My fantasy book “The Last Families” is a dystopian story that has characters with supernatural powers. But is Fantasy the right genre?
Almost after 6 months of its release, I have come to this question. Shouldn’t I have properly defined the genre before releasing the book? I supposed I should’ve.
From the single instant, I began imagining and writing this fantastic world where these characters with talents/superpowers existed, I knew it had to be fantasy. Nothing of that exists or will exist in this world.
But as I got reviews, most of them quoted “The Last Families” as a dystopian post-apocalyptical story. It got me wondering.
According to Merriam-webster, a dystopia is:
an imagined world or society in which people lead wretched, dehumanized, fearful lives
The Last Families has something of that. It makes sense. It is dystopian because it talks about a future world with less than utopic circumstances. The characters are the last survivors of their world. They are looking for refuge and arrive at a place that is everything but hospitable. Of course, they are fearful as in the definition.
Is it post-apocalyptic? The definition of post-apocalyptic says:
existing or occurring after a catastrophically destructive disaster or apocalypse In a postapocalyptic world where nature has become just as violent as humanity
So yes, The Last Families definitely complies with this too. The story takes place after their land has been destroyed. We came to assume that these people are somehow future descendants of humans but with certain particularities. Therefore, we could say that this is a future that could somehow exist in the future? I would say overly farfetched.
Therefore it is a dystopia and a post-apocalyptic story. And it turns out that these two are subgenres of Science Fiction, and not of Fantasy. That is where I was surprised. Being a big reader of Science Fiction, I never thought of The Last Families as belonging to this genre, but somehow it has been categorized under it.
Now, there is “Science Fantasy”. A new genre. Thank god for new inventions. The definition is familiar:
Science fantasy is a hybrid genre within speculative fiction that simultaneously draws upon or combines tropes and elements from both science fiction and fantasy.
I think that is where my book fits better.
Unfortunately, like many new genres, you won’t find them listed anywhere. If you look for categories with a Print On Demand service, Listing sites, Literary Agents, and Book Reviewers, you will find Romance, Science Fiction, Mystery, Fantasy, Young Adult, and other “general” categories. New genres and Sub-genres are not included.
So, does this screw things for how I’ve been listing my book? I don’t think so. In fact, I’ll see it as a new opportunity. Until yesterday, the book was mainly targetting Fantasy categories and keywords. Now I’m targetting dystopian, post-apocalyptic, and science fantasy. Maybe a new refreshing audience to target.
What do you think? Should I still call it Fantasy?
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