I have been struggling with the use of categories and genres in which to list and describe my writing. I have been asking other authors and readers to get their impression about if in fact I do belong under the Science Fiction label. From an author’s perspective I have decided that my work stands alone, but I know my perspective is badly skewed. Like when I see a guy who wears a “world’s greatest dad t-shirt.” I know he is probably a great dad, but I seriously have to wonder if the award judges were given a wide choice of candidates upon which to base their decision.
Why It Matters
It really doesn’t matter to me in that my stories are what they are based on my imagination. So I can just say they are fiction and be done with it. But the market demands that I look at what others write and try to compare myself so that I can get in line with other authors.
This at first seems fine. I say put me in line right there behind Verne, Orwell, Burroughs or Wells. But then I look at the length of the queue and think, “Um Excuse me but there are ten’s of thousands of people in that queue, can I pick a shorter line?”
The fact remains that no one has yet to go into a bookstore and ask the owner, “Where’s your Drayton Alan section?” So until that time I am forced to pick a shelf from the broad categories that already exist to place my carefully crafted scrolls.
Why Sci Fi
So I played with the idea of calling it Speculative fiction, but I had to put on my readers hat. People don’t use the term Speculative Fiction much yet. If I wanted to read a story like mine what would I type into Google? If I typed Drayton Alan, my Kickstarter page comes up fist on the list and my author page is 5th. However when I type in Science fiction I’m not even listed.
So despite the fact that the Science Fiction label elicits a certain amount of negative bias and no one will ever find me just based on that I still feel the need to latch on to it for now and wait for the tides and currents of the market to wash me up on the shore of some other better named category.