1. Hollowly
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    Hollowly Member

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    Successful genre jumpers

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Hollowly, Sep 27, 2009.

    What are some examples of authors who were successful in multiple genres? I can think of some who've gone on to write non-fiction books (usually about writing, such as stephen king, ray bradbury and anne lammot etc.), but I'm particularly interested in authors who managed to escape being pigeonholed into one category. Unsuccessful ones would kind of be interesting to know too, if the book was good - though sold poorly. I suppose there are some who used pen names to, so any suggestions I can check out would be appreciated and hopefully inspiring. :)
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I know H.G. Wells wrote mainsteam fiction in addition to sci-fi. I'm not sure how good these are since he is most well known for his sci-fi novels. Some other authors I can think of: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Isaac Asimov, George Orwell, Margaret Atwood, Iain Banks. I know there are many more, but these are the immediate ones that come to mind.
     
  3. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Iain Banks writes general fiction under that name, and sci-fi under Iain M Banks. And he's very good at both.

    Part of the problem with identifying genre-hopping authors is that a lot of times they will use psuedonyms, to avoid the stigma of their original genre.
     
  4. Hollowly
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    Thanks for the input guys
    that's probably true unfortunately.
     
  5. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Donna Jo Napoli wrote a few books that had no historical or fairy tale themes, though that is what she usually does.
     
  6. Zybahn
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    Zybahn New Member

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    In the days of H.G. Wells there was no stigma attached to writing genre fiction (the term "science fiction" hadn't yet been invented) so writers didn't need to think twice about their subject material. Charles Dickens, Henry James, Oscar Wilde all wrote ghost stories. In the days of cataloging it is risky to leave the shelter of one's box. Joyce Carol Oates has been successful in writing horror fiction, mysteries (under pseudonyms as well as her own name) court drama and general fiction. Doris Lessing & Margaret Atwood (as mentioned above) have written science fiction. Comic writer & actor Steve Martin wrote a very good little novel called Shopgirl to critical acclaim. Anne Rivers Siddons wrote a successful horror novel The House Next Door. Daphne du Maurier wrote general fiction, romance, mystery and horror fiction. I'm sure there are others.
     
  7. Rei
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    There are probably more genre jumpers than we realize, but they use pennames when they write in the genre they aren't known for.
     
  8. Hollowly
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    I realize now that authors like arthur conan doyle and h.g. welles wrote in a lot of different genres and got away with it quite well. It's too bad more names haven't chosen to "out" themselves. I've been meaning to read Daphne du Maurier's "don't look now" collection, I overlooked her novels. I should pick one out to give a try later. I never knew steve martin wrote "shopgirl", but was in the movie.
     

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