Monday, November 09, 2009

FFFig! Fantasy, Futuristic & Ghost (or why the wrong label sucks)

Heather and passengers have had some interesting and productive discussions on the labeling and categorizing of science fiction romance over on her blog, The Galaxy Express recently. This is no new discussion, but it is one we evidently must keep having because apparently even those deep in the business trenches of commercial genre fiction Don't Get It.

Case in point: Amazon. Now, many of you know I have no love for Amazon. I recognize it as a necessary evil at most times. I also recognize it's a hugely popular site and I am appreciative of their innovations in on-line book marketing and such. So given that they were one of the first, one would think--wouldn't one--that they'd know what in hell they market.

Sadly, they're perpetuating part of the deep problem science fiction romance has in declaring it's identity. Amazon--arguably one of the largest on-line marketers of books--has (if one goes to the ROMANCE categories) lumped science fiction romance/futuristics/romantic science fiction in the following category:

Fantasy, Futuristic and Ghost

If you don't believe me, click here for the Romance section with the categories on the left. Click here for their FFG category.

Notice they break out "vampires" and "time travel." They don't have a category called Fangs and Far Back in Time. Noooo. Vampire romance is recognized as a (sub)genre of its own. So is Gothic. So is Romantic Suspence. But science fiction romance? We're lumped in with elves and temporal disorientation and things that go boo.

I can understand if space was a consideration, as it would be in a brick-and-mortar store. It's not. This is a website. It's a matter of creating pages and hyperlinks to same. It's a matter of coding. It's so simple it's ridiculous.

So is lumping in science fiction romance with magic swords and ectoplasm.

Is it any wonder readers can become confused?

Granted, science fiction and fantasy have long been lumped together. But ghosts? I wasn't even aware Ghost Romance was a valid subgenre. But if it is, shouldn't it belong with vampires? I mean, vampires and ghosts seem to have more in common (at least, on Halloween they do), than starships and ghosts.

I'm now tempted to pen a story about a haunted starship that crash lands on a planet and is eaten by a dragon. At least then it would be properly categorized on Amazon.

'Nuff said. ~Linnea
Watch for Rebels and Lovers, Book #4 in the Dock Five Universe! Coming March 2010 from Bantam Dell


  1. Not nuff said.

    I have an absorbing metaphysical and scientific question.

    Would the digestive processes exorcise the haunting, or in the extreme fullness of time, would the cophrolite still be haunted?

  2. I'd definitely read the haunted starship novel!