Monday, January 27, 2014

Playing Favorites

This week's topic is about your favorite genre to read and write.  Since the authors here mostly specialize in SF/Fantasy that's probably the easiest answer.  From my bibliography though you can see where my favorite genre to write has been cyclical.

From 1995-2001 I wrote pretty much all sci-fi.  From 1997-1999 that included some Transformers fanfics as well.

From 2002-2006 I wrote almost entirely literary fiction. 

But at the end of 2006 I wrote a series of YA stories because everyone else was doing it, so why not me?

In 2008 I wrote my final literary novel (to date)

Then from 2009-2010 I wrote mostly superhero stories with a couple of more mainstream sci-fi ones mixed in

In 2011 I wrote the Chances Are series of thrillers

Then in 2013 it was back to superheroes with one paranormal thriller.

And my reading habits are largely reflective of that as well.  Up until the new millennium I read pretty much all sci-fi.  Then in 2002 I read mostly literary fiction.  That was mostly the case until 2011 when I started reading old school mystery/thrillers by Raymond Chandler, Lawrence Block, etc. 

On my old blog I tallied up the authors I read last year.  Besides myself Arthur C. Clarke, Kurt Vonnegut, and Ian Fleming dominated the list, mostly because they were on sale.  So that's pretty much a mixture of sci-fi, literary, and thrillers right there.

I have to say versatility is a good thing.  I know they say to read a lot in the genre you're writing but it's also good to see what's going on in other parts of the world.  At times I've read stuff I wouldn't normally like chick-lit and romance mostly just to see how they do it.  If you can fit that in I think it's a good idea because it broadens your perspective.  As old NBC commercials used to say, "The More You Know."  So don't get too stuck on an one genre unless you're getting paid a lot of money to do so.


  1. I try to read what I find interesting. Which, of course, is a cop-out. But I really do try. I have spent the last few years reading mostly fantasy because I'd never really read any before, aside from LOTR, and I thought I needed to really give it a fair shot.

    Funny thing, and something I've been thinking about a lot recently and may do a post on soon, but when I did that inventory of my tbr pile last week I was really shocked at how skewed the numbers were between sf&f and everything else.

    The last time I took any sort of inventory of what I was reading it was about 50/50 non-fiction to fiction, and of that half that was fiction, it was about 2/1 sf&f to something else (literary, thriller, etc).

    So, trying to get more serious about writing led me to reading sf&f almost exclusively. So weird.

  2. You neglected to mention Atwood! I know you read the Handmaid's Tale and I really liked the review you did on that book. Totally spot on with your analysis.

  3. It's funny how people don't include 'superhero' as scifi or fantasy. Thor is about gods and stuff. Superman is about an alien who protects a planet. Green Lantern is pure scifi, isn't it? But I suppose "superhero" is a genre to itself.

    I am going to definitely have to do one of these topics. I swear I will if I get a chance.

    About time Michael checked in here.

  4. I believe, at least so far as reading goes, that you should get confined in a particular genre. If you're a writer, I think it's even more important to not get stuck in reading just one genre. That's a sure way of having completely flat and generic stories.

  5. I like unique stories as long as the author can make it believable. It doesn't seem to matter what genre it is.

  6. As much as I like sci fi, i still try it read what seems to peak my interest at the time.

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