1. Kingtype
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    Kingtype Always writing or thinking things XD Staff Role Play Moderator Contributor

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    Why are some Fantasy and Sci-Fi in the Literature/Fiction section?

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Kingtype, May 25, 2014.

    I can’t be the only one to have noticed this. Why are some fantasy and sci-fi works in a different section like in the fiction/literature?

    Not that I mind it but I just find it a little odd.

    Why are some obviously fantasy and sci-fi things not put into the fantasy section?

    Is it because they are considered higher class then the others or is it because its older?

    Why is some fantasy and sci-fi considered literature and others aren't? I thought literature just meant like.....written works like novels, essays and stuff no matter the material whether it be more fantastical or more real.

    To top it off some authors who have obviously wrote a fantasy or sci-fi work have even refused to consider themselves as such.

    My point was.....well I just don't really understand on why some are sectioned different from others and why some fantasy is considered respectable enough to be put in that section but others of just as quality writing aren't.

    It really confuses me XD
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Can you give us some examples of sci-fi/fantasy books shelved under general fiction? The first example that came to my mind was LOTR, but I'm not sure if that's shelved under general fiction or fantasy.
     
  3. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    ^Ditto that! What examples, exactly, are you talking about?

    I know Nineteen Eighty-Four is technically science fiction, but it's often under literature, a) because Orwell was mostly a 'serious' fiction writer, and b) Nineteen Eighty-Four has beaten the test of time, and is extremely well written (or, not awful). It's now a canonical text.
     
  4. Kingtype
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    Kingtype Always writing or thinking things XD Staff Role Play Moderator Contributor

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    Well actually Lord of the Rings in most book stores I go to is in fantasy

    But Stephen King stuff (which is plenty of fantasy) is in general fiction

    Also all the older stuff (like Dracula and Alice and Wonderland) is there to

    Does age have something to do with it?
     
  5. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Stephen King? You serious? He's always put under Horror in my experience. As is Dracula. Alice in Wonderland is in general fiction, yes, but mostly because it's seen as a parable, and children's story.
     
  6. Kingtype
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    Kingtype Always writing or thinking things XD Staff Role Play Moderator Contributor

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    Yeah I'm serious

    In the two bookstores I go to around here Stephen King is in the fantasy section and Dracula is in general fiction.

    I think Dracula also might be in the horror section at the local library
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2014
  7. Kingtype
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    Kingtype Always writing or thinking things XD Staff Role Play Moderator Contributor

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    Ah wait

    I contradicted myself

    Sorry

    here is how it with King

    At Barnes and Noble Stephen King is in general fiction and at the half priced bookstore he is in fantasy
     
  8. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    How odd.

    I don't think it is a fact of a novel's age. M.R. James and H.P. Lovecraft stories are always in Horror in my experience, and they were writing about the same time, yet House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski is always in the general fiction. That was published only a decade ago I think.
     
  9. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    There are some people out there who are mad about magical realism books being shelved under general fiction. So that includes One Hundred Years of Solitude, Midnight's Children by Rushdie, and the works of Borges. I'm just pointing this out to show that it's sometimes very hard to categorize books because they have elements of multiple genres. However, Stephen King and Dracula should go under horror, and I don't think many people are going to debate that.
     
  10. Annûniel
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    Annûniel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Bookstores are often organized by the way the general public tends to think. Most people will not go looking for Steven King or George Orwell in the fantasy/sci-fi section. Thus, they place it in general fiction where people would likely first look. It's not unlike how all anime/manga is typically placed in the children's section of the store, but there is plenty of anime/manga that is very much NOT appropriate for children.

    Zing! Ouch. I know Fantasy/Sci-Fi gets a bad wrap for being a genre filled with poorly written books by novice authors, but certainly not all of it is "awful."
     
  11. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Not all. My use of the word 'awful' was more a reflection on the general state of published writing across all genres. Yes, I'll hold my hands up here, I don't have a good opinion of most fantasy writers, but quality does not qualify anything as 'general fiction'. I mean, Dan Brown is often put on the 'general fiction' shelves, and do you know many serious readers who have many kind things to say about Dan Brown?

    I can, however, say some pretty horrible things about Harry Potter, if that matters at all?
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2014
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  12. Annûniel
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    Annûniel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ah, I misunderstood then. My apologies :)

    I'm an avid fantasy reader and the only good thing I can say about Harry Potter is: "It got kids to read."
     
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  13. Snoopingaround
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    Snoopingaround Banned

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    I find book categorization in bookstores and libraries to be inaccurate/misleading as well sometimes. In the case of bookstores, where they are trying to sell as many units as they can, there may be some marketing/business reason to group a certain book in a certain section. In the case of libraries, I find they are usually quite accurate, but I have noticed many times that there are titles that go into the some sections that belong in another category. That is among the fiction titles of course. The Dewey decimal system and the LOC system are both pretty darn good, though personally I favor the LOC system more.

    Anyway, I think we need more precise categories in general. For example, I feel there should be a separation of the Science fiction titles and the Fantasy titles. Instead they are always grouped together, into a sci-fi/fantasy area. There is a distinction for anyone who reads these titles, between Dan Simmons's "Endymion" and RA Salvatore's "The Crystal Shard". Also, Horror titles often do not have their own section, they are traditionally just grouped into either the general area or the sci-fi/fantasy area. What is up with that? It just makes things more convenient for browsers to categorize books better, even though it would mean a little more work for books store employees and librarians, I say it should be done.
     
  14. Kaitou Wolf
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    Kaitou Wolf Active Member

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    My local library has The Dresden Files in the general fiction section, along with Stephen King and Dean Koontz. In it's defense, it's a small library with a whole section devoted to crime stories taking up the middle of the single room.
     

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