Genre Map

I came across this diagram not long ago and found it interesting.  I didn’t realize how many genres existed.  Every one has its own writers who are closely associated with a particular subgenre, whether John Grisham and the Legal Thriller, George R.R. Martin with High Fantasy or Nicholas Sparks with Terrible Manipulative Romances.

There’s some overlap to the map, I can see.  For example, what’s the difference between Horror and Weird Fiction?  Isn’t the “weird tale” what horror was called before it became a viable commercial genre in the 1970s?  And how is general horror different from a supernatural thriller or paranormal mystery?  And why isn’t the action/adventure genre represented?

Where would I place my own novels?  I consider Leviathan to be an Adventure novel, but others may consider it an Environmental Thriller.  The Wild Hunt is Horror, yet it involves Fantasy elements from Norse folklore.  Dreamland is a Sci-fi Thriller (also not represented) that’s very psychological in nature.  The Shadow Wolves is a Supernatural Thriller, and my upcoming novel, Blackstone, could be called both Supernatural Thriller or Paranormal Mystery.

Once the genres are sliced too thin, I think their constructs fall apart.  Many books don’t neatly fit into any specific category because they blend genres.  In fact some stories belong to multiple genres at once (think Neil Gaiman’s masterful American Gods).  It was either Richard Matheson or Ernest Hemingway who said — I’m paraphrasing — There are ultimately two types of stories, good and bad.  I tend to agree with that.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.