiction

Mundane science fiction is a subgenre of science fiction, typically hard science fiction, which is characterized by its setting on Earth or within the solar system, and a lack of interstellar travel, intergalactic travel or human contact with extraterrestrials.[16]
The Mundane science fiction movement, inspired by an idea of Julian Todd, was founded in 2004 during the Clarion workshop by novelist Geoff Ryman among others.[17][18] The beliefs of the movement were later codified as the Mundane Manifesto. [19]
Ryman has contrasted mundane science fiction with regular science fiction through the desire of teenagers to leave their parents' homes.[20] Ryman sees too much of regular science fiction being based on an "adolescent desire to run away from our world." However, Ryman notes that humans are not truly considered grown-up until they "create a new home of their own," which is what mundane science fiction aims to do.[20]
(Source: Mundane science fiction at Wikipedia )

(e) near-future science fiction

Near-future science fiction is science fiction set a few years into the future at the time of writing and typically includes only slight advancements in the technology and science. Compare with mundane SF. (e)

new space opera

This new space opera, which evolved around the same time cyberpunk emerged and was influenced by it, is darker, moves away from the "triumph of mankind" template of space opera, involves newer technologies, and has stronger characterization than the space opera of old. While it does retain the interstellar scale and grandeur of traditional space opera, it can also be scientifically rigorous. Among the practitioners of the new space opera are Iain M. Banks, Stephen Baxter, Simon Green, Peter F. Hamilton, M. John Harrison, Paul J. McAuley, Ken MacLeod, Alastair Reynolds, Charles Stross, Vernor Vinge, Walter Jon Williams, and John C. Wright. (Source: space opera at Wikipedia ) (e)

post-holocaust science fiction

Template:Post-holocaust science fiction (genre) (e)

social science fiction

Template:Social science fiction (genre) (e)

soft science fiction

Template:Soft science fiction (genre) (e)

space opera

Space opera is a subgenre of speculative fiction or science fiction that emphasizes romantic adventure, and larger-than-life characters often set against vast exotic futuristic settings with remotely plausible technology such as time travel and interstellar travel, complex alien civilizations and depictions of human futures. (Source: space opera at Wikipedia ) (e)

space western

Space Western is a subgenre of science fiction, primarily grounded in film and television programming, that transposes themes of American Western books and film to a backdrop of futuristic space frontiers; it is the complement of the science fiction Western, which transposes science fiction themes onto an American Western setting. -- (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Western ) (e)


Spy-fi is a genre of spy fiction that includes elements of science fiction. It often showcases wild plots for world domination, gadgets and fast vehicles. Spy-fi does not present espionage as it is practiced in reality. It is escapist fantasy that emphasizes glamour, adventure and derring-do. (Source: spy-fi at Wikipedia ) (e)


Template:Steampunk (genre) (e)

sword and planet

Template:Sword and planet (genre) (e)


Template:Transhuman (genre) (e)

time travel science fiction

Template:Time travel science fiction (genre) (e)

science fiction subgenres

Template:Science fiction subgenres (e)

Genres (S cont.)[edit]


Slipstream is a kind of fantastic or non-realistic fiction that crosses conventional genre boundaries between science fiction/fantasy or mainstream literary fiction.
The term slipstream was coined by cyberpunk author Bruce Sterling in an article originally published in SF Eye #5, July 1989. He wrote: "...this is a kind of writing which simply makes you feel very strange; the way that living in the twentieth century makes you feel, if you are a person of a certain sensibility." Slipstream fiction has consequently been referred to as "the fiction of strangeness," which is as clear a definition as any others in wide use. Science fiction authors James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel, editors of Feeling Very Strange: The Slipstream Anthology, argue that cognitive dissonance is at the heart of slipstream, and that it is not so much a genre as a literary effect, like horror or comedy. [1]
Slipstream falls between speculative fiction and mainstream fiction. While some slipstream novels employ elements of science fiction or fantasy, not all do. The common unifying factor of these pieces of literature is some degree of the surreal, the not-entirely-real, or the markedly anti-real. Many readers who have never heard the term slipstream will still recognize the names of authors whose works have been categorized (by some) as slipstream. These include Paul Auster, Margaret Atwood, Douglas Coupland, Angela Carter, Steve Erickson, Karen Joy Fowler, Robert F. Jones, Haruki Murakami, Christopher Priest, Steve Aylett, Jan Wildt, J. G. Ballard, Jorge Luis Borges and William S. Burroughs.The truth. (Source: Slipstream (literature) at Wikipedia ) (e)

speculative fiction

See speculative fiction at Wikipedia (e)


The superhero genre is the genre that focus on superheroes, where it distinguishes itself from science fiction, or more accurately, as a subgenre of fantasy, is that the setting is typically current day (at least at the time of the writing) and the main characters have superhuman powers or abilities, which they use to battle powerful normals, aliens, or supervillains in a world with an identifiable superhero culture. Typical main characters act individually or in small groups as vigilantes. --(Source: Fritz Freiheit) (and I'll take the blame for the lameness of the definition) (e)

Thriller (category) (e)[edit]

Thriller subgenres[edit]

Genres (W cont.)[edit]

Western (category) (e)[edit]


Western fiction is defined primarily by being set in the American West in the second half of the 19th century, and secondarily by featuring heroes who are rugged, individualistic horsemen (cowboys). Other genres, such as romance, have subgenres that make use of the Western setting. (Source: genre fiction at Wikipedia ) (e)

Western subgenres[edit]

acid western

Template:Acid western (genre) (e)

contemporary western

Template:Contemporary western (genre) (e)

curry western

Template:Curry western (genre) (e)

horse opera

Template:Horse opera (genre) (e)


Template:Ostern (genre) (e)

revisionist western

Template:Revisionist western (genre) (e)

science fiction western

A Science Fiction Western is a work of fiction which has elements of science fiction in a Western setting. It is different from a Space Western, which is a frontier story indicative of American Westerns, except transposed to a backdrop of space exploration and settlement.
A science fiction Western occurs in the past, or in a world resembling the past, in which modern or future technology exists. The anachronistic technology of these stories is present because scientific paradigms occurred earlier in history but are implemented via industrial elements present at that time, or because technology is brought from another time or place. The genre often overlaps with Steampunk. -- (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_fiction_Western ) (e)

spaghetti western

Template:Spaghetti western (genre) (e)
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