Thursday, February 10, 2011

Beyond Paranormal

You will see it in blog posts from avid readers and in agent wish lists. They want something new in paranormal. People love the genre, but it has been over-saturated. They crave more than the same old-same old.

The solution? Speculative Fiction. Speculative Fiction is pretty hard to pin down a definition for. But it can be an alternate reality, like Holly Black's White Cat, or a blending of genres such as science-fiction, paranormal, supernatural, fantasy and horror.

The main blend that I've noticed trickling into the shelves (and I expect to see a lot more of it) is sci-fis with a paranormal feel. You might be thinking "What the heck?"

Exhibit A: Virals by Bones author Kathy Reichs. A group of teenagers are exposed to a virus from a wolf cross and their DNA is altered (hence the sci-fi). Their changes also include telepathy (enter the paranormal).

Exhibit B: I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore aka James Frey and Jobie Hughes. A group of aliens are hiding out of earth from another race aliens that are out to destroy them, and take over the earth while they're at it (there's your sci-fi). The good aliens have "legacies", which are powers that they develop as they mature. The powers include telekinesis, fire/heat resistance and animal telepathy (the paranormal factor).

Cross-breeding of genres really opens up a world of opportunities for writers and creates amazing new experiences for readers. It allows boundaries to be pushed and creativity to be maximised. Speculative fiction is something I enjoy and I look forward to seeing the next wave to hit the shelves.


Andromeda said...

I really enjoy cross breeding genres. It seems like if you don't, its really hard to make your story truly original and not...twilighty.

Sarah Nicolas said...

I just saw an agent blogging about how she loves when her authors send her book ideas that start with "You might hate this, but..." because it always means that something way out-there is following.

Though I guess there are always exceptions. The next big hit could very well be a straight vampire story - if it's done so well nobody can turn away from it. But that's not too likely.

Nella Rosmarino said...

Great job Sharon <3