Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mixing Genres--And Get a Copy of THE DEMI-MONDE WINTER

It's an interesting time in speculative fiction right now, with a lot of genre-blending going on. Maybe it's always been that way to some extent, but as I've done the Fiction Affliction columns over at tor.com the last year and a half or so, it seems as if I'm finding more and more books that I have trouble classifying. 

Initially, I classified books as science fiction, traditional fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and YA paranormal...but where does time-travel fit in there if it's driven by magic, not science? Where does steampunk fit? Or historical urban fantasy? Or dystopian fantasy set in real-world places? How much do urban fantasy and paranormal romance overlap? And other than the age of the protagonist, some YA crosses over to adult readers. A few months ago, I added a new catch-all category--"genre-blenders"--and split YA books into their genre category.

I'm glad I don't have to shelve books in a brick-and-mortar store. What a nightmare! When I go to a bookstore, I gravitate to the fantasy section, looking for urban fantasy, and usually skipping over anything with a dragon on it. But I also love reading paranormal romance as long as it has a strong UF storyline running behind the romance (Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series, for example)--yet I rarely wander into the romance aisles because I don't read contemporary or sweet or historicals.

As a reader, do you look at genre? How do you find the books you want to read--from review websites or magazines? (Of course you can always come here on Mondays and see what's coming--LOL.) 

Leave a comment with your answers--and if you have a blended genre you like, what is it? I'll be choosing one commenter to win a copy of one of my favorite "genre-benders" recently, Rod Rees' The Demi-Monde: Winter. It's the first in series just now being published in the U.S., and it's a mind-boggler. Kind of futuristic. Kind of urban fantasy. Kind of...well, a genre-bender.

ABOUT THE BOOK: The Demi-Monde is the most advanced simulation ever devised. Thirty million people ruled by history's cruellest tyrants, locked in eternal civil conflict. The intention: to create the closest thing to Hell, and prepare soldiers for the nightmarish environment of war. But something has gone badly wrong. Reinhard Heydrich or at least a simulacrum resembling the Nazi monster has kidnapped the President's daughter from the Real-World and concealed her within the Demi-Monde, making it impossible for the program to be switched off. This achieved, he has cut off all contact with reality. It falls to Ella Thomas, a young jazz singer, to infiltrate Heydrich's virtual domain and rescue the missing girl. But once inside she will discover that everything in the Demi-Monde is not as it seems, and that the Real-World may be in more danger than everyone outside realises...The Demi-Monde: Winter introduces readers to one of the most believable, almost extravagantly detailed worlds ever created, where history's most fascinating figures and cruellest tyrants rub shoulders with a rich cast of characters. In a fast-paced, action-packed narrative Rod Rees manages to explore some of life's deepest dilemmas, and suffuses the story throughout with wit and humour.

Want to win a copy? Let's talk genre today! What's your favorite--or do you just like what you like? And how do you find the books you want to read? You know the drill: one entry for comment; one for blog follow; one for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and one for Tweeting or Retweeting the contest.


14 comments:

  1. I do look at genre - almost exclusively, in fact. Fantasy, science fiction, and the occasional YA grace my shelves. (I'm afraid I head towards anything that says "dragon," at that!)

    When I want to find new books, I either ask friends for recommendations, or head over the SFF section and browse the backs of books until something catches my eye. Sometimes, if I have a day off, I'll pick up several books, find a chair, and read a few pages until I figure out which author's voice I think I like best.

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  2. If I have to be honest the first thing I look at is the cover (I'm that shallow, I know) and, if I like the cover, I read the description. I have one or two favorite genres, but I have to say I'm an omnivorous reader.
    I usually find the books I want to read from book blogs.

    My favorite blended genre? Mmmm....maybe fantasy steampunk with a touch of romance.

    The Demi-Monde sounds really interesting. Please enter me in the giveaway only if it is international. Thank you! :)

    +1 for comment
    +1 for blog follow (GFC - Giada M.)
    +1 for Twitter follow (@hatshepsut0011)

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    fabgiada (at) gmail (dot) com

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  3. I read all different genres so I mostly get books from the different websites I follow that look interesting or from my local library's list of new featured books. I used to pick up anything that looked interesting at Borders but the closest bookstore is a 20 minute drive now so I don't get there very often.

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    sgiden at verizon.net

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  4. I love Fantasy, SF and horror books but a can't always afford them. I usually find books when read from book blogs.

    lulu_mirela90@yahoo.com

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  5. I've been trying to request this book from netgalley for ages! :) I love genre blenders. Before I discovered UF, I used to try and find HR with time travel or with magic like Diana Gabaldon's books. Now I like when dystopians mix with sci-fi, sci0fi with paranormal. It makes them so much more exciting when there are no boundaries.
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    impy80 at hotmail dot com

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  6. I read specific genres, my fav being Fantasy Romance & Historical Romance & am now delving into PNR. I would read any subgenre of SFF that has a strong romantic element.

    I usually browse online to look for books, read the blurbs (excerpts are really helpful) & reviews.

    How could you not like dragons? It's quite my favourite!

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    thumbelinda03@yahoo.com

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  7. Don't enter me in this contest, this is not my kind of read ;).

    I love paranormal romance, urban fantasy (and that blends a lot to), fantasy, fantasy romance, historical romance, only some contemporary romance by specific authors, some romantic suspense, and cozy mysteries. But for me, the most important part in a book is the story itself, not the romance per se, but the plot. And if it has lots of love scenes, I tend to skip them to get back to the story. Unlike a lot of friends who find those scenes the most important ones in a book.

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  8. Thanks for the giveaway! I look mostly at the genres I like - historical fiction, sci-fi, some fantasy - but I love the genre benders more along the lines of surrealism or magical realism. I'll read just about anything, though, so I don't really stick too closely to genres.

    +1 comment
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    susanna DOT pyatt AT student DOT rcsnc DOT org

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  9. All time favorite Genre Epic Fantasy!! I love those book series that are like 10 books long and never seem to end because they let you fall in love and get attached to the characters. Its just what I have always loved!

    GFC: Maegan Morin
    Twitter: fahlinstar
    Tweet: https://twitter.com/#!/fahlinstar/status/162789086564847616

    megnate at telus dot net

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  10. Wow this book sounds so cool. I don't really stick with a genre, I like to mix it up and rarely read the same genre in a row.

    +1 comment
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    https://twitter.com/#!/Suzanne_Johnson/status/161818157064003584

    mystery_dreams35@hotmail.com

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  11. i have a favourite genre, of course (paranormal all the way), but I do read whatever sounds cool. I follow blogs whose authors have similar tastes and I alwats end up with a wishlist longer than ever!

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    aliasgirl at libero dot it

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  12. I mostly read paranormal romances, sci-fi and fantasy books, so I think I'll love this one too :)

    Thanks for the opportunity :)

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    +1 tweet: https://twitter.com/#!/Diana_Dimovska/status/163391844410068992

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  13. My favourite genres are Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. This book sounds really interesting, would love to be entered for the giveaway!

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    chibipooh(at)gmail(dot)com

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  14. I read mostly Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Dark Fantasy and some Erotica. I usually get suggestions from the chatrooms on GoodReads and from blogs reviewing novels from these genres.

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    smittenwithbadboyheroes@gmail.com

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