Thursday, July 14, 2016

Genre Overview: Subgenres II

Note: Although I have subdivided the genres into fifty subgenres, be aware that the “line” is neither hard nor fast. Many of the subgenres crosses territories both within a main genre (e.g. many gothic novels also have elements of paranormal or psychological horror) as well as between the main genres (e.g. romantic suspense is a mix between suspense and romance).

The Lits
                Literature’s equivalent of situation comedies (sitcoms), often target to a specific demographic (e.g. chick lit targeted to single woman in their twenties and thirties). Example: Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding, The Secret Life of Becky Miller by Sharon Hinck

A social commentary novel with humor, intending to point out the follies of society and politics. Example: Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

Romantic Comedy
                A romance and humor blend in which humorous circumstances are mainly what keep the hero and heroine apart. Example: the film While You Were Sleeping

                A story whose humor derives from exaggerating elements of pop culture or familiar trope; very similar to satire. Example: the film Enchanted, Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Black Comedy/Gallows Humor
                A story whose humor deals with the dark and often serious topics, such death and crime. Example: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

                Mysteries, usually written in first person, whose protagonist is a trained detective or private investigator. When the protagonist has a strong cynical bent, the mystery is frequently categorized as a hardboiled mystery. Example: The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett

Police Procedural
                Mysteries solved by cops or other law enforcement, often focused on the intricacies of the law-enforcement process. Examples: T.V. series CSI, The Harry Bosch series by Michael Connelly

Courtroom Drama
                Mysteries involving the prosecution of person who is believed to have committed a crime. Example: T.V. series Perry Mason, A Time to Kill by John Grisham

Mysteries solved by an amateur sleuth. Example: Murder, She Wrote, Dorothy Sayers’ Lord Peter Whimsy series, G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown stories

Historical Romance
Romance in a historical period. Example: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Romantic Comedy
                A romance and humor blend in which humorous circumstances are mainly what keep the hero and heroine apart. Examples: the film While You Were Sleeping

Romantic Suspense
                Suspense novels blended with a romance between a hero and heroine. Example: The O’Malleys by Dee Henderson, Submerged by Dani Pettrey

Contemporary Romance
                    A romance in the contemporary real world. Examples: Sophie’s Heart by Lori Wick, Happily Ever After by Susan May Warren

Paranormal Romance
A romance in a world with paranormal elements (e.g. vampires, angels, ghosts), and often either the hero or heroine is not human. Examples: Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series, John Olson’s Shade.

Science Fiction
               Science fiction placed in a historical setting, usually an English Victorian world. Example: the works of Jules Verne are the foundation for this modern subgenre.            

Apocalyptic/Post-apocalyptic/End Times
Science fiction dealing with the end of the world (at least as we know it) through apocalyptic events. Examples: The Left Behind series by Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye

                A futuristic story where government, and society in general, has gone very wrong. Example: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Hard Science
Science fiction rooted in current scientific facts and theory, emphasizing technical details. Examples: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Vern, Contact by Carl Sagan, The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton

Soft Science
Science fiction concerned more with the soft sciences (e.g. anthropology, sociology) and less with the plausibility of the hard science. Examples: “Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keyes, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Space Opera
Science fiction blended with adventure which occurs almost entirely in outer space, frequently with an emphasis space warfare. Examples: The Star Trek T.V. series, The Foundation series by Isaac Asimov, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Science fiction which is usually set in a contemporary world, where a few people with special talents battle evil. Examples: the film The Avengers, Failstate by John Otte, Michael Vey series by Richard Paul Evans

Time Travel
A science fiction, often blended with historical fiction, wherein a character travels to the past or, more rarely, the future. Examples: The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, The Time-Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger,

Suspense & Thriller
Romantic Suspense
                Suspense novels blended with a romance between a hero and heroine. Example: The O’Malleys by Dee Henderson, Submerged by Dani Pettrey

Supernatural Suspense/Spiritual Warfare
                Suspense novels involving the supernatural, usually angels and demons. Example: Frank Peretti’s This Present Darkness

Techno/Cyber Thriller
                Thrillers whose plots are driven by computers or other advanced technology. Example: Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy

                Suspense and thriller stories whose main character is a spy or espionage plays a major role in the plot. Example: Casino Royale by Ian Flemming

Political Intrigue
Suspense & thriller stories where politics play a major role, usually in the form of corrupt government, government cover-up, or government conspiracy.

Legal Thriller
Thrillers whose plot is driven by courtroom battles and the justice system. Example: The Firm by John Grisham

Medical Thriller
                Thrillers whose plot centers on medicine, disease, and hospitals. Example: work of Richard Mabry

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