The current issue of Library Journal (August 2012) carries a fascinating piece written by Kristi Chadwick about the current hot trend in speculative fiction, which is genre crossovers. The cover illustration, titled “Crashing the Gate” by cartoonist Daniel Clowes, symbolizes this breaking down of boundaries that have long separated mainstream fiction from its genre categories. Where does general fiction end and sf, fantasy, and horror begin?
Even the horror genre is addressed:
Horror — things that go bump in the night, demons that swallow your soul—is the scary
side of speculative fiction, yet some publishers are wary of labeling their books as such.
“Horror, per se, is seldom found by that name,” explains Prime Books’ Guran. “You have,
instead, dark motifs showing up strongly in just about any type of fiction.”
“We’ve also seen that wince of distaste from people who think we’re a ‘horror
publisher,’?” says Sandra Kasturi, a copublisher of the World Fantasy Award–nominated
ChiZine Publishing, which specializes in what its website describes as “weird, surreal,
subtle, and disturbing dark literary fiction.” But she points out that this genre’s themes
and conventions have seeped into our popular culture, noting that recent top-grossing
films like The Avengers tend to be dark, if not outright horror.
New on the horror and dark fantasy scene is JournalStone Publishing, which had two authors
receive 2011 Bram Stoker Award nominations in its first year of operation. Managing editor
Norman Rubenstein attributes the growth in genre crossovers to readers’ willingness to
look beyond any labels. “As horror is one of the oldest and most basic of genres, it
should not come as a surprise that writers are incorporating aspects of the genre, and/or
the related genres of dark fantasy and even science fiction into stories that have a
JournalStone is poised to keep readers up all night with Brett J. Talley’s The Void
(Jul.), an unnerving read that mixes Lovecraftian horror with hard sf. And fans of NBC’s
Grimm will find Jeffrey Wilson’s The Donors (Jun.), aboutorgan-harvesting
demons hiding in plain sight, a comparable read.
You can read the article in its entirety (it’s well worth your while) here : Genre Crossovers Retain Fans and Attract New Readers