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Definitions of Speculative Fiction: Common Genre Terms and Usage

It used to be there was "Fantasy" (swords and magic) and "Science Fiction" (ray guns and technobabble explanations). Now there’s urban fantasy, dystopia, a much stronger Young Adult market, and a dozen other variations and distinctions at use in the publishing world. A look at what genre classifications are currently in use would be interesting, and possibly a discussion of the extent to which those classifications are helpful in today’s marketplace. (Perhaps we should all be learning to think in terms of "keywords" or "tags" rather than genres.)

  • I for one have wondered where the blurry line is drawn between children's literature like Harry Potter and young adult novels like Mortal Instruments even though the two are alike. – SpectreWriter 6 years ago
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  • The Harry Potter series is Young Adult after the first 2 books. What made you think they were children's? The content and thematic material is too mature for children's, not to mention the series is about teenagers, and the film series is mostly rated PG-13. I'd actually say Harry Potter is far more mature and adult than The Mortal Instruments series. – declankc98 6 years ago
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