genre n.

the literary fields of science fiction, fantasy, and horror collectively; imaginative fiction

SF Criticism


  • 1993 D. Bischoff Essaying in Quantum Spring—Summer 30/1

    This professor was ultimately equally contemptuous of the subject matter for my short stories and the kind of magazines and books I tended to cart along to class, SF and mystery magazines in particular. One day he said to me, ‘David, you seem to have some talent—but why don’t read better literature?’ (sic) Actually, I read much fine material outside of my indulgences in genre even then.

  • 1998 L. Shepard Must Have Been Something I Ate in Nebula Awards 32 8

    Yet in the millennial twilight, I feel inclined to celebrate the literary traditions of genre if only for a final time, to mention that the two most prominent contributors to the field during the first part of the century, George Orwell and H. G. Wells, were considered literary writers, and to mention further Thomas Disch’s 334, Samuel Delany’s Nevèrÿon, Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles, the idiosyncratic work of Brian Aldiss and Keith Roberts, Gene Wolfe’s The Book of the New Sun, Walter Tevis’s The Man Who Fell to Earth and Mockingbird, Walter Miller’s A Canticle for Leibowitz, Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Dispossessed—a list that could go on and on of books that nourished and craftsmen who inspired.

  • 2001 G. Dozois Being Gardner Dozois 236 Gardner Dozois

    Yes, it’s quite true that the expectations of genre weight it a bit in one way, toward one interpretation, but my steadfast refusal to admit that they're actually real—even at the end, when he’s ready to make this momentous decision, he’s still not sure whether there actually are time travellers there, or he’s just making the whole thing up—makes it as ambiguous as possible, given the fact that it was going to have to appear in a genre magazine if it appeared anywhere at all.

  • 2002 G. K. Wolfe Malebolge No. 39 417 Gary K. Wolfe

    But matters grow yet more complex, in the work of these writers and others, as the borders of genre themselves begin to dissolve, along with the borders between genre fiction and literary fiction.

  • 2003 D. J. Schow Horror is Dead in Locus Apr. 77/1

    Go into any chain or mall book emporium today and you'll still see the Immortals improbably dominating the sad remnants of the defrocked ‘horror’ section—King, Straub, Rice, Koontz, Barker, who had all evaded the sandtraps of genre by becoming sui generis, more literary, beach reads, or modern fabulists.

  • 2004 Paul Di Filippo On Books in Asimov’s Science Fiction July 136/2

    The writing collective known as the Ratbastards steps forth once again with Rabid Transit: A Mischief of Rats (Velocity Press, chapbook, $5.00, 50 pages, ISBN unavailable). Deemed in a cover blurb to consist of "interstitial fiction" (the newest synonym for "slipstream"), this five-story project does indeed navigate the borderland between genre and mainstream.

  • 2004 Sunday Times 11 Jan. (Culture) 9/2

    I am genre, through and through, and this is where I shall remain.

Research requirements

antedating 1993

Earliest cite

David Bischoff in Quantum

Research History
We are looking specifically for non-attributive uses without an article (a, an, the), along the lines of Shepard's "my interest in genre" or Wolfe's "as the borders of genre themselves begin to dissolve", as opposed to uses such as "genre fiction" or "genre writer" or "interest in the genre".

Jeff Prucher submitted a 1993 cite from David Bischoff in Quantum. Jeff Prucher submitted a 2001 cite from Gardner Dozois in "Being Gardner Dozois." Jeff Prucher submitted a 1998 cite from Lucius Shepard in Nebula Awards 32. Jeff Prucher submitted a 2002 cite from Gary K. Wolfe in Conjunctions:39. Jeff Prucher submitted a 2003 cite from David Schow in Locus. Katrina Campbell submitted a 2004 cite from the (London) Times. Irene Grumman submitted a 2004 cite from a review by Paul Di Filippo in Asimov's. Irene Grumman submitted a 1995 cite from a review by Charles de Lint in F&SF.

Last modified 2020-12-16 04:08:47
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.