What Makes a Genre?

Daniel Abraham recently put up a long and fascinating post regarding what defines a genre– any genre, from Westerns to Romance to Science fiction. And, frankly, he’s someone who knows a little something about what it means to work in a different genre since he is a wearer of many hats professionally. Daniel is the author of the critically acclaimed epic fantasy series The Long Price Quartet and the upcoming The Dragon’s Path as well as the urban fantasist MLN Hanover (author of The Black Sun’s Daughter series) and one half of James S.A. Corey, author of the upcoming space opera Leviathan Wakes. Like I said– he knows genre.

“I think that the successful genres of a particular period are reflections of the needs and thoughts and social struggles of that time.  When you see a bunch of similar projects meeting with success, you’ve found a place in the social landscape where a particular story (or moral or scenario) speaks to readers. You’ve found a place where the things that stories offer are most needed.

Check out the whole thing on his blog.