Genre Wars


If ONLY they were anything like this exciting…

Good round-up of the latest literary spat by Lincoln Michel on Electric Lit here

I think he’s right. Fantasy and speculative elements are increasingly appearing in ‘literary’ fiction and being shortlisted for major prizes. Unsurprisingly when you consider that evoked human suffering, lyrical descriptions of trees, war, machines, vampires, zombies and ninjas all originate from the same place–the human brain.

Despite the recent segmentation of the growing children’s and YA market, it remains the one place where genres mix, mingle and party with little or no genre snobbery.

Because children, unlike literary critics know this.

Ask a kid to write a story and in that one story there will be a lonely alien, a friendly elephant, a kid biking to school and 5000 yellow-eyed penguins performing a haka


Seriously. Try it and see.

This genre-defying craziness is a wondrous thing and one that that draws many outwardly sane people to write for children.

I was reminded of this by this wonderful Toast discussion on Madeline L’Engle’s A Wind in the Door. Loved it as a child. Reread it as an adult-weirdest book EVER.


I’m pleased that genre wars in the grown-up book world are negotiating a fragile truce. They could really learn a thing or two from the kids.

About g.r.del

reading, writing and the rest. @storyvilled on twitter.
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