Thursday, June 26, 2008

What’s In A Name? Everything and Nothing

There’s an interesting discussion happening over at Futurismic right now: How to define a genre—and why not to bother. If you’re an SFR fan coming from the SF side of the equation, you’ll particularly appreciate this post. There are some very insightful comments.

This one specifically caught my attention:

But somewhere the [sic] has to be a line (not “has to” because we decree it, but “has to” because there is) between what we can call SF, and not—SF. Obviously, most Harlequin Romances fall into the not-SF category, but there are one or two that try (not necessarily successfully) to force their content into a SF world.

Since this blog is devoted to SFR, I thought the comment had relevance to our journey here.

I agree wholeheartedly about the need for broad categorizations of genres. But while I believe the quality of SFR varies, I wonder about the “force their content” phrase. I thought it was interesting that romance was mentioned, number one, but I blinked a bit at the perception that the romance genre is trying to force anything on anybody.

I think that the spirit of the column was about inclusiveness in the science fiction genre (that’s what I took from it). But it also highlights the challenges facing both SF and Romance, especially from a commercial/marketing perspective.


Joyfully yours,